It’s Famous Friday!

 

Happy Friday Everyone. This week we are taking a look inside the life of teen actress and musical artist, Isabela Moner. Isabela was born in Cleveland, Ohio to Katherine Moner (Peruvian) and Patrick Moner (Caucasian). Isabela’s main language is Spanish, but she also speaks English. Additionally, she claims to have learned some Peruvian for her role in Dora and the Lost City of Gold.

 

Isabela says that performing has been a passion of hers from a young age, starting community theatre at only six. Her first major Broadway role came when she was ten, in the musical production Evita, where she performed alongside Latin-pop legend Ricky Martin. Her other Broadway appearance came in 2013 when she performed in a production of Dallas.

 

Since then Isabela has moved on to bigger roles in television and movies. From roughly 2014-2017 she starred in television shows such as, Dora and Friends: Into the City as well as 100 things to do before High School. Her performance in 100 things to do before High School led to 2 nominations for “best Actor/Actress” by Imagen Foundation Award, one of which she won in 2016.

 

After moving to movies, one of her early appearances was in Michaels Bay’s Transformers: The Last Knight, where she had the opportunity to work with actor Mark Wahlberg. Her part led to a nomination for “Choice Summer Movie Actress” in the 2017 Teen’s Choice Awards. One other major movie she worked on was Instant Family, where she plays “Lizzy”, a teenage orphan who eventually finds a family along with her two other siblings. Her convincing performance led to titles such as “Best Leading Young Actress” as well as “Best Actress-Feature Film”. Her work in movies also includes, Sicario: Days of the Soldado, Dora and the Lost City of Gold, Herself, and Middle School: The Worst Years of my Life. Her widespread success has landed her screen-time with major actors and actresses such as Rose Byrne, Benicio del Toro, Josh Brolin, and more.

 

Matheson Bossick, Project Race Teens Vice President

 

Sources:

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isabela_Moner
  2. https://www.tvovermind.com/isabela-moner/
  3. https://www.broadwayworld.com/people/Isabela-Moner/
  4. https://www.forbes.com/sites/rosycordero/2019/03/07/isabela-moner-learned-indigenous-peruvian-language-to-play-dora-the-explorer/#bae84885ff6c

Picture From:

  1. https://www.newsweek.com/who-dora-and-lost-city-gold-star-isabela-moner-17-year-old-actress-bringing-1373475

It’s Famous Friday!

Pinckney Benton Stewart Pinchback

Happy new year!  As we celebrate the dawn of a new decade, our country eagerly and anxiously looks toward another presidential election year.  Since the time of Reconstruction, people of color have impacted our country’s legislation on a state and federal level.  This Famous Friday feature focuses on one early influencer by the name of Pinckney Benton Stewart Pinchback, or P.B.S. Pinchback as most commonly seen in historical references.

Pinchback was born in Macon, Georgia, in 1837, to William Pinchback a white planter, and Eliza Stewart, his former slave.  Unorthodox for the times, Pinchback was educated at Gilmore High School In Cincinnati, Ohio.  He also worked as a hotel porter in Indiana to avoid recapture by his paternal relatives after the death of his father.  While living in Indiana he married Nina Emily and had four sons and two daughters.

P.B.S. Pinchback’s knack for public and political leadership was recognized during the Civil War.  He was the only African American captain in the Union-controlled 1st Louisiana Native Guards. After the war, he became very active in the Republican party and organized the Fourth Ward Republican Club in New Orleans.  In 1868, he was elected to the Louisiana State Senate and also became the State Senate president pro tempore.  Three years later, he became the acting lieutenant governor.  In 1872, with the impeachment of incumbent governor Henry Clay Warmoth, P.B.S. Pinchback was sworn in as the first African American governor of Louisiana and non-white governor of any state in the United States. Although his term was only 35 days, Pinchback made history.  It would not be until 1990 that another African American person would sit as governor of any U.S. state.

