Richard Delgado and Jean Stefancic General Editors White by Law: The Legal Construction of Race
Ian F. Haney López

Cultivating Intelligence: Power, Law, and the Politics of Teaching
Louise Harmon and Deborah W. Post

Privilege Revealed: How Invisible Preference Undermines America
Stephanie M. Wildman with Margalynne Armstrong, Adrienne D. Davis, and Trina Grillo

Does the Law Morally Bind the Poor? or What Good’s the Constitution When You Can’t Afford a Loaf of Bread?
R. George Wright

Hybrid: Bisexuals, Multiracials, and Other Misfits under American Law
Ruth Colker

Critical Race Feminism: A Reader
Edited by Adrien Katherine Wing

Immigrants Out! The New Nativism and the Anti-Immigrant Impulse in the United States
Edited by Juan F. Perea

Taxing America
Edited by Karen B. Brown and Mary Louise Fellows

Notes of a Racial Caste Baby: Color Blindness and the End of Affirmative Action
Bryan K. Fair

Please Don’t Wish Me a Merry Christmas: A Critical History of the Separation of Church and State
Stephen M. Feldman

To Be an American: Cultural Pluralism and the Rhetoric of Assimilation
Bill Ong Hing

Negrophobia and Reasonable Racism: The Hidden Costs of Being Black in America
Jody David Armour

Black and Brown in America: The Case for Cooperation
Bill Piatt

Black Rage Confronts the Law
Paul Harris

Selling Words: Free Speech in a Commercial Culture
R. George Wright

The Color of Crime: Racial Hoaxes, White Fear, Black Protectionism, Police Harassment, and Other Macroaggressions
Katheryn K. Russell

The Smart Culture: Society, Intelligence, and Law
Robert L. Hayman, Jr.

Was Blind, But Now I See: White Race Consciousness and the Law
Barbara J. Flagg

The Gender Line: Men, Women, and the Law
Nancy Levit

Heretics in the Temple: Americans Who Reject the Nation’s Legal Faith
David Ray Papke

The Empire Strikes Back: Outsiders and the Struggle over Legal Education
Arthur Austin

Interracial Justice: Conflict and Reconciliation in Post–Civil Rights America
Eric K. Yamamoto

Black Men on Race, Gender, and Sexuality: A Critical Reader
Edited by Devon W. Carbado

When Sorry Isn’t Enough: The Controversy over Apologies and Reparations for Human Injustice
Edited by Roy L. Brooks

Disoriented: Asian Americans, Law, and the Nation State
Robert S. Chang

Rape and the Culture of the Courtroom
Andrew E. Taslitz

The Passions of Law
Edited by Susan A. Bandes

Global Critical Race Feminism: An International Reader
Edited by Adrien Katherine Wing

Law and Religion: Critical Essays
Edited by Stephen M. Feldman

Changing Race: Latinos, the Census, and the History of Ethnicity in the United States
Clara E. Rodríguez

C L A R A E . RO D R Í G U E Z CHANGING RACE Latinos. the Census. and the History of Ethnicity in the United States a New York University Press • New York and London .

Hispanic Americans—Race identity. E184.NEW YORK UNIVERSITY PRESS New York and London © 2000 by Clara E. cm. United States—Race relations. 7. Ethnology—United States. p.. 5. Rodríguez All rights reserved Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Rodríguez. Race—Social aspects—United States.8'00973—dc21 00-008629 New York University Press books are printed on acid-free paper. Manufactured in the United States of America 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 . II. Categorization (Psychology). Rodríguez. paper) — ISBN 0-8147-7546-2 (cloth : alk. 6. Hispanic Americans—Census. ISBN 0-8147-7547-0 (pbk. 2. the census. Hispanic Americans—Ethnic identity.S75 R64 2000 305. Series. United States—Census. paper) 1. 1944– Changing race : Latinos. and their binding materials are chosen for strength and durability. 4. — (Critical America) Includes bibliographical references and index. 3. Title. and the history of ethnicity / Clara E. I. : alk. 8. Clara E.

Contents Introduction Acknowledgments ix xv I 1 2 3 The Fluidity of Race 3 27 47 Latinos in the U. Race Structure The Idea of Race Stories of Self-Definition II 4 5 6 Historical Constructions 65 87 106 Whites and Other Social Races The Shifting Color Line Race in the Americas III 7 8 Race and the Census 129 153 177 182 187 193 199 229 265 283 The “Other Race” Option Redefining Race in 2000 Appendix A: Data Limitations and the Undercount Appendix B: The Biological Concept of Race in the United States Appendix C: A Technical Oversight or Racial Flux? Appendix D: Free People of Color Notes References Index About the Author vii .S.


Introduction Ethnicity is a hotly contested subject in the academy. Anthropologists and sociologists focus on social and cultural factors and take for granted the psychodynamics of individuals.000 citations published between 1974 and 1992 (Leets. found that an overwhelming majority (82%) of the articles lacked any coherent theoretical foundation from which to view ethnicity. have a fluidity and complexity that are not often acknowledged but nonetheless are evident. acknowledged overlapping categories. Hindus in India. even the term provokes intense scholarly debate. Social psychologists argue that all these dimensions must be linked through selfidentification and that culture and the individual must be considered together. stressing the importance of individual cognition and emotions (Leets. religion. and many did not report how they had measured ethnicity. In addition. A recent analysis of ethnicity in the social science literature. elaboration. the majority were not empirical.1 Moreover. When we reflect on how or why we consider an individual or a group to be “ethnic. and Giles 1996). for example. most investigators regarded ethnicity as an objective. Most of the articles (43%) dealt with ethnicity only secondarily and usually measured ethnicity as a geopolitical category. and Giles 1996). for example. Some scholars equated ethnicity with race. Generally.2 Ethnicity and race. Clement.” we think. or no further. common cultural and/or geographic origin. of language or dialect. much of the scholarly writing on ethnicity is not theoretically rigorous. Conversely. ix . self-evident social reality that needed little. Only 22 percent reflected multiple dimensions of ethnicity. physical difference from us. such as height. Clement. Unfortunately. however. academic definitions and discussions of ethnicity are complex. with different disciplines emphasizing different aspects of the phenomenon. or included objective and subjective components of ethnicity. reviewing 190 articles and 10. psychologists place social phenomena in the background.

Rand Reed (1994) added a few other related dimensions: What is the person biologically? Sociologically? When is race determined? At birth? Death? And by whom? By parents? By an unknown observer? These different levels coexist. And the external identification of this person during the Nazi regime was both non-German and nondesirable. the terms “white” and “black” were not capitalized in this volume. In the United States today. institutions that represent and maintain the group. which are culturally.” even though they are a religious-ethnic group. politically. During the war. all these variables surface when we consider the multifaceted population of Latinos in the United States. As befits a complex subject. 1995). perception (am I considered black by others?). and Hispanic to the government. and in order to appear compatible with what appears to be the prevailing language usage of most publishers. food. Others think of Latinos as a brown race. On a personal level. and subjectively influenced and multileveled (Isajiw 1993:418ff. Changing Race draws on empirical research and methodologies from many scholarly fields. and treatment (am I treated as if I were black?). Consider the situation of Jews in Europe during World War II and Latinos in today’s United States. or Asian.x INTRODUCTION skin color. Indeed. and an internal or external sense of distinctiveness. a person might have identified himself or herself as either a devout Jew or a secular person of Jewish ancestry. a person may be Puerto Rican or Mexican on a personal level. political interests in their country of origin and/or in the United States. Hansen (1995) has provided examples of a number of these dimensions in the case of African Americans: self-definition (do I consider myself black?). For simplicity’s sake. music. with some more salient than others at different times. Some people might classify this person as black. Clement. this person might also have been a German. and artistic preferences and creations. This book discusses this distinction-plus-duality. van den Berghe 1981:254– 261). Jews were regarded as a “race. The experience of Latinos in the United States demonstrates that ethnicity involves both internal and external components. as a multiracial ethnic group. Leets. and Giles 1996. This book emphasizes the multidimensional nature of individual racial identity (Hartman 1994. But on an instrumental level. For historical back- . He also points out that these three elements are not always congruent. and still others. white. Latino on an instrumental level.

For a view into the shifting “official” definitions of race and ethnicity. Instead of a core of . My theoretical stance in regard to identity. I investigated works on race in several Latin American countries. Assimilationists assume that ethnicity will be eliminated over time through assimilation. Clement. I used in-depth interviews for the case studies of identity in order to explore areas rarely covered in conventional social science research. and Giles 1996). Finally. in which every thesis produces an antithesis that results in a new synthesis that also produces a new antithesis. and (2) postmodern theorists (Leets. I looked at national 1990 census data. In addition. I relied on legal writings for the discussion of the “in-between” identities of several groups caught in the contradictions of racial identity in the United States. including the assimilationist and the pluralist models. personal accounts often give an entirely different and more holistic view of “race” in general and of Latinos in particular. Sociobiological theorists assume that biological underpinnings and variables in social interactions are of prime importance. According to Carlos Martin. And Marxist theorists use a conflict orientation. and so on. I reviewed the relevant works in this area and also used several methodologies. one’s identity is relative and is constantly negotiated through relationships and situational contexts. I examined the standard reference works. For patterns of Hispanic racial identification and the reasons for these patterns. such as Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary from 1898 to 1994. Conceptually.INTRODUCTION xi ground. and race most approximates postmodernist theory. this book is positioned as follows: Academic disciplines offer at least four theoretical approaches to ethnicity. Rather. For example. who focus on political economic relations. a former colleague of mine at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History. I also analyzed secondary sources for insight into the meaning of race and ethnicity from antiquity to the present. For a more contemporary analysis. These (Marxist) conflict theorists can be subdivided into (1) dependency theorists. I drew on archival records of state and federal censuses and interpretive writings of the times. I also used various forms of statistical analysis and original survey data from earlier works to provide quantifiable insights into the interplay of “identity” data and economic status. ethnicity. the most common and traditional approaches in the United States. Postmodernist theorists argue that there is not a true and knowable self. and pluralists believe that ethnic groups will change by adapting to or accommodating the host society.

for example. I explain that the concept of race can be construed in a variety of ways and that the experience of Latinos in the United States is a good example of the social constructedness of race. An example of how people fall between categories was most recently illustrated in the demands of multiracial individuals for a census category that would accommodate the many and increas- . I stress the centrality of situational influences and the role of individuals in the active construction of multiple identities. the Shinnecock Indians of Long Island and the Ramapo Mountain Indians in New Jersey. New York. in the words of the postmodernists. that is made up of multiple identities—or. I thus disagree with those scholars who believe that individuals are not committed to only one true identity.xii INTRODUCTION identity. placing Native Americans who have married African Americans into the “black” category has resulted in Native Americans’ being divided and losing some of their members (1990:44 ff). The first is that categories often come between people. a plurality of selves. even whole tribes were denied federal recognition as Indian tribes. I also describe two situations seldom mentioned but often experienced. and the second is that people often fall between categories. Rather. As Forbes noted. PURPOSES In the first chapter. That is. an individual is not committed to only one identity. and similarly. one has a plurality of selves. not just in terms of identity. I see individual identity as relational and situational. one’s ethnic identity is variable and subject to the active construction of the individual (Leets. In this volume. but also in terms of more immediate losses of land and treaty-protected rights and benefits. and Connecticut. or self. Examples of the first are particularly striking in the Native American community. But I also maintain that many people have a core of identity. Clement. I maintain that individuals may have only one true and knowable self but that their ethnic identity also may be variable and subject to an individual’s particular construction of it and to the political and economic contexts in which this person functions. This categorization has also had a significant impact on the lives of these “red-black” peoples. Thus. or a self. each of which surfaces in a particular situation. and Giles 1996). In some cases.

political. both past and present. Although ostensibly removed from their real lives and everyday activities. rather. I hope that a better understanding of what has too often been used as a divisive and sometimes cruel issue can be addressed openly.S. which often affects the way in which peoples and individuals see themselves and others. A final purpose for writing this book was to shed light on an area fraught with conflict. Race in the United States is a complicated. emotion. Census categories provide . In this way. As a report by the U. 45).INTRODUCTION xiii ing numbers of people who argue that they do not fit into any of the established census groupings. 41. As this book shows. categories and classifications do affect people in the United States. familial traditions. General Accounting Office indicated. “[The] collection of these types of data is technically complex and publicly controversial” (1997:1). and humanely. most readily available. that government records may reflect somewhat “arbitrary racial categories imposed by a white official or by white prejudice” and that this often contradicts other classifications. Moreover. that may have greater sociocultural and psychological meanings and that may also provide bonds and a sense of belonging that government categories do not (Forbes 1990:38. we also know that all race data lead to some sort of reification. honestly. government definitions or measures of race are the most geographically comprehensive. for example. I also know that government categories are not always the best or most satisfactory measures of group affiliation. I am aware. of course. which and how people are counted has many ramifications. GOVERNMENT AND DICTIONARY DEFINITIONS OF RACE Much of this book’s focus is on official racial labels and categories. and emotional subject. and politics. Nonetheless. and most numerically determinate tools we have. are needed to address past discrimination. we can abolish racial hierarchies and become more respectful of one another’s unique and valued histories. That it is important to clarify these issues and the processes that lead to governmental classification is another reason that I wrote this book. although many believe that census data do not pertain to identity but.

I do recognize. which has its own inherent difficulties. . they also represent public consensus on how populations are viewed and counted. Moreover.xiv INTRODUCTION insight into how a society’s ideologies and dominant ideas and beliefs are reflected in official government classifications. because they exercise a reflective as well as a regulatory role in society. that this is only one measure of race. This is what I want to accomplish in Changing Race. census categories must be considered carefully and from new viewpoints. To a degree. however.

and Despina Gimbel. Vanessa Estrada. I thank you all. Norma Fuentes-Mayorga. Michelle. Charles Kamasaki. Writing this book has been long and difficult. and the following individuals who contributed in unique and significant ways to its completion: Cristina Bryan. such as my talented editors at New York University Press: Stephen Magro. my brother Jimmy. not too long ago. the Russell Sage Foundation and its staff for facilitating my work during the year I spent there as a visiting scholar. all your sisters. etc.” I also thought about my acknowledgments in an earlier book. etc. my husband Gel. your brothers.Acknowledgments As I sat down to write these acknowledgments. my nieces and nephew María. . Jeff Passel. Barbara Mundy. five anonymous reviewers. who are too numerous to list individually. saying something like “God. Jean Stefancic. Raedyn Rivera. your father. its STAR award and I was asked to say a few words. I remembered when. Richard Delgado. and Frank Torres. that there are so many people to thank. the New York Women’s Agenda presented to me. my mother Clarita. Eric Rodríguez. Carlos Martin. Fordham University for giving me some time off to complete the project. . Ray Lohier. a friend who was in the audience. and my extended family. and many people helped me with their consistent and unquestioned support for “whatever it is you’re doing. Rosa and Gloria. Katie Courtice. Other people helped me more directly. and. Niko Pfund. my cousin Lena. Gregory De Freitas. they all helped.” And I told him. J.” Here I count my family—my children Gelvi and José.. who once observed. “With every word I write I give thanks to 50 people. Terri Ann Lowenthal. and Tony. my sisters Minny and Myrna. you thanked everyone in the whole wide world . and others. all the the authors cited in this work and those not cited but who contributed to its development. your mother. later chided me.” It is the same feeling that I have now. Ron Gault. a celebrated Puerto Rican poet. Ian Haney-López. in which I quoted Tato Laviera. Olivia Carter-Pokras. “Yeah. finally. xv . who also supported me. Nadine Naber. Kehaulani Kauanui.




especially if the person in question was in the middle range. which grew out of our history of indigenous conquest and slavery (Shohat and Stam 1994).S. I cannot remember when I first realized that the color of one’s skin. which favors European characteristics above all others. In both Americas and the Caribbean. my first language was Spanish. residence. physical features. Race Structure A C C O R D I N G TO D E F I N I T I O N S common in the United States. I am a light-skinned Latina with European features and hair texture. and clothing also determined how one was treated.” I also 3 . whereas downtown. a natural “tan” in my South Bronx neighborhood was attractive. or the cast of one’s features determined how one was treated in both my Spanish-language and English-language worlds. class. I was born and raised in New York City. not just with regard to color. more complex sense of color than the simple dichotomy of black and white would suggest. and other class characteristics—changed according to place or situation. I recall many instances when the lighter skin color and European features of some persons were admired and terms such as pelo malo (bad hair) were commonly used to refer to “tightly curled” hair. and I am today bilingual.1 As I grew older. residence. accents.1 Latinos in the U. I came to see that many of these cues or clues to status—skin color. people sometimes disagreed about an individual’s color and “racial” classification. surnames. I do know that it was before I understood that accents. the texture of one’s hair. surnames. For example. regardless of color. it was “otherizing. I also remember a richer. Also. a genuine aesthetic appreciation of people with some color and an equally genuine valuation of people as people. we have inherited and continue to favor this Eurocentrism. in the business area. but also with regard to class or political position. It was much later that I came to see that this Eurocentric bias. was part of our history and cultures. Looking back on my childhood.

Latino students have also told me that non-Latinos sometimes assume they are African American. This does not mean that all Latinos have the same experiences but that for most.” many Latinos are assigned a multiplicity of “racial” classifications. are told by non-Latinos. They are what the Census Bureau refers to as consistent. For example. occupation.” then “white. they think I’m nonwhite or black. although some Latinos are consistently seen as having the same color or “race.” Although he had not changed his identity. they consistently answer in the same way when asked about their “race. and/or are seen. For a few. Other Latinos. they think I’m Italian. depending on certain factors such as their clothes. I also realize now that some Latinos’ experiences were different from mine and that our experiences affect the way we view the world. they think I’m Spanish. “But you’re white. then when they find out my last name is Mendez. sometimes in one day! I am reminded of the student who told me after class one day. In addition to being reclassified by others (without their consent). the perception of it changed with each additional bit of information. but not always. they are at one or the other end of the color spectrum.” Often. they are either reproved for denying their “race” or told they are out of touch with reality. I have known Latinos who became “black. they see themselves. supplemented by years of scholarly work. so that in some contexts. in only one way. “When people first meet me. Even in Latino contexts. RACE STRUCTURE recall that the same color was perceived differently in different areas. social context is irrelevant. I saw some people as lighter or darker.” then “human . then when I tell them my mother is Puerto Rican. these experiences are not surprising.4 LATINOS IN THE U. I know that not all Latinos have multiple or fluctuating identities. and families. in others darker. Regardless of the context. have taught me that certain dimensions of race are fundamental to Latino life in the United States and raise questions about the nature of “race” in this country.” Although not all Latinos have such dramatic experiences. some Latinos shift their own self-classification during their lifetime. the perception and sometimes its valuation changed. I was very light. almost all know (and are often related to) others who have. that is. Even though my color stayed the same.S. and in still others about the same as everyone else. who see whites as otherthan-me. My everyday experiences as a Latina.2 I suspect that others saw me similarly. When they assert they are not “black” but Latino.

Some regard racial mixture as an unfortunate or embarrassing term. Arocha 1998. Recently. . African American. official newsletter of the United Confederation of Taino People. such as indigenous and African ancestry.S. Honduras. or white context (Rodríguez 1989:77).’ controlled” (p. I also saw the simultaneously tricultural. people rarely claim a European ancestry. however—mostly non-Latinos—are not acquainted with these basic elements of Latino life. has no pure parts to be ‘had. La Voz del pueblo Taino [The voice of the Taino people]). .LATINOS IN THE U. regardless of their skin color or place or origin. curdled multiple state and rejecting fragmentation into pure parts . Some Latinos who altered their identities came to be viewed by others as legitimate members of their new identity group. Many people. children. were privileged (see. For many Latinos. and “racial mixture” is subject to many different. . U. I have come to understand that this shifting.” mestizaje.. some Latinos have encouraged another view in which those historical components that were previously denied and denigrated. sometimes trilingual. This view also is common among middle.” and finally again “Latino”—all in a relatively short time. One is either . Even in the nuclear family. and in the coastal areas of Colombia. Lugones (1994) subscribes to this latter view and affirms “mixture.S. September 1998].” an ascribed characteristic that does not change for anyone. Also prevalent in the upper classes is the hegemonic view that rejects or denies “mixture” and claims a “pure” European ancestry. e. the mestiza .g. They do not think much about them. Colombia. and siblings often have a wide range of physical types. but others consider the affirmation of mixture to be empowering. New York. 460). I have also known Latinos for whom the sequence was quite different and the time period longer. De La Fuente 1998).g.. and when they do. in parts of Brazil. RACE STRUCTURE 5 beings. abilities of many Latinos who manifested or projected a different self as they acclimated themselves to a Latino. as a way of resisting a world in which purity and separation are emphasized and one’s identities are controlled: “Mestizaje defies control through simultaneously asserting the impure. they tend to see race as a “given. multiple identities are a normal state of affairs. parents. such as in indigenous sectors of Latin America. January 1998). regional chapter. In some areas. . Moro: La Revista de nuestra vida [Bogota. e.and upper-class Latinos. Venezuela. definitions. sometimes fluctuating. and Panama (see. context-dependent experience is at the core of many Latinos’ life in the United States. at any time. race is primarily cultural.

Department of Commerce 1995.S.S. “OTHER RACE” IN THE 1980 AND 1990 CENSUSES It was because of my personal experiences that I first began to write about race (Rodríguez 1974) and that I was particularly sensitive to Latinos’ responses to the censuses’ question about race. My personal experiences have suggested to me that for many Latinos. Whereas many Latinos regard their “race” as primarily cultural. and sometimes contested. I have considered racism to be evil. offer standard U. the U. a perspective that is just another construct of race. in 1980 and in 1990.6 LATINOS IN THE U. . Office of Management and Budget 1995.S.S. Asian or Pacific Islander. They also believe that “race” is based on genetic inheritance. these deliberations will be reviewed in chapter 8). but in others they do not. Rather. saying that they are white. and I oppose it with every fiber of my being. Hispanics. “racial” classification is immediate.3 For example. Census Bureau’s official position has been that race and ethnicity are two separate concepts. or Indian.S. and well-meaning discussions of race and ethnicity and their social dynamics can help us appreciate diversity and value all people. I have therefore come to see that the concept of “race” can be constructed in several ways and that the Latino experience in the United States provides many illustrations of this. black. these identities vary according to context.S. I study race to understand its influence on the lives of individuals and nations because I hope that honest. But because these experiences apply to many non-Latinos as well. open. it is evident to me that the Latino construction of race and the racial reading of Latinos are not isolated phenomena. they may identify themselves as Afro-Latinos or white Hispanics. RACE STRUCTURE white or not white. 1999. race terms. 1997a and b. black. contextually dependent. others. Thus. when asked about their race. the government’s recent deliberations on racial and ethnic classification standards reflect the experiences and complexities of many groups and individuals who are similarly involved in issues pertaining to how they see themselves and one another (U. Throughout my life. Still others see themselves as Latinos. but for their character. In some cases. U. census asked people to indicate their “race”—white. provisional. or members of a particular national-origin group and as belonging to a particular race group. not for their appearance. The U.

defined by hypodescent. and even families. 1991a. But even though there is not just one paradigm of Latin American race. and education. Rodríguez 1989. This does not mean that there is only one Latino view of race.2). Indeed.1 and 1. there are different views of race within different countries. As table 1. Although the percentages of the different Hispanic groups choosing this category varied.” more than 40 percent of Hispanics chose this category. all chose it more often than did non-Hispanics (see table 1. Latinos responded to the 1990 census’s question about race quite differently than did nonLatinos. In addition. recent studies have found that many Latinos understand “race” to mean national origin.LATINOS IN THE U. nationality.S. or a combination of these and skin color (Bates et al. national origin. the many Hispanics who chose this category wrote—in the box explicitly asking for race—the name of their “home” Latino country or group. Whereas less than 1 percent of the non-Hispanic population reported they were “other race. for example. culture (Kissam.. 1992.1. Rodríguez and Hagan 1992. Rodríguez 1991a. Latinos’ views of race are dependent on a complex array of factors. which shows a wide range in the proportion of Hispanic-origin groups choosing “other race” in the 1990 census). Honduran. classes. Rather. such as Dominican. generational differences. one of which is the racial formation process in their country of origin.e. or Boricua (i. Tienda and Ortiz 1986). Romero 1992). or “other race”—and also whether or not they were Hispanic. Martin. age. RACE STRUCTURE 7 American Indian. there are some basic differences between the way that . and Campanelli 1990. 1994a. and Nakamoto 1993). Herrera. Rodríguez and Cordero-Guzmán 1992). Other variables also influence their views of race. the term race or raza is a reflection of these understandings and not of those often associated with “race” in the United States.5 Studies have found that Latinos also tend to see race along a continuum and not as a dichotomous variable in which individuals are either white or black (Bracken and de Bango 1992. For many Latinos. ethnicity. phenotype.1 shows. to “explain” their race—or “otherness. Latinos responded similarly in the previous decennial census (Denton and Massey 1989. (The two questions used in the 1980 and 1990 censuses are shown in figures 1.”4 The fact that these Latino referents were usually cultural or national-origin terms. Puerto Rican) underscores the fact that many Latinos viewed the question of race as a question of culture. DeMaio. class. and socialization rather than simply biological or genetic ancestry or color. for example. 1990. 1994:109.

) Print tribe ________.4. Is this person ———? Fill in one circle. No. Puerto Rican. o o o o o o o o o o o o o White Black or Negro Japanese Chinese Filipino Korean Vietnamese Indian (Amer. Yes.1. Mexican-Amer. FIG. Cuban. 1. Is this person of Spanish/Hispanic origin or descent? Fill in one circle. Mexican. Chicano. Race and Hispanic-Origin Questions on the 1990 Census 8 . Yes. Yes. Yes. other Spanish/Hispanic. Two Questions about Race and Hispanic Origin on the 1980 Census FIG. o o o o o o o Asian Indian Hawaiian Guamanian Samoan Eskimo Aleut Other—specify __________________ 7..2. not Spanish/Hispanic. 1.

