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Multiracial
Multiracial
Americans
Americans
are Americans
Americans
who have mixed ancestry of "two or more races". The term may also include Americans
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.[2][3] 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.[4] Prior to the mid-20th century, many people hid their multiracial heritage because of racial discrimination against minorities.[4] While many Americans
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.[4] 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
United States
has had a growing multiracial identity movement (cf. Loving Day).[5] Because more Americans
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
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.[6] Today, multiracial individuals are found in every corner of the country. Multiracial
Multiracial
groups in the United States
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
Americans
are multiracial in ancestry while identifying fully as members of federally recognized tribes.

Contents

1 History

1.1 Early United States
United States
history 1.2 19th century: American Civil War, emancipation, Reconstruction and Jim Crow 1.3 20th century

2 Demographics

2.1 Multiracial
Multiracial
families

3 Multi-racial American identity 4 White and European American
European American
identity 5 Racial identity among Native Americans 6 Hispanic and Latino American identity 7 Black and African American
African American
identity

7.1 Admixture 7.2 Definition of African American

8 European and Indigenous American identity 9 African and Indigenous American identity 10 Pacific Islander American identity 11 Eurasian American
Eurasian American
identity 12 Afro- Asian American
Asian American
identity 13 Passing identity 14 In fiction 15 See also 16 References 17 Further reading 18 External links

History[edit] Further information: Jim Crow
Jim Crow
laws, Miscegenation, Mulatto, Colored, and Interracial marriage in the United States 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
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
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.[7] 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.[7] Anti-miscegenation laws
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
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
Asian Americans
until the 1950s. Early United States
United States
history[edit]

Olaudah Equiano

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
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
Virginia
in colonial years.[8] 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.[9] 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
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.[10] 19th century: American Civil War, emancipation, Reconstruction and Jim Crow[edit]

Charley Taylor holding an American flag. Charley was the son of Alexander Withers
Alexander Withers
and one of Withers's slaves. Withers sold Charley to a slave dealer and he was sold again in New Orleans.

Of numerous relationships between male slaveholders, overseers, or master's sons and women slaves, the most notable is likely that of President Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson
with his slave Sally Hemings. As noted in the 2012 collaborative Smithsonian- Monticello
Monticello
exhibit, Slavery
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
Virginia
law of the time. 20th century[edit] 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
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
African Americans
and other minority citizens. In 1967 the United States
United States
Supreme Court case, Loving v. Virginia
Loving v. Virginia
ruled that anti-miscegenation laws were unconstitutional.[11] 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.[12] 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.[13] By 1990, the Census Bureau
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
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.[14] 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).[15] Demographics[edit] Further information: Racial and ethnic demographics of the United States Multiracial
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
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.[16]

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
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
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".[17] In 1997, Greg Mayeda, a member of the Board of Directors person for the Hapa
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
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
Multiracial
Box reveals very little about the person's background checking it.[18]

According to James P. Allen and Eugene Turner from California
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
Native Hawaiian
and Other Pacific Islander
Pacific Islander
at 125,628.[19]

In 2010, 1.6 million Americans
Americans
checked both "black" and "white" on their census forms, a figure 134% higher than the number a decade earlier.[20] The number of interracial marriages and relationships, and transracial and international adoptions has increased the proportion of multiracial families.[21] In addition, more individuals may be identifying multiple ancestries, as the concept is more widely accepted. Multiracial
Multiracial
families[edit]

A 2004 California
California
wedding between a Filipina bride and a Nigerian groom.