P.B.S. Pinchback continued to remain active in politics by public service.  He was elected to both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate.  He served on the Louisiana State Board of Education and was instrumental in establishing Southern University in New Orleans which is a historically black college.  Finally, after attaining his law degree, he became a federal marshal in New York and then practiced law in Washington D.C. P.B.S. Pinchback died in 1921.

P.B.S. Pinchback was a trailblazer and fought for equality for people of color.  As the election year proceeds, may we continue to see others follow in his legendary footsteps.

 

Skylar Wooten, Project RACE Teens Vice President

 

Picture Source:https://www.britannica.com/biography/Pinckney-Benton-Stewart-Pinchback

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Think About This

Copies of the 2010 U.S. census
The 2010 United States Census allowed 63 possible responses for race.Ross D. Franklin / AP
At a doctor’s visit, on a college-admissions application, or even in a consumer-marketing survey, Americans are regularly asked to classify themselves by race. Some protest this request by “declining to answer,” as forms often allow. After all, racial categories are social constructs. They don’t connote biological or genetic difference.

As an African American, I have never had difficulty knowing which box I am meant to check. Whether I do so depends on my understanding of why the information is being collected. Similar questionnaires in the late 19th and early 20th centuries didn’t afford such choice. At that time, before the current practice of self-identification, an enumerator or census taker would have visited my home and classified me as free or enslaved, and then determined whether I might be colored, mulatto, quadroon (one-quarter black), or octoroon (one-eighth).

Shortly after the country’s founding, the U.S. government began collecting data on the racial and ethnic make-up of every person in each household. Every decennial ushers in some new language meant to enhance the accuracy and reliability of the census as a measurement of the entire national population. There’s symbolic power in being represented on the census—in being counted. But as the political scientist Melissa Nobles shows in her book Shades of Citizenship, these data also track compliance with civil-rights legislation, particularly voting districts. They are linked to federal resources, intensifying public agitation around the categories.

During the years between each census, researchers, activists, politicians, and interest groups lobby for the rewording of a label, the addition (or elimination) of a category, or the disaggregation of another, such as Asian or American Indian or Alaska Native. In 2000, for example, “Hispanic or Latino, or Spanish origins” was reclassified from racial to ethnic data. Respondents were also allowed to select multiple boxes to reflect multiracial heritage for the first time. Additional changes that affect how the racial makeup of the country is represented are underway, including the creation of a separate category for people of Middle Eastern and North African descent (referred to as MENA).

Shifts in racial classifications raise questions about what exactly is being counted, how people interpret the same questions differently, and what to do about people’s changing perceptions of their racial background. In 2015, the Pew Research Center reported that at least 9.8 million people reported a different racial or ethnic background than they did in 2000. When someone appears to “change” races, the resulting data is sometimes construed as erroneous.

The statistical accounting used to correct such errors is commonly referred to as “data cleaning” or data cleansing. This process involves identifying and then editing data already collected—through modification, enhancement, or deletion of responses—when it does not conform to some predetermined rules that standardize the data set. Ostensibly, the goal is to improve data quality by correcting measurement errors generated by people who complete the questionnaires or enter responses into the database. Data cleaning hopes to make a final data set similar to other, related ones, such as the other national censuses and the American Community Survey.

Errors in reporting and recording certainly do happen. But if racial data must be cleaned, then some data is dirty. And that dirtiness is undeniably political. Some responses are more likely to be diagnosed as dirty. Given the goal of creating information that is comparable from one national census to the next, the data most under suspect are those that correspond to the categories most in flux: people who checked more than one box, for example, or those who saw themselves as members of different racial or ethnic groups at different times.

While data cleansing can raise ethical questions about altering people’s responses, it offers a bureaucratic solution to a difficult position for the Census Bureau. The bureau is under public pressure to modify its data-collection methods, on the one hand. But, on the other, it is also expected to provide reliable data that is comparable over time and across other government agencies at the local, state, and national levels. The desire for comparability prompts some of the most intensive or imaginative cleaning.

