Cover

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Frontmatter

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Contents

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p. v

List of Tables and Figures

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p. vii

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Preface

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pp. ix-xii

The multiracial movement drew me in for reasons outside personal experience, as the term is typically used. Yet personal experience pulled me toward it nonetheless. My grandfather was born just twenty-one years after the Supreme Court’s infamous ruling in Plessy v. Ferguson (1896), which sanctioned preexisting Jim Crow laws in his home state and paved the way for new ones beyond it....

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1. Introduction

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pp. 1-6

Testifying before the U.S. House of Representatives in June 1993, a group of “multiracial movement” activists declared that race is socially constructed. The activists later described the hearings as the culmination of “years of effort . . . to gain public recognition of the multiracial/ethnic community and the injustice of denying its...

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2. Undoing the Working Definition of Race

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pp. 7-37

The debate over the multiracial category issue opened arguably the most probing examination of race in this country since the 1960s. Yet multiracial activists of the 1980s and 1990s did not reinvent the wheel of protest; instead, they creatively adapted and reinterpreted the tactics, ideologies, and legal outcomes available to them. The civil rights struggles of the 1950s and 1960s helped to remove fundamental...

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3. The Multiracial Census

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pp. 39-63

From 1993 to 1997, the federal government conducted a comprehensive review of the racial categories to be used in the 2000 census. Although a variety of issues was considered, the review eventually focused on the multiracial category proposal. The result was that, in 1997, the official prism through which race had been viewed in this country gave way to a new system. Before then,...

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4. Multiracial Category Legislation in the States

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pp. 65-83

Although the lion’s share of attention to the multiracial movement was devoted to developments at the federal level, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Maryland, and Georgia all passed multiracial category legislation between 1992 and 1998. In the same period, Florida and North Carolina added a multiracial designation by...

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5. Political Commitments

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pp. 85-109

The existing literature and conventional wisdom offer little guidance as to how multiracial activists squared their claims and efforts with civil rights imperatives. Viewed from the perspective of the grass roots, the range of options for engaging the politics of racial ›uidity from the left is not as limited as one might think; however, conservatives have raced ahead to set the terms of the debate....

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6. Growing Racial Diversity and the Civil Rights Future

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pp. 111-131

Civil rights opposition to a multiracial category turned, in the first instance, on the fact that mutually exclusive racial statistics make institutional racism easier to document and thus harder to perpetrate. Multiracial advocates, however, saw compulsory single-race categories as an outdated response to a growing multiracial reality...

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Appendixes

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pp. 133-143

This book documents a series of political developments about which only scant information was available in the existing literature. Most of the material presented in this book necessarily comes from primary sources. In addition, I was present at many of the turning points in the life of the multiracial movement and so was...

Notes

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pp. 145-163

Bibliography

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pp. 165-185

Index

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pp. 187-196