As 2020 census winds up, multiracial Hoosiers reflect on 20 years of being counted

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, United States on 2020-09-13 01:11Z by Steven

As 2020 census winds up, multiracial Hoosiers reflect on 20 years of being counted

The Herald Bulletin
Anderson, Indiana

Rebecca R. Bibbs

Brooke Watson plays catch with her daughters, Heaven, 11, and Angel, 14, in the front yard, above, and holds up a plant for her daughter, Heaven, 11, to water, below, at their north Anderson home. Parents of mixed-race people approach the subject of race in different ways. Some raise their children to ignore race as their personal effort to guide the nation toward a post-racial society; others cultivate their children’s multiracial identities, telling them they are the bridge between the races. Watson said her parents did the former.
Photos by John P. Cleary | The Herald Bulletin

INDIANAPOLISGerry Lanosga, whose mother is Dutch/German and father is Filipino and Nicaraguan, doesn’t quite remember which box he checked when he completed the 1990 census.

Though he thinks of himself as multiracial/multiethnic, the associate professor of journalism history and investigative reporting at The Media School at Indiana University in Bloomington does recall there really was no way at the time for him to reflect that.

So, against his real feelings regarding his racial and ethnic identity, Lanosga said, he likely reported to the U.S. government that he was white. It fit more closely with how he believes his family lived, but it was not a satisfying response to the question, he said.

“I do think given my particular mix of things, when people talk about whiteness, that’s me, but that’s also not me in some ways,” Lanosga explained.

The U.S. Office of Management and Budget, which oversees the census, made things a little easier for people like Lanosga in late 1997 when it decided multiracial people would be allowed to check more than one race on the 2000 census…

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Say I’m Dead: A Family Memoir of Race, Secrets, and Love

Posted in Autobiography, Biography, Books, Media Archive, Monographs, United States, Women on 2020-06-09 16:01Z by Steven

Say I’m Dead: A Family Memoir of Race, Secrets, and Love

Chicago Review Press
288 Pages
6 x 9
Formats: Cloth, Mobipocket, EPUB, PDF
ISBN: 9781641602747

E. Dolores Johnson
Boston, Massachusetts

Say I’m Dead is the true story of family secrets, separation, courage, and trans-formation through five generations of interracial relationships. Fearful of prison time—or lynching—for violating Indiana’s antimiscegenation laws in the 1940s, E. Dolores Johnson’s black father and white mother fled Indianapolis to secretly marry in Buffalo, New York. When Johnson was born, social norms and her government-issued birth certificate said she was Negro, nullifying her mother’s white blood in her identity. Later, as a Harvard-educated business executive feeling too far from her black roots, she searched her father’s black genealogy. But in the process, Johnson suddenly realized that her mother’s whole white family was—and always had been—missing. When she began to pry, her mother’s 36-year-old secret spilled out. Her mother had simply vanished from Indiana, evading an FBI and police search that had ended with the conclusion that she had been the victim of foul play.

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More cities add Barack Obama’s name to landmarks, highways

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States, Virginia on 2019-01-19 05:12Z by Steven

More cities add Barack Obama’s name to landmarks, highways


Chris Woodyard, Los Angeles Bureau Chief

LOS ANGELESBarack Obama hasn’t been the president for nearly two years, but his fame is still spreading – at least when it comes to naming things after him.

The nation’s first African-American president need not go far around the country these days to find something that carries his name. There’s Barack Obama Way in New Albany Township, Indiana, and Barack Obama Boulevard in Pahokee, Florida. There’s a long list of schools now named for him, like Barack Obama Academy for Academic & Civic Development in Plainfield, New Jersey, and Barack Obama Elementary School in Richmond, Virginia.