This section contains too many or too-lengthy quotations for an encyclopedic entry. Please help improve the article by presenting facts as a neutrally-worded summary with appropriate citations. Consider transferring direct quotations to Wikiquote. (November 2009)

Further information: Interracial marriage in the United States 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.[13]

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.[22]

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
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%).[23] Multi-racial American identity[edit] 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.[24] 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
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.[25] 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.[26]

[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.'[12]

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
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
Multiracial
students of different ancestries have their own experiences in common.[27]

Auliʻi Cravalho
Auliʻi Cravalho
is of Chinese, Irish, Portuguese, Hawaiian, and Puerto Rican descent.[28][29][30]

Keanu Reeves
Keanu Reeves
has an English mother and a father of English, Irish, Portuguese, Hawaiian, and Chinese descent.[31][32][33]

Charles Mingus
Charles Mingus
was born to a mother of Chinese and English descent and a father of African-American
African-American
and Swedish descent.[34][35]

G. K. Butterfield
G. K. Butterfield
was born to two mixed-race parents of African and European descent[36]

Jennifer Beals
Jennifer Beals
was born to an African-American
African-American
father and Irish-American mother.[37]

Kamala Harris
Kamala Harris
was born to an Indian mother,[38] and a Jamaican American father.[39]

White and European American
European American
identity[edit] See also: Admixture in the United States, Race and genetics, White Hispanic and Latino Americans, Amerasian, and Hyperdescent Some of the most notable families include the Van Salees,[40] Vanderbilts, Whitneys, Blacks,[41] Cheswells,[42] Newells,[43] Battises,[44] Bostons,[45] Eldings[46] of the North; the Staffords,[47] Gibsons,[48] Locklears, Pendarvises,[49] Driggers,[50][51] Galphins,[52] Fairfaxes,[53] Grinsteads (Greenstead, Grinsted and Grimsted),[54] Johnsons, Timrods, Darnalls of the South; and the Picos,[55] Yturrias[56] and Bushes of the West.[57] 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
White Americans
have recent sub-Saharan African ancestry.[58] A 2014 study performed on data obtained from 23andme customers found that the percentage of African or American Indian ancestry among White Americans
White Americans
varies significantly by region, with about 5% of White Americans
White Americans
living in Louisiana and South Carolina having 2% or more African ancestry.[59] 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
Colored
White Boy[60] 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[61] of Shreveport, Louisiana.

Rebecca Hall
Rebecca Hall
was born to an African-American
African-American
mother of Dutch, Scottish and Sioux
Sioux
extraction, and British father.[62][63][64][65]

Johnny Depp
Johnny Depp
is part Native American. He descends from French Huguenot Pierre Deppe, and William & Elizabeth Key Grinstead.[66][67][68][69][70]

Ruth Gordon's ancestor Parthena was an African mistress of Joseph Pendarvis a member of the notable, Native American descended, Landgrave family of South Carolina.[40][49]

Carol Channing
Carol Channing
was born to a white mother and half German and African-American
African-American
father.[71][72]

Mary Ellen Pleasant, born to a slave and the youngest son of James Pleasants, contributed to advancing the abolitionist movement.

Racial identity among Native Americans[edit] In the 2010 Census, nearly 3 million people indicated that their race was Native American (including Alaska Native).[73] Of these, more than 27% specifically indicated "Cherokee" as their ethnic origin.[74][75] Many of the First Families of Virginia
Virginia
claim descent from Pocahontas or some other "Indian princess". This phenomenon has been dubbed the " Cherokee
Cherokee
Syndrome".[76] Across the US, numerous individuals cultivate an opportunistic ethnic identity as Native American, sometimes through Cherokee heritage groups or Indian Wedding Blessings.[77] 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.[77] Point in case, more than 75% of those enrolled in the Cherokee Nation
Cherokee Nation
have less than one-quarter Cherokee
Cherokee
blood,[78] and the current Principal Chief of the Cherokee
Cherokee
Nation, Bill John Baker, is 1/32 Cherokee, amounting to about 3%. Historically, numerous Native Americans
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".[77] Today, after generations of racial whitening through hypergamy, many Native Americans
Americans
are visually indistinguishable from White Americans, unlike mestizos in the United States, who may in fact have little or no non-indigenous ancestry.[79] Native Americans
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.[80] 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.[81][82] Hispanic and Latino American identity[edit] Further information: Garifuna American, Hispanic and Latino Americans, Black Hispanic and Latino Americans, Mestizos in the United States, and Mulatto 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.[83] Latino Americans
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.[84] Multiracial
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
Hispanic and Latino Americans
(who resemble Scandinavians and other Northern Europeans
Europeans
rather than they look like white Hispanic and Latino Americans
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.[85][86][87][88][89][90][91][92][93]

