Thursday, June 17, 2010
Naming Ourselves, Naming A Movement
This blog hopes to be a space discuss multiraciality and to explore the ambiguous, often ambivalent "mixed race movement" in the U.S. What is it? Where is it? Who's in it? What's it doing? This brief article from the Mixed Heritage Center reviews some of the big issues/moments that make up the current "movement".
What I'm really interested in are the ways in which we can think about the role of power and privilege while we engage in a critical, radical and most of all empowering understanding of mixed identities and racial inequality in the U.S.
The experiences and identities of mixed race people in the United States and abroad have often been marginalized if not rendered invisible. While mixed identities have been a part of U.S. history since the nation's birth, this year will mark only the second time in U.S. history that Americans will be able to check more that one racial/ethnic category in the census. From the overwhelming 6.8 million people who checked "more than one box" in the 2000 Census to the election of Obama (a self-proclaimed "mutt)-- "Multi" Americans are gaining unprecedented visibility in the 21st century.
But with this visibility comes inevitable scrutiny and ambivalence about mixed people. With a nation so predicated on a history or racial inequality and yet as intent on hastening a post-racial era on the backs of people of color, re-imagining race and mixed identities has never been more important.
I'm ready to take on a Multi Movement (or even movements?) that is conscious of it's history, convicted in it's mission, and serious about tearing down the static notions of identity that keep not only multi people down, but all of us no matter how we identify. Is it possible for us to imagine, to hope for a multiracial movement that is at it's core a radical social justice/ anti-racist/anti-oppression movement?
That's a pretty tall order. We'll just have to wait and see.