Being mixed: Who claims a biracial identity?

Posted in Articles, Identity Development/Psychology, Latino Studies, Media Archive, United States on 2012-03-13 22:40Z by Steven

Being mixed: Who claims a biracial identity?

Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology
Volume 18, Number 1 (January 2012)
pages 91-96
DOI: 10.1037/a0026845

Sarah S. M. Townsend, Visiting Assistant Professor of Management and Organizations and Postdoctoral Fellow
Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University

Stephanie A. Fryberg, Assistant Professor of Psychology and Affiliate Faculty in American Indian Studies
University of Arizona

Clara L. Wilkins, Assistant Professor of Psychology
Wesleyan University

Hazel Rose Markus, Davis-Brack Professor in the Behavioral Sciences
Stanford University

What factors determine whether mixed-race individuals claim a biracial identity or a monoracial identity? Two studies examine how two status-related factors—race and social class—influence identity choice. While a majority of mixed-race participants identified as biracial in both studies, those who were members of groups with higher status in American society were more likely than those who were members of groups with lower status to claim a biracial identity. Specifically, (a) Asian/White individuals were more likely than Black/White or Latino/White individuals to identify as biracial and (b) mixed-race people from middle-class backgrounds were more likely than those from working-class backgrounds to identify as biracial. These results suggest that claiming a biracial identity is a choice that is more available to those with higher status.

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Black identity in biracial Black/White people: A comparison of Jacqueline who refuses to be exclusively Black and Adolphus who wishes he were.

Posted in Articles, Campus Life, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States on 2012-03-13 20:58Z by Steven

Black identity in biracial Black/White people: A comparison of Jacqueline who refuses to be exclusively Black and Adolphus who wishes he were.

Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology
Volume 7, Number 2 (May 2001)
page 182-196
DOI: 10.1037//1099-9809.7.2.182

Angela R. Gillem
Arcadia University

Laura Renee Cohn
Arcadia University

Cambria Thorne
Arcadia University

Two biracial college freshmen (17 and 19 yrs old), both of whom identify as Black, were chosen from a larger sample of participants in a qualitative study of biracial identity development to exemplify the differences in the paths that 2 biracial individuals could take to achieve racial identity resolution. Through the case study method, the authors describe the course and progression of racial identity development (RID) in these 2 individuals and discuss some key themes in their lives that have contributed to the development of their RID. The purposes are fourfold: to describe, nonclinical subjective experiences of being biracial in the US, to explore the differences in the paths that 2 biracial individuals can take to achieve what looks superficially like similar Black racial identity resolution, to demonstrate how identifying as Black can have different meanings and consequences for 2 biracial people, and to contribute to the differentiation of Black RID from biracial Black/White RID. The authors raise questions about the generalizability of monoracial Black and ethnic identity theories to biracial individuals.

Read the entire article here.

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[Daniel Fiedler] Segregating children is wrong

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, New Media, Politics/Public Policy on 2012-03-13 17:39Z by Steven

[Daniel Fiedler] Segregating children is wrong

The Korea Herald

Daniel Fiedler, Professor of Law
Wonkwang University

This year under the guidance of the Seoul Office of Education a new elementary school and a new high school were opened in the Seoul area. While generally the opening of new schools would not be cause for comment, in this case the new schools are specifically for children who come from “multicultural” backgrounds. The high school is designed to educate “multicultural” teenagers who have dropped out of regular public high schools, while the elementary school will operate as a regular school but with special emphasis on teaching Korean culture and language. The Seoul Office of Education argues that this is a necessary and progressive approach to assist in the education of these children; however, segregating these students from their Korean peers is neither appropriate nor desirable for the future of South Korea. And the use of the term “multicultural” to describe these children is a thinly disguised euphemism for mixed-race or mixed-descent, a concept that has no place in 21st century discourse.