Geraldo Rivera
Geraldo Rivera
is half Puerto Rican and Ashkenazi
Ashkenazi
Russian Jew.[94][95][96]

Rosie Perez
Rosie Perez
was born in Brooklyn to two Puerto Rican parents of partial African descent.[97][98][99]

Tatyana Ali
Tatyana Ali
is half Afro-Panamanian and half Indo-Trinidadian.[100]

Carlos Mencia
Carlos Mencia
is part Mexican, Honduran, German, British and Cayman Islander.[101]

Black and African American
African American
identity[edit] See also: Atlantic Creole, Black Irish, Brass Ankles, Chestnut Ridge people, Free people of color, High yellow, Hypodescent, Louisiana Creole people, Melungeon, Mulatto, Redbone (ethnicity), and We-Sorts Americans
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
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
African-American
and Native American descent report having had elder family members withholding pertinent genealogical information.[102] Tracing the genealogy of African Americans
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
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
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
Americans
did not generally learn to read and write English, although some did in the nineteenth century.[102] 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
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
African-American
organizations, and African-American political leaders, such as Congresswoman Diane Watson
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
African Americans
reduced their numbers by self-identification.[103] 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
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
Barack Obama
is of East African and European American ancestry; he identifies as African American.[104] A 2007 poll, when Obama was a presidential candidate, found that Americans
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
Americans
classified him as black.[105] A 2003 study found an average of 18.6% (±1.5%) European admixture in a population sample of 416 African Americans
African Americans
from Washington, DC.[106] Studies of other populations in other areas have found differing percentages of ethnicity. Twenty percent of African Americans
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
Americans
in this group have less than 15% European ancestry. The 20% of African Americans
African Americans
in the "mostly mixed" group (2.7% of US population) have between 25% and 50% European ancestry.[107] The writer Sherrel W. Stewart's assertion that "most" African Americans
Americans
have significant Native American heritage,[108] is not supported by genetic researchers who have done extensive population mapping studies. The TV series on African-American
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.[109] 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
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.[109][110] Other experts also agree.[111] 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.[110] In addition, not all Native Americans
Americans
have been tested, so scientists do not know for sure that Native Americans
Americans
have only the genetic markers they have identified.[109][110]

Oprah Winfrey
Oprah Winfrey
is 89% Sub-Saharan African, 8% Native American, and 3% East Asian.[112]

Whitney Houston
Whitney Houston
was part African-American, Native American and Dutch.[113]

Redd Foxx's mother was half Seminole
Seminole
and his father was African-American.[114]

Rosa Parks
Rosa Parks
was of African, Cherokee-Creek,[115] and Scots-Irish descent.[116]

John Mercer Langston
John Mercer Langston
was of African, Native American, and English descent.[117]

Barack Obama's mother was of mostly English ancestry and his father was from Kenya.

Admixture[edit] Main articles: Admixture in the United States, Miscegenation, One-drop rule, and African American On census forms, the government depends on individuals' self-identification. Contemporary African Americans
African Americans
possess varying degrees of admixture with European ancestry. A percentage also have various degrees of Native American ancestry.[118][119] Many free African American
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
South Carolina
in the 18th and 19th centuries. There were also similar free families in Delaware and Maryland, as documented by Paul Heinegg.[120] In addition, many Native American women turned to African American
African American
men due to the decline in the number of Native American men due to disease and warfare.[121] 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.[121] If an African American man had children by a Native American woman, their children were free because of the status of the mother.[121] 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.[122] In Virginia
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
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.[123][unreliable source][124][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
Census Bureau
to change its rules.[124] After the Civil War, racial segregation forced African Americans
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
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
African-American
organizations and political leaders, such as Senator Diane Watson
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
African Americans
abandoned their one category. This reaction is characterized as "historical irony" by Reginald Daniel (2002). The African American
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.[103]

Martin Luther King, Jr.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
was of Irish and African extraction.[125][126]

Ethel Waters
Ethel Waters
was of mixed-race ancestry.[127]