By 2010, the two major changes from the previous censuses—the treatment of Hispanic, Latino, and Spanish ancestry as an ethnicity and the ability to check multiple racial categories—had yielded 63 possible responses for race: the original six categories (white; black or African American; American Indian or Alaska Native; Asian; Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander; some other race), plus an additional 57 possible combinations of these responses. Given the new information, identifying one group and distinguishing it from another became difficult. This led to the creation of new categories, established after data collection, such as “black, not Hispanic,” or “white, Hispanic.” For the most part, people who selected more than one race were recoded as “two or more races,” regardless of the combination. However, because no actual multiracial category is offered, the official racial categories are still preserved in the record. That makes them traceable later, by cleaning individuals’ responses retroactively.

In 2010, the “some other race” category proved the dirtiest. This selection included a write-in box where respondents were expected to provide the name of the race to which they felt they belonged. The vast majority of the more than 19 million people (6.2 percent of respondents) who made this selection also identified themselves as having “Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish” origins for the ethnicity question asked prior to their race. In its document 2010 Census Redistricting Data, the Bureau states that it used “automated” and “expert” coding to recode write-in responses for compliance with the master files (or predetermined rules) of the database or system. For example, the document states that someone describing themselves as “Haitian” and “Moroccan” was recoded to “black” and “white.” This “some other race” also includes people who preferred to write in responses like “multiracial” in lieu of ticking multiple boxes.

Even with a shrinking budget and new leadership, the bureau’s search for tidier data continues. When interviewed shortly after her retirement in January, the former U.S. chief statistician Katherine Wallman acknowledged that politics were most likely behind recent budget cuts. Irrespective of the latest political jockeying, the bureau has been discussing ways to cut costs without compromising data quality for years. As a result, the 2020 census will test an online response option, and use administrative records such as federal tax returns and postal-service files to estimate individual characteristics like sex and race when information is not self-reported.

While these new measures might reduce costs, civil-rights groups like the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights are concerned that they will continue to undercount or otherwise misrepresent vulnerable populations and communities of color whose members are less likely to have reliable internet access. That might make them vulnerable to inaccurate identification in administrative records.

The Census Bureau didn’t respond to a request for comment or clarification about its perception of dirty data. Nevertheless, the bureau likely finds itself in a cultural minefield, as it becomes a site where debates unfold about which individuals and groups are rendered invisible, as much as how finite public resources get allocated. The ongoing dispute over whether future censuses should or will include a question about sexual orientation or gender identity belie the simplicity of the current sex question, which only asks respondents if they are male or female. With more public pressure and social change, that data might also become disaggregated one day, and then recoded into categories like “cisgender male” or “female, not transgender.”

Some people bristle at being asked to reduce the complexity of their self-perceptions into a singular choice. The “check-this-box” mentality of the census is at odds with the more fluid and ambiguous self-perceptions of the population: people originating from outside the country, for example, or those habituated to customizable digital profiles, like those on Facebook, which appear to revel in the uncertainty of multitudinous identity. If anything, these digital tools have helped accelerate citizens’ willingness to self-identify in categories broader than those provided by the government—and even to demand to be able to do so.

Even so, some of the choices haven’t changed. Since the first census in 1790, one category has remained stable, or at least been modified the least on the national census and other official government forms: “white.”

It’s Famous Friday!

 

Jillian Graham – “Tiny Jag”

Tiny Jag is a biracial American rapper. Her legal name is Jillian Graham. She reported in grade school she felt like an outsider because of her ethnicity. She was raised in a bi-racial family in the Detroit area and stated her black peers expected her to embody the characteristics of an “inner-city” kid.  “I was just confused and I thought, well maybe not fitting in is an identity in and of itself.” She now holds a master’s in criminal justice and sociology, and choices to make music for people from her lifelong search for community.

