The Legible Citizen: Race Making and Classification in Jim Crow Louisiana, 1955-1965

Posted in Census/Demographics, Dissertations, History, Law, Louisiana, Media Archive, United States on 2019-06-24 19:07Z by Steven

The Legible Citizen: Race Making and Classification in Jim Crow Louisiana, 1955-1965

Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee
May 2013
34 pages

Michell Chresfield

Thesis Submitted to the Faculty of the Graduate School of Vanderbilt University in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of MASTER OF ARTS in History

This study examines three legal contests during the high tide of black freedom agitation, 1955-1965, in which citizens of Louisiana challenged the state Bureau of Health’s authority to make racial classifications. Through these cases, I argue that state bureaucrats rather than the judiciary and legislature emerged as a new arbiter of race by the mid-twentieth century; by making racial categorization part of vital information recording, Bureau administrators could gain a better understand of citizens while also helping to shape the very meaning of citizenship in a racialized sense; and that this latter development was obscured by the ubiquitous and seemingly race neutral methods of vital statistic collection. Together these cases enrich general narratives of the Jim Crow era which have tended to focus on the role of the judiciary and the legislature exclusively. Through the inclusion of state bureaucrats, this study illustrates how racial categorization has persisted in a climate that is both more fluid and more obscure than generally acknowledged.

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Seven essential facts about multiracial youth

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Family/Parenting, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States on 2019-06-24 18:39Z by Steven

Seven essential facts about multiracial youth

CYF News
American Psychological Association
August 2013

Astrea Greig

A psychology grad student shares what she’s learned from her research on multiracial adolescents and adults.

I have learned a vast amount of information about the multiracial population while completing my dissertation on multiracial adolescents and young adults. Some of these things I did not previously know even though I am multiracial myself. The following are seven vital topics that may interest all who work with this population…

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Census: Mixed heritage Utahns — most of them youngsters — fuel diversity in Utah

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, United States on 2019-06-21 19:39Z by Steven

Census: Mixed heritage Utahns — most of them youngsters — fuel diversity in Utah

Deseret News
2019-06-19

Annie Knox


Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
Jaelyn Sawyer and Heaven Marie Matthews play as they attend a Juneteenth festival at the Gallivan Center in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, June 19, 2019. As Utah’s population becomes increasingly diverse, those who are biracial and multiracial are fueling much of the change. And young people are in large part responsible for the growing diversity, new census data shows.

SALT LAKE CITY — On Mother’s Day, 8-year-old A’talia Lepper helped her grandmother stuff dough and fold it into lumpia, the spring rolls popular in the matriarch’s native Phillipines.

Other times, she chows down on rice cake soup, a nod to her Korean heritage on her mother’s side.

And when she gets the chance, A’talia will stir up a batch of brownies or cookies at her family’s Clearfield home, “because they’re fun to make because I can do it with my mommy,” she said.

The budding baker, also part Caucasian and of Spanish descent, is among a growing number of Utahns of mixed heritage — many right around her same age, census figures released late Wednesday show.

As the Beehive State’s 3.1 million population becomes increasingly diverse, those who are biracial and multiracial are fueling more and more of the change, with a growth rate of 42.5 percent since 2010, according to the 2018 Population Estimates

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How race shapes personal relationships in Canada

Posted in Canada, Census/Demographics, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, Videos on 2019-05-28 01:01Z by Steven

How race shapes personal relationships in Canada

Globalnews.ca
2019-05-23

According to Statistics Canada’s 2011 National Household Survey, less than five per cent of marriages in Canada are between interracial couples. An Ipsos poll conducted on behalf of Global News found 15 per cent of Canadians would never consider marrying someone of a different ethnicity. Mike Drolet looks at attitudes towards mixed-race relationships in Canada.

