In order to create a just society for Americans of every race—and multiple races—we need to officially acknowledge and protect the rights of multiracial people.

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2016-01-27 17:11Z by Steven

In order to create a just society for Americans of every race—and multiple races—we need to officially acknowledge and protect the rights of multiracial people. Mono-racial policies leave growing numbers of Americans unprotected from racial discrimination. It is time for race policy in the U.S. to acknowledge the nation’s new demographics and work for a racially just society for all.

Kathleen Odell Korgen, “Why Race Policy must include Multiracial Americans,” Policy Press Blog at the University of Bristol, January 27, 2016. https://policypress.wordpress.com/2016/01/27/why-race-policy-must-include-multiracial-americans/.

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Why Race Policy must include Multiracial Americans

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States on 2016-01-27 16:07Z by Steven

Why Race Policy must include Multiracial Americans

Policy Press Blog at the University of Bristol
2016-01-27

Kathleen Odell Korgen, Professor of Sociology
William Paterson University, Wayne, New Jersey

Today’s guest blog by Kathleen Odell Korgen, whose book Race policy and multi-racial Americans published this month, examines the much overlooked issue of including multiracial Americans in policy making and explains why this oversight must stop.

Americans who identify as multiracial comprise approximately 7 percent of the U.S. population. With a growth rate three times that the rest of the population, this percentage will rise quickly (U.S. Census Bureau 2012; Frey 2014; Pew Research Center 2015).

One would never know this, however, by viewing the nation’s race policies. A look at policies across a variety of areas, including public school curricula, health policy, and prison regulations, reveals little trace of the existence of growing numbers of Americans who identify as multiracial…

Read the entire article here.

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Race Policy and Multiracial Americans

Posted in Anthologies, Books, Campus Life, Family/Parenting, Health/Medicine/Genetics, History, Latino Studies, Law, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States on 2016-01-27 14:41Z by Steven

Race Policy and Multiracial Americans

Policy Press (Available in North America from University of Chicago Press)
2016-01-13
226 pages
234 x 156 mm
Hardback ISBN: 9781447316459
Paperback ISBN: 9781447316503

Edited by:

Kathleen Odell Korgen, Professor of Sociology
William Paterson University, Wayne, New Jersey

Race Policy and Multiracial Americans is the first book to look at the impact of multiracial people on race policies—where they lag behind the growing numbers of multiracial people in the U.S. and how they can be used to promote racial justice for multiracial Americans. Using a critical mixed race perspective, it covers such questions as: Which policies aimed at combating racial discrimination should cover multiracial Americans? Should all (or some) multiracial Americans benefit from affirmative action programmes? How can we better understand the education and health needs of multiracial Americans? This much-needed book is essential reading for sociology, political science and public policy students, policy makers, and anyone interested in race relations and social justice.

Contents

  • Introduction ~ Kathleen Odell Korgen
  • Multiracial Americans throughout the History of the U.S. ~ Tyrone Nagai
  • National and Local Structures of Inequality: Multiracial Groups’ Profiles Across the United States ~ Mary E. Campbell and Jessica M. Barron
  • Latinos and Multiracial America ~ RaĂşl Quiñones Rosado
  • The Connections among Racial Identity, Social Class, and Public Policy? ~ Nikki Khanna
  • Multiracial Americans and Racial Discrimination ~ Tina Fernandes Botts
  • “Should All (or Some) Multiracial Americans Benefit from Affirmative Action Programs?”~ Daniel N. Lipson
  • Multiracial Students and Educational Policy ~ Rhina Fernandes Williams and E. Namisi Chilungu
  • Multiracial Americans in College ~ Marc P. Johnston and Kristen A. Renn
  • Multiracial Americans, Health Patterns, and Health Policy: Assessment and Recommendations for Ways Forward ~ Jenifer L. Bratter and Chirsta Mason
  • Racial Identity Among Multiracial Prisoners in the Color-Blind Era ~ Gennifer Furst and Kathleen Odell Korgen
  • “Multiraciality and the Racial Order: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly”~ Hephzibah V. Strmic-Pawl and David L. Brunsma
  • Multiracial Identity and Monoracial Conflict: Toward a New Social Justice framework ~ Andrew Jolivette
  • Conclusion: Policies for a Racially Just Society ~ Kathleen Odell Korgen
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Race, Theory, and Scholarship in the Biracial Project

