“I have Navajo, Chippewa, Greek and Spanish blood lines,” said Mr. Tórrez, who calls himself a mestizo, a term referring to mixed ancestry. “I can’t say I’m indigenous any more than I can say I’m Greek, but it’s both fascinating and disturbing to see how various cultures came together in New Mexico.”

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2018-02-11 04:07Z by Steven

…Many Hispanic families in New Mexico have long known that they had indigenous ancestry, even though some here still call themselves “Spanish” to emphasize their Iberian ties and to differentiate themselves from the state’s 23 federally recognized tribes, as well as from Mexican and other Latin American immigrants.

But genetic testing is offering a glimpse into a more complex story. The DNA of Hispanic people from New Mexico is often in the range of 30 to 40 percent Native American, according to Miguel A. Tórrez, 42, a research technologist at Los Alamos National Laboratory and one of New Mexico’s most prominent genealogists.

…“I have Navajo, Chippewa, Greek and Spanish blood lines,” said Mr. Tórrez, who calls himself a mestizo, a term referring to mixed ancestry. “I can’t say I’m indigenous any more than I can say I’m Greek, but it’s both fascinating and disturbing to see how various cultures came together in New Mexico.”…

Simon Romero, “Indian Slavery Once Thrived in New Mexico. Latinos Are Finding Family Ties to It.The New York Times, January 28, 2018. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/28/us/indian-slaves-genizaros.html.

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Indian Slavery Once Thrived in New Mexico. Latinos Are Finding Family Ties to It.

Posted in Articles, History, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, Religion, United States on 2018-01-29 19:22Z by Steven

Indian Slavery Once Thrived in New Mexico. Latinos Are Finding Family Ties to It.

The New York Times
2018-01-28

Simon Romero


St. Thomas the Apostle Church in Abiquiú, N.M., a village settled by former Indian slaves, or Genízaros, in the 18th century.
Credit Adria Malcolm for The New York Times

ALBUQUERQUE — Lenny Trujillo made a startling discovery when he began researching his descent from one of New Mexico’s pioneering Hispanic families: One of his ancestors was a slave.

“I didn’t know about New Mexico’s slave trade, so I was just stunned,” said Mr. Trujillo, 66, a retired postal worker who lives in Los Angeles. “Then I discovered how slavery was a defining feature of my family’s history.”

Mr. Trujillo is one of many Latinos who are finding ancestral connections to a flourishing slave trade on the blood-soaked frontier now known as the American Southwest. Their captive forebears were Native Americans — slaves frequently known as Genízaros (pronounced heh-NEE-sah-ros) who were sold to Hispanic families when the region was under Spanish control from the 16th to 19th centuries. Many Indian slaves remained in bondage when Mexico and later the United States governed New Mexico.

The revelations have prompted some painful personal reckonings over identity and heritage. But they have also fueled a larger, politically charged debate on what it means to be Hispanic and Native American…

…Many Hispanic families in New Mexico have long known that they had indigenous ancestry, even though some here still call themselves “Spanish” to emphasize their Iberian ties and to differentiate themselves from the state’s 23 federally recognized tribes, as well as from Mexican and other Latin American immigrants.

But genetic testing is offering a glimpse into a more complex story. The DNA of Hispanic people from New Mexico is often in the range of 30 to 40 percent Native American, according to Miguel A. Tórrez, 42, a research technologist at Los Alamos National Laboratory and one of New Mexico’s most prominent genealogists.

…“I have Navajo, Chippewa, Greek and Spanish blood lines,” said Mr. Tórrez, who calls himself a mestizo, a term referring to mixed ancestry. “I can’t say I’m indigenous any more than I can say I’m Greek, but it’s both fascinating and disturbing to see how various cultures came together in New Mexico.”…

Read the entire article here.

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Identity Politics of Difference: The Mixed-Race American Indian Experience

Posted in Anthropology, Books, Campus Life, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Monographs, Native Americans/First Nation, Teaching Resources, United States on 2017-10-17 02:36Z by Steven

Identity Politics of Difference: The Mixed-Race American Indian Experience

University Press of Colorado
2017-08-15
168 pages
1 table
Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-60732-543-7

Michelle R. Montgomery, Assistant Professor
School of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences, American Indian Studies, and Ethnic, Gender & Labor Studies
University of Washington, Tacoma

In Identity Politics of Difference, author Michelle R. Montgomery uses a multidisciplinary approach to examine questions of identity construction and multiracialism through the experiences of mixed-race Native American students at a tribal school in New Mexico. She explores the multiple ways in which these students navigate, experience, and understand their racial status and how this status affects their educational success and social interactions.

