Princeton Professor tweets about her views on mixed-race identity (Interview with Melissa Harris-Lacewell)

Posted in Articles, Identity Development/Psychology, Interviews, New Media, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States, Women on 2010-01-26 21:56Z by Steven

Princeton Professor tweets about  her views on mixed-race identity (Interview with Melissa Harris-Lacewell)

Mixed Child: The Pulse of the Mixed Community

Jeff Eddings

MSNBC contributor, Princeton University’s Associate Professor of Politics & African American Studies and author of Barbershops, Bibles, and BET: Everyday Talk and Black Political Thought Melissa Harris-Lacewell had a frank  discussion with a follower on Twitter about the concept of mixed-race identity.

The conversation with Jeff Eddings of Silicon Valley, CA went as follows (published Monday, July 27th [2009]):

Eddings: Wrong pres[idential]. predictions aside, the biggest missed opp. w/BO [Barack Obama] as pres. & you in the mix is lack of discussion re: multiracial.

Harris-Lacewell: I’m not sure its a missed opportunity. From my perspective I am not “multi-racial” the term has no meaning for me.

Eddings: We keep talking about race as if it were one thing. e.g. You & pres. are both multiracial, but only self-identify as black.

Harris-Lacewell: because race is a social construct it is clear to me that I am constructed as black and self-identify as such.

Eddings: Being multiracial & having grown up in both cultures, I can tell you that I’m not constructed as simply one or the other 🙂

Harris-Lacewell: Though I respect that ppl [people] have right to think of themselves as anything they like, I think “multi-racial” is a weird idea…

…Harris-Lacewell: I don’t believe multi-racial makes sense by my understanding of race.  Race is socially constructed and “multi-racial” seems to assume that race is biological: if parents are of different then the kid is “mixed”.  But that is not how race works. Race is constructed through law, history, culture, practice, custom, etc… I have a white mother and black father, but this doesn’t make me mixed race. Race is not biology. In USA this combo makes me black…

Read the entire interview here.

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