A Puzzling Thing about American Culture and Racial Identity
As I continue to work on my forthcoming book on racial classification law in modern America, I often notice tangential but fascinating issues.
Here’s one. Consider an American who grows up with two white parents, “looks” white, always considers himself white, and assumed all his ancestors were European. He gets into genealogy and in the course of his research discovers that a great-grandfather was a light-skinned, mixed-race-by-descent African-American who “passed” as white and married a woman of European descent. This upends his entire sense of identity. He begins reading up on black history an
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