5 0.96 1.0 0. b Includes both those who gave a Latino referent and those who identified themselves only as Hispanic.1 199.90 2.1 7.53 32.1 9.S. In contrast. c These two categories were combined because of small numbers.LATINOS IN THE U.0 38.4 45. often overlapping. These general differences are what Latinos bring with them to the United States. the depreciation and denial of African . Source: 1990 PUMS (Public Use Micro Sample) 1% sample.76 45. In the United States. and they influence how they view their own and others’ “identity.7 0.02 1.7 6. Racial categories have been few.9 6.6 46.9 12. like social class and phenotype. mulatto—have been transitory.1 Racial Self-Classification by Selected Hispanic-Origin Groups.8 0.4 1. Categories for mixtures—for example.87 54.8 52.94 0. and mutually exclusive. (These numbers may not be identical to tables based on the 100% census survey or the 5% PUMS because of sampling variability. RACE STRUCTURE 9 Table 1.0 12.67 1.68 1.46 42. Indeed.5 3.2 47.89 1. in Latin America.62 31.4 83. a API = Asian and Pacific Islander.0 0. rules of hypodescent and categories based on presumed genealogical-biological criteria have generally dominated conceptions of race.5 0. this does not mean that “race” as understood by Latinos does not have overtones of racism or implications of power and privilege—in either Latin America or the United States.81 64.10 28.97 52.” Although Latinos may use or approach “race” differently. NAI = Native American Indian.5 29.1 c c c c c c 0. 1990 White Black NAI API a Other Mexican Puerto Rican Cuban Other Spanishb Dominican Ecuadoran Colombian Guatemalan Salvadoran Panamanian Total Hispanic Non-Hispanic Total population (millions) 50.9 29. discrete.59 43.34 1. categories.9 3.50 3.10 2. with skin color a prominent element.) Latinos view race and the way that race is viewed overall in the United States.27 35.8 2.0 1.95 38. racial constructions have tended to be more fluid and based on many variables.33 0.4 29.2 1. and mixtures have been consistently acknowledged and have had their own terminology.0 39.26 50.7 Rows sum to 100% except for rounding.1 83.48 59.6 0.4 2.3 0. There also have been many.

the “race” groups listed on the census were “social groups” but did not include their own social group. Even those countries that subscribe to a racial ideology of mestizaje7 often maintain racial and class hierarchies that favor upper-class interests and political agendas. That the awareness of these issues is increasing is evidenced by Torres-Saillant’s appeal to Dominican historians to embrace a narrative that “privileges the many rather than the few” (1998:140). It was this ideological contestation that was manifested when Latinos checked the “other race” category and wrote in their national origins. cut variously by ethnic lines.” “black. regional and nation-state elite characterized as ‘white.” or “Asian or Pacific Islander”—or just one of these (Rodríguez 1992). RACE STRUCTURE and Amerindian characteristics are widespread. but culturally or politically these Latinos did not see themselves as “white. privilege European components. and other Latinos begin to question their conceptions of ethnic. and so forth on the decennial census forms. and national identities.10 LATINOS IN THE U. Torres-Saillant 1998). Unfortunately. and neutralize expressions of pluralism by indigenous or African-descended groups (Martínez-Echazábal 1998). some Latinos become more aware of the racism existing in their own country of origin. Identities often thus become “a terrain of ideological contestation” (Duany 1998b:149. but with a local. When they migrate to the United States. ethnicity. those who are lighter have differential access to some dimensions of the market” (Torres and Whitten 1998:23). This is why many Latinos still mark “other” on census forms and fill in the space specifying their national origin. time has not altered the fact that “color” and its associated connotations continue to convey and determine the treatment that many receive in the Americas and the Caribbean. Thus. As one Jamaican student traveling in the Spanish-speaking Caribbean noted. the attitude there toward race is similarly destructive but strikingly different from that in the United States. more culturally defined perspective of race. Still others disagree with the race structure mirrored in the cen- . phenotype. Foner 1998. most of the 40 percent of Hispanics who marked the “other race category” and wrote in a Latino referent were asserting that they were “none of the above. or biological or ancestral knowledge of “race” origin. Oboler 1995.” Others—non-Latinos— might fit them into one or more of the groups listed on the basis of color. racial. ignore racialisms.S. According to their own.’ And white rules over color within the same class.6 Everywhere in Latin America can be found “a pyramidal class structure. Omi and Winant 1995.

” Another respondent said.” or in terms of “blood quantum. sometimes amusing and benign.” “other than black. “I am a Hispanic white” (Davis et al. a member of an indigenous nation). some Hispanics do not want to be (or admit to being) “other than white.” or “other than indio” (i.’” Still another checked the white category but added. that is. this does not necessarily mean that they all have assimilated or adopted the United States’ racial classification system. Finally. they believe that they also have other. Suffice it to say at this point that in my many years of research in this area. but I decided to use ‘White. identities. 1998a. choose one of the standard categories because that is what they are considered in their country of origin. Rodríguez and Cordero-Guzman 1992. “I chose ‘white. some Latinos believe that this is how they are seen and will always be seen in the United States and accept or understand that this is their race in this country. “I do not consider myself white. As one Hispanic respondent in a census study indicated. responses to questions of race are seldom as simple and straightforward as they tend to be for most non-Hispanic whites (Rodríguez et al.” they fit into a particular category (Davis et al. 1998a:III-19). or multiple. Latinos’ responses to the census are discussed in more depth later. Other Hispanics choose the standard race categories for the same reasons that members of other groups do. mulatto.S. they are mestizo. 1998a:III-20–21). and sometimes conflictual issue. As one Bolivian respondent explained in an interview conducted by the census. but this is what the government says I am. they identify culturally and/or politically with members of a particular category. RACE STRUCTURE 11 sus’s race question and choose the “other race” category because they are more than “one of the above” race categories.9 For Latinos.e. They determine that “biologically. I have noticed in my and others’ work that “race” is a recurring. 1998b:48 ff). 1991). Although the remaining 60 percent of Hispanics chose one of the census’s standard race categories. or another mixture (Davis et al.’ I am considered white in my country” (Davis et al. 1991). That is. Others. however. Rather. “I don’t belong to any of these groups: probably I can be in ‘Some other race’ and say ‘Hispanic’.LATINOS IN THE U. Rodríguez 1992. black Latino.. These “other race” responses presented a problem to the Census Bureau because they differed from previous responses and therefore . These responses suggest that even though some Hispanics choose a standard race category. Rodríguez et al.8 Still others are aware of the “official” pressure to mark one of the standard categories.

What was to be done with the nearly 10 million Hispanics who answered the race question in this way? In what category were they to be placed? How were they to be reported or tabulated? In short.S.” and they accounted for 40 percent of the total number of Hispanics (U. respondents were allowed to choose more than one racial group when answering the question about race. U.10 By 1999. Asian or Pacific Islanders. Bureau of the Census 1991:table 1. black. in the 2000 census. In 1990. that is. government. moreover. General Accounting Office 1993).S. RACE STRUCTURE could not be easily fit into the existing race structure. and Native American Indian? This group. As we will see. Demographic and Other Changes Also contributing to the question about the nature of race are broader demographic trends. the population of Latinos was growing seven times faster than the population of the nation as a whole. it had increased by half while the white (non-Hispanic) population increased by only 6 percent (U. those who had checked the “other race” category represented the country’s second-fastest growing racial category (after Asian and Pacific Islanders) (Rodríguez 1991b:A14. white. U. But the overwhelming majority (97. How. how was this group to be understood? When analyzing these results. Between 1980 and 1990. references to this “data quality” problem were couched in terms of responses in “the other race” category.S. was this “other race” group (or Hispanic component) to be understood or accommodated in a country that for most of its history had employed an overarching dual racial structure with four presumed major color groups.S.S. This reexamination included numerous hearings. Bureau of the Census 1993c:2). For the first time. In addition. General Accounting Office 1993:26). the search for solutions to this and other problems has contributed to a radical reexamination of the concept of race by the U. conferences. then.5%) who chose this category were “Hispanic. such as immigration and the concentration (and consequently greater visibility) of racial and ethnic minorities .S. represented a growing number of people.12 LATINOS IN THE U. and massive studies of hundreds of thousands of households and resulted in the decision to reverse the Census Bureau’s twohundred-year policy. the number of Hispanics in the United States (30 million) was greater than the total population of Canada.

Spickard 1989).2 percent of all births in 1971 to 4. half (50. contributing to the growing trend to view race as many Latinos already do.11 Indeed. foreign born. Rolark. as race-ethnicity. from 1.LATINOS IN THE U. and Harrison 1995:table 5). for example. Goldstein. whereas in the past.4 percent in 1995 (Atkinson. 1996) in the census and elsewhere. 8). In this regard. the seriousness with which the proposal to include a multiracial category was received suggests that these forces have already influenced the way that race and ethnicity are viewed (see chap. Lee. Lee. as well as the trend toward racial and ethnic intermarriage. Added to this is the wide range of physical types of many immigrant groups. and Parker 1999). McKenney. and Passel 1994. many of the children of these modern unions are attending university and will undoubtedly assume leadership positions in the future.S. in which those in interracial unions were usually marginal. Middle Easterners and Latinos.12 These trends are changing the “face” of the United States and will intensify in the twenty-first century. in which their positions on multiracial identities will carry the weight of their class positions.2 percent in 1991 (Rolark. Bennett. particularly between those of high socioeconomic status (Edmonston. and Tamayo Lott 1996). the greater affirmation of a mixed-race identity and the increasing use and acceptance of selfidentification instead of observer identification have produced a more heterogeneous and more tenuous concept of race (Edmonston. and Harrison 1994. In addition to these demographic trends. These new trends contrast with past patterns.4 percent in 1960 to 2. and Harrison 1994). Bennett. MacDorman. The percentage of interracial marriages rose from 0. Root 1992b. and the number of births to parents of two different races tripled. it is interesting that in 1990. . Williamson 1984).6%) the children of interracial unions were classified as “white” on the census form by their parent(s) (Bennett. and Passel 1994. Blurred Boundaries As increasing numbers of physically heterogeneous groups—such as Latinos—have become more concentrated and/or more visible. census takers would most likely have classified such children according to the race of the nonwhite parent. RACE STRUCTURE 13 in populous states and metropolitan areas (Edmonston. Conversely. Kalmijn 1993. or part of exploitative slave relationships (Berry 1963.

Gallagher 1999.13 THE PROPOSAL TO MAKE LATINOS A RACE In July 1993. What made this proposal curious was that Hispanics did not wholeheartedly initiate or support it.S. Waters 1990. are increasingly realizing that individuals—particularly the growing numbers of new and existing minorities—often define their “race” quite differently than they would be defined by others. third-generation Latinos.S. and how race and ethnicity are being rethought: Brodkin Sacks 1994. white-appearing. Frankenberg 1993. Office of Management and Budget announced that it would review the racial and ethnic categories used to collect government data (U. That is. Delgado and Stefancic 1997. Ignatiev 1995. e. (See. who sometimes no longer even speak Spanish.” or “other. One proposal that received quite a bit of media attention was to add a “multiracial” category. the following works. Can individuals seen as white and those seen as nonwhite be members of the same race group? Where does whiteness—or blackness—begin? These questions have led to a reanalysis of whiteness and fundamental reconsiderations of race and ethnicity. criminal justice administrators—that is.” “black. office managers. those who are responsible for counting race and ethnicity. Another proposal.. Ferrante and Brown 1998. A number of proposals to amend the current categories were made. may insist they are “not white” or declare themselves to be “brown. For example.S. how whiteness has been—or has not been—achieved by certain groups in American history and law. which examine how whites see themselves. Haney López 1996. RACE STRUCTURE questions of what constitutes “whiteness” and nonwhiteness have surfaced.14 LATINOS IN THE U. it would reclassify what the census had considered an “ethnic group”—in which Hispanics could be of any race—to a “race” group in which all Hispanics were of one race. even though it involved greater numbers of people. the U.” Government officials. Office of Management and Budget 1997a).g. received considerably less attention: to make Hispanics a race.) More and more native-born Americans see that many people’s racial/ethnic definitions of themselves are at variance with others’ definition of them. in contrast to other proposals con- .14 This proposal was subsequently referred to as “the combined question” because it would list “Hispanic” as a category along with the other race categories.

6 million Hispanics who lived in Puerto Rico (Hispanic Link.S. and not statistical sampling.2 percent. Hispanics had the highest undercount of all racial-ethnic groups. Census projects that the Hispanic population will surpass the African American population by 2005.15 Even more striking was the fact that evidently few Latinos noticed the lack of a Hispanic constituency. Although three Hispanic organizations were occasionally cited as supporting the proposal (del Pinal 1994. population (Reed and Ramirez 1998:table 1). and see app.13. their statements indicated reservations.S. March 6. however.S. Wright 1994). which was extraordinary given the striking population growth of Latinos in the United States. Rodríguez 1994b) or those Hispanics who lived in the United States but were not counted. the growth of the Hispanic population has been dramatic. the proposal to make Hispanics into a separate race persisted . support for relabeling the race question “race/ethnicity.16 After Native Americans on reservations.S.7 million. about 4 million people. Bureau of the Census 1997:4). Moreover.7%) (U. The U. if immigration and birthrates continue to climb. Supreme Court recently decided in favor of total counts for the 2000 census. “most of them affluent whites living in suburbs that tend to vote Republican” were counted twice (Holmes 1999:24. U.LATINOS IN THE U.0 percent in the 1990 decennial census. This figure did not include. Rather. Hispanic youths already outnumber black youths (Vobejda 1998:A2). the U. In March 1997. or 5. or 11 percent of the total U. RACE STRUCTURE 15 sidered at the time. a close look at their statements shows this was not exactly the case. the Latino population was “officially” 29.S. Indeed. Notwithstanding the lack of support by this substantial and growing group. the 3. As the final chapter in this book makes clear. Larmer 1999). population by 2050 (Day 1996:63. p. The debate surrounding this highly politicized issue did not clearly explain the discrepancies that exist in each group with regard to the undercount. 1995. But despite the undercount.S.S. 1994p). African Americans followed with 4. and non-Hispanic whites had an undercount rate of less than 1 percent (or 0.4 percent. House Committee 1994k. and it is expected to be about a quarter of the total U. who had an undercount rate of 12. 1. some of these changes may occur much sooner than that. A for a discussion of the undercount issue). Hispanics were a significant but silent presence in the process.” and a need for more research (National Council of La Raza 1995. However. questions.

those who are “white” are dominant and thus determine who is “nonwhite” or “other.) Yet many Hispanics claim a multiple “racial” ancestry. and Harrison 1995:1). and many in the multiracial movement. along with the implied racial hierarchy. MULTIRACIAL AMERICANS AND LATINOS The insistence on self-definition—particularly within one’s own linguistic and philosophical framework—is central to the challenges to racial construction in the United States today. Hispanics and those in the multiracial movement are often seen and defined as distinct groups. some consider themselves Latinos and “multira- . or country of birth of a person or his or her parents or ancestors before their arrival in the United States [U. Bureau of the Census 1996a. yet there are interesting overlaps. Indeed. in recent census tests. In addition. are challenging these rigid categorizations. The insistence on identity in one’s own terms is a major nexus between the issues raised by the multiracial movement and those raised by Latinos.) The census defines as “Hispanics” those who classify themselves as being of Hispanic or Spanish origin on the census.16 LATINOS IN THE U. RACE STRUCTURE and became one of the primary propositions that the Office of Management and Budget examined in its extensive review between 1995 and 1997.7%) than did non-Hispanics (less than 1%). more Hispanics chose the “multiracial” category (6.S. nationality group. Furthermore. however. adding. or Native American groups.” (The census defines origin as the ancestry. McKenney. and biracial are defined as “persons who identify with more than one race group” (Bennett. The proposal was eventually dropped. Bureau of the Census 1993b:B-12]. “Multiracial” Americans and those who go by the terms interracial. 1997). Both groups seek.S. Asian or Pacific Islander. when it became evident that making Hispanics into a separate race would result in fewer being counted—and in fewer whites being counted (U.S. (Race group refers only to white.” Many Latinos. and about one-third of all those in the multiracial category were Hispanic (U. lineage. “Hispanics may be of any race. or have. because many Latinos see race as a cultural construct. mixed race. black.S. definitions of self and their group that are often outside the biracial structure created in the United States. Bureau of the Census 1996a:13 and table 12).

” “Native American.S.S. For some people throughout U. alterations of group and individual classifications have been both unofficial and legal and bureaucratic. history. new immigrants immediately underwent a racialization process.” or simply “Indian. Although the taxonomy of race has changed. so. decennial census classifications shows the clear historical progression toward a more definitive bipolar structure. this basic dichotomous structure has prevailed throughout most of the census’s two-hundred-year history. Asian.S. there is and probably always has been a great deal of heterogeneity within the two polarities.LATINOS IN THE U. Furthermore. Du . The two elements of this racialization process were (1) the acceptance of and participation in discrimination against people of color (Bell 1992. providing the basic racial structure of the various “racial” groups. RACE STRUCTURE 17 cial” because one parent is white. Finally. black. the boundaries between these polarities have always been ambiguous and shifting. Although this bipolar structure has been overarching.” IMMIGRANTS AND THE RACIALIZATION PROCESS In the past. for example. the Mohawks of the Hotinonshonni Confederacy refer to themselves—and recognize that they are also referred to—as “Iroquois. Although each of these polarities has been and continues to be fluid. HISTORICAL CONSTRUCTS An analysis of U. these externally created labels and identities have changed. It is with this historically evolved bipolar structure that groups who have not been “quite white” or “quite black” have contended in the past. or Pacific Islander and the other is Hispanic or because each parent has a different Hispanic national origin. the labels applied by the census and the identities created or used by the individuals and groups themselves have always differed. and it is in this structure that Latinos and other groups are entangled today. we can see in historical and legislative documents the evolution of two fundamental and socially constructed polarities that place “whites” at one end and “other social races” at the other. which conveyed an implicit hierarchy of color and power. Moreover.

This racial reclassification immerses immigrants in a social education process in which they first learn—and then may ignore. they too become part of a racialization process in which they are differentiated according to the official perception of their race. some immigrants realized that one way to become “white. this process has been an effective means of protecting the status quo because it made it difficult to understand and pursue areas of common interest and resulted in divide-and-conquer outcomes.” or more acceptable to whites. Kim (1999) reviewed the historical experience of Asian Americans being triangulated with blacks and whites through a simultaneous process of valorization and ostracism. Kim 1999. which may or may not be the same as their own perception. was to discriminate against others seen as “nonwhite” (Ignatiev 1995.” not hiring “them” in enclave economies. or articulating prejudices against “them.S. Morrison 1993) and (2) negotiations regarding the group’s placement in the U.S. . Indeed. Critical to the racialization process was the belief that there was always some “other” group to which one was superior. Rodríguez 1974. racial-ethnic queue (Jacobson 1998. The relation of these people’s racialization to their hierarchies in the United States has not been widely studied. Smith 1997. But it is clear that when they arrive. This racial triangulation continued to reinforce white racial power and insulate it from minority encroachment or challenge. it became difficult to rent or sell to members of certain groups because of exclusionary practices.” Institutionalized discrimination and normative behavior aided racialization so that. Nearly all immigrant groups experienced this seldom-mentioned but indisputable dimension of the Americanization process.18 LATINOS IN THE U. Loewen 1971). or accept—the state-defined categories and the popular conventions concerning race (particularly one’s own) (Rodríguez 1994a). Some immigrants discriminated against blacks and/or other depreciated minorities by not living with “them. Immigrants undergoing this racialization process discriminated implicitly or explicitly against others because of their color and status. RACE STRUCTURE Bois 1962:700 ff. for example. Takaki 1994). resist. Indeed. Imputed and Self-Defined Race for Latinos Latinos—and many other groups—come to the United States with different views of race and with their own racial hierarchies.

and the size and accessibility of one’s cultural . e. influenced by movements such as the Black Power movement. and some Latinos celebrate their African roots. Pan-Africanism and African diaspora philosophies. Another view holds that the term Hispanic—which has generally been unknown to new immigrants from Latin America—is subtly “colored” by negative and racial associations. and one Dominican child.g. and the celebration of negritude. or Asian if it were not known that they were Hispanic.. Each of the children had different friends and tastes. Hispanics are often referred to as “light skinned. and sometimes their group. but some autobiographies suggest that the racialization process has had a significant impact (see. Thus. but not a member of other race groups. black Cuban. as black. The United States’ racialization process affects all groups’ sense of who they are and how they are seen. Yet many Hispanics would be seen as white. while still others see themselves only as white or mixed or identify themselves only ethnically. Rivera 1983. Terms like Afro-Latino.S. Others focus on their Amerindian or indigenous component. in regard to color and race. Thomas 1967). A Dominican student of mine told me that each of her and her husband’s children claimed a different identity. the stereotyped image (for both Hispanics and non-Hispanics) of a Hispanic is “tan. and black Panamanian are now common. Some Latinos. For example. Many variables contribute to and interact with the racialization process to determine how individuals decide on their group affiliation. Santiago 1995. black. Generation.” not as white. At one extreme. But seeing Hispanics/ Latinos as “light” clearly restricts their “whiteness” and thus makes them nonwhite by default. So they had one black child. one white child. phenotype. Afrocentrism. previous and current class position. regardless of their actual phenotype or ancestry. Hispanics are a Spanish-speaking white ethnic group who are simply the most recent in the continuum of immigrant groups and are expected to follow the traditional path of assimilation.LATINOS IN THE U. many Hispanics entering this country become generically “nonwhite” to themselves. or to others. Rodriguez 1992. Whether this has been a dissonant impact and has affected Latinos’ mobility and the quality of life has not yet been determined. have come to see themselves. RACE STRUCTURE 19 The racialization process also includes contradictory views of the way that Hispanics are generally regarded. There are few studies of this concerning Latinos.” Within this perspective.

Thus. black and Hispanic immigrants—particularly those from the . residence. as well as the relative size of other groups. all affect how individual Latinos identify themselves. In one of the largest and most comprehensive surveys of Latinos. looking white or light does not substantially alter their perception of discrimination. all physical types can and do experience discrimination. James. for example. In New York City. Other clues. a general perception that appeared to be unrelated to skin color (de la Garza et al. DISCRIMINATION Most Latinos believe that they are discriminated against as a group. and 47 percent of Cubans reported “a lot” or “some” discrimination against their own group. 252–253) and evidence of housing discrimination (Denton and Massey 1989. found that Puerto Ricans’ phenotype was not related to their perception of group discrimination. This type of redefinition or reclassification may be imposed more often on lighter Latinos and may make them just as conscious of discrimination as darker Latinos are. Therefore. Indeed. The perception shifts from “I thought you were one of us” to “You’re an other”—and even an accent is heard where it was not before. or first name.20 LATINOS IN THE U. McComings. disparities in judicial treatment (DíazCotto 1996:416–417. and Tynan 1984. Massey and Denton 1990. all Latinos. 74 percent of Puerto Ricans. Haney López 1996:138–139. even though “color” or phenotype is significant in an individual Latino’s experience. such as accent. surname. lighter Latinos may more often be in a position to observe discrimination. Yinger 1995). Thus. 1992:94–95).” knowledge of this person’s Hispanicity often causes a readjustment of status. regardless of color.17 Considerable evidence shows that the discrimination Latinos perceive is very real. That is. for Hispanicity is based on more than skin color. can reveal that a person is Hispanic. Moreover.S. despite an individual’s physical appearance as “white. for example. RACE STRUCTURE or national-origin group. 80 percent of Mexicans. it may sometimes have the opposite effect. although darker or more visible Latinos may experience more direct discrimination. may experience discrimination. They may be assumed to be white and consequently be better able to see how others are treated or that they are treated differently from those who are darker. Falcon (1995).

higher crime rates. RACE STRUCTURE 21 Dominican Republic—continue to live in the least desirable housing. General Accounting Office 1990). employers “set up a racial/ethnic gender ranking of potential hires” that favored white men and women workers over Hispanics and blacks. and greater concentrations of poverty and housing-code violations (Rosenbaum et al.S. Individuals who are clearly identified as “Hispanic” by their names. With the passage of legislation sanctioning employers for hiring undocumented workers. In these studies. accents. 1999). Moreover.18 More recently. résumés. and Rosenbaum 1998). Schill. and Asian immigrants (Hevesi 1998. stereotypical looks experience greater job discrimination than do equally qualified whites (Bendick 1992. it is not surprising that a review of judicial cases involving employment discrimination based on national origin found that most of the litigation pertained to Hispanics (del Valle 1993). pay among the highest percentages of income for rent. sometimes. Moss and Tilly 2000). These studies underscore the disadvantages that race/color (and ethnic) markers can bring to employment and hiring practices (Darity and Mason 1998:81). including “negative attitudes” toward “workers of color” (Moss and Tilly 2000). Given these findings. Meléndez.S. 1990. Fix. U. the focus of labor market research has moved beyond measuring the . Hispanics experienced greater employment discrimination as a result of the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act (Bendick 1992. Rodríguez. because of where they live. Also. and. Hossfeld 1994. and Barry Figueroa 1991:293). According to Darity and Mason (1998:81). Russian. and Stryk 1993). Friedman. Galsten. Studies of employer preferences in hiring also suggest that discrimination against Hispanics is widespread in the labor market (Holzer 1997. The literature on the effect of labor market discrimination on earnings and occupational attainments has yielded a complex array of findings that reflect not just differing theoretical perspectives but also variations in sampling and methodology (Meléndez and Rodríguez 1992.LATINOS IN THE U. many Hispanics who are citizens or legal residents were not hired for jobs for which they were qualified because employers thought they might have been in the United States illegally. Hispanics and blacks in New York City—whether they are foreign born or native born—have less access to medical care. and have the lowest rates of home ownership compared with European. Cross et al. the employers interviewed had definite beliefs and preferences concerning the suitability of different groups for different jobs.

we have seen that although some Hispanics identify themselves as a cultural or ethnic group. Skerry (1990) contends that since Hispanics are not a race. punctuality). Rosenbaum 1996).S.g. in turn. human capital characteristics like educational attainment) and preemployment skills (e. political. But they gloss over the role of discrimination in premarket factors. they must arrive on time and operate quickly and efficiently. homes. Latinos who classify themselves as white or are identified as white (or light) fare . they cannot be subject to racial discrimination in employment. For example. This explanation is reminiscent of earlier images of African Americans as lazy and shiftless when in fact more were working in the fields and other arduous occupations than others were. Yet in order to hold jobs. and apartment buildings and working in the food and textile industries. From a more journalistic and contrastive perspective.. These. indicates that Hispanics who report they are black or are seen as black are more segregated and less successful in gaining access to predominantly Anglo residential areas than are their white Hispanic counterparts (Denton and Massey 1989. however.. affect subsequent educational opportunities. These researchers argue that Hispanics receive less compensation or are less often hired because they do not have the same preemployment skills as others and because premarket factors keep them out of the competition. Massey and Denton 1993:113 ff. which influence educational options and outcomes.22 LATINOS IN THE U.19 Similarly. others may see them as a “Spanish” race or as nonwhite. Massey 1988.g. Nonetheless. RACE STRUCTURE extent of in-market discrimination to the effect of premarket factors (e. there has been little systematic or scientific research on whether Hispanics as a whole have fewer preemployment skills. Whether ascribed race or self-reported race is more determinant of how Hispanics are treated in the United States has not yet been resolved or studied systematically. which influence scores on tests. In addition. or full-time employment (Boisjoly and Duncan 1994) and are overly represented in “jobs others won’t do” are seen to lack preemployment skills. lawns. and personal networks. such as taking care of other people’s children. security. meals. Hispanics who often have poorly paid jobs without benefits. although the lack of preemployment skills is often mentioned as a reason for Hispanics’ lower incomes. In addition. where one lives (or can live) influences early educational options and social.20 Some research.

Interestingly. but they had higher unemployment rates. more Hispanics were living in poverty than whites and even blacks. (The differences found within Latino groups. AN UNEQUAL PLAYING FIELD Whether or not the result of discrimination.) These findings parallel those found in the African American community. color shade did not seem to be related to self-reported experiences of racial discrimination (Krieger. Despite the high numbers of Hispanics in the labor force. Sidney. Katzman 1968. and other socioeconomic variables than do other Latinos (Arce. Sidney. Gómez n.d. as in the case of Falcon’s 1995 study of Puerto Ricans’ phenotype. RACE STRUCTURE 23 better with regard to earnings. 1991a. The results of these studies suggest a need to continue collecting “race” data on Hispanics. Among married-couple families in which at least one person was working. compared with both white and black families. Relethford et al. Hispanics had the highest poverty rates and the lowest income levels.LATINOS IN THE U. Hispanic men were more likely than white men to be employed. Rodriguez 1990. and Frisbie 1987. for they indicate a possible economic rent. in 1996. Murguía. and Coakley 1998). their income continued to be two-thirds that of whites. or tax paid. are less pronounced than those between white Latinos and non-Hispanic whites. in which those with a lighter skin color had higher socioeconomic outcomes and those with a darker skin color were moderately associated with being working class and having a low income or little education (Hughes and Hertel 1990. Moreover. Hispanics also paid a higher proportion of their income for housing than did either whites or blacks (National Council of La Raza 1997). the demographic picture of Hispanics suggests that disparities exist in regard to standard socioeconomic indicators. hourly wages. Krieger. 1983. depending on perceived or imputed race. Hispanics were less adequately covered by health insurance. Keith and Hering 1991. however. having lower health insurance rates and pension benefits than did . “black Hispanics suffer close to ten times the proportionate income loss due to differential treatment of given characteristics than white Hispanics” (Darity and Mason 1998:72).S. color credit. and Coakley 1998). For example. Telles and Murguía 1990).. with family income slightly below the black average.

and discriminatory barriers that many Latino groups face (De Freitas 1991:4–5.S. Rivera-Batiz and Santiago 1997. generation. while high school completion rates have improved for whites and blacks. Torres 1995. 46). Portes and Bach 1985. Latinos today have a higher rate of home ownership. For example.-born and foreign-born Latinos continue to lag with regard to education (Chapa and Wacker 2000). RACE STRUCTURE either whites or blacks (del Pinal and Singer 1997:36–37. And these results are not simply a transitory reflection of the increased number of unskilled Hispanic immigrants. The research still shows that race and ethnicity influence . lose sight of the continuing significance of race. the broad indicators suggest that Hispanics’ general socioeconomic situation is not favorable. Finally. Torres and Rodríguez 1991). Nevertheless. The Reality of Race This book emphasizes the social constructedness of race and how Latino experiences in the United States illustrate race as a social construction. Morales and Bonilla 1993. 53–94. the perception and evidence point toward discrimination. at least two studies have concluded that the negative standing of Latinos relative to that of other groups cannot be attributed to immigration (Grenier and Cattan 2000.24 LATINOS IN THE U. Reimers 2000).S. National Council of La Raza 1997.21 We should not. Rodríguez 1989:85–105. this figure was 2. and the like. the playing field is not level.5 times the rate for whites. Both U. One in five Hispanics aged sixteen to twenty-four has left school (Secada 1998:5). for the last thirty years. Santos and Seitz 2000).5 times the rate for blacks and 3. As compared with the past. Rodríguez 1991a:27. In other words. Moreover. Pedraza-Bailey 1985. Whereas other studies have concentrated on past and continuing structural. Valenzuela 1991). Morales 2000. college completion. and earnings for college graduates. The economic boom at the end of the twentieth century has had a modest trickle-down effect. different pictures emerge when we examine diverse Hispanic groups by region. In 1994. institutional. more Hispanics have continued to drop out of school. however. Cubans in Florida and Puerto Ricans in Texas typically live at a higher socioeconomic level than do Hispanics as a whole (García 1996. which further complicates issues of race. In addition. particularly for young Latinas (National Council of La Raza 1997.