Posted in Books, Chapter, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2012-08-31 18:12Z by Steven

Race, Theory, and Scholarship in the Biracial Project

Chapter in:

Race Struggles
University of Illinois Press
2009
352 pages
6.125 x 9.25 in.; 4 tables
Paper ISBN: 978-0-252-07648-0

Edited by:

Theodore Koditschek, Professor of History
University of Missouri, Columbia

Sundiata Keita Cha-Jua, Associate Professor of History; Associate Professor of African American Studies
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Helen A. Neville, Associate Professor of African American Studies and Educational Psychology
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Chapter Author:

Minkah Makalani, Assistant Professor of African and African Diaspora Studies
University of Texas, Austin

Since the early 1990s, there has emerged in the United States a push to racially reclassify persons with one black and one white parent as biracial. A central feature of what I am calling the biracial project is a cohort of scholars, themselves biracial identity advocates, who argue that such an identity is more appropriate for people of mixed parentage (PMP) than a black one. These scholars maintain that when PMP identify as biracial, they gain a more mentally healthy racial identity, have fewer experiences of alienation, and are able to express their racial and cultural distinction from African Americans. In addition to the presumed personal benefits of such an identity, these scholars suggest that a biracial identity is a positive step in moving society beyond race and toward a color-blind society. What remains troubling about this scholarship, though, is a tendency to conceptualize PMP as a distinct racial group, and the inattention to the potentially negative political impact such a reclassification would have on African Americans.

Historically and currently, white supremacy in the United States has hinged on the oppression of people of African descent. The position of African Americans in the political economy has served as the basis for developing a racialized social system, restructuring that system at different historical moments, and incorporating new social groups into the racial hierarchy as races. Asserting a new racial group premised on a claim to an inherent (biological) whiteness and a rejection of blackness taps into the intricacies, logics, and values of that very system. It is therefore important to remember that the push for a biracial racial category arose and made its greatest strides amid predictions that by the year 2050 whites will be a numerical minority. More than a question of self-identity, the push for a biracial identity concerns substantiating the existence of a new race to be positioned as an intermediary between blacks and whites in a reordered racialized social system. Indeed, in the United States there have always been multiple racial groups situated below whites in the racial hierarchy. Sociologist Eduardo Bonilla-Silva has recently argued that, increasingly, different groups are beginning to hold a position of “honorary whiteness” within that hierarchy. Taking into account the structures of race in Latin America and the Caribbean, I remain unconvinced that an honorary white racial status in the United States would include PMP, as Bonilla-Silva suggests, though I agree with his claim that various racialized groups that were previously denied the privileges of whiteness increasingly enjoy advantages, privileges, and access to centers of power that continue to be denied black people and those whom Bonilla-Silva calls the “collective black.” Far from helping to erase existing color lines or challenging the new racial formations described by Sundiata Keita Cha-Jua and Bonilla-Silva, it would draw yet another color line. And unlike certain Asian and Latino groups, a new biracial race stakes its claim, quite literally, on possessing whiteness.

The biracial project approaches racial identity as racial identification, or the assertion of a racial category. Using identity as a synonym tor race has also entailed inadequate attention to the complexities of identity. Consequently, these works rarely engage the psychological scholarship on black identity formation, not to mention the historical, sociological, and cultural interrogations of blackness that have appeared in Black Studies over the past century. Most troubling is the inattention, if not utter aversion, to the history of PMP considering themselves black and struggling over the meanings of blackness.

