New Faces in a Changing America: Multiracial Identity in the 21st Century
Publication Year: 2003
"New Faces in a Changing America is a comprehensive, penetrating, authoritative, and provocative examination of what it means to be multiracial in this country. With contributions by the leading thinkers, activists, and researchers on the subject, it admirably links theory and the powerful lived experiences of mixed-race people. This book will be the most important reference source on the subject for many years." -- James P. Allen, California State University, Northridge New Faces in a Changing America examines the multiracial experience, its history and the political issues and consequences surrounding biracial and multiracial identity, bringing together top names in the field to give readers cutting edge views and insights gained from contemporary research.
- Front Matter
- Back Matter
- Subject Index
Part I: Race as a Social Construction
- Chapter 1: Five Mixed-Race Identities: From Relic to Revolution
- Chapter 2: The New Multiracialism: An Affirmation of or an End to Race as We Know It?
Part II: The Multiracial Movement
- Chapter 3: New Faces, Old Faces: Counting the Multiracial Population Past and Present
- Chapter 4: Multiracial Identity: From Personal Problem to Public Issue
- Chapter 5: From Civil Rights to the Multiracial Movement
- Chapter 6: Census 2000: Assessments in Significance
- Chapter 7: Evolution of Multiracial Organizations: Where We Have Been and Where We Are Going
Part III: Racial/Ethnic Groups in America and Beyond
- Chapter 8: The Dilemma of Biracial People of African American Descent
- Chapter 9: Check All That Apply: Trends and Prospectives among Asian-Descent Multiracials
- Chapter 10: Beyond Mestizaje: The Future of Race in America
- Chapter 11: Colonization, Cultural Imperialism, and the Social Construction of American Indian Mixed-Blood Identity
- Chapter 12: “Race,” “Ethnicity,” and “Culture” in Hawai'i: The Myth of the “Model Minority” State
- Chapter 13: Multiracial Identity in Global Perspective: The United States, Brazil, and South Africa
Part IV: Race, Gender, and Hierarchy
- Chapter 14: Does Multiraciality Lighten? Me-Too Ethnicity and the Whiteness Trap
- Chapter 15: The Hazards of Visibility: “Biracial” Women, Media Images, and Narratives of Identity
- Chapter 16: Masculine Multiracial Comedians
Part V: Special Topics
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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
New faces in a changing America: Multiracial identity in the 21st century / edited by Loretta I. Winters and Herman L. DeBose.
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN 0-7619-2300-4 (Paper)
1. Racially mixed people—Race identity—United States. 2. Racially mixed people— United States—Social conditions. 3. United States—Race relations. 4. United States—Ethnic relations. 5. United States—Social conditions—1980- I. Winters, Loretta I. II. DeBose, Herman L.
E184.A1 N379 2003
This book is printed on acid-free paper.
02 03 04 05 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
Acquisitions Editor: James Brace-Thompson
Editorial Assistant: Karen Ehrmann
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Indexer: Teri Greenberg
Cover Designer: Michelle Lee
We give a special thanks to William Flores, our former dean of the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences, California State University, Northridge (CSUN), who encouraged us to take on this project. It was through his suggestion and support that this book got off the ground and became a reality. The Sociology Department at CSUN provided travel resources to present materials and to attend different conferences to find other individuals interested in this topic, several of whom are contributors to the book. We express our gratitude to all contributing authors who had enough faith and trust in us to be willing to participate in this project. Thank you to our Sage editor, Jim Brace Thompson; his assistant, Karen Ehrmann; our production editor, Denise Santoyo; and our copyeditors, Linda Gray and Marzie McCoy, for all of their hard work. A special thanks goes to all those multiracial people who were willing to share information about their personal and family situations.
On a more personal note, Herman dedicates this book to and gives special thanks to his family, especially his wife, Maureen, and their four multiracial children, Renee Aketch, Monique Atieno, Genevieve Achieng, and Armand Lusiola, for their unselfish support and tremendous encouragement to complete this project. He also gives a special thanks to his parents, Mr. Theodore DeBose and Mrs. Lauretta Spain DeBose, who did not live long enough to see this project completed, and his brother, Theodore A. DeBose, who always encouraged and supported him in all his endeavors and when he did things differently.
Loretta dedicates this book to her rainbow children, Leah and Megan, and her rainbow grandchildren, Jayah, Dommonic, and Dylan, and those rainbow grandchildren and great grandchildren not yet born and ask that they all be the canaries that sing unfettered in an increasingly nonracist, nonrace-centered society. She also dedicates this book to her husband, Daniel, whose support has been invaluable.[Page x]
“Who are you, what are you, where are you from, no, where are you really from, where are your parents from, are your grandparents American? Are you from here, what's your background, what's your nationality, where do you live? Are you black, are you white, do you speak Spanish? Are you really white, are you really black? Are you Puerto Rican, are you half and half, are you biracial, multiracial, interracial, transracial, racially unknown, race neutral, colorless, color-blind, down with the rat race or the human race? Who are you? Where are you coming from? Who are your people?”—Jones (1994, pp. 53–66)
These questions are asked of the ever-increasing multiracial population in American society. This book is written to provide information about the increasing number of multiracial people in the United States and issues that confront them and America. The U.S. Census Bureau also recognized the increasing numbers of this population, resulting in a change on the 2000 Census form. This change allowed multiracial people to identify themselves as they see themselves through the creation of a new racial category: “two or more races.” The new category will officially be required for all federal statistical forms starting in 2003. The term two or more races, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, refers to people who choose more than one of the six race categories (white, black or African American, American Indian and Alaska Native, Asian, Native Hawaiian and other, and some other race). The data gathered by the U.S. Census Bureau from Census 2000 present one of the first clear pictures (self-identifying) of this population in America.
The 2000 Census reported that the total population of the United States was 281,421,906, with 6,826,228, or 2.4 %, identifying as being of two or [Page xii]more races (Jones & Smith, 2001). In a Census 2000 brief (2001), “The Two or More Races Population: 2000” by Jones and Smith, several key facts were presented regarding individuals who checked the new category. The racial groups that reported the highest percentages of more than one race were the American Indian and Alaskan Native and the Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander populations. Whites and blacks had the lowest percentages of people reporting more than one race.
Forty percent of this population lived in the West, 27% in the South, 18% in the Northeast, and 15% in the Midwest. California, New York, Texas, Florida, Hawai'i, Illinois, New Jersey, Washington, Michigan, and Ohio were the primary residences of two thirds of this population. Alabama, Maine, Mississippi, South Carolina, and West Virginia represented less than 1% of this population. New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, and Philadelphia contained the largest numbers of this population.
The number of multiracial people, whose biological parents are from different racial groups, is increasing at a rapid rate, and this is changing the face and attitudes toward race in America. The number of multiracial people has increased as a result of the rise in interracial relationships and marriages. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there were 149,000 interracial marriages in 1960 compared with 964,000 in 1990 and 1,264,000 in 1997.