Nonetheless. speaking specifically about African-descended populations in the United States. work. But we must acknowledge its significance in our lives. we find both exclusionist and inclusive definitions of racial and ethnic identities that go beyond nation-state boundaries.S. but it cannot be dismissed. in organizations such as the Aryan Nation and its international cousins. and its validity as a scientific concept. American Indian. privilege. Race is different. Chicano.22 My own life experiences have demonstrated the social constructedness of race. organizations for indigenous peoples worldwide. the various movements and organizations of African and African-descended peoples. Hanchard. it still exists. We may see it as unjust and want to change it. and various diasporas. Adding to the increased identification as African-descended populations are the affirming and reclaiming of ancestral identities that have always existed and were featured during the black power. is often conflated with the concept of “ethnicity.” and is under increasing scientific criticism and popular interrogation. and denomination (Bhopal and Donaldson 1999: 784. Krieger. In our increasingly global world. and play and how they are treated in everyday social interactions and in institutions. for example. and Zierler 1999:782). and Asian American movements of the 1960s and 1970s. Race as a Changing Concept The concept of race is changing in the United States and Latin America and around the world. Increasingly. Williams. and it also feels different (Edley 1996). and they also lead to greater and broader identification with ancestral groups. is at variance with scientific principles.LATINOS IN THE U. It can be deconstructed. Puerto Rican. the right of anyone to establish such markers. shop. is imperfectly measured. all these definitions and movements help change race. toward more restrictive . RACE STRUCTURE 25 where and how people live.23 We may question its necessity. race is still real. Similar restrictions and affirmation can be found among members of other populations when they travel throughout the world. Racial/ethnic categories in the United States are still socially meaningful indicators of racial subordination. Opposing trends can be found as well. and this book shows that “race” is not fixed. argues that restrictions on their “citizenship and movement in the United States” have led “black political actors” to mobilize politically and transnationally (1999:1).

S. But even though the outcome may not yet be clear.S. RACE STRUCTURE ethnic identifications and rivalries. such as in the ethnic cleansing in eastern Europe and Rwanda. .26 LATINOS IN THE U. built on U. or in a greater variety of racial constructs remains to be seen. race constructs. it is clear that race is changing. Whether these trends will result in a more homogenous concept of race.

as other groups have had similar histories and present similar challenges. we begin exploring these questions by examining “the many faces of race. 91. courts have termed it. Latinos are not alone in this regard. racial constructions. and the government has had difficulty categorizing them. that has made questions of racial classification more salient and has led to the question of just what race is. This understanding sees race as a “self-evident ‘fact’ requiring no protracted thought” (Hannaford 1996:3) and as existing in the same way in all places and times. We challenge this idea. as well as the personal experiences of Latinos and non-Latinos. raise the question of what race is in the United States. race “in the common understanding” (Haney López 1996:85. however.2 The Idea of Race T H E R E S U LT S O F recent censuses. census classifications. As the next chapters will show.” its multidimensional nature. For example. which is dependent on context. immigration and intermarriage. 107). (2) how other governments count their populations. as U. and their more “social” or cultural views of race have historically challenged U. THE MANY FACES OF RACE Race has many dimensions and so is often used and defined in different ways.S. their history. (4) changing U. and (5) standard reference sources of racial definitions over time.S. when we examine (1) studies of “race” in the past. This is state-defined race. such as the census or state governments. But it has been the increase in the two i’s. (3) the literature on “mixed” race. Race also is the 27 .S. We then turn to race as it has been commonly understood in the United States or. Latinos’ wide range of physical types. In this chapter. Evident in these examinations are the fluidity and variability of race over time and place and its overlap with ethnicity. race can be as defined by official bodies.

” Others consider race to be determined more by “how others see you. and yellow (Asia).. or privilege races through legislation (Haney López 1996:19). or race “in the common understanding” (Jensen 1988. they often influence each other. golf champ Tiger Woods’s dilemma in which his view of himself as being of mixed race conflicts with the view that many have of him as “black. and what makes a person “black” is the presence of “black” blood. hence. there are ostensibly four color groups. least reflective. race as defined “in the common understanding” has usually been simple and straightforward. manifested most clearly in skin color.” Thus. Wright 1994:50). In both academia and more popular circles. policies. This is referred to as ideological race (e. Stanton 1960). red (North America). restrict. Within this one-dimensional conception.”1 In reality. law constructs race. This external-internal axis is also described as “imputed versus self-defined race” or “objective versus subjective” definitions of race. In this color palette. white (Europe). On the simplest. racial definitions are often both external (what others think) and internal (what the subject thinks). Graham 1990.28 THE IDEA OF RACE perception or experience of laypersons. Race is also studied by scholars who examine racial ideologies or ideas in public pronouncements. or literary works. and states can define. But these nuances or different definitions of race are generally not acknowledged in people’s everyday conversations. Some people think of race as “identity” and “how you see yourself. This is often referred to as popular race. RACE IN THE UNITED STATES In the United States. White is white because it is not mixed . and most practical plane of interaction in the United States. For instance. what makes a person “white” is the absence of any “black” or nonwhite blood. Each of these different internal/external usages is strongly affected by cultural and class considerations. race is often thought of as one’s biological ancestry. folk race. roughly corresponding to geographic regions: black (Africa). we find the “whatever you think it is” concept of race.” These two views sometimes conflict. color terms are frequently used to designate different “races.g. Although state-defined race is often thought of as reflecting popular race. Horsman 1981. which is often a shifting combination of all of the above and frequently translates into the “you know one when you see one” idea.

and not more than one. Weissman 1990. high-level. the reality was and is quite different.3 The fact that the four categories have been presented as mutually exclusive conveys the impression that each of the groups is a “pure” race (Lee 1993).. however. The Sciences March/April 1997.” “Black” blood. resulting in the decision to eliminate the Census Bureau’s “choose-only-one-category” standard that has contributed to the myth of pure races. .. Although this has been the impression.” in that it takes only a small amount of “black blood” (ancestry) to make someone “black.THE IDEA OF RACE 29 with any other color. In broad and blunt terms.2 Despite these different color terms. 1995.g. this has been its social construction. Gutin 1994:73. We can understand the significance and power inherent in this construction of groups if we imagine a similar classification schema that uses another defining category. we would have reds and nonreds or yellows and nonyellows. political.” (Davis 1992. Washburn 1963. Lemonick and Dorfman 1999. Wills 1994:81). More journalistic treatments have also found fault with this concept (see. 1995. and massive reconsideration of racial-ethnic categories for the 2000 census. is “potent” or “polluting. Sanjek 1994. economic. Shreeve 1994:60. The fact that this issue has appeared in the popular press indicates that it has gone well beyond modest academic contemplation. Wright 1994). this academic and journalistic examination has been an official. Discover November 1994. based on unscientific assumptions. and the other three groups are nonwhite. Newsweek February 13. the white category is the norm or referent. Wood 1994. Marks 1994. or “the one-drop rule. more determined by contextual. it is “pure. and social factors than generally acknowledged. These four race-color groups have had and continue to have corresponding categories on census forms. e. In addition to. this is the way in which “race” has been simply understood in the United States. Williamson 1984. Begley 1995:67. one of which individuals must choose. Mother Jones October 1997. In short. Wright 1994). Rosin 1994. Gregory and Sanjek 1994:6–7.g. or along with. it has been challenged on the grounds that it is illogical and inaccurate. Rosin 1994. Morrison 1993. the following extensive treatments: Barringer 1993. In this case. Root 1992b. and generally dismissed by scholars in the field (see. in all four cases.” This concept is referred to in academic circles as hypodescent. Appendix B contains a closer review of contemporary critiques of “race” as constructed in the United States. e.

we would expect that within population groups. Hannaford 1996. if the presence or absence of melanin were related to variables such as intelligence. Snowden 1983. Therefore. Thus. Melanin is the chemical substance responsible for color in the skin.S. U. color—ostensibly the principal marker distinguishing groups or “races” in the United States—must act in concert with other variables to determine differences among groups. for by itself it does not seem to play a major role. That is. have less melanin in their skin on average than do Africans who have lived for a long time close to the equator. skin pigmentation is lighter. Thompson 1989). you will quickly dismiss this hypothesis! RACE IN THE PAST Until recently. groups like the Scandinavians. Sanjek 1994. and unavoidable. skin color is an adaptive—evolved—characteristic. Indeed. Likewise. in contrast to “achieved” characteristics such as education and income. Shreeve 1994:60. in areas where there are fewer ultraviolet rays. sociology textbooks often describe race as an “ascribed” characteristic. we should look at the critiques of the race concept’s emphasis on color and color differences among population groups. color can be inherited independently of hair texture or color.4 Consequently.S. race in the United States was generally seen to be a universal given—uncomplicated. Other studies argue that race as we understand it in the United States today is a modern invention with no equivalent in pre-Columbian history (Bernal 1987. It protects humans from the sun’s ultraviolet rays. Dunn and Dobzhansky 1952:107–108. Population groups do vary by skin color. that what we understand as “race” today is what we used to understand as “ethnicity” (Bernal 1987. who have lived for long periods in areas with little sun. Indeed. racial classification system’s reliance on color. Some scholars contend. But if you think for a moment about beach-tanning profiles. unchangeable. tanning ability would reflect greater or lesser intelligence.30 THE IDEA OF RACE Given the U. . personality. Geneticists examining the role of melanin have determined that it is most likely not related to differences affecting intelligence. but it is independent of other genetic characteristics. people’s skin contains greater amounts of melanin. or ability (Wills 1994). however. so in areas of the world where these rays are stronger.

for example. and color was not the basis for judging a person. But “once a foreigner came to live in Egypt. Harris 1977. Hence. learned the language and adopted Egyptian dress.” There were. Snowden believes that “this is the view of most scholars who have examined the evidence” (1983:63). subscribed to narcissistic canons of physical beauty. and other variables. supports Snowden’s view concerning the relative absence of color prejudice (1989:10 ff). focusing specifically on the Roman Empire. barbarians.” and “color was not the basis of a widely accepted theory concerning the inferiority of blacks” (1983:108). and there was considerable variety in the statuses and (positive and negative) deference positions of blacks.THE IDEA OF RACE 31 Snowden 1983. saw their land as the only one that really mattered and considered outsiders to lack some elements of humanity.” This was the case “even if he happened to be passing through a district whose population lacked current familiarity with the sight of black faces. In fact. Egyptians. he or she was accepted as one of ‘the people’” (Snowden 1983:89). referring to “blacks” in ancient history is incorrect. and not by color. Thompson 1989). and religion. Rather. philosophy. Snowden 1983. In essence. Thompson 1989). Thompson asserts that “a black in possession of symbols of high status received appropriate deference from those of lower (genuine or apparent) status irrespective of colour and ethnic identity or origins. culture. The Greeks and Romans did not establish color as an obstacle to integration into society. Jalloh and Maizlish 1996:9. few blacks above the rank of plebeian (Thompson 1989:158–159). Snowden argues that black émigrés were not excluded from the opportunities available to others of alien extraction. nor were they handicapped in fundamental social relations. language.” The treatment he received depended above all “on the personal status and deference-position of each of the parties in the encounter. but did not regard black skin color as a sign of inferiority. considered themselves civilized and others. the ancients made ethnocentric judgments about societies. because people then identified themselves and were identified primarily by religion. they were “physically and culturally assimilated: in science. Some writers maintain that ancient societies did not harbor the color prejudice of modern times (Hannaford 1996.6 Thompson also agrees with Snowden that what “race” is today was not what it was in the past and so it would be wrong to apply today’s .5 Thompson. In regard to immigrants. however.

but “skin colour in itself” had “no more meaning than height or weight” (Thompson 1989:8). inscriptions.8 In their review of much of the classical literature. Thompson maintains. images. cultural habits. and literature and concluded that their views were largely the result of first impressions and a long history of contact and relations between the an- . the classification in all cases depending entirely on the individual’s physical appearance” (Thompson 1989:158).’” In our world. He examined meetings of blacks and whites. and makes these traits a focus of passionate sentiments transcending the merely aesthetic” (1989:8). Referring to later interpreters of these works—who. and Bernal (1987) agree that the idea of race as we know it today is not evident in these early works. Intermarriage was not prohibited and was common (Thompson 1989:40. Kinship. Hannaford (1996). and social status.’ some as ‘white. whites. and blacks symbolize a particular cultural situation and power relationship. terms like European. Snowden (1983) studied African blacks in northeast Africa and the Sudan and the Kushites in southern Egypt during ancient times.9 In addition. “in the Roman perceptual context the progeny (and even less so the more distant descendants) of an Aethiops did not necessarily fall into the category of Aethiops: some were perceived as ‘swarthy. “white people” was not a meaningful sociocultural category (Thompson 1989:10 ff).’ and some as Aethiops. who saw the majority of the world’s white inhabitants as “savages” and “benighted barbarians.” Therefore. the hypodescent rule did not exist. These symbolic assumptions were not relevant to the ancient Romans. 44. drawing on past experience. Rather. however. and in quality and scale of material goods” were as important in determining social distance as is “somatic distance” or “what is today popularly called ‘race. and cultural or religious identity had meaning then. did racialize early classical writings— Thompson says: “It is the mind of the observer that. nationality. Hannaford (1996) and Bernal (1987) argue. renders pigmentation and other physical traits a repository of messages about personal beliefs. He points out that “differences in cultural habits. 95). Harris (1977).7 “Of course the notion of a collective mind precisely and exclusively linked at any given point in time with a particular skin colour (let alone the idea of an eternally fixed ‘white’ or ‘black’ or ‘yellow’ mentality) is an utter absurdity” (Thompson 1989:8). to the Romans.32 THE IDEA OF RACE assumptions to past relations (1989:10 ff).

above all. He argues that the exact ratio of blacks to whites is not known because the ancients did not consider color sufficiently significant to mention it. Did the authors just cited ignore the unfavorable literature? Were the classic views of peoples farther south in Africa more negative (in comparison with the views of peoples closer to the Mediterranean)? Although the issue of whether darker-skinned groups were regarded less or more favorably than today has not been resolved. He also notes that blacks are often depicted in pottery and artwork. is misleading and tends to underestimate the number of blacks.THE IDEA OF RACE 33 cients and long-established African nations. Furthermore. “There was clear-cut respect among Mediterranean peoples for Ethiopians and their way of life. and writers and also were known to have had long-term territorial integrity. UNRESOLVED ISSUES Embedded in these views of race in the past are a number of unresolved issues. Snowden (1983) examined—but took issue with—the postulate that the relatively small size of the black population at that time helped minimize the hostility toward them. just as such an approach in the United States now would tend to underestimate the number of blacks. Another issue is selectivity. the ancients did not stereotype all blacks as primitives defective in religion and culture” (Snowden 1983:59). Nevertheless. only the colored races. the ancients enslaved all conquered people. material resources. As Snowden (1983) put it. One is relative size. and trade.10 This contrasts with Americans’ first view of blacks—as slaves. and most slaves were white. astrologists. slavery was independent of race or class. in antiquity. And. But iconographical evidence of blacks has been neglected. whereas the moderns. Harris maintains that we have really two streams of information from the classical writers: one favorable to the people of Africa and one not favorable and that the unfavorable characterization has “had the greatest influence on the image and treatment of blacks in our own times” (1977:xx). Blacks had first been encountered as military men (often as part of conquering armies). there . Snowden feels that blacks were more numerous than previously thought. The emphasis on counting “pure” Negroes. suggesting that they were more numerous. he argues. Aethiops (Africans) were seen as civilization’s pioneers.

Lucius Outlaw at Haverford College). second-hand information or by travelers. 67–147. scriptures. racialized lens to the past is problematic. In no texts do the blacks speak for themselves. their population contained many different physical types.” Yet Bernal (1987) asserts that because the Egyptians were geographically positioned at an important trading point. also see pp. This assertion leads to two questions: One is whether darker-skinned Egyptians held or evinced a different identity but did not write about it. 5–15 for a discussion of the derivation and meanings of the term Aethiopes). 89. nor were they seen as such by others. a number of scholars agree that the way in which race was conceptualized underwent a major shift. Finally. who were remote from blacks (conversation with Prof. there is the problem of accuracy concerning sources like works of fiction. In addition.g. These issues are countered by the argument that the reason there are no texts in which blacks speak for themselves is that those peoples referred to as black today did not see themselves as such then. The second is whether Egyptians at that time saw themselves as a “black” or “nonwhite” group distinct from other groups.11 THE SHIFT TO A RACIALIZED PARADIGM Regardless of how much the same or different race was in the past from what it is today. e. Moreover. references to blacks are often made by those with.34 THE IDEA OF RACE is general agreement that the ancients referred to as Aethiopes (Africans) had a highly developed civilization and that Africans and other Europeans had substantial and influential contacts before the development of Greek civilization (see. Harris 1977: 61–62. even though they have been the focus of the research on blacks in antiquity. at best. the application of this modernday. one wonders how reliable these analyses are for interpreting color and race attitudes. Another issue is that many of these sources refer only indirectly to blacks or Aethiops.. although not all agree on exactly how and when this shift began. Most believe that it was in place by the time that routes through Asia and the New World had begun to . These issues continue to be debated today. An example is the Egyptians. Therefore. who are sometimes referred to as African and therefore must be “black. and pagan texts written from the perspective of the elite.

esp. romanticism. Bieder 1986. This power distribution determined the world and caste into which people were born.. Also obscured in this process were the earlier relations between blacks and Europeans and the earlier conceptions of race. Thompson 1989). since slaves were of many colors. Freedman 1984. Barzun 1965. Sanjek 1994..13 Thompson (1989) contends that in earlier times. Gould 1981. e. e. Banton 1983. this shift encompassed not merely “the justification of the historically peculiar configuration of ‘white’ master/conqueror set against ‘coloured’ slave/subject” but also a rewriting of history that diminished and denigrated the role and contributions of Africans and Asians to civilization—to say nothing of those of Native Americans (1989:10–11). Shreeve 1994. Hannaford 1996. Thompson estimated that the shift occurred in the eighteenth century when Europeans (at home and in their colonies) began to attach greater significance to somatic distance than to religious and other cultural differences between themselves and other peoples. 5). Bernal 1987. non-Europeans were seen as “essentially” different but that they always believed that people of all ethnic categories could move from one socioeconomic category to another.g. According to Thompson. Gossett 1963. Also aiding this shift were the French Revolution and the consolidation of northern expansion into other continents (Bernal 1987:22 ff). Snowden contends that arguments for the “naturalness” and abolition of slavery were mustered only in the New World (1983:70 ff). a color association with slaves did not exist. . although most were European and North African (Forbes 1988:101).12 Bernal (1987) sees this as a shift from the ancient model to the Aryan model and argues that this shift was reinforced between 1785 and 1850 by the ascendant paradigms of progress. This was reinforced by the institution of all-black slavery and by European imperialism on other continents. the European outlook changed when people became highly conscious of the distance between culture and technological and material power that came to separate the white from the nonwhite parts of the world.g. Jordan 1968. Snowden 1983.THE IDEA OF RACE 35 be explored (see. According to Thompson. and scientific racism. Sanjek pointed out that by the 1700s. Before this. Johansen 1982:84. efforts were made to “fit” exploited peoples into “natural” schemes that would rationalize their oppressed position and included the devaluation of peoples of color (1994:1–17. A number of works have traced the emergence of these “scientific” racial classification efforts in western Europe and the United States during this period (see.

Latin America.36 THE IDEA OF RACE Sanjek 1994:5. although also affected by the same shift and therefore fundamentally racialist. Stanton 1960. race. Later chapters analyze these social formations more closely. 1992) notes that a dominant theme of a major international census conference was that ethnicity is constructed differently in each country—that for some race was a dimension of ethnicity. we find that not all ask about “race” or “color”—indeed. district or country of birth. resulting in “varying social constructions” of racial identity in the United States. religion or sect. see Sanjek 1994:5 for a review of this literature). These various constructions of racial identity were affected by the predominant ideological racial paradigm of the times. the development of “race” in Latin America remained closer to earlier conceptions of race/ethnicity. Bates et al. ethnic group. Other works have critiqued and disproved the results of these earlier “scientific” studies (Gould 1978. In half of the countries. the Caribbean. Even ethnicity has not been found to be a universal population characteristic. nationality. race was more important than ethnicity because it represented their unequal power relations with Whites. Racial rankings were understood and communicated through these paradigms and implemented through legal frameworks that specified racially determined limits to social interaction (Sanjek 1994). 1981. while for others ethnicity was a dimension of race.14 Tamayo Lott (1997. and skin color were among the criteria used (alone or in combination) to count populations in these countries. indigenous or aboriginal origin. citizenship. people throughout the world began to interbreed. Mixture and “Pigmentocracies” Despite the racist paradigm that developed after the fifteenth century. questions about race . They found that tribe. For nonwhites. nor is there general agreement on what constitutes ethnicity. only a minority does. Governments Count “Peoples” around the World When we examine how other countries count their populations. In short. and elsewhere (Sanjek 1994:4). linguistic group or dialect. (1995:433–35) reviewed a nonrandom sample of recent censuses in 45 countries. Thomas 1989:29–31). South Africa.

Different variables are used as bases for group classification.. political. The data collected by the UN (United Nations 1992) also reveal a great deal of fluidity and variability with regard to how different nation-states classify “race” groups in their countries. Indeed. customs of dress or eating. The authors concluded that these results question the assumption often made that everyone has an ethnicity. the study maintained that census questions on ethnicity elicited multiple responses and that these responses changed over time. The authors also found that many people did not want to.” . and White 1992) examined how race and ethnicity questions were asked and found that 31% (16) of the countries they surveyed did not include race/ethnicity questions on their national censuses. Finally. 1995:434). Moreover..e. there was a striking fluidity and variability of race and ethnicity between countries and over time. Although this was not a representative sample. Many countries collect data on minority groups for reasons that are quite similar to those of the United States. and religious criteria are used to measure and distinguish populations.g. residence. race. language.. 1985). ethnic. race. Those countries that did distinguish drew from a variety of factors in different combinations to determine ethnicity. Pryor. color. they found that there was “no consensus on what criteria determines ethnicity” (Almey. it is difficult to make international comparisons because the data gathered are dependent on national circumstances (which are highly variable) (United Nations 1980. and White 1992:3). e. it does indicate that many governments do not ask about race/ethnicity. country of birth. or were unable to.” “cultural.6% (35) did.. tribe. and that different cultural. religion.THE IDEA OF RACE 37 and ethnicity were not asked. They also found that direct inquiries specifically about “race or color” were “rare” and were concentrated in countries in or near the Caribbean region (Bates et al. color. or various combinations of these factors (United Nations 1980:79. ethnic nationality.15 In all three Americas. because they are concerned with the equal participation of all groups and the equitable distribution of benefits to all groups (United Nations 1989:30–31). In addition. Pryor. i.g. and religion. Even in countries that share ostensibly similar “racial. while 68. e. a survey of the censuses of 51 countries in the Americas over the last 40 years (Almey. language. 1985). respond to ethnic background questions.

it referred to races as “population groups” and further clarified that its term “the visible minority population” referred to those who were “non-Caucasian in race or non-white in colour.g. for example. Sri Lankan). Lebanese. Latin American. it still collects data on their indigenous population and on the Métis. Haitian..g. Other—Specify_____. Their race/population group question included the following detailed categories. Arab/West Asian (e. For example. These countries have also changed their questions and categories over time. African. For example.” (Bates et al 1995:435) Indeed. people who are the result of indigenous and European mixing. Egyptian. Cambodian. Moroccan).) The results of these surveys suggest considerable change from country to country. Black (e. (1996 Canadian census form and instructions. East Indian. Jamaican. which have altered their criteria to accommodate new populations and/or to be in accord with new political regimes. Britain. It recently reintroduced a race question after not having had one in its census for decades. they added that the term population group should not be confused with citizenship or nationality.g.S. South Asian (e.” Finally. e. Consequently. Laotian. Japanese. The fluctuations inherent in the classification process can also be seen in the experience of other countries. White and Pearce 1993).. and Britain. South East Asian (e.g.38 THE IDEA OF RACE or political identities. .. Duany’s 1997 study comparing Dominicans that migrated to Puerto Rico with those that migrated to New York City presents evidence for this. On its 1996 census. has various categories of Blacks (Caribbean and African) and Asian Indians (Bangladeshi. Canada. but has an open-ended question that asks about ancestry and a question that asks about aboriginal descent (Cornish 1992). It has also included an ethnic origin question in all but its 1891 census. Filipino. Australia does not ask about race. Armenian. e. Chinese. Pakistani. Korean. race.g. English-speaking countries with common historical and political ties. Indian) (Sillitoe and White 1992. which is quite foreign to them.. ask very different questions on their censuses. Australia. different approaches are sometimes taken. Vietnamese).g.. Bureau of the Census 1993) Canada provides an interesting example of change and continuity.. “persons migrating from one country to another are likely to encounter an official schema for classifying origin. with allowance to specify more than one: White. (Statistics Canada and U. Punjabi. Iranian. Indonesian. Russia and Malaysia. or ethnicity. Somali).

in “forbidding swamps or inaccessible and barren mountain country. 1995). . a term that conveyed the marginality of such groups. the extent to which the mixture of races has been acknowledged has changed. Croatan. for example. the result of a slave woman raped by her master (Orbe and Strother 1996). In particular.16 Earlier studies of intermarriage in the United States also found a higher proportion of foreign whites and marginal whites in mixed marriages (Williamson 1984:112). until recently the literature generally conceived of multirace persons as marginal.THE IDEA OF RACE 39 THE SHIFTING LITERATURE ON MIXTURE IN THE UNITED STATES The literature on mixture in the United States also is changing. in the United States in the past. and occurring in particular geographic situations. Mixed-race persons were thus viewed and treated as by-products of exploitative sexual unions between colonialists and members of indigenous or colonized groups (Williams 1992:281). were described as existing in geographic isolation.” There was general agreement in this literature that the members of these communities were reluctant to be identified as black and that they had relatively high growth rates (Berry 1963:32. the most prevalent image was that of the tragic mulatto. neither fish nor fowl” (Berry 1963:vii). Early studies of communities of mixed groups tended to portray them as unfortunate or “pathetic folk of mixed ancestry who never know quite where they belong . . limited social assimilation. On the level of the individual. Unfortunately. Thornton 1987:210 ff). Although later research has begun to explore instances of white women and black men who had children together (Hodes 1997). with “neither/nor status. or Red Bones. “mixture” tended to be either ignored or demeaned (Root 1992a. These communities. Brass Ankles. The term used to refer to communities in which two or more “races” had mixed was triracial isolates. cultural maladjustment. and the way in which it is discussed is different as well. having marginal status. which were referred to by names such as Melungeons. But particularly during the country’s early formation. there must have been consensual unions in which women of color exercised some power or that involved white women and men of other races. . incomplete biological amalgamation. and pathological personalities” that were often the outcome of labyrinthine relationships between marginality and colonialism (Williams 1992:281).

different cultural settings. . 1995). In addition. a new paradigm has developed in which the earlier literature is challenged and new perspectives are emphasized (Root 1992b. these strategies . and the fluidity and shifting contexts of racial constructions (Gregory and Sanjek 1994). The new literature has also examined areas formerly neglected. Root 1992c. most are born to white women and black men (Williamson 1984:112). whereas today. 1992. when the skin color is light enough to reveal blue veins) societies. philosophical dimensions of mixture (Zack 1995). 1992. for example. Tizard and Phoenix 1993). the significance of color differences in the African American community (Russell. For example. mixedrace children were born to black women and white men. 1992. children of mixed parentage (Cauce et al. Daniel maintains that “despite their patent Eurocentrism. Taylor-Gibbs and Hines 1992. Valverde 1992). While some individuals may seek to confront oppression head-on. Wilson. Contributing to the changing paradigm reflected in this literature is the increase in the numbers and types of individuals in interracial families. and paradoxical situations” (Williams 1992:283). R. the recent literature stresses “the complex realities” of multiracial people.” blue vein (i.e. Recently Kalmijn (1993). For example. Johnson. Jacobs 1992. in the past. critiques (Jacobs 1992. Field 1996. analyzing 1970–1980 marriage license data in . . may be legitimately viewed as diverse tactics of resistance to oppression utilized by individuals of African descent. but today. He further argues that other ways of subverting the racial divide have included “passing. In the past. runaways.. the merging of diverse racial-ethnic groups under panethnic categories (Lopez and Espiritu 1993). and the development of elite creole groups. passers and pluralists seek to turn oppression on its head by subverting the racial divide” (1992:70). Johnson. Root 1992a. Nakashim 1992.17 In addition. D. it was lower-class whites who intermarried. and refuseniks (Daniel 1992). it is upper-class whites (Spickard 1989) and higher-status blacks (Kalmijn 1993) who are intermarrying. signaling a new perspective on mixture. Labov and Jacobs 1986). and Hall 1992).40 THE IDEA OF RACE In recent years. the “multiple sensibilities” that come from their having both insider and outsider perspectives. Miller 1992. triracial isolates have been relabeled as pluralists. and their highly developed capabilities to adapt “to various environments. explorations of the applicability of conventional psychological theories to mixed-race families (Stephan 1992). scholars have studied settings in which intermarriage is common. Hawaii (Grant and Ogawa 1993.

