Sex, Marriage, Identity, and Adoption
By Randall Kennedy
(Vintage, Paperback, 9780375702648, 688pp.)
Publication Date: January 6, 2004
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In Interracial Intimacies, Randall Kennedy hits a nerve at the center of American society: race relations and our most intimate ties to each other. Writing with the same piercing intelligence he brought to his national bestseller Nigger: The Strange Career of a Troublesome Word, Kennedy here challenges us to examine how prejudices and biases still fuel fears and inform our sexual, marital, and family choices.
Analyzing the tremendous changes in the history of America’s racial dynamics, Kennedy takes us from the injustices of the slave era up to present-day battles over race matching adoption policies, which seek to pair children with adults of the same race. He tackles such subjects as the presence of sex in racial politics, the historic role of legal institutions in policing racial boundaries, and the real and imagined pleasures that have attended interracial intimacy. A bracing, much-needed look at the way we have lived in the past, Interracial Intimacies is also a hopeful book, offering a potent vision of our future as a multiracial democracy.
Randall Kennedy is the author of Nigger and Race, Crime, and the Law. He received his undergraduate degree from Princeton and his law degree from Yale. A Rhodes Scholar, he served as a law clerk to Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. He is a professor at Harvard Law School and lives in Dedham, Massachusetts.
“The best book written on the subject, an exhaustive source of deep, rich scholarship and surefooted brilliant analysis.” —Seattle Times
“We urgently need Kennedy, his courage and his convictions. . . . For some time [he] has been a member of that small coterie of our most lucid big thinkers about race.” —Washington Post
“[A] vibrant, wieghty examination. . . . Kennedy writes eloquently about the violence, sadness, and warped legacy of the past, but then goes looking for intimacy anyway—instances in which some mutual feeling may have arisen across the racial divide.” —Los Angles Times
“As definitive as it is defiant. . . . One of the most important books on race in recent memory.” –Columbus Dispatch