Between black and white Exploring the “Biracial” Experience

Posted in Articles, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States on 2016-01-23 21:33Z by Steven

Between black and white Exploring the “Biracial” Experience

Race and Society
Volume 1, Issue 2, 1998
pages 197–212
DOI: 10.1016/S1090-9524(99)80044-8

Kerry A. Rockquemore

Public debate surrounding the 2000 Census has focused on the addition of a multi-racial category. Advocates of this change assume that persons of mixed-race parentage identify as “biracial” or “mixed” and will continue to do so if given the opportunity on government documents. The assumption that most individuals with one Black and one White parent identify as biracial implies that “biracial” identity has a singular meaning. This paper challenges that assumption by asking two questions: (1) what does “biracial” mean to individuals within this population and (2) what social factors may lead to differences in the way these individuals interpret their racial identity. Data from in-depth interviews is used to draw a descriptive map of the multiple ways individuals understand and respond to their biracial-ness. A conceptual model is presented which explores how physical appearance and socio-economic status affect access to different types of social networks and the way that race is socially constructed and experienced within those networks.

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A Fresh Face On Race

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2013-10-13 19:00Z by Steven

A Fresh Face On Race

The Hartford Courant
Hartford, Connecticut

Mike Swift, Courant Staff Writer

The U.S. Census Bureau’s New Approach And The Latest Population Figures Could Mark ‘The Beginning Of The End Of Racial Classification In America.’

The federal government Monday pegged the number of Americans who are of multiple races at 6.8 million—about twice the size of Connecticut’s population—as for the first time ever the U.S. Census identified people who belong to more than one racial category.

Although their share of the U.S. population was a relatively small 2.4 percent, the population of people who claimed a multiple racial identity could have significance beyond their numbers in a society that diversified rapidly during the 1990s.

“It’s really a major step,” said Kerry Rockquemore, a University of Connecticut professor who is writing a book called, “Beyond Black: Biracial Identity in America.”

“In the past, we’ve thought of race as being these mutually exclusive, biologically real categories that people fit into,” said Rockquemore, who is biracial herself. “And when you insert that option of `check all that apply,’ that blows that out of the water.”

“Today,” said Charles Byrd, editor and publisher of The Interracial Voice, an Internet magazine for multiracial people, “was the beginning of the end of racial classification in America.”…

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