Davis offered an early example of these changes: in Virginia. Bennett. thereby exchanging one person’s “racial caste prestige” for the other’s socioeconomic prestige (Kalmijn 1993:122–123). entertainers. Williamson 1984). artists.2 percent in 1991. those minorities with a higher socioeconomic status marry members of the majority with a lower socioeconomic status. a “white” person was anyone who was less than one-quarter Negro. Schafer 1993.S. college professors.18 CHANGING CLASSIFICATIONS IN THE UNITED STATES In the United States. often changing over time and in response to political and legal events (Bell 1973. more specifically. Merton 1941. they currently use several. for example. The U. van den Berghe 1960). these criteria are not applied in the same way to all . the Census Bureau. legislators prohibited anyone with “a single drop of Negro blood” from marrying a white person (Cose 1995:70). which is responsible for counting people by race. and physical characteristics (McKenney and Bennett 1994:16). That is. in the 1800s. do not have a single criterion or principle to determine different races. national origin. the definition of who was “white” became more and more restrictive in order to limit intermarriage. and people with elite international careers are those most likely to intermarry. tribal affiliation and membership. racial classifications have also been more variable and fluid than generally acknowledged. Definitions of race vary by state and sometimes are regionally based. government and. found that the incidence of intermarriage has risen since the 1960s. Davis 1992.4 percent in 1960 to 2. In other words. Although there is little awareness in everyday speech of the lack of uniformity or cohesion that has existed or exists in state-defined race in the United States. By 1924. Rolark. especially between high-status black males and lowerstatus white females. Two-thirds of these marriages were between black males and white females. Kalmijn’s research (1993) reinforces the link earlier found between status and race in intermarriage (Davis 1941. Haney López 1996. racial criteria are not as clear-cut or unchanging as many believe.THE IDEA OF RACE 41 thirty-three states. Rather. Domínguez 1986. these people could marry other whites. however. Heer 1966. Moreover. and Harrison’s analysis (1994) of multiracial responses on the 1990 census found that the number of interracial marriages rose from 0. Spickard (1989:349) noted that leftist intellectuals.

and 1920 censuses. Although the public has adhered to a rather rigid belief in race as a biological fact. the U. italics added) Here. the census is acknowledging that “race” is a social construction and not a scientific criterion. 1860. the way that people see themselves and the way that the census takers or others record their race are not always the same. Bureau of the Census 1953:35. is derived from that which is commonly accepted by the general public. Although it lacks scientific precision. as reflected in a recent census report noting that this issue . 1910. In some censuses.S. (U. as early as the 1950 census. given the conditions under which census enumerations are carried out. . census has used in the question on race have changed over time (Lee 1993). In addition. mulattoes were a racial category in the 1850.19 THE CONFLATION OF RACE AND ETHNICITY More recently. whereas tribal affiliation is critical to identifying Native Americans. it is not used at all to identify whites or blacks. Moreover. it is doubtful whether efforts toward a more scientifically acceptable definition would be appreciably productive.S. “race” was generally determined and/or reported by the census interviewer. 1890. therefore. For example. “Mexicans” were a “race” in 1930 but not before or after then. before 1980. Finally. census has become aware of the overlap of race and ethnicity. some census officials have come to believe that “race” is more social than biological. . reflect clear-cut definitions of biological stock. For instance. however.42 THE IDEA OF RACE groups (Hahn 1992). and several categories obviously refer to nationalities. groups have been assigned racial categories. “race” was explained as follows: The concept of race. In addition. 1870. Accordingly. people have chosen their own race from a list of categories. as it has been used by the Bureau of the Census. as the courts had earlier concluded. It does not.S. the census now admitted the significance of geographic “context” or “social setting” in making racial determinations and conceded that it was difficult to classify individuals by race without sufficient numbers of their group in the area where they were being interviewed. the format and terminology that the U. Since 1980. .

The inclusion of these broader. particularly because ethnicity in the United States (and in the U. . race is biologically defined as meaning “the descendants of a common ancestor. In 1936. or a kind of people unified by community of interests. treating “race and ethnicity as two separate concepts” (McKenney and Bennett 1994:16. interests or habits .g. and some definitions of “race” sound like ethnic definitions (Rodríguez and López-Hernández 1995). increasing numbers of Latinos. Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary 1898:660). habits. Asians.” and secondary definitions refer to “a class or kind of individuals with common characteristics. “the race of doctors” is used as one example of “race” (Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary 1936).1). but additional definitions have been added to include other. In sum. House Committee 1994f). In all the editions between 1898 and 1994. These definitions also have shifted over time. primary definitions of race still refer to “a breeding stock of animal. For example. . more cultural or social definitions. most definitions of “ethnic” refer to races.” This example is repeated in the 1983 edition and appears most recently in the 1994 edition (Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary 1973:950.S. lineage.” In essence.. according to Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary. stock” (Rodríguez and López-Hernández.THE IDEA OF RACE 43 should be examined further for the 2000 census (McKenney and Bennett 1994:23–24). “the English” is cited as an instance of “race” used as “a class or kind of people unified by community of interests. the biologically based definition of “race” as a “breeding stock” has been retained. from a singular and narrow biological definition of race to the inclusion of more cultural and social definitions (see table 2. Moreover. This is a significant departure from the census’s past position. . habits or characteristics. or characteristics. At present. The idea that “race” and “ethnicity” overlap is not new. 1983:969. it is the experience of Latinos in the United States that most clearly illustrates the interrelatedness of “race” and ethnicity. in the first edition (1898). and mixed-race individuals) and greater “ethnic” self-identification have brought this idea to the forefront. 1994:961). U. but demographic changes (e. 1995. breed. In particular. some definitions of “race” begin to sound like definitions of “ethnicity” or culturally distinguishable classes. somewhat overlapping definitions of race and ethnicity in a commonly used dictionary is somewhat surprising. In 1973.S. census) has generally been considered separate from race. this overlap has existed for some time. Even dictionary definitions of race reveal the overlap between race and ethnicity.

or the like. No change. interests. tribe. or nation belonging to the same stock. 2a. No change. tribe. ethnological. people. pertaining to. A family. because both are defined on the basis of social. tribe. . 1. Spickard (1992:23). criteria. a lineage. A class or kind of individuals with common characteristics. or designating races or groups of races discriminated on the basis of common traits. a breed. The descendants of a common ancestor. 1. 4th ed. 1931. believed to belong to the same stock. 2d ed. most scholars agree that “race” is determined by context. people. a lineage. or nation. just as ethnicity is. not biological. 6th ed.b No change. insist that race or legal minority status is quite different from ethnicity (Cox 1948:317–320. interests. 392–401. 1910. breed. 1963. also. The descendants of a common ancestor. Belonging to races or nations. breed. 2. Neither Jewish nor Christian. also a class or kind of individuals with common characteristics. or nation taken as of the same stock. or habits. pagan. heathen. 1. Of or relating to races or large groups of people classed according to common traits and customs. 1. A breeding stock of animal. 2.1 Dictionary Definitions of “Race” and “Ethnic. Heathen. Pertaining or peculiar to race. for example. people. have a common sense of identity. some scholars believe that race and ethnic group are the same. or the like. 3d ed. 1916. No change. based on distinctions of race.” 1898–1994 Year of new edition Race Ethnic 1898. though. Neither Jewish nor Christian. The descendants of the same ancestor.44 THE IDEA OF RACE RACE AS RACE OR AS ETHNICITY Today. a class of individuals with common characteristics. No change. Of. 1st ed. lineage. a family. 2. share the same culture from clothing to music to food to language to child-rearing practices. Both race and ethnic group claim descent from a common set of ancestors. habits. etc. b. and pursue common political and economic interests. pertaining to groups of mankind discriminated by common customs and character. 1936 1949.20 Indeed. 1. a family. customs.a No change. 5th ed. argues that race and ethnic group are the same. stock. pagan. Other scholars. Mullings Table 2. build similar institutions like churches and fraternal organizations.

1936. The English. 3. 1983. The word ethnical is no longer listed. 2. people. b. 2. interests. No change. Ethnic: 1. 1. 2a. or characteristic of ethnics. 9th ed. or nation belonging to the same stock.THE IDEA OF RACE 45 Table 2. b. MA: Merriam-Webster. relating to. Sanjek 1994:8 ff. or characteristics. tribe. Of or relating to large groups of people classed according to common racial. habits. a member of a minority group who retains the customs. or characteristic of ethnics. linguistic. language. Heathen. c. or social views of his group. esp. The word ethnic does not appear until the 1936 edition. Neither Jewish nor Christian. Conversely. 1993. 7th ed. 1916. or cultural origin or background. A class or kind of individuals with common characteristics. those who maintain that race is a social fabrication of little scientific or practical value contend that racial categories only reinforce our beliefs in this falsehood and that ethnicity should be used only. 2b. heathen. to classify people (Patterson 1997). 1910. Steinberg 1981). for example. 1. linguistic. a b The definition given is for ethnical. Ethnic: a member of an ethnic group. 1898. A member of an ethnic group. language. Being a member of an ethnic group. 1. Of. esp. tribal. religious. Minorities. 1994). A breeding stock of animal. Ogbu 1978. . 2a. c. ethnicity is a term that historically has been used to refer mainly to people of European origin and not those of African origin. 1959. national. national. 8th ed. 1990. Also. 1931. or habits. Source: Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary (Springfield. relating to.1 (continued) Year of new edition Race Ethnic 1973. tribal. b. 1963. 1973. or social views of his group. Of or relating to large groups of people classed according to common racial. religious. No change. Being a member of an ethnic group. 2a. a member of a minority group who retains the customs. Of. 1978. A family. 1. They do not accept that ethnicity can be substituted for race because the concept of ethnicity does not convey or imply the context of discrimination associated with race in the United States. A class or kind of people unified by community of interests. Heathen. Of or relating to races or large groups of people classed according to common traits and customs. or cultural origin or background.

for example. Hispanics. . Lee (1993) noted in her review of census categories over time that historically. as yet largely unwritten. The common juxtaposition of Hispanics with groups such as whites. racialized history comprising an official. which seems still to be the census’s official position. blacks. and Asian and Pacific Islanders reinforces this intention. were diverse ethnic (meaning race and ethnic) groups assimilated into one melting pot? Or is it a segmented. somewhat independent concepts. articulated white history and a neglected. race and ethnicity are often discussed as if they were separate. the issue of whether race and ethnicity are independent or overlap (and to what degree) has still not been resolved.46 THE IDEA OF RACE This conflation of and/or confusion between race and ethnicity has been at the root of some of the positions taken throughout the United States’ history. are regarded as members of an ethnic group that can be of any race. the issue was presented as follows: In the history of the United States. For example. in the debate between Takaki (1994) and Schlesinger (1992). But the recent proposal to make Hispanics a race suggests pressure to view Hispanics as a race and thereby to fold them into the United States’ racial structure. history (or histories) of not-white groups—with two melting pots? At present. race and ethnicity have been confused. Indeed.

Five percent were “mixed. Even if we assume that Latinos who pick the traditional U. Martin. One-quarter of the sample was raised in Spanishspeaking countries. The remaining 32 percent did not indicate their class background. but only 15 percent of the interviews were conducted in Spanish. Tucker et al. and the researchers chose a spread of class levels and national origins.” that is. All but two of the fifteen trained interviewers were bilingual and generally were members of the groups they interviewed.” The following case studies look at why some people choose the “other race” category and how they decide on their particular “identities. e. race categories do so for the same reasons that non-Latinos do. These personal accounts are from a sample of sixty Latinos living mainly in the Northeast (see Rodríguez et al. mainly from the Dominican Republic (33%) and Puerto Rico (28%). This method ensured finding a diverse group of Latinos willing to be interviewed at length on an issue that is.g. they are not unusual. 1996:22–28). for many. The respondents were selected by snowball sampling. As might be expected. Kissam. The remaining 34 percent came from Central and South America.S. and 1 percent had one non-Latino parent. and Campanelli 1990. McKay and de la Puente 1995. and 15 percent as lower class. this still does not explain those who do not identify with “any of the above. Herrera. 8 percent described their backgrounds as upper or middle class. 1991 for a more detailed discussion of this research project). Of the thirty-six women and twenty-four men.” Although the case studies are not meant to be representative.1 47 . sensitive. had parents from different Spanishspeaking countries. Elias-Olivares and Farr 1991. and Nakamoto 1993. 61 percent consisted of Latinos of Caribbean origin. Rodríguez and Cordero-Guzmán 1992. given the northeast slant of the sample.3 Stories of Self-Definition T H E R E A S O N T H AT both Latinos and non-Latinos choose particular categories on the census has only recently received much research attention (see. DeMaio.. 45 percent as working class.

” JOSÉ PETERSON OR JP: THE HYPHENATED AMERICAN This respondent was named José Peterson because this composite name has both Anglo and Hispanic elements. detailed. in terms of color and features. It contained 107 openended and structured questions and covered a wide variety of areas. with its business-tycoon connotation. black. this fourth person explained that depending on the eye of the beholder. The interviewers were instructed to determine the respondent’s phenotype—as white. or “other”—before beginning the interview. The next questions were (in order of appearance): How would you describe yourself racially? What do you consider yourself to be: white. or other? How would you describe yourself over the telephone to a person who has never met you but who has arranged to meet you in a crowded place? How would you classify. Based on their phenotypes. All four checked the “other race” category on the census question and supplied a Latino referent.” and the fourth as “in-between. The respondents were not paid and were interviewed in a variety of home. the first four described here appeared to be at ease with their “racial” identities. and relaxed comfort had been arranged before the interview.48 STORIES OF SELF-DEFINITION Most of the pre. or other? What color are you: white. We chose the nickname JP.” During the interview. school. The respondents were asked first to fill out a duplicate of the 1980 census question on race. black.” the second and third as “black. or other? How do you think North Americans see you: white. adequate time. black. or “Hispanic.and posttest interviews took place between 1989 and 1990. the first was categorized as “white. bilingual questionnaire and tested it for a year and a half. the other people in your family on this (five-point) scale? Do you think your identity has changed over time? The case studies presented here are of persons (not using their real names) who identified themselves as “other race. mixed. and then they were asked to explain why they had answered the question as they did. he . and office settings. black. he can be white. The research team and I created an extensive. black. where privacy. because at the time of the interview.” In fact. All four viewed their “race” in different terms: three according to their Latino heritage and one according to his Latino and black heritage. but a few were conducted later.

JP answered consistently and unequivocally that he was “white. JP checked “other” and specified “Puerto Rican American.” He explained that he attributed his Puerto Rican heritage to his parents but that he identified as American because he was born in the United States. JP consistently answered that he was white. JP’s parents migrated from Puerto Rico to New York when they were in their early twenties and settled in a section of the city with a high incidence of violent crime. On the census race question. He is the fourth child in a family of five siblings and the first to go to college. he assumed that the categories represented other major social-cultural-racial-political groups in the United States. or other—he answered white because of his European (Spanish) background.” For example. black. His family speaks both Spanish and English at home. But when asked questions that he interpreted as referring to his physical appearance.S. how North Americans viewed him. he explained. He added that he was bicultural because “various aspects of both the American and Puerto Rican cultures” influenced him. He also referred to being “white” when asked about his color. had “Indian blood. however. He is single. JP lived here for the first eight years of his life until his parents moved to a more stable working-class area where he continues to live. twenty-five. Although he clearly saw himself as physically white. when asked how he would racially identify himself—as white. and he supplied his own (hyphenated) group. he said he was a “hyphenated American.” Even though JP identified as “other race.” his adaptation to the U. and how he would describe himself over the phone. but JP says his Spanish is not good. When he understood the questions to be asking about his cultural identity. JP indicated that his background was working class because his father did manual labor.STORIES OF SELF-DEFINITION 49 perceived himself to be (and was understood to be) assimilating into white corporate America.” Finally. But he did not feel it necessary to explain why he did not then select the white race category. and a college graduate working as an administrator in the arts. He classified everyone in his family as white except for two grandmothers who. JP was classified by the Puerto Rican interviewer as “white. racial system followed the familiar immigrant assimilation model. when JP answered the census question on race.” When he understood the questions to be asking about his physical appearance.” In effect. he identified himself as “other (Puerto Rican–American) race. He .

she labeled all the members of her family as black. Her feelings about the “black” portion of her self-identification are equally strong.” and on the census question. Celia lived through the racial insensitivity of the 1950s. Celia realized that most North Americans saw her to be like “any other black” but noted that she felt uneasy with American-born blacks. she wrote in “black Hispanic Panamanian. all over the age of seventeen. But earlier immigrants probably would not have mentioned that their grandmother had Indian blood. But she is not a black American. and so Celia left the playground. AND NOT AFRICAN AMERICAN Celia was named after the salsa singer Celia Cruz because of the many similarities she appeared to share with her. BLACK. and has been married to her husband for more than twenty-five years. she always knew “who she was. the racial awakening of the 1960s. She has four children.S. AND PROUD . Celia described an experience she had had at a playground with two of her children when they were young. and the renewed racial hatreds of the 1980s. Celia often mentioned her love of Hispanic culture and her pride in being born and raised as a Panamanian. .50 STORIES OF SELF-DEFINITION answered the questions in much the same way that second-generation European Americans usually answered them. To illustrate. and she does not see herself as black according to U. Yet she says that throughout the constant racial turbulence. Greek Americans or Italian Americans would see themselves as culturally the product of both the old country and the United States. For example. and on the family chart. the woman verbally abused her. She rose through the ranks to become an account coordinator at the same place where she has worked for more than twenty years. She sensed that they strongly disliked blacks from other countries.” She emphasized that she is both Hispanic and black and has strong roots in both identities. her identity has never changed. as JP did. defi- . Celia is a black Hispanic Panamanian and proud of it. CELIA: LATINA. .” Celia came to the United States from Panama when she was eighteen years old. She said that when she began talking and a black American woman there heard her accent. Her tone was unwavering on this point. Celia identified herself as “other race.

His responses illustrate the significance of context to Latinos responding to questions of race. he said that everybody saw him as a black . Over the years. D. he would have answered “black. blacks. he first said that was how he always answered this question (about racial classification). they were made up mostly of other Latinos. Fat Joe was twenty-seven. rather. He would not have checked “Hispanic” because that category was too vague and general for him.” When asked why he had answered in this way. Fat Joe’s first response also indicates his strong identity as both black and Latino. and whites. and about to complete a master’s degree in the social sciences when he was interviewed in New York City. His father had been recruited to work in a government agency.C. FAT JOE (LATINO) Fat Joe (Latino) was given this name because of his two passions. he answered.STORIES OF SELF-DEFINITION 51 nitions of blackness. When asked how he would describe himself racially. At the time of this interview.” When asked how he thought North Americans saw him. So she did not check off the “black” category on the census question. Fat Joe described his family and upbringing as middle class and recalled his growing up as being filled with “good memories” and as having friends that he had kept despite moving from one suburban neighborhood to another. where both had been teachers. but he and his wife speak English. his love for his Puerto Rican culture and his love of rap music—he had been both a disk jockey and a rap artist. but he has never lived there. “As a Puerto Rican of African descent. Few Puerto Ricans lived in these neighborhoods. The main language he spoke at home was Spanish. But he then added that if it had been an official census question. Born and raised in the suburbs of Washington. Fat Joe was intending to obtain a more advanced graduate degree. which was repeated in subsequent questions.” he would have marked that..” Or if the list included “Puerto Rican. temporarily working as a cab driver in Atlanta. he has frequently visited Puerto Rico. recently married to an African American model. Both his parents had immigrated to Washington in the 1960s from Puerto Rico. He chose the “other race” category on the census question and wrote in “black Puerto Rican.

The people in the southern United States could not understand why he could not relate to collard greens—because he had been raised with arroz and abichuelas (rice and beans) and pasteles. As he said.” He also indicated that they all would see themselves as “black. whom he said was “white. he has known others who . Fat Joe said there were hundreds. noting that “if an African American refers to me as a ‘brother.” Fat Joe described all the members of his family. that there are “phenotypically more African-looking people in the Dominican Republic and Cuba than in Puerto Rico. Presented with three categories. he was at the beach when a bunch of white guys sped by screaming “nigger. he answered. and their culture had “rubbed off me as well. bald head and beard. 5’10”. People are always surprised—and doubtful—when he tells them he is Puerto Rican. “Black. white.” He considered himself to have been “raised as a Puerto Rican” but also stated that African Americans. Asked to recall experiences outside his family in which people reacted to his race. and other. Although this used to bother him. he understands why people react this way. “Puerto Rican. “By my name. as a senior in high school. When asked how he would describe himself to someone over the phone.52 STORIES OF SELF-DEFINITION American until they talked to him and found out about his background.” Contrary to the experience of many Latinos. only if he is in a Latino store and reading something in Spanish will someone speak to him in Spanish. white Americans. he chose “black” but added that he was of a “brown” color.” When asked what he felt his roots were. I guess. He said he identified as black because his ancestors were brought over from West Africa to the Caribbean.’ I acknowledge the background. To him.” However. Thus. for he is generally assumed to be any other kind of Caribbean but Puerto Rican. Fat Joe (Latino) is consistently assumed to be black and seldom anything else.” He said he could “relate” in a lot of ways. only in specific contexts is he thought to be Latino. For example. “black” meant that it racially described his body as being of African descent. black. as “black” except for a maternal grandmother.” Only when asked the general nonracialized question of how he identified himself did he say. except when it came to food. he replied. including himself. he says that now that he has studied the history of these areas. 220 pounds.” Fat Joe indicated that he has probably assumed a black identity on occasion.

Fat Joe (Latino) seems to have had a variety of experiences. He has no specific memory of when he first became aware of his color or of his being Puerto Rican. and hair texture. rather. His parents sat him down and told him that he should take advantage of the fact he was phenotypically black and Puerto Rican. he “delved into the black side of me. In fact. who pointed out. a Spanish surname. facial features. Midway through college. So he added his mother’s last name. both these heritages.STORIES OF SELF-DEFINITION 53 were darker than he who would have taken offense at the reference. and when he was interviewed. but he also noted that his family’s circle of friends included many Puerto Ricans. Fat Joe reached an important turning point in the formation of his identity when he started applying to college. explaining that when he was younger. Pryce. But in high school and college. He attended a large public university and believes that he was counted as Hispanic and not as black. he chose a connection to his Puerto Rican culture. he was sensitive about his more African phenotype. Then. and he thought it would be helpful. His assumption of this identity did not have an emotional impact on him— it was “just what I am. but mutually complementary. This focus in African American studies was distinctive.” He studied black literature and participated in African American activities. even though his hair was less kinky than that of his friends. partly because he was the only one of his friends who received handouts on Hispanics. He described the two neighborhoods where he had been raised as having few Puerto Ricans. when he had to pick a topic for his senior thesis. he decided to major in African American studies and began to pay more attention to his Latino side. Colorism and “joking” about “too kinky” hair seemed to be part of growing up among his friends. He admitted that he had changed the way he viewed his color. His feelings were echoed by the Costa Rican–born Delina D. Being black and Latina . he joked that now he would love to have kinky hair—any kind of hair. “Being Latina and black are not mutually exclusive. and knowing more about. and of his Puerto Rican ethnicity when he brought friends home. when he was three or four. but he assumes that he must have become aware of color when he first started to play with other children.” Fat Joe’s identity has changed over time. he did not spend much time on Puerto Rican culture. he seemed comfortable with his identity as a black Latino and interested in celebrating.

” On a five-point color scale. Born and raised in East Harlem and the South Bronx (predominantly black and Hispanic neighborhoods). my thoughts. I understood Puerto Rican as a mixture. As I got older. Never would I deny either because they’re both me. and he identified himself as a four. All of me. Arco Iris checked “other” and wrote “Puerto Rican” in the space next to it.” he stated. Arco Iris labeled his mother as a one (light) and his father as a five (dark). for he has lived in Puerto Rico only a short time. and they have three children. When asked why he characterized himself as darker than North Americans might see him. His wife is West Indian. Mr. His name means “rainbow” in Spanish.” MR.54 STORIES OF SELF-DEFINITION has influenced and shaped my views.” Mr. This was darker than the interviewer’s view of Mr. Arco Iris is fluent in Spanish. He described the household in which he was raised as Spanish speaking and lower middle class. ARCO IRIS’S RAINBOW IDENTITIES Mr. In response to the census race question. Arco Iris described his color as “brown” and explained that North Americans tend to see him as a “brown-skinned Puerto Rican or a light-skinned black. he is the son of parents who migrated from Puerto Rico to New York before World War II. Although Mr. I developed a broader definition of race and acknowledged greater mixture. and possibly Indian. and I could identify with both blacks and whites. in both instances. Mr. Arco Iris.” The way he viewed his ancestry also has changed: “I would have considered myself more white up to the age of nine. “I am a mixture of black. as a three (intermediate in color).” His interviewer described him as “not white/not black. And I like me. I perceived myself as a Puerto Rican and distinctly apart from black and white. he has a respected and established position as a professional in the criminal justice system.” because at sixty-two. Arco Iris stated that “four is more biologically accurate” and further ex- . my experiences— who I am. and he is always addressed as “Mr. Arco Iris is yet another representative of the “other race” category.” He noted that his racial identity had changed over time. But when answering “How would you describe yourself racially” and “What do you consider yourself to be. white. He considers his roots to be in Harlem. he is more comfortable speaking English. “As a child. But as I grew. Mr.