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Multiracial Malaise: Multiracial as a Legal Racial Category

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Law, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2019-05-27 01:58Z by Steven

Multiracial Malaise: Multiracial as a Legal Racial Category

Fordham Law Review
Volume 86, Issue 6 (2018)
pages 2783-2793

Taunya Lovell Banks, Jacob A. France Professor of Equality Jurisprudence
University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law

The focus of this Article is the underlying assumption of the Brookings Institution report that multiracial individuals constitute a separate racial category. My discussion of legal racial categories focuses only on government “racial” definitions. Multiracial individuals should enjoy the freedom to self-identify as they wish—and, like others, be afforded the protections of anti discrimination law. The question is whether a separate legal racial category is needed to provide that protection. Race in this country has been “crafted from the point of view of [white] race protection” protecting the interests of white Americans from usurpation by non whites and, unless the creation of a separate multiracial legal category advances this goal, change will be resisted. Commentaries grounded in Fourteenth Amendment Equal Protection Clause and federal statutory anti-discrimination jurisprudence shape the construction of racial categories in U.S. law. This jurisprudence influences the racial categories and definitions used for the census. The next Part briefly discusses the attempt to get a multiracial category on the U.S. census.

[R]ace is at once an empty category and a powerful instrument. —Melissa Nobles1

Racism is about race: more races can lead . . . to changes in the way racism is presented, and ultimately to more, rather than less, racism. —Paulette M. Caldwell2

INTRODUCTION

The fiftieth anniversary of Loving v. Virginia,3 which struck down Virginia’s antimiscegenation statute, provides an opportunity to reflect on Loving’s impact. A 2017 Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data found that interracial marriages constitute 17 percent of all marriages,4 which represents an increase of 14 percent since the U.S. Supreme Court decided Loving in 1967.5 One byproduct of the increase in interracial marriages is the growing number and prominence of multiracial children. For example, a July 2017 Brookings Institution report characterizes Barack Obama, born six years before Loving, as the person who gave growing “prominence” to the emergence of multiracial people in America.6

Increasingly, there is interest in the offspring of interracial unions and how they compare to monoracial individuals. The Brookings Institution, for example, reported that “there is no test score gap between white and multiracial high school students.”7 The report seems to define “multiracial” very narrowly as people with parents from different racialized groups.8 Yet the multiracial population in the United States is not a new phenomenon. By limiting multiracial “to first-generation children of interracial couples,”9 as others have, the report fails to acknowledge older and larger generations whose genealogical mixture is more distant. Many of the people within this older multiracial population are racially classified by government and custom as black or African American, and they constitute “around 40 [percent] of the total population.”10 In contrast, according to the 2000 census, firstgeneration multiracial individuals (including those with remote African ancestry) make up roughly 2 percent of the total population and are more likely to be seen as multiracial.11

Proponents of a multiracial legal category complain that multiracial individuals are harmed by not being recognized under law as multiracial. Specifically, they argue that the law neither recognizes their personal identity nor protects their right to self-identify racially and to have that identity accepted.12 Despite the long history of multiracial people in the United States, Fourteenth Amendment equal protection constitutional jurisprudence, statutory antidiscrimination laws, and the census do not formally recognize a separate multiracial category. Thus, the question is whether legal recognition is needed to remedy race-based discrimination experienced by multiracial individuals.13

Historically, courts grappling with racial-identity questions looked at three factors, phenotypical characteristics, ancestry, and racial reputation in the community, to resolve the issue.14 The courts relied on a binary classification system of white and nonwhite; the underlying issue in these cases being whether one party had any nonwhite ancestry. Thus, until recently, Barack Obama, despite his white mother, would be classified racially as black, since twentieth-century notions of race held that any known African ancestry made one black.15

Admittedly, since Loving, conventional notions of race in the United States have “destabilized” as a result of “increases in immigration, intermarriage, and cross-racial adoptions.”16 Reflecting the era of racial self-identification,17 racial categories are more fluid in the twenty-first century, even for people who, historically, racially classified as black. These attitudinal changes are reflected in a 2007 Pew Research Center finding that “[n]early four-in-ten African Americans (37%) say that blacks can no longer be thought of as a single race” because of increasing diversity within that community.18

Conventional blackness, where one is “black” if one’s African ancestry is visible or known,19 is on the wane. As critical race theory legal scholar Neil Gotanda posits, race—particularly the racial category “black”—while a consistent and constant “social divider,” is not a “stable, coherent legal and social concept.”20 Today, people with some African ancestry may move away from blackness and, in some respects, the legal multiracial category movement is an example.21

The focus of this Article is the underlying assumption of the Brookings Institution report that multiracial individuals constitute a separate racial category. My discussion of legal racial categories focuses only on government “racial” definitions. Multiracial individuals should enjoy the freedom to self-identify as they wish—and, like others, be afforded the protections of antidiscrimination law. The question is whether a separate legal racial category is needed to provide that protection. Race in this country has been “crafted from the point of view of [white] race protection”22— protecting the interests of white Americans from usurpation by nonwhites and, unless the creation of a separate multiracial legal category advances this goal, change will be resisted.

