Mixed Race America and the Law: A Reader

Posted in Anthologies, Books, Census/Demographics, History, Law, Media Archive, Passing, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2009-10-23 23:45Z by Steven

Mixed Race America and the Law: A Reader

New York Univeristy Press
512 pages
ISBN: 9780814742570

Edited by:

Kevin R. Johnson, Mabie-Apallas Professor of Public Interest Law and Chicano/a Studies
University of California Davis

For the first time in United States history, the Year 2000 census allowed people to check more than one box to identify their race. This new way of gathering data and characterizing race and ethnicity reflects important changes in how racial identity is understood in America. Besides acknowledging the presence of mixed race citizens, this new understanding promises to have major implications for American law and policy.

With this anthology, Kevin R. Johnson brings together ground-breaking scholarship on the mixed race experience in America to examine the impact of law on these citizens. The foundational essays that comprise the collection present the historical, social, and political contexts surrounding the body of law that addresses race while analyzing the implications of multiracialism. Divided into 12 sections, the reader includes an introduction by Johnson and essential essays by contributors such as Garrett Epps, Judith Resnick, Richard Delgado, Ian Haney López, Randall Kennedy, and Patricia Hill Collins. Selections address miscegenation, racial classification, interracial adoption, the 2000 census, “passing,” and other topics; each section includes questions to promote further discussion. This book is an invaluable resource for examining the complexities of racial categories in modern America.

Read the entire introduction here.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Race mixing: Jones’ research has ties to political, sports figures

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2009-10-23 19:16Z by Steven

Race mixing: Jones’ research has ties to political, sports figures

Richmond Now
The Faculty, Staff and Student Newspaper
University of Richmond

By Joan Tupponce
April 2007

No one is more intrigued with news about presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama or professional golfer Tiger Woods than Dr. Suzanne W. Jones, professor of English and women, gender and sexuality studies. But it’s not Obama’s bid for the presidency or Woods’ latest handicap that has Jones’ attention—it’s their racial identity, or more specifically, how they and others view their mixed ancestry.

For more than 20 years, Jones has been writing about and teaching classes about literature that explores U.S. race relations, especially black-white relationships. The idea for her latest book project stems from one of the chapters in her 2004 book Race Mixing: Southern Fiction since the Sixties. In her new work, Jones will be looking at the reappearance of the racially mixed character in the contemporary American imagination through the study of fiction, memoirs and family histories.

Jones first became personally interested in the topic about 15 years ago. “I taught a student in my African-American literature class whose mother was white and whose father was black,” she recalls.

Jones was unaware of the student’s heritage until she read a paper the student had written about her racial identity. Jones, like others, had assumed the student was white…

…The mulatto character figured prominently in American literature in the 19th century. “The so-called ‘tragic mulatto’ was used to point out the tragedy of defining race the way we did in the United States,” she explains. According to Jones’ research, the character disappeared by the 1960s—the time of the Black Power movement—only to resurface in the 1990s.

“This reappearance of the mixed character is happening in part because the children of 1960s mixed marriages have grown up and are writing both fiction and nonfiction,” Jones says. “Also an intense debate about racial classification began in the early 1990s, spurred both by racially mixed people and some parents of mixed children, particularly white parents, who didn’t want their children to be defined by the old ‘one-drop’ rule. This debate eventually led to a change on the 2000 U.S. census form, which allowed people to check more than one racial or ethnic category.”…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , ,

Race Mixing: Southern Fiction since the Sixties

Posted in Books, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Monographs, United States on 2009-10-23 18:23Z by Steven

Race Mixing: Southern Fiction since the Sixties

Johns Hopkins University Press
360 pages
Hardback ISBN: 9780801873935
Paperback ISBN: 9780801883934

Suzanne W. Jones, Professor of English; Tucker-Boatwright Professor of the Humanities
University of Richmond

In the southern United States, there remains a deep need among both black and white writers to examine the topic of race relations, whether they grew up during segregation or belong to the younger generation that graduated from integrated schools. In Race Mixing, Suzanne Jones offers insightful and provocative readings of contemporary novels, the work of a wide range of writers—black and white, established and emerging. Their stories explore the possibilities of cross-racial friendships, examine the repressed history of interracial love, reimagine the Civil Rights era through children’s eyes, herald the reemergence of the racially mixed character, investigate acts of racial violence, and interrogate both rural and urban racial dynamics.

Employing a dynamic model of the relationship between text and context, Jones shows how more than thirty relevant writers — including Madison Smartt Bell, Larry Brown, Bebe Moore Campbell, Thulani Davis, Ellen Douglas, Ernest Gaines, Josephine Humphreys, Randall Kenan, Reynolds Price, Alice Walker, and Tom Wolfe — illuminate the complexities of the color line and the problems in defining racial identity today. While an earlier generation of black and white southern writers challenged the mythic unity of southern communities in order to lay bare racial divisions, Jones finds in the novels of contemporary writers a challenge to the mythic sameness within racial communities—and a broader definition of community and identity.