The following two stories reflect the more conflictual and stressful dimensions of Latino identity resolution. These four persons. and Asian. even though some data gatherers thought their responses showed that they misunderstood or were confused by the question. with different backgrounds. and his mother was an office worker. JOSÉ ALI: THE PRESSURE TO BE BLACK The name José Ali is a combination of the common Latino name José with Ali. perhaps more than many others. the former heavyweight champion. and Native American. when he was five. representing a unique innovation and resolution within an essentially biracial system. single. At this point in their lives. and in-between. and a full-time student at a public university. European.STORIES OF SELF-DEFINITION 55 plained that he identified himself as dark out of respect for and loyalty to his brown-skinned father. José Ali was raised in New York and has visited the Dominican Republic only once. are phenotypically white. These many instances of mistaken identity have prompted him. black. His parents are immigrants from the Dominican Republic. Arco Iris’s race also varies according to the eye of the beholder. They take pride in themselves as combinations of African. twenty-four years old. He later moved to another area of New York with a large African American population. Mr. . He describes his family as working class: his father worked in the metal goods industry. His racial identification mirrors this selfreflection. black. He has a part-time job in an advertising firm where the majority of his coworkers are white. to think about his identity. He does not have a Hispanic surname. Greek. Arab.” although they did not mention this specifically. They emphasize not just physical but also cultural variables. He noted that since childhood he has been regarded as white.2 The identification of Mr. and Spanish was the only language spoken at home until he was twelve. José Ali is a Dominican. He lived in a predominantly Hispanic neighborhood until he was eight years old. Furthermore. they seemed confident and indicated that it was all right to be “other. they are at ease with how they have resolved their identities. Arco Iris and others like him identify strongly with color and express a preference for racial diversity and mixture. borrowed from Muhammad Ali.

’” During the interview. They don’t ask. Ramos Rosado 1987. but as black.” But when people assume that he is an African American. yet identifies as black” and “I describe myself as black. Santiago 1995. “Hispanic. if you are my color.” (The Dominican interviewer described him as “a stereotypically dark-skinned Latino or a light-skinned AfroAmerican.” Finally. Latinos understand this phenomenon as their being iden- .” his responses reveal the pressures that some Latinos feel to identify as an American black. and I do not wish to.’ but I was called a ‘nigger. I agree with whoever thinks I’m black. see Barbosa 1991. I was not called a ‘spic. I am categorized as black. José Ali noted that he assumes everybody at his job believes he is black and he does not “want to burst their bubble. . even though José Ali says he is “other race. “As other people see me.56 STORIES OF SELF-DEFINITION José Ali answered “other. and Valcarcel 1994. Hispanic.” He consistently alluded to his identification as black when answering other racial items in the interview. I identify more with blacks because to white America. they simply assume. .) This imposition of the black-white racial order on Latinos separates them into “whites” and “blacks” and in the process attempts to create new African Americans and so-called hyphenated (European) Americans. I was not seen as Hispanic or Latino. This conflict was first described in the literature on the Puerto Rican migration (Colon 1982. when asked. He pointed out that “when you are seen as a certain race. and it has been discussed most recently by Brady 1988. “Because when I was jumped by whites. after being practically attacked by whites because of the way I look. José Ali answered yes.” When asked what the word black meant to him.” He said that he goes along with their assumption as long as he is treated well but admitted that he accepts this identity because it would take him too much time to explain why he is culturally not an African American.3 (It was perhaps best portrayed in Piri Thomas’s 1967 Down These Mean Streets. they are “disregarding my own feelings.” Thus. you are also seen culturally the same. for example.”) Asked if his identity had changed over time. Iglesias 1980). you are a nigger. For recent discussions of race and gender in Puerto Rico. I can’t change my color. he replied. and Comas-Díaz 1996. Now. I decided to accept the fact that no matter who I feel to be. “I realized that although I feel Hispanic. However. Hispanic” to the census race question and explained: “By inheritance I am Hispanic. There is no point in trying to prove that I’m not black . “Why do you see yourself as black?” his answer was.

she said she always was careful to note her tan coloring. today Latinos are pressured to be categorized according to their color rather than their national heritage and culture. Victoria is a single. She has been to Mexico only once. when she was twentythree.” Consequently. She was named Victoria because she seemed to have been victorious in overcoming the obstacles that caused her pain and confusion.” Even when asked how she would describe herself over the phone to someone she had never met (but would meet). she consistently identified herself as “not white”. and her mother is a homemaker. and she described this trip as consciousness raising.STORIES OF SELF-DEFINITION 57 tified racially but not culturally.4 VICTORIA: A CELEBRATION OF COLOR The next case illustrates the tensions inherent in assimilation through education. Even though the interviewer thought that Victoria could be regarded as white with a summer tan. (But nonwhite was apparently not the same to her as black. She describes this period as when she went from being a “smart Chicana” to being a “smart white. Almost all the town’s residents are Mexican and work in the fields.” Then after a period of conflict and struggle. Victoria first strongly assimilated into “whiteness.-Mexican border.S. choosing “other” on the census question and specifying “Hispanic. When Victoria finished elementary school.” She gave her color as “brown” and said that North Americans saw her as “other. she went to a junior high school where she was placed on the accelerated track.” not “white” or “black. and her family is Protestant. Victoria has several sisters. she acknowledged her resentment of this assimilation and began to celebrate her color. Here most of her classmates were Anglos. In contrast to José Ali. and her sisters would make fun of and mimic her .) Victoria saw herself as Hispanic because she was not white and not black and because historically she (and her group) had had a different relationship to those two groups. indeed. a nonwhite color seemed to be an important part of her racial identity. Other Latinos in the sample felt similarly confused or pressured to be “white. although her parents do not. thirty-year-old Chicana graduate student who was born and raised in a small town on the U.” Most of her friends were white. During her interview. Victoria consistently placed herself in an intermediate position. Her father has a working-class occupation.

” considering this a compliment. Victoria said that it made her uncomfortable but remembered that she had looked up and smiled. As she explained. Victoria saw her education as a vehicle that helped her escape certain sexual and racial boundaries.” she assumed she was included because she was “nice. family dynamics and other antecedent factors influence how people decide on a racial identity. Victoria is an interesting example of these dynamics. She later also resented what she perceived as the limitations of Mexican culture. from being identified as white to being proud of being Mexican to being angry at Mexican patriarchy.” She also remembered that she always wanted to be a cheerleader. In essence.” She said during her interview that she did not remember openly saying . Asked how she felt about the remark. Victoria did not realize the significance of the dean’s remark. she first reacted with fury at having denied her heritage and having accepted the implication that her accomplishments were an exception to the rule.5. “I’m so glad you’re not like the other Mexicans. She also recalled the following experience that subsequently made her feel very ashamed: One day the dean patted her on the shoulder and told her. in California. She described her family as having considerable physical variation and herself as the darkest one.” Her awareness of being different (and less attractive or acceptable) because of her skin color was so acute that when she became part of a group traditionally made up of “pretty girls. When Victoria went to the local community college. At the white parties. it seems that Victoria’s selfdescribed position as “the darkest in her family” may have influenced her drive to be high achieving and her desire to be “white. but she also felt that while doing so. she continued to excel academically and was very active in student government. Accordingly. Although the interviews were not calculated to elicit deep psychological motivations. Victoria said she knew that she was not a beauty because of her skin color. she had had experiences that damaged her self-image. When she did.58 STORIES OF SELF-DEFINITION “whiteness. she traveled a long road in a short time. but somehow this was not what Mexican girls did. so she compensated by developing a good “personality. such as when she was treated as a credit to her race. she rated herself a four on the scale while giving everyone else in her family an average of 2.5 Clearly.” Victoria remembered that a group of mejicanos (Mexicans) once showed their disapproval of her hanging around with whites by calling her a Tía Taca (the equivalent of Uncle Tom). Until she went to another college.

did little that was innovative or challenging. What is perhaps most important here is that Victoria’s drive to achieve may have stemmed from her perception that she was not highly valued because she was dark. According to Victoria. she said that she wanted to be white culturally and that her desire to be “white” was subconscious. less desirable work. never ventured beyond her traditional suburban existence. She believed that because Blanca was so “privileged. In effect. For example. because she was protected and treated as fragile and delicada (delicate). they knew they would always have to struggle in life. she never developed the independence and strength that her other. however. carrying out the trash. at family gatherings. Victoria’s darker sisters also compensated for their skin color by developing other areas of their personalities and lives. On reflection. But she appears to have been praised by white officials and rejected by her more “Mexican” family and community. however. for example.” that is. Whether her educational accomplishment was recognized by others in her life (Latinos and nonLatinos) is unclear. her “light-skinned.” that at the time she felt she was just following her intellectual interests. Blanca.STORIES OF SELF-DEFINITION 59 that she wanted to be “white. the dark sisters brought the food that took hours to prepare. she . and la favorita brought the paper goods. Another less openly acknowledged and perhaps more positive side effect of being the darkest in the family surfaced in Victoria’s account. and did not develop the strong character of the others. Whether it was also a cry for greater acceptance (by whites and perhaps other Latinos) we do not know. In effect. Victoria referred to the “privileges of color” that Blanca enjoyed and how this contrasted with her own treatment and that of her other sisters. It also is likely that some whites resisted or resented her efforts and that some Mexicanos were proud of her achievements. According to Victoria. she and her sisters always were given the harder. darker. because their responses were filtered through Victoria’s eyes. Victoria also noted the impact of this differential treatment on the development of her sisters. her academic achievement was compensation. Excelling in school and being accepted by whites may have added to the low value she felt as a dark woman. sisters did.” received as la favorita (the favored one). She also noted that even today. green-eyed sister. She described in detail the treatment that Blanca. in the division of household chores. which helped them deal with adversity.

For Mario. Rather. in Mario’s case. to him his identity is how he has lived rather than his biological ancestry. Biologically. he characterizes himself as Puerto Rican because of his immersion in the Puerto Rican culture. his subjective view of his racial-ethnic identity supersedes any race classification that others may ascribe to him because of his appearance or his biological ancestry. color appears to have been the basis of an implicit hierarchy that challenged those who were darker to compensate in various ways. the depreciation of color and the fascination with or glorification of European physical types. that is. despite the depreciation of dark color that Victoria perceived in her family. however. Even though he is aware and proud of his black and European ancestry. Mario is a common name used by both Italians and Puerto Ricans. and sexuality. subjective and external views often played off against each other.” As an infant. Victoria’s maturation involved viewing differently both her cultural identity and her feelings about her color. and she credited Chicano men with helping her appreciate and celebrate her dark color. but others not familiar with his background might identify him as a black American. it did not divide the family. for example. Victoria did not have strong negative feelings about her differential treatment. MARIO: SELF-IDENTIFIED AND IMPUTED RACE Mario represents another. In his mind. He identified himself on the census as “other race” and wrote in “Puerto Rican.60 STORIES OF SELF-DEFINITION was psychologically and constitutionally weaker than the others. quite different. who were active in community and activist movements. Instead. his racial and ethnic identity is only partially in the eye of the beholder. example of the influence of family dynamics. he was adopted and raised by a Puerto Rican couple. Rather. age. nor were the darker members excluded. Although in our sample. as for many others. family love overrode these dynamics and that other factors also influenced her treatment. his subjective view was . Mario was the child of an African American mother and an Italian American father. Consequently. She did not appear angry at Blanca. they seemed to be a dull dislike of the attitudes implicit in this behavior. position in the family. she explained that when she was growing up. She came to appreciate the beauty of her darker color. When asked about this.

and social settings also are important determinants of racial identity. Forces such as socioeconomic class. Although all these respondents answered “other race” on the census question on race. identity is complex. a professional woman from Puerto Rico stated that she was “white” in . or vice versa. one of the respondents who identified herself as “white” on the census question described herself racially as “an American with Cuban blood” and stated that North Americans saw her as “Hispanic. For example. Consequently. racial identities change over time— for example. race categories. my attitude toward others or my income. my race. from white to brown or from tan to white as the respondents progressed from childhood to adulthood7—and according to context—for example. many Latinos choose one of the standard U. the United States’ racial structure. school. or society influences the way in which Latinos identify themselves and may create multiple identities. in their home. and experiences in school. in the larger sample. family. In the interview. This view might be quite different from that of non-Latinos who identified themselves as white. For example. jobs.” As these case studies showed. whereas some of the respondents in the preceding examples were torn between self-identity and that imputed by others.S. he identified himself simply and solely as Puerto Rican. These case studies are examples of the various identities of those who say they are “other race” and specify a Latino referent. black. But even in these situations. the way in which race is constructed in the family. phenotype. where phenotype and genotype are primary and racial identity is unchanging and unambiguous. explaining that this is “what I appear to be” (white) to other groups. Some of them easily accept being “other. their job. or their school. Some persons in the sample described the resolutions to these pressures as “intense.”6 but others feel the pressure to be white. The larger sample contained even more dramatic examples showing that Latinos’ racial identity is complex and fluid. for example. or brown and to assume the multiple identities they sometimes develop.” She also defined the term white as “the comparative color of my skin to other groups. white at home and brown on the job. These case studies also challenge the way in which race and racial identity are generally defined in the United States. It is not my background.” She distinguished between her white skin and her culture.STORIES OF SELF-DEFINITION 61 determinant.

” The case studies also demonstrate the resistance of many Latinos to bipolar racial classifications. would walk down the street. social class. if any. of Caribbean origin. where she was labeled “Hispanic” or “Puerto Rican” because of her accent. name. But she remembered that it happened. In addition. for Latinos. The interviewer was a young Latina. “race” is individually as well as socially constructed. was “less white” in the traditional upper-class Puerto Rican family into which she had married.” and “trigueña is terrific. and neighborhood socialization. and cultural style. A story told by one of the interviewers in the research project seems a fitting end to this chapter.” She could not remember other people’s reactions or even whether they (the sisters) spent much. language. time discussing or analyzing this. raised in a barrio in New York City during a time when the phrase “black is beautiful” was popular. all of whom were different colors. In the United States. . she was “nonwhite. phenotypic variation within the family. she and her three sisters. Finally. arm in arm. the case studies demonstrate that Latinos’ racial identity is not just genetically determined but that it depends on many variables. including phenotype.” “white is wonderful. She recalled that as a child. despite the pressures from both inside and outside their culture. for it illustrates people’s creativity when defining themselves in particular political and economic contexts. chanting “black is beautiful.62 STORIES OF SELF-DEFINITION her home and neighborhood but. because of her lower socioeconomic origin.



white. and in turn. Over time. These categories describe the population(s) from the perspective of those who have the power to select them. Besides some surprising changes over time. Although each polarity has been and continues to be fluid. Loewen 1971. and it is this structure that Latinos today resist (Halter 1993. Among the surprises are that the U. Smith 1993). the basic dichotomous structure of “whites and other social races” has been retained. the process is predicated on political and ideological choices. we will see the evolution of this bipolar structure. for example.S. different divisions are featured. Basically. the initial distinctions pertained to free or slave status and taxed Indians. U. black. and Indian. Thus the resulting categories generally reflect a political consensus on who is to be counted. and how often (Lee 1993). But even in these instances. This chapter traces the decennial censuses’ changing classification of race. black. Chinese. At various times. and when governments try to create statistical representations of its populations. however. and mulatto or white. how. Rather. they influence the way that populations see themselves. and the information collected is deemed necessary for the national interest and for the needs of small geographic areas (Estrada 1993:497). 65 . decennial census classifications have moved toward a more sharply defined bipolar structure. Constitution did not refer to color or race when it set forth the criteria on which the census was to be based. this dichotomy has prevailed throughout most of the census’s two-hundred-year history. two socially constructed polarities have evolved that contain “whites” at one end and “other social races” at the other. Leonard 1992. These “historical needs” are seen differently by different political groups. It is this bipolar structure that groups—those not quite white or black—have contested in the past.4 Whites and Other Social Races A S A F O R M E R census official once pointed out.S. decennial censuses often reflect a country’s historical needs.

and so it was color—and not race—that became the primary term of classification. “Free Persons” does not specify “whites. the color term white was introduced.” and persons of African descent are not directly mentioned. The concepts of color and race were officially joined in the twentieth century and are the foundation of the bipolar structure that evolved. when the first census was taken. clause 3 of the U. persons in this category were to be counted as three-fifths of a white person. which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons. With the exception of the oblique reference to Indians. the population was to be counted every ten years.66 WHITES AND OTHER SOCIAL RACES By 1790. its people had to be counted. The 1787 Constitution of the United States established the outline of such a count in its criteria for apportionment. it is understood that “three fifths of all other Persons” refers to slaves. According to article I. “race” is not explicitly mentioned. Color remained an essential category of the census for more than a century and a half and preceded race as a category by nearly one hundred years. an immediate outcome of which was the structure of the census with regard to race. for apportionment purposes. That is. most of whom were from Europe. Nonetheless. The same paragraph specifies: Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several states which may be included within this Union. The . Constitution (the apportionment rule). (cited in Anderson 1988:9) What is interesting about this excerpt is its vagueness. were to be counted as free persons. and excluding Indians not taxed. who were of African descent. including those bound to Service for a Term of Years. In addition. indentured servants. and this became the mandate for the decennial census. all the states had to agree on who was to be counted and how. section 2. In addition. however. according to their respective Numbers.S. three fifths of all other Persons. THE EARLY CENSUSES Because the United States of America was conceived as a democratic and representative government.

Bureau of the Census 1978:1). As long as they paid taxes. the apportionment rule incorporated into the census and the political fabric of the new nation a tradition of differentiating “these three great elements of the population”—the free. The Initial Reference Point The 1790 census was taken one year after President George Washington was inaugurated and included the population of the original thirteen colonies plus the territories of Maine. Thus the two main non-European components of the U.WHITES AND OTHER SOCIAL RACES 67 Constitution clearly states that untaxed Indians—most likely the majority of Indians then—were not to be counted. slave.S.2 The interest in “free white males over the age of sixteen” reflected the need “to assess the . Bureau of the Census 1989:1). and how. Being counted. were not counted or represented. As Anderson noted. But not being counted meant that a person had no official place in society and being calculated as a fraction of a free person meant that one was regarded as a different or lesser kind of person. however. The method used to determine apportionment was tantamount to deciding who was to be acknowledged. for free white women were counted but could not vote. and Indian populations (1988:12). and which were not. The questions asked the name of the head of the family and the number of persons living in each household who were free white males or free white females. They may also have included Indian women who had married white men. These were generally Indians who lived in European settlements and were no longer affiliated with a tribe.S. These decisions reflected how various groups of people were viewed at that time. population were recognized in different ways. both over and under sixteen years of age. Indians could be represented. In the first census of 1790. The gender and age of the slaves or “other free people” were apparently not important (U.1 Slaves. Kentucky. however. was not by itself assurance of equal citizenship rights.S. But the implication was that taxed Indians would be counted. Vermont. and slaves. all other free persons. and free white men who did not own property could not vote. being indentured or being a Native American did not prevent one from being counted. and Tennessee (U. which groups were considered to be part of the constituent population.

Statutes at Large. 12. Sess. 1820. 1800.. Schedule of the whole number of persons within the division allotted to A. Richard Peters. B. 17. reprint.S. Esq. Ch. I. B. Sixteenth Congress. Ch. 1963). 6th–12 Cong. U.. vols. Buffalo: Dennis & Co. Ch. Sess. (1846 and 1856. ed. Census Schedule Forms. Eleventh Congress. 1799–1813. B. 1810. 1800–1820. Schedule of the whole number of persons within the division allotted to A.Sixth Congress. Schedule of the whole number of persons within the division allotted to A. 24. II.1. 4. 2 and 3. I. Sess. . 68 1810 1820 1800 FIG.

the 1790 category “all other free persons” was changed to “all other free persons. Bureau of the Census 1989:1). By 1840. uniform census forms were introduced.1 shows.WHITES AND OTHER SOCIAL RACES 69 country’s industrial and military potential” (U.” In 1820 it was subsumed under “free colored persons. Having named the central category “white” gave a centrality and power to color that has continued throughout the history of the census. although congressional records between 1800 and 1820 already included schedules recommended for taking the census (see figure 4.S. the categories of “free whites” and “slaves” stayed the same. the color line was also more clearly established.1). That is. consequently. they could have chosen “free English-speaking males over sixteen” or “free males of Christian descent” or “of European descent. local authorities took the census. A Definitive Color Line In the census’s first four decades. and so the information was not uniform. themselves. Between the drafting of the Constitution in 1787 and the taking of the first census in 1790. Hence. (See appendix C for a discussion of why the first three censuses did not contain a color term and why the original “all other free persons” category was replaced by the “free colored” category. and the third category was labeled “all other free persons. the term white became an explicit part of the first category to be measured. Finally in 1830.3 The “free colored persons” category was retained in the 1840 census. the categories used on the national census frequently differed from those used on the state census. who were free. between 1790 and 1840. As table 4. The major divisions were now more explicitly “colored”: whites. But in 1800 and 1810. when uniform census forms were introduced.” and in 1830 it disappeared altogether. In 1830. The original color-free category “all other free persons” that appeared in the first three censuses had disappeared. and coloreds.” Theoretically. those in political charge could have chosen another definition for the first category and. The “slaves” category remained unchanged.” But they chose color. except Indians not taxed. the census categories had established a number of patterns.) . and significant changes had been made as well. who were free or slave.

S. the categories used between 1790 and 1840 were based on the three criteria of freedom. a bipolar structure—of “whites” and “nonwhites”—was clearly taking shape. except Indians. except Indians.” “all other free people. 1790–1840 1790 1800 1810 1820 1830 1840 Free white males and females Slaves All other free persons Free white males and females Slaves All other free persons. not taxed) Foreigners not naturalized Free white males and females Slaves Free colored persons Free white males and females Slaves Free colored persons Foreigners not naturalized Foreigners not naturalized Sources: Return of the Whole Number of Persons within the Several Districts of the United States (1802). and “aliens and foreigners not naturalized” were included in the white count (U. Census for 1820 (1821). a table in the 1830 census reporting “the number of deaf and dumb” combined “slaves and colored persons” in one count. religion. U. birthplace. of State 1832b:48–51).S. 1856). the elements of culture. House of Representatives (1895). of State 1832a:42–43). and the Territories Thereof. except Indians. Agreeably to Actual Enumeration Made According to Law. 70 .Table 4. 1978.S. Heads of Families at the First Census of the United States Taken in the Year 1790: New York (1992). As table 4. “Aggregate Amount of Each Description of Persons within the United States of America. language. “aliens and foreigners not naturalized” were included in the “total white” count (U. U. Dept. Dept. 1842). THE EVOLVING BIPOLAR STRUCTURE After 1820 and the shift to color categories. not naturalized”. and on the other side were “slaves”). Dept. Statutes at Large (1846.” “free colored. By 1830.” and “foreigners. 1835.1 shows. 1989). U. of State (1832a and b. Moreover. not taxed Free white males and females Slaves All other free persons. and color (on one side were “free white males and females.1 Labeling Citizens and Others in Early Censuses.S. Bureau of the Census (1967. the data on “free people of color” and “slaves” were combined in some instances. For example. The bipolar structure of white and colored became more explicit.S. not taxed Free white males and females Slaves Free colored persons (all other free persons.S. however. and mixture were compacted into a choice between white and colored. By 1830. U. in the Year 1810” (1810).

This category distinguished the foreign (most likely white and free) from the native-born white and free. Indians. mulattoes never constituted a large proportion of the total recorded “Negro” population—less than one-fifth in all but one year (Miller 1991:table 2. who were citizens by birth. more information. mulattoes were counted for the first time in 1850.” who were not (Ignatiev 1995. were to be described as fully as the white group.3 indicates. Mulattoes As table 4.” which suggests that by this time it was evident that all the people in this category were free. regardless of race or color. the category of “free whites” was changed to simply “whites. .2). age. In the 1850 census. and free colored in separate columns. with similar procedures used to count both the slaves and the free colored. “mixed” persons were counted. But given the difficulties of measuring those who attempted to “pass” and of “accurately” measuring “mulatto-ness. As table 4. and other characteristics of each slave and free colored person. particularly after the Civil War. was collected for all persons. Beginning with the 1850 census. By the third decennial census (1820). as there appeared to be a growing concern with measuring mixture more accurately.” but by the twentieth century. with the addition of the “foreigners not naturalized” category6 (see table 4. Finally.4 The hypodescent rule also became more explicit. because previously these groups had simply been listed as household members and information about them was not collected. This was a major shift. the slaves and the free colored. Jacobson 1998). some of the tables combined slaves and free colored. they shifted away from the term color and substituted race. Its introduction suggests a distinction between the “whites” in the power structure. Williamson 1984:102). whiteness was more precisely defined. from 1820 to 1880.5 and “other races” were put into the not-white or colored column. such as exact age.2 shows. census takers were instructed to gather information on the color. sex. in both the free and slave populations.3 shows.” these figures are not reliable. A category of “other races”—for example. Now these two “not-white” groups. and “probationary whites. census forms continued to ask for “color.7 According to the published data. As table 4. Chinese. slaves. and Japanese—was added.WHITES AND OTHER SOCIAL RACES 71 Although the censuses between 1830 and 1860 reported the numbers of whites.

” b In 1890. Japanese. Agreeably to Actual Enumeration Made According to Law. Bureau of the Census (1932. 1973. Chinese. 1842).S. U. House of Representatives 1895. . 1943. an interrogative category was used: Is this person .2 The Shift from “Color” to “Race” in Decennial Censuses. U. and 1820 censuses contain the category “all other persons except Indians not taxed.S. of State (1832b.Table 4.S. House of Representatives (1895). Dept. the category stated “whether white. 1953. . 1978. 1989). octoroon. quadroon. or Indian.” Figures for these groups were reported separately and there was also a “total colored” column that provided the total for all these groups. black. Census for 1820 (1821). 1810. . “Aggregate Amount of Each Description of Persons within the United States of America. broader category. 1790–1990 1840 1850 1860 1870 1880 1890b 1900 1910 1920 1930 1940 1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 72 ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ Census Categories 1790 1800 a 1810 1820 1830 All other free persons ■ ■ ■ Free colored ■ Color Color or race Race ■ Is this person . See U. . ?c The 1800. U. 1963. c In the 1960 and 1980 censuses. in the Year 1810” (1810). “free colored persons.” But starting with the 1820 census. and the Territories Thereof. that category was placed under a new.S. . mulatto. ? a Sources: Return of the Whole Number of Persons within the Several Districts of the United States (1802).

