|Self-identified multiracial Americans
(2.9% of the U.S. population)
|Regions with significant populations|
|Western US 2.4 million (3.4%)
Southern US 1.8 million (1.6%)
Midwestern US 1.1 million (1.6%)
Northeastern US 0.8 million (1.6%)
(2006 American Community Survey)
Multiracial Americans are Americans who have mixed ancestry of "two or more races". The term may also include Americans of mixed-race ancestry who self-identify with just one group culturally and socially (cf. the one-drop rule). In the 2010 US census, approximately 9 million individuals, or 2.9% of the population, self-identified as multiracial. There is evidence that an accounting by genetic ancestry would produce a higher number. Historical reasons, including slavery creating a racial caste and the European-American suppression of Native Americans, often led people to identify or be classified by only one ethnicity, generally that of the culture in which they were raised. Prior to the mid-20th century, many people hid their multiracial heritage because of racial discrimination against minorities. While many Americans may be biologically multiracial, they often do not know it or do not identify so culturally, any more than they maintain all the differing traditions of a variety of national ancestries.
After a lengthy period of formal racial segregation in the former Confederacy following the Reconstruction Era, and bans on interracial marriage in various parts of the country, more people are openly forming interracial unions. In addition, social conditions have changed and many multiracial people do not believe it is socially advantageous to try to "pass" as white. Diverse immigration has brought more mixed-race people into the United States, such as a significant population of Hispanics identifying as mestizos. Since the 1980s, the United States has had a growing multiracial identity movement (cf. Loving Day). Because more Americans have insisted on being allowed to acknowledge their mixed racial origins, the 2000 census for the first time allowed residents to check more than one ethno-racial identity and thereby identify as multiracial. In 2008 Barack Obama was elected as the first biracial President of the United States; he acknowledges both sides of his family and identifies as African American.
Today, multiracial individuals are found in every corner of the country. Multiracial groups in the United States include many Mestizo Americans, Métis Americans, African Americans, Louisiana Creoles, Hapas, Melungeons, Lumbees, Houmas, and several other communities found primarily in the Eastern US. Many Native Americans are multiracial in ancestry while identifying fully as members of federally recognized tribes.
The American people are mostly multi-ethnic descendants of various culturally distinct immigrant groups, many of which have now developed nations. Some consider themselves multiracial, while acknowledging race as a social construct. Creolization, assimilation and integration have been continuing processes. The Civil Rights Movement and other social movements since the mid-twentieth century worked to achieve social justice and equal enforcement of civil rights under the constitution for all ethnicities. In the 2000s, less than 5% of the population identified as multiracial. In many instances, mixed racial ancestry is so far back in an individual's family history (for instance, before the Civil War or earlier), that it does not affect more recent ethnic and cultural identification.
Interracial relationships, common-law marriages, and marriages occurred since the earliest colonial years, especially before slavery hardened as a racial caste associated with people of African descent in the British colonies. Virginia and other English colonies passed laws in the 17th century that gave children the social status of their mother, according to the principle of partus sequitur ventrem, regardless of the father's race or citizenship. This overturned the principle in English common law by which a man gave his status to his children – this had enabled communities to demand that fathers support their children, whether legitimate or not. The change increased white men's ability to use slave women sexually, as they had no responsibility for the children. As master as well as father of mixed-race children born into slavery, the men could use these people as servants or laborers or sell them as slaves. In some cases, white fathers provided for their multiracial children, paying or arranging for education or apprenticeships and freeing them, particularly during the two decades following the American Revolution. (The practice of providing for the children was more common in French and Spanish colonies, where a class of free people of color developed who became educated and property owners.) Many other white fathers abandoned the mixed-race children and their mothers to slavery.
The researcher Paul Heinegg found that most families of free people of color in colonial times were founded from the unions of white women, whether free or indentured servants, and African men, slave, indentured or free. In the early years, the working-class peoples lived and worked together. Their children were free because of the status of the white women. This was in contrast to the pattern in the post-Revolutionary era, in which most mixed-race children had white fathers and slave mothers.
Anti-miscegenation laws were passed in most states during the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries, but this did not prevent white slaveholders, their sons, or other powerful white men from taking slave women as concubines and having multiracial children with them. In California and the western US, there were greater numbers of Latino and Asian residents. These were prohibited from official relationships with whites. White legislators passed laws prohibiting marriage between European and Asian Americans until the 1950s.
Early United States history
Interracial relationships have had a long history in North America and the United States, beginning with the intermixing of European explorers and soldiers, who took native women as companions. After European settlement increased, traders and fur trappers often married or had unions with women of native tribes. In the 17th century, faced with a continuing, critical labor shortage, colonists primarily in the Chesapeake Bay Colony, imported Africans as laborers, sometimes as indentured servants and, increasingly, as slaves. African slaves were also imported into New York and other northern ports by the Dutch and later English. Some African slaves were freed by their masters during these early years.
In the colonial years, while conditions were more fluid, white women, indentured servant or free, and African men, servant, slave or free, made unions. Because the women were free, their mixed-race children were born free; they and their descendants formed most of the families of free people of color during the colonial period in Virginia. The scholar Paul Heinegg found that eighty percent of the free people of color in North Carolina in censuses from 1790–1810 could be traced to families free in Virginia in colonial years.
In 1789 Olaudah Equiano, a former slave from Nigeria who was enslaved in North America, published his autobiography. He advocated interracial marriage between whites and blacks. By the late eighteenth century, visitors to the Upper South noted the high proportion of mixed-race slaves, evidence of miscegenation by white men.
In 1790, the first federal population census was taken in the United States. Enumerators were instructed to classify free residents as white or "other." Only the heads of households were identified by name in the federal census until 1850. Native Americans were included among "Other;" in later censuses, they were included as "Free people of color" if they were not living on Indian reservations. Slaves were counted separately from free persons in all the censuses until the Civil War and end of slavery. In later censuses, people of African descent were classified by appearance as mulatto (which recognized visible European ancestry in addition to African) or black.
After the American Revolutionary War, the number and proportion of free people of color increased markedly in the North and the South as slaves were freed. Most northern states abolished slavery, sometimes, like New York, in programs of gradual emancipation that took more than two decades to be completed. The last slaves in New York were not freed until 1827. In connection with the Second Great Awakening, Quaker and Methodist preachers in the South urged slaveholders to free their slaves. Revolutionary ideals led many men to free their slaves, some by deed and others by will, so that from 1782 to 1810, the percentage of free people of color rose from less than one percent to nearly 10 percent of blacks in the South.
19th century: American Civil War, emancipation, Reconstruction and Jim Crow
Of numerous relationships between male slaveholders, overseers, or master's sons and women slaves, the most notable is likely that of President Thomas Jefferson with his slave Sally Hemings. As noted in the 2012 collaborative Smithsonian-Monticello exhibit, Slavery at Monticello: The Paradox of Liberty, Jefferson, then a widower, took Hemings as his concubine for nearly 40 years. They had six children of record; four Hemings children survived into adulthood, and he freed them all, among the very few slaves he freed. Two were allowed to "escape" to the North in 1822, and two were granted freedom by his will upon his death in 1826. Seven-eighths white by ancestry, all four of his Hemings children moved to northern states as adults; three of the four entered the white community, and all their descendants identified as white. Of the descendants of Madison Hemings, who continued to identify as black, some in future generations eventually identified as white and "married out", while others continued to identify as African American. It was socially advantageous for the Hemings children to identify as white, in keeping with their appearance and the majority proportion of their ancestry. Although born into slavery, the Hemings children were legally white under Virginia law of the time.
Racial discrimination continued to be enacted in new laws in the 20th century, for instance the one-drop rule was enacted in Virginia's 1924 Racial Integrity Law and in other southern states, in part influenced by the popularity of eugenics and ideas of racial purity. People buried fading memories that many whites had multiracial ancestry. Many families were multiracial. Similar laws had been proposed but not passed in the late nineteenth century in South Carolina and Virginia, for instance. After regaining political power in Southern states by disenfranchising blacks, white Democrats passed laws to impose Jim Crow and racial segregation to restore white supremacy. They maintained these until forced to change in the 1960s and after by enforcement of federal legislation authorizing oversight of practices to protect the constitutional rights of African Americans and other minority citizens.
In the twentieth century up until 1989, social service organizations typically assigned multiracial children to the racial identity of the minority parent, which reflected social practices of hypodescent. Black social workers had influenced court decisions on regulations related to identity; they argued that, as the biracial child was socially considered black, it should be classified that way in order to identify with the group and learn to deal with discrimination.
By 1990, the Census Bureau included more than a dozen ethnic/racial categories on the census, reflecting not only changing social ideas about ethnicity, but the wide variety of immigrants who had come to reside in the United States due to changing historical forces and new immigration laws in the 1960s. With a changing society, more citizens have begun to press for acknowledging multiracial ancestry. The Census Bureau changed its data collection by allowing people to self-identify as more than one ethnicity. Some ethnic groups are concerned about the potential political and economic effects, as federal assistance to historically underserved groups has depended on Census data. According to the Census Bureau, as of 2002, over 75% of all African Americans had multiracial ancestries.
The proportion of acknowledged multiracial children in the United States is growing. Interracial partnerships are on the rise, as are transracial adoptions. In 1990, around 14% of 18- to 19-year-olds, 12% of 20- to 21-year-olds, and 7% of 34- to 35-year-olds were involved in interracial relationships (Joyner and Kao, 2005).
