Is a person with both a white and African American parent black? Thirty years ago in American society the answer would have been yes. Today, the answer most likely depends on whom you ask. According to the U.S. Census, a person with both a black and a white parent is, in fact, black. However, most young persons who fit this description describe themselves as biracial, both black and white. Most young Americans, whatever their racial background, agree. Since the Voting Rights Act of 1965 signaled the culmination of the Civil Rights Movement, a transformation has occured in the racial self-definition of Americans with both an African American and a white parent. This book describes the transformation and explains why it has occurred and how it has come about. Through extensive research and dozens of interviews, Korgen describes how the transformation has its roots in the historical and cultural transitions in U.S. society since the Civil Rights era. A ground breaking book, From Black to Biracial will help all Americans understand the societal implications of the increasingly multiracial nature of our population. From affirmative action to the present controversy over the U.S. Census 2000, the repercussions of the transformation in racial identity related here affect all race-based aspects of our society. Students and faculty in sociology and multicultural studies, business leaders, and general readers alike will benefit from reading this work.
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About the Author
Kathleen Odell Korgen is assistant professor of sociology at William Paterson University of Wayne, New Jersey. She received her PhD in sociology from Boston College.
Table of Contents
Introduction: The Transformation of Racial Identity
Biracial Americans: White, Black, Both, Neither
Black by Definition or The Best of Both Worlds?
The Transformation: From Black to Biracial
Turning Points: Biracial College Students and Dating
Marginality and the Biracial American
Identities and Transformation
Public Policy Implications
Appendix: Notes on Methodology