S. p.3 Labeling Mixture and Other Races.S.S. . U. when the number of free people of color was relatively small and the condition of slavery served as a primary marker of status. Bureau of the Census 1967. the enumerators had been instructed to write “B” for “black” and “M” for “mulatto” and to leave the space blank for “white. 1895. when status could not be determined as easily and light-skinned former slaves might try to pass into the white category. Thus. (U. Counts for Indians and Chinese were reported in the 1860 census.S. The concern with correctly measuring color surfaced after the Civil War when the slave category became an anachronism. resulting in their being counted as “white. etc. the census takers were instructed: “It must not be assumed that where nothing is written in this column ‘white’ is to be understood. But “passing” was not tolerated after Emancipation. In the 1850 and 1860 censuses. b Sources: U. and it is evident in the instructions given to enumerators during this period. e.” This may have corrected what must have been a problem in the previous censuses. and race. U. but some of the tables did report separate figures for the Japanese (see. that leaving the space blank might have enabled some people of mixed ancestry to “pass” into the “white” category. the enumerators might have been inclined to leave the designation blank. 1850–1880 1850 a 1860 1870 1880 Whites Free blacks Free mulattos Slave blacks Slave mulattos Whites Free blacks Free mulattos Slave blacks Slave mulattos Whites Blacks Mulattos Indiansb Chinese Whites Blacks Mulattos Indians Chinese Japanese c a By 1850. East Indians. U. But it was in 1870 that categories for these groups appeared on the census form. Statutes at Large 1856. gender (referred to then as “sex”) was being recorded for most groups. color. 1989. House of Representatives 1883:xxvi)..WHITES AND OTHER SOCIAL RACES 73 Table 4. c A category for the Japanese was not listed separately on the census form in 1880.S.” But in 1870. The preface to the 1880 census also describes Whites and Coloreds and indicates that Asiatics includes Chinese. House of Representatives 1883:xxvi. 1978. when in doubt about the “color” of difficult-to-classify individuals.g.” This type of “passing” may have been more tolerated under slavery. Japanese. House of Representatives 1883:table 1a. 3).

a racist ideology (based on color differences) developed that served the purpose of rationalizing expansion. and all persons having any perceptible trace of African blood.S. the census publications already manifested a strong identification with northern Europe and a desire to preserve. U. Barzun 1965. Johansen 1982:84. which counted quadroons (one-quarter “black blood”). which held that group differences could be “scientifically” attributed to “race. Horsman. Sanjek 1994:5. and blacks (three-quarters or more) (Wright 1956:187). By 1850. octoroons (one-eighth “or any trace of black blood”).” In addition.8 This more complicated racial scheme was unworkable for the census. however.” It is widely believed today that in the nineteenth century. Stanton 1960. Bureau of the Census 1989:26). Gould 1981. or develop a northern European “racial” identity for the United States. octoroons.74 WHITES AND OTHER SOCIAL RACES The instructions for the 1870 census also advised enumerators to be “particularly careful in reporting the class Mulatto. As the 1850 census stated: “The great mass of the white population of this country is of Teutonic origin. Jordan 1968. “Important scientific results depend upon the correct determination of this class” (U. and it was omitted from the next one (Miller 1991:1. the “supposed lessons of the American experience hastened the collapse of Enlightenment theory and helped produce scientific theories of black and Indian inferiority. mulattoes (threeeighths to five-eighths black). and includes quadroons. Freedman 1984. with a considerable admixture of Celtic” . politicians’ speeches. Census Office 1901:cxi). and class differences (Banton 1983. Snowden 1983. The concern with mixture (understood mainly as the proportion of “black blood”) reached a peak in the 1890 census. Bernal 1987. who examined writings. Along with this debasement of other races was to come an enhancement of the white race as superior ” and more explicitly stated census concerns about the mixing of the races (1981:115).9 THE GROWTH OF A RACIST IDEOLOGY The statement that “important scientific results” depended on the correct classification of “mulattoes” and “blacks” suggests that the census may have been influenced by the then popular theories of scientific racism. slavery.S. Thomas 1989: 29–31. found that after 1815. and newspaper coverage of the period. legitimize. The word is here generic. Bieder 1986. Gossett 1963. Thompson 1989).

in different climates.S.S.” The statistics were compared for England and Massachusetts. in temperate climates. This view of a future predestined by geographic location. particularly since it was located on much the same latitude and had a climate similar to that of Europe (U. which are on the same latitude. “a race of men launched upon the tide of existence. This concern also reflected a perceived threat to the numerical and political dominance of whites and to the clear demarcation of the “races. which had evolved in more southern latitudes.” (U. the migration of northern Europeans. which are also on the same latitude. and climatic features was undoubtedly the basis of the concern with the growth of the “colored” population. Secretary of the Interior 1853b:10–11). and from seemingly less advanced people. the life expectancies of American whites were computed and compared with those in Europe and were found to be the same for the “different branches of the Teutonic family of nations. have. was seen as having a particular destiny. It was reasoned that with a predominantly northern European population. The United States. a determined course to run. imagined as a country whose population was of primarily Anglo-Saxon and Teutonic origin. That this type of discourse should appear in the census volumes was unusual. the United States would be able to compete with its northern European counterparts.S. and for those of Maryland and France. To this end. which will make its own way. The departure probably reflected the intensity of these issues before the Civil War. The assumption was that climate had determined and would continue to determine the evolution and progress of the different human races. Secretary of the Interior 1853b:10) Another assumption was that the same laws of life would prevail on both sides of the Atlantic and “produce like results upon both continents” (U. Secretary of the Interior 1853b:10).S. According to the 1850 census. in accordance with a system of laws as unalterable and supreme as those which control the physical universe. Secretary of the Interior 1853b:10). by virtue of all the conditions. and fulfil its own destiny.WHITES AND OTHER SOCIAL RACES 75 (U. as they tended to be rather bureaucratic and devoid of editorial positions. As has been truly observed.” Whites may also have feared that the colored (both slave and free) population might retaliate .

130) and a table showing the percentage increase of the free colored and slave populations between 1790 and 1850 (Kennedy 1862:17). blacks (both slave and free) constituted 44 percent of South Carolina. respectively10 (Heads of Families. free colored.8 percent and 1. Then. the demographic picture of the populace at the start of the census taking shows that the “governing race” was not so much in the majority (in all areas) as subsequent history texts suggested. in 1790. These demographic findings may have fueled the concern of many about the growth of the “colored” populations. and slaves and “all other free persons” of all ages accounted for 17. The last census before the Civil War. and slaves since 1790 (U. in which it combined both the free colored and slave populations (U. slave. Indeed. 35 percent of Maryland. and white populations by state and territory between 1840 and 1850 (Kennedy 1862:table 1.76 WHITES AND OTHER SOCIAL RACES against what one census publication referred to as the “governing race” (U. those seen to be the military and commercial guardians of the society were not the overwhelming majority of the population. Secretary of the Interior 1853a:ix. The distribution of blacks by state at this time also shows that some had very high proportions of “Negroes” (U. Dept. and 19 percent of Ohio Territory (Reference Library of Black America 1990:483). 36 percent of Georgia. The 1830 census accordingly prepared tables comparing the 1790 and 1830 populations. These concerns about the races’ mixing and the growth of the “colored” population had surfaced earlier in census documents. Secretary of the Interior 1852:20). Free white males over the age of sixteen constituted only 20. House of Representatives 1895:xcvi). the census produced tables showing the ratio of increase of the white. of State 1835).S. Congress specifically asked the census for projections of this population’s growth and its impact on the white population. contained a table comparing the growth rates of the free colored. Concern with the growth of the colored (both slave and free) population may also have been rooted in the fear that they might retaliate against the “governing race” (U. in 1860. Also in 1850. 41 percent of Virginia. This concern continued throughout the nineteenth century. in the .S.S. 22 percent of Delaware. 1908/1992:8). In 1790. Secretary of the Interior 1852:20). in the preparation for the 1830 census.5 percent. 27 percent of North Carolina. For example.S. For example. p. lxxxvii).7 percent of the total population.S.

Secretary of the Interior 1852:20) These efforts. Because of the striking rise in their numbers in the two decades before 1820. 1880. when relating the history of African Americans in Maryland. On the other hand. they were free and therefore perhaps entitled to the same rights as nonslaves. and the whites had declined correspondingly to 61. the number of colored had been more than double that of whites but that a way had been found a way to check this growth: There was in 1810. and 1890 censuses. House of Representatives 1883. the blacks would become the preponderating race. It added that during the last twenty years. “rescued the whites from the peril. the census expressed concern with the growth of the colored population.) .11 Occasionally. Secretary of the Interior 1852:20). they were found to have attained the ratio of 38. they were of African descent and thus “not equal” to free whites.S. a special census volume stated: “The tendency of the colored race to encroach upon the numerical superiority of the white continued for twenty years longer.78” (U. For example. U. of a loss of their numerical predominance” (U. in another half century. Secretary of the Interior 1852:20). (U. giving employment to a portion of the native population. 1895. in 1810.S.S. it became important to count them more precisely. On the one hand. Secretary of the Interior 1872b).WHITES AND OTHER SOCIAL RACES 77 1870.12 (See appendix D for a more detailed discussion of the concerns with the growth of this group. plus the encouragement of migration from Great Britain and Germany. reason for apprehension that.S. Free People of Color Free people of color were a challenge to the distinction between the slave and free populations.22 in a hundred of the entire population. which would otherwise have sought it beyond the limits of the State and inviting into it emigrants from abroad.S. There is reason to believe that this alarming tendency was checked by the introduction of new pursuits of industry. which seemed to be impending. until. maps were included that showed the density of the colored population and the proportion of colored in the total population (U.

e. the 1880 census listed the proportion of “defective. and civilized Indians” (U. House of Representatives 1883:477 and table xii). In other words. under the heading “Color. foreign born. categories for Chinese (and later Japanese) were added to the census form in response to the increasing numbers of Asian immigrants toward the end of the nineteenth century.15 Thus. and colored (U. 1872b:606–609). whites.” or “Indians (I)” (U.” “Chinese. Hence. .” “Chinese (C). with many more categories in the “other than white” group. defined in terms of the absence of any “black blood. Secretary of the Interior 1872a:18. 681). the census form offered a choice between two categories. government after they were relocated onto reservations (Lurie 1974).S. these additions may have been “color” groupings. dependent. and delinquent classes”—including the mentally disabled. Then in 1870. According to Carlberg (1992). it appeared that the earlier “white” and “colored” dichotomy had begun evolving into a “white” and “other than white” dichotomy. Thus. Japanese. blind. retarded.S.” “mulatto (M).14 but some tables and the introductory section of the 1890 census contain a footnote that the “colored population” included “persons of negro descent. House of Representatives 1895: 400–401.13 The addition of Native Americans reflected the growing recognition of their dependence on the U.” the enumerators were to write in “white (W). and deaf—among the native born. whites. defined by its presence.” and colored..” “black (B). they were not “colored” (as understood then). 20–21. House of Representatives 1883:926 and table ix). Whiteness and Birthplace The large influx of immigrants from southern and eastern Europe also led to a concern about how they were affecting the population at large. In addition. “whites. the census gave the distribution of native-born colored in the population according to state or territory of birth (U. In 1870.” “Indian. but they did not represent the population referred to as “colored” at the time. data were gathered according to color (i.” This method of separately reporting information on the other races was continued in the 1880 census. clxxx.S.S. but they also were clearly not “white.S.78 WHITES AND OTHER SOCIAL RACES Other Races Before 1870. Chinese.” and “colored”—blacks and mulattoes) but were reported separately by group.

and sections on the foreign-born population. Nonetheless. Whites were clearly the central category by which others were defined—as either white or not white. population over time in the birthplaces of nativeborn parents. which was an important step in the development of the hypodescent rule. thereby defining whiteness even more narrowly (Haney López 1996). Questions about immigrants and their racial origins were the subject of the government’s massive Dillingham Report. Immigration Commission 1911). foreign parents. The official definition of “mulatto” was someone with any perceptible trace of African blood. This reflected the ambiguity of whether Europe’s linguistic groups were racial groups or peoples. which focused on immigration at the turn of the century (U. these various white peoples were eventually accepted as Caucasian or American white (Jacobson 1998).WHITES AND OTHER SOCIAL RACES 79 This concern with immigrants and their impact on the total population was reflected again in the 1890 census. in combination with other state laws that required one to be a citizen in order to own property. charts. foreign born. vote. 681 ff). continued to restrict the rights of many nonwhite immigrants and to bring them to court in an attempt to be designated either “white” and/or a citizen. the rule distinguished mulattoes from blacks. in the more elaborate maps. As the century drew to a close. The persistence of the 1790 federal law requiring that naturalized citizens be white.S. Maps and tables also showed the distribution in the United States of “Natives of the Germanic Nations” and of “Greco-Latins. although it had become more complex. The report used the phrase “races and peoples” throughout and entitled its ninth volume Dictionary of Races or Peoples. and the like. At that time. questions of who was white and who could be a citizen also began to be litigated in the courts. hold office.” Pie charts described changes in the U. The United States’ bipolar structure was still in place at the end of the nineteenth century.S.S. however. 394. and colored. Now. These were called the four “elements at each census” and were accompanied by tables and discussions of the marital status of each (U. but eventually it would define all blacks (Grieve 1996:56). House of Representatives 1895:clxxix. These reports suggest the continuing concerns with preserving a national identity as a basically northern European people.16 . there were “other races” and also more information on everyone. Concern with the impact of immigration on the total population continued.

” In addition.589 colored persons. Nevertheless.80 WHITES AND OTHER SOCIAL RACES By the end of the nineteenth century. in the introduction to the 1900 census. . Used together. Although the 1900 census text was clear with regard to the division between races. persons of negro descent. Chinese. . Bureau of the Census 1989:46).” The division between “white” and “other-than-white” became much more clear-cut in the 1900 census. . . . “blood” (and its effect on color) still seemed to be an important. .788 white persons and 9. it was clear from these court cases that a basic racial structure of whites and not-whites had evolved. Chinese. Japanese. 1989).S.S. It noted. the 1900 census also added the term race to color and introduced the phrase color or race. for instance.S. and Indians not taxed were listed under the broader “Colored” column (U. Thus. . and . these terms reinforced the singularly physical interpretation of racial construction in the United States. Census Office 1901:483).990. both the white and other-than-white race groups were in fact social and political constructions.S. which in turn determined his or her “race.S. Bureau of the Census 1978. But it still counted mulattoes and blacks as two subcategories of Negro.312. a special census of Native Americans asked how much “white blood” they had (U.17 and a footnote to the “Negro” column indicated that this category included “all persons of Negro descent. Census Office 1901:cxi). it was slippery when classifying “mixed” or in-between groups. 1900–1940 The 1900 census dropped the 1890 attempt to count the black population by blood quantum of one-eighth and so forth and admitted that these figures had been “of little value” (U. Indians” (U. Curiously. whites and colored were carefully distinguished: “From these tables it appears that the population of the entire area of enumeration in 1900 is composed of 66. Now the data on blacks. Census Office 1901:cxxiv). if not the principal. . . . the latter figure comprising . Census Office 1901:cxi. Likewise. numbers omitted). Indians taxed. basis for establishing a person’s color. Japanese. THE SECOND CENTURY Color or Race. that the Croatans in North Carolina had been counted as white in 1890 and as Indian in 1900 (U. which was used on all the census forms for the next forty years (U.S. .

which further reinforced the . Malays. and Maoris” (U.” Also. the awareness that racial classification was socially constructed. of Commerce. the census more explicitly defined blood “purity” and categories. and “Porto Rico” (Puerto Rico) and also a special census of “Porto Rico” (U. Koreans. and “all other. 50). . 1921:16). For census purposes. figures for the same county varied greatly depending on whether the census enumerators were black (as in the 1910 census) or white (as in the 1920 census). the Philippine Islands. Bureau of the Census 1921:16–17). Hindus.” thereby moving the hypodescent rule to another level. while the term ‘mulatto’ (Mu) includes all other persons having some proportion or perceptible trace of negro blood” (U. Chinese. Perhaps influenced by the then politically ascendant eugenics movement.WHITES AND OTHER SOCIAL RACES 81 The 1910 census addressed the issue of in-betweenness more directly. Bureau of the Census 1989:ii.S. “The term ‘white’ as used in the census reports refers to persons understood to be pureblooded whites. the term ‘black’ (B) includes all persons who are evidently full-blooded negroes. Bureau of the Census 1922:11).S. Dept.” since the “accuracy of the distinction” depended largely on “the judgement and care employed by the enumerators” (U. Furthermore. led to a more rigid adherence to genetic ancestry.S. . the Panama Canal Zone. that is. In addition. Hawaiians. which also was influencing immigration legislation (Jacobson 1998:133. . the 1920 census reported in its introduction the “color or race” of the people in the United States’ outlying possessions—Guam. Dept.” who were “Filipinos. It gave new instructions to the enumerators that formed the basis for the following decennial censuses: “For all persons not falling within one of these [race or color] classes they should write ‘Ot’ (for other). American Samoa. Anyone with any black ancestry was now simply “black” or “Negro. The 1920 census still had a few tables counting mulattoes. Dept.18 but volume 2 acknowledged the “considerable uncertainty” concerning “the classification of Negroes as black and mulatto. This awareness that racial perception was influenced by variables such as the interviewer’s race or the community’s acceptance probably helped move the 1920 census to abandon the distinction between “mulatto” and “black. Japanese.” Paradoxically. the “colored” applied to blacks. Siamese. Marks 1995:87 ff).S. influenced by personal and social factors. for example. Indians. Bureau of the Census 1922:10. of Commerce. of Commerce. the Virgin Islands. Black enumerators found a higher proportion of mulattoes.

if the nonwhite blood itself is mixed. When the Negro culture was embraced. race was redefined as based on descent and cultural definitions rather than appearance. however. Bureau of the Census 1922:10). according to his racial status in the community in which he lives. and ethnicity was subordinated. and “the beauty of all colors and features” was recognized (p. African Americans found strength in their blackness and in that strength lay the power to stand apart from the world (p. In 1930. . although other categories were added throughout the twentieth century.19 The 1920 census also confirmed the hypodescent rule by specifying how mixed-race people were to be classified: “A person of mixed blood is classified according to the nonwhite racial strain or. “persons of Mexican birth or parentage who were not definitely reported as white . for example. Japanese. Williamson. This structure contained three divisions (whites. race was the primary means of identification. and other races) within a basically bipolar population of whites and colored. “The drive for a biracial society had reached its culmination . . . . one interesting deviation. Negroes.” a person with a mixture of “Negro” or “Indian” blood was to be classified “either as an Indian or as a Negro. 187). and Domínguez (1986) discussed this shift in the hypodescent rule and the involvement of both the government’s definitions and people’s own self-affirming and self-determining actions. A fusion of Europeans and Africans. argued that in the shift from a three. As Williamson noted. one’s race was the main determinant of one’s status. Chinese.4 indicates. obscured. 58). 3).” for regardless of ethnicity. by the eager embracement of ‘blackness’ by American Negroes” (p. a “new people” was born. Williamson (1984). they were proud and articulated their identity most eloquently in the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s (p. “Other races” included all those who were not white or a two-tier racial structure. . Accordingly.82 WHITES AND OTHER SOCIAL RACES hypodescent rule. Dept. the censuses taken between 1900 and 1940 varied little from the basic structure established in 1920.S.” Finally. the white population was divided into four groups depending on birthplace (U.20 As table 4. but .” The examples provided made clear that “regardless of the amount of white blood. or combined with race. and Indians—all those who were nonwhite or colored. according to his racial status as adjudged by the community in which he resides. The hypodescent rule also separated “race” from “ethnicity. There was. 111). Davis (1992). “negritude” was also redefined. for example. of Commerce. not by white dictation . Thus. .

Lee. stating that “persons of Mexican birth or ancestry who were not definitely Indian or of other nonwhite race were .S.” Ethnic and Racial Studies 16 (1) (January 1993): 78. or Indian were designated Mexican” and tabulated with “other races. reversed this policy regarding Mexican classification. however. “Racial Classifications in the U.21 The 1940 census.WHITES AND OTHER SOCIAL RACES 83 Table 4. or Chinese (U.” such as Native American. Census: 1890–1990. 1890–1990 1890 1900 1910 1920 1930 1940 1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 White Black Negro Black/Negro Mulatto Quadroon Indian American Indian Indian (Amer.4 Census Race and Color Categories. Japanese. Bureau of the Census 1932:1).S.) Aleut Eskimo Asian or Pacific Islander Chinese Japanese Filipino Hindu Korean Hawaiian Part Hawaiian Vietnamese Asian Indian Guamanian Samoan Mexican Other ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ Source: Adapted from Sharon M.

“What is this person’s race?” and in a major departure from the census’s two-hundred-year history.” and in 1990. it simply asked. but in the second half of the century. Fluctuating Labels. it was “color or race. “color or race” was consistently used as a label to describe groups. the question in the 2000 census will be.S. 1950–1990 Until 1940. As Haney López (1996:118–119) noted. the census form used only “race. Mexicans were shifted from their own “Mexican” category to being included in the “white” category—unless they appeared to census interviewers to be “definitely Indian or of other Nonwhite races” (U. in 1950. see table 4.4). within a decade. Board of Education decision outlawing segregation in the public schools. Similar admonitions were repeated in the 1960 census (U.84 WHITES AND OTHER SOCIAL RACES returned as white” (U. Bureau of the Census 1943:3. and the 1950 census admitted that the concept lacked scientific precision and was based on public opinion (U. more than one response will be allowed. In the years leading up to the 1954 Brown v.S. it was again “race. . Texas used the “all persons of mixed blood descended from negro ancestry” standard. “Is this person .S. in the wake of the atrocities committed during World War II in the name of racial purity (see UNESCO 1952). this practice changed. The question of “who was black” in the United States also was examined more closely and was found to have different answers in different states. ?” and provided a list of categories. some states used a broad “one-drop” rule. Bureau of the Census 1953:35). Bureau of the Census 1963:xx).22 In 1970. The census also recognized the importance of context in determining race: “Experience has shown that reasonably adequate identification of the smaller ‘racial’ groups is made in areas where they are relatively numerous but that representatives of such groups may be misclassified in areas where they are rare” (U.23 These questions mirrored the scientific and international community’s broader questioning of the concept of race. Bureau of the Census 1953:35). anyone with one drop of Negro blood was black.S.2 shows.” In both 1960 and 1980.S. in Alabama and Arkansas. . for example. After World War II. Thus. it was evident that legal definitions of a “black” person varied as well. Tennessee followed the same rule but . As table 4. the census first tried to explain the concept of race. Bureau of the Census 1943:3).” As this book goes to press.

” which suggests that Native Americans and others were now “white. referred to “all persons of African descent. For example. it may seem surprising that throughout the census’s two-hundred-year history. Utah law used a similar blood-quantum approach that distinguished among mulattoes. Interestingly. Missouri. having any blood of the African race in their veins. and the recipients chose their race from the categories supplied. Kentucky relied on a combination of any “appreciable admixture of Black ancestry and a one-sixteenth rule. Although the census forms as a whole were still administered by census takers. THE LONG ROAD TO TODAY From our current vantage point. the home of many resettled Indian nations. and opinionbased approach and shifted to a self-classification of race.” By 1970. Self-classification continued in the 1990 and 2000 censuses. “Race” appeared on the census form only at the start of the twentieth century when it was included with . Georgia referred to “ascertainable” nonwhite blood. Indiana.” Virginia appeared to differentiate black Indians from blacks when it defined blacks as those in whom there was “ascertainable any Negro blood: with not more than one-sixteenth native American ancestry.WHITES AND OTHER SOCIAL RACES 85 included mestizos. and Mississippi combined an “appreciable amount of Negro blood” and a one-eighth rule.S.” adding that the “term ‘white race’ shall include all other persons. and North Dakota—followed a more precise and simple one-eighth rule. mestizos.24 By 1980.” A number of states—Florida. Nebraska. color and not race has usually been the term of reference.” Louisiana adopted an “appreciable mixture of negro blood” standard. it defined “blacks in terms of mulattos. Bureau of the Census 1973:5). South Carolina. Oklahoma. and their descendants. quadroons. the 1970 census noted that information on race was “obtained primarily through self-enumeration” and that respondents self-classified themselves “according to the race with which they identify themselves” (U. Maryland used a “person of negro descent to the third generation” test. contextually dependent. the census appears to have begun departing from what it admitted was a very unscientific. Other states relied on what could be established. census forms were mailed. and octoroons. and Oregon had a one-quarter rule. North Carolina.

particularly in academia. Since these categories were based on supposed color differences. Is the concept of color still commonly accepted today. and the basic bipolar. new scientific and technical discoveries. such as increased and more diverse immigration. and instructions to census takers25 (U. persisting for more than 150 years in census forms. Bureau of the Census 1978. Why was the term color retained for so long on the census? It might have been inertia or a reflection of the then commonly used term colored people. is the history or legacy of this concept connected to the fairly recent introduction of the term people of color? This term is used.” The category that we think of today as “race” has undergone several transformations. This view has continued to change. “color” was in the census legislation from its inception. Thus “color” was an integral characteristic of the census. census classifications also reinforced a presumable biological basis for what were really social distinctions and definitions.86 WHITES AND OTHER SOCIAL RACES “color” on the 1900 census. This view began to change in 1950 with the census’s tacit admission that “race” is not a scientific concept but that it is often socially determined. even though the term has been discontinued officially? Finally. Nonetheless. 1989). viewing what are in effect “social groupings” as biological races. introductions. “other social races. more global and intense economic competition. In contrast. greater intermarriage.” and new views of race. changes in the socioeconomic positions of “other social races. the concepts of race and ethnicity have been confused as well. which reinforced the impression and myth of “pure” races (Lee 1993). in effect. hierarchical racial construction is being challenged as the result of a series of events. to define or unite what are.S. . many people believe that racial classifications are static and biologically based. These views were encouraged by the government’s policy requiring individuals to choose only one category to identify themselves. It was not until 1950 that “race” appeared by itself. According to Lee (1993).

Moreover. the lines between the two have not always been definite but have fluctuated. The Hispanic experience—although less contentious in this regard—nonetheless highlights the extent to which “mixture” has been 87 . Chinese. For example.’” and the 1893 case of Saito v. and the census itself has changed the labels it uses to describe various groups. U. Asian Indians. African Americans. Koreans. For example. Armenians were first classified as “Asiatic” until a federal court ruled in 1909 that they were white (Haney López 1996:130–131.” and mixed-race persons have always blurred the boundaries of these socially constructed polarities.5 The Shifting Color Line D E S P I T E T H E O V E R A R C H I N G bipolar structure that emerges from our review of census documents. Mexicans. Some people and groups have tried to alter their classification. Native Americans. These groups’ experiences are a good illustration of the shifts in racial placement and labeling by the census over time. some individuals and groups in the “other social races” have occasionally been classified as “white. and Hispanics. the 1854 case of People v. Burmese.S. ruled that Japanese immigrants were “Mongolian” (Almaguer 1994:10). Afghans. there is and has probably always been a great deal of heterogeneity within the two polarities. Hall ruled that Chinese immigrants in California were “generically ‘Indians. and Asian Indians illustrate the historical relationship between challenges to racial classification and the awarding of citizenship. Japanese. and certain mixtures (Haney López 1996). Sometimes the rulings regarding their racial status have been both curious and conflicting. African Americans. Takaki 1994:15). the groups’ challenges of their racial classification. the experiences of Native Americans. Syrians. This chapter focuses on the changes in the census classifications of Native Americans. and the influence of political factors on racial classification. Among the groups that have legally contested their racial classification or had it changed are Filipinos. Hawaiians. In particular.

