Showing posts tagged book cover
Between 1908 and 1922, at least sixty-nine Indians gained United States citizenship by successfully claiming to be white. In Savannah, Georgia in 1910, Abba Dolla, a native of Calcutta, arranged for a doctor to testify to his “pure Caucasian blood.” The presiding judge described Dolla as follows: “The applicant’s complexion is dark, eyes dark, features regular and rather delicate, hair very black, wavy and very fine and soft.” Uncertain about Dolla’s racial identity, the judge asked him to pull up his shirt sleeves. Fortunately for Dolla, the judge concluded, “The skin of his arm where it had been protected from the sun and weather by his clothing was found to be several shades lighter than that of his face and hands, and was sufficiently transparent for the blue color of the veins to show very clearly.” Impressed, the judge granted citizenship.
Uncle Swami by Vijay Prashad. Published June 2012. Awesome book, and a great ten year follow up to Karma of Brown Folks.
“In the final years of the nineteenth century, small groups of Muslim peddlers arrived at Ellis Island every summer, bags heavy with embroidered silks from their home villages in Bengal. The American demand for “Oriental goods” took these migrants on a curious path, from New Jersey’s beach boardwalks into the heart of the segregated South. Two decades later, hundreds of Indian Muslim seamen began jumping ship in New York and Baltimore, escaping the engine rooms of British steamers to find less brutal work onshore. As factory owners sought their labor and anti-Asian immigration laws closed in around them, these men built clandestine networks that stretched from the northeastern waterfront across the industrial Midwest.
The stories of these early working-class migrants vividly contrast with our typical understanding of immigration. Vivek Bald’s meticulous reconstruction reveals a lost history of South Asian sojourning and life-making in the United States. At a time when Asian immigrants were vilified and criminalized, Bengali Muslims quietly became part of some of America’s most iconic neighborhoods of color, from Tremé in New Orleans to Detroit’s Black Bottom, from West Baltimore to Harlem. Many started families with Creole, Puerto Rican, and African American women.
As steel and auto workers in the Midwest, as traders in the South, and as halal hot dog vendors on 125th Street, these immigrants created lives as remarkable as they are unknown. Their stories of ingenuity and intermixture challenge assumptions about assimilation and reveal cross-racial affinities beneath the surface of early twentieth-century America.”
really want to read this…
Having read a few articles written by Vivek Bald concerning the South Asian Diaspora, I can definitely tell this book is going to be good.
Love, InshAllah: The Secret Love Lives of American Muslim Women. Published January 24, 2012 with Soft Skull Press. There’s some Desi in there (including me). For more info, visit: www.loveinshallah.com
Decolonizing Anarchism examines the history of South Asian struggles against colonialism and neocolonialism, highlighting lesser-known dissidents as well as iconic figures. What emerges is an alternate narrative of decolonization, in which liberation is not defined by the achievement of a nation-state. Author Maia Ramnath suggests that the anarchist vision of an alternate society closely echoes the concept of total decolonization on the political, economic, social, cultural, and psychological planes.
Image circa 2012 and book available at AK Press.
BROWNCANADA has a tumblr! Check it.
Part of the Brown Canada project focuses on the history of the Komagata Maru incident. This took place in 1914 and exposes many things about racism, immigration, empire, as well as brings to light hidden stories from our past and lessons for the present and future.
Ali Kazimi follows up his award winning documentary with this book - an extensive analysis and discussion of this history and why it is important for today.
Check out more about the book here: http://undesirables.ca/
Cover image for Indivisible: An Anthology of Contemporary South Asian American Poetry edited by Neelanjana Banerjee, Summi Kaipa and Pireeni Sundaralingam. Published in 2010.
Book cover for Our Feet Walk the Sky: Women of the South Asian Diaspora.
The Berkeley-based Women of South Asian Descent Collective (Sheela Bhatt, Preety Kalra, Aarti Kohli, Latika Malkani, Dharini Rasiah) published Our Feet Walk the Sky in 1993. The anthology was a pioneering compilation of South Asian American women’s writing.
Image circa 1993.
Desis in the House by Sunaina Marr Maira and published in 2002. Get your copy.
Book cover for The Karma of Brown Folks by Vijay Prashad circa 2001. Get your copy at Amazon.
United States v. Bhagat Singh Thind, 261 U.S. 204 (1923), was a case in which the United States Supreme Court decided that Bhagat Singh Thind, who was a Punjabi Sikh, settled in Oregon, could not be a naturalized citizen of the United States, because he was not a “white person” in the sense intended in the relevant 1790 statute governing naturalization. Although Thind argued that as an Indian he belonged to the Aryan and therefore the Caucasian race, the Court found that “the Aryan theory, as a racial basis, seems to be discredited by most, if not all, modern writers on the subject of ethnology,” and noted that “the Caucasic division of the human family is ‘in point of fact the most debatable field in the whole range of anthropological studies.’” The Court found that the authors of the 1790 statute probably ascribed to “the Adamite theory of creation” and understood “white people” in its popular, and not scientific, sense.
Image of Bhagat Singh Thind on the cover of the book "Doctorji". Though the image is clearly from a long time ago, the book was published in 2010. Get your copy of the book at Amazon.