No exact number of multiracial children in America has been recorded; however, the U.S. Census Bureau maintains statistics on children who have one or both parents of a different race, including children who are adopted. There were fewer than 500,000 children in this category in 1960 compared with 1,937,496 in 1990 according to the U.S. Census Bureau. In the United States, children's racial identity is significant and determines American societal benefits' distribution and people's response individually, culturally, socially, and collectively. How multiracial people identify themselves may have major consequences on their positions in their families, communities, and society. The number of multiracial people is growing because these individuals are presented with the opportunity to self-identify. With this growth comes a new voice in the political, social, and economic arenas and challenges to preconceived notions of racial identity.
This book addresses the issues that the multiracial population has and will encounter as their numbers grow. Additionally, it is an attempt to analyze the past, present, and future issues relating to this growing population. The book includes an examination of some of the most recent research and political activities in the area of multiraciality. It embodies the latest trends, placing them in historical context and discussing their impact on the future. The book is comprehensive in that it includes a discussion of identified prominent racial/ethnic groups in the United States and provides a different picture of multiraciality depending on minority group membership. It [Page xiii]addresses issues in the United States, including the special case of Hawai'i as well as some other locations around the world.
The book is written primarily for an undergraduate college course but may be used as a supplement text for graduate courses. It is written for classes on multiracial identity issues and may be used as a reference for professionals who serves a large multiracial population (e.g., school personnel, therapists, human resource specialists, government agents). As the American population changes and becomes more diverse in organizations, corporations, and educational institutions, a book of this nature will provide the foundation to educate and train those who come into contact with this growing population.
Since the notion of multiraciality has come to the forefront, many stereotypes and misunderstandings of multiracial people have surfaced. The current literature does not provide a clear picture of the issues and desires of multiracial people. This book intends to fill a portion of that gap. It consists of five sections with a total of 18 chapters, a glossary of terms, and an appendix.
In Part I, Race as a Social Construction, two dynamic chapters address the issue of whether race is a social or biological construct. This question continues to be raised as American society faces a growing multiracial population, which is forcing society to address the issue of race differently. These individuals always been a part of the American mosaic but have never truly been given the opportunity to self-identify. Today a significant cohort of this population with political, social, and economic clout is willing and able to raise the issue of race as it pertains to them. Two authors, Maria P. P. Root and Mary Thierry Texeira, present different points of view on the discussion of race. Their arguments set forth the tone for the overall discussion of the remaining chapters in the book.
In Chapter 1, “Five Mixed-Race Identities: From Relic to Revolution,” Maria P. P. Root focuses on the concept of race used as a social construct and its economic, political, and social implications. She introduces the reader to additional material for the discussion of multiracial identity, which suggests “that race as we know it may become a relic.” Race, aided by modern science through The Human Genome Project, will be seen as a social rather than a biological construct. Also, this current multiracial population is not the product of rape or slavery but of meaningful relationships. These and many other factors have led this group to seek their identity as multiracial and challenge the idea of race as a biological construct. Root introduces the reader to a new model of identity and clearly describes the derivation of five identities for mixed-race people.
Chapter 2 by Mary Texeira, “The New Multiracialism: An Affirmation of or an End to Race as We Know It?” focuses on race as a social construct [Page xiv]and the possibility of discarding all racial categories. Texeira suggests that we are all descendents of “strangers from different shores” who occupy the same space and even intermarry; and we must respect each other “or perish.” She discusses and illustrates the issues of race, racism, and the movement for a multiracial classification and how race is defined by those in power. The author interprets the multiracial classification as a divisive tool in the fight to end racism and discrimination against those who are oppressed, especially African Americans. Texeira argues that the creation of this new classification promotes and perpetuates white supremacy and maintains the white power structure. She illustrates the divisiveness that this classification may bring based on issues within her own family as it deals with the issues of color and race.
Part II, The Multiracial Movement, contains five chapters that collectively present a history of the presence of multiracial people and their political activities, including the emergence of the multiracial movement, multiracial organizations, and activities that led to the current categorization of racial categories on the census. Chapter 3 by Ann Morning, “New Faces, Old Faces: Counting the Multiracial Population Past and Present,” delivers a historical and current population count of the number of multiracial people in America and their characteristics. In anecdotes about the earliest official mulattoes' record, history reminds us that multiracial attitudes were embedded in complex webs of social, political, economic, and cultural premises and objectives. The true multiracial population dimensions have long presented challenges to researchers because of a lack of official statistics and definitions. Who can be considered multiracial? Biracial? The government has at times recorded mulatto and quadroon populations and kept records of blood quanta in the American Indian population. Although the introduction of the multiracial category on the 2000 Census is often depicted as an entirely new innovation, multiracial response categories were a common, although sporadic, feature on 19th-century censuses. Morning describes historical practices for counting the mixed-race population and links them with the racial ideologies that motivated and shaped them. Although the focus is on national census enumeration, past scientific efforts to enumerate multiracial populations through estimates are linked to the same racial preconceptions of their contemporary census officials. Historical and contemporary socioeconomic characteristics of the multiracial population are compared, suggesting that past weighted factors are still discernible today. The chapter places contemporary developments in multiracial reporting in a sociohistorical perspective, suggesting that white social, economic, and political interests are still relevant to the evolution of the national census.[Page xv]
In Chapter 4, “Multiracial Identity: From Personal Problem to Public Issue,” Kimberly McClain DaCosta focuses on the emergence of the multiracial movement and explores the social conditions that led to the movement as well as the social changes activists have sought and accomplished. To further her research, DaCosta asks the question, “What changed to make the public claiming of multiracial identity very much the question in the 1990s?” She then proceeds to tackle two misleading tendencies: “Some activists and scholars treat multiracials as though they are a group constituted as such: conscious of itself, unified, but one that has not received social recognition…. The other tendency treats multiracials as though they are not a group at all—a statistical population, completely individualized and unaware of itself—and thus not worthy of social classification.” She uses these issues to provide information on how the establishment of a multiracial category on the U.S. Census became reality. The chapter concludes by summarizing the steps that brought about the multiracial movement.
In Chapter 5, “From Civil Rights to the Multiracial Movement,” Kim M. Williams argues that the multiracial movement would not have occurred had it not been for the civil rights movement. Williams develops a line of reasoning showing that the overall outcomes of the civil rights movement were imprinted on the multiracial movement in several areas. Additionally, she sets out to make three basic points. “Racial categorization is not only imposed … by the state [but] it is also appropriated from” groups that benefit from categorization of racial groups. Second, trends over the past 30 to 40 years have challenged the definition of race as established by the 1977 Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Directive 15. Third, Williams discusses why multiraciality became a social movement at this particular time and its relationship to other social movements during the last 40 years of American society.
Chapter 6 by Rainier Spencer, “Census 2000: Assessments in Significance,” focuses on the discussions and debates regarding the introduction of the “two or more race” category on the 2000 Census by OMB Directive 15. Four primary stakeholders, the federal government, multiracial activists, African American organizations, and the American political right, are identified and their concerns regarding the introduction of this new category presented. The stakeholders' positions on racism and discrimination pertaining to this new category are also addressed. Arguments that multiracial movement political manipulation is being used to weaken federal government methods to monitor racial discrimination are presented. Spencer concludes that, regardless of the many myths that may surface concerning Census 2000, one can be sure that race, racism, and the need to [Page xvi]be ever more vigilant concerning racial discrimination “have not changed one bit in the United States.”