Finally. This vastly diverse set of multilingual. along with Eskimos and Aleuts. they were classified as a not-white. along with the Chinese. not-Negro group within the “other races” category. and described blood quantum. in their own “Native American Indian” race category. to 1940.S. when the census first counted untaxed Indians.S.). The censuses have always collected tribal identification but only occasionally have reported it. and have influenced. referred to tribes in an “advanced state of civilization” who owned slaves (Kennedy 1862:11). This persistence is perhaps reflective of the tendencies in this country’s racial structure to ignore differences among those classified as “not white. citizenship. who thought that he had reached India.4). political considerations. for the next twenty years. Then when all Indians were first counted separately in the 1860 census. From 1860. multicultural peoples were first misnamed “Indians” by Christopher Columbus. The Constitution does mention taxed Indians. and then between 1970 and 1990. All groups exemplify the historical difficulty that the census has had dealing with mixture and with groups who have not fit neatly into discrete categories of color. The U. The fact that the federal government did not report taxed Indians separately led to the as- . they have been listed.1 Beginning in 1970. they were “American Indians”.” Although the census did distinguish between “domesticated” or taxed Indians. although Native Americans is preferred. these groups’ experiences underscore the extent to which classifications have been influenced by. the category is American Indian or Alaska Native. Native Americans were simply “Indians”. NATIVE AMERICANS The generic term used to refer to those peoples present when Europeans first arrived in North America has been modified only slightly over the last one hundred years (see table 4. It is a label that persists even today. they were listed as “Indians (Amer. Constitution states that taxed Indians are to be counted as equal to “whites” for apportionment purposes. Native Americans may have first been counted as white—if they paid taxes. Thus.” In the 2000 census.88 THE SHIFTING COLOR LINE perceived as problematic for full U. the name used to describe the group as a whole has tended to stay the same.

taxed and untaxed. The 1790 census form for New Hampshire. however. In addition to the early differentiation between taxed and untaxed Indians. for example. the U. It is not clear how these taxed Indians from New Hampshire were reported in the national figures. how taxed Indians were counted was determined by factors such as phenotype. how they were counted on the local level varied.S. Supreme Court ruled that all Indians were subject to federal taxation (Superintendent v. whereas in California. The 1900 census was the first to classify systematically all Indians residing in the United States. the census has long ceased to distinguish between those taxed and untaxed. Eventually. Again. is that untaxed Indians were not counted. Bureau of the Census 1967.447) than taxed (84. they were tabulated both separately and in the white column. In Wisconsin and in New Mexico Territory. Very likely. in order to measure the country’s “true population” (U.S. half-breeds and Chinese were listed separately under the white column (Kennedy 1862:134–135).160) (U. . the extent to which they had assimilated and/or intermarried. from our present-day perspective. Commissioner).2 By 1890. A later census showed that this was the practice: “A few domesticated or taxed Indians” had been earlier “included in the tables of the whites” (U. Secretary of the Interior 1872a:22). Of greater importance perhaps. for apportionment purposes. The 1850 census contained the first estimate of untaxed Indians (De Bow 1854a:41. and in 1940. the category of “taxed Indian” ceased to have any “practical relevance” and became “an anachronism” (Pevar 1983:155).S.THE SHIFTING COLOR LINE 89 sumption that taxed Indians had been included in the white counts.S. “half-breeds” were listed separately from Indians. In the 1860 census. the census reported that there were more untaxed Indians (189. and how much wealth and property they had acquired. In 1935. Although some Native Americans still are not taxed (those on reservations do not pay federal taxes). and the 1860 census also included figures on Indians (Kennedy 1862:134–135). House of Representatives 1895:cxxiv). not in the “white” column (U. all Indians were included in the total number of persons (Clemence 1981). But this New Hampshire census suggests that how taxed Indians were counted in these earlier censuses varied by locality.S. 1989:276). Secretary of the Interior 1853b:ix). showed that taxed Indians were included in its “free colored” column. Native Americans were also separated according to blood quantum. But not until 1870 was there a serious attempt to count such Indians. 1854b).

the 1900 special census of American Indians asked them how much “white blood” they had (U. and as noted earlier. But if they lived in Indian communities. Although the census clearly regarded Indians as a different race and half-breeds as having both “superior” (white) and “inferior” (Indian) blood.” especially if the census was “to trace and record all the varieties of this race” and considering the “small and fastdecreasing numbers” (U. Secretary of the Interior 1872a:19). It then asked: “Shall they be regarded as following the condition of the father or of the mother? Or.S. it stated that the criteria applied to “the former slave population” should not be applied to Indians (U. Thus.90 THE SHIFTING COLOR LINE By 1870. the census admitted that “Indians” had intermixed to the extent that there were few persons of “pure Indian race”3 (U. in 1890. they were to be classified as Indian. again. the hypodescent rule was not strictly applied to them because behavior and community recognition were considered in determining the race of half-breeds.6 In chapter 4. although Native Americans were referred to as a race.5 This approach was referred to as the “most logical and least cumbersome treatment of the subject. the census questioned Native Americans living on reservations about this (Thornton 1987:217). whether mixed with white or with negro stock” (U.S.S. the census finally chose a socially dependent criterion that classified half-breeds as white if they lived with whites and had the “habits of life” and “methods of industry” of whites. The census used the amount of “Indian blood” as a basis not just for counting Indians but also for awarding treaty rights and defining identity. Secretary of the Interior 1872a:19). Accordingly. Secretary of the Interior 1872a:19). shall they be classified with respect to the superior or to the inferior blood?” (U. Bureau of the Census 1989:46).S. Secretary of the Interior 1872a:19). Wilson (1992:108–125) and Jaimes (1994:41–61) maintain that gauging this socalled blood quantum has had a deleterious effect on Native Americans and is at variance with the Indians’ own definitions of themselves. that is.S. As Wilson noted. as including “persons with any perceptible trace of Indian blood. we discussed the censuses’ difficulty—especially toward the end of the nineteenth century—ascertaining the extent to which persons of African descent were “mixed. the census wondered how half-breeds should be classified racially.” The censuses also wanted to gauge the extent of Indians’ “white” or “black” blood.4 Curiously. Consequently. Secretary of the Interior 1872a:19). It began by defining the term as popularly understood.S. this blood quantum criterion imposes “non-Indian racial .

the generic term used by the census to refer to persons of African descent did change substantially over .” based on that person’s perceived blood quantum (Jaimes 1994).”7 Before the Europeans arrived. in both cases. Both were subdivided into two groups— one into free and slave and the other into taxed and untaxed. Nonetheless.” For example. This classification reflected their legal status as “property. Initially. four children of different sexes. smaller fractions of “black blood” were requested. Even within this category they were counted not as individuals but as part of a household. people intermarried across tribes but did not use the concepts of “half-“ and “quarter-breeds” or blood quantum (Wilson 1992:109. Both slave and free African Americans were subdivided according to their mixed heritage.” and in 1890. Between 1850 and 1920. a separate “free colored persons” category was introduced and retained until slavery was abolished. In 1820. the “free colored” and the “taxed Indians” were small groups that were between whites and their respective unfree and untaxed groups in terms of rights of citizenship. In addition. and five slaves. But the two broad groups also had some important differences. when each slave was given a number (names were not listed). as “slaves” and thus as three-fifths of a person. blood quantum was used in both cases to subdivide and classify the groups. Finally. and other information was not available until 1840.8 AFRICAN AMERICANS The census history of African-descent persons is similar in some ways to that of Native Americans. Most persons of African descent were first counted in a category that referred to their state of enforced lifetime bondage. they could be either “black” or “mulatto. the data might show that the Henderson household contained one white male over sixteen years of age and one white female over sixteen. 116). The gender and age of slaves were not reported separately until 1820. one generic term was applied to all persons regardless of their highly diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds.THE SHIFTING COLOR LINE 91 (and racist) assumptions onto Native American thinking. this blood quantum approach has divided—and continues to divide—the Native American community. as individuals debate what it is to be “Indian” and who is more “Indian. that is. In contrast to Native Americans.

g. Although the path to full citizenship was different for Native Americans and African Americans. Fishel and Quarles 1970. the category is “black. for in the United States. Citizenship is perhaps a society’s most basic and significant definition of rights and equality. it was a second-class citizenship status that was given to (and sometimes withdrawn from) them (see. however. which required that naturalized citizens be white. if foreign born. citizenship was not a birthright. classification as white meant that a person could be a citizen by birthright or as a result of naturalization.. A number of scholars have argued that these in-between groups did not enjoy a full citizenship status equal to that of whites. Kettner 1978). citizenship was initially given to those in between. Consequently. almost from the nation’s inception. for both groups. and in the 2000 census. neither African Americans nor Native Americans born in the United States could automatically become citizens. to free people of color and to taxed Indians. foreign-born person was prohibited by law from becoming a citizen. that is. Beginning in 1970.. Franklin 1967. CITIZENSHIP. In the early censuses. could become a citizen. the category Negro was used by itself. For a nonwhite person. it does give Congress the power to naturalize aliens. for it is the first time the group has been given a label that suggests geographic origin rather than color or race. the “white” census category.” Later. Aptheker 1968. Only one other contemporary race term does not refer specifically to geographic origin. Thus.” Then between 1930 and 1960. African Am. or Negro. they could not grant it to nonwhites. e.S. the category “black or Negro” was used. rather. AND COLOR Citizenship is related to the question of classification. Although the U. . the category “Negro” was used. Constitution does not explicitly define citizenship. and it included both “blacks” and “mulattoes. One of the first laws that Congress passed was the Naturalization Law of 1790.92 THE SHIFTING COLOR LINE time. the general outlines of citizenship were in place: a white person who was born in the United States was automatically considered a citizen and. Although the states had the right to restrict citizenship. BIRTHRIGHT. and a nonwhite. the category used was “black.” The inclusion of “African American” is significant.

the naturalization laws that allowed European “aliens” to become citizens excluded Indians. Others negotiated separate agreements and relationships with the British monarchy. Kettner. Supreme Court rejected the Cherokee Nation’s argument that it constituted a “foreign state” in the sense in which this was understood in the U. for as “nations. In Cherokee Nation v. During the nineteenth century. government officials dealt with independent and unconquered tribes on the fringes of the white settlements as “sovereign political communities. Some “Indians.THE SHIFTING COLOR LINE 93 Native Americans The relationship of the Native American nations to the new United States government changed over time.10 The federal courts and executive branch concurred in excluding tribes and tribal members from citizenship. this domestic. But many were undoubtedly absorbed as they intermarried and as white settlements gradually took over their lands and their status as tribes or sovereign political entities was challenged (Kettner 1978:289–299). Furthermore. did become citizens in accordance with their “individual circumstances. or. the Court argued that Indian nations were “domestic dependent nations” occupying a “state of pupilage. the U.9 Since Native Americans were part of these sovereign political nations.S. the U.” This meant that some de-tribalized Indians were absorbed into the white population as citizens.S. The extent of this “absorption” is not well documented. Georgia. In the colonial period. for example. the different colonial governments. this early status of “sovereign nations” gradually eroded (Johansen 1982. they were initially seen to be “aliens” and not citizens. later. Being “domestic” allowed for the extension of white laws over the Indian nations. Constitution.” After 1776.” According to Kettner (1978). dependent nation status ultimately served the purposes of those who wished to maintain control over the Indians without fully incorporating them into the community of citizens.” however.” they were not given citizenship or protection. Lurie 1974). In 1831.S. government through their tribal governments. “the central government assumed primary authority over Indian affairs—or at least over tribes outside the boundaries of existing states” (Kettner 1978:288. Even after the passage of . cites one source that found increasingly “separate and unequal treatment of Plymouth’s Indians” and not absorption. 291).

This act admitted to citizenship those Indians who severed their relationship with their tribe and accepted grants of land in severalty. the Supreme Court argued that Indians were “aliens incapable of qualifying for naturalization because of the naturalization law’s color restrictions” (Kettner 1978:294–296).) Additional legislation raised the numbers further. these numbers increased dramatically. North Carolina agreed to consider in the same way as other citizens those Cherokees who remained. they were deemed to be perpetual inhabitants with few rights—not citizens. two-thirds of them had already been admitted to citizenship through these acts and treaties (Kettner 1978:300). which envisioned the admission of a separate Indian state as part of the Articles of Confederation. the Cherokee treaties of 1817 and 1819 provided for land grants to heads of families “who may wish to become citizens of the United States” (Kettner 1978:292). Finally. It is not known how many Indians became citizens through treaties and by breaking relations with their tribes. citizenship granted in this way eroded tribal landownership systems and often led to “the destruction of the tribal organization and government” (Kettner 1978:293). For example. . Unfortunately. an 1888 law allowed both Indian women who married citizens and Indians who enlisted to fight in World War I to become citizens. the federal courts continued to rule against birthright citizenship for Native Americans.072 Indians had been admitted to citizenship through such treaties and congressional acts (Kettner 1978:293). which granted citizenship to all ex-slaves.11 Nevertheless. despite the federal courts’ decisions and the naturalization laws restricting citizenship to free white immigrants during the nineteenth century. 294).94 THE SHIFTING COLOR LINE the Fourteenth Amendment. After the removal of the Cherokees to Oklahoma in the 1830s. Other examples are the treaties with the Delawares in 1778. By the time the act to make all Native Americans citizens was passed in 1924. However. and the Cherokee treaties of 1785 and 1835. in the Dred Scott case of 1857 (also important to determining the citizenship status of African Americans in the mid-nineteenth century). which raised the possibility of congressional representation. Instead. for example. neither of these last two provisions ever took effect (Kettner 1978:291. With the Dawes Act of 1887. but the commissioner of Indian affairs reported in 1891 that before 1887. a number of treaties and statutes considered awarding citizenship to Native Americans under certain conditions. only 3. (It also resulted in the destruction of much communal tribal ownership. however.

Thus.THE SHIFTING COLOR LINE 95 African Americans Whereas the question of citizenship for Native Americans was a moot issue by those who saw Indians as belonging to (or having allegiance to and citizenship in) another “nation”—albeit a domestic. “judges could avoid fitting them into established categories of membership or non-membership” (1978:301). Slavery and noncitizenship thus remained sanctioned by law in the Southern states and by the federal government’s policy of compromise and withdrawal (Kettner 1978:302. before Emancipation. the state could not bestow citizenship. secondary. regardless of whether he or she was a slave or an ex-slave. The question at that time was not whether free Negroes were citizens but whether their status was that of a former slave or a free person. his property did not have the right to be a citizen. local laws in the South became primary. Since it was the master’s right to relinquish ownership of his property. But in the South. Those who held that they were property argued that the manumission of slaves was an individual master’s decision. Similar arguments were used in . from this perspective. they cited the discrimination as justification for their continued separate (and consequently discriminatory) treatment of blacks with regard to citizenship rights.” In circular fashion. Consequently. dependent one—individual African Americans did not have allegiance to a comparable foreign organization. whether they were property or persons. slavery declined in the North. most African Americans were slaves. and the federal government formally outlawed it. Immediately after the American Revolution. that is. and federal laws. there were moves toward manumission. 311). for if slaves could be seen as property. even free Negroes were property. therefore. Southern states such as Tennessee and North Carolina retreated from these explicitly dehumanizing stands and emphasized more active discrimination against free blacks and mulattoes as indication of their separate status as a “degraded race” or a “third class. and during the first decades of the nineteenth century. but without owners to command them. Moreover. In time. who were neither aliens nor citizens but property. by the 1830s. Kettner suggested this was a legal convenience. The phrasing of the issue of slavery and citizenship before the Civil War shows how entrenched slavery had become in some areas. the rapid rise of cotton production and the continued fear of an ever-expanding black population led to a reversal of these early antislavery tendencies.

and the language used in the Declaration of Independence. a slave in Missouri. and altogether unfit to associate with the white race.” The rationale for not granting citizenship rights was the prevailing condition of such people. “Indeed when we . nor intended to be included in the general words used in that memorable instrument. but they also supported discriminatory legislation for them (Kettner 1978:315.S. The U. he appealed to the federal courts. that they had no rights which the white man was bound to respect. Supreme Court in the Dred Scott case. nor their descendants.” Moreover.96 THE SHIFTING COLOR LINE the U. they were seen to be “so far inferior. If a slave moved with his master to a territory or state where slavery was not legal. were then acknowledged as a part of the people.” In rendering the Court’s decision. One justice referred to Negroes as “natural-born subjects” and “not citizens. When he lost his case. One concerned gradations of rank within citizenship status—did free Negroes have second-class status? Another question was whether the states could adopt a definition of citizenship that differed from that of the federal government. Sandford 60 U. Justice Taney noted. the first question was whether Dred Scott was a citizen of Missouri. Dred Scott. that neither the class of persons who had been imported as slaves. show. John F. The latter question was particularly relevant to the acquisition of new territories. A. 393. In contrast. which would hear cases only when the litigants were “citizens of different states. Chief Justice Roger B. Taney stated: In the opinion of the court. the state still determined citizenship. either in social or political relations. whether they had become free or not.S. Supreme Court (with the majority of its justices from the South) decided that he was not a citizen because he was a Negro and that residence in a free state or territory did not result in a slave’s emancipation. he sued for his freedom in the state courts.S.) Thus. 320). The language used by the Court in this case was particularly inflammatory. the legislation and histories of the times. (Dred Scott v. was taken by his master to a nonslave territory for a number of years. was he still a slave there? When he returned? These issues came to a head in the Dred Scott case. The issue of native-born free Negroes raised other questions. 10 [1856]) Justice Taney added that blacks had been “regarded as beings of an inferior order. the Northern courts favored citizenship for free Negroes.” (During this period. When Scott returned to Missouri.

he said. phenotype. which they held in subjection and slavery. taxed Indians and free people of color—often varied and was ambiguous. Justice Taney referred to the Constitution to justify his decision. Sandford. In essence. the federal policies differed from those for Europeans. and acculturation. 60 U. the citizenship status of those in between—that is. In both cases. and the African race. those of the African race. 17 [1856]). He concluded that “the negro might justly and lawfully be reduced to slavery for his benefit” (cited in Blaustein and Zangrando 1968:162). Only after the Civil War and the passage of the Fourteenth Amendment was the principle of birthright citizenship finally affirmed for African Americans. 60 U. 393. tribal relationships. it is impossible to believe that these rights and privileges were intended to be extended to them” (Dred Scott v. the type of rights they had varied by state and changed over time in some states (Kettner 1978:301). property ownership. A. 10. Some scholars have cited the Dred Scott decision as “the most farreaching judicial statement of the nineteenth century” with regard to race relations and as “the case that set the stage for the Civil War” (Blaustein and Zangrando 1968:146). The 1790 legislation was amended in 1870 to permit the naturalization of “persons of African nativity” and “persons of African descent” (Kettner 1978:331. John F. The case clarified in 1857 the national status of both slaves and free Negroes. which were replaced much later by federal policies. they could be citizens. but in others. and more restrictive local policies and needs often drove more restrictive federal policies. In both cases. in both cases. For Native Americans. Native Americans had to wait until 1924 for legislation to make them citizens. Rather. these in-between groups disappeared. In some states. and governed at their own pleasure” (Dred Scott v. the price of citizenship was the surrender of their tribal lands. 345). For African Americans. . Finally. which. whether slave or free. the citizen race was the white race. In addition. citizenship was granted initially by local regulations or agreements. A. and tribal culture. intermarriage.THE SHIFTING COLOR LINE 97 look to the condition of this race in the several States at the time.S. 13 [1856]).S. were never intended to be citizens. John F. Sandford. 393. The status and rights of taxed Indians and free blacks were also undoubtedly related to wealth. and both groups are still struggling for equal rights. who formed and held the Government. differentiated between “the citizen race. they could not.

Only a few free people of color in the United States owned slaves.” who often served as English-language “interpreters for full-blooded masters. Some scholars argue that it was a different type of slavery. the 1860 census devoted a section to Indian slavery. The laws tended to favor the Cherokees’ planter class. mainly in Oklahoma. These were southeastern tribes that had been removed from slave-owning states and been resettled. 82). Creek.” As . comprising the Choctaw. had early been a “haven for escaped black men. “servants were regarded as human beings and not chattel. or black. and sometimes they became military commanders and even rulers. with little restriction on private life but a clear separation between the red and black races. The Cherokee Nation.S. white. Secretary of the Interior 1853b:11). freely worship their god. but they were “at such variance with the needs and expectations of the majority of the tribe that the laws were widely ignored” (Strickland 1975:83). Cherokee. it is interesting that both Native Americans and free people of color owned slaves.S.5 percent of the total Indian population in these nations12 (U. but with few exceptions. own property. in the Americas and in Africa.” Some also taught the Cherokees how to cultivate the soil (Strickland 1975:79.” This kind of servitude is “not to be confused with American slavery in which the slave was regarded as chattel. The Cherokees eventually promulgated laws similar to those of the states in which they resided. slaves were often captives of war and could be Indian.) The census calculated that slaves formed about 12. Some scholars contend that slavery among Indians and free people of color differed from that among European-descended peoples. Among the indigenous peoples of North America. Initially. Indeed. (The census acknowledged that these groups were but a “small portion of the Indian tribes within the territory of the United States” [U. Secretary of the Interior 1853b:11]. and tables in its appendix listed the number of slaves held by “Indian tribes west of Arkansas. the Cherokees’ regulations regarding slavery resembled “more closely [those for] tenant farmers or hired servants. for example. maintain their family unity. and Chickasaw nations” (Kennedy 1862:10–11). but a number of Indian nations did keep numerous slaves. and in some cases defined as property” (Harris 1972:73). They could marry.98 THE SHIFTING COLOR LINE Given that their own rights to equality were often challenged. The traditional servitude that existed in African feudal society before the onset of the European slave trade did include people with virtually no freedom.

the role of the slave began to conform more closely to that of blacks in the southern cotton kingdoms” (Strickland 1975:79–80). for 162 years could not become citizens (and therefore could not own land) in some states. established certain power relations because of the rights associated with being classified as white in the United States. It is only because these rights. Rawick 1972:109–113. The extent to which this has been the case is illustrated by the example of immigrants from Asia who. However.13 As we have seen. Legal restrictions on slaves were borrowed from those of Alabama and Georgia. ethnicity. some intermarried to a greater degree and had fewer slaves. large numbers of slaves were owned just for economic benefit (Fishel and Quarles 1970. Franklin 1967:224 ff). in some cases. the “evidence clearly demonstrates that most of these restrictions were ignored” and that agricultural crops were shared. for example. and. and it was not uncommon for them “to possess horses. Foner 1964. cattle and swine” (Strickland 1975:81–82). Slavery varied among the Indian nations. census categories have reflected. and the abolitionist movement (Aptheker 1968. For example. and the Seminoles—who had also been “transplanted from slaveholding states”—had no slaves and intermarried with ex-slaves (Katz 1986. the slaves might have been the children of a free father. There is mention of “only one minor slave uprising” (Strickland 1975:84). In some instances. regardless of race. Asian Indians How individuals or groups are classified by their government is relatively unimportant if the rights of all members of the society are truly equal. The federal government’s 1790 naturalization law specified that only persons classified as free “white” .THE SHIFTING COLOR LINE 99 “plantation agriculture began to emerge. and privileges have not been equal in the United States that such classifications have become important. or they might have been “close friends who by law would have to leave the state if freed” (Fishel and Quarles 1970:128). slaves were allowed to keep guns and were educated. Du Bois 1972:235–272. or gender. color. churches. Fishel and Quarles 1970:128–132. class. practices. they might have been married to a slave. Kennedy 1862:11). sustained. schools. Many free people of color also protested slavery and helped slaves escape through their benevolent societies. Rose 1965). The majority of free people of color had a personal interest in their slaves.

he was therefore white and eligible for citizenship. U. in the popular conception they were not seen as “white.S. In Ozawa v. 261US204 concerned the question of whether Asian Indians were “white” and therefore eligible for citizenship. not just Caucasian. The Court concluded that although scientific and linguistic evidence indicated that Asian Indians were Caucasian. the 1923 Supreme Court’s decision legitimized the government’s refusal to accept scientific definitions of race and to opt instead for a definition of race that was more socially acceptable at the time. In making this decision. the Court reversed the position it had taken just a year earlier. along with the Chinese. Thind thus used this ruling to argue that since he was a Caucasian. at least sixty-five Asian Indians were denaturalized between 1923 and 1927 (Haney López 1996:91). but. A 1923 Supreme Court case involving Asian Indians used the same reasoning. Leonard 1992.” but a footnote explained that “pure blood hindus” were ethnically white and had been so declared in several naturalization cases. Japanese. It was the second one that counted. whiter than that of many white persons—he should be classified as “white. Asian Indians were counted as “white” and in others as “other race.” Consequently. The “race” of Asian Indians could be defined in two ways: one was seen to be scientific. a Japanese immigrant contended that since the color of his skin was white—indeed. and others (Jensen 1988:252). the common understanding of people in the United States was that “white” meant European and Caucasian. In effect.100 THE SHIFTING COLOR LINE immigrants could become naturalized citizens (Kettner 1978:331. 345. the Supreme Court’s decision on Thind made . and the other was based on what it was believed “the common man” thought. they were included in the 1910 census with the “other races” category. However. Bhagat Singh Thind v. In some censuses. Takaki 1994).14 The fluctuating racial classification of Asian Indians is an interesting example of both the extent to which racial definitions and classifications can change and the role of political factors in influencing racial classifications. for example. Asian Indians were counted and classified as “other race. United States (1922). it continued.” The Court then unanimously ruled that “the words ‘white person’ are synonymous with the words ‘a person of the Caucasian race’” (cited in Haney López 1996:85). Accordingly.” In the 1910 census. Filipinos.

first. during this period. not just because of “racial” classification changes. In 1990.and second-generation Mexicans were of the “Mexican race” unless they were determined by the (usually white) census . after extensive lobbying by Asian Indians. Asian Indians became a subcategory under the generic “Asian and Pacific Islanders” (API) category. In the 2000 census. legislation was passed enabling them to become citizens. they are listed along with other groups from Asia or the Pacific Islands but without the pan-ethnic API label. depending on their skin coloring. such as language.S.3).18 Thus. the county. The 1930 and 1940 censuses included a separate “Hindu” category (see table 4. Hispanics The classification of Hispanics has also fluctuated in the U. Caucasian but not white “in the common understanding” (or not European white)—to being “legally white. the 1930 census created a “Mexican” category for the race question (see table 4. census. race was socially determined.” to being listed as their own “Hindu” race category without a generic label or group.” to determine Hispanicity have changed. to again being listed as a race along with other Asian and Pacific Islander groups but not under this generic label. to being part of the “Asian and Pacific Islander” race group.” sometimes “black.17 Indians were subsequently counted as white in the census until 1980. Curiously. but also because the cultural criteria. politics influenced racial classification.19 As noted in chapter 4. “what the common man thought” (Haney López 1996:107). when a separate “Asian Indian” category was created. In 1945/46.” and sometimes “white” for the Punjabi grooms (Leonard 1992:68). Asian Indians who were Muslim or Christian were placed with Hindus in the “Hindu” category.16 It was after this time that their classification as “white” commenced.15 Toward the middle of the twentieth century. and the observer classifying them. clerks issuing marriage licenses to Punjabis in California sometimes wrote “brown. In essence. as the Court argued. For example. in 1930. as India and Pakistan moved toward independence. Thus. surname. Subsequent census classifications of Asian Indians reflected the Court’s decision.3). Asian Indians have progressed from being an undefined racial category to being “other race”—that is. and “origin. Their racial classification at the local level varied.THE SHIFTING COLOR LINE 101 clear that “white” was what people believed it to be—or.

S. Those in the Mexican category were considered part of “other races” along with groups such as the Japanese.’” and respondents could choose among several Hispanic origins listed on the questionnaire (U. In the 1970 census. in the 1960 census. Bureau of the Census 1943:3). for instance. linguistic (1940). the census dropped the Mexican category and stated that all Mexicans were to be reported as “white” unless they were determined by the census interviewer to be “definitely Indian or of other Nonwhite races” (U. Chinese. and Dominicans and Central and South Americans in the late 1960s and 1970s.” In the 1970 census. and they reported a variety of racial and ethnic groups. in response to pressure from the Hispanic community for a Hispanic self-identifier (Choldin 1986). in 1940 the census used a linguistic definition to determine who was Hispanic. If the respondents wrote in. established in 1940. and Native Americans. Indian. when mail-back questionnaires were instituted. .21 But in 1980 and 1990. (As the next chapter explains. between 1940 and 1970.20 So Mexicans moved from being Mexican unless determined otherwise in the 1930 census to being white unless determined otherwise in the 1940 census. or some other race” (U. Hispanics were permitted to classify themselves. was also applied to other Hispanics who immigrated to the United States in greater numbers after World War II—for example. Negro. or other persons of Latin descent would be classified as ‘white’ unless they were definitely Negro. the instructions for determining race or color by observation directed that “Puerto Ricans. and origin (1970). Accordingly. or Japanese.102 THE SHIFTING COLOR LINE interviewer to be definitely white. Mexicans. Bureau of the Census 1993c).S. Cubans during the 1960s. before 1980. Indian. Puerto Ricans in the late 1940s and 1950s. most Hispanics were classified as white. “Mexican” or “Puerto Rican. This criterion.) Thus. With regard to the changing cultural criteria used to define Hispanics. In 1940. the language criterion was replaced by “persons of Spanish surname. Hispanics were counted according to three different cultural criteria. surname (1950 and 1960).” the enumerators moved them according to their appearance into the racial categories listed (Lee 1993). Chinese.22 In the 1950 and 1960 censuses. a subgroup of individuals were asked “about their ‘origin. 1989:78). enumerators asked respondents to choose a category for race. Consequently.S. Bureau of the Census. political factors also played a role in the decision to include a Hispanic identifier in the 100 percent count of the 1980 census. and “persons of Spanish mother tongue” were reported.