Closely reading these stories about race in America, Race Mixing ultimately points to new ways of thinking about race relations. “We need these fictions,” Jones writes, “to help us imagine our way out of the social structures and mind-sets that mythologize the past, fragment individuals, prejudge people, and divide communities.”

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The New Colored People: The Mixed-Race Movement in America

Posted in Books, Media Archive, Monographs, Social Science, South Africa, United States on 2009-10-23 18:01Z by Steven

The New Colored People: The Mixed-Race Movement in America

New York University Press
224 pages
ISBN: 9780814780725

Jon Michael Spencer (Yahya Jongintaba), Tyler and Alice Haynes Professor of American Studies and Professor of Music
University of Richmond

foreword by Richard E. Vander Ross

In recent years, dramatic increases in racial intermarriage have given birth to a generation who refuse to be shoehorned into neat, pre-existing racial categories. Energized by a refusal to allow mixed-race people to be rendered invisible, this movement lobbies aggressively to have the category multiracial added to official racial classifications.

While applauding the self-awareness and activism at the root of this movement, Jon Michael Spencer questions its ultimate usefulness, deeply concerned that it will unintentionally weaken minority power. Focusing specifically on mixed-race blacks, Spencer argues that the mixed-race movement in the United States would benefit from consideration of how multiracial categories have evolved in South Africa. Americans, he shows us, are deeply uninformed about the tragic consequences of the former white South African government’s classification of mixed-race people as Coloured. Spencer maintains that a multiracial category in the U.S. could be equally tragic, not only for blacks but formultiracials themselves.

Further, splintering people of color into such classifications of race and mixed race aggravates race relations among society’s oppressed. A group that can attain some privilege through a multiracial identity is unlikely to identify with the lesser status group, blacks. It may be that the undoing of racial classification will come not by initiating a new classification, but by our increased recognition that there are millions of people who simply defy easy classification.


  • Foreword by Richard E. van der Ross
  • Preface
  • Introduction
  • ONE: The Rainbow People of God
  • TWO: The Blessings of the One-Drop Rule
  • THREE: The Curses of the Amorphous Middle Status
  • FOUR: Thou Shalt Not Racially Classify
  • Postscript
  • Notes
  • Bibliography
  • Index
Tags: , , , , ,

Race in another America: the significance of skin color in Brazil

Posted in Books, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Media Archive, Monographs, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science on 2009-10-23 01:42Z by Steven

Race in another America: the significance of skin color in Brazil

Princeton University Press
336 pages
27 line illus. 5 halftones
6 x 9 1/4
Hardcover ISBN: 9780691127927
Ebook ISBN: 9781400837434

Edward E. Telles, Professor of Sociology
University of California, Santa Barbara

  • Winner of the 2006 Oliver Cromwell Cox Award, Section on Race and Ethnic Minorities, American Sociological Association
  • Winner of the 2006 Distinguished Book Award, American Sociological Association
  • Winner of the 2005 Otis Dudley Duncan Award, Section on Sociology of Population, American Sociological Association
  • Winner of the 2005 Hubert Herring Award, Pacific Coast Council of Latin American Studies
  • Winner of the 2005 Best Book on Brazil in English, Brazil Section of the Latin American Studies Association

This is the most comprehensive and up-to-date book on the increasingly important and controversial subject of race relations in Brazil. North American scholars of race relations frequently turn to Brazil for comparisons, since its history has many key similarities to that of the United States. Brazilians have commonly compared themselves with North Americans, and have traditionally argued that race relations in Brazil are far more harmonious because the country encourages race mixture rather than formal or informal segregation.

More recently, however, scholars have challenged this national myth, seeking to show that race relations are characterized by exclusion, not inclusion, and that fair-skinned Brazilians continue to be privileged and hold a disproportionate share of wealth and power.

In this sociological and demographic study, Edward Telles seeks to understand the reality of race in Brazil and how well it squares with these traditional and revisionist views of race relations. He shows that both schools have it partly right–that there is far more miscegenation in Brazil than in the United States–but that exclusion remains a serious problem. He blends his demographic analysis with ethnographic fieldwork, history, and political theory to try to “understand” the enigma of Brazilian race relations–how inclusiveness can coexist with exclusiveness.

The book also seeks to understand some of the political pathologies of buying too readily into unexamined ideas about race relations. In the end, Telles contends, the traditional myth that Brazil had harmonious race relations compared with the United States encouraged the government to do almost nothing to address its shortcomings.

Read the entire first chapter in HTML or PDF format.

Read a book review here.

Tags: , ,