Montgomery contextualizes students’ representations of their racial identity choices through the compounded race politics of blood quantum and stereotypes of physical features, showing how varying degrees of “Indianness” are determined by peer groups. Based on in-depth interviews with nine students who identify as mixed-race (Native American–White, Native American–Black, and Native American–Hispanic), Montgomery challenges us to scrutinize how the category of “mixed-race” bears different meanings for those who fall under it based on their outward perceptions, including their ability to “pass” as one race or another.

Identity Politics of Difference includes an arsenal of policy implications for advancing equity and social justice in tribal colleges and beyond and actively engages readers to reflect on how they have experienced the identity politics of race throughout their own lives. The book will be a valuable resource to scholars, policy makers, teachers, and school administrators, as well as to students and their families.

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Descendants Of Native American Slaves In New Mexico Emerge From Obscurity

Posted in Articles, Audio, History, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, Religion, Slavery, United States on 2016-12-30 02:32Z by Steven

Descendants Of Native American Slaves In New Mexico Emerge From Obscurity

All Things Considered
National Public Radio
2016-12-29

John Burnett, Southwest Correspondent, National Desk


Santo Tomas Catholic church in Abiquiu, N.M., is the site of an annual saint’s day celebration in late November that includes cultural elements of the genizaros, the descendants of Native American slaves.
John Burnett/NPR

Every year in late November, the New Mexican village of Abiquiu, about an hour northwest of Santa Fe, celebrates the town saint, Santo Tomas. Townfolk file into the beautiful old adobe Catholic church to pay homage its namesake.

But this is no ordinary saint’s day. Dancers at the front of the church are dressed in feathers, face paint and ankle bells that honor their forbears — captive Indian slaves called genizaros.

The dances and chants are Native American, but they don’t take place on a Pueblo Indian reservation. Instead, they’re performed in a genizaro community, one of several scattered across the starkly beautiful high desert of northern New Mexico.

After centuries in the shadows, this group of mixed-race New Mexicans — Hispanic and American Indian — is stepping forward to seek recognition…

Read the entire story here. Download the story (00:05:04) here.

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A Contested Art: Modernism and Mestizaje in New Mexico

Posted in Anthropology, Arts, Books, History, Media Archive, Monographs, Native Americans/First Nation, United States on 2016-04-05 02:15Z by Steven

A Contested Art: Modernism and Mestizaje in New Mexico

University of Oklahoma Press
2015
304 pages
6.125″ x 9.25″
Hardcover ISBN: 9780806148649

Stephanie Lewthwaite, Lecturer in American History, Faculty of Arts
University of Nottingham

When New Mexico became an alternative cultural frontier for avant-garde Anglo-American writers and artists in the early twentieth century, the region was still largely populated by Spanish-speaking Hispanos. Anglos who came in search of new personal and aesthetic freedoms found inspiration for their modernist ventures in Hispano art forms. Yet, when these arrivistes elevated a particular model of Spanish colonial art through their preservationist endeavors and the marketplace, practicing Hispano artists found themselves working under a new set of patronage relationships and under new aesthetic expectations that tied their art to a static vision of the Spanish colonial past.

In A Contested Art, historian Stephanie Lewthwaite examines the complex Hispano response to these aesthetic dictates and suggests that cultural encounters and appropriation produced not only conflict and loss but also new transformations in Hispano art as the artists experimented with colonial art forms and modernist trends in painting, photography, and sculpture. Drawing on native and non-native sources of inspiration, they generated alternative lines of modernist innovation and mestizo creativity. These lines expressed Hispanos’ cultural and ethnic affiliations with local Native peoples and with Mexico, and presented a vision of New Mexico as a place shaped by the fissures of modernity and the dynamics of cultural conflict and exchange.

A richly illustrated work of cultural history, this first book-length treatment explores the important yet neglected role Hispano artists played in shaping the world of modernism in twentieth-century New Mexico. A Contested Art places Hispano artists at the center of narratives about modernism while bringing Hispano art into dialogue with the cultural experiences of Mexicans, Chicanas/os, and Native Americans. In doing so, it rewrites a chapter in the history of both modernism and Hispano art.

