Multiracial Americans

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.[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 may be considered 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 has had a growing multiracial identity movement (cf. Loving Day).[5] 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.[6]

Today, multiracial individuals are found in every corner of the country. Multiracial groups in the United States include many African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Métis Americans, Louisiana Creoles, Hapas, Melungeons, 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.

Multiracial Americans
Total population
Self-identified multiracial Americans
18,346,638[1]
5.6% of the total U.S. population (2017)
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)
Related ethnic groups
African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Métis Americans, Louisiana Creoles, Hapas, Melungeons

History

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.[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 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

Olaudah Equiano - Project Gutenberg eText 15399
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 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.[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 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

Freedoms Banner Charley a slave boy from New Orelans 1864
Charley Taylor holding an American flag. Charley was the son of 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 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.

20th century

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 1967 the United States Supreme Court case, 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 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.[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

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 and ethnicity in the United States 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 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".[17]

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.[18]

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.[19]

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.[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 American identity

Political History

Despite a long and perverse history of miscegenation within the U.S. political territory and American continental landscape, advocacy for a unique social race classification to recognize direct, or recent, multiracial parentage did not begin until the 1970s. After the Civil Rights Era and rapid integration of African-Americans into predominately European-American institutions and residential communities, it became more socially acceptable for White race identified women to date, marry and procreate children fathered by non-White men. This trend evolved a political push that offspring of interracial unions fully inherit the social race classifications of both parents, regardless of the racial classification of the maternal parent. This advocacy countered what had been practiced in the United States since the 1500s where a newborn's racial classification defaulted to that of their mother which was determined by the One Drop Rule as well as misogyny-driven white supremacist hegemony. Practiced during chattel slavery the rule delegated the racial classification of offspring produced by White male slave masters and African or Negro female slaves through coercion or rape.

Contemporary Interracial Marriage

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%).[22]

Multiracial Families and Identity Issues

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. A 1989 article written by Charlotte Nitary revealed that parents of mixed raced children often struggled between teaching their children to identify as only the race of their non-white parent, not identifying with social race at all, or identifying with the racial identities of both parents.[13]

The social identity of children and of their parents in the same multiracial family may vary or be the same.[23] 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 children grow up without race being a significant issue in their lives because they identify against the one-drop-rule construct. [24] This approach to addressing plural racial heritage is something U.S. society has slowly become socialized into as the general consensus among monoracially identified individuals is plural racial identity is a choice and presents disingenuous motives against the more oppressed inherited racial identity.[12] By the 1990s, as more multiracial identified students attended colleges and university, many were met with alienation from culturally and racially homogenous groups on campus. This common national trend saw the launch of many multi-racial campus organizations across the country. By the 2000s, these efforts for self-identification soon reached beyond educational institutions and into mainstream society.[25]

In her book Love's Revolution: Interracial Marriage, Maria P. P. Root suggests that when interracial parents divorce, their mixed-race children become threatening in circumstances where the custodial parent has remarried into a union where an emphasis is placed on racial identity.[26]

Tiger Woods 2007
Tiger Woods was born to an Asian mother and African-American father.

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.[27]

Keanu Reeves (crop and levels) (cropped)

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

Charles Mingus 1976 cropped

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

President Barack Obama

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

Jennifer Beals at GLAAD Awards cropped

Jennifer Beals was born to an Irish-American mother and an African-American father.[36]

Kamala Harris Official Attorney General Photo

Kamala Harris was born in Oakland, California to a Tamil Indian mother[37] and a Jamaican father.[38]

Native American identity

In the 2010 Census, nearly 3 million people indicated that their race was Native American (including Alaska Native).[39] Of these, more than 27% specifically indicated "Cherokee" as their ethnic origin.[40][41] Many of the First Families of Virginia claim descent from Pocahontas or some other "Indian princess". This phenomenon has been dubbed the "Cherokee Syndrome".[42] Across the US, numerous individuals cultivate an opportunistic ethnic identity as Native American, sometimes through Cherokee heritage groups or Indian Wedding Blessings.[43]

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.[43] Point in case, more than 75% of those enrolled in the Cherokee Nation have less than one-quarter Cherokee blood[44] and the current Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation, Bill John Baker, is 1/32 Cherokee, amounting to about 3%.

Historically, non-Native governments have forced numerous Native Americans to assimilate 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."[43] Today, after generations of racial whitening through hypergamy, many Native Americans may have fair skin like White Americans, unlike mestizos in the United States, who may in fact have little or no non-indigenous ancestry.[45]

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.[46] Some tribes disenroll tribal members unable to provide proof of Native ancestry, usually through a Certificate of Degree of Indian Blood. Disenrollment has become a contentious issue in Native American reservation politics.[47][48]

ChiefBillJohnBakerByPhilKonstantin

Bill John Baker, who is 3.13% Cherokee,[49] is the current Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation.