Tina Turner
Tina Turner
is of Navajo, Cherokee
Cherokee
and African-American descent.[128][129][130][131][132]

Muhammad Ali
Muhammad Ali
was of African-American, Irish and English descent.[133]

James E. O'Hara
James E. O'Hara
was born to an Irish merchant father and a West Indian mother.[134]

Definition of African American[edit]

This article's factual accuracy is disputed. Relevant discussion may be found on the talk page. Please help to ensure that disputed statements are reliably sourced. (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.[135] They argue that grouping together all ethnic Africans
Africans
regardless of their unique ancestral circumstances would deny the lingering effects of slavery within the American slave descendant community.[135] They say recent ethnic African immigrants need to recognize their own unique ancestral backgrounds.[135] 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.[136] 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."[136] 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."[137] He later claimed his comment was intended to be "provocative" but declined to expand on the subject.[137] Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice
Condoleezza Rice
(who was famously mistaken for a "recent American immigrant" by French President Nicolas Sarkozy[138]), 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
African Americans
and instead prefers the term "black" or "white" .[139] European and Indigenous American identity[edit] See also: Boricua, Chicano, Cherokee, Genetic history of indigenous peoples of the Americas, Haliwa-Saponi, Hapa, Louisiana Creole people, Lumbee, Melungeon, Métis people (United States), Redbone (ethnicity), and We-Sorts Interracial relations among Indigenous Americans
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
Americans
during the early years of colonization and nationhood.[121] Some Europeans
Europeans
living among Indigenous Americans
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."[140] 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
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.

Cher
Cher
is part Cherokee, Armenian, Irish, English and German.[141]

Maria Tallchief
Maria Tallchief
was born to an Osage Nation
Osage Nation
father and an Ulster-Scots mother.[142]

Bill John Baker, who is 3.13% Cherokee,[143] is the current Principal Chief of the Cherokee
Cherokee
Nation.

Heather Locklear
Heather Locklear
is of Lumbee
Lumbee
descent.[144]

Charles Curtis
Charles Curtis
was born to a mother of Kaw, Osage and Pottawatomie extraction.[145]

Some early male settlers married Indigenous American women and had informal unions with them. Early contact between Indigenous Americans and Europeans
Europeans
was often charged with tension, but also had moments of friendship, cooperation, and intimacy.[146] Marriages took place in both English and Latin colonies between European men and Native women. For instance, on April 5, 1614, Pocahontas, a Powhatan
Powhatan
woman in present-day Virginia, married the Englishman John Rolfe
John Rolfe
of Jamestown. Their son Thomas Rolfe
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
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
Europeans
and Indigenous Americans
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
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".[147] 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.[148] In the late nineteenth century, Charles Eastman, a physician of European and Sioux
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
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
Sioux
woman and had a daughter with her while stationed at Fort Snelling
Fort Snelling
in Minnesota. African and Indigenous American identity[edit] See also: Black Indians, Black Seminoles, Brass Ankles, Cherokee Freedman, Choctaw Freedmen, Louisiana Creole people, Garifuna American, and Mardi Gras Indians Interracial relations between Indigenous Americans
Americans
and African Americans
Americans
is a part of American history that has been neglected.[102] The earliest record of African and Indigenous American relations in the Americas occurred in April 1502, when the first Africans
Africans
kidnapped were brought to Hispaniola
Hispaniola
to serve as slaves. Some escaped, and somewhere inland on Santo Domingo, the first Black Indians
Black Indians
were born.[149] In addition, an example of African slaves' escaping from European colonists and being absorbed by Indigenous Americans
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
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.[150]

Seminole
Seminole
elder Billy Bowlegs III
Billy Bowlegs III
was of Osceola
Osceola
and African-American descent.[151]

James Brown
James Brown
was of Apache, African American
African American
and Asian descent.[152][153]

Edmonia Lewis
Edmonia Lewis
was of Mississauga Ojibwe, African-American
African-American
and Haitian descent.[154]

Jimi Hendrix
Jimi Hendrix
was of Cherokee, African-American, Irish, English and German descent.[155][156][157]

Radmilla Cody
Radmilla Cody
is a Navajo national of African-American
African-American
descent.[158]

