Normal Families Facing Unique Challenges: The Psychosocial Functioning of Multiracial Couples, Parents and Children

Posted in Articles, Family/Parenting, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States on 2012-01-31 23:03Z by Steven

Normal Families Facing Unique Challenges: The Psychosocial Functioning of Multiracial Couples, Parents and Children

The New School Psychology Bulletin
Volume 9, Number 1 (2011)
Print ISSN: 1931-793X; Online ISSN: 1931-7948

Joshua Wilt
Department of Psychology
Northwestern University

The number of interracial couples in the United States has increased rapidly since anti-miscegenation laws were repealed in 1967. Early stereotypes conceptualized interracial couples as pathological, highlighting the importance of research addressing the psychosocial functioning of these couples and multiracial families. This article provides a summary of research on the psychosocial functioning of interracial couples, multiracial children, and parent-child relationships in multiracial families. Results across these domains suggest that multiracial families are not pathological but rather that they are normal families faced with unique challenges. Counseling options to support multiracial families navigate such challenges are discussed. Themes emerging from research on the psychosocial functioning of multiracial families are identified and avenues for future research are suggested.

Read the entire article here.

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Legislation eradicates Dominican “Indians”

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Caribbean/Latin America, Law, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation on 2012-01-31 22:53Z by Steven

Legislation eradicates Dominican “Indians”

Dominican Today

Santo Domingo.—Mulatto, black and white will be the only colors among Dominicans and will be stated thus in the citizens ID cards (cedula), effectively eradicating the nation’s “Indians.”

The bill “Dominican Republic Electoral Law Reform” states that in the master file of cedulas the color of Dominicans will be established by their ethnic group, and as such only three colors. The Spanish Royal Academy of Language defines ethnic group as “a human community defined by racial affinities.”
Organization of American States (OAS) and Central Electoral Board (JCE)technicians drafted the legislation to reform Electoral Law 275-97, and will be debated by the JCE prior to being submitted to Congress in the next few days…

…Although nearly all Taíno Indians perished early during Spanish colonization, the term “Indio” lingered from the many remaining descendants of mixed blood also called mestizos…

Read the entire article here.

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Lecture Series. Multiculturalism and Miscegenation in the Construction of Latin America’s Cultural Identity

Posted in Anthropology, Caribbean/Latin America, Forthcoming Media, History, Live Events, Social Science, United States on 2012-01-31 22:09Z by Steven

Lecture Series. Multiculturalism and Miscegenation in the Construction of Latin America’s Cultural Identity
Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
101 International Studies Building
910 S. Fifth Street, Champaign, Illinois
2012-02-23, 12:00 CST (Local Time)

Eduardo Coutihno, Distinguished Lemann Visiting Professor of Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Professor of Comparative Literature,  Federal University of Rio de Janeiro

For more information, click here.

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AP Exclusive: Many resist census race labels

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2012-01-31 21:42Z by Steven

AP Exclusive: Many resist census race labels

Miami Herald

Hope Yen, Associated Press

WASHINGTON — When the 2010 census asked people to classify themselves by race, more than 21.7 million – at least 1 in 14 – went beyond the standard labels and wrote in such terms as “Arab,” “Haitian,” “Mexican” and “multiracial.”

The unpublished data, the broadest tally to date of such write-in responses, are a sign of a diversifying America that’s wrestling with changing notions of race.

The figures show most of the write-in respondents are multiracial Americans or Hispanics, many of whom don’t believe they fit within the four government-defined categories of race: white, black, Asian/Pacific Islander or American Indian/Alaska Native. Because Hispanic is defined as an ethnicity and not a race, some 18 million Latinos used the “some other race” category to establish a Hispanic racial identity.

“I have my Mexican experience, my white experience but I also have a third identity if you will that transcends the two, a mixed experience,” said Thomas Lopez, 39, a write-in respondent from Los Angeles. “For some multiracial Americans, it is not simply being two things, but an understanding and appreciation of what it means to be mixed.”

