Race and Multiraciality in Brazil and the United States: Converging Paths?

Posted in Books, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Media Archive, Monographs, Slavery, Social Science, United States on 2011-04-25 03:30Z by Steven

Race and Multiraciality in Brazil and the United States: Converging Paths?

Pennsylvania State University Press
384 pages
6 x 9
Cloth ISBN: 978-0-271-02883-5
Paper ISBN: 978-0-271-03288-7

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

Although both Brazil and the United States inherited European norms that accorded whites privileged status relative to all other racial groups, the development of their societies followed different trajectories in defining white/black relations. In Brazil pervasive miscegenation and the lack of formal legal barriers to racial equality gave the appearance of its being a “racial democracy,” with a ternary system of classifying people into whites (brancos), multiracial individuals (pardos), and blacks (pretos) supporting the idea that social inequality was primarily associated with differences in class and culture rather than race. In the United States, by contrast, a binary system distinguishing blacks from whites by reference to the “one-drop rule” of African descent produced a more rigid racial hierarchy in which both legal and informal barriers operated to create socioeconomic disadvantages for blacks.

But in recent decades, Reginald Daniel argues in this comparative study, changes have taken place in both countries that have put them on “converging paths.” Brazil’s black consciousness movement stresses the binary division between brancos and negros to heighten awareness of and mobilize opposition to the real racial discrimination that exists in Brazil, while the multiracial identity movement in the U.S. works to help develop a more fluid sense of racial dynamics that was long felt to be the achievement of Brazil’s ternary system.

Against the historical background of race relationsin Brazil and the U.S. that he traces in Part I of the book, including a review of earlier challenges to their respective racial orders, Daniel focuses in Part II on analyzing the new racial project on which each country has embarked, with attention to all the political possibilities and dangers they involve.

Table of Contents

  • Preface
  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction
  • Part I. The Historical Foundation
    • 1. Eurocentrism: Racial Formation and the Master Racial Project
    • 2. The Brazilian Path: The Ternary Racial Project
    • 3. The Brazilian Path Less Traveled: Contesting the Ternary Racial Project
    • 4. The U.S. Path: The Binary Racial Project
    • 5. The U.S. Path Less Traveled: Contesting the Binary Racial Project
  • Part II. Converging Paths
    • 6. A New U.S. Racial Order: The Demise of Jim Crow Segregation
    • 7. A New Brazilian Racial Order: A Decline in the Racial Democracy Ideology
    • 8. The U.S. Convergence: Toward the Brazilian Path
    • 9. The Brazilian Convergence: Toward the U.S. Path
  • Epilogue: The U.S. and Brazilian Racial Orders: Changing Points of Reference
  • Notes
  • References
  • Index
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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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Notes of a White Black Woman: Race, Color, Community

Posted in Autobiography, Books, Law, Media Archive, Monographs, Social Science, United States, Women on 2009-10-17 20:36Z by Steven

Notes of a White Black Woman: Race, Color, Community

Penn State Press
206 pages
6 x 9
cloth: ISBN 978-0-271-01430-2
paper: ISBN 978-0-271-02124-9

Judy Scales-Trent, Floyd H. & Hilda L. Hurst Faculty Scholar, Professor Emerita
State Univerisity of New York at Buffalo Law School

“I remember one time in particular, after the cab I was in crashed into the car in front, then backed into the one behind. A policeman stopped to help.  As he was taking down my name and address, I noticed that he had checked the ‘white’ box.  ‘Officer,’ I said politely, ‘you made an error on your form. I am not white. I am black.’ He gave me a long, bored look, decided not to discuss it, and said, ‘Sure, lady.  If you say so.’ If I say so? If I say so!  As if it were my idea!  I was enraged at his assumption that all of this—the categories, the racial purity laws, the lives that are stomped, mangled, ruined because of those categories and those laws ïwas based on my say-so.  If I said so, we would do away with all of it ïthe sickness and fear, the need to classify as a way to control, the need to make some appear smaller so that others can appear larger. ‘If I say so’ indeed.”

While the “one-drop rule” in the United States dictates that people with any African ancestry are black, many black Americans have white skin.  Notes of a White Black Woman is one woman’s attempt to describe what it is like to be a “white” black woman and to live simultaneously inside and outside of both white and black communities.

Law professor Judy Scales-Trent begins by describing how our racial purity laws have operated over the past four hundred years.  Then, in a series of autobiographical essays, she addresses how race and color interact in relationships between men and women, within families, and in the larger community.  Scales-Trent ultimately explores the question of what we really mean by “race” in this country, once it is clear that race is not a tangible reality as reflected through color.

Scales-Trent uses autobiography both as a way to describe these issues and to develop a theory of the social construction of race.  She explores how race and color intertwine through black and white families and across generations; how members of both black and white communities work to control group membership; and what happens to relations between black men and women when thelayer of color is placed over the already difficult layer of race.  She addresses how one can tell–and whether one can tell–who, indeed, is “black” or “white.”  Scales-Trent also celebrates the richness of her bicultural heritage and shows how she has revised her teaching methods to provide her law students with a multicultural education.

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