Race in Mind: Critical Essays

Posted in Books, History, Media Archive, Monographs, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United Kingdom, United States on 2015-12-25 04:33Z by Steven

Race in Mind: Critical Essays

University of Notre Dame Press
2015
408 pages
ISBN: 978-0-268-04148-9

Paul Spickard, Professor of History
University of California, Santa Barbara

With contributions by Jeffrey Moniz and Ingrid Dineen-Wimberly

Race in Mind presents fourteen critical essays on race and mixed race by one of America’s most prolific and influential ethnic studies scholars. Collected in one volume are all of Paul Spickard’s theoretical writings over the past two decades. Ten of the articles have been revised and updated from previous publications. Four appear here for the first time. Spickard’s work embraces three overarching themes: race as biology versus race as something constructed by social and political relationships; race as a phenomenon that exists not just in the United States, but in every part of the world, and even in the relationships between nations; and the question of racial multiplicity.

These essays analyze how race affects people’s lives and relationships in all settings, from the United States to Great Britain and from Hawaiʻi to Chinese Central Asia. They contemplate the racial positions in various societies of people called Black and people called White, of Asians and Pacific Islanders, and especially of those people whose racial ancestries and identifications are multiple. Here for the first time are Spickard’s trenchant analyses of the creation of race in the South Pacific, of DNA testing for racial ancestry, and of the meaning of multiplicity in the age of Barack Obama.

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Forging People: Race, Ethnicity, and Nationality in Hispanic American and Latino/a Thought

Posted in Anthologies, Books, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Philosophy, Social Science, United States on 2013-01-04 02:07Z by Steven

Forging People: Race, Ethnicity, and Nationality in Hispanic American and Latino/a Thought

University of Notre Dame Press
2011
376 pages
ISBN 10: 0-268-02982-2
ISBN 13: 978-0-268-02982-1

Edited by:

Jorge J. E. Gracia, Samuel P. Capen Chair; SUNY Distinguished Professor of Philosophy and Comparative Literature
State University of New York, Buffalo

Forging People explores the way in which Hispanic American thinkers in Latin America and Latino/a philosophers in the United States have posed and thought about questions of race, ethnicity, and nationality, and how they have interpreted the most significant racial and ethnic labels used in Hispanic America in connection with issues of rights, nationalism, power, and identity. Following the first introductory chapter, each of the essays addresses one or more influential thinkers, ranging from Bartolomé de Las Casas on race and the rights of Amerindians; to Simón Bolívar’s struggle with questions of how to forge a nation from disparate populations; to modern and contemporary thinkers on issues of race, unity, assimilation, and diversity. Each essay carefully and clearly presents the views of key authors in their historical and philosophical context and provides brief biographical sketches and reading lists, as aids to students and other readers.

Contents

  • Contributors
    Preface
  • 1. Race, Ethnicity, and Nationality in Hispanic A merican and Latino/a ThoughtJorge J. E. Gracia
  • Part I. The Colony and Scholasticism
    • 2. The New Black Legend of Bartolomé de Las Casas: Race and Personhood—Janet Burke and Ted Humphrey
  • Part II. Independence and the Enlightenment
    • 3. Men or Citizens? The Making of Bolívar’s Patria—José Antonio Aguilar Rivera
    • 4. Andrés Bello: Race and National Political Culture—Iván Jaksica
    • 5. Undoing “Race”: Martí’s Historical Predicament—Ofelia Schutte
  • Part III. New Nations and Positivism
    • 6. Sarmiento on Barbarism, Race, and Nation Building—Janet Burke and Ted Humphrey
    • 7. Justo Sierra and the Forging of a Mexican Nation—Oscar R. Martí
  • Part IV. Challenges in the Twentieth Century
    • 8. Rodó, Race, and Morality—Arleen Salles
    • 9. Zarathustra Criollo: Vasconcelos on Race—Diego von Vacano
    • 10. The Amauta’s Ambivalence: Mariátegui on Race—Renzo Llorente
    • 11. Mestizaje, mexicanidad, and Assimilation: Zea on Race, Ethnicity, and Nationality—Amy A. Oliver
  • Part V. Latinos/as in the United States
    • 12. Latino/a Identity and the Search for Unity: Alcoff, Corlett, and Gracia—Elizabeth Millán and Ernesto Rosen Velásquez
    • Bibliography
    • Index

Preface

The discussion of race in the United States reflects to a great extent the situation in the country. The adoption of the one-drop rule, according to which anyone who has a drop of black blood is considered black, has too often been taken for granted, resulting in a polarization that characterizes both the formulation of problems related to race and the purported solutions to those problems: a person is either black or white but not both; there is no in between. It also has tended to move to the background the visible dimensions of race and to pay undue attention to biological and genetic conceptions of it; heredity, rather than appearance, has often been regarded as most significant. Finally, it has contributed to the widespread use of the metaphor of purity associated with whites and of impurity associated with blacks: to be white is to be uncontaminated, whereas to be black is to be contaminated. That a mixture is generally different from the elements that compose it but partakes of them, that races involve gradation and fuzzy boundaries, and that visible appearance plays an important role in racial classifications are facts too often neglected.

