This timely, in-depth examination of the educational experiences and needs of mixed-race children (“the fifth minority”) focuses on the four contexts that primarily influence learning and development: the family, school, community, and society-at-large.
The book provides foundational historical, social, political, and psychological information about mixed-race children and looks closely at their experiences in schools, their identity formation, and how schools can be made more supportive of their development and learning needs. Moving away from an essentialist discussion of mixed-race children, a wide variety of research is included. Life and schooling experiences of mixed-raced individuals are profiled throughout the text. Rather than pigeonholing children into a neat box of descriptions or providing ready made prescriptions for educators, Mixed-Race Youth and Schooling offers information and encourages teachers to critically reflect on how it is relevant to and helpful in their teaching/learning contexts.
Table of Contents
Part I: Being Mixed-Race in Society
Chapter 1: The Context of Race for Mixed-Race People
Chapter 2: Mixed-Race People in Society Over Time
Chapter 3: Racial Identity: Multiple Perspectives on Racial Self-Understanding
Part II: Family, Community, and Peers
Chapter 4: Structures, Practices, and Socialization in Interracial and Multiracial Families
Chapter 5: Community, Social Class and Sociocultural Interactions
Chapter 6: Peer Relations and Friendship Formations
Part III: Education and Schooling: People, Places, and Practices
Chapter 7: Teachers’ (Mixed) Race Constructions and Teaching in Multiracial Classrooms
Chapter 8: The Racial Context of Schooling and Mixed-race Youth
Chapter 9: Schooling Supportive of Mixed-Race Youth
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 scripts, which 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.
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…
The first Europeans to arrive in North America’s various regions relied on Native women to help them navigate unfamiliar customs and places. This study of three well-known and legendary female cultural intermediaries, Malinche, Pocahontas, and Sacagawea, examines their initial contact with Euro-Americans, their negotiation of multinational frontiers, and their symbolic representation over time.
Well before their first contact with Europeans or Anglo-Americans, the three women’s societies of origin—the Aztecs of Central Mexico (Malinche), the Powhatans of the mid-Atlantic coast (Pocahontas), and the Shoshones of the northern Rocky Mountains (Sacagawea)—were already dealing with complex ethnic tensions and social change. Using wit and diplomacy learned in their Native cultures and often assigned to women, all three individuals hoped to benefit their own communities by engaging with the new arrivals. But as historian Rebecca Kay Jager points out, Europeans and white Americans misunderstood female expertise in diplomacy and interpreted indigenous women’s cooperation as proof of their attraction to Euro-American men and culture. This confusion has created a historical misrepresentation of Malinche, Pocahontas, and Sacagawea as gracious Indian princesses, giving far too little credit to their skills as intermediaries.
Examining their initial contact with Europeans and their work on multinational frontiers, Jager removes these three famous icons from the realm of mythology and cultural fantasy and situates each woman’s behavior in her own cultural context. Drawing on history, anthropology, ethnohistory, and oral tradition, Jager demonstrates their shrewd use of diplomacy and fulfillment of social roles and responsibilities in pursuit of their communities’ future advantage.
Jager then goes on to delineate the symbolic roles that Malinche, Pocahontas, and Sacagawea came to play in national creation stories. Mexico and the United States have molded their legends to justify European colonization and condemn it, to explain Indian defeat and celebrate indigenous prehistory. After hundreds of years, Malinche, Pocahontas and Sacagawea are still relevant. They are the symbolic mothers of the Americas, but more than that, they fulfilled crucial roles in times of pivotal and enduring historical change. Understanding their stories brings us closer to understanding our own histories.
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.
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.
Is there more favor for beautiful people in general – regardless of race?
Is there more discrimination against ugly people – regardless of race?
Do we talk about discrimination against ugly people?
If not – why?
Don’t say because beauty is subjective. ‘Cause you know, Hollywood knows, and the music industry knows who’s beautiful (who sells tickets) regardless of race.
We know that individuals have preferences, but I’m talking the big picture. I mean the standard things like symmetry, even skin tone (without blemishes), and people who are not too skinny, not too fat, not too short, not too tall – these perfect middle of the road beauties. They have privilege. But more importantly, those who do not fit these perfect middle of the road norms are discriminated against – and we don’t talk about it. Why don’t we talk about it.
I think there is something deep here. Some prejudice that our whole society has that we don’t talk about. We celebrate beauty like crazy but we don’t talk about discrimination against the less beautiful.
I think the positive treatment of the beautiful and the discrimination against the less beautiful has a compounding effect over a person’s lifetime.
I think discrimination against the less beautiful can lead some of them toward depression, drugs, crime, incarceration. I think this is a big issue that no one talks about.
Yes, people have more to their identity then just their beauty or lack of it. But our society (Western Society) places a lot of emphasis on celebrating beauty. But how much time do we spend acknowledging that less beautiful people are being discriminated against all the time?
I say, add beauty to the intersectional graph and let’s stop pretending that it’s not a serious factor in people’s lives.
Thomas Chatterton Williams is a young writer who grew up listening to hip hop. His scholarly father instilled in him a passion for reading books. He tells Jim Fleming that when he went to college, hip hop began to lose its appeal. His memoir is called “Losing My Cool: How A Father’s Love and 15,000 Books Beat Hip Hop Culture.”