All Mixed Up: What Do We Call People Of Multiple Backgrounds?

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Census/Demographics, Communications/Media Studies, History, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, My Articles/Point of View/Activities, Social Science, United States on 2016-09-01 01:38Z by Steven

All Mixed Up: What Do We Call People Of Multiple Backgrounds?

Code Switch: Race And Identity, Remixed
National Public Radio

Leah Donnella

In a country where the share of multiracial children has multiplied tenfold in the past 50 years, it’s a good time to take stock of our shared vocabulary when it comes to describing Americans like me.
Jeannie Phan for NPR

It’s the summer of 1998 and I’m at the mall with my mom and my sister Anna, who has just turned 5. I’m 7. Anna and I are cranky from being too hot, then too cold, then too bored. We keep touching things we are not supposed to touch, and by the time Mom drags us to the register, the cashier seems a little on edge.

“They’re mixed, aren’t they?” she says. “I can tell by the hair.”

Mom doesn’t smile, and Mom always smiles. “I have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about,” she says.

Later, in the kitchen, there is a conversation…

‘Multiracial’ or ‘mixed’?

In light of Hall’s paper, “multiracial” was adopted by several advocacy groups springing up around the country, some of which felt the term neutralized the uncomfortable connotations of a competing term in use at that point: “mixed.”

In English, people have been using the word “mixed” to describe racial identity for at least 200 years, like this 1864 British study claiming that “no mixed races can subsist in humanity,” or this 1812 “Monthly Retrospect of Politics” that tallies the number of slaves — “either Africans or of a mixed race” — in a particular neighborhood.

Steven Riley, the curator of a multiracial research website, cites the year 1661 as the first “mixed-race milestone” in North America, when the Maryland colony forbade “racial admixture” between English women and Negro slaves.

But while “mixed” had an established pedigree by the mid-20th century, it wasn’t uncontroversial. To many, “mixed” invited associations like “mixed up,” “mixed company” and “mixed signals,” all of which reinforced existing stereotypes of “mixed” people as confused, untrustworthy or defective. It also had ties to animal breeding — “mixed” dogs and horses were the foil to pure-breeds and thoroughbreds.

Mixed “evokes identity crisis” to some, says Teresa Willams-León, author of The Sum of Our Parts: Mixed Heritage Asian Americans and a professor of Asian American Studies at California State University. “It becomes the antithesis to pure.”…

Read the entire article here.

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Daniel, G. Reginald. Machado de Assis: Multiracial Identity and the Brazilian Novelist. University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State UP, 2012. Print. [McNee Review]

Posted in Articles, Book/Video Reviews, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive on 2016-07-28 00:09Z by Steven

Daniel, G. Reginald. Machado de Assis: Multiracial Identity and the Brazilian Novelist. University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State UP, 2012. Print. [McNee Review]

ellipsis (now Journal of Lusophone Studies)
Volume 13 (2015)
pages 255-257

Malcolm K. McNee, Associate Professor of Spanish & Portuguese
Smith College, Northampton, Massachusetts

G. Reginald Daniel, Machado de Assis: Multiracial Identity and the Brazilian Novelist (University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2012), pp. xi + 338, \$74.95, hb.

In this smart, ambitiously interdisciplinary, and exhaustively researched book, G. Reginald Daniel, Professor of Sociology at UCSB and pioneer in the study of multiracial identity and experience from a transnational perspective, considers the life and work of Machado de Assis. It is a sweeping book that draws upon the vastness of Machadian studies, in which Daniel is clearly versed, along with the sociology of race and culture, literary history and periodization, and theories of modernity and postmodernism. In  its engagement with this range of theoretical and disciplinary configurations, Daniel’s book, organized into an introduction, nine chapters, and an epilogue co-authored with Gary L. Haddow, is in some senses two books in one, each with a distinct yet analogous argument. Each line of inquiry results in a significant and original contribution to Machadian studies. Combined, they position Daniel’s book as the most thorough English-language treatment of the Brazilian writer’s life and work since John Gledson’s translation of Roberto Schwarz’s A Master on the Periphery of Capitalism (Duke UP, 2001). Standing along with Earl Fitz’s Machado de Assis and Female Characterization (Bucknell UP, 2014), and a welcome round of new translations, Daniel’s book will help to reinvigorate and deepen Machado’s reception among English-language readers and his stature among the major figures of world literature…

Read the entire review here.