It is hardly coincidental that these scholars presume certain antiracist attributes to inhere in a biracial identity. In asserting the subversive character of a biracial identity, Maria P. P. Root maintains that it “may force us to reexamine our construction of race and the hierarchical social order it supports.” Naomi Zack and G. Reginald Daniel more plainly argue that a biracial identity hastens the end of racial categories altogether by challenging popular notions of race. For Zack in particular, a biracial identity serves as the basis for “ultimately disabus(ing) Americans of their false beliefs in the biological reality of race,” thus leading society away from racial classifications and hastening racisms demise. Still, the progressive qualities of a biracial identity are more apparent than real, largely asserted with little research substantiating the claims of its proponents.

The presence of a biracial race would certainly disrupt popular ideas about race, but as scholars supporting biracial identity root it in biological notions of race “mixture,” it seems unlikely that such a disruption would result in the end of racial classifications. Work on race in the Caribbean and Latin America shows that a racially mixed identity is entirely consistent with a racialized social system. Moreover, recent work interrogating-color blindness has shown that this is the current dominant racial ideology, suggesting that a color-blind society as a goal is more likely to ensure the persistence of racism than its decline. I therefore find especially troubling the claims by Naomi Zack, G. Reginald Daniel, Kathleen Odell Korgen, Paul R. Spickard, Maria P. P. Root, and others discussed below, that the biracial project represents a progressive social movement.” In my view, based both on the popular push for such a reclassification and the scholarship discussed here, this project is less concerned with ending racism than with responding to the racialization of all people of African descent in the United States as black.

Situating the discussion of biracial identity in the context of race and racial oppression as structural relationships, I provide a detailed review of the theoretical and prescriptive literature advocating a biracial identity. Specifically, I am concerned with this racial projects theoretical basis for a biracial identity, how it conceptualizes race and racism, the place of the one-drop rule in this conceptualization, and the defense of biracial identity as an antiracist tool…

Read the chapter here.

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Obama and the Biracial Factor: The Battle for a New American Majority

Posted in Anthologies, Barack Obama, Books, Communications/Media Studies, History, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States on 2012-03-11 17:50Z by Steven

Obama and the Biracial Factor: The Battle for a New American Majority

Policy Press
February 2012
256 pages
234 x 156 mm
Hardback ISBN-10: 1447301005; ISBN-13: 978-1447301004

Andrew J. Jolivétte, Associate Professor of American Indian Studies (Also see biographies at Speak Out! and Native Wiki.)
Center for Health Disparities Research and Training
San Fransisco State University

Since the election in 2008 of Barack Obama to the Presidency of the United States there have been a plethora of books, films, and articles about the role of race in the election of the first person of color to the White House. None of these works though delves into the intricacies of Mr. Obama’s biracial background and what it means, not only in terms of how the President was elected and is now governing, but what multiraciality may mean in the context of a changing U.S. demographic. Obama and the Biracial Factor is the first book to explore the significance of mixed-race identity as a key factor in the election of President Obama and examines the sociological and political relationship between race, power, and public policy in the United States with an emphasis on public discourse and ethnic representation in his election. Jolivette and his co-authors bring biracial identity and multiraciality to forefront of our understanding of racial projects since his election. Additionally, the authors assert the salience of mixed-race identity in U.S. policy and the on-going impact of the media and popular culture on the development, implementation, and interpretation of government policy and ethnic relations in the U.S. and globally. This timely work offers foundational analysis and theorization of key new concepts such as mixed-race hegemony and critical mixed race pedagogy and a nuanced exploration of the on-going significance of race in the contemporary political context of the United States with international examples of the impact on U.S. foreign relations and a shifting American electorate. Demographic issues are explained as they relate to gender, race, class, and religion. These new and innovative essays provide a template for re-thinking race in a ‘postcolonial’, decolonial, and ever increasing global context. In articulating new frameworks for thinking about race and multiraciality this work challenges readers to contemplate whether we should strive for a ‘post-racist’ rather than a ‘post-racial’ society. Obama and the Biracial Factor speaks to a wide array of academic disciplines ranging from political science and public policy to sociology and ethnic studies. Scholars, researchers, undergraduate and graduate students as well as community organizers and general audiences interested in issues of equity, social justice, cross-cultural coalitions and political reform will gain new insights into critical mixed race theory and social class in multiracial contexts and beyond.