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.[159] Numerous advertisements requested the return of African Americans
African Americans
who had married Indigenous Americans
Americans
or who spoke an Indigenous American language. The primary exposure that Africans
Africans
and Indigenous Americans had to each other came through the institution of slavery.[160] Indigenous Americans
Americans
learned that Africans
Africans
had what Indigenous Americans
Americans
considered 'Great Medicine' in their bodies because Africans were virtually immune to the Old-World diseases that were decimating most native populations.[161] Because of this, many tribes encouraged marriage between the two groups, to create stronger, healthier children from the unions.[161] For African Americans, the one-drop rule was a significant factor in ethnic solidarity. African Americans
African Americans
generally shared a common cause in society regardless of their multiracial admixture, or social/economic stratification. Additionally, African Americans
African Americans
found it, near, impossible to learn about their Indigenous American heritage as many family elders withheld pertinent genealogical information.[102] Tracing the genealogy of African Americans
African Americans
can be a very difficult process, especially for descendants of Indigenous Americans, because African Americans
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.[102] Pacific Islander American identity[edit] See also: Demographics of American Samoa, Métis people (United States), History of Guam, and Pacific Islander During the 1800s Christian missionaries from Great Britain and the United States
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.[162] 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
Pacific Islander
ancestry. Subsequently, many ethnic Chinese also settled on the islands and married into the Pacific Islander
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.

Princess Kaʻiulani
Kaʻiulani
was of indigenous Hawaiian and Scots-American descent.[163]

Actor Dwayne Johnson's mother is Samoan and his father is Black Nova Scotian.[164][165][166][167]

Lou Diamond Phillips
Lou Diamond Phillips
is of Chinese, Japanese, Filipino, Hawaiian, Cherokee, Spanish, and Scotch- Irish American
Irish American
ancestry.[168][169][170]

Queen Emma of Hawaii
Queen Emma of Hawaii
was of Hawaiian Nobility, Scotts-British ancestry.[171]

Jason Momoa
Jason Momoa
was born to a father of Indigenous Hawaiian ancestry, and a mother of German, Irish, and Native American ancestry.[172]

Eurasian American
Eurasian American
identity[edit] Main article: Eurasian American In its original meaning, an Amerasian
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
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.][173] According to James P. Allen and Eugene Turner from California
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
Native Hawaiian
and Other Pacific Islander at 125,628.[19] The US Census categorizes Eurasian responses in the "Some other race" section as part of the Asian race.[17] The Eurasian responses which the US Census officially recognizes are Indo-European, Amerasian, and Eurasian.[17]

Jennifer Tilly
Jennifer Tilly
is part Chinese, Irish, Native-American, and Finnish.[174][175][176][177]

Tia Carrere
Tia Carrere
is part Filipino, Chinese and Spanish.[178]

Kip Fulbeck
Kip Fulbeck
is part Cantonese, English, Irish, and Welsh.[179][180][181]

Moon Bloodgood
Moon Bloodgood
is part Korean, Dutch and Irish.[182][183]

Sean Lennon
Sean Lennon
is the son of Japanese Yoko Ono
Yoko Ono
and Irish- and English-descended John Lennon.[184]

Afro- Asian American
Asian American
identity[edit] Main article: Afro-Asian Chinese men entered the United States
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.[185] As of the census of 2000, there were 106,782 Afro-Asian
Afro-Asian
individuals in the United States.[186]

Nicki Minaj
Nicki Minaj
is part East Indian and Afro-Trinidadian.[187][188]

Ne-Yo
Ne-Yo
is part Chinese and African-American.[189]

Robert Scott is of African American
African American
and Filipino American
Filipino American
(maternal grandfather) descent.[190]

Sonja Sohn
Sonja Sohn
is part Korean and African-American.[191]

Jero
Jero
is part Japanese and African-American.[192]

Passing identity[edit] Main article: Passing (racial identity) "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
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.[193]

Robert Purvis
Robert Purvis
was born to a part Moorish, German Jewish and Sephardic Jewish free woman of color and an English father. He identified as black, and worked to serve his community. .[194][195][196]

George Herriman, who was born into a Creole family, wore a hat to conceal his hair texture. His death certificate identified him as Caucasian.[197]

Patrick Francis Healy
Patrick Francis Healy
was born to an Irish-American plantation owner and his bi-racial slave. He and his siblings identified as white in their formative years and most made careers in the Catholic Church in the North.[198]

Daniel Hale Williams
Daniel Hale Williams
was of Scots-Irish and African-American
African-American
ancestry. Although members of his family passed as white, he exclusively served, and identified with, African Americans.