Billy Bowlegs III 3c25031u

Seminole elder Billy Bowlegs III was also of Muscogee, African-American and Scottish descent through his maternal grandfather Osceola.[50]

Radmilla cody.jpeg

Radmilla Cody is an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation and of African-American descent.[51]

Charles Curtis-portrait

Charles Curtis was a Native American, born to a Kaw, Osage, a Potawatomi and French mother and an English, Scots and Welsh father.[52]

Debra Haaland, 2014 (cropped)

Deb Haaland is from the Laguna Pueblo people and is the first Native American identified Congresswoman to represent New Mexico. Her father is Norwegian-American.[53]

Maria Tallchief 1961

Maria Tallchief was a member of the Osage Nation and of Ulster-Scots descent.[54]

Native American lineage and admixture in Black and African-Americans

Redd Foxx 1966

Redd Foxx's mother was half Seminole and his father was African-American.[55]

Jimi Hendrix 1967

Jimi Hendrix was born to a Cherokee mother and was part English, African-American, Irish and German.[56][57][58]

Motto edmonia lewis original

Edmonia Lewis was of Mississauga Ojibwe, African-American and Haitian descent.[59]

Claudia-McNeil

Claudia McNeil was born to an Apache mother and an African-American father.[60]

Rosaparks

Rosa Parks was of Cherokee-Creek,[61] African-American and Scots-Irish descent.[62]

Della Reese 1961

Della Reese was born to a mother of Cherokee descent and an African-American father.[63][64][65]

Interracial relations between Native Americans and African-Americans is a part of American history that has been neglected.[66] The earliest record of African and Native 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.[67] In addition, an example of African slaves' escaping from European colonists and being absorbed by Native 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 Native Americans.[68]

European colonists created treaties with Native 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 people in 1764, and from the Delaware people in 1765, though there is no record of slaves ever being returned.[69] Numerous advertisements requested the return of African-Americans who had married Native Americans or who spoke a Native American language. The primary exposure that Native Americans and Africans had to each other came through the institution of slavery.[70] Native Americans learned that Africans had what Native Americans considered 'Great Medicine' in their bodies because Africans were virtually immune to the Old-World diseases that were decimating most native populations.[71] Because of this, many tribes encouraged marriage between the two groups, to create stronger, healthier children from the unions.[71]

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 Native American heritage as many family elders withheld pertinent genealogical information.[66] Tracing the genealogy of African-Americans can be a very difficult process, especially for descendants of Native Americans, because African-Americans who were slaves were forbidden to learn to read and write and a majority of Native Americans neither spoke English, nor read or wrote it.[66]

Native American lineage and admixture in White and European-Americans

BenNCampbell

Ben Campbell was born to an Azorian mother and father of Northern Cheyenne, Apache and Pueblo Indian descent.[72]

Ruth Gordon 1919

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.[73][74]

Rebecca Hall Berlinale 2010 cropped

Rebecca Hall was born to a mother of Sioux, African-American, Scottish and Dutch extraction and an English father.[75][76][77][78]

Heather Locklear cropped

Heather Locklear is of Lumbee descent.[79]

Interracial relations among Native Americans and Europeans occurred from the earliest years of British, French and Spanish exploration. explorers and trappers. European impact was immediate, widespread and profound—more than any other race that had contact with Native Americans during the early years of colonization and nationhood.[80]

Some Europeans living among Native 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."[81] More numerous and typical were white male traders and trappers, who sometimes raped Native American women or sometimes married Native American women from tribes on the frontier and had families with them.[82] Some traders, who kept bases in the cities, had what ware called "country wives" among Native 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 Native American lands. Some early male settlers married Native American women or had informal unions with them. Early contact between Native Americans and Europeans was often charged with tension, but also had moments of friendship, cooperation and intimacy.[83] 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 Native American ancestry from being considered English or white.

Early European colonists were predominately white men and Native American women were at risk for rape or sexual harassment especially if they were enslaved.[82] In the early 19th century, the Native 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 Native Americans were between European men and Native 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, a Native 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".[84]

In the late 19th century, three European-American middle-class female teachers married Native American men they had met at Hampton Institute during the years when it ran its Indian program.[85] In the late nineteenth century, Charles Eastman, a physician of Sioux and European 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.