Multiracial people who wanted to acknowledge their full heritage won a victory of sorts in 1997, when the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) changed the federal regulation of racial categories to permit multiple responses. This resulted in a change to the 2000 United States Census, which allowed participants to select more than one of the six available categories, which were, in brief: "White," "Black or African American," "Asian," "American Indian or Alaskan Native," "Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander," and "Other." Further details are given in the article: Race (U.S. census). The OMB made its directive mandatory for all government forms by 2003.
In 2000, Cindy Rodriguez reported on reactions to the new census:
To many mainline civil rights groups, the new census is part of a multiracial nightmare. After decades of framing racial issues in stark black and white terms, they fear that the multiracial movement will break down longstanding alliances, weakening people of color by splintering them into new subgroups.
Some multiracial individuals feel marginalized by U.S. society. For example, when applying to schools or for a job, or when taking standardized tests, Americans are sometimes asked to check boxes corresponding to race or ethnicity. Typically, about five race choices are given, with the instruction to "check only one." While some surveys offer an "other" box, this choice groups together individuals of many different multiracial types (ex: European Americans/African-Americans are grouped with Asian/Native American Indians).
The 2000 U.S. Census in the write-in response category had a code listing which standardizes the placement of various write-in responses for automatic placement within the framework of the U.S. Census's enumerated races. Whereas most responses can be distinguished as falling into one of the five enumerated races, there remains some write-in responses which fall into the "Mixture" heading which cannot be racially categorized. These include "Bi Racial, Combination, Everything, Many, Mixed, Multi National, Multiple, Several and Various".
In 1997, Greg Mayeda, a member of the Board of Directors person for the Hapa Issues Forum, attended a meeting regarding the new racial classifications for the 2000 U.S. Census. He was arguing against a multiracial category and for multiracial people being counted as all of their races. He argued that a
separate Multiracial Box does not allow a person who identifies as mixed race the opportunity to be counted accurately. After all, we are not just mixed race. We are representatives of all racial groups and should be counted as such. A stand alone Multiracial Box reveals very little about the person's background checking it.
According to James P. Allen and Eugene Turner from California State University, Northridge, who analyzed the 2000 Census, most multiracial people identified as part white. In addition, the breakdown is as follows:
- white/Native American and Alaskan Native, at 7,015,017,
- white/black at 737,492,
- white/Asian at 727,197, and
- white/Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander at 125,628.
In 2010, 1.6 million Americans checked both "black" and "white" on their census forms, a figure 134% higher than the number a decade earlier. The number of interracial marriages and relationships, and transracial and international adoptions has increased the proportion of multiracial families. In addition, more individuals may be identifying multiple ancestries, as the concept is more widely accepted.
This section contains too many or too-lengthy quotations for an encyclopedic entry. (November 2009)
In an article about mixed-race children having identity problems, Charlotte Nitary states:
Wardle (1989) says that today, parents assume one of three positions as to the identity of their interracial children. Some insist that their child is 'human above all else' and that race or ethnicity is irrelevant, while others choose to raise their children with the identity of the parent of color. Another growing group of parents is insisting that the child have the ethnic, racial, cultural and genetic heritage of both parents.
In her book Love's Revolution: Interracial Marriage, Maria P. P. Root writes:
Women with children, especially biracial children, have fewer chances for remarriage than childless women. And because the children of divorce tend to remain with mothers, becoming incorporated into new families when their mothers remarry, interracial children are more threatening markers of race and racial authenticity for families in which race matters.
In 2009, Keith Bardwell, a justice of the peace in Robert, Louisiana, refused to officiate a wedding for an interracial couple and was summarily sued in federal court. See refusal of interracial marriage in Louisiana.
About 15% of all new marriages in the United States in 2010 were between spouses of a different race or ethnicity from one another, more than double the share in 1980 (6.7%).
Multi-racial American identity
Given the variety of the familial and general social environments in which multiracial children are raised, along with the diversity of their appearance and heritage, generalizations about multiracial children's challenges or opportunities are not very useful.
The social identity of children and of their parents in the same multiracial family may vary or be the same. Some multiracial children feel pressure from various sources to "choose" or to identify as a single racial identity. Others may feel pressure not to abandon one or more of their ethnicities, particularly if identified with culturally.
Some multiracial individuals attempt to claim a new category. For instance, the athlete Tiger Woods has said that he is not only African American but "Cablinasian," as he is of Caucasian, African American, Native American, and Asian descent.
Some children grow up without race being a significant issue in their lives.
[B]eing multiracial can still be problematic. Most constructions of race in America revolve around a peculiar institution known as the 'one-drop rule' ... The one-drop conceit shapes both racism—creating an arbitrary 'caste'—and the collective response against it. To identify as multiracial is to challenge this logic, and consequently, to fall outside both camps.
[M]any monoracials do view a multiracial identity as a choice that denies loyalty to the oppressed racial group. We can see this issue enacted currently over the debate of the U.S. census to include a multiracial category— some oppressed monoracial groups believe this category would decrease their numbers and 'benefits.'
Many students who called themselves 'half-Asian/Black/etc.' came to college in search of cultural knowledge but found themselves unwelcome in groups of peers that were 'whole' ethnicities.' (Renn, 1998) She found that as a result of this exclusion, many multiracial students expressed the need to create and maintain a self-identified multiracial community on campus. Multiracial people may identify more with each other, because "they share the experience of navigating campus life as multiracial people," (Renn, 1998) than with their component ethnic groups. Multiracial students of different ancestries have their own experiences in common.
White and European American identity
Some of the most notable families include the Van Salees, Vanderbilts, Whitneys, Blacks, Cheswells, Newells, Battises, Bostons, Eldings of the North; the Staffords, Gibsons, Locklears, Pendarvises, Driggers, Galphins, Fairfaxes, Grinsteads (Greenstead, Grinsted and Grimsted), Johnsons, Timrods, Darnalls of the South; and the Picos, Yturrias and Bushes of the West.
DNA analysis shows varied results regarding non-European ancestry in self-identified White Americans. A 2002 DNA analysis found that about 30% of self-identified White Americans have recent sub-Saharan African ancestry. A 2014 study performed on data obtained from 23andme customers found that the percentage of African or American Indian ancestry among White Americans varies significantly by region, with about 5% of White Americans living in Louisiana and South Carolina having 2% or more African ancestry.
Some biographical accounts include the autobiography Life on the Color Line: The True Story of a White Boy Who Discovered He Was Black by Gregory Howard Williams; One Drop: My Father's Hidden Life—A Story of Race and Family Secrets written by Bliss Broyard about her father Anatole Broyard; the documentary Colored White Boy about a white man in North Carolina who discovers that he is the descendant of a white plantation owner and a raped African slave; and the documentary on The Sanders Women of Shreveport, Louisiana.
Racial identity among Native Americans
In the 2010 Census, nearly 3 million people indicated that their race was Native American (including Alaska Native). Of these, more than 27% specifically indicated "Cherokee" as their ethnic origin. Many of the First Families of Virginia claim descent from Pocahontas or some other "Indian princess". This phenomenon has been dubbed the "Cherokee Syndrome". Across the US, numerous individuals cultivate an opportunistic ethnic identity as Native American, sometimes through Cherokee heritage groups or Indian Wedding Blessings.
Many tribes, especially those in the Eastern United States, are primarily made up of individuals with an unambiguous Native American identity, despite being predominantly of European ancestry. Point in case, more than 75% of those enrolled in the Cherokee Nation have less than one-quarter Cherokee blood, and the current Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation, Bill John Baker, is 1/32 Cherokee, amounting to about 3%.
Historically, numerous Native Americans assimilated into colonial and later American society, e.g. through adopting English and converting to Christianity. In many cases, this process occurred through forced assimilation of children sent off to special boarding schools far from their families. Those who could pass for white had the advantage of "white privilege". Today, after generations of racial whitening through hypergamy, many Native Americans are visually indistinguishable from White Americans, unlike mestizos in the United States, who may in fact have little or no non-indigenous ancestry.
Native Americans are more likely than any other racial group to practice racial exogamy, resulting in an ever-declining proportion of indigenous blood among those who claim a Native American identity. Some tribes will even resort to disenrollment of tribal members unable to provide scientific "proof" of Native ancestry, usually through a Certificate of Degree of Indian Blood. Disenrollment has become a contentious issue in Native American reservation politics.
Hispanic and Latino American identity
A typical Latino American family may have members with a wide range of racial phenotypes, meaning a Hispanic couple may have children who look white and African and/or Native American and/or Asian. Latino Americans have several self-identifications; most Latinos identify as white in terms of race, while others identify as black and/or Native American and/or Asian. Latinos who do not want to identify as one of those identify simply as Hispanic and/or some other race as their race.
Many Latin American migrants have been mestizo, Amerindian, or other mixed race. Multiracial Latinos have limited media appearance; critics have accused the U.S. Hispanic media of overlooking the brown-skinned indigenous and multiracial Hispanic and black Hispanic populations by over-representation of blond and blue/green-eyed white Hispanic and Latino Americans (who resemble Scandinavians and other Northern Europeans rather than they look like white Hispanic and Latino Americans mostly of typical Southern European features), and also light-skinned mulatto and mestizo Hispanic and Latino Americans (often deemed as white persons in U.S. Hispanic and Latino populations if achieving the middle class or higher social status), especially some of the actors on the telenovelas.
