American Mixed Race by Naomi Zack

By Naomi Zack

This intriguing multidisciplinary assortment brings jointly twenty-two unique essays via students at the leading edge of racial thought, who tackle either the yankee notion of race and the categorical difficulties skilled by means of those that don't healthy well into the packing containers society calls for them to ascertain.

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The modern concept of race was invented during the most intense periods of colonial exploitation, which included chattel slavery in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries; and there are no analogues to that concept within the "native" populations that became so oppressed. Native Americans and traditional Africans, for example, did not have an idea of race as we know it. Finally, the ordinary concept of race has dialectically ridden on an assumption of racial purity that has been used to racialize dominated groups as it suited dominant interests.

As I have grown older, I have considered further how my great-grandmother, Lillian Hendrickson, died, how my nine-year-old grandfather was taken to the orphanage against his will, how he and his sister Grace kept running away until they finally made their way back to the mountains for good. So considering, I have come to hear my grandfather's cry to his mother better. That cry has grown louder and clearer inside the spirals of my inner ear, has radiated out inside the interior of my body until I now hear it as not just a cry to the individual mother who gave birth to my grandfather, but as a cry to Mother Earth, as well.

Have embraced as one might a poisonous snake, copping an "I'm more Indian than thou" attitude right out of Christian missionary land. " Indeed, when he, my other brothers, my sister, and I were growing up in the 1950s and 1960s, we only had to contend with the pain caused to us by white racists. " All our friends happened to be mixed-blood Indians, although I don't think that they were friends based on "blood,'' but because they were possessed of a certain vision of the world that happened to be Indian, rather than white at its most destructive.

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