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 Native American and African-American descent report having had elder family members withholding pertinent genealogical information.[66] 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.[66] 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 "biracial" 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.[86]

Since the 1990s and 2000s, the terms mixed race, multiracial and biracial 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 European-American and East African ancestry; he identifies as African-American.[87] 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.[88]

A 2003 study found an average of 18.6% (±1.5%) European admixture in a population sample of 416 African-Americans from Washington, D.C.[89] 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.[90]

The writer Sherrel W. Stewart's assertion that "most" African-Americans have significant Native American heritage,[91] 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.

Genetic testing of direct male and female lines evaluates only two out of an individual's lines of ancestry.[92] 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.[92][93] Other experts also agree.[94]

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.[93] 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.[92][93]

Admixture

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.[95][96]

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.[97]

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.[80] 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.[80] If an African-American man had children by a Native American woman, their children were free because of the status of the mother.[80]

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.[98]

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.[99]

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 "biracial" 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.[86]

Muhammad Ali NYWTS

Muhammad Ali was of English, African-American and Irish descent.[102]

Martin Luther King Jr NYWTS

Martin Luther King Jr. was of Irish and African extraction.[104][105]

John Mercer Langston - Brady-Handy

John Mercer Langston was of English, Native American and African descent.[106]

Oprah Winfrey (2004)

Oprah Winfrey is 89% sub-Saharan African, 8% Native American and 3% East Asian.[107]

Definition of African-American

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. There is a consensus that suggests that the term African-American should refer strictly to the descendants of American Colonial Era chattel slave descendants which includes various, subsequent, Free People of Color ethnic groups who survived the Chattel Slavery Era in the United States.[108] It's been recognized that grouping together all Afrodescent ethnicities, regardless of their unique ancestral circumstances, would deny the lingering effects of slavery within the American Colonial Era chattel slave descended community.[108] A growing sentiment within the Descendants of American Colonial Era Chattel Slaves (DOS) population insists that ethnic African immigrants as well as all other Afro-descent and Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade descendants and those relegated, or self-designated, to the Black race social identity or classification recognize their own unique familial, genealogical, ancestral, social, political and cultural backgrounds.[108]

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.[109] 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."[109]

Reacting to media criticism of Michelle Obama during the 2008 presidential election, Charles 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."[110] He later claimed his comment was intended to be "provocative" but declined to expand on the subject.[110] Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice (who was famously mistaken for a "recent American immigrant" by French President Nicolas Sarkozy[111]), 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 terms black or white.[112]

White and European-American identity

Some of the most notable families include the Van Salees,[73] Vanderbilts, Whitneys, Blacks,[113] Cheswells,[114] Newells,[115] Battises,[116] Bostons,[117] Eldings[118] of the North; the Staffords,[119] Gibsons,[120] Locklears, Pendarvises,[74] Driggers,[121][122] Galphins,[123] Fairfaxes,[124] Grinsteads (Greenstead, Grinsted and Grimsted),[125] Johnsons, Timrods, Darnalls of the South and the Picos,[126] Yturrias[127] and Bushes of the West.[128]

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.[129] 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.[130]

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[131] 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[132] of Shreveport, Louisiana.

George Herriman and fans

George Herriman, who was born into a Creole family, wore a hat to conceal his hair texture. His death certificate identified him as Caucasian.[133]

Patrick Francis Healy solitaire.jpeg

Patrick Francis Healy was born to an Irish-American plantation owner and his biracial slave. He and his siblings identified as white in their formative years and most made careers in the Catholic Church in the North.[134]

Carolchanning

Carol Channing was born to a white mother and a half African-American and German father. She passed for white during the height of her career and later publicly acknowledged her mixed race origins.[135][136]

Mary Ellen Pleasant

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

Racial Passing and Ambiguity

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.[137]

G. K. Butterfield, Official Portrait, 112th Congress

G. K. Butterfield was born to two mixed race black identified parents of Portuguese and African descent from the Azores.[138]

Robert Purvis daguerreotype BPL

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.[139][140][141]

Imitation of Life (1934) trailer 8

Imitation of Life star Fredi Washington portrayed a woman who passed in the famous film, but was against passing in her own life.[142]

Walter Francis White

Walter Francis White belonged to a middle-class hyperdescent African-American chattel slave descended family who remained negro or black-identified.

Daniel Hale Williams

Daniel Hale Williams was of African-American and Scots-Irish 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.[143] 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.[144] 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.[145] Some members of these categories passed temporarily or permanently as white.

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.[145]

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.[146]

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.[147] 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 Amerindian, mestizo or other mixed race.[148] 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.[149][150][151][152][153][154][155][156][157]

Comedian Carlos Mencia in 2009

Carlos Mencia is part British, Mexican, Honduran, German and Cayman Islander.[162]

Tessa Thompson - DSC 0109 (cropped)

Tessa Thompson is part European, Mexican and Afro-Panamanian.[163][164]

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.[165]

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.