Black and African American identity
Americans with Sub-Saharan African ancestry for historical reasons: slavery, partus sequitur ventrem, one-eighth law, the one-drop rule of 20th-century legislation, have frequently been classified as black (historically) or African American, even if they have significant European American or Native American ancestry. As slavery became a racial caste, those who were enslaved and others of any African ancestry were classified by what is termed "hypodescent" according to the lower status ethnic group. Many of majority European ancestry and appearance "married white" and assimilated into white society for its social and economic advantages, such as generations of families identified as Melungeons, now generally classified as white but demonstrated genetically to be of European and sub-Saharan African ancestry.
Sometimes people of mixed African-American and Native American descent report having had elder family members withholding pertinent genealogical information. Tracing the genealogy of African Americans can be a very difficult process, as censuses did not identify slaves by name before the American Civil War, meaning that most African Americans did not appear by name in those records. In addition, many white fathers who used slave women sexually, even those in long-term relationships like Thomas Jefferson's with Sally Hemings, did not acknowledge their mixed-race slave children in records, so paternity was lost.
Colonial records of French and Spanish slave ships and sales, and plantation records in all the former colonies, often have much more information about slaves, from which researchers are reconstructing slave family histories. Genealogists have begun to find plantation records, court records, land deeds and other sources to trace African-American families and individuals before 1870. As slaves were generally forbidden to learn to read and write, black families passed along oral histories, which have had great persistence. Similarly, Native Americans did not generally learn to read and write English, although some did in the nineteenth century. Until 1930, census enumerators used the terms free people of color and mulatto to classify people of apparent mixed race. When those terms were dropped, as a result of the lobbying by the Southern Congressional bloc, the Census Bureau used only the binary classifications of black or white, as was typical in segregated southern states.
In the 1980s, parents of mixed-race children began to organize and lobby for the addition of a more inclusive term of racial designation that would reflect the heritage of their children. When the U.S. government proposed the addition of the category of "bi-racial" or "multiracial" in 1988, the response from the public was mostly negative. Some African-American organizations, and African-American political leaders, such as Congresswoman Diane Watson and Congressman Augustus Hawkins, were particularly vocal in their rejection of the category, as they feared the loss of political and economic power if African Americans reduced their numbers by self-identification.
Since the 1990s and 2000s, the terms mixed-race, biracial, and multiracial have been used more frequently in society. It is still most common in the United States (unlike some other countries with a history of slavery) for people with visible African features to identify as or be classified solely as blacks or African Americans, regardless of other also obvious ancestry.
President Barack Obama is of East African and European American ancestry; he identifies as African American. A 2007 poll, when Obama was a presidential candidate, found that Americans differed in their responses as to how they classified him: a majority of White and Hispanics classified him as biracial, but a majority of African Americans classified him as black.
A 2003 study found an average of 18.6% (±1.5%) European admixture in a population sample of 416 African Americans from Washington, DC. Studies of other populations in other areas have found differing percentages of ethnicity.
Twenty percent of African Americans have more than 25% European ancestry, reflecting the long history of unions between the groups. The "mostly African" group is substantially African, as 70% of African Americans in this group have less than 15% European ancestry. The 20% of African Americans in the "mostly mixed" group (2.7% of US population) have between 25% and 50% European ancestry.
The writer Sherrel W. Stewart's assertion that "most" African Americans have significant Native American heritage, is not supported by genetic researchers who have done extensive population mapping studies. The TV series on African-American ancestry, hosted by the scholar Henry Louis Gates, Jr., had genetics scholars who discussed in detail the variety of ancestries among African Americans. They noted there is popular belief in a high rate of Native American admixture that is not supported by the data that has been collected. (Reference is coming)
Genetic testing of direct male and female lines evaluates only two out of an individual's lines of ancestry. For this reason, individuals on the Gates show had fuller DNA testing.
The critic Troy Duster, writing in The Chronicle of Higher Education, thought Gates' series African American Lives should have told people more about the limitations of genetic SNP testing. He says that not all ancestry may show up in the tests, especially for those who claim part-Native American descent. Other experts also agree.
Population testing is still being done. Some Native American groups that have been sampled may not have shared the pattern of markers being searched for. Geneticists acknowledge that DNA testing cannot yet distinguish among members of differing cultural Native American nations. There is genetic evidence for three major migrations into North America, but not for more recent historic differentiation. In addition, not all Native Americans have been tested, so scientists do not know for sure that Native Americans have only the genetic markers they have identified.
On census forms, the government depends on individuals' self-identification. Contemporary African Americans possess varying degrees of admixture with European ancestry. A percentage also have various degrees of Native American ancestry.
Many free African American families descended from unions between white women and African men in colonial Virginia. Their free descendants migrated to the frontier of Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina in the 18th and 19th centuries. There were also similar free families in Delaware and Maryland, as documented by Paul Heinegg.
In addition, many Native American women turned to African American men due to the decline in the number of Native American men due to disease and warfare. Some Native American women bought African slaves but, unknown to European sellers, the women freed the African men and married them into their respective tribes. If an African American man had children by a Native American woman, their children were free because of the status of the mother.
In their attempt to ensure white supremacy decades after emancipation, in the early 20th century, most southern states created laws based on the one-drop rule, defining as black, persons with any known African ancestry. This was a stricter interpretation than what had prevailed in the 19th century; it ignored the many mixed families in the state and went against commonly accepted social rules of judging a person by appearance and association. Some courts called it "the traceable amount rule." Anthropologists called it an example of a hypodescent rule, meaning that racially mixed persons were assigned the status of the socially subordinate group.
Prior to the one-drop rule, different states had different laws regarding color. More importantly, social acceptance often played a bigger role in how a person was perceived and how identity was construed than any law. In frontier areas, there were fewer questions about origins. The community looked at how people performed, whether they served in the militia and voted, which were the responsibilities and signs of free citizens. When questions about racial identity arose because of inheritance issues, for instance, litigation outcomes often were based on how people were accepted by neighbors.
In Virginia prior to 1920, for example, a person was legally white if having seven-eights or more white ancestry. The one-drop rule originated in some Southern United States in the late 19th century, likely in response to whites' attempt to maintain white supremacy and limit black political power following the Democrats' regaining control of state legislatures in the late 1870s.[unreliable source][unreliable source] The first year in which the U.S. Census dropped the mulatto category was 1920; that year enumerators were instructed to classify people in a binary way as white or black. This was a result of the Southern-dominated Congress convincing the Census Bureau to change its rules.
After the Civil War, racial segregation forced African Americans to share more of a common lot in society than they might have given widely varying ancestry, educational and economic levels. The binary division altered the separate status of the traditionally free people of color in Louisiana, for instance, although they maintained a strong Louisiana Créole culture related to French culture and language, and practice of Catholicism. African Americans began to create common cause—regardless of their multiracial admixture or social and economic stratification. In 20th-century changes, during the rise of the Civil Rights and Black Power movements, the African-American community increased its own pressure for people of any portion of African descent to be claimed by the black community to add to its power.
By the 1980s, parents of mixed-race children (and adults of mixed-race ancestry) began to organize and lobby for the ability to show more than one ethnic category on Census and other legal forms. They refused to be put into just one category. When the U.S. government proposed the addition of the category of "bi-racial" or "multiracial" in 1988, the response from the general public was mostly negative. Some African-American organizations and political leaders, such as Senator Diane Watson and Representative Augustus Hawkins, were particularly vocal in their rejection of the category. They feared a loss in political and economic power if African Americans abandoned their one category.
This reaction is characterized as "historical irony" by Reginald Daniel (2002). The African American self-designation had been a response to the one-drop rule, but then people resisted the chance to claim their multiple heritages. At the bottom was a desire not to lose political power of the larger group. Whereas before people resisted being characterized as one group regardless of ranges of ancestry, now some of their own were trying to keep them in the same group.
Definition of African American
This article's factual accuracy is disputed. (November 2014) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
Since the late twentieth century, the number of African and Caribbean ethnic African immigrants have increased in the United States. Together with publicity about the ancestry of President Barack Obama, whose father was from Kenya, some black writers have argued that new terms are needed for recent immigrants. They suggest that the term "African-American" should refer strictly to the descendants of African slaves and free people of color who survived the slavery era in the United States. They argue that grouping together all ethnic Africans regardless of their unique ancestral circumstances would deny the lingering effects of slavery within the American slave descendant community. They say recent ethnic African immigrants need to recognize their own unique ancestral backgrounds.
Stanley Crouch wrote in a New York Daily News piece "Obama's mother is of white U.S. stock. His father is a black Kenyan," in a column entitled "What Obama Isn't: Black Like Me." During the 2008 campaign, the mixed-race columnist David Ehrenstein (who is less than half African-American) of the LA Times accused white liberals of flocking to Obama because he was a "Magic Negro", a term that refers to a black person with no past who simply appears to assist the mainstream white (as cultural protagonists/drivers) agenda. Ehrenstein went on to say "He's there to assuage white 'guilt' they feel over the role of slavery and racial segregation in American history."
Reacting to media criticism of Michelle Obama during the 2008 presidential election, Charles Kenzie Steele, Jr., CEO of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference said, "Why are they attacking Michelle Obama, and not really attacking, to that degree, her husband? Because he has no slave blood in him." He later claimed his comment was intended to be "provocative" but declined to expand on the subject. Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice (who was famously mistaken for a "recent American immigrant" by French President Nicolas Sarkozy), said "descendants of slaves did not get much of a head start, and I think you continue to see some of the effects of that." She has also rejected an immigrant designation for African Americans and instead prefers the term "black" or "white" .