For a comparison one only has to look to the failed experience of the United States in segregating the races during the first half of the 20th century. In the United States the euphemism used was “separate but equal” and the idea was to have schools only for black children and schools only for white children. The United States then extended it to separate cars on trains, to separate public bathrooms and even to separate drinking fountains and soda shops. However, after almost 60 years it became apparent that the “separate but equal” approach was an abject failure and, in 1954 the United States Supreme Court declared it unconstitutional. Since that time integration and equality have been driving forces behind affirmative action programs in education, employment and everyday life in the United States. Nonetheless, the United States still struggles with the impact of that half century of segregation as reflected in the racist attitudes that still exist among the less educated and provincial members of American society…

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Call for submissions: “Mixed Race 2.0”

Posted in Wanted/Research Requests/Call for Papers on 2012-03-13 16:12Z by Steven

Call for submissions: “Mixed Race 2.0”

“Mixed Race 2.0: Mixing Race, Risk, and Reward in the Digital Age” is a project dedicated to examining the intersections of multiracial identities that lurk behind the scenes of everyday life in an increasingly networked world. In recent years, multiracial identities have seen increased representation in media, politics, art and activism. To explore these exciting transitions…, “Mixed Race 2.0” will pose questions and provide analyses that strike the core of what multiracial identities have meant, currently mean, and will mean to generations across the globe.

The primary question is: What does mixed race 2.0 mean to you? Potential themes with which to address this question include, but are not limited to:

  • 2010 v. 2000 US Census
  • Digital v. Analog
  • “Hapa” v. “Mulatto”
  • Book v. e-Media
  • One Box v. Check All that Apply
  • Consumers and Marketing
  • The Ivory Tower v. The Real World
  • America v. The World
  • History v. Future

Target Audience

There is a significant market for a contemporary and analytically engaged, yet very accessible, book and media project on the meanings of multiracial identities in the digital age. The target audiences are both popular and academic consumers. The general consumer interested in race, identity, politics, demographic shifts, popular culture and media subject matter will find “Mixed Race 2.0” interesting and engaging. The academic consumer will find this text to be multi-disciplinary, and suitable for undergraduate and graduate students, as well as researchers and practitioners in the fields of communication studies, journalism, critical cultural studies, racial/ethnic studies, popular culture studies, mass communication and media studies, media literacy, sociology, and education.

Submission Procedure

We welcome the following formats of submission: essays, high-resolution images of artwork, short films no longer than 3 minutes, and music in MP3 form no longer than 3 minutes. Essay contributions should be approximately 2,000 words, Chicago formatted, in 12-point Times New Roman font. All submissions are due on or before Monday, April 16, 2012. Submissions should include contact information and a brief 50-word bio for each author. Authors of accepted projects will be notified no later than Tuesday, May 15, 2012.

All inquiries and submissions should be sent to the editors below:

Marcia Alesan Dawkins (
Ulli K. Ryder (
Alexandrina Agloro (

For more information, click here.

Miscegenation: The Courts and the Constitution

Posted in Articles, Law, Media Archive, United States on 2012-03-13 03:28Z by Steven

Miscegenation: The Courts and the Constitution

William and Mary Law Review
Volume 8, Issue 1 (1966)
Article 7
pages 133-142

Cyrus E. Phillips IV


Miscegenation is generally defined as the interbreeding or marriage of persons of different races, but the term will here be used in reference to miscegenetic marriages only. That is, this paper will concern itself only with the aspects of the marriage laws of various states that relate to miscegenation. The purpose of this paper will be to show the antecedents of miscegenation in the American legal system, the methods of constitutional justification of miscegenation statutes in state courts, and the change in regard to their validity given by the federal judiciary.


Prohibitions against miscegenation date back to the earliest colonial times, and the first record of sanctions imposed for this act in the Virginia colony appears in Hening’s extract from the judicial proceedings of the Governor and Council of Virginia:

September 17th, 1630. Hugh Davis to be soundly whipped, before an assembly of negroes and others for abusing himself to the dishonor of God and shame of Christians, by defiling his body in lying with a negro; which fault he is to acknowledge next Sabbath day.

That prohibitions against miscegenation have been widespread in the United States can be seen in the fact that they have appeared in the statutes of some forty states. Of these forty, twenty-three have repealed their statutes, half of these having been repealed within the last two decades as a result of the movement for Negro equality as well as the publicity occasioned by a 1948 decision of the California Supreme Court which struck down that state’s miscegenation statute.

