“Honorary White” refers to individuals and groups who, in a racial hierarchy with Whites at the top and Blacks at the bottom, occupy a preferred, intermediate status. Originally coined to refer to some non-White and part-White groups in South Africa during apartheid, the term is more commonly used today to refer to some Asian and Latino groups in the United States.

Racial Stratification, White Supremacy, and Honorary Whiteness

To fully grasp the contextual meaning of being honorary White, it is important to understand the principles of racial stratification and White supremacy since both provide “big picture” understandings of racial dynamics. Racial stratification refers to the hierarchical arrangement of races within a society for the purpose of restricting access to power, wealth, and other forms of privilege. A ...

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