European and Indigenous American identity
Interracial relations among Indigenous Americans and Europeans occurred from the earliest years of Spanish, French and British exploration. explorers and trappers. European impact was immediate, widespread, and profound—more than any other race that had contact with Indigenous Americans during the early years of colonization and nationhood.
Some Europeans living among Indigenous Americans were called "white Indians". They "lived in native communities for years, learned native languages fluently, attended native councils, and often fought alongside their native companions." More numerous and typical were traders and trappers, who married Indigenous American women from tribes on the frontier and had families with them. Some traders, who kept bases in the cities, had what ware called "country wives" among Indigenous Americans, with legal European-American wives and children at home in the city. Not all abandoned their "natural" mixed-race children. Some arranged for sons to be sent to European-American schools for their education.
The social identity of the children was strongly determined by the tribe's kinship system. Among the matrilineal tribes of the Southeast, the mixed-race children generally were accepted as and identified as Indian, as they gained their social status from their mother's clans and tribes, and often grew up with their mothers and their male relatives. By contrast, among the patrilineal Omaha, for example, the child of a white man and Omaha woman was considered "white"; such mixed-race children and their mothers would be protected, but the children could formally belong to the tribe as members only if adopted by a man.
In the early twentieth century in the West, "intermarried whites" were listed in a separate category on the Dawes Rolls, when members of tribes were listed and identified for allocation of lands to individual heads of households in the break-up of tribal communal lands in Indian Territory. There was increased intermarriage after this time as white men tried to gain control over Indigenous American lands.
Some early male settlers married Indigenous American women and had informal unions with them. Early contact between Indigenous Americans and Europeans was often charged with tension, but also had moments of friendship, cooperation, and intimacy. Marriages took place in both English and Latin colonies between European men and Native women. For instance, on April 5, 1614, Pocahontas, a Powhatan woman in present-day Virginia, married the Englishman John Rolfe of Jamestown. Their son Thomas Rolfe was an ancestor to many descendants in First Families of Virginia. As a result, English laws did not exclude people with some Indigenous American ancestry from being considered English or white.
In the early 19th century, the Indigenous American woman Sacagawea, who would help translate for and guide the Lewis and Clark Expedition in the West, married the French trapper Toussaint Charbonneau. Most marriages between Europeans and Indigenous Americans were between European men and Indigenous American women. Depending on the kinship system of the woman's tribe, their children would be more or less easily assimilated into the tribe. Nations that had matrilineal systems, such as the Creek and Cherokee in the Southeast, gave the mixed-race children status in their mother's clans and tribes. If the tribe had a patrilineal system, like the Omaha, the children of white fathers were considered white. Unless they were specifically adopted into the tribe by an adult male, they could have no social status in it.
In those years, an Indigenous American man had to get consent of the European parents in order to marry a white woman. When such marriages were approved, it was with the stipulation that "he can prove to support her as a white woman in a good home".
In the late 19th century, three European-American middle-class female teachers married Indigenous American men they had met at Hampton Institute during the years when it ran its Indian program. In the late nineteenth century, Charles Eastman, a physician of European and Sioux ancestry who trained at Boston University, married Elaine Goodale, a European-American woman from New England. They met and worked together in Dakota Territory when she was Superintendent of Indian Education and he was a doctor for the reservations. His maternal grandfather was Seth Eastman, an artist and Army officer from New England, who had married a Sioux woman and had a daughter with her while stationed at Fort Snelling in Minnesota.
African and Indigenous American identity
Interracial relations between Indigenous Americans and African Americans is a part of American history that has been neglected. The earliest record of African and Indigenous American relations in the Americas occurred in April 1502, when the first Africans kidnapped were brought to Hispaniola to serve as slaves. Some escaped, and somewhere inland on Santo Domingo, the first Black Indians were born. In addition, an example of African slaves' escaping from European colonists and being absorbed by Indigenous Americans occurred as far back as 1526. In June of that year, Lucas Vasquez de Ayllon established a Spanish colony near the mouth of the Pee Dee River in what is now eastern South Carolina. The Spanish settlement was named San Miguel de Gualdape. Amongst the settlement were 100 enslaved Africans. In 1526, the first African slaves fled the colony and took refuge with local Indigenous Americans.
European colonists created treaties with Indigenous American tribes requesting the return of any runaway slaves. For example, in 1726, the British governor of New York exacted a promise from the Iroquois to return all runaway slaves who had joined them. This same promise was extracted from the Huron Nation in 1764, and from the Delaware Nation in 1765, though there is no record of slaves ever being returned. Numerous advertisements requested the return of African Americans who had married Indigenous Americans or who spoke an Indigenous American language. The primary exposure that Africans and Indigenous Americans had to each other came through the institution of slavery. Indigenous Americans learned that Africans had what Indigenous Americans considered 'Great Medicine' in their bodies because Africans were virtually immune to the Old-World diseases that were decimating most native populations. Because of this, many tribes encouraged marriage between the two groups, to create stronger, healthier children from the unions.
For African Americans, the one-drop rule was a significant factor in ethnic solidarity. African Americans generally shared a common cause in society regardless of their multiracial admixture, or social/economic stratification. Additionally, African Americans found it, near, impossible to learn about their Indigenous American heritage as many family elders withheld pertinent genealogical information. Tracing the genealogy of African Americans can be a very difficult process, especially for descendants of Indigenous Americans, because African Americans who were slaves were forbidden to learn to read and write, and a majority of Indigenous Americans neither spoke English, nor read or wrote it.
Pacific Islander American identity
During the 1800s Christian missionaries from Great Britain and the United States followed traders to the Hawaiian islands. Long-termly, the Anglo-Saxon presence negatively impacted the level of regard Hawaiian royal women held for their own indigenous looks. For centuries prior the arrival of Christians, first nation Hawaiian aesthetics, such as dark skin and ample bodies, had been considered signs of nobility. No matter how much they adapted their mannerisms to Western standard, some of the Anglo-Saxon missionaries were relentless in referring to the indigenous women as "Hawaiian squaws." By the last half of the 19th century, some Hawaiian women began marrying European men who found them exotic. The men, however, selected Hawaiian women who were thinner and paler in complexion.
While some American Pacific Islanders continue traditional cultural endogamy, many within this population now have mixed racial ancestry, sometimes combining European, Native American, as well as East Asian ancestry. The Hawaiians originally described the mixed-race descendants as hapa. The term has evolved to encompass all people of mixed Asian and/or Pacific Islander ancestry. Subsequently, many ethnic Chinese also settled on the islands and married into the Pacific Islander populations.
There are many other Pacific Islanders outside of Hawaii that do not share this common history with Hawaii and Asian populations are not the only race that Pacific Islanders mix with.
Eurasian American identity
In its original meaning, an Amerasian is a person born in Asia, to a U.S. military father and an Asian mother. Colloquially, the term has sometimes been considered synonymous with Asian American, to describe any person of mixed Asian and American parentage, regardless of the circumstances.
According to the United States Census Bureau, concerning multi-racial families in 1990, the number of children in interracial families grew from less than one-half million in 1970 to about two million in 1990. In 1990, for interracial families with one White partner, the other parent ... was Asian for 45 percent [of all children.]
According to James P. Allen and Eugene Turner from California State University, Northridge, by some calculations the largest part white bi-racial population is white/American Indian and Alaskan Native, at 7,015,017; followed by white/black at 737,492; then white/Asian at 727,197; and finally white/Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander at 125,628.
The US Census categorizes Eurasian responses in the "Some other race" section as part of the Asian race. The Eurasian responses which the US Census officially recognizes are Indo-European, Amerasian, and Eurasian.
Afro-Asian American identity
Chinese men entered the United States as laborers, primarily on the West Coast and in western territories. Following the Reconstruction era, as blacks set up independent farms, white planters imported Chinese laborers to satisfy their need for labor. In 1882, the Chinese Exclusion Act was passed, and Chinese workers who chose to stay in the U.S. were unable to have their wives join them. In the South, some Chinese married into the black and mulatto communities, as generally discrimination meant they did not take white spouses. They rapidly left working as laborers, and set up groceries in small towns throughout the South. They worked to get their children educated and socially mobile.
As of the census of 2000, there were 106,782 Afro-Asian individuals in the United States.
"Passing" is a term for a person whose ancestry is mostly that of the dominant group with some ancestry of a subordinate group, and who is perceived as being part of the majority group, when social conventions would classify the person with the subordinate group.
The phenomenon known as "passing as white" is difficult to explain in other countries or to foreign students. Typical questions are: "Shouldn't Americans say that a person who is passing as white is white, or nearly all white, and has previously been passing as black?" or "To be consistent, shouldn't you say that someone who is one-eighth white is passing as black?" ... A person who is one-fourth or less American Indian or Korean or Filipino is not regarded as passing if he or she intermarries with and joins fully the life of the dominant community, so the minority ancestry need not be hidden. ... It is often suggested that the key reason for this is that the physical differences between these other groups and whites are less pronounced than the physical differences between African blacks and whites, and therefore are less threatening to whites. ... [W]hen ancestry in one of these racial minority groups does not exceed one-fourth, a person is not defined solely as a member of that group.