Kaiulani in San Francisco, retouched photo by J. J. Williams

Princess Kaʻiulani was of Indigenous Hawaiian and Scots-American descent.[166]

Jason Momoa 2011

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

Eurasian-American identity

In its original meaning, an Amerasian is a person born in Asia to an Asian mother and a U.S. military father. Colloquially, the term has sometimes been considered synonymous with Asian-American, to describe any person of mixed American and Asian parentage, regardless of the circumstances.

According to the United States Census Bureau, concerning multiracial 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.[176]

According to James P. Allen and Eugene Turner from California State University, Northridge, by some calculations the largest part white biracial 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.[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 Tilly1

Jennifer Tilly is part Native American, Irish, Finnish and Chinese.[177][178][179][180]

Kip fulbeck

Kip Fulbeck is part English, Welsh, Irish and Cantonese.[182][183][184]

Moon Bloodgood 2012 Dark Horse Comics booth (cropped)

Moon Bloodgood is part Irish, Dutch and Korean.[185][186]

Sean Lennon Saint Asbury Park NJ 09272013 LHCollins 400

Sean Lennon is the son of Japanese Yoko Ono and English and Irish descended John Lennon.[187]

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.[188]

As of the census of 2000, there were 106,782 Afro-Asian individuals in the United States.[189]

Ne-Yo 2013

Ne-Yo is part African-American and Chinese.[192]

BobbyScott

Bobby Scott is of African-American and Filipino (maternal grandfather) descent.[193]

Sonja Sohn at Harvard Law School

Sonja Sohn is part African-American and Korean.[194]

JERO @ Japan Society - 6-8-2012 - 18

Jero is part African-American and Japanese.[195]

TommyPham752017

Tommy Pham is an American baseball player whose mother is black and his father was born in Vietnam to a Vietnamese mother and a black father.

In fiction

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[196] She may even be unaware of her status before being reduced to victimization.[197] The first character of this type was the heroine of Lydia Maria Child's "The Quadroons" (1842), a short story.[197] 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.[198]

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.[199]

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.[200]

See also

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Further reading

  • 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.

External links

2000 United States Census

The Twenty-second United States Census, known as Census 2000 and conducted by the Census Bureau, determined the resident population of the United States on April 1, 2000, to be 281,421,906, an increase of 13.2% over the 248,709,873 people enumerated during the 1990 Census. This was the twenty-second federal census and was at the time the largest civilly administered peacetime effort in the United States.Approximately 16 percent of households received a "long form" of the 2000 census, which contained over 100 questions. Full documentation on the 2000 census, including census forms and a procedural history, is available from the Integrated Public Use Microdata Series.

This was the first census in which a state – California – recorded a population of over 30 million, as well as the first in which two states – California and Texas – recorded a population of more than 20 million.

Akins

Akins ( or locally ) is a Scottish surname and northern Irish family name.

Americans

Americans are nationals and citizens of the United States of America. Although nationals and citizens make up the majority of Americans, some dual citizens, expatriates, and permanent residents may also claim American nationality. The United States is home to people of many different ethnic origins. As a result, American culture and law does not equate nationality with race or ethnicity, but with citizenship and permanent allegiance.English-speakers, and even speakers of many other languages, typically use the term "American" to exclusively mean people of the United States; this developed from its original use to differentiate English people of the American colonies from English people of England. The word "American" can also refer to people from the Americas in general (see names for United States citizens).

Anita Florence Hemmings

Anita Florence Hemmings (June 8, 1872 – 1960) was the first African-American woman to graduate from Vassar College. After graduation she became a librarian at the Boston Public Library. Her parents were Dora Logan and Robert Williamson Hemmings. Her brother graduated from M.I.T. in 1897.

Demographics of Louisiana

The United States Census Bureau estimates that the population of Louisiana was 4,670,724 on July 1, 2015, a 3.03% increase since the 2010 United States Census.As of July 2005 (prior to the landfall of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita), Louisiana has an estimated population of 4,670,724, which is an increase of 21,048, or 0.4%, from the prior year and an increase of 137,352, or 3.03%, since 2010. This includes a natural increase since the last census of 129,889 people (that is 350,818 births minus 220,929 deaths) and a decrease due to net migration of 69,373 people out of the state. Immigration from outside the United States resulted in a net increase of 20,174 people, and migration within the country produced a net loss of 89,547 people. The population density of the state is 104.9 people per square mile.The center of population of Louisiana is located in Pointe Coupee Parish, in the city of New Roads.According to the 2000 U.S. Census, 14.7% of the population aged 5 and older speak French or Cajun French at home, while 1.5% speak Spanish.