Chapter 7 by Nancy G. Brown and Ramona E. Douglass, “The Evolution of Multiracial Organizations: Where We Have Been and Where We Are Going,” discusses the early years of multiracial organizing. The authors describe the formation and development of grass roots' organizations and their role in the 2000 Census “mixed-race people” category. It also highlights the experiences of six local/national multiracial organizations: Interracial/ Intercultural Pride (San Francisco, CA); Biracial Family Network (Chicago IL); Interracial Family Circle (Washington, D.C.); Multiracial Americans of Southern California (Los Angeles, CA); Project Race (Roswell, GA); and The Association of MultiEthnic Americans (San Francisco, CA). Each president of these organizations was surveyed regarding their views on the mission of their organizations, maintaining a multicultural organization, and their members' reaction to the “two or more” category on government forms. The results of the survey are discussed and analyzed. In addition, Brown and Douglass present other areas that have had an impact on multiracial organizations such as collaboration and conflict, crossroads in the movement, a house divided on nomenclature, new faces and emerging organizations, and building viable nonprofits.
Part III, Racial/ Ethnic Groups in America and Beyond, examines minority communities in the United States and how they respond to members who are of more than one race. It also explores the special case of Hawai'i and then examines multiracialism in a global perspective. In Chapter 8, “The Dilemma of Biracial People of African American Descent,” Herman L. DeBose and Loretta I. Winters discuss the association between racial identity selection and the history of the relationship between African Americans and European Americans in the United States. Additionally, the history of African Americans, from slavery to affirmative action, is presented along with its impact on multiracial people of African descent. The historical analysis reveals that conflict continues to exist for these two groups. Additionally, a theoretical discussion of assimilation is presented that illustrates some of the dilemmas African Americans face that impact their offspring. Biracial people face identity issues such as “Where do I fit, which parent do I identify with, and what behavior is appropriate for me?” The authors discuss the results of a research project on identity of biracial people in terms of self-proclaimed identity, feeling of belonging, sense of value, and manner of living. DeBose and Winters argue that biracial people of African American and European American descent are different from biracial people of African American and non-European American descent in the way they identify, behave, and believe. This difference reflects the hierarchical arrangements that still exist between whites and people of color in the United States.[Page xvii]
Chapter 9 by Teresa Williams-León, “Check All That Apply: Trends and Prospectives Among Asian-Descent Multiracials,” focuses on multiracial identity among Asian Americans. Issues and writings of race and mixed race have been framed within black/white paradigms, although Asian Americans are perhaps the fastest outmarrying group of color since the post-1967 biracial baby boom era. The chapter examines the changing face of Asian America as intermarriage rates impact racial and ethnic dynamics of Asian America. Because the “one-drop rule” imposes definitions of blackness on multiracial African Americans, the authors ask, “Who is Asian American?”
In Chapter 10, “Beyond Mestizaje: The Future of Race in America,” Gregory Velazco y Trianosky presents the Latino/a notion of mestizaje, or mixed race, as a model for the future of race in the United States. It presents the central racial reality of Latino life: Everyone is mestizo, or mixed, not the rigid black-and-white conception that predominates the United States. The chapter argues that social and political race constructions risk being lost through immigrant group socialization into the American bipolar black/white ideology and absorption into the white population. The author maintains that strategies must be found to maintain a critical cultural distance that may ultimately give us the vision required to dismantle the barriers of race that separate Americans.
Karren Baird-Olson in Chapter 11—“Colonization, Cultural Imperialism, and the Social Construction of American Indian Mixed-Blood Identity”—focuses on the mixed-race experience of American Indians She addresses the historical as well as contemporary political, economic, and cultural factors that have played a role in Indian identity categorization and the implications of determination for future individual well-being and Indian nation survival. Various schemata used to classify Indian identification and the social construction of race are discussed. The African American one-drop rule versus phenotypical appearance is compared and contrasted with American Indian federal blood quantum requirements. A call is made to replace the colonizized definition of American Indian with traditionally rooted criteria of group membership. The author concludes that European American internal colonization life has created the irrationality of the social construction of race in Indian categorization.
Chapter 12 by Laura Desfor Edles, “‘Race,’ ‘Ethnicity,’ and ‘Culture’ in Hawai'i: The Myth of the ‘Model Minority’ State,” focuses on the unique issues that face Hawai'i concerning the topic of multiracial identity. Hawai'i's geographic isolation, external historical instructions, and its speed and quantity of change have had a profound effect on the development of race and ethnic identity on the island. The consequences of these issues are discussed in detail. High rates of intergroup contact and marriage make Hawai'i a mythical multiracial paradise, a model minority state. Significant [Page xviii]historical, theoretical, and empirical problems with this myth are presented. Hawai'i's violent colonial history, overindividualization of race, and impact of interracial marriage are used to illustrate this myth. The chapter makes the argument for the role of culture in the complex process of racialization and identity formation.
G. Reginald Daniel in Chapter 13, “Multiracial Identity in Global Perspective: The United States, Brazil, and South Africa,” outlines the similarities and differences in the origins, statuses, identities, and experiences of various global multiracial populations as a result of encounters between Europeans and non-Europeans beginning with the 15th century. Some of the salient characteristics that potentially differentiate and distinguish multiracial populations are displayed based on seven basic racial rules. The chapter provides a framework for understanding racial order in the United States, where racial categories and boundaries have historically been constructed to view racial groups and identities as mutually exclusive and as monoracial categories of experience. The rule of hypodescent, the one-drop rule, and its historical origins and relation to racial categories and identities are discussed. The recent movement in the United States toward recognizing a multiracial identity has been the impetus for this comparative historical examination of multiracial populations in a global perspective to help elucidate the extent to which multiracial populations differ in terms of the seven basic rules.
Part IV, Race, Gender, and Hierarchy, presents three chapters examining how other social characteristics interact with multiracialism, including race, in a narrow sense: sex and gender. In Chapter 14, “Does Multiraciality Lighten? Me-Too Ethnicity and the Whiteness Trap,” Paul Spickard discusses the concept of “Whiteness” in the context of hierarchy or class privilege and it implications for those who are multiracial. Spickard discusses the increase in the number of books, university courses, and writings regarding multiraciality and Whiteness. He raises the issue that both may be focusing on Whiteness and possibly forgetting about the injustices to communities of color. Critics of multiracial advocacy state individuals are encouraged to flee identification with communities of color and seek a middle social position, lightened by recognition of their ancestral multiplicity. Critics of Whiteness state that white people are placed at the center, displacing people of color, resulting in “me-too” ethnic absorption. Spickard explores the extent of each of these criticisms and the connections between them. He also examines the lives of several prominent Americans who acknowledged their multiracial ancestry, including Alice Dunbar-Nelson, Mary Church Terrell, W. E. B. Du Bois, Wallace D. Fard, Jean Toomer, Walter White, Malcolm X, and Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., among others. They describe their lives and the impact of their multiracial understanding on their connections with the communities of color with [Page xix]which they are identified. The author concludes that the criticisms have theoretical validity in the multiracial and Whiteness studies movements. However, recognition of multiraciality does not mean that multiracial people fall into the Whiteness trap.