Commentaries grounded in Fourteenth Amendment Equal Protection Clause and federal statutory antidiscrimination jurisprudence shape the construction of racial categories in U.S. law. This jurisprudence influences the racial categories and definitions used for the census. The next Part briefly discusses the attempt to get a multiracial category on the U.S. census…

Read the entire article here.

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How Fears of “Passing” Changed the 1930 United States Census

Posted in Census/Demographics, History, Media Archive, Passing, United States, Videos on 2019-05-12 01:57Z by Steven

How Fears of “Passing” Changed the 1930 United States Census

History with Gabby Womack
2019-05-02

Gabrielle C. Womack, Reference/Access Associate
McQuade Library
Merrimack College, North Andover, Massachusetts

The presentation argues that mulattoes became negroes in the 1930 census because white Americans feared that black people were secretly among them, passing for white. Furthermore, it argues that the census change did not end the practice of racial passing or diminish white Americans fascination with it and fear of this act.

Watch the video here.

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Born Biracial: How One Mother Took On Race in America

Posted in Autobiography, Books, Census/Demographics, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, Monographs, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2019-04-27 01:32Z by Steven

Born Biracial: How One Mother Took On Race in America

Memories Press
2019-05-01
250 pages
6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
Hardcover ISBN: 978-1733908818
Paperback ISBN: 978-1733908825
eBook ISBN: 978-1733908801

Susan Graham

The Birth of a National Civil Rights Movement

Susan Graham is the White mother of two biracial children whose father is Black. Born Biracial: How One Mother Took on Race in America is the true story of how she brought an invisible population to the forefront and started the multiracial movement. She started a simple advocacy group and turned it into a national civil rights movement. Along the way, her personal life was suffering. The emotional story of her marriage to a CNN news anchor, being a mother to biracial children, divorce, and remarriage are interwoven in her life’s story. This is the one story every interracial family should read.

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Interracial Marriage and Divorce in Kansas and the Question of Instability of Mixed Marriages

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2019-04-08 17:50Z by Steven

Interracial Marriage and Divorce in Kansas and the Question of Instability of Mixed Marriages

Journal of Comparative Family Studies
Volume 2, Number 1 (SPRING 1971)
pages 107-120

Thomas P. Monahan, Professor of Sociology
Villanova University, Villanova, Pennsylvania

Some critical comments on studies of interracial marriage are offered, and caution is urged in using information purporting to disclose the nature of the interracial marriage phenomenon, including United States Census and Vital Statistics data. The legal history of racial intermarriage in Kansas is outlined, and its statistical data upon these events are briefly evaluated. Beginning with the year 1947, mixed race marriage and divorce statistics for White, Mexican, Negro, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, and Other races in Kansas are presented. The figures show a rather steady rise in the proportion of mixed marriages, but Negroes appear to be the least intermarried of the minority groups and account for less than one-half of mixed marriages. In the late 1960′ s about 15 per cent of all the nonwhite marriages (7 per cent for Negroes separately) were mixed. Important differences appear for the several other races. In Kansas, as in Iowa, mixed Negro marriages probably have been more stable than homogamous Negro marriages. Again, whether or not a certain type of mixed race marriage will endure would seem to depend upon the particular races intermarrying, the social circumstances surrounding them at the time, and the nature of the marital choice itself.

PREFATORY NOTE

Although broadly theoretical and interpretive articles have been written upon interracial, interethnic, and intercaste marriages (Davis, 1941;; Merton, 1941; van den Berghe, 1960), the statistical basis for such studies is rather fragmentary and selective material (Monahan, 1970a, 1970b). On the whole, even though individual countries have at times assembled such data, factual information is sparse, and none appears in the 1968 Demographic Yearbook of the United Nations. A cross-cultural comparison of the demographic concomitants of this phenomenon requires sets of carefully drawn data, analyzed first within their separate cultural contexts. As part of a larger study of the past and present situation in the United States, information about interracial marriage and divorce in the mid-American state of Kansas should add a segment to our understanding of the American pattern.

