Portraits and Interviews of Mixed-Race America
Publication Date: August 2009
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How should we define race and who should define it? Genetically we are all the same. Society has carved out categories in which to classify people so that it can better understand itself. But what is it like to be racially ambiguous’ and what is race really? In his essay, Alan Goodman explores how we as a society make race a reality.
I once asked my African American father, who has spent almost a lifetime working towards bettering education for economically disadvantaged public school children, and children of color, do you ever get nervous or frustrated at what people might say/do when they realize you married a White woman?’ His response was succinct and lasting for me. He said, Rudy, I don't much care what people think about who I love. That's my business and for people who have a problem with it, that's their issue to work out.
Rudy Crew, Brooklyn, NY
Alan H. Goodman is Professor of Biological Anthropology at Hampshire College. Deborah Heath is Associate Professor of Anthropology at Lewis and Clark College. M. Susan Lindee is Professor of the History and Sociology of Science at the University of Pennsylvania.
The 2000 U.S. census was the first to give Americans the option to check more than one box for race. Nearly 7 million people declared themselves to be multiracial, a number that's expected to shoot up in the 2010 count. As more of the nation's population identifies itself as being of mixed race, the authors of a new book say Americans' ideas of racial identity are in for a challenge. More at NPR.org
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