Caroline A. Streeter in Chapter 15, “The Hazards of Visibility: ‘Biracial Women,’ Media Images, and Narratives of Identity,” focuses on biracial women through writings on identity and popular cultural imagery in selected examples from print advertisement and television. The first portion of the chapter explores texts that address a dominant tendency among biracial women who write to identify as women of color rather than as mixed race or biracial. Streeter argues that this phenomenon reflects the way that race has been conceived in North America as well as how identity is deployed as a strategic political tool. However, those identifying as biracial or multiracial rather than locating one's identity in an ethnic minority group have been characterized as assimilationists. The different strategies of identification deployed by biracial women in their writing and formation of communities are considered. In addition, the author considers popular cultural representations of biracial women in selected examples from print advertising and television. Contrasting messages of multiculturalism and miscegenation point to the tension invoked by permeable boundaries. Destabilization of the racial concept in recent decades has led to renewed fascination with the concept of borders and boundaries. Rejection of the melting pot notion, or cultural assimilation, by many academics has been replaced by the “morphed” American identity notion, which argues that the parameters of national, racial, ethnic, gender, and sexual identity are permeable and ever shifting. In conclusion, the chapter examines identity and representation in context through analysis of the publication, Mavin, a quarterly publication celebrating the mixed-race experience.
Darby Li Po Price's Chapter 16, “Masculine Multiracial Comedians,” identifies the issues related to multiracial men as depicted in comedy. A theoretical overview of masculinity, mixed race, and ethnic comedy is provided. The author then examines how expressions of masculinity and racial multiplicity among comedians challenge dominant models of masculinity and mixed race. Price focuses on comic expression and subjectivity among comedy performers and writers of mixed Native American, African American, Chicano/Latino, Asian American, and Pacific Islander descent. Comic literature, film, television, performance, and standup from the 19th century to the present are examined using extensive ethnographic research methods. The author argues that meanings and cultural productions of mixed race are shaped by ethnic-specific identity politics that vary according to gender, race, ethnicity, and location.[Page xx]
Part V, Special Topics, composed of two final chapters, focuses on work in the area of multiracialism. Chapter 17, by Patricia O'Donnell Brummett and Loretta I. Winters—“Gang Affiliation and Self-Esteem: The Effects of a Mixed-Heritage Identity”—compares biracial and monoracial gang members and nongang members with the issue of self-esteem. The comparison assesses whether or not the effect of being multiracial (compared with monoracial) has an impact on the relationship between gang membership and self-esteem. Current discussion recognizes that juveniles engage in delinquent and gang behavior because they have low self-esteem and that gangs provide a sense of self-esteem and identity that cannot be obtained in legitimate ways. Race affects an individual's exposure to cultural norms and perception of fit into society and its subcultures. The authors explore the race role in mediating the relationship between gang membership and self-esteem. They conclude that biracial identity issues compound the typical monoracial identity issues encountered in adolescent years.
In Chapter 18, “Black/White Interracial Couples and the Beliefs That Help Them to Bridge the Racial Divide,” Kristyan M. Kouri discusses the meanings that black/white couples assign to their marriages and families. The chapter uncovers the strategies mothers and fathers use to enable their children to develop an identity and to cope with racism. Overcoming social barriers that impede black/white interracial marriages are explored. Couples tend to develop an “everyone is equal” philosophy or to connect with people from different racial and ethnic backgrounds in integrated settings. Kouri concludes that couples use these same ideologies to help their children develop biracial identities and multiculturalism.
In the epilogue, “The Multiracial Movement: Harmony and Discord,” Loretta I. Winters indicates that three models emerge from the material and literature presented by the contributing authors on the topic of multiracial identity. The models are: 1) Multiracial Movement (MM), 2) Counter Multiracial Movement (CMM), and 3) Ethnic Movement (EM). The MM primarily focuses on the individual level where multiracial people attempt to embrace all their backgrounds or ethnic heritage without any need for justification and in a comfortable manner. The CMM focuses on some members of minority communities believe that proliferating the current list of racial categories will only impede the dissolution of the harmful construct of race. The EM focuses on eliminating race in favor of ethnicity. Winters discusses all of these models and compares and contrasts them. She states that the three models may be seen “as paths to the demise of racialization in American society.”
This book is the culmination of a significant amount of energy and work by all contributing authors. As the multiracial population continues to grow and influence change in American race discussion, additional knowledge and [Page xxi]appropriate tools will be needed to address their issues. This book is an attempt to add to that needed body of knowledge regarding this increasing population of multiracial people.Reference[Page xxii](1994). Is biracial enough? or, what's this about a multiracial category on the census?: A conversation. Bulletproof diva: Tales of race, sex, and hair. New York: Anchor.(2001, October). I wanna be like Mike Tiger Woods! Exploratory analysis of race reporting for children in interracial households in Census 2000. Paper presented at the Southern Demographic Association, Miami, FL., &U.S. Census Bureau. (2001). The two or more races population: 2000. Census 2000 brief, November 2001. Washington, DC: Author.
Epilogue: The Multiracial Movement: Harmony and Discord[Page 373]
The U.S. government has been aware of multiracial people and responded to their unique racial status in a variety of ways depending on what slice of history one cuts (Morning, Chapter 3). When examining the positions of the contributors to this volume, three models appear: the multiracial movement (MM) model, the counter multiracial movement (CMM) model, and the ethnic movement (EM) model. The first model focuses on the individual level, at which multiracial people want to embrace all of their ethnic heritages, comfortably and without justification. Maria Root's (1996) bill of rights for racially mixed people expresses a human rights or civil rights framework.
I have the right
not to justify my existence in this world
not to keep the races separate within me
not to be responsible for people's
discomfort with my physical ambiguity
not to justify my ethnic legitimacy
I have the right
to identify myself differently than
strangers expect me to identify
to identify myself differently than how
my parents identify me
to identify myself differently than my
brothers and sisters
to identify myself differently in different
I have the right
to create a vocabulary to communicate
about being multiracial
to change my identity over my
lifetime—and more than once
to have loyalties and identify with more
than one group of people
to freely choose whom i befriend andlove (p. 7)
By framing what some consider a personal problem, the dilemma of mixed-race/ethnic people has been recast in a social problem's framework (DaCosta, Chapter 4), in particular a human rights or Civil Rights issue (Williams, Chapter 5). Examining the mission of prominent multiracial organizations (Brown and Douglass, Chapter 7) reveals both the individual needs and desires of some multiracial people as well as efforts toward breaking down institutional racism through education and influencing the way the public views race through the categories supplied by the U.S. Census Bureau. The MM model [Page 374]reflects the philosophies of political activists such as Nancy Brown and Ramona Douglass (Chapter 7) and trailblazers such as Maria P. P. Root (Root, 1992, 1996; Chapter 1), who laid the foundations for contemporary discussions of mixed-race or multiracial identity. Her statement about the increasing numbers of multiracial people “transforming the ‘face’ of the United States” (Root, 1992, p. 3) influenced the selection of the title of the book. Other spokespersons for the MM model include G. Reginald Daniel (Chapter 13), Paul Spickard (Chapter 14), and Teresa Williams-Leon (Chapter 9), who have made significant contributions in this area.
