Of Susie Guillory Phipps and Chief Redbone: The Mutability of Race

Posted in Articles, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2012-09-28 02:26Z by Steven

Of Susie Guillory Phipps and Chief Redbone: The Mutability of Race

Newhouse News Service

Jonathan Tilove

Black is black and white is white, but what about Susie Guillory Phipps?

Phipps looks white. She always thought she was white. So did her first and second husbands. Until, at the age of 43, she discovered she was 3/32nds black and therefore legally black according to the state of Louisiana.

And what about the Ramapough Mountain People of New Jersey? They have long been described as a predominantly black people of mixed race. But they consider themselves Indians and are asking the federal government for official recognition as a tribe, status that could entitle them to a casino gambling franchise 30 miles from Manhattan.

When it comes to race and ethnicity in America, it can all get very complicated depending on who is defining whom, and why. People are not always what they appear to be. People are sometimes not what they want to be. In reality, race is as much a matter of politics as biology; ethnicity as much an expression of fashion as fate. It can be transient, changing from time to time and place to place.

Sylvia Yu Gonzalez, 22, is a Mexican-Korean-American. She spent her early years in the barrio in Phoenix but when she was 12 moved to San Diego where she attended mostly white schools. On the advice of a guidance counselor, she identified herself on school forms as Mexican-American for future affirmative action purposes. But by the time she headed off to Berkeley for college, “I pretty much perceived myself as white.”.

Berkeley, the citadel of multiculturalism, was less forgiving. Gonzalez found that in their lust for diversity, people insisted she identify herself racially, and that white obviously wouldn’t wash. “It was really painful to me.”

Gonzalez says she turned against her white friends but didn’t want to choose between being Mexican or Korean, reluctant to give up either. Instead she chose the company of blacks and American Indians. But a couple of years ago she found out about the Multicultural Interracial Student Coalition at Berkeley, an organization of mixed-race students of all descriptions. She had finally found a place “where I could bring all of myself.” She now identifies herself as multiracial…

…It is with blacks that any fluid notions of race and ethnicity run splat into a wall. It is the iron law of American race relations– the so-called one-drop rule. Anyone with any known African black ancestry (therefore theoretically having at least one drop of African black blood) is black.

Period. And the rule has an implicit corollary, according to sociologist F. James Davis: “It’s better to be anything than black.”

Davis, the author of Who Is Black?, says the one-drop rule is the effective standard, whether by statute or case law, in every state of the union except Hawaii, where being mixed-race is the rule rather than the exception.

But this stark line between black and white cannot undo some rather basic genetic facts of life. Physical anthropologists have estimated that about a quarter of the genes of American blacks come from white ancestors and up to 5 percent of the genes of the white population are from African ancestors…

Read the entire article here.

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Who Is Black? One Nation’s Definition

Posted in Books, Census/Demographics, History, Media Archive, Monographs, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States on 2009-10-17 21:04Z by Steven

Who Is Black? One Nation’s Definition

Penn State Press
2001 (Originally published in 1992)
232 pages
6 x 9
ISBN 978-0-271-02172-0

F. James Davis, Professor Emeritus of Sociology
Illinois State University

Winner of the 1992 Outstanding Book on the Subject of Human Rights from the Gustavus Myers Center for the Study of Human Rights in the United States.

Tenth Anniversary Edition

Reprinted many times since its first publication in 1991, Who Is Black? has become a staple in college classrooms throughout the United States, helping students understand this nation’s history of miscegenation and the role that the “one-drop rule” has played in it. In this special anniversary edition, the author brings the story up to date in an epilogue. There he highlights some revealing responses to Who Is Black? and examines recent challenges to the one-drop rule, including the multiracial identity movement and a significant change in the census classification of racial and ethnic groups.