Published in cooperation with The William P. Clements Center for Southwest Studies, Southern Methodist University

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There is No There There: Women and Intermarriage in the Southwestern Borderlands

Posted in Articles, History, Latino Studies, Media Archive, United States, Women on 2013-06-18 04:53Z by Steven

There is No There There: Women and Intermarriage in the Southwestern Borderlands

Common-Place
A Common Place, An Uncommon Voice
Volume 13, Number 3, Spring 2013

Amanda Taylor-Montoya

Amanda Taylor-Montoya is an independent scholar living in southern New Mexico.

Borderlands are fuzzy, slippery, ambiguous places. Whether imagined as a geographic region straddling an international border, “the contested boundaries between colonial domains,” or simply zones of intercultural contact where state or imperial power is weak, borderlands are spaces where social boundaries are unstable and social conventions appear more flexible. Cooperation and accommodation characterize the borderlands as much as conflict and violence. Historians often point to centuries of racial mixture to help explain the cultural fluidity and hybridization that prevail in the borderlands.

Tales of liaisons that transgressed racial boundaries (beginning with the relationship between Hernán Cortés and Malíntzin Tenépal) are so common in histories of the Southwestern borderlands that they function as a kind of creation story for the region and its peoples. Here, men exchanged women—as captives or wives—to establish, bolster, or consolidate economic and social relationships. Indigenous women not only provided sexual companionship and domestic labor, but also served critical roles as translators, guides, and cultural mediators in colonial encounters between Europeans and native peoples. Whether consensual or coerced, mixed unions figured prominently in the borderlands economy and culture…

…Spanish colonial society recognized a wide variety of mixed race peoples, but also maintained a stringent hierarchy between them. The racial system included not only españoles (Spaniards) and indios (Indians), but also people identified as mestizos (Spanish and Indian), mulatos (Spanish and African), castizos (Spanish and mestizo), castas (racial mixture), color quebrado (literally, “broken color”), and genízaros (Hispanicized Indians). One’s racial classification was determined not only by ancestry or phenotype, but also by occupation or class, and could change over time according to one’s circumstances.

Race and legitimacy were intertwined in colonial New Mexico, as many associated mixed unions with illegitimacy and illicit sex. Consequently, many marriages—particularly among the elite—were arranged, in order to ensure matches with someone of equal status to preserve family honor. Simply put, the state’s acknowledgment of mixed race people did not alter the association of racial mixture with dishonor. In the first decades of the nineteenth century, New Mexicans increasingly moved away from the nuanced racial hierarchy in place during the colonial period toward a more rigid racialization of two categories: Spanish and Indian…

Read the entire article here.

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Estimating Genetic Ancestry Proportions from Faces

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Media Archive on 2012-07-11 22:48Z by Steven

Estimating Genetic Ancestry Proportions from Faces

PLoS ONE
Volume 4, Number 2, e4460 (February 2009)
8 pages
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0004460

Yann C. Klimentidis
Department of Biostatistics
University of Alabama, Birmingham

Mark D. Shriver, Associate Professor of Anthropology
Pennsylvania State University

Ethnicity can be a means by which people identify themselves and others. This type of identification mediates many kinds of social interactions and may reflect adaptations to a long history of group living in humans. Recent admixture in the US between groups from different continents, and the historically strong emphasis on phenotypic differences between members of these groups, presents an opportunity to examine the degree of concordance between estimates of group membership based on genetic markers and on visually-based estimates of facial features. We first measured the degree of Native American, European, African and East Asian genetic admixture in a sample of 14 self-identified Hispanic individuals, chosen to cover a broad range of Native American and European genetic admixture proportions. We showed frontal and side-view photographs of the 14 individuals to 241 subjects living in New Mexico, and asked them to estimate the degree of NA admixture for each individual. We assess the overall concordance for each observer based on an aggregated measure of the difference between the observer and the genetic estimates. We find that observers reach a significantly higher degree of concordance than expected by chance, and that the degree of concordance as well as the direction of the discrepancy in estimates differs based on the ethnicity of the observer, but not on the observers’ age or sex. This study highlights the potentially high degree of discordance between physical appearance and genetic measures of ethnicity, as well as how perceptions of ethnic affiliation are context-specific. We compare our findings to those of previous studies and discuss their implications.

Read the entire article here.