Lopez, 39, the son of a Mexican-American father and a German-Polish mother, has been checking multiple race boxes since the Census Bureau first offered the option in 2000. Marking off the categories of Hispanic-Mexican ethnicity, “other” Hispanic ethnicity and a non-Hispanic white race, Lopez opted in 2010 to go even further. He checked “some other race” and scribbled in a response: “multiracial.”…

Roderick Harrison, a Howard University sociologist and former chief of racial statistics at the Census Bureau, predicted a wider range of responses and blurring of racial categories over the next 50 years as interracial marriage becomes increasingly common. Still, he said racial categories will continue to be relevant so long as racial gaps persist in educational attainment, income, jobs and housing.

“These histories of exclusion, discrimination, and racism are central to the identities of several minority populations,” he said.

Read the entire artice here.

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Passing: How posing as white became a choice for many black Americans

Posted in Articles, History, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Passing, Social Science, United States on 2012-01-31 21:27Z by Steven

Passing: How posing as white became a choice for many black Americans

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Monica L. Haynes, Post-Gazette Staff Writer

The young unkempt woman still in her pajamas shuffled into her 8 a.m. college psychology class and sat down next to Barbara Douglass.

“I’m sure glad there are no niggers in this class ’cause I can smell them a mile away,” the young woman declared.

But Douglass, who lives in Wilkinsburg, is a 53-year-old black woman. She could pass for white but she has never tried, she said.

“Growing up, I knew of people who did, and I was even instructed not to say, at that time, that they were colored. In order to get their jobs, they had to say they were white.”

The new film “The Human Stain,” based on a novel of the same name by Philip Roth, provides a glimpse into the world of blacks so fair they can live undetected among whites.

Thelma Marshall knows that routine.

During the 1950s and early ’60s, she did what her mother before her had done. What her grandmother and aunts had done.

She passed for white.

“One time I told a woman I was black, colored in those days,” Marshall recalled. “She said, ‘You won’t get the job unless you pass for white.’ ”

So that’s what Marshall did.

“I passed for white on lots of jobs,” she said. “I had to be white to get the jobs.” …

…”We are a child of God first. We are human beings first,” Douglass remembered her mother saying.

In fifth grade, she learned that the United States is a melting pot, and she declared to her mother that she would be a melting pot.

Her mother decided it was the perfect definition, seeing as how her ancestors were Cherokee, black, Dutch, German and Irish.

Maybe all blacks would have defined themselves that way given the chance. Since black people first came to the New World in 1619, they’ve mingled and mixed with every race and ethnic group here.

It is not just the fair-skinned blacks who can lay claim to that melting pot definition. Those blacks who have the mark of Africa in their features and skin tone also have multicultural ancestry. They just can’t pass.

Most blacks were never afforded the luxury of defining themselves. After the Civil War, Southern whites, not wanting this swirling of races to get out of hand and seeking to keep the white race as pure and powerful as possible, instituted a rule that anyone with “one drop” of black blood was black.

That spurred even more fair-skinned blacks to cross over and escape Jim Crow laws that kept blacks in the shackles of second-class citizenship…

Read the entire article here.

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Has ‘whiteness studies’ run its course at colleges?

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, Campus Life, History, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States on 2012-01-31 05:46Z by Steven

Has ‘whiteness studies’ run its course at colleges?

Cable News Network (CNN)
In America: You define America. What defines you?

Alex P. Kellogg, Special to CNN

Among university departments that study African-American history, Latin American or Chicano cultures and all varieties of ethnicities and nationalities, there’s a relatively obscure field of academic inquiry: whiteness studies.

While there are no standalone departments dedicated to the field, interdisciplinary courses on the subject quietly gained traction on college and university campuses nationwide in the 1990s. Today, there are dozens of colleges and universities, including American University in Washington, D.C., and University of Texas at Arlington, that have a smattering of courses on the interdisciplinary subject of whiteness studies.

