17 breathtaking photos show beauty knows no ethnicity 

Romanian photographer Mihaela Noroc quit her previous job and invested her savings in a portrait project she calls “The Atlas of Beauty.” Now, Noroc has photographed women from 37 countries who demonstrate that, as she wrote about the project on Bored Panda, “beauty is everywhere, and it’s not a matter of cosmetics or sizes but more about being yourself.”

"Beauty is diversity." - See the rest of the incredible photos.

A PSA on Jewishness, because apparently non-Jews just have to know this stuff and can't figure it out on their own

Jews are an ethnic group. Global Jewry is made up of several different ethnic groups, the largest of which are: Sefardi Jews, whose ancestors historically lived in the Iberian peninsula (Spain and Portugal) and western Europe; Ashkenazi Jews, whose ancestors historically lived in central and eastern Europe; and Mizrahi Jews, whose ancestors historically lived in MENA (Middle East/North Africa). There are other groups of ethnic Jews living in other places in the world as well. Jews from all of these groups have moved across the world, largely due to persecution in their host countries, and formed new communities in new places, so that there may be longstanding communities of Ashkenazi Jews in France, and Sefardi Jews in Morocco.

All ethnic Jews have ancestral, genetic heritage stemming from the Levant (specifically, the area now known as Israel and/or Palestine). All Jews also have cultural heritage stemming from the Levant. This is no less important or relevant than genetic heritage.

Some Jews have mixed heritage (one Jewish parent only). They are also Jews. The matrilineal descent question is a question of Jewish religious law, and is interpreted differently by different Jewish denominations and individuals. (My personal stance is to affirm patrilineal descent.) 

The religion historically practiced by Jews is Judaism. Ethnic Jews may practice any religion they please; this does not mean they are less Jewish in terms of their heritage. Non-ethnic Jews may convert to Judaism; this does not make them any less Jewish in terms of their religious practice. Judaism does not proselytize.

Judaism as a whole takes no global stance of Zionism as a political ideology. Different Jews have different opinions on Zionisms (plural intentional, because Zionism takes a lot of forms), and while they may be good or bad people, and you may agree or disagree with their politics, their Zionism or anti-Zionism does not inherently make them any more or less Jewish. 

The question of Jewish identity is ultimately not the purview of non-Jews. It is nothing more or less than gross arrogance for non-Jews to assume that their opinions on this question are remotely relevant or of interest to Jews, and the persistent insertion of some non-Jews into these private conversation is extremely offensive.

If you are not Jewish, and have written, or are considering writing, a post on  Jewish identity/ethnicity, I have some advice for you: don’t. You almost certainly don’t know what you’re talking about, and you definitely can’t have a better understanding of these complex issues than someone who is actually Jewish themselves. If you really feel, for some inexplicable reason, that you simply must weigh in on this issue, consult an actual Jew before doing so. 

Every “ambiguously brown” person understands how this works in reality: people tend asking point-blank “what you are,” or smugly assume they already know, pinning your brown body down and through, like a butterfly in a natural history archive. Growing up in primarily white suburbs, I had become used to expecting this question, though I won’t say I’m really okay with it.

The tiring game of “What Are You” means someone holding you at arm’s length and scrutinizing you like a specimen (metaphorically, at least). Answering the question over and over to people I’ve just met is tiring and invasive. Friends understand that these questions are a natural progression of building friendship intimacy, but for strangers it tends to mean a lack of self-control, an inability to not ask the question that pops up in their heads unbidden instead of considering the other person’s privacy.

Creole, Spanish Criollo, French Créole

The term “creole” denotes a culture which embraces the influences of French, Spanish, African and Native American peoples in Louisiana.

Before the Civil War these free people of color enjoyed considerably higher social status than enslaved Africans. In fact, many of them owned enslaved Africans. After the Civil War, all people of color were categorized together for the first time. This amounted to a significant social demotion for many people whose families were free persons of color prior to the war. They were suddenly denied access to networks and resources (such as education and capital) that had previously been available to them.

There is general agreement that the term “Creole” derives from the Portuguese word crioulo, which means a slave born in the master’s household.  Many Creoles, are descendants of French colonials who fled Saint-Domingue (Haiti) for North America’s Gulf Coast when a slave insurrection (1791) challenged French authority.

In Louisiana, the term Creole came to represent children of black or racially mixed parents as well as children of French and Spanish descent with no racial mixing. Persons of French and Spanish descent in New Orleans and St. Louis began referring to themselves as Creoles after the Louisiana Purchase to set themselves apart from the Anglo-Americans who moved into the area. 

Today, the term Creole can be defined in a number of ways. Louisiana historian Fred B. Kniffin, in Louisiana: Its Land and People, has asserted that the term Creole “has been loosely extended to include people of mixed blood, a dialect of French, a breed of ponies, a distinctive way of cooking, a type of house, and many other things. It is therefore no precise term and should not be defined as such.”


http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/142548/Creole Read more: http://www.everyculture.com/multi/Bu-Dr/Creoles.html#ixzz3TABXG900 

Unidentified African American Woman Colorized by Stacey Palmer TheCivilWarParlor Tumblr.com Accession Number: 1982:1404:0048 Maker: Unidentified Title: Unidentified African American Woman Date: ca. 1870 https://www.flickr.com/photos/george_eastman_house/

Individuals who self-identify as white will respond in diverse ways to genetic testing showing that they have recent African ancestry,” said Saunt. “Some will embrace the findings, and others will deny them, even in the face of the evidence. The insistence on racial purity is part of a long American tradition. Even before DNA analysis, families repudiated relatives they knew were theirs. That tradition is waning, but it is, unfortunately, far from extinguished.