Daniel Hale Williams was of Scots-Irish and African-American ancestry. Although members of his family passed as white, he exclusively served, and identified with, African Americans.
Laws dating from 17th-century colonial America defined children of African slave mothers as taking the status of their mothers, and born into slavery regardless of the race or status of the father, under partus sequitur ventrem. The association of slavery with a "race" led to slavery as a racial caste. But, most families of free people of color formed in Virginia before the American Revolution were the descendants of unions between white women and African men, who frequently worked and lived together in the looser conditions of the early colonial period. While interracial marriage was later prohibited, white men frequently took sexual advantage of slave women, and numerous generations of multiracial children were born. By the late 1800s it had become common among African Americans to use passing to gain educational opportunities as did the first African-American graduate of Vassar College, Anita Florence Hemmings. Some 19th-century categorization schemes defined people by proportion of African ancestry: a person whose parents were black and white was classified as mulatto, with one black grandparent and three white as quadroon, and with one black great-grandparent and the remainder white as octoroon. The latter categories remained within an overall black or colored category, but before the Civil War, in Virginia and some other states, a person of one-eighth or less black ancestry was legally white. Some members of these categories passed temporarily or permanently as white.
Until the Civil War, racial identity depended on the combination of appearance, African blood fraction, and social circle.[unreliable source] After whites regained power in the South following Reconstruction, they established racial segregation to reassert white supremacy, followed by laws defining people with any apparent or known African ancestry as black, under the principle of hypodescent.
However, since several thousand blacks have been crossing the color line each year, millions of white Americans have relatively recent African ancestors (of the last 250 years). A statistical analysis done in 1958 estimated that 21 percent of the white population had some African ancestors. The study concluded that the majority of Americans of African descent were today classified as white and not black.
The figure of the "tragic octoroon" was a stock character of abolitionist literature: a mixed-race woman raised as if a white woman in her white father's household, until his bankruptcy or death has her reduced to a menial position She may even be unaware of her status before being reduced to victimization. The first character of this type was the heroine of Lydia Maria Child's "The Quadroons" (1842), a short story. This character allowed abolitionists to draw attention to the sexual exploitation in slavery and, unlike portrayals of the suffering of the field hands, did not allow slaveholders to retort that the sufferings of Northern mill hands were no easier. The Northern mill owner would not sell his own children into slavery.
Abolitionists sometimes featured attractive, escaped mulatto slaves in their public lectures to arouse sentiments against slavery. They showed Northerners those slaves who looked like them rather than an "Other"; this technique, which is labeled White slave propaganda, collapsed the separation between peoples and made it impossible for the public to ignore the brutality of slavery.
Charles W. Chesnutt, an author of the post-Civil War era, explored stereotypes in his portrayal of multiracial characters in southern society in the postwar years. Even characters who had been free and possibly educated before the war had trouble making a place for themselves in the postwar years. His stories feature mixed-race characters with complex lives. William Faulkner also portrayed the lives of mixed-race people and complex interracial families in the postwar South.
The 21st-century filmmaker Greg Pak suggests that multiracial characters in film have often been portrayed as more driven by instinct than whites. He writes,
Multiracial characters have often been depicted as 'Wild Half-Castes', sexually destructive antagonists explicitly or implicitly perceived as unable to control the instinctive urges of their non-white heritage. Media which portrays multiracials as the 'half-breed' predator... [and] 'halfbreed' temptress perpetuates the association of multiraciality with sexual aberration and violence. Another recurring stereotype is the 'Tragic Mulatto', a typically female character who tries to pass for white but finds disaster when her non-white heritage is revealed... [T]he 'Half Breed Hero' provides a more 'empowering' stereotype... the 'Half Breed Hero' seemingly inspires identification as he actively resists white racism.
- Race in the United States
- Racial and ethnic demographics of the United States
- Race of the Future
- Loving v. Virginia
- Dreams from My Father
- British Mixed-Race
- One-drop rule
- 2010 Census, based on self-identification
- Jones, Nicholas A.; Amy Symens Smith. "The Two or More Races Population: 2000. Census 2000 Brief" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 8, 2008.
- "B02001. RACE – Universe: TOTAL POPULATION". 2006 American Community Survey. United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 30, 2008. has 6.1 million (2.0%)
- Gates, Henry Louis, Jr. Faces of America: How 12 Extraordinary Americans Reclaimed Their Pasts (New York University Press, 2010)
- Root, Multiracial Experience, pp. xv–xviii
- "Obama raises profile of mixed-race Americans", San Francisco Chronicle July 21, 2008.
- Paul Heinegg, Free African Americans of Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Maryland and Delaware, 1995–2010
- Paul Heinegg, Free African Americans in Virginia, North Carolin, South Carolina, Maryland and Delaware, 1995–2012
- "Campaigners From History: Olaudah Equiano". Anti-Slavery International. 2007. Archived from the original on March 28, 2007. Retrieved June 18, 2008.
- Peter Kolchin, Slavery in America, 1619–1877, Hill and Wang, 1993
- PBS (May 1999). "Jefferson's Blood: Mixed Race America". WGBH Educational Foundation. Retrieved June 18, 2008.
- Yuen Thompson, Beverly (2006). The Politics of Bisexual/Biracial Identity: A Study of Bisexual and Mixed Race Women of Asian/Pacific Islander Descent (PDF) (Reprint ed.). Snakegirl Press. pp. 25–26. OCLC 654851035. Retrieved July 18, 2008.
- Nitardy, Charlotte (May 14, 2008). "Identity Problems in Biracial Youth". University of Minnesota. Retrieved July 14, 2008.
- Stephen M. Quintana, Clark McKown (ed.) (2008). Handbook of Race, Racism, and the Developing Child. John Wiley & Sons. p. 211. ISBN 0470189800. Retrieved January 1, 2015.
- Lang, Susan S. (November 2, 2005). "Interracial relationships are on the increase in U.S., but decline with age, Cornell study finds". Chronicle Online. Cornell University. Retrieved July 14, 2008.
- Rodriguez, Cindy (2000-12-16). "The US Census now recognizes multiracial entries". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Retrieved 2008-07-14.
- "Census 1990: Ancestry Codes". University of Michigan. Archived from the original on May 2, 2008. Retrieved July 18, 2008.
- Tate, Eric (1997-07-08). "Multiracial Group Views Change to Census as a Victory". The Multiracial Activist. Retrieved 2008-07-18.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on October 2, 2008. Retrieved November 9, 2008.
- Cohn, D'Vera. "Multi-Race and the 2010 Census". Retrieved April 26, 2011.
- "Multiracial Children". aacap.org. Retrieved October 22, 2017.
- Root, Maria P. P. (2001). Love's Revolution: Interracial Marriage. Temple University Press. p. 138. ISBN 1-56639-826-6. Retrieved 2018-06-20.
- "The Rise of Intermarriage". Pew Research Center's Social & Demographic Trends Project. February 16, 2012. Retrieved March 17, 2015.
- "Thandie Newton – Actress". Mixed-Race Celebrities. Intermix. Retrieved July 14, 2008.
- Johnson, Kevin R. (August 2000). "Multiracialism: The Final Piece of the Puzzle". How Did You Get to Be Mexican, A White/Brown Man's Search for Identity. Retrieved July 14, 2008.
- Leland, John; Beals, Gregory (2008-02-01). "In Living Colors". Newsweek. Retrieved 2008-07-18.
- Thiphavong, Chris. "Recognizing the Legitimacy of Multiracial Individuals Through Hapa Issues Forum and the UCLA Hapa Club". UCLA Hapa Club. Archived from the original on September 5, 2006. Retrieved 2008-07-26.
- Wallace, Don. ""Moana" Star Auli'i Cravalho is Not Your Average Disney Princess". Honolulu Magazine. Retrieved December 17, 2017.
- @auliicravalho (January 21, 2017). "Yes indeed! I've got the luck of the Irish" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- Wang, Frances Kai-Hwa (October 7, 2015). "The Next Disney Princess is Native Hawaiian AuliCravalho". NBC News. New York: NBCUniversal. Retrieved February 27, 2017.
- "Keanu Reeves Film Reference biography". Film Reference. Retrieved May 10, 2008.
- Hoover, Will (August 18, 2002). "Rooted in Kuli'ou'ou Valley". Honolulu Advertiser. Retrieved December 8, 2010.
- "NEHGS – Articles". Newenglandancestors.org. Archived from the original on April 21, 2010. Retrieved May 5, 2010.
- Myself When I am Real: The Life and Music of Charles Mingus, Gene Santoro (Oxford University Press, 1994) ISBN 0-19-509733-5
- Mingus, Charles: Beneath the Underdog: His Life as Composed by Mingus. New York, NY: Vintage, 1991.
- G. Wayne Miller (December 24, 2008). "Obama's true colors: Black, white ... or neither?". Associated Press.
- Sarah Warn (December 2003). "Jennifer Beals Tackles Issues of Race, Sexuality on The L Word". AfterEllen. Archived from the original on August 26, 2011. Retrieved February 27, 2011.
- ": The New Face of Politics…An Interview with Kamala Harris". DesiClub. Archived from the original on December 11, 2010. Retrieved February 2, 2011.
- "PM Golding congratulates Kamala Harris-daughter of Jamaican – on appointment as California's First Woman Attorney General". Jamaican Information Service. December 2, 2010. Archived from the original on January 15, 2012. Retrieved February 2, 2011.