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G. Reginald Daniel, Machado de Assis: Multiracial Identity and the Brazilian Novelist (University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2012), pp. xi + 338, \$74.95, hb. [Gledson Review]

Posted in Articles, Book/Video Reviews, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive on 2016-07-27 16:59Z by Steven

G. Reginald Daniel, Machado de Assis: Multiracial Identity and the Brazilian Novelist (University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2012), pp. xi + 338, \$74.95, hb. [Gledson Review]

Journal of Latin American Studies
Volume 47 / Issue 03 / August 2015
pages 607-608
DOI: 10.1017/S0022216X15000528

John Gledson, Emeritus Professor of Brazilian Studies
University of Liverpool

G. Reginald Daniel, Machado de Assis: Multiracial Identity and the Brazilian Novelist (University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2012), pp. xi + 338, \$74.95, hb.

Increasingly, over the last 10 or 20 years, critics have taken an interest in Machado de Assis’s racial origins, and in the effect they may have had on his career, his opinions and his writings. We know that he was the child of a father described as ‘pardo, forro’, and a Portuguese mother, from the Azores. In 2007, Eduardo de Assis Duarte published his Machado de Assis afrodescendente, which documents most of the references to the matter, and more generally to slavery and its effects, in the works, novels, stories crônicas, and so on.

It is a complex topic: we have little or no unambiguous evidence of what this most ironic and secretive writer thought about the colour of his skin, though we can have little doubt that he would have smiled with a certain amount of bitterness (and who knows, some perverse satisfaction) at the description of his colour as ‘branco’ on his death certificate.

G. Reginald Daniel’s book is certainly the longest treatment of the subject, and perhaps the most comprehensive. A great deal is given over to discussions of the contexts, historical and theoretical, which surround it. The first chapter deals with the history of miscegenation in Brazil since 1500, the second with other mulatto writers before Machado and contemporary with him (Caldas Barbosa, Luís Gama, José do Patrocínio, Lima Barreto); in the third Machado’s life is recounted in some detail. It is a faithful account, though with some mistakes. Machado did not translate Oliver Twist from English, as Jean-Michel Massa proved, nor is it necessarily true that he suffered from epilepsy all his life. The first of two stories entitled ‘Mariana’ is twice given the date 1864, instead of 1871 (the year of the Law of the Free Womb). There is no series of crônicas entitled Crônicas do relojoeiro signed ‘Policarpo’. José Galante de Sousa’s Bibliografia de Machado de Assis is, astonishingly, missing from the very extensive bibliography. Some important and relatively unknown facts, however, are there, like Gonçalves Crespo’s 1871 hesitant letter saying he has heard he is an ‘homem de cor’. Large parts of the later chapters are given over to accounts of other writers (Graça Aranha, for instance, and Euclides da Cunha) and other issues which sometimes have no real connection to Machado (negritude, for instance)…

Read or purchase the review here.

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Tribute to Prince

Posted in Arts, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, United States, Videos on 2016-04-25 02:35Z by Steven

Tribute to Prince

Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni

One Drop of Love pays tribute to the one and only Prince with: June Snow (& Billy), G. Reginald Daniel, Paul Spickard, Nancy Fathi, Michael Prewitt, Alex Regalado, Chandra Crudup and Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni

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“While it seems like blackness gets an unfair share of time, it’s what keeps this whole structure intact…”

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2015-12-26 19:06Z by Steven

“While it seems like blackness gets an unfair share of time, it’s what keeps this whole structure intact,” says [G. Reginald] Daniel. “Everything gets collapsed into the black/white paradigm, no matter what else is going on. Everybody that comes into this country from anywhere else inevitably has to deal with blackness to locate themselves in our social order. That’s a given.”

Jeremy Gordon, “Multiracial in America: Who gets to be “white”?,” Hopes&Fears, December 15. 2015.

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Multiracial in America: Who gets to be “white”?

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Autobiography, Barack Obama, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Religion, United States on 2015-12-26 16:53Z by Steven

Multiracial in America: Who gets to be “white”?


Jeremy Gordon

The author with his parents, Mary and Dennis Gordon.

Jeremy Gordon on growing up multiracial, assimilation and “whiteness” in post-Obama America.

Every Christmas, when the dishes have been cleaned, when the presents are exchanged and the photos snapped, my cousins and I book it out of my aunt’s house in the suburbs for the comfort of the city, where we spend the rest of the night in each other’s company—playing video games, getting drunker, eating a second meal to close the holiday. Last year, we drove to a dim sum restaurant in Chicago’s Argyle neighborhood, which my Chinese family has patronized for my entire life.

