“African and Cherokee by Choice”: Race and Resistance under Legalized Segregation

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, History, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, United States on 2012-01-11 18:42Z by Steven

“African and Cherokee by Choice”: Race and Resistance under Legalized Segregation

American Indian Quarterly
Volume 22, Numbers 1/2 (Winter – Spring, 1998)
pages 203-229

Laura L. Lovett, Associate Professor of History
University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Zora Neale Hurston once boasted that she was “the only Negro in the United States whose grandfather on the mother’s side was not an Indian chief.”‘ In the same breath, Hurston confessed that she was of mixed blood, but differed “from the party line in that I neither consider it an honor or a shame.” This difference from “the party line,” as she referred to African American perspectives on Native American ancestry, must have been especially striking to Hurston because she had helped to document race mixture during her brief stint as a research assistant to anthropologist Melville Herskovits. Hurston participated in a 1928 study of the ancestry and physical traits of African Americans, which surveyed 1,551 Howard University students and found that 27.2 percent claimed to have some Native American ancestry. Herskovits reports that he went to great lengths to adjust for the “distinct prestige value” of having Native American ancestry within African American communities, but neither he nor Hurston explained why Native American ancestry would have bestowed prestige.

Herskovits’s study was aimed at a long tradition of scientific research on the nature of racial difference. Strongly influenced by the work of anthropologist Franz Boas, Herskovits wanted to explain the achievement of those African Americans with lighter skin and European features in terms of the dominant system of values in American culture. Since the 1860s, Social Darwinists and later hereditarian eugenicists had sought to explain racial differences in terms of the value of innate biological traits possessed by what were considered to be separate and distinct races. Indeed, the perception that all characteristics were biologically determined and maintained in bloodlines, which were then regulated by “blood quantum” standards, formed an important part of how family identity was constructed. Herskovits questioned the biological framework of “racial integrity” by appealing to cultural and social differences to explain differences ascribed to races. However, this scientific attack did not work its way into American racial ideology for quite some time. In the interim, people renegotiated what were understood to be scientific racial categories in various ways, pointing to places where biological classificatory schema denied the historical realities of interracial relations…

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The Social Construction of Race and Ethnicity in the United States (2nd Edition)

Posted in Anthologies, Anthropology, Books, Census/Demographics, Law, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States on 2009-10-17 19:19Z by Steven

The Social Construction of Race and Ethnicity in the United States (2nd Edition)

Prentice Hall
525 pages
Paperback ISBN-10: 0130283231; ISBN-13:  9780130283238

Edited By:

Joan Ferrante
Northern Kentucky University

Prince Brown, Jr.
Northern Kentucky University

For undergraduate courses in race and ethnic relations.

This groundbreaking collection of classic and cutting edge sociological research gives special attention to the social construction of race and ethnicity in the United States. It offers an in-depth and eye-opening analysis of (a) the power of racial classification to shape our understanding of race and race relations, (b) the way in which the system came into being and remains, and (c) the real consequences this system has on life chances.

Patricia Riley, Adventures of an Indian Princess. Timothy Egan, Expelled in 1877, Indian Tribe is Now Wanted as a Resource. Lawrence Otis Graham, Black Man with a Nose Job. Garrett Hongo, Culture Wars in Asian America. Andrea Kim, Born and Raised in Hawaii, But Not Hawaiian. Yolanda Adams, Don’t Want to Be Black Anymore. Mitzi Uehara-Carter, On Being Blackanese. Joan Ferrante, Six Case Studies. Dympna Ugwu-Oju, What Will My Mother Say. Paul Andrew Dawkins, Apologizing for Being a Black Male. Judy Scales-Trent, Choosing Up Sides. Marilyn Halter, Identity Matters: The Immigrant Children. Sarah Van’t Hul, How It Was for Me. Joseph Tovares, Mojado Like Me. Yuri Kochiyama, Then Came the War.

Paul Knepper, Historical Origins of the Prohibition of Multiracial Legal Identity in the State and the Nation. Federal Statistical Directive No. 15 THE U.S. OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET, OMB’s Decisions: Revisions to Federal Statistical Directive. Prince Brown, Jr., Biology and the Social Construction of the “Race” Concept. Ian F. Haney Lopez, The Mean Streets of Social Race. Jack D. Forbes, “Indian” and “Black” as Radically Different Categories. Michael Granberry, A Tribe’s Battle for Its Identity. Madison Hemings, The Memoirs of Madison Hemings. Ariela J. Gross, Litigating Whiteness. Laura L. Lovett, Invoking Ancestors. Angelo N. Ancheta, Race Relations in Black and White . Time Magazine, How to Tell Your Friends From the Japs.

The U.S. Bureau of the Census, Questions Related to Ethnicity. Luis Angel Toro, Directive No. 15 and Self-Identification. Himilce Novas, What’s in a Name? Julie E. Sprott, The Mingling of Alaska Natives with “Foreigners”: A Brief Historical Overview. Mary C. Waters, Choosing an Ancestry. David Steven Cohen, Reflections on American Ethnicity. Yen Le Espiritu, Theories of Ethnicity. Rudolph J. Vecoli, Are Italian-Americans Just White Folk? Peter D. Salins, Americans United by Myths.

Judy Scales-Trent, On Being Like a Mule. Article XIX, Chinese, Constitution of the State of California, 1872; Repealed, November 4, 1952, State of California. Howard Zinn, Persons of Mean and Vile Condition. Stephen Jay Gould, Science and Jewish Immigration. J. A. Rogers, Remarks on the First Two Volumes of Sex and Race. Prince Brown, Jr., Why “Race” Makes No Scientific Sense: The Case of Africans and Native Americans. Albert Jacquard, Science, Pseudo-science and Racism. Charles A Gallagher, White Reconstruction in the University. Trina Grillo and Stephanie M. Wildman, Taking Back the Center. The U.S. Supreme Court, Plessy v. Ferguson. Cheryl I. Harris, Plessy. Albert Jacquard, Declaration of Athens: Scientists Speak Out Against Racism.

Vivian J. Rohrl, The Anthropology of Race: A Study of Ways of Looking at Race. Letter from Thomas Jefferson: Virginia’s Definition of a Mulatto. Cruz Reynoso, Ethnic Diversity: Its Historical and Constitutional Roots. Erich Loewy, Making Good Again. Stephen H. Caldwell and Rebecca Popenoe, Perceptions and Misperceptions of Skin Color. Selected Discrimination Cases Handled by the U.S. Department of Justice in 1999. Nicholas Peroff, Indianess. K.C. Cole, Brain’s Use of Shortcuts Can Be A Route to Bias. Richard T. Schaefer, Talking Past One Another. Ward Churchill, Let’s Spread the “Fun” Around: The Issue of Sports Team Names and Mascots. Lawrence Otis Graham, The Rules of Passing. Anthony S. Parent and Susan Brown Wallace, Childhood and Sexual Identity Under Slavery. Patricia Hill Collins, Toward a New Vision: Race, Class, and Gender as Categories of Analysis and Connection. Bruce N. Simon, White-Blindness. Robert Jensen, White Privilege Shapes the U.S. Robert Jensen, More Thoughts on Why the System of White Privilege is Wrong.

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