- Valdes y Cocom; Mario de. "Frontline: The Blurred Racial Lines of Famous Families – The van Salee Family". WGBH Educational Foundation. Retrieved September 9, 2012.
- Valdes y Cocom; Mario de. "Frontline: The Blurred Racial Lines of Famous Families - Black". WGBH Educational Foundation. Retrieved September 9, 2012.
- Valdes y Cocom; Mario de. "Frontline: The Blurred Racial Lines of Famous Families - Cheswell". WGBH Educational Foundation. Retrieved September 9, 2012.
- Valdes y Cocom; Mario de. "Frontline: The Blurred Racial Lines of Famous Families - Newell". WGBH Educational Foundation. Retrieved September 9, 2012.
- Valdes y Cocom; Mario de. "Frontline: The Blurred Racial Lines of Famous Families - Battis". WGBH Educational Foundation. Retrieved September 9, 2012.
- Valdes y Cocom; Mario de. "Frontline: The Blurred Racial Lines of Famous Families - Boston". WGBH Educational Foundation. Retrieved September 9, 2012.
- Valdes y Cocom; Mario de. "Frontline: The Blurred Racial Lines of Famous Families - Elding". WGBH Educational Foundation. Retrieved September 9, 2012.
- Valdes y Cocom; Mario de. "Frontline: The Blurred Racial Lines of Famous Families - Stafford". WGBH Educational Foundation. Retrieved September 9, 2012.
- Valdes y Cocom; Mario de. "Frontline: The Blurred Racial Lines of Famous Families - Gibson". WGBH Educational Foundation. Retrieved September 9, 2012.
- Valdes y Cocom; Mario de. "Frontline: The Blurred Racial Lines of Famous Families – Pendarvis". WGBH Educational Foundation. Retrieved September 9, 2012.
- "Slavery and the Making of America - Emmanuel Driggus". Educational Broadcasting Corporation.
- Valdes y Cocom; Mario de. "Frontline: The Blurred Racial Lines of Famous Families - Drigger". WGBH Educational Foundation. Retrieved September 9, 2012.
- Valdes y Cocom; Mario de. "Frontline: The Blurred Racial Lines of Famous Families - Galphin". WGBH Educational Foundation. Retrieved September 9, 2012.
- Valdes y Cocom; Mario de. "Frontline: The Blurred Racial Lines of Famous Families - Fairfax". WGBH Educational Foundation. Retrieved September 9, 2012.
- Valdes y Cocom; Mario de. "Frontline: The Blurred Racial Lines of Famous Families - Greenstead". WGBH Educational Foundation. Retrieved September 9, 2012.
- Valdes y Cocom; Mario de. "Frontline: The Blurred Racial Lines of Famous Families - Pico". WGBH Educational Foundation. Retrieved September 9, 2012.
- Valdes y Cocom; Mario de. "Frontline: The Blurred Racial Lines of Famous Families - Yturria". WGBH Educational Foundation. Retrieved September 9, 2012.
- Valdes y Cocom; Mario de. "Frontline: The Blurred Racial Lines of Famous Families - Bush". WGBH Educational Foundation. Retrieved September 9, 2012.
- Sailer, Steve (May 8, 2002). "Analysis: White prof finds he's not -- 2". United Press International, Inc. Retrieved May 10, 2013.
- Bryc, Katarzyna; Durand, Eric Y.; Macpherson, J. Michael; Reich, David; Mountain, Joanna L. (January 8, 2015). "The Genetic Ancestry of African Americans, Latinos, and European Americans across the United States". The American Journal of Human Genetics. 96 (1): 37–53. doi:10.1016/j.ajhg.2014.11.010.
- "Colored White Boy". Door Knob Films. Retrieved October 1, 2012.
- "The Sanders Women". Lianig. Retrieved October 1, 2012.
- Hattenstone, Simon (June 12, 2010). "Who, me? Why everyone is talking about Rebecca Hall". The Guardian. London. Retrieved September 27, 2010.
- Isenberg, Barbara (November 8, 1992). "MUSIC No-Risk Opera? Not Even Close Maria Ewing, one of the most celebrated sopranos in opera, leaps again into the role of Tosca, keeping alive her streak of acclaimed performances while remaining true to herself". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 8, 2011.
- McLellan, Joseph (November 15, 1990). "Article: Extra-Sensuous Perception;Soprano Maria Ewing, a Steamy 'Salome'". The Washington Post. Retrieved February 6, 2010.
- Marsh, Robert C. (December 18, 1988). "Growth of Maria Ewing continues with 'Salome' // Role of princess proves crowning achievement". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved February 6, 2010.
- "Inside The Actors Studio – Johnny Depp". YouTube. Retrieved October 6, 2012.
- Thompson, Bob (June 24, 2013). "Johnny Depp's Tonto a leader not a Lone Ranger follower". Retrieved October 22, 2017 – via Canada.com.
- Breznican, Anthony (May 8, 2011). "Johnny Depp on 'The Lone Ranger'". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved August 8, 2011.
- "Ancestry - Press Releases". Retrieved March 17, 2015.
- Meilke, Denis (2004). Johnny Depp: A Kind of Illusion (Second ed.). Richmond: Reynolds & Hearn. ISBN 9781905287048. Retrieved July 27, 2010.
- "Carol Channing reveals her father was Black". Jet. November 4, 2002. Retrieved April 21, 2008.
- "CNN.com". CNN.
- Bureau, U.S. Census. "American FactFinder - Results". factfinder.census.gov. Retrieved October 22, 2017.
- "Why Do So Many People Claim They Have Cherokee In Their Blood? - Nerve". www.nerve.com. Retrieved October 22, 2017.
- Smithers, Gregory D. (October 1, 2015). "Why Do So Many Americans Think They Have Cherokee Blood?". Retrieved October 22, 2017 – via Slate.
- "The Cherokee Syndrome - Daily Yonder". www.dailyyonder.com. Retrieved October 22, 2017.
- Hitt, Jack (August 21, 2005). "The Newest Indians". Retrieved October 22, 2017 – via www.nytimes.com.
- Nieves, Evelyn (March 3, 2007). "Putting to a Vote the Question 'Who Is Cherokee?'". Retrieved October 22, 2017 – via www.nytimes.com.
- "Indigenous Nationalities and the Mestizo Dilemma - Indian Country Media Network". indiancountrymedianetwork.com. Retrieved October 22, 2017.
- Adams, Paul (July 10, 2011). "Blood affects US Indian identity". Retrieved October 22, 2017 – via www.bbc.com.
- "What Percentage Indian Do You Have to Be in Order to Be a Member of a Tribe or Nation? - Indian Country Media Network". indiancountrymedianetwork.com. Retrieved October 22, 2017.
- "Disappearing Indians, Part II: The Hypocrisy of Race In Deciding Who's Enrolled - Indian Country Media Network". indiancountrymedianetwork.com. Retrieved October 22, 2017.
- "For Latinos "being white" is more of a state of mind than skin tone", Politics in Color
- "A CULTURAL IDENTITY: An essay on the meaning of the Hispanic label", PBS, Richard Rodriguez.
- Quinonez, Ernesto (June 19, 2003). "Y Tu Black Mama Tambien". Retrieved May 2, 2008.
- "The Blond, Blue-Eyed Face of Spanish TV"
- "LatinoLA - Forum :: Blonde, Blue-Eyed, Euro-Cute Latinos on Spanish TV". LatinoLA. Retrieved March 17, 2015.
- "Vida de Oro: Latinos not reflected on Spanish TV". Retrieved March 17, 2015.
- "What are Telenovelas?". Retrieved March 17, 2015.
- "Racial Bias Charged On Spanish-language Tv". tribunedigital-sunsentinel. Retrieved March 17, 2015.
- ":: BlackElectorate.com ::". www.blackelectorate.com. Retrieved October 22, 2017.
- "Skin tone consciousness in Asian and Latin American populations", Boston Globe
- "Corpus: A Home Movie For Selena", PBS
- "Excerpt: "His Panic"". ABC News. February 26, 2008. Retrieved March 28, 2012.
- "Geraldo Rivera". IMDb. Retrieved October 22, 2017.
- Do the Jews Need Geraldo. Interfaithfamily.com. Retrieved on July 14, 2013.
- Weinraub, Bernard (March 22, 1994). "Quake or No Quake, the Show Must Go On". The New York Times. Retrieved May 22, 2010.
- "Rosie Helped Mom, Aids Groups Say". Daily News. New York. July 8, 2000.[dead link]
- "ROSIE, HER MOM & AIDS Activist Perez shuns mom who's dying of the disease". Daily News. New York. July 7, 2000.[dead link]
- Castillo, Amaris (October 17, 2011). "Tatyana Ali On the Pressures of Being the Star of a TV Show". Latina Magazine. Retrieved March 9, 2012.
- Inskeep, Steve (June 12, 2006). "Conversations on Immigration: Carlos Mencia". NPR. Retrieved March 18, 2010.
- Mary A. Dempsey (1996). "The Indian connection". American Visions. Archived from the original on June 9, 2005. Retrieved September 19, 2008.
- G. Reginald Daniel (2002). More Than Black?:Multiracial. Temple University Press. ISBN 978-1-56639-909-8. Retrieved September 19, 2008. p. 128f.