Table of Contents

    • The One-Drop Rule Defined
    • Black Leaders, But Predominantly White
    • Plessy, Phipps, and Other Challenges in Courts
    • Census Enumeration of Blacks
    • Uniqueness of the One-Drop Rule
    • Racial Classification and Miscegenation
    • Racist Beliefs About Miscegenation
    • The Judge Brady Paradox
    • Miscegenation in Africa and Europe
    • Race vs. Beliefs About Race
    • Early Miscegenation in the Upper South: The Rule Emerges
    • South Carolina and Louisiana: A Different Rule
    • Miscegenation on Black Belt Plantations
    • Reconstruction and the One-Drop Rule
    • The Status of Free Mulattoes, North and South
    • The Emergence and Spread of the One-Drop Rule
    • Creation of the Jim Crow System
    • The One-Drop Rule Under Jim Crow
    • Effects of the Black Renaissance of the 1920s
    • The Rule and Myrdal’s Rank Order of Discriminations
    • Sexual Norms and the Rule: Jim Crow vs. Apartheid
    • Effects of The Fall of Jim Crow
    • De Facto Segregation and Miscegenation
    • Miscegenation Since the 1960s
    • Development of the One-Drop Rule in the Twentieth Century
    • Racial Hybrid Status Lower Than Both Parents Groups
    • Status Higher Than Either Parent Group
    • In-Between Status: South Africa and Others
    • Highly Variable Class Status: Latin America
    • Two Variants in the Caribbean
    • Equality for the Racially Mixed in Hawaii
    • Same Status as the Subordinate Group: The One-Drop Rule
    • Status of an Assimilating Minority
    • Contrasting Socially Constructed Rules
    • Alex Haley, Lillian Smith, and Others
    • Transracial Adoptions and the One-Drop Rule
    • Rejecton of the Rule: Garvey, American Indians, and Others
    • Black Acceptance: Reasons and Implications
    • The Death of Walter White’s Father and Other Traumas
    • Collective Anxieties About Racial Identity: Some Cases
    • Personal Identity: Seven Modes of Adjustment
    • Lena Home’s Struggles with Her Racial Identity
    • Problems of Administering the One-Drop Rule
    • Misperceptions of the Racial Identity of South Asians, Arabs, and Others
    • Sampling Errors in Studying American Blacks
    • Blockage of Full Assimilation of Blacks
    • Costs of the One-Drop Rule
    • A Massive Distortion? A Monstrous Myth?
    • Clues for Change in Deviations from the Rule
    • Clues for Change in Costs of the Rule
    • Possible Direction: Which Alternative?
    • Prospects for the Future
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American Mixed Race: The Culture of Microdiversity

Posted in Anthologies, Arts, Books, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Philosophy, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2009-10-13 20:00Z by Steven

American Mixed Race: The Culture of Microdiversity

Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
March 1995
420 pages
6 1/4 x 9 1/4
Cloth ISBN: 0-8476-8012-6 / 978-0-8476-8012-2
Paper ISBN: 0-8476-8013-4 / 978-0-8476-8013-9

Edited by Naomi Zack, Professor of Philosophy
University of Oregon

This exciting multidisciplinary collection brings together twenty-two original essays by scholars on the cutting edge of racial theory, who address both the American concept of race and the specific problems experienced by those who do not fit neatly into the boxes society requires them to check.