Times had changed, though. We assumed we’d be seated right away, but the restaurant was full. As far as I could remember, it was the first time we’d ever had to wait for a table—and this time, we noticed that most of the diners were white. As we waited for our names to be called, my cousin couldn’t help but gripe. “I can’t believe we’re stuck behind all these white people!” she said. “Can’t they go somewhere else?”

My cousin is not a facetious woman, so the comment didn’t register as a joke. Nevertheless, her brother and I managed a laugh. It was true—the restaurant was filled with white people, whose grannies had never used Mandarin to order from the sullen teenagers pushing the dim sum carts around. But the complaint was a little awkward because of an incontrovertible fact: My cousins and I are half-white, each of us the offspring of a Chinese woman and a Jewish man…

We look about half-and-half—not quite white, not quite yellow, definitely a little something. White people might see us as Chinese—or, failing their ability to pinpoint our race, an ever-ambiguous “person of color”—but there are plenty of Chinese who might insist we were white. Joking about “white people” when that might be us—it’s an easy laugh, but ultimately disingenuous. Wondering what to identify as—white, Chinese, or something else—is something I, my cousins, and many multiracial people have struggled with for our whole lives, to no definite conclusion…

…Multiraciality is a young identity, one that didn’t formally come into existence until the 1980s. G. Reginald Daniel is a sociology professor who’s taught a class on multiracial identity at the University of California, Santa Barbara for nearly three decades, and even he can’t identify its first usage. He points to television shows like Oprah and Sally Jessy Raphael, where panels on multiracial experiences featuring multiracial people were hastily conceived. “The first time I heard the word multiracial used was on The Phil Donahue Show in 1988,” he tells me. “I was pretty shocked because I’d never heard that word before. Prior to that, nobody was talking about this, surely not in public.”..

Read the entire article here.

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Call for Papers: “Mixed Race in Scandinavia”

Posted in Europe, Media Archive, Wanted/Research Requests/Call for Papers on 2015-09-08 01:52Z by Steven

Call for Papers: “Mixed Race in Scandinavia”

The Journal of Critical Mixed Race Studies
e-ISSN: 2325-4521
September 2015

G. Reginald Daniel, Editor in Chief and Professor of Sociology
University of California, Santa Barbara

JCMRS encourages established and emerging scholars to submit articles in response to the annual call of papers. The journal is currently inviting submissions on the topic of global mixed race, particularly in terms of populations, experiences, and concerns outside the United States. Articles will be considered for publication based on their contribution to important and current discussions in critical mixed race studies, and their scholarly competence and originality. The primary criterion for selection will be the quality of the paper, not its connection to the CMRS conference theme.

The journal is transracial, transdisciplinary, and transnational in scope. It places the concept of mixed race at the critical center of focus such that multiracial individuals become subjects of historical, social, and cultural processes rather than simply objects of analysis. This involves the study of racial consciousness among racially mixed people, the world in which they live, and the ideological forces that inform their identity and experience.

JCMRS also stresses the critical analysis of the institutionalization of social, cultural, and political structures based on dominant conceptions of race. JCMRS acknowledges that the concept of race invokes biologically-based human characteristics, but the selection of specific human features for the purposes of racial signification is a constantly changing sociohistorical process. Accordingly, the journal emphasizes the constructed nature of race and the notion that racial categories are unstable and decentered structures of sociocultural meanings that are continuously being created, inhabited, contested, transformed, and destroyed. Finally, JCMRS underscores the mutability of race and the porosity of racial boundaries in order to critique local and global systemic injustices rooted in processes of racialization and social stratification based on race, as well as the interlocking nature of racial phenomena with sex, gender, sexuality, class, and other categories of difference.

Submission Deadline: Open

Submission Guidelines: Article manuscripts should range between 15-30 double-spaced pages, Times New Roman 12-point font, including notes and works cited, must follow the Chicago Manual of Style, and include an abstract (not to exceed 250 words). Papers will not be reviewed unless they follow the exact formatting of the submission guidelines.