The field argues that white privilege still exists, thanks largely to structural and institutional racism, and that the playing field isn’t level, and whites benefit from it. Using examples such as how white Americans tend not to be pulled over by the police as often as blacks and Latinos, or how lenders targeted blacks and Latinos for more expensive, subprime loans during the recent U.S. housing crisis, educators teach how people of different races and ethnicities often live very different lives.

Most of the instructors specialize in sociology, philosophy, political science and history, most of them are liberal or progressive, and most of them are, in fact, white. Books frequently used as textbooks in these courses include “How the Irish Became White” by Noel Ignatiev, an American history professor at the Massachusetts College of Art and “The History of White People” by Nell Irvin Painter, a professor emeritus of American history at Princeton; but the field has its roots in the writings of black intellectuals such as W.E.B. DuBois and author James Baldwin.

In the past, detractors have said the field itself demonizes people who identify as white.

But today, academics who teach the classes say they face a fresh hurdle, one that has its roots on the left instead of the right: the election of Barack Obama as America’s first black president.

“Having Obama is, in a curious way, putting us behind,” says Eduardo Bonilla-Silva, a professor of sociology at Duke and visiting scholar at the University of Pennsylvania…

…These academics generally agree that the end of slavery, the dismantling of Jim Crow and the election of a black president are all clear signs that things are getting better.

But that progress has slanted the mainstream narrative too far into positive terrain, they argue, leaving many to think that racial equality has arrived. Even some young students of color are more skeptical than ever before.

That’s dangerous, they argue.

“The typical college student will always say ‘What racial inequality? Look at the White House,’” says Charles Gallagher, chair of the sociology department at La Salle University in Philadelphia. “I have to first convince them that inequality exists.”…

Charles Mills says he, too, has a fresh sense that many faculty and students are more skeptical of his work since Obama’s election. Mills is a professor of philosophy at Northwestern University. His first book, “The Racial Contract,” is widely taught in courses on U.S. college campuses.

Mills, like other scholars who study whiteness, argues in his courses that whites in particular have a self-interest in seeing the world as post-racial. In that world, everyone has an equal opportunity to succeed. The advantage of this perspective, he says, is that it allows your success in life not to be determined by race, but by how hard you work.

“Obama’s election meant to many white Americans that we’re in a post-racial epoch,” says Mills, even if most indicators show that we’re not…

Read the entire article here.

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The Loving Story – HBO Screening Event

Posted in Articles, History, Law, Literary/Artistic Criticism, United States, Videos on 2012-01-31 05:26Z by Steven

The Loving Story – HBO Screening Event

Multiracial Network Blog

It is a rare occasion for Marc Johnston, MRN Chair, and Heather Lou, MRN Incoming Chair, to find themselves in the same city outside of the annual ACPA Convention. So what do these two fun-loving higher education and student affairs administrators choose to do when they are reunited in the City of Angels? They attend the amazing HBO Screening of Nancy Buirski’s The Loving Story (2011) at the Simon Wiesenthal Museum of Tolerance, of course!

On a recent evening in LA, Marc and Heather settled into their seats to view the story of Richard and Mildred Loving—an interracial couple arrested and exiled from Virginia in 1958 for violating anti-miscegenation laws. The documentary captured footage of the couple’s relationship, family, challenges, and triumphs—including the monumental 1967 Loving v. Virginia Supreme Court case, which struck down anti-miscegenation laws in the 15 states that still had them, legalizing interracial marriage across all of the United States.

After viewing The Loving Story, Marc and Heather wanted to share their personal thoughts on the documentary, along with potential implications for higher education…

Read the entire article here.

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Don Lemon: Legacy of ‘one drop’ rule inspires search for family history

Posted in Articles, History, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Passing, United States, Videos on 2012-01-31 04:57Z by Steven

Don Lemon: Legacy of ‘one drop’ rule inspires search for family history

Cable News Network (CNN)
In America: You define America. What defines you?

