Are You Sensitive to Interracial Children’s Special Identity Needs?

Posted in Articles, Family/Parenting, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Teaching Resources, United States on 2015-09-06 01:25Z by Steven

Are You Sensitive to Interracial Children’s Special Identity Needs?

Young Children
Volume 42, Number 2 (January 1987)
pages 53-59

Francis Wardle
Red Rocks Community College, Colorado

Early childhood educators continually adjust to families they serve. Educators must provide for children not living with their natural parents, children from abusive families, children who rarely see their parents, and children from single-parent homes. Early childhood educators are becoming increasingly aware of children living in single-father families (Briggs & Walters, 1985), as well as single-mother families. Now these professionals have an additional challenge: to be sensitive and supportive of the unique needs of interracial children and their families.

The number of interracial marriages has increased to more than 100,000 in the past decade. The 1983 census cites 632,000 interracial marriages in the United States; 125,000 are Black/White unions. These figures reflect only current interracial marriages; they do not include divorced parents or interracial unions not resulting in marriage (Shackford, 1984). Although there are no data on the number of interracial children in our society, because census forms do not include include an interracial or mixed category, it is clearly increasing and posing new challenges to all involved in raising children (Wardle, 1981). These new challenges include the interracial child with one Black and one White parent, and all other combinations of one parent of color and one White, including Asian American/White, Native American/White, and so on…

Read or purchase the article here.

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Do Mixed-Race (Black/White) People have an Ethical Obligation to Identify as Black?

Posted in Articles, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States on 2014-11-01 18:44Z by Steven

Do Mixed-Race (Black/White) People have an Ethical Obligation to Identify as Black?

The Center for the Study of Biracial Children

Francis Wardle, PhD.

So says Thomas Chatterton Williams, in a March, 2012 article published in the New York Times. This article joins an increasing number of vocal voices published in progressive publications and in books published by academic presses. But why? At a period of time when same-sex marriage is becoming acceptable, and gender identification is greatly expanded, why do intellectuals insist on the very narrow one-drop-rule definition of blacks in America?

This particular article, As Black as We Wish to Be, is by a black man married to a white, blond-haired, blue-eyed French woman. While insisting that his children must be loyal to the black community, he hypocritically argues that “exhortations to stick with one’s own, however well intentioned, won’t be able to change that” (marrying outside of the black race). As my black wife suggests, it seems that some black men who marry white women try to assuage their guilt by insisting their children identify as black.

What are Mr. Williams’ arguments? One, all biracial children “look black”, and therefore should identify as black, 2) America is still not fully equitable, providing social and economic justice to all, 3) people who choose a mixed-race identity are engaged in the “private joys of self-expression” (i.e. are selfish), 4) the one-drop rule that was created to protect the purity and superiority of the white race is not all that bad, 5) identifying as mixed by people who are truly mixed will have a devastating impact on government support for black programs and overall black well-being, especially in our schools, 6) racial self-identification means that racial identity will become a matter of individual will, and 7) identifying as black is required to “honor those who came before us”.

Let me address each of these arguments briefly…

Read the entire article here.

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Color Struck: Essays on Race and Ethnicity in Global Perspective

Posted in Africa, Anthologies, Anthropology, Asian Diaspora, Books, Brazil, History, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Religion, Slavery, Social Science on 2010-10-24 14:10Z by Steven

Color Struck: Essays on Race and Ethnicity in Global Perspective

University Press of America
April 2010
516 pages
Paper ISBN: 0-7618-5064-3 / 978-0-7618-5064-9
Electronic ISBN: 0-7618-5092-9 / 978-0-7618-5092-2

Edited by

Julius O. Adekunle, Professor of History
Monmouth University, West Long Branch, New Jersey

Hettie V. Williams, Lecturer, African American History
Department of History and Anthropology
Monmouth University, West Long Branch, New Jersey

Color Struck: Essays of Race and Ethnicity in Global Perspective is a compilation of expositions on race and ethnicity, written from multiple disciplinary approaches including history, sociology, women’s studies, and anthropology. This book is organized around a topical, chronological framework and is divided into three sections, beginning with the earliest times to the contemporary world. The term “race” has nearly become synonymous with the word “ethnicity,” given the most recent findings in the study of human genetics that have led to the mapping of human DNA. Color Struck attempts to answer questions and provide scholarly insight into issues related to race and ethnicity.