Visit our website for complete submission guidelines and to submit an article:

Please address all inquiries to:

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Roundtable: Global Mixed Race

Posted in Live Events, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States on 2015-03-02 20:41Z by Steven

Roundtable: Global Mixed Race

University of California, Santa Barbara
Department of Political Science
The Lane Room (Ellison 3824)
Monday, 2015-03-02, 16:00 PST (Local Time)

The authors of the new book Global Mixed Race (New York University Press) will participate in a Roundtable on the subject. The authors are:

Discussant: Ingrid Dineen Wimberly, University of La Verne

For more information, click here.

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How far have we come in our acceptance of mixed race people?

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Oceania, Social Science, United States on 2014-11-17 19:25Z by Steven

How far have we come in our acceptance of mixed race people?

Special Broadcasting Service (SBS)
Crows Nest, New South Wales, Australia

Lin Taylor

What was once a shameful taboo with a deep, dark racist history is now the face of the modern world. But how far have we really come in our acceptance of mixed race people?

Estelle Griepink is not a celebrity.

But more often than not, the 22-year-old will get stopped on the streets of Indonesia and Malaysia, with passers-by eager to take her photo.

“I lived in Indonesia for a couple of months and I was stopped by people who wanted to take photos of me – and with me – quite frequently,” she said. “It’s happened in Malaysia, where my family lives, too.”

Her appeal? The fact that she is half Malaysian and half Dutch.

“I know this happens to people who are white too – blonde hair, blue eyes – but I felt there was something kind of creepy doing it to me as they would go on about how amazing it was that I was half Asian, half white.

“At the end of the day my ethnicity is completely out of my control, so I hardly think it is something to be congratulated on or celebrated for… like you’re a collector’s item.”

But with their mysterious, racially ambiguous ‘look’ and exotic heritage, it’s not hard to see why mixed race people like Griepink are so in demand…

…Racial hierarchy, racism and the ‘one-drop rule’

Dr Julie Matthews, an educator and sociologist at the University of Adelaide, believed the sexualisation and preference for mixed race people is inherently racist.

“We’ve sexualised or pornographied mixed race. It’s a very narrow line between exoticisation and sexualisation, fetishisms – where you turn all non-white people into people who exist simply into your own pleasure.”

She said that a person who is half white is more “palatable” and acceptable in society – an idea, she believed, is steeped in racism and prevalent since colonisation.

“Colonialism has circulated the idea that white is best. White is at the top of a kind of hierarchy of humanity… If you believe there is a hierarchy of races, which is what racism is about, a little bit of white is more palatable,” said Dr Matthews, 58, who is half Japanese and half English.

“You can get rid of the fear, and horror and the anger of race by adding a bit of whiteness.”

A pertinent example of this was the treatment of half-Aboriginal children and the Stolen Generation. Between the late 1800s and the 1970s, the Australian government forcibly removed Aboriginal children with a white parent from their community, placing them in non-Indigenous foster homes or state-run institutions. It was hoped that mixed race children would ‘assimiliate’ into white Australian society and cut ties with their black ancestry.

Sociologist Professor Reginald Daniel from the University of California added that across all racial groups, blackness is the one identity that is the most complicated.

“When it comes to blackness, there is one frontier that is the most complicated,” he told SBS. “There is no ambiguity about who’s black no matter what you look like, no matter what your ancestry because of the ‘one drop rule’ way back to, at least informally, in slavery, and then formally in law.”

A term mainly used in the US, the one-drop rule is the idea that even ‘one drop’ of blackness in your ancestry precludes you from being truly white, and therefore ‘lower’ on the racial hierarchy (with whiteness being at the top of the scale).

“There was a time when [an interracial] couple would have been – in parts of the United States – lynched by the [Ku Klux] Klan. Those kinds of attitudes had very serious consequences in terms of physical harm. And that does still happen. There are numerous hate crimes directed at interracial couples and mixed race people. And that pattern has not gone. It’s a reflection of that deep long racist history,” said Professor Daniel, whose own multiracial identity includes African, European, Asian, Arab, and Native American origins.

As a result of such entrenched racism, Professor Daniel said identifying as a multiracial person was often “fraught with conflict”, especially if the individual had a black ancestor.

“There was not a lot of mixed race people in the past in terms of identity – even if they existed they didn’t embrace that identity. So it was an identity that was fraught with a lot of conflict, in a sense that, well, how do you form an identity that’s so totally different from everything and everyone around you?”

It’s a sentiment that Tony Ryder, 25, knows all too well.

With an Italian father and an Aboriginal mother, Ryder told SBS he grew up hiding his Noongar and Yamatji ancestry because of the racism he endured in his hometown of Perth.