In their recent book on Marriage and Divorce (1970:129), Carter and Glick propose that the number of interracial marriages, while “extremely small,” has shown an upward trend and in the coming decades will register substantial increases. Their findings are also interpreted to support the theory that mixed marriages are relatively unstable as compared to homogamous ones (pp. 124-125). Unfortunately these hypotheses are based on 1960 Census data, about w’hich there are serious doubts as to accuracy and significance, acknowledged in part by the authors (Carter and Glick, 1970:424-426; Monahan 1970a:462). It would seem that answers to these questions on the trend and instability of interracial marriages in the United States should be derived from statistics on marriage and divorce occurrences, rather than from secondary Census information showing marital status of the population.

Reliance upon Census data is to some extent due to the lack of national statistics on marriage and divorce in depth and in detail. Also, because they are based upon a very small sample of state records, the marriage data of the National Center for Health Statistics are not very meaningful as to interracial marriage trends, as yet; and, with respect to interracial divorce, only a few states have records by race for a sufficient number of years. Indeed, race-or-color has been poorly defended as a statistical item and has been obliterated from the marriage records in some major population areas (California, Maryland, Michigan, and New York) by civil rights protagonists, thus making objective findings on interracial marriage more difficult…

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Interracial Marriage in a Southern Area: Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, History, Law, Media Archive, Social Science, United States, Virginia on 2019-04-08 17:13Z by Steven

Interracial Marriage in a Southern Area: Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia

Journal of Comparative Family Studies
Volume 8, Number 2, ETHNIC FAMILIES: STRUCTURE AND INTERACTION (SUMMER 1977)
pages 217-241

Thomas P. Monahan, Professor of Sociology
Villanova University, Villanova, Pennsylvania

Representing the Southern tradition, Virginia and Maryland in Colonial times enacted strong laws against racial intermarriage, which continued in force until 1967. For over 100 years the District of Columbia, located between Virginia and Maryland at the North-South borderline, allowed the races to marry without legal restriction. Strong social restraints, nevertheless, existed. How frequently mixed marriages occurred in the District in the past, and in all three jurisdictions after 1967, when such marriages could legally take place anywhere in the United States, is a matter of special interest. What change has there been in the extent and nature of interracial marriage in this geographical area?1

The Legal Control of Intermarriage

Shortly after the settlement of the English colonies in America, public opinion became antagonistic toward the interbreeding of whites with Negroes, mulattoes, or Indians, and laws were passed to control biological blending and intermarriage of the races (Ballagh, 1902; Johnson, 1919, Guild, 1936; Reuter, 1931:75; Scott, 1930; Wilson, 1965:20; Jordan, 1968:139).

Virginia

Ten years after the importation of a small number of Negro slaves into the colony, the Virginia Assembly in 1630 ordered the sound whipping of one Hugh Davis for lying with a Negress, a heathen (Hening, 1809:1-146; Hurd, 1858:1-229), and in 1640 a Robert Sweet was ordered by the Governor and Council to do penance in church for impregnating a Negro woman, who was to be whipped…

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From white to what? MENA and Iranian American non-white reflected race

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2019-04-05 18:28Z by Steven

From white to what? MENA and Iranian American non-white reflected race

Ethnic and Racial Studies
Published online 2019-04-01
DOI: 10.1080/01419870.2019.1599130

Neda Maghbouleh, Assistant Professor of Sociology
University of Toronto

Whereas instruments like the US Census classify Middle Eastern and North African (MENA) Americans as white, racial formation-informed research has established that this population holds an ambiguous relationship with whiteness. I draw on theories of the self and cognition to introduce reflected race as an underexplored dimension of MENA racialization. Interviews with 84 Iranian Americans demonstrate how group members perceive they are appraised as distinct from and, in some ways, subordinate to a hegemonic US white norm. Following initial illegibility (“what?”) in racial appraisal, respondents perceive a classificatory splitting from whiteness and/or lumping with similarly racialized others. In other words, they micro-interactionally move from “white” to “what?” and ultimately, to an uncertain but deeply felt sense non-white reflected race. By turning attention to social-psychological-informed phenomenon like reflected race, researchers can make more full use of racialization and racial formation as the dynamic, multi-level concepts they were originally theorized to be.

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