Activists have pushed for changing the racial/ethnic categories on government forms but have not always agreed on how that expansion should manifest itself. Spencer (Chapter 6) discusses the two main proposals that made their way to the Census 2000 debate as either a “stand-alone multiracial category” or a “multiracial header with racial sublistings” as alternatives to the “mark all that apply” format. Root (1996, p. xxv) suggests a third proposal because the “race question confounds race and ethnicity.” She suggests reducing the race question to either multiracial or monoracial. She then asks, “Could we not move on to the ethnicity and ancestry questions?” This alternative has yet to be adequately articulated or well publicized.
Heated debate about Census categories occurs among participants of the multiracial movement; however, one thing remains clear. Classifying groups through the socially constructed concept of race has justified the history of prejudice and discrimination against people of color as well as the conflict and confusion claimed to be inherent in multiracial children. Root (1992,) makes a contribution here:
Accomplishing the synthesis of different heritages into a dynamic whole requires that the ordinal nature of hierarchical notions about race to which we have been socialized must be replaced by both simpler models (such as naming without rank ordering, or nominal categorization) and more complex models (such as ecological and multidimensional models for understanding social order and human behavior). (p. 344)
She further points out that the contributors to her anthology “believe that if it is possible for a single person to accomplish this synthesis for her- or himself, it might be very possible for us to accomplish it as a society” (p. 344).
An alternative position to the MM model is reflected in the CMM model. Some members of minority communities believe that proliferating the current list of racial categories will only impede the dissolution of the harmful construct of race. The CMM model is illustrated in the work of Mary Thierry Texeira (Chapter 2) and Rainier Spencer (Chapter 6). Although supporters of this model believe in the elimination of the concept of race altogether, they continue to support monoracial categories for reasons of protecting the political solidarity of minority groups and ensuring civil rights compliance.
Texeira compares the multiracial designations of today with historical categories used to divide people of color. The historical categories support the myth that light-skinned people of color were superior to darker-skinned people of color and, therefore, entitled to privileges that other people of color were not. Acknowledgment of any difference of light-skinned people of color was not to break down racist notions or end white supremacy but to use and manipulate light-skinned people of color to perpetuate the illusion of white supremacy. That is, light-skinned people of color were only slightly different from darker people of color but not at the same time equal in any [Page 375]way to whites. Texeira points out that “it is difficult to say with any degree of certainty how much their appearance [fair-skinned blacks] helped them succeed in white society, but it undoubtedly did not hurt them.” The extent to which light-skinned blacks may or may not have been afforded certain privileges is less important than the belief itself of hierarchy within the African American community.
Herein lies the fear among some that multiracial people in the United States will gain further advantage by forming another group of light-skinned people of color who, for a few crumbs of the American pie, will forfeit their darker-skinned relatives. Some contemporary mixed-race people may indeed have varying degrees of feelings of superiority to darker-skinned peoples and may have received more benefits of affirmative action policies than their darker-skinned contemporaries, because some people in positions of power (usually whites) see them as more desirable than people of darker color. No doubt, a large number of African Americans and members of other racial/ethnic minority groups believe that the force behind the multiracial movement today will create a new era of light-skinned privilege and the manipulation of light-skinned people of color. Daniel (Chapter 13), although very supportive of the multiracial movement, adds to the caveats of caution by pointing out that “the new multiracial identity's radical potential as a racial project should not be underestimated any more than its reactionary potential should be overestimated.”
Various supporters and critics of the multiracial movement do not agree on how to eliminate institutional racism as well as prejudice and discrimination. Both groups believe that unraveling the last thread of the social construction of race will support that goal, but they disagree on how and when this should be done.
Both the MM and CMM models continue to support the social construction of race—the former by proliferating the categories by adding a multiracial dimension and the latter by entrenching the monoracial categories and the rule of hypodescent in the process. Supporters of both models are concerned with accuracy in counting. Supporters of both models fear that the Census 2000 data will create a group that further divides minority communities. Both philosophical positions are concerned that the data collected by Census 2000 may be tabulated in a way to compromise civil rights compliance monitoring.
The MM model supports multiracial identity, and the CMM model supports minority group identity. Herein lies the real difference between the two models. The MM model links the private sphere with the public sphere at the same time, the CMM model separates the private sphere from the public sphere. Neither Spencer (1999) nor Texeira (Chapter 2) have a problem with people of multiple heritages professing a multiracial identity in private, but they argue that this private matter should have no bearing on the process that will thwart the use of the concept of race as a means of classifying people in America. instead, they feel that making a private matter public interferes with the institutional monitoring of civil rights.
Spencer (1999) criticizes some of the literature on mixed race for conflating race and culture. Root (1992) identifies how the confusion of race and ethnicity plays a role in cultural identification. Listing factors that have prevented the empowerment of multiracial persons in the form of self-naming, Root's fifth factor states that “race and ethnicity have been confused such that many multiracial people may identify mono-culturally, as in the case of many Latinos, American indians, and African Americans” (p. 8).[Page 376]
Before elaborating on the EM model, a historical discussion of evolution of the concepts of race and ethnicity is warranted. Cornell and Hartman (1998) point out that “for several centuries, scholars of one stripe or another from various countries tried to specify the number of races in the world” (p. 21). They quote Gossett to demonstrate this point.
Linnaeus had found four human races; Blumenbach had five; Cuvier had three; John Hunter had seven; Burke had sixty-three; Pickering has eleven; Virey had two “species,” each containing three races; Haeckel had thirty-six; Huxley had four; Topinard had nineteen under three headings; Desmoulins had sixteen “species;” Deniker had seventeen races and thirty types. (Cornell & Hartman, 1998, p. 82)
Regardless of which attributes of race one may address, they are not connected to any consistent set of physical or genetic variation according to most modern analyses.
Distinguishing between race and ethnicity and providing workable definitions at this juncture is important. Lay people view race and ethnicity as the same concept. Modern scholars dismiss race as having any biological reality and expose it for the social construction it is while recognizing the reality of racism (Root, Chapter 1; Texeira, Chapter 2). Some scholars perceive race as a subset of ethnicity and vice versa. In 1948 Cox provided a social science definition of race (Feagin & Feagin, 1999): “Any people who are distinguished, or who consider themselves distinguished, in social relations with other people, by their physical characteristics.” Van den Berghe provided a similar definition of racial group (Feagin & Feagin, 1999): “Human group that defines itself and/or is defined by other groups as different from other groups by virtue of innate and immutable physical characteristics.” Feagin and Feagin (1999) went a step further in defining a racial group in the context of how membership is perceived by others. They defined a racial group as “a social group that persons inside or outside the group have decided is important to single out as inferior or superior, typically on the basis of real or alleged physical characteristics subjectively selected” (p. 8).