Nontheless, it is indeed surprising that seventeen states still retain their miscegenation statutes. Of these seventeen states, six make express provisions in their constitutions either forbidding the passage of laws validating such marriages or else maling them void ab initio. Miscegenation is an entirely statutory crime, generally considered to be of the grade of a felony, the penalty for which ranges up to imprisonment for ten years and fines up to $2,000.

All miscegenation statutes contain general provisions against the intermarriage of Negroes and Caucasians, but others have expanded their scope to include Malays, American Indians, Mestizos, and Half-breeds. Although these statutes in the main do not prohibit intermarriage between members of races other than white, all prohibit intermarriage between a white person and a member of the designated non-white group or groups.

And just as the groups with which intermarriage is prohibited vary from state to state, so also does the definition of “Negro.” One state classifies a Negro as any person of one-eighth or more Negro blood, while others define Negroes as any person of Negro descent to the third generation inclusive.”‘ Two states include every person in whom there is any ascertainable Negro blood within the prohibited group. That these statutes are an anomaly in this period of constitutional and social reform is readily apparent. Nevertheless, their antecedents run deep in the American legal system…

Read the entire article here.

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Equal protection of the laws is not achieved through indiscriminate imposition of equalities.

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2012-03-13 03:09Z by Steven

Thus the effectiveness of a public policy argument in defense of miscegenation statutes stands on very weak ground today. The mind of the modern Supreme Court was well expressed by Mr. Chief Justice Vinson in Shelley v. Kraemer, when he stated: “Equal protection of the laws is not achieved through indiscriminate imposition of equalities.”

Edmund L. Walton Jr., “Present Status of Miscegenation Statutes,” William and Mary Law Review, Volume 4, Issue 1, (January, 1963): 33.

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Common almost to the point on institutionalization, wealthy Southern planters kept regular concubines and bred entire families of mixed-race children, the result being an unprecedented increase in mulatto slavery during the years 1850-60.

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes, History, United States on 2012-03-13 02:54Z by Steven

The suggestion of a fruitless future for the black American is reinforced in the faces of the two young figures. Homer endows the women with traditional Caucasian features by painting them with light skin and slender facial bone structure. By representing the figures with a combination of both prototypical black and white physical characteristics, Homer portrays them as products of sexual mingling between the races. Although interracial cohabitation had been prevalent since the Colonial era, mulattos born in the period from the mid-eighteenth to the mid-nineteenth centuries were often the result of sexual relations between white males of the planter class and their domestic slaves. Common almost to the point on institutionalization, wealthy Southern planters kept regular concubines and bred entire families of mixed-race children, the result being an unprecedented increase in mulatto slavery during the years 1850-60.  Based on the appearance of the two figures in Homer’s 1876 painting, their logical birth dates would fall near the height of interracial procreation, raising the distinct possibility that these women were fathered by the plantation owner.

Susanna W. Gold, “A measured freedom: national unity and racial containment in Winslow Homer’s The Cotton Pickers, 1876,” The Mississippi Quarterly, (Spring 2002).

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Present Status of Miscegenation Statutes

Posted in Articles, Law, Media Archive, United States on 2012-03-13 02:33Z by Steven

Present Status of Miscegenation Statutes

William and Mary Law Review
Volume 4, Issue 1 (January 1963)
Article 4
pages 28-35

Edmund L. Walton Jr., Founder
Walton & Adams, P.C., Reston, Virginia

With the influx of so called “civil rights” cases in recent years it seems that a reappraisal of state legislation and constitutional prohibitions concerning intermarriage of persons of different races is in order.

A total of twenty-four states currently have prohibitions against miscegeneous marriages, fourteen more have repealed such laws, and the supreme courts of two states have held that their miscegenation statutes are in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution but one of these reversed itself five years later. The highest courts of twelve other” states have affirmed the constitutionality of their respective statutes.  The Supreme Court of the United States has once had the opportunity to rule upon the question in recent years but sidestepped the issue.