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Recovering History, Constructing Race: The Indian, Black, and White Roots of Mexican Americans

Posted in Anthropology, Books, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Mexico, Monographs, Texas, United States on 2012-01-10 03:01Z by Steven

Recovering History, Constructing Race: The Indian, Black, and White Roots of Mexican Americans

University of Texas Press
2001
389 pages
6 x 9 in., 50 b&w illus., 4 maps
Paperback ISBN: ISBN: 978-0-292-75254-2

Martha Menchaca, Professor of Anthropolgy
University of Texas, Austin

The history of Mexican Americans is a history of the intermingling of races—Indian, White, and Black. This racial history underlies a legacy of racial discrimination against Mexican Americans and their Mexican ancestors that stretches from the Spanish conquest to current battles over ending affirmative action and other assistance programs for ethnic minorities. Asserting the centrality of race in Mexican American history, Martha Menchaca here offers the first interpretive racial history of Mexican Americans, focusing on racial foundations and race relations from prehispanic times to the present.

Menchaca uses the concept of racialization to describe the process through which Spanish, Mexican, and U.S. authorities constructed racial status hierarchies that marginalized Mexicans of color and restricted their rights of land ownership. She traces this process from the Spanish colonial period and the introduction of slavery through racial laws affecting Mexican Americans into the late twentieth-century. This re-viewing of familiar history through the lens of race recovers Blacks as important historical actors, links Indians and the mission system in the Southwest to the Mexican American present, and reveals the legal and illegal means by which Mexican Americans lost their land grants.

Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction
  • 1. Racial Foundations
  • 2. Racial Formation: Spain’s Racial Order
  • 3. The Move North: The Gran Chichimeca and New Mexico
  • 4. The Spanish Settlement of Texas and Arizona
  • 5. The Settlement of California and the Twilight of the Spanish Period
  • 6. Liberal Racial Legislation during the Mexican Period, 1821-1848
  • 7. Land, Race, and War, 1821-1848
  • 8. The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo and the Racialization of the Mexican Population
  • 9. Racial Segregation and Liberal Policies Then and Now
  • Epilogue: Auto/ethnographic Observations of Race and History
  • Notes
  • Bibliography

Introduction

In this book it is my intent to write about the Mexican American people’s Indian, White, and Black racial history. In doing so, I offer an interpretive historical analysis of the experiences of the Mexican Americans’ancestors in Mexico and the United States. This analysis begins with the Mexican Americans’prehistoric foundations and continues into the late twentieth century. My focus, however, is on exploring the legacy of racial discrimination that was established in the aftermath of the Spanish conquest and was later intensified by the United States government when, in 1848, it conquered northern Mexico (presently the U.S. Southwest) and annexed it to the United States (Menchaca 1999:3). The central period of study ranges from 1570 to 1898.

Though my interpretive history revisits many well-known events, it differs from previous histories on Mexican Americans and on the American Southwest because the central thread of my analysis is race relations, an area of study that is often accorded only secondary significance and generally subsumed under economic or nation-based interpretations. It also differs because I include Blacks as important historical actors, rather than denying their presence in the history of the Mexican Americans. Finally, as part of this analysis I demonstrate that racial status hierarchies are often structured upon the ability of one racial group to deny those who are racially different access to owning land. This process leads to the low social prestige and impoverishment of the marginalized. I close my analysis with commentaries on contemporary United States race relations and auto/ethnographic observations of Mexican American indigenism. Auto/ethnography is used as a method to illustrate how historical events influence racial identity.

This form of intellectual inquiry emerged from my conversations with archaeologist Fred Valdez. In 1986 Fred and I were both hired as assistant professors in the Anthropology Department at the University of Texas at Austin. It was the first time that I had met a Mexican American archaeologist. We were both fascinated by the ethnohistory of the indigenous peoples of the Americas and shared the unconventional view that Mexican Americans were part of the indigenous peoples of the American Southwest. Following endless conversations on the indigenous heritage of the Mexican Americans, we decided to study the indigenous groups of the Southwest that had been conquered by Spain and Mexico. Our objective was to identify the groups that had become subjects of Spain and, later, citizens of Mexico. This research was used to prepare an undergraduate class on the “Indigenous Heritage of the Mexican Americans.” We were pleasantly surprised that our class became very popular, as evidenced by the large enrollments. In general, students were interested in knowing about their heritage, while many others were interested in seeking specific information about the mission Indians from whom they were descended.