Demographics of Manhattan

New York County, coterminous with the New York City borough of Manhattan, is the most densely populated U.S. county, with a density of 70,825.6/mi2 (27,267.4/km2) as of 2013. In 1910, it reached a peak of 101,548/mi2 (39,222.9/km2). The county is one of the original counties of New York state.

Demographics of New England

According to the 2006–08 American Community Survey, New England had a population of 14,265,187, of which 48.7% were male and 51.3% were female. Approximately 22.4% of the population were under 18 years of age; 13.5% were over 65 years of age.

In terms of race and ethnicity, White Americans made up 83.4% of New England's population, of which 77.7% were whites of non-Hispanic origin. Black Americans composed 7.3% of the region's population, of which 6.9% were blacks of non-Hispanic origin. Native Americans made up 0.3% of the population, numbering 37,234. There were just over 500,000 Asian Americans residing in New England at the time of the survey, making up 3.5% of the region's population. There were 158,282 Chinese Americans, constituting 1.1% of the region's total population, and 119,140 Indian Americans (0.8%). Japanese Americans numbered 14,501 (0.1%).

Pacific Islander Americans numbered 4,194, 0.03% of the populace. There were 138 Samoan Americans residing in the region. Multiracial Americans made up 1.8% of New England's population. The largest mixed-race group comprised those of African and European descent; there were 84,143 people of black and white ancestry, making up 0.6% of the population. People of Native American and European American ancestry made up 0.4% of the population, and people of Asian and European heritage 0.3%.

Hispanic and Latino Americans are New England's largest minority, and they are the second-largest group in the region behind non-Hispanic European Americans. Hispanics and Latinos of any race made up 7.9% of New England's population, and there were over 1.1 million Hispanic and Latino individuals reported in the survey. Puerto Ricans were the most numerous of the Hispanic and Latino subgroups. Over half a million (507,000) Puerto Ricans live in New England, forming 3.6% of the population. There are also just over 100,000 Mexican Americans. The Dominican population is more than 70,000 (Though other, more recent estimates go as high as 200,000). Americans of Cuban descent are scant in number; there were roughly 20,000 Cuban Americans in the region. People of other Hispanic and Latino ancestries, for example Salvadoran, Colombian, and Bolivian, formed 3.5% of New England's population, and numbered over 492,000.New England's European American population is ethnically diverse. The majority of the Euro-American population is of Irish, Italian, English, French, and German descent. Smaller but significant populations of Poles, French Canadians, and Portuguese people exist as well.

According to the 2006–2008 survey, the top ten largest European ancestries were the following:

Irish: 21.1% (Over 3 million)

French and French Canadian: 15.3% 1.5 million

Italian: 14.4% (Over 2 million)

English: 13.7% (1.9 million)

German: 8.2% (1.2 million)

Polish: 5.6% (Roughly 800,000)

Portuguese: 3.5% (Over 500,000)

Scottish: 3.1% (Over 440,000)

Scotch-Irish: 2.1% (Over 290,000)

Russian: 1.9% (Over 250,000)English is, by far, the most common language spoken at home. Approximately 82.7% of all residents (11.1 million people) over the age of five spoke only English at home. Roughly 885,000 people (6.6% of the population) spoke Spanish at home, and roughly 1,023,000 people (7.6% of the population) spoke other Indo-European languages at home. Over 313,000 people (2.3% of the population) spoke an Asian or Pacific Island language at home. Slightly fewer (about 2%) spoke French at home, although this figure is above 20% in northern New England, which borders francophone Québec. Roughly 99,000 people (0.7% of the population) spoke languages other than these at home.

The vast majority of New England's inhabitants, roughly 12.3 million people or 86% of the population, were born in the U.S. This includes 2.2% of the population (315,000 people) who were born either in Puerto Rico, in a U.S. territory, or abroad to American parents. Altogether, the native population totals roughly 12,630,000 people, or 88.5% of the population. The foreign-born population forms over ten percent (11.5%) of New England's total population. There are roughly 1.6 million foreigners residing in the region. Thirty-five percent of foreigners were born in Latin America, 27.9% were born in Europe, 24.5% were born in Asia, and 6.9% were born in Africa. People born in other parts of North America made up 5.3% of the foreign-born populace. Oceania-born residents formed 0.4% of the foreign population, just over 6,000. Of the 1.6 million foreigners, 47.7% were naturalized citizens of the U.S., and the majority (52.3%) were not U.S. citizens.The six states of New England have the lowest birth rate in the U.S.In 2005, the total population of New England was 14,239,724 people, roughly a 50% increase from its 1929 population of 9,813,000. The region's average population density is 221.66 inhabitants/sq mi (85.59/km²), although a great disparity exists between its northern and southern portions. The population density is much greater than that of the U.S. as a whole (79.56/sq mi) or even just the contiguous 48 states (94.48/sq mi).