Race is intrinsically linked to identity because phenotype, according to American society, is such a determining factor in one's identity, even when culture and life experience may be counterintuitive to the conclusions that phenotype may bring. The concept of race proposes that physical characteristics are an essential component of this type of categorization. Doob (1999, p. 262) separates race and ethnicity altogether and defines race as a “classification of people into categories falsely claimed to be derived from a distinct set of biological traits.” Doob (1999) defines ethnicity as a “classification of people into a particular category with distinct cultural or national qualities” (p. 261).
Cornell and Hartman (1998) depict race and ethnicity as distinct but overlapping constructs. They claim that race and ethnicity “potentially involve two different processes of identity construction” (p. xiii). Using a constructionist approach, Cornell and Hartman focus on how ethnic and racial identities are asserted or assigned and emphasize the fluidity of this process. Although they acknowledge that economic, political, and other social forces have a major influence on identity formation, they also point out that, once established, identities exert their own influences.
The EM model would eliminate race in favor of ethnicity. The work of Baird-Olson on American Indians (Chapter 11), Edles on Hawaiians (Chapter 12), and Velazco y Trianosky on Hispanics (Chapter 10) provides evidence of this model. Edles shows how for the multiracial population in Hawai'i the ethnic definition of being local [Page 377]or not takes precedence in interpersonal relations and identity over race. The term local, defined by a group of students at the University of Hawai'i, Manoa emphasizes first culture (the spirit of aloha) and second ethnicity (being from Hawai'i). It also has an implicit racial and social class dimension. Even when haoles have been born in Hawai'i and consider themselves local (local haoles), they are not truly accepted as local by other working class Native Hawaiians. This results from the hesitation to include members of a dominant group that would appropriate what they did not earn. Instead of labor and land, culture. Thus, although ethnicity is emphasized in the use of the word local, the internalized oppression essentialist notions of race still appear, however small. Baird-olson discusses the problems that have arisen when the colonizer's racialized criterion of blood quantum has been used to determine group inclusion instead of traditional criteria of inclusion: family lineage, marriage, and adoption/naturalization. Resurrecting traditional inclusion would reduce divisions within Indian communities that results in exclusion of its members and further erosion of self-determination. Velazco y Trianosky speaks of including all members with a common ethnicity regardless of racial perceptions. He sees assimilation as reinforcing bipolar (black and white) essentialist notions of the nature of people. He believes that Latino(a)s must acknowledge all the people who have contributed to the “morphing” Latino culture (black and white) or the group we think of as Latino in the United States. This group embodies mixed race and may transcend bipolar notions by embracing all of its members without “becoming white” (assimilation). Resisting assimilation and mass-commercialized American culture by allowing the creativity that comes when one allows an emotional connection to all family (and with it the culture) is the key to breaking down the essentialist notions of race that are reflected in the assimilation paradigm.
Desire to be included in an ethnic group may be dependent on rewards (psychological or financial) as well as political forces. Although individual factors may be present and imply individual choice, they ultimately can be linked to structural factors. Structural factors reflect the power arrangements of society. Because European Americans have more power, status, and privilege, they have more freedom to identify both themselves and others than do people of color. Panethnicity, whereby a general ethnicity is applied to a variety of cultural groups with phenotypic groupings in common to varying degrees, is typically coerced. However, voluntary allegiance to the superimposed group may occur for political gain. one individual may be included in a single racial group or more than one racial group depending on who is making the determination. The very notion of multiraciality challenges the hegemonic categorization of race. Multiraciality categorization, a classification that mirrors an “ideology of equality” (Kouri, Chapter 18), attempts to break down the coerced group membership in favor of an individually determined identity. Multiracial people who have dealt with any prejudices of their parents or extended families and their own internalized oppression increasingly are refusing to deny any attributes they receive from any parent. The Tiger Woods of the world, who refuse to elevate any ethnic heritage and to allow the ignorance of others define them, challenge the foundations of the concept of race. They are role models for other multiracial people who fear breaking the chains of the “one-drop rule” or who are successfully passing as white but are not totally comfortable with the dishonesty that comes with burying a part of self.
The time to set differences aside and stand on common ground has come. Interracial couples love beyond socially constructed [Page 378]differences and raise children who insist on the equality of all sides of their heritages while challenging those who want to dismiss their white side by rules of hypodescent or dismiss their darker side to enjoy any crumbs of the American pie. It is time to acknowledge, no embrace, what the new mixed-race generation has to offer: equality and harmony over inequality and discord. Now, “can't we all just get along?”
Many multiracial people, once resolving the turmoil imposed on them by racialization, desire to own all of their relatives, not only those who create political solidarity for people of color. In including all of their relatives, they break down the hierarchy apparent in the social construction of race. The age of multiracial people has ushered in a new generation that wants to fully embrace all heritages. They are struggling to deconstruct the hierarchy according to race and instead support qualitative assumptions of categorization over quantitative assumptions of categorization. They are seemingly very dark-skinned African Americans acknowledging white blood and seemingly white people who acknowledging darker blood like the family of Sally Hemings, who was the concubine of our third president (Daniel, Chapter 13). Tracing and giving credence to all of our heritages while stressing similarities and denying any inherent disabilities will further the deconstruction of race more quickly than being overly concerned with political loyalties to one minority group and thereby reinforcing differences.
Three models have been proposed as paths to the demise of racialization in American society. The MM model and the CMM model perspectives are not ready to throw out the concept of race yet. Historical definitions of race and multirace have reinforced the rule of hypodescent and the privileged position of European Americans (Morning, Chapter 3). The concept of race clearly divides the ethnic minority communities in the United States and supports new forms of racialization in multicultural groups (DeBose and Winters, Chapter 8; Williams-Leon, Chapter 9; Velazco y Trianosky, Chapter 10; Baird-Olson, Chapter 11). Racialization also contributes to and reinforces sexism both in advertisement (Streeter, Chapter 15) and gang membership (Brummett and Winters, Chapter 17) and even extends to the choice of topics by biracial comics (Price, Chapter 16). A number of ethnic minority group members are concerned that the multiracial movement will erode civil rights monitoring. Reality is that the contemporary, conservative, political backlash to the civil rights achievements has already eroded civil rights monitoring in education and employment as well as in other social institutions, and the current political climate suggests that this erosion will not be remedied in the near future. Others believe that embracing multiraciality will result in diminishing service to minority communities. Spickard's study of prominent multiracial figures in history (Chapter 14) does not confirm this fear. The ethnic identity model promotes nonracialized group definitions of membership and discards race as a viable construct. The ethnic model currently operating in Hawaii clearly interacts with race but only in response to the hierarchical arrangements structured in American society and beyond stemming from the rule hypodescent. Eliminating the ideology of white supremacy is key to an emerging egalitarian typology according to ethnicity.