For me, this academic endeavor converged with the publication of Michael Omi and Howard Winant’s classic book Racial Formation in the United States: From the 1960s to the 1980s (1986). Their work influenced me to reassess the significance of studying the racial heritage of the Mexican Americans, given that my interest until that point had been solely to outline their indigenous ancestry. According to Omi and Winant, the significance of studying race is not to analyze the biological aspect of a people’s heritage, but rather to understand the politics and processes of racial categorization. They urgently call upon social scientists to study race as a central source of societal organization, because in multiracial societies race has been used historically by those in power to share social and economic privileges with only those people who are racially similar to themselves. Omi and Winant do not urge scholars to explore the origins or psychology of this inclusive-exclusive behavior, but rather to provide a historical context, showing how those in power use race to rationalize the distribution of wealth…

Read the entire Introduction here.

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California’s Hispanic Heritage: A View Into the Spanish Myth

Posted in Articles, History, Media Archive, United States on 2011-09-22 03:17Z by Steven

California’s Hispanic Heritage: A View Into the Spanish Myth

The Journal of San Diego History
San Diego Historical Society Quarterly
Volume 19, Number 1 (Winter 1973)

Manuel Patricio Servin, Professor of Southwestern and Mexican-American History
Arizona State University, Tempe

No aspect of Borderlands’ history has been more distorted than that of the Spanish colonization of the Southwest. Despite the writings of eminent historians on the racially mixed background of the Spanish-speaking pioneers, the myth that the early settlers, and consequently the old families, were preponderantly of Spanish stock persists in many quarters.

Members of old families, whose mixed-blood ancestors early adopted the Spanish ideals of success, proudly extol their Spanish lineage and background. Viewing history through special lenses, the descendants of early settlers, as well as their Anglo-American friends and relatives, seem to focus only on the Spanish conquistadores, explorers, and settlers of the Borderlands. Overlooking their unbleached mestizo, mulatto, and Indian ancestors, these anointed Spanish-speaking pioneers see themselves as the descendants of intrepid Castilian gentlemen.

This act of self-deception appears to afflict almost the entire Borderlands’ area. New Mexico, perhaps because of its long history and galaxy of noble-like conquistadores, more than any other area suffers from this Spanish fever. The names of Don Francisco Vásquez de Coronado, Don Antonio de Espejo, and Don Juan de Oñate dominate the history of the state. Consequently, New Mexico is generally considered Spanish and its Spanish-speaking inhabitants are consequently Hispanos—not Mexicans of mixed Spanish, Indian, and African stock. Texas, with its so-called Spanish founders of San Antonio, also suffers from a similar affliction. The Spanish-speaking rico, the person of status, is consequently the descendant of either the notoriously indolent Canary Islander or of an alleged Spaniard or criollo. California, where earlier American historians over glorified the Spanish period of the province as well as the names of Junípero Serra and Gaspar de Portolá, relishes in its Spanish origins and traditions. Its distinguished families, suffering from an acute case of color blindness, call themselves californios, descendants of supposed Spaniards.

The recognition of the role that colonial Mexicans—that is, the role that the persons of mixed-blood—played in settling the Borderlands and especially California does not reject the essential part that Spaniards performed in the exploration, colonization, and missionization of the Southwest. Spanish peninsulares overwhelmingly were the adelantados, the officials, and the priests who explored, governed, and served settlers. But to claim that the settlers were preponderantly Spaniards—as the Californios assert—must be rejected as historically untenable. These settlers, as the study of California’s settlement shows, were not Spanish, but overwhelmingly mixed-bloods from Indian, Spanish, and also Negro stock…

Read the entire article here.

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Being Raced, Acting Racially: Multiracial Tribal College Students’ Representations of Their Racial Identity Choices

Posted in Campus Life, Dissertations, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, Social Science, United States on 2011-08-17 01:35Z by Steven

Being Raced, Acting Racially: Multiracial Tribal College Students’ Representations of Their Racial Identity Choices

University of New Mexico, Albuquerque
September 2010
208 pages

Michelle Rene Montgomery

DISSERTATION Submitted in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy Language, Literacy, and Sociocultural Studies

In recent years, many studies have clearly documented that mixed-race people are currently engaged in the process of self validation (DaCosta. 2007; Dalmage, 2003; McQueen, 2002; Root, 1996 & 2001; Spencer, J, M., 1997; Spencer, R., 2006a; Thorton, 1992). There is not a lot of empirical research that examines how schools influence the racial identity of multiracial students, in particular mixed-race students that identify as Native American. Even more troubling is the lack of literature on experiences of mixed-race students using racial identity choice as a social and political tool through race discourse and actions. The aim of this qualitative case study was to look at the relationship between the racial agency of multiracial students and the larger white supremacist social structure. The research questions addressed in this study are as follows: (1) How do the formal and informal schooling contexts shape the identity choices of multiracial students? (2) How do the identity choices of multiracial students conform to an/or resist the racialized social system of the United States?