Claudio Saunt, a University of Georgia historian

Geneticists find further proof that race is just a social construct 

All you armchair (and real) historians, educators, upstanding citizens and cool people out there. Help Code Switch annotate the Civil Rights Act of 1964!

You can highlight stuff you didn’t know about it, things you find fascinating, interesting historical context and the influence and echoes of the act today…or anything else that you think is cool!

Also find it on our Twitter and Facebook

Instructions are in the document, happy Monday! 

Image source: Getty Images 

An “ethnic” name for my inevitably tan-skinned, dark-haired son would raise eyebrows at every security checkpoint. His name would headline every job application, and stereotypes would ensue; some people would assume he was a programmer or engineer, lacking creativity, or interpersonal skills. Perhaps they would sidestep his résumé altogether because of his difficult to pronounce name. The thought of my unborn child facing a life of prejudice made me furious.

The one-step solution to my problem would be to settle for a “white” name for my “brown” son. It would level the playing field in a world that lacks face-to-face interaction and relies so heavily on communication via a screen of some sort. It would open up a few more doors, bring to light a few more opportunities in his life.

[…]What it wouldn’t do was fix the larger problem: the deep-rooted, widespread racism and intolerance in our society. It would send the implicit message to the universe that I had bought in, somehow, to the need to at least accept that world. That simply is not true.

Reminder #1:

Don’t let anyone tell you they think you’re attractive for your ethnicity, or you’re attractive because of your ethnicity. If someone finds you attractive, it’s because you’re attractive. 

Reminder #2:

Don’t tell anyone you think they’re attractive for their ethnicity, or they’re attractive because of their ethnicity. If you find someone attractive, it’s because they’re attractive. 

To Kaling, focusing on your difference is a distraction from the “hard work” of creating a fictitious world that ignores race. But as much as Kaling wishes she could do that work on a blank canvas, we don’t have the option to ignore how race influences our lives and our art. And the only way we will see more and more South Asian artists is by talking about our experiences so others can learn from it. So that, sometime soon, there can be other fucking Indian woman with their own fucking network shows.

That could be more affordable for you.
—  Sales woman pointing at the clearance rack to my darker-skinned Mexican friend, while my other light-skinned Mexican friend was pointed to the regular/more expensive section.
When Should I State my Character's Race/Ethnicity?

Anonymous asked: Hi, good afternoon! My MC is Native American. While I have her telling people she’s Native, directly or indirectly (mentioning the reservation, or what nations she’s from), it’s later in the story (about 1/4). I once had a betareader tell me to state race earlier in another story where i did so around 1/4 in. In your opinion(s), when should I state a character’s ethnicity/should i state it earlier so people don’t read her as white?

There’s no simple time frame where one must reveal the race of their characters. The sooner is almost always better, while minding to have it fit naturally and make sense to the text (such as if race doesn’t exist as we know it in your world, and so on.)

I’m a fan of threading indicators throughout the story, early on and here and there throughout, particularly when it comes to my protagonist. As for the characters around my heroine(s), particularly new people she encounters, I’m personally into describing them physically off the bat or pretty close to their introduction (She was tall, lean, with freckled, tawny skin. Her straight black hair was pulled back by an intricate braid…).

That’s also going to depend on the style of what I’m writing and the situation as well. For example in a more action-oriented encounter, there may not be time stop to describe the character or it wouldn’t make sense to do so (lest it was integrated in the action itself.) This is where threading indicators throughout the piece works wonders, while also instilling that Blank character is Blank.

When it comes to your concerns of whitewashing; readers will likely default her to White from the get-go unless they come in knowing otherwise, such as a cover featuring a Native American girl, ancestry mentioned in the summary, and such. Now, if you do give clearer indications of race closer to the kick of the story, the white-as-default images shouldn’t hold permanence.

Consider that readers can adjust their picture to how the character truly looks upon knowing the details as well. It’s tougher if you waited till say, the fourth chapter, but I think aiming for the first 1-2 chapters and/or threading your indicators throughout, you’re on the right track.

~Mod Colette

Ethnicity Versus Race Versus Nationality


Ethnicity is based on a group (called an ethnic group) that is normally based on similar traits, such as a common language, common heritage, and cultural similarities within the group. Other variables that play a role in ethnicity, though not in all cases, include a geographical connection to a particular place, common foods and diets, and perhaps a common faith. Race is a word with similar meaning though describing more physical traits, as opposed to the cultural traits of ethnicity.


Race is similar to ethnicity, but relates more to the appearance of a person, especially the color of their skin. Race is determined from biological traits, and includes other inherited genetic traits such as hair and eye color and bone and jaw structure, among other things.


90% of the time, nationality refers to the place where the person was born and/or holds citizenship. However, often times nationality can be determined by place of residence, ethnicity, or national identity. If a person was born in Country A but immigrated to Country B while still a toddler (yes, with their family), he or she might identify more with the Country B nationality, having been raised there. Another point regarding nationality is that there are some nations that don’t have a state, or international recognition as such, yet people may still point at it as the source of their nationality, such as the Palestinians, the Kurds, and the Tamils.