Obama and the Biracial Factor: The Battle for a New American Majority

Posted in Anthologies, Barack Obama, Books, Communications/Media Studies, History, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States on 2012-03-11 17:50Z by Steven

Obama and the Biracial Factor: The Battle for a New American Majority

Policy Press
February 2012
256 pages
234 x 156 mm
Hardback ISBN-10: 1447301005; ISBN-13: 978-1447301004

Andrew J. Jolivétte, Associate Professor of American Indian Studies (Also see biographies at Speak Out! and Native Wiki.)
Center for Health Disparities Research and Training
San Fransisco State University

Since the election in 2008 of Barack Obama to the Presidency of the United States there have been a plethora of books, films, and articles about the role of race in the election of the first person of color to the White House. None of these works though delves into the intricacies of Mr. Obama’s biracial background and what it means, not only in terms of how the President was elected and is now governing, but what multiraciality may mean in the context of a changing U.S. demographic. Obama and the Biracial Factor is the first book to explore the significance of mixed-race identity as a key factor in the election of President Obama and examines the sociological and political relationship between race, power, and public policy in the United States with an emphasis on public discourse and ethnic representation in his election. Jolivette and his co-authors bring biracial identity and multiraciality to forefront of our understanding of racial projects since his election. Additionally, the authors assert the salience of mixed-race identity in U.S. policy and the on-going impact of the media and popular culture on the development, implementation, and interpretation of government policy and ethnic relations in the U.S. and globally. This timely work offers foundational analysis and theorization of key new concepts such as mixed-race hegemony and critical mixed race pedagogy and a nuanced exploration of the on-going significance of race in the contemporary political context of the United States with international examples of the impact on U.S. foreign relations and a shifting American electorate. Demographic issues are explained as they relate to gender, race, class, and religion. These new and innovative essays provide a template for re-thinking race in a ‘postcolonial’, decolonial, and ever increasing global context. In articulating new frameworks for thinking about race and multiraciality this work challenges readers to contemplate whether we should strive for a ‘post-racist’ rather than a ‘post-racial’ society. Obama and the Biracial Factor speaks to a wide array of academic disciplines ranging from political science and public policy to sociology and ethnic studies. Scholars, researchers, undergraduate and graduate students as well as community organizers and general audiences interested in issues of equity, social justice, cross-cultural coalitions and political reform will gain new insights into critical mixed race theory and social class in multiracial contexts and beyond.


  • Part I
    • Obama and the biracial factor: An introduction – Andrew Jolivette
    • Race, multiraciality, and the election of Barack Obama: Toward a more perfect union? – G. Reginald Daniel
    • “A Patchwork Heritage” Multiracial citation in Barack Obama’s Dreams from My FatherJustin Ponder
    • Racial revisionism, caste revisited: Whiteness, blackness and Barack Obama – Darryl G. Barthé, Jr.
  • Part II: Beyond black and white identity politics
  • Part III: The battle for a new American majority
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Personal passion fuels Smithsonian exhibit

Posted in Anthropology, History, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, Slavery, Social Science, United States on 2010-09-26 18:04Z by Steven

Personal passion fuels Smithsonian exhibit

San Francisco State University News

Denize Springer

The search for identity is particularly complex for Americans of both African and Native American heritage, according to Assistant Professor of American Indian Studies Robert Keith Collins.

Of Choctaw and African American descent, Collins has turned a personal passion into a career. His research, featured in a major exhibit at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, focuses on the racially motivated laws and other influences and issues that continue to complicate the lives of mixed-heritage people throughout the Americas.

According to the 2000 U.S. census, hundreds of thousands of Americans claim both African and Native American heritage. The tangled relationship between these groups began when Native Americans were enslaved, took African slaves, rescued them from slavery and married freed or freeborn African slaves. Collins’ research involves scouring historical records of the Americas, particularly the slave narratives compiled by the WPA (Works Project Administration) during the Great Depression, which illuminated the dynamics of slave life within Native American nations…

Read the entire article here.