Given the reality of vertical pluralism in the United States and beyond (Daniel, Chapter 13), more attention needs to be given to ensuring equity. The unique legal and historical sovereign status of American Indians provides an avenue of escape from racialized membership not available to other ethnic minority groups in the United States. Thus, other groups need to continue to explore other [Page 379]forms of nonracialized group definitions. More attention needs to be given to how the multiracial literature addresses the conflation of race and ethnicity. More attention needs to be given to how both the private and public spheres may contribute to the breakdown of perceived quantitative differences according to race in favor of qualitative differences according to ethnicity. Spickard (Chapter 14) cautions against individualism and self-concern in the multiracial movement and more so in Whiteness studies and at the expense of group needs, particularly communities of color. Making the connection between the micro and the macro is important here. Maria Root's ecological model shows the complexity that accompanies a discussion of multiraciality that goes beyond the individual level (Chapter 1). Daniel's discussion of vertical (inegalitarian) and horizontal (egalitarian) pluralism (Chapter 13; Daniel, 2002), Dacosta's description of how the personal problem of multiracial identity becomes a social problem (Chapter 4), Williams' demonstration that the multiracial movement was initiated by the civil rights movement (Chapter 5) also provide a framework for understanding how the micro and the macro are linked. More attention needs to be given to dismantling the one-drop rule. This discussion appears regardless of which minority group one belongs to (DeBose & Winters, Chapter 8; Williams-Leon, Chapter 9; Velazco Y Trianosky, Chapter 10; Baird-olsen, Chapter 11). Introducing multiraciality into how the state defines race and ethnicity (Census 2000) and into the curriculum at all educational levels (Daniel, 2002) will assist in debunking the myth of the one-drop rule. The work of Maria Root (1992, 1996) and Naomi Zack (1993, 1995, 1998) among others has been useful at the college level. As individuals increasingly confront their own hierarchically arranged notion of race, America will decreasingly be a race-centered society. The third model begins to suggest deeper and broader conceptual and political alternatives to civil rights monitoring, cultural sensitivity training, conflict mediation, and hate crime legislation.References[Page 380](1998). Ethnicity and race: Making identities in a changing world. Thousand Oaks, CA: Pine Forge., &(2002). More than black?: Multiracial identity and the new racial order. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press.(1999). Racism: An American cauldron(3rd ed.). New York: Longman.(1999). Racial and ethnic relations, &(6th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.Root, M. P. P. (Ed.). (1992). Racially mixed people in America. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.Root, M. P. P. (Ed.). (1996). The multiracial experience: Racial borders as the new frontier(pp. 277–290). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.(1999). Spurious issues: Race and multiracial identity politics in the United States. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.(1993). Race and mixed race. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University.(1995). American mixed race: the culture of microdiversity. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.(1998). Thinking about race. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
About the Editors[Page 401]
Herman L. DeBose is Associate Professor at California State University, Northridge in the Sociology Department. He has a BS in sociology from North Carolina Agriculture and Technical State University, a master's of social work from University of Southern California, and a PhD in social welfare from University of California, Los Angeles. His research interest focuses on multiracial identity, HIV/AIDS, juvenile delinquency, and community policing. This research has afforded him the opportunity to make at least 25 presentations at national, regional, and local professional conferences and meetings covering a wide range of topics. It has also led to publications and contributions to a report on Working to End Gang Violence, submitted to the California State University Chancellor's Office.
Loretta I. Winters is Associate Professor of Sociology at California State University, Northridge (CSUN). She also served as Coordinator of the American Indian Studies Program at CSUN August 1999 through July 2001. She received her PhD in sociology from University of California, Riverside. Her research interests include multiracial identity, teen pregnancy, and natural disasters. She recently published “Disasters” (with Harvey E. Rich) in California's Social Problems (2nd ed., 2002). Other publications include a book review of the work edited by Ahenakew, Freda, and H. C. Wolfart, Our Grandmothers' Lives as Told in Their Own Words, in the American Indian Culture and Research Journal (1994); “Dear Christopher” in Darryl Wilson and Barry Joyce's Dear Christopher: Letters to Christopher Columbus by Contemporary Native Americans (1992); and (with Herman DeBose) chapters in Human Geography of African American (1999); and Foundations of African American Education (1998). She is enrolled as Mississauga with Indian and Northern Affairs in Canada and is also of Polish American descent.[Page 402]
About the Contributors[Page 403]
Karren Baird-Olson is Assistant Professor of Sociology and Coordinator of the American Indian Studies program at California State University, Northridge. She earned her BS from Montana State University, Bozeman; her MA from the University of Montana, Missoula; and her PhD from the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque. She is of Wyandot descent and in 1958 she married into the Nakota Nation of the Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux Reservation (Montana). Her publications include articles on American Indian women's spirituality, victimization, and leadership and First Peoples and crime.
Nancy G. Brown, MN, CNS, is a clinical nurse specialist in mental health, having received her BS in nursing from Boston University and her MS in Psychiatric Nursing/Community Consultation from University of California, Los Angeles. She is a first-generation American, born in New York City and raised in New Jersey, and is of German-Jewish heritage. She currently works as a psychotherapist with the Kaiser Department of Psychiatry in West Los Angeles. Nancy has been a partner in an interracial marriage since 1977 and has two multiracial daughters. This was a major impetus for her cofounding of Multiracial Americans of Southern California (MASC), a nonprofit organization, in 1987. She served as president for 7 years and continues to serve on the board of directors. Nancy was also an affiliate representative for MASC at the annual AMEA meetings for many years. She has held the position of western regional vice president since 1994. She was elected president of AMEA in May 2001.
G. Reginald Daniel, PhD, is Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at University of California, Santa Barbara. He teaches courses exploring comparative race and ethnic relations. Since 1989 he has taught Betwixt and Between, one of the first and longest-standing courses in the United States to deal with multiracial identity. He authored “Passers and Pluralists: Subverting the Racial Divide” and “Beyond Black and White: The New Multiracial Consciousness,” both chapters in Racially Mixed People in America (1992). Daniel's More Than Black? Multiracial Identity [Page 404]and the New Racial Order (2001) is a culmination of much of his thinking on this topic. In addition, Daniel has received a great deal of media attention and participated as a panelist at various conferences on the topic of multiracial identity. He is a member of the advisory board of Association of MultiEthnic Americans and a former advisory board member of Project RACE (Reclassify All Children Equally). Daniel's own multiracial identity includes African, Native American, Irish, East Indian, French, English, and possibly German-Jewish origins.
Laura Desfor Edles is Assistant Professor of Sociology at California State University, Northridge. Her primary interests are in culture, theory, politics, and race/ethnicity. She is the author of two books, Symbol and Ritual in the New Spain: The Transition to Democracy After Franco (1998) and Cultural Sociology in Practice (2002), as well as various articles on culture, social movements, and social theory.