Obama even has animal species named after him, like placida barackobamai, a sea slug

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HERstory: Denomination to elect first Black, female leader

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, Religion, United States on 2017-07-11 01:53Z by Steven

HERstory: Denomination to elect first Black, female leader

Indianapolis Recorder

Ebony Marie Chappel

Rev. Teresa Hord Owens

Editor’s Note: On July 9, the Disciples of Christ elected Rev. Teresa Hord Owens to lead the denomination. While Rev. Owens is the first Black woman to lead a mainline Protestant organization in a solo capacity, we failed to mention Rev. Denise Anderson. Anderson, a Black woman, was elected co-moderator of the Pentecostal Church (U.S.A.) last year alongside Jan Edmiston. This marked the first time that the P.C. (USA) elected women as moderators and elected two co-moderators of either sex. The P.C.(USA) traditionally elects a moderator and vice-moderator. 

In a matter of days, Rev. Teresa Hord Owens will become the general minister and president of the Disciples of Christ. The appointment, pending an election on July 9 during the Disciples of Christ General Assembly in Indianapolis, will make Owens the first Black woman to lead a mainline Protestant denomination in North America.

“Her nomination represents an opportunity for us to continue the important transformation of the church,” said Chris Dorsey, Disciples of Christ president of higher education and leadership ministries. “We seek to be a church that is more inclusive and more holistic, and she is the right person to help us do that.”

Owens, a native Hoosier, was raised in Terre Haute and is a direct descendant of the free people of color who founded the Lost Creek settlement in Vigo County. She has been an active member of the Disciples denomination since she was a young adult, when she and her mother moved to Indianapolis and attended Second Christian, now known as Light of the World Christian Church…

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Mixing It Up: Students, professors reflect on the definition of mixed race in modern society

Posted in Articles, Campus Life, Census/Demographics, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States on 2017-01-08 02:23Z by Steven

Mixing It Up: Students, professors reflect on the definition of mixed race in modern society

HiLite: Your Source For CHS News
Carmel High School, Carmel, Indiana

Allison Li, Calendar/Beats Editor, Feature Reporter

Junior Kiki Koniaris is Korean, Pennsylvanian Dutch and Grecian. Despite being of mixed race, Koniaris said she believes race should not define a person.

“I feel like (how you define yourself) should be based off of personal attributes in general,” Koniaris said. “Because if you start defining everyone by race, then at a certain point, it becomes this idea that we separate ourselves based on race, and I think history has shown us that that’s not the best idea. But with that being said, sometimes you want to say, ‘I’m different from everyone else because this is how my culture worked out.’”

But while Koniaris said race shouldn’t define people, the very recognition of people of mixed races is still relatively new in this country. In the 1967 Loving v. Virginia case, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down previous laws prohibiting interracial marriage. In 2000, the U.S. Census Bureau first allowed people to identify themselves. With those statistics in mind, in the just last 50 years, the population of people of mixed races has increased exponentially. According to a 2015 Pew Research study, between 2000 and 2010, the number of white and black biracial Americans has more than doubled, while people of white and Asian backgrounds have increased by 87 percent.

This inclusion of mixed races has led to societal changes, as well as some discomfort form those who discuss those changes. According to Matthew Hayes, assistant professor of political science at IU, when identifying people of mixed race, there has been a general accompaniment of ‘politically correct’ terminologies. That language comes both from those who are not of mixed backgrounds, as well as from those who are…

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South Bend high school student behind race-based signs speaks out

Posted in Articles, Campus Life, Media Archive, United States on 2016-02-14 20:43Z by Steven

South Bend high school student behind race-based signs speaks out

South Bend, Indiana

A local high school student says he’s in trouble after he and two other students posted some controversial signs at Riley High School.

The signs stated “COLORED ONLY” and “WHITES ONLY,” and they were placed above water fountains throughout the school.

Shane Williams, who says he’s black, white, and Hispanic, told NewsCenter 16, “I put the signs up to help students to view legal segregation in a different form, for them to experience it themselves…

Read the entire story here.