Don Lemon, Anchor
CNN Newsroom

This is  final installment of  a three-part series about the (1)ne Drop Project. Read Don Lemon’s column, “It only takes one drop,” and Yaba Blay’s column, “What does Blackness look like?

You never know from where inspiration will come.
I am often envious of my friends who can recite stories about ancestors that have been handed down through generations. I can’t do that. As a descendant of slavery in America, that hasn’t felt possible for me. Truthfully, I didn’t think about it much until a few weeks ago, after I was asked by CNN’s In America team to write about the impact of a mixed racial background on my life, the idea that “one drop” of black blood makes you black.
In that article, I wrote about how my aunt and grandmother in Louisiana often were mistaken for white. I wrote about the extremes they went to in order to protect their husbands, who were black, from beatings by white men, or worse.
As I began to write the article, I sent a text message to my mother asking that she email photos of my aunt and grandmother. She sent me what she had, but asked why I wanted them. I told her I’d call to explain once I got home that evening.

When I finished the draft of the article, I zipped off a copy to her via email. A few minutes later, as I was driving home from work, my phone rang. When my mother began to tell me the stories of my aunt and grandmother, I had to pull over in a parking lot to take it all in. Some of it I knew. Much of it I didn’t…

Read the entire article here.

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Los Angeles Mayor Villaraigosa Honors A West Coast Black Seminole Leader

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, United States on 2012-01-31 02:50Z by Steven

Los Angeles Mayor Villaraigosa Honors A West Coast Black Seminole Leader

Indian Voices
January 2012
pages 7 & 11

Dr. Bruce Twyman

On October 28th, 2011 Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa honored the Native American community of Southern California by hosting the cities’ annual American Indian Heritage Month celebration at city hall. A noteworthy and historical addition to this year’s celebration was for the first time a Black Indian was invited. A representative of the Black Seminole, Phil Pompey Fixico attended the event. Webster’s Dictionary defines heritage as something transmitted by or acquired from a  predecessor. From the start of the European conquest and colonization of the Americas, there has been a symbiotic nexus between Black and Indian people. This nexus is variously reflected in culture, ancestry and law. Millions of Black Americans acknowledge this heritage. As a proud and active member of these millions, Fixico’s selection is apropos.

Black Americans awareness of their own personal Indian heritage ranges from precise knowledge to legendary rumors. Fixico’s knowledge is precise and has been documented in the Smithsonian Institution publication, Invisible-African Native American Lives in the Americas, and in The Journal of the American Society for Ethno-History. As a Black Seminole, Fixico is a member of a people with a 200 year documented successful resistance to slavery in North America.

Scholars and tribal members disagree to some extent about the precise origin of the Seminole people. Nonetheless the word Seminole has a genesis as a British corruption of the Spanish term Cimaron. Columbus referred to domesticated cattle which escaped from ranches as Cimarons; but, the term became fixed upon slaves who successfully resisted enslavement…

Read the entire article here.

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Don’t Forget the Accent Mark: A Memoir

Posted in Autobiography, Books, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Monographs, United States on 2012-01-31 01:40Z by Steven

Don’t Forget the Accent Mark: A Memoir

University of New Mexico Press
110 pages
5.5 x 8 in.; 15 halftones
Paperback ISBN: 978-0-8263-5047-3

David Sánchez, Professor of Mathematics (Retired)
University of New Mexico

Raised in a Mexican home in an Anglo neighborhood, David Sánchez was fair-skinned and fluent in Spanish and English when he entered kindergarten. None of this should have had any influence on the career path he chose, but at certain moments it did. With the birth of the Chicano Movement and affirmative action, a different and sometimes disturbing significance became attached to his name. Sánchez’s story chronicles his life and those moments.