Imitation of Life star Fredi Washington
Fredi Washington
portrayed a woman who passed in the famous film, but was against passing in her own life.[199]

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
Virginia
before the American Revolution
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.[200] 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
African Americans
to use passing to gain educational opportunities as did the first African-American graduate of Vassar College, Anita Florence Hemmings.[201] 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
Virginia
and some other states, a person of one-eighth or less black ancestry was legally white.[202] 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.[203][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.[202] However, since several thousand blacks have been crossing the color line each year, millions of white Americans
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.[204] In fiction[edit] 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[205] She may even be unaware of her status before being reduced to victimization.[206] The first character of this type was the heroine of Lydia Maria Child's "The Quadroons" (1842), a short story.[206] 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.[207] 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.[208] 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
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
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.[209]

See also[edit]

Race in the United States Racial and ethnic demographics of the United States Colored Mulatto Race of the Future Loving v. Virginia Dreams from My Father British Mixed-Race One-drop rule

References[edit]

^ 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
United States
Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-05-08.  ^ "B02001. RACE – Universe: TOTAL POPULATION". 2006 American Community Survey. United States Census
United States Census
Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-30.  has 6.1 million (2.0%) ^ a b c Gates, Henry Louis, Jr. Faces of America: How 12 Extraordinary Americans
Americans
Reclaimed Their Pasts (New York University Press, 2010) ^ Root, Multiracial
Multiracial
Experience, pp. xv–xviii ^ "Obama raises profile of mixed-race Americans", San Francisco Chronicle 21 July 2008. ^ a b Paul Heinegg, Free African Americans
African Americans
of Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Maryland and Delaware, 1995–2010 ^ Paul Heinegg, Free African Americans
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 2007-03-28. Retrieved 2008-06-18.  ^ Peter Kolchin, Slavery
Slavery
in America, 1619–1877, Hill and Wang, 1993 ^ PBS (May 1999). "Jefferson's Blood: Mixed Race America". WGBH Educational Foundation. Retrieved 2008-06-18.  ^ a b 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 2008-07-18.  ^ a b Nitardy, Charlotte (2008-05-14). "Identity Problems in Biracial Youth". University of Minnesota. Retrieved 2008-07-14.  ^ Stephen M. Quintana, Clark McKown (ed.) (2008). Handbook of Race, Racism, and the Developing Child. John Wiley & Sons. p. 211. ISBN 0470189800. Retrieved 1 January 2015. CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link) ^ Lang, Susan S. (2005-11-02). "Interracial relationships are on the increase in U.S., but decline with age, Cornell study finds". Chronicle Online. Cornell University. Retrieved 2008-07-14.  ^ Rodriguez, Cindy (2000-12-16). "The US Census now recognizes multiracial entries". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Retrieved 2008-07-14.  ^ a b c "Census 1990: Ancestry Codes". University of Michigan. Archived from the original on 2008-05-02. Retrieved 2008-07-18.  ^ Tate, Eric (1997-07-08). " Multiracial
Multiracial
Group Views Change to Census as a Victory". The Multiracial
Multiracial
Activist. Retrieved 2008-07-18.  ^ a b "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-10-02. Retrieved 2008-11-09.  ^ Cohn, D'Vera. "Multi-Race and the 2010 Census". Retrieved 2011-04-26.  ^ " Multiracial
Multiracial
Children". aacap.org. Retrieved 22 October 2017.  ^ Root, Maria P. P. (2001). Love's Revolution: Interracial Marriage. Temple University Press. p. 202. ISBN 1-56639-826-6. Retrieved 2008-07-14.  at p. 138. ^ "The Rise of Intermarriage". Pew Research Center's Social & Demographic Trends Project. 16 February 2012. Retrieved 17 March 2015.  ^ "Thandie Newton – Actress". Mixed-Race Celebrities. Intermix. Retrieved 2008-07-14.  ^ 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 2008-07-14.  ^ 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
Hapa
Issues Forum and the UCLA Hapa
Hapa
Club". UCLA Hapa
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 (7 October 2015). "The Next Disney Princess is Native Hawaiian
Native Hawaiian
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Further reading[edit]