Table of Contents


Part 1: The First Complex Societies to Modern Times

1. Race, Science, and Human Origins in Africa
Julius O. Adekunle

2. Race and the Rise of the Swahili Culture
Julius O. Adekunle

3. ‘Caste’-[ing] Gender: Caste and Patriarchy in Ancient Hindu Jurisprudence
Indira Jalli

4. Comparative Race and Slavery in Islam, Judaism, and Christianity: Texts, Practices, and Current Implications
Magid Shihade

5. The Dark Craven Jew: Race and Religion in Medieval Europe
James M. Thomas

6. Growth of the Atlantic Slave Trade: Racial Slavery in the New World
Kwaku Osei Tutu

7. The Yellow Lady: Mulatto Women in the Suriname Plantocracy
Hilde Neus

Part 2: Race and Mixed Race in the Americas

8. Critical Mixed Race Studies: New Approaches to Resistance and Social Justice
Andrew Jolivétte

9. Militant Multiraciality: Rejecting Race and Rejecting the Conveniences of Complicity
Rainier Spencer

10. Whiteness Reconstructed: Multiracial Identity as a Category of “New White”
Kerry Ann Rockquemore and David L. Brunsma

11. Conversations in Black and White: The Limitations of Binary Thinking About Race in America
Johanna E. Foster

12. The Necessity of a Multiracial Category in a Race-Conscious Society
Francis Wardle

13. Mixed Race Terminologies in the Americas: Globalizing the Creole in the Twenty First Century
DeMond S. Miller, Jason D. Rivera, and Joel C. Telin

14. Examining the Regional and Multigenerational Context of Creole and American Indian Identity
Andrew Jolivétte

15. Race, Class, and Power: The Politics of Multiraciality in Brazil
G. Reginald Daniel and Gary L. Haddow

16. All Mixed Up: A New Racial Commonsense in Global Perspective
G. Reginald Daniel and Gary L. Haddow

Part 3: Race, Ethnicity, and Conflict in Contemporary Societies

17. Black No More: African Americans and the ‘New’ Race Science
Hettie V. Williams

18. Contesting Identities of Color: African Female Immigrants in the Americas
Philomina Okeke-Ihejirika

19. Burdened Intersections: Black Women and Race, Gender, and Class
Marsha J. Tyson Darling

20. Ethnic Conflicts in the Middle East: A Comparative Analysis of Communal Violence within the Matrix of the Colonial Legacy, Globalization, and Global Stability
Magid Shihade

21. Ethnic Identity in China: The Politics of Cultural Difference
Dru C. Gladney

22. Shangri-la has Forsaken Us: China’s Ethnic Minorities, Identity, and Government Repression
Reza Hasmath

23. The Russian/Chechen Conflict and It’s Consequences
Mariana Tepfenhart


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Meeting the Needs of Multiracial and Multiethnic Children in Early Childhood Settings

Posted in Articles, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, Teaching Resources, United States on 2010-03-21 02:24Z by Steven

Meeting the Needs of Multiracial and Multiethnic Children in Early Childhood Settings

Early Childhood Education Journal
Issue Volume 26, Number 1 (September, 1998)
Pages 7-11
Print ISSN 1082-3301; Online ISSN: 1573-1707
DOI 10.1023/A:1022974423276

Francis Wardle

Early childhood programs have been in the forefront of implementing a multiracial curriculum. Early childhood educators need to extend these approaches to support and embrace multiracial and multiethnic children. These are children whose biological parents crossed traditional U.S. Census categories to have children. To meet the unique needs of these children and their families, early childhood educators need to engage in staff training, provide classroom materials, work closely with parents, and challenge the single race approach to multicultural education.

Read or purchase the article here.

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Multiracial Children in Child Development Textbooks

Posted in Articles, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, United States on 2010-03-20 20:25Z by Steven

Multiracial Children in Child Development Textbooks

Early Childhood Education Journal
Volume 35, Number 3 (December, 2007)
Pages 253-259
Print ISSN: 1082-3301; Online ISSN: 1573-1707
DOI 10.1007/s10643-007-0157-8

Francis Wardle

The 2000 US census was the first to allow respondents to check more than one race/ethnic response for their identity. About 6.8 million Americans did so, and a disproportionate percentage of them were children under age 18 years old. The purpose of this article is to examine the extent to which this change is reflected in contemporary child psychology textbooks. Twelve books were examined to determine whether they covered multiracial and multiethnic children. Results of this study showed that only two of these books addressed issues related to the healthy development of multiracial/multiethnic children in any detail; and, while several used terms such as biracial and bicultural, these terms were always used to describe single-race minority children living in a majority context. The discussion section covers possible reasons for this omission.

