In the United States, anyone with even a trace of African American ancestry has been considered black. Even as the twenty-first century opens, a racial hierarchy still prevents people of color, including individuals of mixed race, from enjoying the same privileges as Euro-Americans. In this book, G. Reginald Daniel argues that we are at a crossroads, with members of a new multiracial movement pointing the way toward equality.
Tracing the centuries-long evolution of Eurocentrism, a concept geared to protecting white racial purity and social privilege, Daniel shows how race has been constructed and regulated in the United States. The so-called "one-drop rule" (i.e., hypodescent) obligated individuals to identify as black or white, in effect erasing mixed-race individuals from the social landscape. For most of our history, many mixed-race individuals of African American descent have attempted to acquire the socioeconomic benefits of being white by forming separate enclaves or "passing." By the 1990s, however, interracial marriages became increasingly common, and multiracial individuals became increasingly political, demanding institutional changes that would recognize the reality of multiple racial backgrounds and challenging white racial privilege.
More Than Black? regards the crumbling of the old racial order as an opportunity for substantially more than an improvement in U.S. race relations; it offers no less than a radical transformation of the nation's racial consciousness and the practice of democracy.
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G. Reginald Daniel is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Part I: White Over Black
1. Eurocentrism: The Origin of the Master Racial Project
2. Either Black or White: The United State and the Binary Racial Project
Part II: Black No More
3. White by Definition: Multiracial Identity and the Binary Racial Project
4. Black by Law: Multiracial Identity and the Ternary Racial Project
Part III: More than Black
5. The New Multiracial Identity: Both Black and White
6. The New Multiracial Identity: Neither Black nor White
7. Black by Popular Demand: Multiracial Identity and the Decennial Census
Part IV: Black No More or More than Black?
8. The Illusion of Inclusion : From White Domination to White Hegemony
9. The New Millennium: Toward a New Master Racial Project
Epilogue: Beyond Black or White: A New United States Racial Project
"Thankfully, in this increasingly diverse nation, deep questions about what 'white' and 'black' mean are finally coming to the fore. In an original analysis, Daniel thoroughly examines the long history of multiracial ancestries and communities in the U.S. Framing issues sociologically rather than psychologically, he probes how Eurocentrism has shaped past and present struggles over multiracial identities. Often working against the centuries-old white-racist order, struggles to assert multiracial identities began soon after the first interracial liaisons in the 1600s and continue today in the growing social and political movements to build a truly democratic multiracial society."
-Joe R. Feagin, Graduate Research Professor, University of Florida and author of Racist America "More Than Black? is a splendid analysis of how the American nation built walls to keep people apart and how these walls are being breached and dismantled. Writing amidst a tidal wave of racial boundary crossing, the author brilliantly dissects the rise of multiracial identities and shows how this has threatened many African Americans for whom mutually exclusive racial categories, first developed as a white racial weapon, have served their purposes in an era of entitlements, quotas, and set asides. Daniel has done a great service in helping us think about the future of a racially democratic society."
-Gary B. Nash, Professor of History, UCLA and Director, National Center for History in the Schools "This book is a major contribution to understanding multiracial identity, a topic of increasing importance. Professor Daniel places the issues in a broad historical-comparative perspective, focusing primarily on mixed-race persons in America with some African ancestry. A leader in the multiracial identity movement, he has written a carefully researched, informative, and balanced treatment."
-F. James Davis, Professor of Sociology Emeritus, Illinois State University, and author of Who Is Black?
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