This study was conducted at a tribal college in New Mexico with selected mixed-race participants who identified as Native American, or acknowledged Native American ancestry. At the time of data collection, the school enrollment was 513 students, representing 83 federally recognized tribes and 22 state recognized tribes. The presence of a multi-racial body of students created a unique contributing factor of multiracial participants for a broader understanding of mixed-race experiences in cultural and traditional learning environments. The study was conducted using qualitative case study methodology of mixed-race students interviewed in the last weeks of the fall semester (pre-interview) and once during the last few weeks of the spring semester (post interviews). Mixed-race students were asked to discuss nine group sessions during the spring semester their lived experiences that influenced their identity choices. The sample for this study represented mixed-race participants from various tribal communities. In an eight-month time period of the study, nine participants were interviewed and participated in-group sessions. Of the nine total in sample, two were male, seven were female; three were Native American/white, two were black/white/Native American, three were Hispanic/white/Native American, and one were Hispanic/Native American.

From my analysis of the nine participants’ mixed-race experience, three overarching themes emerged: (a) racial(ized) self-perceptions, (b) peer interactions and influences, and (c) impact on academic experiences. Of the nine participants, how a students’ race was asserted, assigned, and reassigned appears to be determined by being mixed-race with black versus white or non-black. According to the participants, this particular tribal college did not provide a supportive or welcoming environment. As a result, students were highly stratified based on experiences tied to their phenotype and racial mixture; the more “black” they appeared, the more alienated they were. In the classroom, there was often a divide between black/Native mixed-race students versus white/Native mixed-race students, similar to the differences between monoracial white and black student experiences. As a result of dissimilar experiences based on mixedness, there were group association conflicts during their schooling experiences that included feeling vicitimized when their whiteness did not prevail as an asset or being alienated due to blackness. The study also found a clear distinction between the mixed-race black experience versus the mixed-race with white experience based on phenotypic features. Overall, mixed-race with black schooling experiences indicated situations of racial conflict. The findings of this study have policy implications for tribal colleges and other institutions to develop programs and services to help mixed-race students identify and bond with their learning environments.

Table of Contents

  • CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION
    • Introduction
    • Statement of the Problem
    • Purpose of the Study
    • Significance of the Study
    • Research Questions
    • Definition of Key Terms
    • Overview of Methodology
    • Limitations of the Study
  • CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW
    • Introduction
      • The Politics of Multiracialism
      • Empirical Research On The Identity Politics of Multiracial Students40
  • CHAPTER 3 METHODS
    • Focus of the Research
    • Research Design
    • Research Participants
    • Setting
    • Portrait of Participants
    • Data Collection
    • Data Analysis
    • Ethics
    • Validity
    • Trustworthiness
  • CHAPTER 4 ANALYSIS OF MIXED-RACE EXPERIENCES
    • Theme One: Racial(ized) Self-Perceptions
      • Identity Politics of Blood Quantum
        • Black/Native American Experience
        • Non-Black/Native American Experience
      • Summary
      • Self-Perceptions of Race Being Asserted, Negotiated and Redefined
        • Non-Black/Native American Experience
        • Black/Native American Experience
        • Non-Black/Native American Experience
          • Black/Native American Experience
          • Non-Black/Native American Experience
      • Disadvantages: Mixed-race Identity Choice
        • Black/Native American Experience
        • Non-Black/Native American Experience
      • Advantages: Mixed-race Identity Choice
        • Non-Black/Native American Experience
      • Summary
    • Theme Two: Peer Interactions and Influences
      • Perceivable Differences
        • Non-Black/Native American Experience
        • Black/Native American Experience
      • Summary
      • Surviving the Losses
        • Non-Black/Native American Experience
        • Black/Native American Experience
      • Summary
    • Theme Three: The Impact on Academic Experiences
      • The Role of Tribal Colleges
      • Schooling Experiences
        • Black/Native American Experience
        • Non-Black/Native American Experience
      • Summary
  • CHAPTER 5 DISCUSSION
    • Discussion
      • Major Findings
        • Research Question #1
        • Research Question #2
      • Summary
      • Recommendations
        • Administrators
        • Faculty and Staff
        • Future Research
        • Conclusion
  • APPENDICES
  • APPENDIX A CONSENT TO PARTICIPATE IN RESEARCH
  • APPENDIX B PARTICIPANT DEMOGRAPHIC QUESTIONNAIRE
  • APPENDIX C FIRST PARTICIPANT INTERVIEW
  • APPENDIX D SECOND PARTICIPANT INTERVIEW
  • REFERENCES