For the first time in many years the 2000 U.S. Census allowed people in the United States with more than one racial/ethnic heritage to accurately report their racial/ethnic identity to their government (Williams, 2006). Respondents were permitted to check more than one response to the question of racial or ethnic identity (U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, 2000). In response to this change, 6.8 million Americans identified themselves with more than one racial/ethnic category. Further, forty percent of these respondents were children under 18 years of age (U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, 2000). This radical change was the result of a powerful grassroots effort of various multiracial groups and individuals in this country before the 2000 census, including parents—biological and adoptive—of multiracial children (Williams, 2006). Thus this statistical change in the demographics of this country truly reflects a change in the thinking of many parents; it′s not simply an artifact of government policy.

The question this study addresses is whether the shift in the way the U.S. government categories its citizens is reflected in college textbooks published since the change was made. Specifically, I selected textbooks that cover child development and human development, because racial and ethnic identity has come to be considered a critically important aspect in the development of healthy children. The definitions I use are, multiethnic: a person or child whose acknowledged identity includes the two U.S. Census ethnic categories (Hispanic/non Hispanic); multiracial: a person or child whose acknowledged identity includes two or more of the U.S. Census categories (Wardle & Cruz-Janzen, 2004). Clearly, many children can be considered multiethnic and multiracial, especially as these terms are currently in considerable flux…

Read or purchase the article here.

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The Multiracial Experience: Racial Borders as the New Frontier

Posted in Anthologies, Anthropology, Books, Census/Demographics, Gay & Lesbian, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, Teaching Resources on 2009-12-30 17:59Z by Steven

The Multiracial Experience: Racial Borders as the New Frontier

SAGE Publications
512 pages
Paperback ISBN: 9780803970595

Edited by Maria P. P. Root

In her bold new edited volume, The Multiracial Experience, Maria P. P. Root challenges current theoretical and political conceptualizations of race by examining the experience of mixed-race individuals. Articulating questions that will form the basis for future discussions of race and identity, the contributors tackle concepts such as redefining ethnicity when race is less central to the definition and how a multiracial model might dismantle our negative construction of race. Researchers and practitioners in ethnic studies, anthropology, education, law, psychology, nursing, social work, and sociology add personal insights in chapter-opening vignettes while providing integral critical viewpoints. Sure to stimulate thinking and discussion, the contributors focus on the most contemporary racial issues, including the racial classification system from the U.S. Census to the schools; the differences between race, ethnicity, and colorism; gender and sexuality in a multicultural context; ethnic identity and identity formation; transracial adoption; and the future of race relations in the United States. The Multiracial Experience opens up the dialogue to rethink and redefine race and social relations in this country. This volume provides discussions key to all professionals, practitioners, researchers, and students in multicultural issues, ethnic relations, sociology, education, psychology, management, and public health.

Table of Contents

The Multiracial Experience: Racial Borders as a Significant Frontier in Race Relations – Maria P. P. Root


  • A Bill of Rights for Racially Mixed People –  Maria P. P. Root
  • Government Classification of Multiracial/Multiethnic People – Carlos A. Fernandez
  • The Real World – Susan R. Graham
  • Multiracial Identity in a Color-Conscious World – Deborah A. Ramirez
  • Transracial Adoptions: In Whose Best Interest? – Ruth G. McRoy and Christine C. Iijima Hall
  • Voices from the Movement: Approaches to Multiraciality – Cynthia L. Nakashima


  • Hidden Agendas, Identity Theories, and Multiracial People –  Michael C. Thornton
  • Black and White Identity in the New Millenium: Unsevering the Ties That Bind – G. Reginald Daniel
  • On Being and Not-Being Black and Jewish – Naomi Zack
  • An `Other’ Way of Life: The Empowerment of Alterity in the Interracial Individual – Jan R. Weisman


  • LatiNegra Lillian: Mental Health Issues of African –  Lillian Comas-Diaz
  • Race as Process: Reassessing the `What Are You?’ Encounters of Biracial Individuals – Teresa Kay Williams
  • Piecing Together the Puzzle: Self-Concept and Group Identity in Biracial Black/White Youth – Lynda D. Field
  • Changing Face, Changing Race: The Remaking of Race in the Japanese American and African American Communities – Rebecca Chiyoko King and Kimberly McClain DaCosta
  • Without a Template: The Biracial Korean/White Experience – Brian Chol Soo Standen


  • In the Margins of Sex and Race: Difference, Marginality, and Flexibility – George Kitahara Kich
  • (Un)Natural Boundaries: Mixed Race, Gender, and Sexuality – Karen Maeda Allman
  • Heterosexual Alliances: The Romantic Management of Racial Identity-  Francine Winddance Twine
  • Ambiguous Bodies: Locating Black/White Women in Cultural Representations – Caroline A. Streeter