Three-quarters of the population of New England, and most of the major cities, are in the states of Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island. Their combined population density is 786.83/sq mi, compared to northern New England's 63.56/sq mi (2000 census). The most populous state is Massachusetts, and the most populous city is Massachusetts' political and cultural capital, Boston.

The coastline is more urban than the western parts of the region, which are typically rural, even in urban states like Massachusetts. This is due mainly to historical factors; the original colonists settled mostly on the coastline of Massachusetts Bay. The only New England state without access to the Atlantic Ocean, Vermont, is also the least urbanized. After nearly 400 years, the region still maintains, for the most part, its historical population layout.

New England's coast is dotted with urban centers, such as Portland, Portsmouth, Boston, New Bedford, Fall River, Providence, New Haven, Bridgeport, and Stamford, as well as smaller cities such as Newburyport, Gloucester, Biddeford, Bath, Rockland, Newport, Westerly, and the small twin cities of Groton and New London in Connecticut.

Southern New England forms an integral part of the BosWash megalopolis, a conglomeration of urban centers that spans from Boston to Washington, D.C. The region includes three of the four most densely populated states in the U.S.; only New Jersey has a higher population density than the states of Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Connecticut.

Greater Boston, which includes parts of southern New Hampshire, has a total population of approximately 4.4 million, while over half the population of New England falls inside Boston's Combined Statistical Area of over 7.4 million.In 2009, two New England states were among the five highest in the U.S. in divorce rates. Maine was second highest with 13.6% of people over the age of 15 divorced; Vermont was fifth with 12.6% divorced. Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island, on the other hand, have below-average divorce rates. Massachusetts is tied with Georgia with the lowest divorce rate in the U.S., at 2.4%.

Demographics of Saint Paul, Minnesota

Saint Paul is the capital city of the U.S. state of Minnesota and the county seat of Ramsey County. As of the 2000 census, the population was 287,151. The U.S. Census Bureau estimated the city's population at 279,590 in 2008.

Fargo–Moorhead

Fargo–Moorhead is a common name given to the metropolitan area comprising Fargo, North Dakota, Moorhead, Minnesota, and the surrounding communities. These two cities lie on the North Dakota–Minnesota border, on opposite banks of the Red River of the North. The Fargo–Moorhead area is defined by the Census Bureau as comprising all of Cass County, North Dakota and Clay County, Minnesota, which includes the cities of Dilworth, MN, West Fargo, ND, and numerous other towns and developments from which commuters travel daily for work, education, and regular activities. A July 1, 2015 census estimate placed the population at 233,836, an increase of 34% from the 2000 census.

Fargo–Moorhead is the cultural, retail, health care, educational, and industrial center of southeastern North Dakota and northwestern Minnesota.

Hawaii

Hawaii ( (listen) hə-WY-ee; Hawaiian: Hawaiʻi [həˈvɐjʔi]) is the 50th and most recent state to have joined the United States, having received statehood on August 21, 1959. Hawaii is the only U.S. state located in Oceania, the only U.S. state located outside North America, and the only one composed entirely of islands. It is the northernmost island group in Polynesia, occupying most of an archipelago in the central Pacific Ocean.The state encompasses nearly the entire volcanic Hawaiian archipelago, which comprises hundreds of islands spread over 1,500 miles (2,400 km). At the southeastern end of the archipelago, the eight main islands are—in order from northwest to southeast: Niʻihau, Kauaʻi, Oʻahu, Molokaʻi, Lānaʻi, Kahoʻolawe, Maui, and Hawaiʻi. The last is the largest island in the group; it is often called the "Big Island" or "Hawaiʻi Island" to avoid confusion with the state or archipelago. The archipelago is physiographically and ethnologically part of the Polynesian subregion of Oceania.

Hawaii's diverse natural scenery, warm tropical climate, abundance of public beaches, oceanic surroundings, and active volcanoes make it a popular destination for tourists, surfers, biologists, and volcanologists. Because of its central location in the Pacific and 19th-century labor migration, Hawaii's culture is strongly influenced by North American and East Asian cultures, in addition to its indigenous Hawaiian culture. Hawaii has over a million permanent residents, along with many visitors and U.S. military personnel. Its capital is Honolulu on the island of Oʻahu.

Hawaii is the 8th-smallest and the 11th-least populous, but the 13th-most densely populated of the 50 U.S. states. It is the only state with an Asian plurality. The state's oceanic coastline is about 750 miles (1,210 km) long, the fourth longest in the U.S. after the coastlines of Alaska, Florida, and California.