- writing in Dreams from My Father that he had resolved to
"never emulate white men and brown men whose fates didn't speak to my own. It was into my father's image, the black man, son of Africa, that I'd packed all the attributes I sought in myself, the attributes of Martin and Malcolm, DuBois and Mandela."
- 61% of Hispanics and 55% of White Americans classify Obama as biracial when they are told that he has a white mother, while 66% of African Americans consider him black. ("Williams/Zogby Poll: Americans' Attitudes Changing Towards Multiracial Candidates". BBSNews.com. December 22, 2006. Archived from the original on April 3, 2007. Retrieved September 23, 2007.) Obama describes himself as "black" or "African American", using both terms interchangeably ("Transcript excerpt: Senator Barack Obama on Sixty Minutes". CBS News. February 11, 2007. Retrieved January 29, 2008.)
- Shriver, Mark D.; et al. (2003). "Skin pigmentation, biogeographical ancestry and admixture mapping" (PDF). Human Genetics. 112: 387–399. doi:10.1007/s00439-002-0896-y (inactive October 26, 2017).
- Collins-Schramm, Heather E.; Kittles, Rick A.; Operario, Darwin J.; Weber James L.; Criswell, Lindsey A.; Cooper, Richard S.; Seldin, Michael F. (December 2002). "Markers that discriminate Between European and African Ancestry show Limited Variation Within Africa". Human Genetics. Berlin: Springer. 111 (6): 566–9. doi:10.1007/s00439-002-0818-z. ISSN 0340-6717. PMID 12436248.
- Sherrel Wheeler Stewart (2008). "More Blacks are Exploring the African-American/Native American Connection". BlackAmericaWeb.com. Archived from the original on November 5, 2007. Retrieved August 6, 2008.
- ScienceDaily (2008). "Genetic Ancestral Testing Cannot Deliver On Its Promise, Study Warns". ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 2, 2008.
- Troy Duster (2008). "Deep Roots and Tangled Branches". Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved October 2, 2008.
- Brett Lee Shelton; J.D. and Jonathan Marks (2008). "Genetic Markers Not a Valid Test of Native Identity". Counsel for Responsible Genetics. Retrieved October 2, 2008.
-  Finding Oprah's Roots: Finding Your Own, by Henry Louis Gates, page 154, at Google Books
- Houston, Cissy (September 2, 2009). "Visionary Project Video Interview (bottom of page) – Cissy Houston: My Family, go to the 1:00 mark". Retrieved February 11, 2012.
- Starr, Michael Seth (September 1, 2011). Black and Blue. ISBN 9781557838520. Retrieved March 17, 2015.
- Douglas Brinkley, Rosa Parks, Chapter 1, excerpted from the book published by Lipper/Viking (2000), ISBN 0-670-89160-6. Chapter excerpted on the site of the New York Times. Retrieved July 1, 2008
- James Webb, "Why You Need to Know the Scots-Irish" Archived July 4, 2009, at the Wayback Machine., Parade, October 3, 2004. Retrieved July 1, 2008.
- Black Americans in Congress: John Mercer Langston Office of the Historian of the United States House of Representatives
- "Estimating African American Admixture Proportions by Use of Population-Specific Alleles." Am. J. Hum. Genet. 63:1839–1851, 1998
- Population structure of Y chromosome SNP haplogroups in the United States and forensic implications for constructing Y chromosome STR databases. Forensic Science International. Received August 17, 2005. Received in a revised form and accepted November 8, 2005.
- Paul Heinegg, Free African Americans of Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Maryland and Delaware, 2005, accessed February 15, 2008.
- Dorothy A. Mays (2008). Women in early America. ABC-CLIO. p. 214. ISBN 9781851094295. Retrieved May 29, 2008.
- Ariela Gross, "Of Portuguese Origin": Litigating Identity and Citizenship among the 'Little Races' in Nineteenth-Century America", Archived July 9, 2008, at the Wayback Machine. Law and History Review, Vol.25 (3), The History Cooperative. Retrieved June 22, 2008.
- Sweet, Frank W. Legal History of the Color Line. 2005, p. 11.
- D'Souza, Dinesh. The End of Racism. 1996, p. 181.
- "DNA used to reveal MLK and Garvey's European lineage". theGrio. Retrieved March 17, 2015.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on June 30, 2013. Retrieved July 14, 2013.
- Jessica McElrath. "Remembering the Career of Ethel Waters". Archived from the original on February 18, 2009. Retrieved July 23, 2009.
- Bullock, Zelma (1993). Tina Turner: Girl from Nutbush (video). Strand Video Entertainment.
- WENN. "Happy Birthday Tina Turner". Retrieved March 17, 2015.
- "Celebrities of Native American Heritage". U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Archived from the original on March 6, 2009. Retrieved February 9, 2010.
- "African American Lives".
- Henry Louis Gates, Jr. (2008-02-13). "The Past Is Another Country". African American Lives 2. Episode 4. PBS.
- "Ali has Irish ancestry". BBC News. February 9, 2002. Retrieved August 5, 2009.
- Treese, Ragsdale (1996), p. 105
- Debra J. Dickerson (January 22, 2007). "Colorblind – Barack Obama would be the great black hope in the next presidential race – if he were actually black". salon.com. Retrieved October 7, 2010.
- Ehrenstein, David (March 19, 2007). "Obama the 'Magic Negro'". The Los Angeles Times.
- "?". Archived from the original on May 3, 2011.
- "Nicolas Sarkozy Mistakes Condoleezza Rice for Recent Immigrant". Fox News. November 7, 2007.
- Elisabeth Bumiller (December 22, 2007). "Book Excerpt: Condoleezza Rice: An American Life". Retrieved October 7, 2010.
- ""White Native Americans", A First Nations Perspective". Galafilm. Archived from the original on December 26, 2007. Retrieved February 5, 2008.
- Bego 2004, p. 11: Sarkisian's profession; Berman 2001, p. 17: Sarkisian's nationality and personal problems, Crouch's profession; Cheever 1993: Crouch's ancestry.
- Anderson, Jack (April 12, 2013). "Maria Tallchief, a Dazzling Ballerina and Muse for Balanchine, Dies at 88". New York Times. Retrieved April 13, 2013.
- "How much Cherokee is he?: Editor's Note. Cherokee Phoenix". June 1, 2011. Retrieved August 1, 2011.
- "Frontline: Locklear". Pbs.org. Retrieved April 8, 2010.
- "Kansapedia: Charles Curtis". Kansas Historical Society. Retrieved January 13, 2012.
- "Native Americans: Early Contact". Students on Site. Archived from the original on August 20, 2008. Retrieved May 19, 2009.
- Ellinghaus, Katherine (2006). Taking assimilation to heart. ISBN 978-0-8032-1829-1.
- "Virginia Magazine of History and Biography". Virginia Historical Society. Archived from the original on October 18, 2008. Retrieved May 19, 2009.
- William Loren Katz (2008). "Black Indians". AfricanAmericans.com. Retrieved August 11, 2008.
- Muslims in American History : A Forgotten Legacy by Dr. Jerald F. Dirks. ISBN 1-59008-044-0 Page 204.
- Bell, et. al, Steve. "IndiVisible: African-Native American Lives in the Americans – Shared Spirits". Billy Bowlegs III (1862–1965) This Seminole Indian elder and historian, said to be a descendant of African American intermarriage with the Seminole, adopted the name of the legendary resistance fighter Billy Bowlegs II (1810–64). The "patchwork" pattern covering his turban expresses the influence of African ovpispisi (bits and pieces)—sewing typical of the Suriname Maroons and Ashanti who married into the tribe. Smithsonian Institution: National Museum of the American Indian. Retrieved May 7, 2012.
- Jonathan Lethem (December 24, 2010). "Being James Brown: Rolling Stone's 2006 Story". Rolling Stone Magazine. Retrieved January 27, 2011.
- Contact Music (2004). "James Brown — James Brown's Indian Heritage". Contact Music. Retrieved April 9, 2009.
- Wolfe, 12
- "The Blood of Entertainers: The Life and Times of Jimi Hendrix's Paternal Grandparents - The Black Past: Remembered and Reclaimed". Retrieved March 17, 2015.
- "Being and Belonging – Indivisble – African-Native American Lives in the Americas". National Museum of the American Indian. Retrieved January 16, 2012.
- Shapiro, Harry; Glebbeek, Caesar (1995). Jimi Hendrix: Electric Gypsy. St. Martin's Press. pp. 5–6, 13. ISBN 0-312-13062-7. Retrieved September 30, 2011.
- Biography ramillacody.net. Accessed July 15, 2010.
- Katz WL 1997 p103
- Angela Y. Walton-Raji (2008). "Tri-Racials: Black Indians of the Upper South". Design. Retrieved August 20, 2008.
- Nomad Winterhawk (1997). "Black indians want a place in history". Djembe Magazine. Archived from the original on July 14, 2009. Retrieved May 29, 2009.
- Karina Kahananui Green (2002). "Colonialism's Daughters". In Paul R. Spickard, Joanne L. Rondilla, Debbie Hippolite Wright. Pacific Diaspora: Island Peoples in the United States and Across the Pacific. University of Hawaii Press. pp. 242–248. ISBN 0-8248-2619-1.
- Ralph S. Kuykendall (1967). Hawaiian Kingdom 1874–1893, the Kalakaua Dynastism. University of Hawaii Press. p. 477. ISBN 978-0-87022-433-1.
