Divisive Race In America

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From the slavery of African and Native American slaves to Jim Crow laws that dominated the South in the 20th century to police brutality that currently plagues the country, race has always been divisive in America. White, African-American, Asian, Latino are all races or ethnicities that create not only a division between people, but an expected societal role. What happens when two of those divisive categories combine? What is their new label? Do they have a new role? Are they black or white? Biraciality has become more prominent in America than it ever has before. Society’s definition and use of race restricts biracial people, specifically black and white, from identifying as they see fit. When two people enter into an interracial relationship…show more content…
By using solely the color of one’s skin to identify a person, race can be misjudged and, therefore, the racial struggles that one has faced are minimized and even negated. This not only happens when people do not fit the color of a race, but it also occurs when the biracial person does not act like a stereotypical member of a race. For example, “one participant discussed being critiqued by her classmate because of her behaviors: One of the guys in my class came up to me and told me that I’m not Black enough. I’m too White, talked too White, dressed too White, acted too White, and that basically I need to be more Black” (Franco et al. 2016:8). The need to be more black is the need to conform to society’s racial groups rather than identifying as what each biracial person feels they are. If a person does not act like a stereotypical member of their group, then society cannot place a stereotypical label on them, thus throwing a wrench in the racial categories that society relies on to rank people. If society cannot easily identify a person’s race, it begins to not only define them without the biracial person’s input, but also label them with derogatory…show more content…
The person can no longer claim they are black because they no longer fit the mold created by society and upheld by monoracial people. A factor that may not be as obvious as stereotypes and phenotypes is class. Biracial people who live in predominantly white, upper middle class neighborhoods are less likely to identify as their “inferior” race. Since they do not relate to the stereotypical black person, they tend to become very distant from that side of their identity. “These [biracial] young Americans must find out what it means to be both Black and White in a society in which ‘true’ Blackness is connected to the culture of poor, marginalized Black Americans and many White Americans do not acknowledge the reality of racism”(Odell 2009:5). For biracial people that live in predominantly black neighborhoods and are lower class, they typically identify as black because they see black all around them, so why not try to fit in even
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