“Everyone’s experience is different I suppose, but for me, you know, you get called b**ng, c**n, every name under the sun… Where I went to high school, being Aboriginal isn’t celebrated – you just get made fun of.”

But when Mr Ryder did start embracing his Aboriginal heritage, he said he struggled to find acceptance within the community because of his lighter skin.

“People need to start realising that Indigenous people don’t all look the same…We are a diverse people just like any other race. Years and years of genocide and forced assimilation does not mean that we are all going to be black-skinned and living in the desert.”…

Read the entire article here.

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Global Mixed Race

Posted in Africa, Anthologies, Anthropology, Asian Diaspora, Books, Canada, Caribbean/Latin America, Census/Demographics, Europe, Media Archive, Social Science, United Kingdom, United States on 2014-08-18 02:29Z by Steven

Global Mixed Race

New York University Press
March 2014
357 pages
Cloth ISBN: 9780814770733
Paper ISBN: 9780814789155

Edited by:

Rebecca Chiyoko King-O’Riain, Senior Lecturer
National University of Ireland, Maynooth

Stephen Small, Associate Professor of African American Studies
University of California, Berkeley

Minelle Mahtani, Associate Professor in the Department of Human Geography and the Program in Journalism
University of Toronto, Scarborough

Miri Song, Professor of Sociology
University of Kent

Paul Spickard, Professor of History and Affiliate Professor of Black Studies, Asian American Studies, East Asian Studies, Religious Studies, and the Center for Middle Eastern Studies
University of California, Santa Barbara

Patterns of migration and the forces of globalization have brought the issues of mixed race to the public in far more visible, far more dramatic ways than ever before. Global Mixed Race examines the contemporary experiences of people of mixed descent in nations around the world, moving beyond US borders to explore the dynamics of racial mixing and multiple descent in Zambia, Trinidad and Tobago, Mexico, Brazil, Kazakhstan, Germany, the United Kingdom, Canada, Okinawa, Australia, and New Zealand.  In particular, the volume’s editors ask: how have new global flows of ideas, goods, and people affected the lives and social placements of people of mixed descent?  Thirteen original chapters address the ways mixed-race individuals defy, bolster, speak, and live racial categorization, paying attention to the ways that these experiences help us think through how we see and engage with social differences. The contributors also highlight how mixed-race people can sometimes be used as emblems of multiculturalism, and how these identities are commodified within global capitalism while still considered by some as not pure or inauthentic. A strikingly original study, Global Mixed Race carefully and comprehensively considers the many different meanings of racial mixedness.


  • Global Mixed Race: An Introduction / Stephen Small and Rebecca C. King-O’Riain
  • Part I: Societies with Established Populations of Mixed Descent
    • 1. Multiraciality and Census Classification in Global Perspective / Ann Morning
    • 2. “Rider of Two Horses”: Eurafricans in Zambia / Juliette Bridgette Milner-Thornton
    • 3. “Split Me in Two”: Gender, Identity, and “Race Mixing” in the Trinidad and Tobago Nation / Rhoda Reddock
    • 4. In the Laboratory of Peoples’ Friendship: Mixed People in Kazakhstan from the Soviet Era to the Present / Saule K. Ualiyeva and Adrienne L. Edgar
    • 5. Competing Narratives: Race and Multiraciality in the Brazilian Racial Order / G. Reginald Daniel and Andrew Michael Lee
    • 6. Antipodean Mixed Race: Australia and New Zealand / Farida Fozdar and Maureen Perkins
    • 7. Negotiating Identity Narratives among Mexico’s Cosmic Race / Christina A. Sue
  • Part II: Places with Newer Populations of Mixed Descent
    • 8. Multiraciality and Migration: Mixed-Race American Okinawans, 1945–1972 / Lily Anne Yumi Welty
    • 9. The Curious Career of the One-Drop Rule: Multiraciality and Membership in Germany Today / Miriam Nandi and Paul Spickard
    • 10. Capturing “Mixed Race” in the Decennial UK Censuses: Are Current Approaches Sustainable in the Age of Globalization and Superdiversity? / Peter J. Aspinall and Miri Song
    • 11. Exporting the Mixed-Race Nation: Mixed-Race Identities in the Canadian Context / Minelle Mahtani, Dani Kwan-Lafond, and Leanne Taylor
  • Global Mixed Race: A Conclusion / Rebecca C. King-O’Riain
  • Bibliography
  • About the Contributors
  • Index
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