Contents

  • Part I
    • Obama and the biracial factor: An introduction – Andrew Jolivette
    • Race, multiraciality, and the election of Barack Obama: Toward a more perfect union? – G. Reginald Daniel
    • “A Patchwork Heritage” Multiracial citation in Barack Obama’s Dreams from My FatherJustin Ponder
    • Racial revisionism, caste revisited: Whiteness, blackness and Barack Obama – Darryl G. BarthĂ©, Jr.
  • Part II: Beyond black and white identity politics
  • Part III: The battle for a new American majority
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Book Review: Multiracial Americans and Social Class: The Influence of Social Class on Racial Identity

Posted in Articles, Book/Video Reviews, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2011-05-02 01:58Z by Steven

Book Review: Multiracial Americans and Social Class: The Influence of Social Class on Racial Identity

Kathleen Odell Korgen, Editor, Multiracial Americans and Social Class: The Influence of Social Class on Racial Identity. New York: Routledge, 2010. 230 pp. (paperback).

Teaching Sociology
Volume 39, Number 2 (2011-04-11)
pages 214-216
DOI: 10.1177/0092055X11403292

Beth Frankel Merenstein, Assistant Professor of Sociology
Central Connecticut State University, New Britain, Connecticut

This collection of articles is organized into four sections, each focusing on the various issues and concerns of multiracial Americans, all with a particular emphasis on social class. Using a variety of methods, including statistical models as well as qualitative, in-depth interviews, the articles focus on issues of identity, demographical change, and culture, all through a lens of, as explained in the foreword, understanding how under a system of white supremacy, social class plays a pivotal role in the creation of a multiracial identity.

One immediate concern I had was with the organization of the book. While I found all the articles useful and informative in their own right, the division under the four different sections was unclear. In particular, I was unclear on why Section III had the three articles it did, focusing on multiracial Asian Americans, multiracial American Indians, and multiracial Hispanic youth, respectively. While none of these articles focused on biracial black-white Americans as the majority of the previous articles did, there seemed to be little other reason these three articles were joined together.

Nonetheless, correctly and jointly, these articles recognize that we live in a society dominated and dictated by white supremacy. To understand multiracial Americans, we must place individuals with this identity within this context. Additionally, this collection does what no other has: It includes in this recognition the role that class can and does play when it comes to understanding a multiracial identity and construction. Furthermore, numerous articles mention the way in which, in most conversations and research on multiracial Americans and racial identity, class is often conflated with culture. For example, Nikki Khanna

Read or purchase the article here.

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Black/White Biracial Identity: The Influence of Colorblindness and the Racialization of Poor Black Americans

Posted in Articles, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2009-09-08 22:05Z by Steven

Black/White Biracial Identity: The Influence of Colorblindness and the Racialization of Poor Black Americans

Theory in Action
Volume 2, Number 1 (January 2009)
DOI: 10.3798/tia.1937-0237.08027

Kathleen Odell Korgen, Professor of Sociology
William Paterson University, Wayne, New Jersey

This article focuses on the influence of colorblindness, the interaction of class and culture, and the racialization of poor Black culture on the racial identity of Biracial Americans with both a Black and a White parent. In doing so, it makes the following points: 1) Despite the fact that almost all Biracial persons experience racism (particularly during adolescence), the ideology of colorblindness promotes a non-racial or “honorary white” racial identity among middle and upper-middle class Biracial persons who live in predominantly white settings, 2) Many middle and upper-middle class Biracial persons have more in common with their White neighbors than with poor Black Americans.  3) The common stereotype of “true” Blackness connects it to the culture of poor, marginalized Black Americans.  These points are conceptually distinct, yet all promote the distance many middle- and upper-class Biracial Americans feel from a Black racial identity.

Article copies available for a fee from The Transformative Studies Institute.  E-mail address: journal@transformativestudies.org

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