- Brecher, Elinor J. (October 25, 2008). "Grandmother of 'The Rock,' promoter". The Miami Herald.
- Crow, Jonathan (March 12, 2008). "Through The Years – Dwayne 'Not Just The Rock' Johnson". Yahoo Movies. Archived from the original on March 16, 2009. Retrieved March 13, 2009.
- Young, Graham (April 10, 2010). "The Rock's on a roll in Hollywood". The Birmingham Post. Archived from the original on December 23, 2010. Retrieved November 10, 2010.
- Morgan, Kaya. "Dwayne Johnson – How The Rock Transformed from Pro Wrestler to Bankable Movie Star". Island Connections. Retrieved December 29, 2006.
- "The Return of the Native". Starweek Magazine. 1999.
- "Second Generation". Retrieved March 17, 2015.
- Honeycutt, Kirk (August 19, 1990). "Lou Diamond Phillips: From Young Gun to Young Writer". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved November 28, 2009.
- Kamehameha III#Family Tree
- Staff (July 19, 2004). "Momoa Makes Hawaii Hot", Extra, Retrieved August 18, 2011.
- "Wayback Machine" (PDF). archive.org. October 20, 2003. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 20, 2003. Retrieved October 22, 2017.
- "Meg Tilly is Asian Irish" Archived December 29, 2011, at the Wayback Machine., Asiance magazineMarch 2011,
- BankrollBoost.com. "Jennifer Tilly – Poker Pro Bio, Pictures and Poker Videos". Bankrollboost.com. Retrieved February 15, 2011.
- "Jennifer Tilly: Little voice, big talent". The Independent. London. November 19, 2004.
- "Official Meg Tilly Website". Officialmegtilly.com. Retrieved February 15, 2011.
- "Nichi Bei Times". Nichi Bei Times. September 10, 2009. Archived from the original on September 30, 2011. Retrieved October 18, 2011.
- "Loving Prize". Mxroots.org. June 11, 2011. Retrieved October 18, 2011.[permanent dead link]
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on April 19, 2012. Retrieved March 31, 2012.
- "Complex - Making Culture Pop". Retrieved March 17, 2015.
- "Rising Moon". Retrieved March 17, 2015.
- Dekel, Jonathan (October 8, 2010). "Sean Lennon on Singing John's Songs, Making Music and Yoko Ono's Legacy". Spinner.
- "The United States". Chinese Blacks in the Americas. Color Q World. Retrieved July 21, 2008.
- Le, C. N. "Multiracial/Hapa Asian Americans". Asian-Nation: The Landscape of Asian America. Retrieved July 21, 2008.
According to the 2000 census, out of the 281,421,906 people living in the U.S., 10,242,998 of them identified themselves as entirely of Asian race (3.6%). Additionally, there were 1,655,830 people who identified themselves as being part Asian and part one or more other races. Asian and Black/African American ... 106,782 ... 0.64% (percentage of total multiracial Asians)
- McGarry, Kevin (2009) "The New Queen Bee|Meet Nicki Minaj", New York Times, June 4, 2009
- "Girls". Complex Magazine. 2009. Retrieved July 24, 2012.
- "Ne-Yo: Grammy-winning singer to perform at Halenbeck Hall". St. Cloud State University. September 25, 2008. Retrieved October 14, 2008.
- Silvestre, Edmund (November 8, 2008). "Fil-Am elected to US Congress". The Philippine Star. Archived from the original on November 10, 2008. Retrieved November 8, 2008.
Another US congressman who has Filipino roots is Rep. Robert Scott, an African-American representing Virginia's third District. The Harvard-educated Democrat's maternal grandfather, Valentin Cortez Hamlin, is from the Philippine." (sic., final word should read "Philippines")
- Chang, Wah-Ming Chang. "Interview with 'The Wire's' Sonja Sohn: Not 'Your Typical Black Girl'". Racialicious. Retrieved March 31, 2012.
A husky-voiced woman of African American and Korean parentage, Sohn (who's straight, in case you're wondering) got her start in the New York slam-poetry circuit (including the Def Poetry Jam) before moving on to the TV and movie game (check her out in Shaft).
- "Japanese enka star to perform at DC festival". Associated Press. March 28, 2009.
- Davis, F. James. "Who is Black? One Nation's Definition". Frontline. PBS. Retrieved July 18, 2008.
- Margaret Hope Bacon, But One Race: The Life of Robert Purvis, Albany: State University of New York, 2007, pp.7–8
- Bob Bankard, "The Passage to Freedom: The Underground Railroad", March 3, 2008 "Archived copy". Archived from the original on July 5, 2008. Retrieved May 3, 2008., accessed May 3, 2008
-  "ROBERT PURVIS DEAD.; Anti-Slavery Leader Expires in Philadelphia, Aged 87 --His Work for the Black Race", New York Times, April 16, 1898, accessed May 3, 2008
- Boxer, Sarah (July 7, 2007). "Herriman: Cartoonist who equalled Cervantes". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved February 3, 2009.
In 1971, however, the Krazy world changed. While researching an article on Herriman for the Dictionary of American Biography, the sociologist Arthur Asa Berger got a copy of Herriman's birth certificate. Although Herriman died listed as Caucasian in 1944 in Los Angeles, he was classified as "colored" when born to two mixed-race or Creole parents in New Orleans in 1880, which had legal segregation. In 1880 Herriman would have been considered a mulatto. By the turn of the century, when he was a fledgling cartoonist, the newspaper bullpens "were open to immigrants but not to blacks".
- A summary of the ethnic self-identity of the Healys, taken from various sources, is available in A.D. Powell, Passing for Who You Really Are (Palm Coast FL, 2005) ISBN 0-939479-22-2.
- Fay M. Jackson, "I don't want to pass because I can't stand insincerities and shams. I am just as much Negro as any of the others identified with the race., (1911–1950), Pittsburgh, Pa.: April 14, 1934
- Paul Heinegg, Free African Americans in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Maryland and Delaware, 1995–2005
- Mancini, Olivia (2001). "Passing as White: Anita Hemmings 1897". "There were large numbers of African Americans at that time and into the turn of the century [for whom passing] was a means to gain opportunities in education," said Bickerstaff, who is now working on a book about the Hemmings family, tentatively titled Dark Beauty. "The country was under laws of segregation, and those families who had risen to that level of educational aspiration or economics were still excluded from most of the elite institutions.". Vassar College. Retrieved September 30, 2012.
- Winthrop Jordan, Black Over White, ch. IV, "The Fruits of Passion."
- See "Chapter 9. How the Law Decided if You Were Black or White: The Early 1800s" in Legal History of the Color Line: The Rise and Triumph of the One-Drop Rule by Frank W. Sweet, ISBN 0-939479-23-0. A summary of this chapter, with endnotes, is available online at How the Law Decided if You Were Black or White: The Early 1800s Archived April 22, 2006, at the Wayback Machine..
- AFRICAN ANCESTRY OF THE WHITE AMERICAN POPULATION, Ohio State University
- Ariela J. Gross, What Blood Won't Tell: A History of Race on Trial in America, p 61 ISBN 978-0-674-03130-2
- Kathy Davis. "Headnote to Lydia Maria Child's 'The Quadroons' and 'Slavery's Pleasant Homes'," Bucknell University, Summer 1997, accessed June 4, 2012
- Werner Sollors, Interracialism, p. 285 ISBN 0-19-512856-7
- Lawrence R. Tenzer,"White Slaves", Multiracial.com
- Pak, Greg (September 23, 2003). "Mulattoes, Half-Breeds, and Hapas: Multiracial Representation in the Movies" (PDF). Matters of Race. PBS. Retrieved June 20, 2018.
- G. Reginald Daniel, More Than Black?: Multiracial Identity and the New Racial Order, Temple University Press (2002) ISBN 978-1-56639-909-8.
- Teja Arboleda, In the Shadow of Race: Growing Up As a Multiethnic, Multicultural, and Multiracial American (1998) ISBN 978-0-585-11477-4.
- Yo Jackson, Yolanda Kaye Jackson, Encyclopedia of Multicultural Psychology (2006), ISBN 978-1-4129-0948-8.
- Joel Perlmann, Mary C. Waters, The New Race Question: How the Census Counts Multiracial Individuals (2005), ISBN 978-0-87154-658-6.
- The Multiracial Activist, an online activist publication
- The Association of MultiEthnic Americans, Inc., founded 1988
- Multiethnic Education Program, offering resources and strategies (including videos, publications & trainings) to support mixed-race children in educational settings.
- MAVIN Foundation, an organization advocating for mixed heritage people and families
- "NEAMF: The New England Alliance of Multiracial Families", an organization uniting interracial families in the Boston area, founded 1992
- "Swirl", US-based mixed community, founded in 2000
- ProjectRACE, an organization supporting multiracial classification
- Notable Multiracial People, Kitoba
- "Hapa/Multiracial Asian Americans", Asian-Nation
- Gregory Rodriguez (2001), "Multiracial identity, a shared destiny"
- "Williams/Zogby Poll: Americans' Attitudes Changing Towards Multiracial Candidates". BBS News. December 22, 2006. Archived from the original on April 3, 2007. Retrieved September 23, 2007.
- David Gardner, "'Most shelter dogs are mutts like me': Obama defies political correctness at first press conference", Daily Mail, November 8, 2008.
- "Interracial Marriage in the United States", Infography