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Indiana’s Miscegenation Laws: An Ineffective Racist Agenda

Posted in Dissertations, History, Law, Media Archive, United States on 2013-10-23 01:55Z by Steven

Indiana’s Miscegenation Laws: An Ineffective Racist Agenda

Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana
May 2013
57 pages

Megan M. Harris

An Undergraduate Honors Thesis (HONRS 499)

Miscegenation laws have played an influential and explanatory role in Indiana’s perception and attitudes about interracial relationships. Indiana had stringent regulations against such unions, which existed for a large portion of the Hoosier state’s history. Despite the unusually harsh legislations against these couples, interracial marriages continued to occur in Indiana. In fact, some multiracial communities, such as the Longtown Settlement, were created as safe havens for these couples. Although these laws were repealed in Indiana two years before the country abolished them nationwide in 1967, the state has had persistent attitudes against interracial marriage that couples must endure. In the face of the continual growth of such unions, local and national attitudes can be adjusted to greater social acceptance, especially with a clear understanding of the racism that underlies the previous miscegenation laws that outlawed interracial marriages.

Read the entire thesis here.

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How Indiana Punishes Miscegenation

Posted in Articles, Law, Media Archive, United States on 2013-10-23 01:40Z by Steven

How Indiana Punishes Miscegenation

The New York Times

Terre Haute, Ind., May 20.—William Nelson, a colored man, was sentenced to-day to pay a fine of $5,000 and be imprisoned in the Penitentiary for one year for marrying a white woman. The prosecution originated in spite, but Nelson was convicted under the law of 1856, which Judge Long held to be valid through a decision of the Supreme Court.

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In My Skin: Shaping the Multiracial Identity in Indiana

Posted in Dissertations, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States, Videos on 2012-11-20 21:39Z by Steven

In My Skin: Shaping the Multiracial Identity in Indiana

Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana
April 2012
18 pages

Earl L. Harris


This project takes viewers inside the lives of multiracial individuals in Indiana through a 60-minute documentary. The state was broken into three parts, broken into Northern, Central, and Southern parts, with each having a person chosen to profile. This is done to educate, inform, and eliminate myths in place about multiracial individuals. Shown is how each deals with day-to-day life not always being understood or fitting in. Life is explored and documented as it happens, including interviews with individuals as part of the production in order to hear “in their own words” about experiences. Other key people, family, friends, co-workers, share thoughts on the multiracial individuals also. The goal is to capture life without affecting what happens.

Read the entire thesis here.

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As the mixed-race population grows, the stigma of the past fades

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States on 2011-05-02 04:19Z by Steven

As the mixed-race population grows, the stigma of the past fades (Journal and Courier)
Lafayette – West Lafayette, Indiana

Taya Flores

Gerald and Susan Thomas experienced a hurtful racial climate in Greater Lafayette when they dated during the 1970s.

A drive-by verbal assault in Lafayette early in their marriage is one Gerald still remembers today.

He said the couple was driving in a convertible when some white men called out a racial insult. “Those type of things happen. Fortunately, now I think it’s more subtle,” he said. “It’s still there, but it’s much more subtle than it was in the past.”…

…There can also be discrimination from people who might not approve of a person’s interracial parentage, said Carolyn Liebler, a University of Minnesota sociology professor who studies ethnicity.

That is more common among older generations.

Initially, Robinson’s maternal grandparents did not approve of her parents’ interracial relationship.

“I know my grandparents (mom’s parents) didn’t approve of my mom and dad being together, but once my (older) sister was born they accepted the fact,” she said.

Some black-white biracials can penetrate the color line because they have white relatives. These relatives broaden the biracial’s social connections and improve their access to resources such as good schools or employment networks, Liebler said.

These biracials tend to be better off than their minority counterparts but worse off than whites, according to Liebler…

For example, the percentage of black-white biracials who reported fair to poor health (13.4 percent) was closer to whites than blacks who had relatively poorer health.

However, the percentage for white-Asians (7.8 percent) was closer to Asians. But Asians had relatively better health than whites, according to a sociology study published online in the February edition of the journal Demography.

The research was conducted by Rice University sociologists Jenifer Bratter and Bridget Gorman. They used a seven-year (2001-2007) sample from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, a national health survey, to examine differences in health as reported by participants.

Many social inequalities, such as poverty or health disparities, are passed down from generation to generation. Factors besides race, such as parents’ occupation and family wealth, childhood upbringing and education, also play a role in a person’s success, Liebler said. But racial stereotypes and discrimination have historically caused differences in these socioeconomic factors even among biracial people.

“This is not turning the world upside down. It’s just sort of adding a nuance,” she said…

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