List of United States cities by percentage of white population

Definitions of "white Americans" sometimes excludes White Hispanic or Multiracial Americans people.

Matt Kelley

Matt Kelley (born 1978) is a mixed-race Korean American writer, public speaker and consultant born in Spokane, Washington, and living in Seoul, South Korea.

He is the co-editor of the Multiracial Child Resource Book: Living Complex Identities (2003) with Maria P. P. Root and is producer of the documentary film, Chasing Daybreak: A Film About Mixed Race in America (2006), which features U.S. President Barack Obama.

In 1998, as a 19-year-old, first-year student at Wesleyan University, Kelley created MAVIN magazine, one of the first print publications about racially mixed people. In 2000, he founded the Seattle, Washington-based Mavin Foundation, a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization whose mission is to build “healthy communities that celebrate and empower mixed heritage people and families". Under his direction the organization created projects including the award-winning MatchMaker Bone Marrow Project, the Mixed Heritage Center and the Generation MIX National Awareness Tour. He left the organization in 2006 but continues to serve on its Board of Advisors.Kelley is recognized as a spokesperson for multiracial Americans. He frequently appears in media and has received several awards, including being named a "Point of Light" by President George W. Bush. In 2004, as vice president of the Association of MultiEthnic Americans, he was the multiracial representative on the U.S. Department of Commerce's Decennial Census Advisory Committee. In 2005 he presented testimony to Congress about mixed-race health concerns.Kelley has volunteered with several organizations that work with youth, Asian American, African American and lesbian and gay issues.

Mestizos in the United States

Mestizos in the United States are Latino Americans whose racial and/or ethnic identity is Mestizo, i.e. a mixed ancestry of white European/Caucasian race and Native American/Redskin (slang) from Latin America (usually Iberian-Indigenous mixed ancestry) Mestizo/Bronze(Red/American Indian & Caucasian/White Other Latino/Mixed Race Tribal).

This group does not include Métis people of the United States (usually with Anglo-Indigenous mixed ancestry) or Métis people of Canada (usually with Franco-Indigenous or Scottish-Indigenous mixed ancestry) residing in the US, nor does it include Tejanos, Nuevomexicanos, nor Multiracial Americans, whose ethnic identity is Native American or Latin American Indian. Their commonality is that they are all descendants of the indigenous American Indians and White Europeans. In fact the words Métis and Mestizos have the same meaning which is someone of American Indian and White European descent. Many Mestizos identify with their Latin American Indian ancestry while others tend to self-identify with their European ancestry, others still celebrate both.

It is difficult to know the exact number of Latino Americans self-identifying as Mestizo, in part because "Mestizo" is not an official racial category in the Census. According to the 2010 United States Census, 36.7% of the 52 million Hispanic/Latino Americans identify as "some other race", and most of the remainder consider themselves white. Further complicating matters is the fact that many federal agencies such as the CDC or CIA do not even recognize the "some other race" category, including this population in the white category.

Mixed (United Kingdom ethnicity category)

Mixed is an ethnicity category that has been used by the United Kingdom's Office for National Statistics since the 1991 Census. Colloquially it refers to British citizens or residents whose parents are of two or more different races or ethnic backgrounds. Mixed race people are the fastest growing ethnic group in the UK and numbered 1.25 million in the 2011 census.

Pittsburgh-New Castle-Weirton, PA-OH-WV Combined Statistical Area

The Pittsburgh-New Castle-Weirton, PA-OH-WV Combined Statistical Area is a 12-county Combined Statistical Area in the United States. The principal city of the area is the City of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania but includes parts of the states of Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Ohio and was officially defined by the U.S. Census Bureau in 2013. As a CSA, the Census Bureau has identified that the region shares integrated transportation and economic ties as evidenced by commuting patterns. The estimated population of the area was 2,635,228 in mid-2016.

Polyethnicity

Polyethnicity refers to the proximity of people from different ethnic backgrounds within a country or other specific geographic region. It also relates to the ability and willingness of individuals to identify themselves with multiple ethnicities. It occurs when multiple ethnicities inhabit a given area, specifically through means of immigration, intermarriage, trade, conquest and post-war land-divisions. This has had many political and social implications on countries and regions.Many, if not all, countries have some degree of polyethnicity, with countries like Nigeria and Canada having high levels and countries like Japan and Poland having very low levels (and more specifically, a sense of homogeneity). The amount of polyethnicity prevalent in some Western countries has spurred some arguments against it, which include a belief that it leads to the weakening of each society's strengths, and also a belief that political-ethnic issues in countries with polyethnic populations are better handled with different laws for certain ethnicities.