This model of race takes insufficient note of what much of the world thinks and illustrates the insularity that characterizes some segments of the U.S. community. Indeed, it is seldom that proper attention is paid to the views of other societies. Although the views on race of some European philosophers, such as Kant and Hume, have been studied in some detail, treatments by Latin Americans or Africans, for example, are generally ignored by North American philosophers concerned with race.

The inadequacy of this parochial approach becomes clear when one considers how conceptions of race vary from place to place. In Cuba, for example, to be black entails a certain kind of appearance. A person who appears to have mixed black-white ancestry is not usually considered black or white but mulatto. In the United States, according to the one-drop rule, to be black requires only one black ancestor, even if physical appearance tells another story. But in Cuba persons of mixed black and white ancestry who look white are generally taken as white, whereas those who appear black are considered black. Clearly the criteria of racial classification used in the United States and Cuba are different. Similar differences can be found between the views of race in the United States and elsewhere in the world.

This neglect of points of view in other parts of the world also applies to ethnicity and nationality. Societies differ substantially in how they establish and think about ethnicity or nationality. Some societies use skin color and physical appearance to establish ethnic and national distinctions; others use lineage or culture. Indian is a racial term generally associated with ancestry in the United States, but in some contexts in South America it is used to refer to culture: to be an Indian indicates that one has not adopted the ways of Europeans, thus carrying with it the disparaging connotations that this entails in the eyes of those who are European or have adopted European culture. Nationality is taken in some cases to be a legal marker—whether involving birthplace or ancestry—and in others to be an indicator of kinship, race, or culture. As in the United States, in some parts of Latin America blacks and mulattoes were denied citizenship because of their race or racial mixture, whereas in other parts of that region it was denied on other grounds, including culture.

Considering these differences in conception, it would seem to make sense that theories of race, ethnicity, and nationality need to take into account as many of the various ways in which different societies use these notions as possible. But the tendency in the United States has been to concentrate on Western European views. This has resulted in inadequate theories, based on cultural and social biases. If U.S. thinking is to make any progress toward an understanding of these phenomena, it needs to go beyond parochial boundaries and consider other societies where race, ethnicity, and nationality also play important roles. How are these notions used in the East, the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America?

Latin America is especially important because it is the place where Africans, Amerindians, and Europeans first came together in substantial numbers. Indeed, some scholars have made the argument that the concept of race in particular developed in the context of the encounters between these peoples in the sixteenth century. The details of the story have still to be worked out, but one thing is clear: Latin America is significant in this development. And the significance is not restricted to the fact that Latin America is a meeting place of Europeans, Amerindians, and Africans; it involves also the complex subsequent history of racial, ethnic, and national mixture in the region. Scholars who have studied the pertinent populations do not tire of repeating that Latin America is one of the places in the world where mixing has been most prevalent…

Read the Preface and Chapter 1 here.

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Racial Thinking in the United States: Uncompleted Independence

Posted in Anthologies, Books, History, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2009-10-28 03:12Z by Steven

Racial Thinking in the United States: Uncompleted Independence

University of Notre Dame Press
2004
376 pages
Cloth ISBN 10: 0-268-04103-2
Cloth ISBN 13: 978-0-268-04103-8
Paper ISBN 10: 0-268-04104-0
Paper ISBN 13: 978-0-268-04104-5

Edited by:

Paul Spickard, Professor of 20th Century U.S. Social and Cultural History
University of California, Santa Barbara

G. Reginald Daniel, Professor of Sociology
University of California at Santa Barbara

Racial Thinking in the United States is a comprehensive reassessment of the ideas that Americans have had about race. This useful book draws on the skills and perspectives of nine scholars from the fields of history, sociology, theology, American studies, and ethnic studies. In thirteen carefully crafted essays they tell the history of the American system of racial domination and of twentieth-century challenges to that racial hierarchy, from monoracial movements to the multiracial movement.

The collection begins with an introduction to how Americans have thought about race, ethnicity, and colonialism. The first section of the book describes the founding of racial thinking in the United States along the racial binary of Black and White, and compares that system to the quite different system that developed in Jamaica. Section two describes anomalies in the racial binary, such as the experiences of people of mixed race, and of states such as Texas, California, and Hawai`i, where large groups of non-Black and White racial groups co-exist. Part three analyzes five monoracial challenges to racial hierarchy: the Civil Rights and Black Power movements, the Chicana/o movement, the Asian American movement, Afrocentricity, and the White studies movement. Part four explores the multiracial movement which developed in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries, and assesses whether it constitutes a successful challenge to racial hierarchy and binary racial thinking.

Racial Thinking in the United States provides excellent summaries of historical events and cultural movements, as well as analysis and criticism. It will be a welcome text for undergraduate courses in ethnic studies and American history.

Contributors: Paul Spickard, G. Reginald Daniel, Stephen A. Small, Hanna Wallinger, Lori Anne Pierce, Ralph Armbruster-Sandoval, William Wei, Michael C. Thornton, and Zipporah G. Glass.

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