Ramona E. Douglass has been a civil rights activist for nearly three decades. As a multiracial adult of Italian, Native American/Lakota, and mixed African American heritage, she has been a part of the multiracial movement in America since its inception. She was a pioneer in supporting freedom of choice in politics as a founding member of the National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression and as an outspoken participant with Angela Davis's Political Defense Committee in the early 1970s. As a U.S. Department of Commerce federal appointee to the 2000 Census Advisory Committee in Washington, D.C., since 1995 she has consistently represented multiracial community interests before Congress, the national media, and the Executive Office of the President. She has been a part of the Association of MultiEthnic Americans (AMEA) board of directors since its inception in 1988, serving in the capacities of vice president (1988–1994), president (1994–1999), and currently director of media and public relations. She has also had a successful 26-year career in medical sales and marketing and is now a senior sales manager and corporate trainer for a medical manufacturing company in the San Fernando Valley. She has BS degree in geology and chemistry from Colorado State University and an AMS certification in medical sales.
Kristyan M. Kouri is an Instructor in the Departments of Sociology and Women's Studies at California State University, Northridge, where she has received numerous awards in recognition of her excellence in teaching and mentoring. She holds a BA in behavioral science from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona and a PhD in sociology from the University of Southern California. Her studies of black-white interracial [Page 405]families have garnered dozens of speaking invitations, and her findings have been published in both the scholarly and popular press.
Kimberly McClain DaCosta is Assistant Professor of Afro-American Studies and Social Studies at Harvard University. She received her PhD in sociology from the University of California, Berkeley in 2000.
Ann Morning is a PhD candidate in sociology at Princeton University. She specializes in racial classification in demography and has been invited to present her research at the meetings of the American Sociological Association, National Association for Ethnic Studies, and Population Association of America. Her publications include “The Multiple-Race Population of the United States: Issues and Estimates” (with Joshua Goldstein) in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences; “The Racial Self-Identification of South Asians in the United States” in Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, and “Who is Multiracial? Definitions and Decisions” in Sociological Imagination.
Patricia O'Donnell Brummett is Associate Professor of Sociology and Criminology at California State University, Northridge. She received her PhD in sociology from the University of Notre Dame. O'Donnell Brummett has published two articles on employee assistance program referrals in Employee Assistance Quarterly. In addition, she has been the co-principal investigator of a grant stemming from California Bill AB-2650 (Cardenas-D), which evaluated the Communities in Schools of San Fernando Valley gang prevention and intervention programs. She also authored and served as a researcher for a grant from the federal Department of Education to investigate the linkages between drugs and alcohol and violence at California State University, Northridge. Her research interests include gangs, community policing, drug and alcohol use among college students, women and crime, and employee assistance programs.
Darby Li Po Price is a lecturer at the University of California at Santa Cruz, and has taught at DePaul University, Vassar College, the University of California at both Berkeley and Davis, and the Encampment for Citizenship. He completed his PhD at the University of California, Berkeley, in Ethnic Studies. Price has published essays in Amerasia Journal, American Indian Culture and Research Journal, Critical Mass, and many anthologies.
Maria P. P. Root, PhD, a psychologist in Seattle, Washington, has researched and published extensively on the topic of multiracial identity development and related topics such as minority mental health, gender, and trauma. She has edited and authored six books, two of which are [Page 406]award winning: Racially Mixed People in America (1992) and The Multiracial Experience: Racial Borders as the New Frontier (1996). Her most recent book is Love's Revolution: Racial Intermarriage (2001). She has received several career contribution and research awards from the Washington State Psychological Association, American Psychological Association, Asian American Psychological Association, American Family Therapy Academy, and Filipino American National Historical Society. She is president of the Washington State Psychological Association.
Rainier Spencer is Associate Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Director of Afro-American Studies at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He is the author of Spurious Issues: Race and Multiracial Identity Politics in the United States (1999), as well as several book chapters and journal articles on multiracial identity. His research focuses on interrogating the ways that biological race is reified in the ideology of the multiracial identity movement in the United States.
Paul Spickard is Professor of History at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He holds degrees from Harvard University and University of California, Berkeley and has taught at 10 universities in the United States, Asia, and the Pacific. He is the author and editor of many articles and 10 books, including Mixed Blood: Intermarriage and Ethnic Identity in 20th-century America (1989), Japanese Americans (1996), and Uncompleted Independence: Racial Thinking in the United States (with G. Reginald Daniel, forthcoming).
Caroline A. Streeter received her PhD in Ethnic Studies from the University of California, Berkeley. Her dissertation concerned representations of the “mulatta” in post-civil rights era American literature, film, and popular culture. From 2000 to 2002 she held a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Center for Cultural Studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz. In fall 2002, she joined the Department of English and the Center for African American Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles, as an Assistant Professor.
Mary Thierry Texeira is Associate Professor at California State University, San Bernadino, and teaches classes that explore gender, race, class, criminal, justice, and critical thinking. She holds a PhD in Sociology from the University of California, Riverside. Her research focuses on the complexities, contradictions, ambiguities, and consequences of race, racialization, and racial designation in the United States. She has published articles and reviews on racial profiling in the criminal justice system, symbolic legislation, women in prison, racial taxonomy, teaching about race in the classroom, and preparing African Americans for a college [Page 407]career. She is also a wife, mother, grandmother, voracious reader, and power walker.
Gregory Velazco y Trianosky is Professor of Philosophy and Chicano/a Studies at California State University, Northridge. He is the son of a Ukrainian father and a Puerto Rican mother. He earned his AB from Georgetown University in 1974 and his PhD in philosophy from the University of Michigan in 1980. He was the first in his family to graduate from college. He has taught at many universities, including the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and in Flint. His work on moral character has been internationally published and reprinted. His current research is divided between work on a subversive reinterpretation of our concept of race and a study of the altruistic virtues.
Kim M. Williams is Assistant Professor of Public Policy at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, and specializes in race-ethnic politics and political movements. She has received fellowships and awards from the Ford Foundation, Dartmouth College, Horowitz Foundation for Social Policy, Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University, Mathematical Policy Research Inc., and American Political Science Association. She received her BA from the University of California at Berkeley and her PhD from Cornell University. She is currently finishing a book, Ironies of the Post-Civil Rights Era: The U.S. Multiracial Movement, and has contributed to a number of edited volumes.
Teresa Williams-León is Associate Professor and Associate Chair of the Asian American Studies Department at California State University, Northridge. She received her BA from the University of Hawai'i in Japanese and MAs in Asian American studies and sociology and a PhD in sociology from University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Dr. Williams-Leon has taught courses on multiracial/multiethnic identity at UCLA; University of California, Santa Barbara; Santa Monica College; and California State University, Northridge. She has written numerous articles and book chapters on multiracial identity, including Prism Lives/Emerging Voices of Multiracial Asians, an annotated bibliography on mixed-race Asian Americans (compiled with Steven Masami Ropp and Curtiss Takada Rooks); a special issue of the Amerasia Journal entitled “No Passing Zone: Artistic and Discursive Writings by and About Asian-Descent Multiracials” (coedited with Velina Hasu Houston); and The Sum of Our Parts: Mixed Heritage Asian Americans, a social scientific anthology (coedited with Cynthia L. Nakashima). She is the recipient of the 2002 Hapa Issues Forum 10th Anniversary Gala Academic Contribution Prism Award.[Page 408]