Abstract

This article analyzes the implications of the James Loewen's thesis that Chinese Americans in Mississippi elevated their caste status under Jim Crow from "colored" to "near white." Analyzing academic, popular cultural, and visual depictions of the Chinese and other Asian Americans in the segregated South, the article uncovers the jarring moments that attend the claim of status rise—here, of Asian "near-whiteness." More specifically, it argues that there is always an excess to the Asian community's "successful" disassociation from African Americans and its own "partly colored" past. The work develops a concept of racial interstitiality as a model for comparative Ethnic Studies and for reconsidering the black-white binary that frames American race relations.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1096-8598
Print ISSN
1097-2129
Pages
pp. 1-30
Launched on MUSE
2007-04-12
Open Access
N
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