Race and ethnicity in the United States

Race and ethnicity in the United States is a complex topic both because the United States of America has a racially and ethnically diverse population and because the country had a heavily racist culture involving slavery and anti-miscegenation laws. At the federal level, race and ethnicity have been categorized separately.

The most recent United States Census officially recognized five racial categories (White American, Black or African American, Native American and Alaska Native, Asian American, and Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander) as well as people of two or more races. The Census Bureau also classified respondents as "Hispanic or Latino" or "Not Hispanic or Latino", identifying Hispanic and Latino as an ethnicity (not a race), which comprises the largest minority group in the nation. The United States Supreme Court unanimously held that "race" is not limited to Census designations on the "race question" but extends to all ethnicities, and thus can include Jewish (which has the unique status as both an ethnicity and a religion), Arab, Hungarian, Laotian, Zulu, etc. The Census also asked an "Ancestry Question," which covers the broader notion of ethnicity, in the 2000 Census long form and the American Community Survey; the question will return in the 2020 Census.As of July 2016, White Americans are the racial majority. African Americans are the largest racial minority, comprising an estimated 12.7% of the population. Hispanic and Latino Americans are the largest ethnic minority, comprising an estimated 17.8% of the population. The White, non-Hispanic or Latino population make up 61.3% of the nation's total, with the total White population (including White Hispanics and Latinos) being 76.9%.White Americans are the majority in every census-defined region (Northeast, Midwest, South, West) and in every state except Hawaii, but contribute the highest proportion of the population in the Midwestern United States, at 85% per the Population Estimates Program (PEP) or 83% per the American Community Survey (ACS). Non-Hispanic Whites make up 79% of the Midwest's population, the highest ratio of any region. However, 35% of White Americans (whether all White Americans or non-Hispanic/Latino only) live in the South, the most of any region.Currently, 55% of the African American population lives in the South. A plurality or majority of the other official groups reside in the West. The latter region is home to 42% of Hispanic and Latino Americans, 46% of Asian Americans, 48% of American Indians and Alaska Natives, 68% of Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders, 37% of the "two or more races" population (Multiracial Americans), and 46% of those self-designated as "some other race".

Ramona Douglass

Ramona E. Douglass was an American activist. She was a medical sales and marketing professional and one of the most prominent advocates for multiracial Americans.

She is of African American, Native American (Oglala), and Sicilian heritage. Douglass was a community activist for almost 30 years. She was a founding member of the National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression and participated with Angela Davis' Political Defense Committee in the early 1970s.In 1986 Douglass became active in the Biracial Family Network, one of the United States' oldest community organizations advocating for mixed heritage people and families. On November 12, 1998 the Biracial Family Network joined similar organizations in the U.S. and Canada to create the Association of MultiEthnic Americans (AMEA). Douglass, an AMEA co-founder, served as the organization's vice president (1988–1991), president (1994–1999) and Director of Media and Public Relations (2000–2005). She served on AMEA's Advisory Council until her death in 2007.Douglass was a prominent spokesperson for multiracial issues during the debates preceding Census 2000. In 1993, she testified before Rep. Thomas C. Sawyer's (D-OH) Subcommittee on Census, Statistics & Postal Personnel in favor of adding a "multiracial" category to the 2000 Census. In 1995, she was appointed, by then Secretary of Commerce Ron Brown, to the 2000 Census Advisory Committee. As AMEA's representative on the committee for 13 years, she contributed a multiracial personal and community organizing perspective. In 1997, Douglass testified before the Subcommittee on Government Management, Information and Technology of the House Committee on Government Reform and Oversight on behalf of multiracial Americans.A graduate of Colorado State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Geology and Chemistry, Douglass also had a distinguished career in medical sales and marketing.

Visalia, California

Visalia ( vy-SAYL-ee-ə) is a city situated in the agricultural San Joaquin Valley of California, approximately 230 miles (370 km) southeast of San Francisco, 190 miles (310 km) north of Los Angeles, 36 miles (58 km) west of Sequoia National Park and 43 miles (69 km) south of Fresno. The population was 130,104 as of a 2015 U.S. Census Bureau estimate.

Visalia is the 5th largest city in the San Joaquin Valley after Fresno, Bakersfield, Stockton and Modesto; the 44th most populous in California; and 198th in the United States.As the county seat of Tulare County, Visalia serves as the economic and governmental center to one of the most productive single agricultural counties in the country.Yosemite, Sequoia, and Kings Canyon National Parks are located in the nearby Sierra Nevada mountains, the highest mountain range in the contiguous United States.

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