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Crossing Waters, Crossing Worlds: The African Diaspora in Indian Country

Posted in Anthologies, Anthropology, Arts, Books, History, Identity Development/Psychology, Law, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, Politics/Public Policy, Slavery, United States on 2010-05-12 15:29Z by Steven

Crossing Waters, Crossing Worlds: The African Diaspora in Indian Country

Duke University Press
392 pages
7 illustrations, 1 table

Edited by:

Tiya Miles, Professor of American Culture, Afroamerican and African Studies, and Native American Studies
University of Michigan

Sharon Patricia Holland, Associate Professor of English; African & African American Studies
Duke University

Contributors: Joy Harjo, Tiya Miles, Eugene B. Redmond, Jennifer DeVere Brody, Sharon Patricia Holland, Tiffany M. McKinney, David A. Y. O. Chang, Barbara Krauthamer, Melinda Micco, Celia E. Naylor-Ojurongbe, Deborah E. Kanter, Robert Warrior, Virginia Kennedy, Tamara Buffalo, Wendy S. Walters, Robert Keith Collins, Ku’ualoha Ho’omanawanui, Roberta J. Hill

Crossing Waters, Crossing Worlds explores the critically neglected intersection of Native and African American cultures. This interdisciplinary collection combines historical studies of the complex relations between blacks and Indians in Native communities with considerations and examples of various forms of cultural expression that have emerged from their intertwined histories. The contributors include scholars of African American and Native American studies, English, history, anthropology, law, and performance studies, as well as fiction writers, poets, and a visual artist.

Essays range from a close reading of the 1838 memoirs of a black and Native freewoman to an analysis of how Afro-Native intermarriage has impacted the identities and federal government classifications of certain New England Indian tribes. One contributor explores the aftermath of black slavery in the Choctaw and Chickasaw nations, highlighting issues of culture and citizenship. Another scrutinizes the controversy that followed the 1998 selection of a Miss Navajo Nation who had an African American father. A historian examines the status of Afro-Indians in colonial Mexico, and an ethnographer reflects on oral histories gathered from Afro-Choctaws. Crossing Waters, Crossing Worlds includes evocative readings of several of Toni Morrison’s novels, interpretations of plays by African American and First Nations playwrights, an original short story by Roberta J. Hill, and an interview with the Creek poet and musician Joy Harjo. The Native American scholar Robert Warrior develops a theoretical model for comparative work through an analysis of black and Native intellectual production. In his afterword, he reflects on the importance of the critical project advanced by this volume.

Table of Contents

  • Foreword: “Not Recognized by the Tribe” / Sharon P. Holland
  • Preface: Eating out of the Same Pot? / Tiya Miles
  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction: Crossing Waters, Crossing Worlds / Tiya Miles and Sharon Patricia Holland
    1. A Harbor of Sense: An Interview with Joy Harjo / Eugene B. Redmond
    2. An/Other Case of New England Underwriting: Negotiating Race and Property in Memoirs of Elleanor Eldridge / Jennifer D. Brody and Sharon P. Holland
    3. Race and Federal Recognition in Native New England / Tiffany M. McKinney
    4. Where Will the Nation Be at Home? Race, Nationalisms, and Emigration Movements in the Creek Nation / David A. Y. O. Chang
    5. In Their “Native Country”: Freedpeople’s Understandings of Culture and Citizenship in the Choctaw and Chickasaw Nations / Barbara Krauthamer
    6. “Blood and Money”: The Case of Seminole Freedmen and Seminole Indians in Oklahoma / Melinda Micco
    7. “Playing Indian”? The Selection of Radmilla Cody as Miss Navajo Nation, 1997-1998 / Celia E. Naylor
    8. “Their Hair was Curly”: Afro-Mexicans in Indian Villages, Central Mexico, 1700-1820 / Deborah E. Kanter
    9. Lone Wolf and DuBois for a New Century: Intersections of Native American and African American Literatures / Robert Warrior
    10. Native Americans, African Americans, and the Space That Is America: Indian Presence in the Fiction of Toni Morrison / Virginia Kennedy
    11. Knowing All of My Names / Tamara Buffalo
    12. After the Death of the Last: Performance as History in Monique Mojica’s Princess Pocahontas and the Blue Spots / Wendy S. Walter
    13. Katimih o Sa Chata Kiyou (Why Am I Not Choctaw)? Race in the Lived Experiences of Two Black Choctaw Mixed-Bloods / Robert Keith Collins
    14. From Ocean to o-Shen: Reggae Rap, and Hip Hop in Hawai’i / Ku’ualoha Ho’omanawanui
    15. Heartbreak / Roberta J. Hill
  • Afterword / Robert Warrior
  • References
  • Contributors
  • Index
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