No matter how we transcend our origins, they remain part of our lives. This autobiography of an outstanding mathematician, dedicated to others, whose career included stints as a senior university and federal administrator, is also the story of a young man of mixed Mexican and American parentage.


  • Chapter One: EARLY DAYS
  • Chapter Four: NEW MEXICO: VISIT ONE
  • Chapter Five: ANN ARBOR: VISIT ONE
  • Chapter Seven: SEMPER FI: SAYONARA
  • Chapter Eight: ANN ARBOR: VISIT TWO
  • Chapter Ten: WESTWOOD DAYS
  • Chapter Eleven: NEW MEXICO: VISIT TWO
  • Chapter Thirteen: A BRIEF TEXAS INTERLUDE

Chapter 1: EARLY DAYS

Sanchez is a pretty common name in the southwestern United States. More properly it should be spelled Sánchez, as I was informed by my grandfather Cecilio shortly after I moved into my Mexican grandparents’ home in San Diego, California, at the age of three. I asked him what was the funny mark above our name, and he sternly replied, “Asi se escribe nuestro nombre en esta familia” (In this family that is the way our name is written). Don Cecilio was not a person to be disobeyed, so whenever I sign my name, the accent mark is always there—a little symbol of my Mexicanness in the Anglo world in which I was raised.

Growing up, the accent was not a problem, except for a few raised eyebrows now and then because I look more Irish or Welsh than Mexican. But when I was in training in the Marine Corps, we were required to stencil our names on our utility shirts. I decided to add the accent mark, which really angered one of my drill instructors. He asked me what it was, and I replied as my grandfather had done. He loudly accused me of being some kind of a French pervert or a communist sympathizer; uniformity is a very strict requirement of Marine Corps training, even on stencils. I stood rigidly at the best USMC attention, just as loudly repeated my reason, and after a few more insults, the DI stormed off. I never heard any more about it.

Nowadays you see the name Sánchez everywhere. There are writers, artists, entertainers, military personnel at all levels, news commentators, athletes, politicians, and scholars, many of them with the first name David. But well into my early middle age, I rarely encountered a namesake, and I regarded myself as a typical American but with the advantage of being bilingual. No English was spoken in my grandparents’ house. When I arrived, I only spoke English, but my grandfather insisted that every Sunday we have a Spanish lesson, using some of the old primers he used as a boy in Mexico in the late eighteen hundreds. When I entered kindergarten, I could already read and speak Spanish. Since there were only two Mexican families in our neighborhood, Mission Hills (middle to upper class then, but now much more posh), it was English out the door and Spanish in the door.

In the thirties and early forties, San Diego had a population of about two hundred thousand, with a sizeable Mexican population largely living in the Logan Heights neighborhood. We would visit friends there frequently; many of them were families whose parents had fled Mexico during the Mexican Revolution, just as my grandparents had done. Birthday and holiday fiestas, lively events in which I enthusiastically participated, were packed with our Mexican friends, which certainly enhanced my appreciation and acceptance of my heritage.

Statistics on the composition of today’s Latino households shows many families in which the grandparents are raising the children, usually for reasons such as an illegitimate birth or a broken marriage. Many of these grandparents are trying to protect the family structure and reputation and want to insure that the child is raised in a loving environment with attention being paid to its education. The Mexican grandparental culture is a strong, supportive one from which I certainly benefited.

How did I acquire the name Sánchez? I was born in 1933 in San Francisco, probably out of wedlock, the son of Berta Sánchez and a man I prefer not to identify. (I did not know his name until I was seventeen, when my grandmother had to emotionally provide my birth certificate in order for me to apply to the Navy Reserve.) When I was three years old, my mother decided to move back to Mexico; she was bilingual and a skilled secretary, so there were good job opportunities. But she had no confidence in the Mexican medical system and did not wish the stigma of being an unwed mother. So she arranged for me to be raised in San Diego by my grandparents, Cecilio and Concepcion Sánchez…

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