  • Making the Invisible Visible: The Growth of Community Network Organizations – Nancy G. Brown and Ramona E. Douglass
  • Challenging Race and Racism: A Framework for Educators – Ronald David Glass and Kendra R. Wallace
  • Being Different Together in the University Classroom: Multiracial Identity as Transgressive Education – Teresa Kay Williams et al
  • Multicultural Education – Francis Wardle


  • 2001: A Race Odyssey – Christine C. Iijima Hall
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The Identity Development of Biracial Children and Society’s Impact Thereon

Posted in Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Social Science on 2009-12-18 02:01Z by Steven

The Identity Development of Biracial Children and Society’s Impact Thereon

Workshop by Francis Wardle
18 pages

Francis Wardle

This document is taken from a workshop presentation focusing on the identity development of biracial children. The confusion of the academic community concerning this topic is emphasized. Three main aspects are examined: (1) “What is the identity process of any child?”; (2) “What is society?”; and (3) “How does society impact the developmental process?”. The identity process is outlined as beginning at birth, when the infant first develops trust and bonds with his or her parent or caregiver. The developmental levels of infancy, young children from birth to five years of age, and adolescence are highlighted. A question and answer section is included in which the author responds to questions dealing with lack of acceptance of interracial marriages and relationships; biracial children’s identity, development, and attitudes; teachers who are uncomfortable with teaching biracial children; and other children’s reactions to biracial children.

Read the entire paper here.


Why Are People Different?: Multiracial Families in Picture Books and the Dialogue of Difference

Posted in Articles, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive on 2009-12-02 21:08Z by Steven

Why Are People Different?: Multiracial Families in Picture Books and the Dialogue of Difference

The Lion and the Unicorn
Volume 25, Number 3
September 2001
pp. 412-426
E-ISSN: 1080-6563
Print ISSN: 0147-2593
DOI: 10.1353/uni.2001.0037

Karen Sands-O’Connor

The issue of race has often been contentious in children’s literature, from controversies over Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, to Bannerman’s Little Black Sambo, to Keats’s The Snowy Day, to Herron’s Nappy Hair. How race is portrayed and who portrays it have been crucial for many critics. Violet J. Harris suggests this preoccupation with cultural authenticity, as she terms it, centers on “individual books and their portrayals of people of color, as well as the representation of specific aspects of their cultures such as values, customs, and family relationships” (40-41). Francis Wardle counters, “presenting the Black race and cultural group as a single, unified, world-wide entity is not only inaccurate, but denies the tremendous richness of economic, cultural, linguistic, national, political, social and religious diversity that exists in the world-wide Black community” (“Mixed-Race Unions” 200). This insistence on cultural authenticity poses even more problems when more than one culture is portrayed within a family, and it is perhaps for this reason that little has been written on the multiracial family as portrayed in literature.

Even when the multiracial family is alluded to in criticism, the reference is rarely followed up. For example, Pat Pinsent comments in her chapter on “Race and Ethnic Identity” that “today there are few communities with any claim to be racially ‘pure’; in modern society there has been a considerable amount of intermarriage which has blurred any such distinctions even further” (91)…

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Meeting the Needs of Multiethnic and Multiracial Children in Schools

Posted in Books, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Teaching Resources, United States on 2009-10-17 17:20Z by Steven

Meeting the Needs of Multiethnic and Multiracial Children in Schools

Merrill an imprint of Pearson
256 pages
ISBN-10: 0205376088
ISBN-13:  9780205376087

Francis Wardle
Red Rocks Community College, Colorado

Maria I. Cruz-Janzen, Associate Professor of Multicultural Education
Florida Atlantic University

From one of the premiere experts on the subject comes this “crash course” for teachers on understanding the developmental needs of multiethnic, multicultural, and multiracial children.

This book educates teachers through the experiences of children culturally, ethnically, and racially mixed heritage. In doing so, the authors challenge even longtime multicultural experts to broaden how we think and approach multicultural education. Wardle and Cruz-Janzen push the envelope of typical awareness. They are the harbingers of questions and information in a changing climate of race and culture ripe for redress and new ways of thinking, talking, and educating.

Both of these authors bring to this topic a wealth of personal experience and academic scholarship and insight. They courageously embrace new ideas and concepts of race and culture, both nationally and globally, and provide new and exciting ways of thinking, talking, learning and educating.


  • Authors encourage the reader to critically think about diverse family constellations and individual racial and ethnic identity.
  • Different models of multiracial identity development are reviewed.
  • Focus Questions at the beginning of each chapter help give students direction.
  • A variety of tools are provided to help students critically examine their own perceptions, and to evaluate materials, curricular approaches, and instructional methods.

