How Race Is Made in America: Immigration, Citizenship, and the Historical Power of Racial Scripts



How Race Is Made in America examines Mexican Americans—from 1924, when American law drastically reduced immigration into the United States, to 1965, when many quotas were abolished—to understand how broad themes of race and citizenship are constructed. These years shaped the emergence of what Natalia Molina describes as an immigration regime, which defined the racial categories that continue to influence perceptions in the United States about Mexican Americans, race, and ethnicity.

Molina demonstrates that despite the multiplicity of influences that help shape our concept of race, common themes prevail. Examining legal, political, social, and cultural sources related to immigration, she advances the theory that our understanding of race is socially constructed in relational ways—that is, in correspondence to other groups. Molina introduces and explains her central theory, racial scriptswhich highlights the ways in which the lives of racialized groups are linked across time and space and thereby affect one another. How Race Is Made in America also shows that these racial scripts are easily adopted and adapted to apply to different racial groups.

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HT Steven Riley @mixed_race

Interview on Sharon H. Chang’s Raising Mixed Race

By Grace Hwang Lynch


I’ve been reading a new book by Sharon H. Chang called Raising Mixed Race. You might remember Sharon, a Seattle-based writer and scholar, from her guest post A Multiracial Asian Mom Wonders How Her Son Will See Himself (Routledge 2015). With chapter titles that are analogies to home construction (Foundation, Framing, Wiring, etc.), the book aims to get to the historical ideas behind the way we talk about race, including the concept of mixed race identity. I was especially interested because the research focuses specifically on Asian multiracials. Recently, I had a chance to interview Sharon about her work. Read on…

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#MalcolmXDay: 20 Quotes Relevant To The Movement Today

Source: Michael Ochs Archives / Getty

Malcolm X
remains one of the most important figures of the American Civil Rights Movement, and his transformation into a vocal human rights activist added to his already impressive legacy.
The man later known as el-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz came to relax some of his fiery politics that defined the earlier part of his time in the spotlight, and yet that same passion remained even as he began to embrace a comprehensive approach to racial harmony.
With the current situations across the nation regarding disparity in how police treat people of color and similar injustices, Malcolm X’s words still hold resonance in modern times. From Ferguson to
Baltimore, African-Americans are reminded that incidents in those respective cities are part of a systematic condition that renders Black people targets of various forms of mistreatment.
On what would be his 90th birthday, NewsOne takes a look…

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“Me and Toni Morrison: On the Same Page About Skin Color Politics”

by Ms. Meltingpot

Hello Meltingpot Readers,

Have any of you read Toni Morrison’s new novel, God Help the Child? Not only have I read it, I had the chance to see Ms. Toni give a reading from the book here in Philadelphia and of course got her to sign my book. It was magical getting to meet her in person and to hear about her inspiration and ideas for writing this particular story.

Dear readers, I don’t know if you know this, but God Help the Child is all about a dark-skinned Black woman, Bride, who was rejected by her light-skinned mother and how that rejection informed the painful trajectory of her entire life.

The book begins:

It’s not my fault. So you can’t blame me. I didn’t do it and have no idea how it happened. It didn’t take more than an hour after they pulled her out from between my legs to realize something was wrong. Really wrong. She was so black she scared me.”
That could be the opening to my new book too, Same Family, Different Colors, only it wouldn’t be from the mouth of a fictional character, but rather a confessional from a real woman. Bride’s story may be a creation of Toni Morrison’s imagination, but sadly, mothers reject their children every day, even in the year 2015, because they’re too dark or too light. Depends on the circumstances. And, it’s not just Black people who exhibit these skin color prejudices. The stories I’m collecting from Latino and Asian-American subjects include the same experiences, with the same language of rejection and despair.


Continue reading…



Moon-Ho Jung & Dan Berger – The Rising Tide of Color

Talk by Moon-Ho Jung (Editor) and Dan Berger (Contributor) of the book “The Rising Tide of Color: Race, State Violence, and Radical Movements across the Pacific” recorded October 15, 2014 at University Bookstore in Seattle, WA.

A poem against internalization

by Starlette McNeill


You can search through my hair to ensure airport security.

You can bar  and color- code my skin.

You can socially position my body, marginalize or center.

But, you cannot touch who is within.


You can count me, number me: minority and majority.

You can in and out me, believe in and doubt me.

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Who does race say that I am?


Race has a lot to say about you and me, “us” and “them.”  This social construct tells us who we are and will be, where to go and where we are not welcome, whether we are in or out, center or margin.  Race tells us where we belong and when.  A director of our society, it gives us orders and in so doing, orders us, categorizes us, boxes us up and stacks us up on top of each other.
But, I think it’s time to interrupt, to get a word in, to change the conversation and the direction of our relationships.  Frankly, why does race have all the say about my life and the ways in which I live and perceive it?  Who says that I can’t butt in, that my life does not have a point to make a part from those stereotypical.
I used to like the social construct of race; that is, before I heard what it had to say about me.  I had listened but never fully considered its limitations.  And upon learning them, race gave me no other alternative.  I knew that our relationship would be different from many who preceded me because I could not agree with the terms.


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Book Review: ‘The Year She Left Us’ by Kathryn Ma


Kathryn Ma’s debut novel explores the inner world of an adopted Chinese teenage girl.


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Diversity Explosion: How New Racial Demographics are Remaking America


Diversity Explosion shares the good news about diversity in the coming decades, and the more globalized, multiracial country that U.S. is becoming.


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HT Steven Riley of @mixed_race

Latinas For Latino Lit: Remarkable Children’s Books of 2014


It’s the holiday season and the end of the year, with its accompanying “best of” lists, including book lists. Viviana Hurtado and Monica Olivera, the creators of Latinas For Latino Lit (L4LL), have compiled the Remarkable Latino Children’s Literature of 2014, a wonderful collection of Latino-themed books, many of them written and illustrated by Hispanic authors and artists.


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