List of Contributors
Linda Alcoff, Debra A. Barrath, Jennifer Clancy, Susan Clements, F. James Davis, Abby L. Ferber, Carlos A. Fernandez, Freda Scott Giles, David Theo Goldberg, Susan R. Graham, Helena Jia Hershel. M. Annette Jaimes, Cecile Ann Lawrence, Zena Moore, Maria P.P. Root, Laurie Shrage, Stephen Satris, Carol Roh Spaulding, Mariella Squire-Hakey, Teresa Kay Williams, Bruentta R. Wolfman, and Naomi Zack.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction – Naomi Zack
  • Autobiography
    • Five Arrows – Susan Clements
    • Color Fades Over Time – Brunetta R. Wolfman
    • Racelessness – Cecile Ann Lawrence
    • Check the Box That Best Describes You – Zena Moore
    • What Are They? – Stephen Satris
  • Art
    • From Melodrama to the Movies – Freda Scott Giles
    • The Theater of Identity – Teresa Kay Williams
    • The Go-Between People – Carol Roh Spaulding
  • Social Science
    • The Hawaiian Alternative to the One-Drop Rule – F. James Davis
    • Some Kind of Indian – M. Annette Jaimes
    • Exploring the Social Construction of Race – Abby L. Ferber
    • Therapeutic Perspectives on Biracial Identity Formation and Internalized Oppression – Helena Jia Hershel
  • Public Policy
    • Grassroots Advocacy – Susan R. Graham
    • Testimony of the Association of Multi Ethnic Americans – Carlos A. Fernàndez
    • Multiracial Identity Assertion in the Sociopolitical Context of Primary Education – Jennifer Clancy
    • Yankee Imperialism and Imperialist Nostalgia – Mariella Squire-Hakey
  • Identity Theory
    • The Multiracial Contribution to the Psychological Browning of America – Maria P. P. Root
    • Made in the USA – David Theo Goldberg
    • Mestizo Identity – Linda Alcoff
    • Race and Racism – Debra A. Barrath
    • Ethnic Transgressions: Confessions of an Assimilated Jew – Laurie Shrage
    • Life After Race – Naomi Zack
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Mixed Messages: Multiracial Identities in the “Color-Blind” Era

Posted in Anthologies, Books, Family/Parenting, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States, Women on 2009-10-12 23:29Z by Steven

Mixed Messages: Multiracial Identities in the “Color-Blind” Era

Lynne Rienner Publishers
405 pages
Hardcover: ISBN: 978-1-58826-372-8
Paperback: ISBN: 978-1-58826-398-8

Edited by David L. Brunsma, Professor of Sociology
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

The experiences and voices of multiracial individuals are challenging current categories of race, profoundly altering the meaning of racial identity and in the process changing the cultural fabric of the nation. Exploring this new reality, the authors of Mixed Messages examine what we know about multiracial identities—and the implications of those identities for fundamental issues of justice and equality.

Read the entire introduction here.

Table of Contents

  • Mixed Messages: Doing Race in the Color-Blind Era—David L. Brunsma
    • Defining Race: Comparative Perspectives—F. James Davis.
    • Black, Honorary White, White: The Future of Race in the United States?—Eduardo Bonilla-Silva and David G. Embrick.
    • Racial Justice in a Black/Nonblack Society—George Yancey.
    • Carving Out a Middle Ground: The Case of Hawai’i—Jeffrey Moniz and Paul Spickard.
    • New Racial Identities, Old Arguments: Continuing Biological Reification—Rainier Spencer.
    • Color Blindness: An Obstacle to Racial Justice?—Charles A. Gallagher.
    • Racism, Whitespace, and the Rise of the Neo-Mulattos—Hayward Derrick Horton.
    • Race, Multiraciality, and the Neoconservative Agenda—G. Reginald Daniel and Josef Manuel Castañeda-Liles.
    • White Separatists in the Color-Blind Era: Redefining Multiracial and White Identities—Abby L. Ferber.
    • Defining Racism to Achieve Goals: The Multiracial and Black Reparations Movements—Johanna E. Foster.
    • Selling Mixedness: Marketing with Multiracial Identities—Kimberly McClain DaCosta.
    • Negotiating Racial Identity in Social Interactions—R. L’Heureux Lewis and Kanika Bell.
    • Black/White Friendships in a Color-Blind Society—Kathleen Korgen and Eileen O’Brien.
    • Black and Latino: Dominican Americans Negotiate Racial Worlds—Benjamin Bailey.
    • Finding a Home: Housing the Color Line—Heather Dalmage.
    • Confronting Racism in the Therapist’s Office—Kwame Owusu-Bempah.
    • Culture and Identity in Mixed-Race Women’s Lives—Debbie Storrs.
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