Author Bios

Francis Wardle first became involved in issues regarding multiethnic and multiracial children when his four-year-old daughter came to him in tears, after a peer used race as a put down. Since then he has created the Center for the Study of Biracial Children, given presentations on multiethnic and multiracial issues throughout the US and Canada, written extensively on the topic, and been quoted in newspapers, magazines, TV programs, and radio stations including NPR. Currently Dr. Wardle teaches at Red Rocks Community College and the University of Phoenix/Colorado Campus, consults for the National Head Start Migrant Program, and writes for a variety of national publications.

Marta I. Cruz-Janzen is Associate Professor of Multicultural Education at Florida Atlantic University. She received a Ph.D. in Curriculum & Instruction from the University of Denver, a Master of Arts and Master of Education in Human Development from Columbia University Teachers College, and a Bachelor of Science from Cornell University. Her dissertation, Curriculum and the Self-Concept of Biethnic and Biracial Persons received the University of Denver Phi Delta Kappa 1996-97 Dissertation of the Year Award. Marta has been a bilingual teacher and elementary school principal.

Table of Contents

  1. Multiethnic and Multiracial Children.
    • Multiethnic and Multiracial Children in Our Schools.
    • Myths and Realities.
    • Chapter Feature: Eva.
    • Diversity in the Classroom.
    • Bill of Rights for Racially Mixed People.
    • Needs of Multiethnic and Multiracial Children.
    • Development of Racial and Ethnic Identity.
    • Student Profile.
    • Supporting Multiethnic and Multiracial Children.
  2. Traditional Approaches.
    • Single Race-Ethnicity Approach.
    • Avoid Diversity by Celebration.
    • Student Profile.
    • Multicultural Education.
    • Group Membership.
    • Getting on the Same Page.
    • Approaches to Multicultural Education.
    • Banks’ Dimensions of Multicultural Education.
    • Banks’ Approaches to Multicultural Education.
    • Reforming Multicultural Education.
  3. Historical Developments.
    • Student Profile.
    • Development of a Racial System.
    • Origins of U.S. Racism.
    • Rejection of Racial Mixing.
    • Latinos.
    • Student Profile.
    • Immigration.
    • Racism and Segregation.
    • Desegregation in Education.
  4. Categorizing People.
    • Student Voices.
    • Understanding Race, Racism and Categorizing People.
    • Not Quite White: The Arab American Experience.
    • The Ethnic Category.
    • The Race Myth.
    • After the Civil War.
    • How Other Nations Categorize People.
    • The Legacy of Slaves and Slave Owners.
    • Maintaining the Color Line.
    • Today’s Multicultural and Multiethnic Children.
  5. Identify Development of Multiethnic and Multiracial Children.
    • Identity Development.
    • Identity Development Models.
    • Chart Showing the Identity Models.
    • Developmental and Ecological Model of Identity Development.
    • Student Voices.
    • Diagram of the Ecological Components of the Multiethnic/Multiracial Identity Model.
  6. Families and Communities.
    • The Multiethnic and Multiracial Family.
    • Myths and Realities.
    • Table of Age-Related Issues for Interracial and Interethnic Families.
    • Raising Healthy, Happy Interracial Children.
    • Different Family Structures.
  7. Curricular Approaches.
    • Early Childhood.
    • Student Voices.
    • Late Elementary.
    • Student Voices.
    • How to Evaluate a Textbook/Reading Book for P-12 Programs.
    • Middle School.
    • Student Voices.
    • Multicultural School Activities.
    • High School.
    • Student Voices.
    • Comments About Interracial Marriage and Multiracial Identity by Frederick Douglass and Bob Marley.
    • Hidden Curriculum.
    • Multicultural Model.
    • Anti-Bias and Ecological Model of Multicultural Education.
    • Case Study of the Anti-Bias and Ecological Model.
  8. Instructional Strategies.
    • The Impact of Standards on Instruction.
    • The Influence of the Teacher.
    • Student Voices.
    • Materials and Activities Checklist.
    • Biased Instructional Materials.
    • Culturally Authentic Bias.
    • Suggestions for Instructional Techniques.
    • Analysis of a Teaching Unit.
    • Multicultural Music and Dance.
  9. Teaching Teachers.
    • The Nature of Public Education.
    • Preparing Future Teachers.
    • Teacher Preparation Programs.
    • Student Voices.
    • Sociopolitical Construction of Multiethnic and Multiracial Persons.
    • What Teachers Must Know and Be Able to Do.
    • Twenty-Five Recommendations for Teacher Education and Educational Leadership Faculty, Pre-Service Teacher Candidates, and Participate in Teacher In-Service.
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