This past summer Tiny Jag pulled out of an AfroFuture Fest after learning white people would be charged a higher price to attend. She stated “I was immediately enraged just because I am biracial. I have family members that would have, under those circumstances, been subjected to something that I would not ever want them to be in..especially not because of anything that I have going on.”  The early bird “people of color” tickets cost $10, while “non-POC” tickets were publicized to cost $20. The rapper reported learning of this when a friend sent her a picture of an instagram advertisement for the show. Tiny Jag called the move “non-progressive and not solution-focused.” She stated on many media outlets “It seems almost like it has spite, and with spite comes hate, and that’s just not obviously going to be a good direction for us to go if we’re looking for positive change.”  The event explained that the organizers wanted people of color an equitable chance at enjoying their own community “black Detroit.” Jag was expected to perform music named after her white grandmother “Polly.” She stated she couldn’t perform songs named after her grandmother that would have been charged double to attend.

 

Makensie Shay McDaniel

Project RACE Teen President Emeritus

Picture Credit: Metrotimes.com

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Gift Idea!

Gift Idea!

Still looking for that perfect holiday gift? Born Biracial: How One Mother Took on Race in America makes the ideal gift book.

Buy it now from Amazon.com

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What Nelson Mandela Fought For

World of Weddings: Marriage of mixed-race couple in South Africa is “exactly what Nelson Mandela fought for”

In our weeklong series World of Weddings, we sent a team of correspondents around the globe to witness unique ceremonies and understand what marriage means in different cultures. In our third report, we take you to South Africa, where as recently as the 1980s mixed-race marriages were illegal under apartheid.


Two worlds collided as the Maselas and the Daltons came together in Pretoria, South Africa, for the marriage of their children Mante and Andrew. Once outlawed and punishable by prison, celebrating love across racial and cultural barriers would have been unimaginable in apartheid South Africa.

Although apartheid is over, weddings like Mante and Andrew’s are still the exception to the norm, CBS News correspondent Debora Patta reports.

“My grandmother, who unfortunately isn’t here to this day, she was more excited than anyone else because she’s like, ‘This is exactly what Nelson Mandela fought for,'” said the bride, Mante Maselas.

Mante is Pedi, one of South Africa’s many ethnic groups, and Andrew’s family is from England. The families gathered to negotiate a bride price known as lobola, traditionally a means to cement ties between two families. Lobola is a centuries-old tradition that used to be paid in cattle, but that’s a little complicated in modern times.

“At first I was a little bit skeptical because obviously, again, something’s new to me, but you have to go in with an open mind and you have to respect the culture and the family,” Andrew said. “And at the end of the day if I want to marry Mante, that’s something I’m going to have to do.”

The final amount is confidential, but a young well-educated woman like Mante could easily fetch up to 15 cows, the equivalent of just over $10,000.

As Mante got ready for her wedding ceremony, she acknowledged it’s not always easy being a modern couple navigating traditional African customs.

“We’re just doing what we need to do in this period to make our parents happy, and then we go back to our normal lives where we don’t have to fall into the gender roles,” she said.

In that moment she had a more pressing concern: “I am also worried about his dancing,” she said, laughing. “He’s been trying to practice the moves.”

At the ceremony, there also was a thoughtful, if slightly misplaced, nod to Andrew’s heritage: bagpipes. Nobody seemed to mind that Scotland and England are completely different nations. But, for the most part, was a thoroughly African affair, which included being schooled in how to be a good wife.

The traditional ceremony was part of 10 days of festivities, culminating in what many would regard as a thoroughly modern wedding at a wine farm just outside Cape Town.

That ceremony was very much Mante and Andrew’s event. Their friends flew in from around the world for the big day, part two. There were the usual wedding-day nerves and the bride’s almost obligatory late arrival, followed by the joyful walk down the aisle on her father’s arm. And then it was time to party, where Andrew’s dance moves were finally put to the test.

For family friends like Rudi Matjokane who lived through apartheid, there was even more cause to celebrate.