Chapter 1: Introduction

Introduction

Dark brown skin with wavy hair, I am accustomed to being asked, “What are you?” Often I am mistaken for being reserved despite my easy, sincere grin. My facial expression perhaps does not show what I have learned in my life: reluctant people endure, passionate people live. Whether it is the glint of happiness in my eyes or what I call “using laughter to heal your soul,” my past experience as a mixed-race person has been significantly different from my current outlook on life. I am at ease with my lived experiences, very willing to share and even encouraging others to probe more into my racialized experience. Like many mixed-race people, I experienced an epiphany: disowning a need to belong and disengaging from the structure of race has given me the confidence to critique race discourse.

I identify as Native American with mixed-race heritage. I am mixed-race black/white, Native American, and mixed-race Korean/Mongolian. My father is mixedrace black/white and Native American, and my mother is mixed-race Korean/Mongolian. We are enrolled members of the Haliwa Saponi Tribe. When I was growing up, my father taught me that I am a multiracial person. So, I can personally relate to the idea that monoraciality does not fit my multiracial identity or those of other multiracials in our socalled “melting pot” society.

However, countless numbers of times I have been raced in ways that have forced me to choose a group association. My own experiences illustrate how racial designation and group association plays itself out in society, including in classroom learning environments. My siblings and I grew up in a predominantly mixed-race Native American community in northeastern North Carolina that included black, Native American, and white ancestry. I attended a rural high school that contained mixed-race black/Native American, mixed-raced white/Native American, monoracial blacks, and monoracial white students. It was not unusual for mixed-race black/Native American and monoracial blacks to create close group associations, which were exhibited through social interactions that occurred when sitting together in the cafeteria, classrooms, or in designated lounging areas around campus. However, mixed-race white/Native American students, especially those who seemed phenotypically white, did not want to be associated with monoracial black students. Most mixed-race white/Native American students created group associations with monoracial white students. As a brown complexioned multiracial person in this racially polarized environment, I was placed in a situation where I had to choose a group association to keep mixed-race black/Native American and monoracial black students from viewing me as acting white. On the other hand, the mixed-raced white/Native Americans and monoracial whites viewed my actions as acting black.

Because of my Korean and Mongolian ancestry, I was not perceived phenotypically as a true member of the black or Native American groups. My Koreanness caused friction between me and the monoracial black and mixed-race black/Native American groups with which I most commonly associated because it gave me an inroad to the white/r groups that they did not have. Because I did not acknowledge and challenge my advantage, I allowed myself to be used as an agent of racism. This happened in a number of ways. For instance, monoracial white and mixed-race Native American groups asked me to sit with them in the cafeteria, but they did not invite monoracial blacks and mixed-race black/Native Americans. And I accepted their invitation. As a consequence, the group with which I most associated viewed me as a race traitor, as a racial fraud. And I felt like one, too. I am ashamed that I actively participated in the denigration of blacks, which is the most denigrated part of my own ancestry. A multiracial person with black ancestry who accepts not being identified as black in an effort to subvert white privilege (i.e., resisting racial categorization as a way of challenging the notion of race) can actually be reinforcing it, as was the case for me. The problem is how the context and meaning of being a race traitor or committing racial fraud arises out of and is bounded by the social and political descriptions of race. Both social and political constructs are then used as a justification for policing the accuracy of racial identification or political alliance. In most instances, being cast as a race traitor, or as an alleged racial fraud, is a constitutive feature of the dynamics of the informal school setting, and is further developed in the formal schooling setting Since racial identity is a social and political construct, it requires meaning in the context of a particular set of social relationships. In a tribal college setting, the identity politics of blood quantum often influences the multiracial experience of students (i.e., learning environment…

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