G. Reginald Daniel, More Than Black?: Multiracial
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
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
Multiracial
Individuals (2005), ISBN 978-0-87154-658-6.

External links[edit]

The Multiracial
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
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
Multiracial
People, Kitoba "Hapa/ Multiracial
Multiracial
Asian Americans", Asian-Nation Gregory Rodriguez (2001), " Multiracial
Multiracial
identity, a shared destiny" "Williams/Zogby Poll: Americans' Attitudes Changing Towards Multiracial
Multiracial
Candidates". BBS News. 2006-12-22. Archived from the original on 2007-04-03. Retrieved 2007-09-23.  David Gardner, "'Most shelter dogs are mutts like me': Obama defies political correctness at first press conference", Daily Mail, 8 November 2008. "Interracial Marriage in the United States", Infography

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in the United States Southeast Africans
Africans
in the United States Southern Africans
Africans
in the United States West Africans
Africans
in the United States

Asia

Asian Hispanic and Latino Americans

East Asia

Chinese Americans

Hong Kong Americans Tibetan Americans

Japanese Americans Korean Americans Mongolian Americans Taiwanese Americans

South Asia

Bangladeshi Americans Bhutanese Americans Indian Americans Nepalese Americans Pakistani Americans Romani Americans Sri Lankan Americans

Southeast Asia

Burmese Americans Cambodian Americans Filipino Americans Hmong Americans Indonesian Americans Laotian Americans Malaysian Americans Singaporean Americans Thai Americans Vietnamese Americans

West Asia

Arab Americans Assyrian Americans Iranian Americans Israeli Americans Jewish Americans

Europe

White Americans

English Americans French Americans German Americans Irish Americans Italian Americans Scandinavian Americans Slavic Americans Spanish Americans

Non-Hispanic whites White Hispanic and Latino Americans

Oceania

Pacific Islands Americans

Chamorro Americans Native Hawaiians Samoan Americans Tongan Americans

Americans
Americans
of Euro Oceanic origin

Australian Americans New Zealand Americans

North America

Native Americans
Americans
and Alaska Natives Canadian Americans Cuban Americans Mexican Americans Puerto Ricans
Puerto Ricans
(Stateside)

South America

Hispanic and Latino Americans Brazilian Americans Colombian Americans Ecuadorian Americans

Multiethnic

Melungeon

People of the United States
People of the United States
/ Americans American ancestry Maps of American ancestries 2010 Census Race and ethnicity in the Census Race and ethnicity in the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Racism

v t e

Hispanic and Latino American groups in the United States

Caribbean

Cuban Dominican Puerto Rican

Nuyorican

North American

Hispano

Californio Nuevomexicano Tejano

Creoles of Louisiana

Isleño

Mexican

Chicano Indigenous Mexican Punjabi

Central American

Costa Rican Guatemalan Honduran Nicaraguan Panamanian Salvadoran

South American

Argentine Bolivian Brazilian Chilean Colombian Ecuadorian Paraguayan Peruvian Uruguayan Venezuelan

European

Spanish

Asturian Basque Catalan Canarian Galician Jews

Racial groups

All groups Amerindian Asian

Punjabi

Black White Multiracial

Quadroon Castizo "Cholo" Mestizo Mulatto Pardo Zambo

Languages

Chicano
Chicano
English New York Latino English New Mexican Spanish Spanglish Spanish Portuguese

Ethnic and religious groups

Christians Garifuna Jews Muslims

Related ethnic groups

Belizean Filipino Guyanese Haitian Por

.