“Love knows no boundaries,” he said. “In those days, love would know boundaries because then you would be arrested for having it, so it’s the proudest day of my life.”

While weddings like this are still unusual, for Mante and Andrew it felt completely natural. They’re just two young people deeply in love.

Famous Friday Sneak Peek!

Famous Friday: Nandi Hildebrand

Happy Friday everybody. For this week’s Famous Friday, we are excited to share about teen actress, Nandi Hildebrand. We at Project RACE are proud to be partnering with Count the Nation, an initiative of USC Annenberg aiming to ensure that everyone across America knows how much census participation benefits their community. It is through this exciting and important partnership that we came to know Nandi who stars in Count the Nation’s awesome new census video (https://youtu.be/HYYG1w65U64). Nandi, whose father is Caucasian while her mother is African (Zulu), is a developing teen actress who has also used her influence to become a social activist.

Even at the young age of 15, Nandi has many special skills including acting, dance, athletics, and martial arts. Her acting experience has led to major roles in both television and theatre. One notable role was in the fourth season of NBC’s hit television show Fresh Off the Boat. Another hobby she has is reading, enjoying both fictional and nonfictional genres. Nandi credits her love of reading as well as traveling for her vast knowledge of cultures and philosophies.

Born in Maryland, Nandi has traveled all over the world, including growing up for a number of years in South Africa with her grandparents. When she was seven Nandi moved back to the United States. In Southern California, she became a victim of bullying due to her, “accent, [and] puffy hair,” and, “lack of knowledge about the popular culture”. But Nandi was determined to turn that difficulty into good. Recently, Nandi has utilized her platform to create Nandi’s Anti-Bullying Youth Club, a charity whose goal is to ensure that all children feel accepted in their environment. Members of the club are encouraged to gather and discuss their experiences with bullies. Nandi believes that she must spread awareness about this serious issue affecting so many young people. She shares that her long-term goal is for people to attempt to understand the backgrounds of their peers, rather than judging others because of pre-formalized prejudices.

After spending a short time in California, Nandi’s adventures continued as she toured Asia with her parents, mainly staying in Vietnam. These diverse opportunities, coupled with her own multiracial identity, have allowed her the opportunity to embrace a unique cultural perspective.

For more information on Count the Nation, please visit countthenation.org.

Matheson Bossick, Project RACE Teens Vice President

 

Sources:

  1. https://strongselfie.com/pages/beyondthebox
  2. http://www.nandihildebrand.com/
  3. http://www.nandihildebrand.com/acting/
  4. http://www.nandihildebrand.com/philanthropist/
  5. http://www.nandihildebrand.com/multi-talent/

Image From:

  1. http://www.nandihildebrand.com/

Did you forget something?

 

You’re a busy person. Taking care of business, family, relationships, and everything else you have to accomplish is overwhelming. Sometimes we forget things. Did you forget that today is Giving Tuesday? It’s a day to give to non-profit organizations so we can run more efficiently and represent you and your families.

Project RACE is the national organization responsible for making life easier for interracial families and multiracial individuals. We deal with Washington and communicate with every state in many different ways. We are not just a local group representing a small number of people.

Thank you for your invaluable support. For further donation information please go to http://www.projectrace.com/donate/

So please don’t forget us and if you remembered to give to us this year, we thank you once again.

 

The Project RACE Team and Supporters

Category: Blog · Tags: , ,

How to Shop Cyber Monday

When you shop Cyber Monday deals at smile.amazon.com/ch/58-1999456, AmazonSmile donates to Project Race, Inc. at no cost to you!

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Multiracial in 2060

Research finds that members of the multiracial group are more likely to be miscategorized than members of any other racial group. Compared to categorizing people into a single-race category, categorizing someone as multiracial is more mentally cumbersome, takes longer and is less likely to occur.

 

By Marisa Franco – What Racial Discrimination Will Look Like in 2060 in Scientific American