The statutes, while varied in scope and legal consequences for violation are unanimous in condemning marriage between Negroes and whites. Three representative statutes are those of Virginia, Maryland, and Arkansas. Both Maryland and Virginia have criminal penalties as well as civil prohibitions and both declare the parties to a miscegenous marriage to be felons. Arkansas declares such a marriage to be illegal and void.” Virginia prohibits the marriage of whites with colored persons;  Arkansas, white persons with Negroes or mulattoes; and Maryland forbids any intermarriage between members of the white, Negro or Malayan races. Virginia describes a “white person” as one with no other admixture of blood other than white or one-sixteenth or less American Indian blood.

The challenge of the constitutionality of these and other state miscegenation statutes has been made and met in the state courts, but as yet the United States Supreme Court has not seen fit to make a final judgment. What are the major factors to be discussed and when will the court meet the challenge?…

Read the entire article here.

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Re-searching Metis identity: My Metis Family story

Posted in Canada, Dissertations, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive on 2012-03-13 01:26Z by Steven

Re-searching Metis identity: My Metis Family story

University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon
April 2010
200 pages

Tara J. Turner

A Thesis Submitted to the College of Graduate Studies and Research in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in the Department of Psychology University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon

This research explores Metis identity through the use of a Metis family story. The participants of  this Metis family were my father and his two sisters and his two brothers. As children, they lost  both their parents at the same time in a car accident. After the death of their parents my participants all encountered the child welfare system, through adoption, orphanage, and foster care. Through adoption, the two youngest participants were separated from their siblings, and any knowledge of their Metis heritage, until they were adults. Individual interviews were conducted with each participant to gather their life stories. Two additional gatherings of the participants were completed in order to share individual and family stories. The second and final gathering was conducted as a talking circle. A culturally congruent qualitative research process was created with the use of stories, ceremonies, and the strengthening of family relationships. Analysis was completed with the use of Aboriginal storytelling guidelines. The themes examined through my family’s story include trauma, the child welfare system, and Metis identity. A significant piece of the research process was the creation of a “Metis psychological homeland” (Richardson, 2004, p. 56), a psychological space of both healing and affirming Aboriginal identity. This dissertation is an example of how research can be completed in a way that does not perpetuate the mistrust between Aboriginal people and researchers, and that works to improve this relationship.

Read the entire thesis here.

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Between black and white: Rethinking Coloured identity

Posted in Africa, Articles, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Philosophy, South Africa on 2012-03-13 01:15Z by Steven

Between black and white: Rethinking Coloured identity

African Identities
Volume 1, Issue 2 (2003)
pages 253-280
DOI: 10.1080/1472584032000173139

Pal Ahluwalia, Pro Vice Chancellor of Education, Arts and Social Sciences
University of South Australia

Abebe Zegeye
Goldsmiths College, University of London

Identity who we are, where we come from, what we are is difficult to maintain … we are the ‘other’, an opposite, a flaw in the geometry of resettlement, an exodus. (Said 1986: 16 17)

The photographs

Stephen Greenblatt offers two models for the exhibition of works of art resonance and wonder. Resonance, he argues, equates with the ‘power of the displayed object to reach out beyond its formal boundaries to a larger world, to evoke in the viewer the complex, dynamic cultural forces from which it has emerged and for which it may be taken by a viewer to stand’ (Greenblatt 1991: 42). Clearly a work of art that evokes such resonance creates its own context albeit that it is far removed from its original site. In contrast, by wonder, he means, ‘the power of the displayed object to stop the viewer in his or her tracks, to convey an arresting sense of uniqueness, to evoke an exalted attention’ (ibid.).

Greenblatt argues that what has increasingly happened in the practice of mounting exhibitions is the triumph of resonance over wonder. For an exhibition to have maximum impact, he argues (ibid.: 54), it is important that there should be ‘a strong initial appeal to wonder, a wonder that then leads to the desire for resonance, for it is generally easier in our culture to pass from wonder to resonance than from resonance to wonder’. It is in this context that we urge readers to make acquaintance with Chris Ledochowski’s photographs. First and foremost, they are works of art that evoke wonder. These works of art, however, are deeply resonant with the racial quagmire that has dominated and continues to dominate   South Africa’s culture, history and politics…

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