In 1930. have been raised about whether this citizenship by conquest was an equivalent or a second-class citizenship. in rendering its judgment. it also remarked that “if the strict scientific classification of the anthropologist should be adopted. and whether this citizenship included cultural citizenship. except that the question about whether or not a person is Hispanic comes before the race question. Hernández 1997). In contrast to the other groups discussed in this chapter. that is. Many questions. the right to speak Spanish and maintain one’s culture (Acuña 1988. over time. the format used to count Hispanics is essentially what it was in 1990. they could be “of any race” they chose. or Native American. In the 2000 census.THE SHIFTING COLOR LINE 103 In sum. he would probably not be classed as white” (cited in Haney López 1996:61). it reinforced the more general rule that color was still a bar to citizenship for nonwhites such as the Chinese and Japanese. Mexicans were a “race” within the “other races” category unless the census interviewer determined they were white. black. Mexicans and other Latinos were “white” unless they clearly appeared to be Indian or Negro. the changing instructions to enumerators regarding how they were to classify Mexicans and the current census position that Hispanics can be of any race suggest that Hispanics are at least a mixed . Between 1940 and 1970. a “pure-blooded Mexican” who applied to become a naturalized citizen illustrates the ambivalence and tenuousness attached to this citizenship by conquest. however. and Puerto Rico.23 and between 1980 and 2000. Flores and Benmayor 1997:1–23. particularly in regard to “color. both various cultural criteria and various racial classifications were used to classify Hispanics. Thus. This decision and whether “a person of [Mexican] descent may be naturalized in the United States” were later questioned in the courts (Haney López 1996:242. n. whether legal repression occurred after conquest. although the Texas court did allow a “pure-blooded Mexican” to naturalize.” Although a Texas court granted Rodríguez’s request in 1897 to be granted citizenship because of the treaties’ existence. Cabranes 1979. the Southwest. Although the census never tried to measure specific mixtures among Hispanics. Perhaps somewhat incongruously. citizenship issues for Hispanics have been more a matter of defining citizenship than of securing it. citizenship was granted to many Spanish-speaking persons as a result of the treaties signed after the United States invaded Florida. The legal case of Rodríguez. 37).

maintaining that Americans saw Mexicans as less fit because they had intermarried so much with Indians and thus were not capable of governing the southwestern territories. Whether Latin Americans were racialized into a Latino group during the nineteenth century or later has not been resolved. and continue to confound. and the “conquered race” was relegated to a lower social class level than that of the “conquering race. even though the general impression is that the concept of “race” has been unequivocal and unchanging in the . the confusion of race for nationality continued. But are they a mixed lot in the same way that the United States as a whole is a mixed lot. best illustrate the permeability and shifting lines of the bipolar structure. Hispanics. Latin Americans were racialized into a homogenous group (of Latinos) that transcended the boundaries of Latin American nations. the bipolar structure that evolved in the United States. Lee 1993). For example. What is clear is that political factors have been important to the definitions of both citizenship and racial classification in the United States. mixture. THE ACADEMY. the reason is that they do not fit easily into the bipolar structure—nor in some cases do they wish to be—because of their varying phenotypes. or are they seen as mixing a lot? Horsman (1981:chaps. with the annexation of other people and the incorporation of foreign territories. In essence. RACE IN REAL LIFE. In part. perhaps more than other groups. there have been many shifts in racial classification (Anderson 1988. and perspectives on race. 11. Although such a perspective can be seen to justify the expansion of the United States into the Southwest. Forbes 1988.” With Latin Americans continually cast as persons belonging to a less advanced and different race.104 THE SHIFTING COLOR LINE lot. Hayes-Bautista and Chapa contended that with the promulgation of the Monroe Doctrine and the rise of Manifest Destiny. Hayes-Bautista and Chapa believe that the general North American public assumes that the “race” of Latin Americans is a reality and that it is the antithesis of the civilized United States population (1987:62–63). 13) argues the latter. some academics believe that this perspective also influenced how all Latin Americans were viewed. AND THE CENSUS Historically. 12. racial identification replaced national identification. It is also clear that Mexicans and other Latinos have confounded.

these census-based historical analyses may project a smoother sense of history than what the lived experience has perhaps been. As a recent extensive review of this subject pointed out. individuals also identify themselves racially and ethnically for reasons of pride and to express group affiliation. More recently.24 This contrast between the popular and the academic perspectives of race is apparent at a time when the significance of racial classification has shifted.THE SHIFTING COLOR LINE 105 United States. there is a “widespread popular perspective that race is biologically determined and permanent and that ethnicity is culturally determined and equally permanent” (Edmonston. Goldstein. Ferguson—that they should be classified as “white” so that they could be given the rights of whites. those in between have always been more dialectically engaged—individually and as groups—in contesting. transforming. Indeed. Nonetheless. Thus. the basic bipolar structure— that of whites and other social races—has prevailed. But whether race and ethnic classifications are used to include or to exclude groups. and Tamayo Lott 1996:18). ignoring. Indeed. defining groups has been a way of including them and ensuring that particular groups are not discriminated against. and these self-classifications may differ in meaning as well as in actual terminology from those used by the census for both these in-between groups and other groups. nonwhite petitioners to the courts often argued—as did Plessy in Plessy v. Almaguer holds that it has become “axiomatic in sociological research to view racial categories as sociohistorical constructs whose meanings vary widely over time and space” (1994:9). rejecting. Yet a primary perspective in the social sciences now views race and ethnicity as social constructions. The reason is that in addition to being labeled by the census (and by others in more casual situations). . resisting. or being transformed by census categories than is generally believed and than census documents might indicate. In the past. race and ethnic definitions were often ways of excluding individuals from equal membership in the society.

Harris et al. and prestige are signaled by skin color and phenotype. Wade 1985. Brazil. the Spanish 106 . Petrullo 1947:16. studies of race by North Americans have usually focused on just a few regions—for example. the greater is one’s claim to honor and privilege. the conquered and the laborers. in that it also implies a “pigmentocracy. “race” is more like a “social race” or an ethnicity (Pitt-Rivers 1975. the darker one’s skin is. Africans. Wagley 1965). Wagley 1965).2 The recent literature has highlighted this difference and consequently stressed the similarities in this regard between racial formation in the United States and Latin America.6 Race in the Americas I N L AT I N A M E R I C A and the United States. Snowden argues that the concept of “race” in Latin America is similar to that of the ancient peoples in the areas surrounding the Mediterranean (1983:97). Ginorio 1979. For a variety of reasons.”1 Few people. status. Conversely. the concept of race in Latin America has been quite different from the ancient view. 1993. Indeed. However. PittRivers 1975. and indigenous peoples mixed and produced “new people. however.” a racist paradigm in which honor. a number of scholars have noted the difference between the processes of racial formation in the north and the south (Degler 1959. the more closely associated one is with African and Amerindian peoples—that is. Europeans. Asians. The whiter one’s skin and the more European looking one is. would deny that the population stew in the United States is quite different from that in Latin America. POLARITIES ALONG THE NORTH-SOUTH AXIS Latin America is a very large and extremely heterogeneous area. Rodríguez and Cordero-Guzmán 1992. and others contend that in Latin America. Denton and Massey 1989.

and context are important to “racial classification” (Rodríguez and Cordero-Guzmán 1992.” whereas in the United States it is a group marker determining one’s reference group (Wright 1994). ancestral “blood” is only one variable determining one’s race. certain phenotypes are associated with particular linguistic or social/cultural groups. a person who would be considered white in the Spanish Caribbean might be considered black or nonwhite in the United States because of his or her color. Of course. for example. social class. dress. in the Caribbean and Latin America. the tall Otavalo Andean Indians of Ecuador and the African-descended people of the Chocó in Colombia (see Arocha 1998 for an interesting analysis of the relationship of the latter to issues of inclusion in Colombia). Moreover. Hence. as is implicit in a system based on hypodescent or genetic inheritance. related. Accordingly. Second. personality. relation of the referent to the speaker. even the Spanish and Portuguese studies may not accurately incorporate or even consider the views of the less educated or nonelite. and/or with stereotypes. Race in the Caribbean and Latin America is highly dependent on context . linguistic identity. phenotype is often viewed as an “individual marker. Other physical and social characteristics. cultural modes of behavior. In the Spanish Caribbean. Sanjek 1971:1128). with cultural types. A second. dimension is that race is not always based on just color. race is not necessarily passed down from generation to generation. Table 6. much of what is reviewed here was written in English and thus does not cover the literature written in Spanish or Portuguese that is not well known in the United States. In the Spanish Caribbean and Latin America.RACE IN THE AMERIC AS 107 Caribbean. it has been and will continue to be influenced by these changes. travel. Finally. at present. hair texture. First.1 indicates the broad differences found in the literature. The first of these four major differences between the north and south is the tendency in Latin America to see “race” as a social-racial construction and in the United States to see it as a genealogical concept. such as facial features. and Mexico. in almost all Latin American countries. and the exchange of peoples and goods between Latin America and the United States are at all-time highs and are expected to increase in this era of global transformation. education. communications. Third. the parents of a white child may be black or an intermediate shade. not all Latin American countries have been adequately researched. the following generalizations must be read with a number of provisos in mind.3 Consequently. Because race is a social construct.

S. In each country of the Spanish-speaking Caribbean. mutually exclusive Basic variable Some fluidity Unstable for mixtures or nonwhites Social-racial Multitude.108 RACE IN THE AMERIC AS Table 6. although in both the north and the south.” as they were labeled in the 1850 U.” a term not often used here. the racial taxonomies differ. referring at times to those regarded as white or black in the United States. Johnson et al. Some of these terms (e. 1997.4 That is. blancusina/o . in some countries. an open-ended question about race in a survey can yield more than 140 categories of answers (Sanjek 1971). In Brazil.g. and trigueño—for what in the United States might be called “black” or “intermediates. in many parts of Latin America. often overlapping and without clear demarcation. a person may be born “brown” but become “white” with upward mobility. whereas in the United States. race is more static and is often considered to be an ascribed characteristic. Third. overlapping One of many variables Substantial fluidity More stable and situation (Harris et al. a variety of terms are used to refer to those who are blancos (whites) or to their particular color. trigueño or moreno) also are ambiguous or have many meanings.S. white has generally been seen as preferable to or better than black because it was the color of those who conquered and colonized and were the “governing race. Secretary of the Interior 1852:20). Hence.1 General Differences in Racial Constructions United States Latin America Type of social construction Categories Role of color Fluidity over time Nomenclature Genealogical-biologicalhypodescent Few.. discrete. 1993. for example. Rodriguez and Cordero-Guzmán 1992). The various terms used to refer to racial types or categories indicate the different conceptions (and constructions) of race. jabao. Reflecting this more fluid conception of race in the Spanish Caribbean and Latin America are a variety of racial terms. a greater number of terms are consistently and commonly used—for example.5 In addition. census (U. race is more openly reported as able to change over time and space. moreno. for example. indio.

accent or speech or dress style. However.” has been applied most recently and most rigidly to African Americans. trigueño claro (light trigueño). African Americans are considered to be “black” regardless of their appearance or other factors. Many of these terms have been used for a long time and have different meanings in different countries. Alvar found eighty-two racial terms used throughout Latin America—and since the same term often has more than one meaning.” according to which one drop of “black” blood makes a person “black. If the term is modified by de negro. The “rule of hypodescent. Puchuelo is also defined as the cross between a white person and a person who is cuarterona de mestizo (one-quarter mestizo). The following example from his work illustrates how complex these terms are.” Although other social variables are often part of racial determination in the United States. puchuelo is defined as the result of a cross between a European and an ochavona. descriptive terms are used to refer to skin color that is not white-white. guera/o (blond). the very term blanco or blanquito (white) is also increasingly used to refer to removed. piel canela (cinnamon skin). In some groups. the basis is ancestry and color. thereby underscoring the relationship between perceived color and power. for example. This cross is said to produce a person of raza totalmente blanca (of the totally white race).6 Because race and color are often used synonymously. rubia/o (blond). despite early and regional or local variations—for example. he listed 240 definitions for them (1987:89–215). Finally. in the United States. and trigueño oscuro (dark trigueño). but he noted that it was coined much earlier. colorá/ado/a (reddish). powerful. in the . for example.RACE IN THE AMERIC AS 109 (very white).” in Mexico the term means the child of a white and an ochavona negra (or octoroon) (Alvar 1987:185). In Peru and Venezuela. Moreover. “of blacks. such works also demonstrate that both researchers and the lay public were aware of the magnitude of phenotypic diversity and the complexity and fluidity involved in creating such differences. Similarly. The term puchuelo was first cited by Father Morell in a work published in 1776. Asians are considered “yellow” and Native Americans “red. and jincha/o (pale). regardless of their color. In contrast. cano/a (white. Some people may legitimately object to works like Alvar’s that analyze and itemize minute differences in conceptions of race as trivializing the inherent brutality of slavery and racism. as in gray or white hair). or upper-class persons. in New Orleans—race is generally determined by perceived or imputed biological inheritance.

Wilson. and others. it is because the individual is “passing. ancestry.” for a number of generations. they tend to be seen as mutually exclusive. Indeed. as noted in chapter 4. many intermediate and stable categories have persisted over time. although increasingly many are claiming all their ancestries. the emphasis has been on constructing race categories as if they were “pure” (Lee 1993). and Hall 1992) and some terms such as mulatto and half-breed have been used by governmental bodies in the past. leaving the black community. and total Americanization for those who most resemble Europeans. persons born black remain black no matter what they achieve socially. the extent to which these different constructions of race influence one another because of immigration to the United States. when a person of African American descent becomes white. as they do in some Latino communities. As noted earlier. the racial taxonomy of the United States has reflected a small number of intermediate racial categories that have fluctuated (in both official and everyday use) over time. minoritization for other groups. Until recently. the terms white and Latino can be juxtaposed as two distinct cultural-racial groups. as in “half-breeds” or “part Asians. intermarriage between whites and nonwhites (other than blacks) has resulted in their children’s race being defined as partialized. whereas in the Spanish Caribbean and other parts of Latin America.110 RACE IN THE AMERIC AS United States. At the same time. Those persons without immediate “mixed” ancestry have not generally been so described. In contrast. so to be one is not necessarily to be the other. in Latino communities. to use this as a self-designation or category would be seen as denying their group. in the United States. Even in the African American community. Although some people in the African American community are seen as “white” by African Americans. Although African Americans have also developed a variety of terms to refer to color tones (Russell. In contrast. without any denial of ethnicity implied. In essence.” that is. It is only with the recent increase in intermarriage that the children of such unions have begun to use terms such as biracial and multiracial for themselves and that these terms have become common ways of describing individuals of “mixed” heritage. individuals are rarely considered both black/African American and white (in color). individuals never become fully white. . whites. or “true” identity. Assimilation often has meant hyphenated American status for some groups. it is not uncommon to refer to individuals as Latino and white (in color).

and the marginal and lower-status service roles. One is that Spain’s contact with North Africa made the Spanish more tolerant of different color groups than the northern Europeans were. slavery. they have tended to benefit those in power. the protagonists and major characters are usually played by northern European–looking actors. and immigration. neat racial labels on dominated peoples—and creating negative myths about the moral qualities of those peoples—makes it easier for the dominators to ignore the individual humanity of their victims. racial distinctions are a necessary tool of dominance. so I will only summarize a few of them. That is. non-European actors (Subervi-Vélez et al. such as maids and chauffeurs. both Americas have histories of indigenous conquest. race has been constructed to reflect and support class and power relations. (1992:19) A racial hierarchy was and is still evident today in Spanish-speaking America. they may also obscure the similarities. and increased communications between both hemispheres is not yet clear. DIFFERENCES AND SIMILARITIES Although the differences between north and south pertain to racial constructions. They serve to separate the subordinate people as Other. As Spickard noted. First.RACE IN THE AMERIC AS 111 transnational migration movements. The ideological and practical racial distinctions of the colonial structure of Latin America as a whole has favored the conquerors and colonizers. particularly in the ever-popular television novelas or soap operas that air in both Latin America and the United States. Each country in Latin America has developed its own racial constructions. In most novelas. Second. Putting simple. Reasons for the Differences The reasons offered for these differences are too numerous to be explained fully here. From the point of view of the dominant group. but in all cases. which has been reinforced in the Spanish-language media. 1997:234–235). are given to darker-skinned. in both Americas. Mediterranean peoples tended to see darker-skinned people as white or .

however. the Spanish conceived of slaves and Indians as vassals or royal subjects and thus as having certain rights. whereas in the United States. A third difference noted is the influence of the Spanish Catholic Church.’ and the positions attained by free blacks or colored in the society” (1985:8). “As the centuries of dispossession and enslavement of these peoples wore on. Sanjek argues that despite the initially different views of Spain and northern Europe regarding color and race. rather. This does not mean that the Spanish treatment of slaves was more benevolent but.” According to Forbes. Hoetink found in his study of the Caribbean that “there is no clear connection between the type of slavery practices. slavery was “an unfortunate accident that could befall any luckless one. all European countries looked down on both Africans and Native Americans and were reluctant to sanction intermarriage or to admit persons of mixed background to the full entitlements enjoyed by those of solely European ancestry (1994:1–17).112 RACE IN THE AMERIC AS more like them than northern Europeans did. by the late seventeenth century. In this context. 5). this view was typical not just of Spain but also of most observers before 1900 (Forbes 1988:268). that is. which had a central role in the conquest of Latin America. the churches for blacks and whites were separate. baptism. the Spanish Mediterranean world used a variety of color terms and had an awareness of many gradations in human physical types and subscribed to the general view that “human types changed gradually and blended into one another. contend that the Spanish way of viewing race shifted over time toward a more racialized view. Spaniards were used to a great variety of colors but did not associate them with a concept of separate “races. which were developed when a person of any race could be a slave.” This conception of slavery as accidental and not racial “automatically endowed [African/black slaves] with the immunities contained in the ancient prescription” (Degler 1959:28). and attendance of slaves at integrated religious services. that it was sanctioned and conceived of differently. This differed from the North American conception of slaves as property. whether ‘cruel’ or ‘mild. In Latin America.” Thus. Spain adopted the Roman slave law codes.8 For some. the role of the Catholic Church is seen to be analogous to that of the Span- . According to Forbes.7 Both Sanjek (1994) and Forbes (1988). it also promoted the conversion. the ordinariness and economic utility of such treatment were accepted more and more” (p. Indeed. Consequently.

and they contributed to the formation of the criollo class (Burkett 1978). and there were fewer slaves. In Puerto Rico. African-descended class may also have produced greater differentiation. RACE IN EARLY SPANISH AMERICA Undoubtedly all these explanations contributed to the distinctive constructions of race in Latin America. distinguished more rigidly between the white planters and the nonwhite plantation workers or slaves. Rodríguez and Cordero-Guzmán 1992). which had a plantation economy. slavery was less important as an institution. As Rodríguez and Cordero-Guzmán found. as compared with those in the . He contends that race relations in Cuba. peaking at less than 15 percent of all African Americans. which facilitated social-racial mobility (Hoetink 1985:14. the development of a large. The economies of many Latin American countries were more mixed and less dependent on slavery. (Brazil and the Caribbean were the major exceptions. may have led to a conception of race that was fluid instead of dichotomous (Duany 1985. “the greater migration of European women and families to North America as compared with Latin America—where men predominated and European women were scarce—may also have influenced the relations between races and the consequent conceptions of race that evolved” (1992:527). free. The children of such unions were.) This. In addition.9 The gender ratio was also quite different in early Spanish America. the number and proportion of “free people of color” in the United States was never very large. As a result. That is. Williams 1984). Duany (1985) illustrated the significance of economic development in racial formation by comparing the history of race relations in nineteenth-century Cuba and Puerto Rico. Indigenous and African women may more often have been mates of European men. together with the immigration of many Europeans and the substantial numbers in some countries of indigenous peoples. As appendix D explains.RACE IN THE AMERIC AS 113 ish legal code. the absence of an extensive plantation economy created a large intermediate group of free colored persons. recognized and educated. however. Hoetink 1985). in some cases. in theory it promoted a positive cultural attitude toward persons of color but in practice failed to carry it out (Denton and Massey 1989. both absolutely and proportionately.

and so forth (1988:268). acculturation. An example of how substantial the color variations were even among those classified as “Spaniards” is a 1677 roster of colonists bound for New Mexico. It lists as Spaniards those individuals described as having “fair skin. and Indians. slaves (or blacks). nor were those of “mixed race” generally reported as such. he argues. Early Spanish colonial records use color terms to describe Europeans. Even though his assumption has not been extensively researched. and so there were European Spaniards. These references contrast with the later practices in the British colonies. determined by various physical.” others as having “dark complexions. mixture (or mestisaje) was recognized in the writings and paintings of the time. Mexican Spaniards.114 RACE IN THE AMERIC AS United States. and calidad (quality) and many different terms were used to describe people physically. whose European-descended population seldom referred to degrees or modifications of color. and overlapping race categories. by tribe. social. Evidently. souls. or whites—with the last two terms sometimes modified. as in European or white inhabitants—to count populations. Finally. With some minor exceptions. we find a society with many.” Spaniards also were classified by national origin. such as reputation.12 . Africans. and again somewhat in contrast to the British colonies.11 Color terms were not used to describe Europeans. was brought by the Spaniards to the Americas and predated the extensive mixing that took place there. inhabitants. if we examine the records of early Spanish America. When and how did these differences begin? Forbes suggests that the Latin American tendency to view individuals in a “progression of colors” reflected a more Mediterranean worldview in which numerous shades were associated with Europeans. This approach. Color was apparently an adjective that could be applied to persons of different nationalorigin groups. Greene and Harrington’s 1966 compilation of population estimates in the British colonies before 1790 reflects this convention and indicates the common use of terms such as people. the basic divisions were—as in the first decennial census—whites. and Spanish Indians (Gutiérrez 1991:197). suggesting that castes were not based just on color. and economic variables. a practice not followed in the British colonies. race was determined by a variety of factors.10 In addition.” and still others listed as being “mestizos” or “dark. legal process. choice. fluid. the early Spanish American literature refers to lower-class Spaniards (or whites) as a caste.

language.” Another man was described as “mestizo. a person’s status was based not solely on race but also on calidad (1991:202 ff). Likewise. according to reputation. according to Gutiérrez. Except at the extreme ends of the color scale. Other scholars writing about early Spanish America have noted this malleability of “race” (Carroll 1991). At the same time. Consequently. however. For example. Comments that a person “appeared to be. a person could be described as español mestizo (or a mestizo Spaniard). and prieto (black)—even though color had no real legal definition. MacLeod. there was no direct correspondence “between race and actual physical color” (Gutiérrez 1991:197). writing about Central America in the seventeenth century. for example. pardo (roughly brown or gray).RACE IN THE AMERIC AS 115 Settlers in early Spanish America also emphasized racial classification according to reputation or social acceptance (Gutiérrez 1991). Calidad and color were often closely related. notes that many Indians kept their “race” but became non-Indian through dress and the adoption of language and cultural customs—becoming culturally mestizos or Ladinos ( eighteenth-century northern New Spain (now New Mexico). Katzew reports that in Mexico during the eighteenth century. and many were persons of calidad because they lived . Categories such as español. in his analysis of sixteenth. Gutiérrez discovered that a Juan Sandoval was listed “by appearance of white racial status. Furthermore. This in turn suggests that racial mixing and “passing” may have been prevalent on this remote fringe of northern New Spain (Gutiérrez 1991:198). mestizo. blacks adopted Indian and Spanish customs. as when mestizos identified themselves culturally with Indians and adopted Indian hairstyles. in this early period in Spanish America. and mulato were sometimes used interchangeably with descriptions of physical color—like blanco (white).” or “was known to be” of a certain race also indicated that classification depended somewhat on social perception and acceptance. Spaniards prized their honor. 383). a number of newly wealthy families who were descendants of Indians and slaves purchased certificates of legal “whiteness” (called gracias al sacar. which is translated literally today as “thanks to be taken out” but which may have had a different meaning at the time) (1996:12). others manipulated their racial identities for other purposes.” and still another was promoted to lieutenant because “he is known as a white man” (1991:198).” “was reputed to be. and the like in order to avoid paying tribute.

Rodríguez. As a minimum. O’Crouley. who had been dishonored by their enslavement. see also Davis eighteenth-century northern Mexico uncovered various . Gutiérrez pointed out that much of what it meant to be “honorable” was a projection of what it meant to be a free. if not solely.116 RACE IN THE AMERIC AS among (and were above) genízaros (detribalized Indians). Forbes 1988. cultural descriptors were never completely abandoned (Forbes 1988). Thus. whereas in Latin and Central America. for example. even though concepts similar to calidad undoubtedly could be found in the United States.13 Gutiérrez’s 1991 analysis of marriage and baptismal records in sixteenth. Conversely. who had been conquered. outcasts.” (Forbes 1988:269. “god-fearing” and “honest. the concept of honor was not necessarily rooted in racial-physical difference but was. “a complex measure of social status based on one’s religion. Consequently. Latin Americans distinguished first between those of legitimate birth raised by the Spanish and those raised by Native Americans. 1991:24). on biological descent or appearance. which based social and racial status strongly.” these were not generally used in racial classifications. This distinction recognized that cultural factors or socialization influenced the identity of the “hybrids. rather. for example. Nonetheless. “greater and greater emphasis was placed upon wholly biological or ‘racial’ categorization and differentiation in North America. the resulting social order tended to favor those most akin to the European conquerors yet still allowed non-Europeans to improve their position. race. or whatever.” Early North American colonists followed this same path. and especially after the Civil War. This order differed somewhat from the system that evolved in the United States. occupation. Williamson 1984) A number of scholars have noted the early use of various and changing terms to physically describe “mixes” of people as well as the conquering Spaniards (Alvar 1987. mixtures were described only biologically. ethnicity. O’Crouley 1972. so people were first members of a race and then were god-fearing. it required “whiteness” to be a citizen. calidad was not a concept that had an exact equivalent in the United States’ racial formation process. and among the Pueblo Indians. in his description of New Spain in 1774. Moreover. but by the 1800s. or Indians. lists and defines several common terms used to describe mixtures. R. ancestry and authority over land” (Gutiérrez 1991:206). landholding citizen of legitimate white ancestry. those without honor were slaves. Logan Alexander 1991. Another difference is that in North America. honest.

14 MacLeod also noted the diverse categories in early Central America. Spanish and Ladinos. This contrasts with the United States. terms referring to “mixtures” were few. castizo or genizaro. grooms. mestizo. in contrast to the United States. and parishioners. which usually meant white. where official documents or common parlance did not use many terms to refer to mixtures of people.RACE IN THE AMERIC AS 117 terms used to describe brides. the casta paintings commissioned during the 1700s by wealthy Spaniards and criollos illustrate the numerous terms used to describe the different “mixes” (Katzew 1996). also found a variety of terms used for different mixes. In the . mulattoes. A genízaro was a detribalized Indian who lived in a Spanish town. For example. for example. in some parts of the Spanish-speaking Americas. If an Indian spoke Spanish. This term is no longer used. With regard to early views of the influence of “non-Spanish blood” on future generations. but at the time it appeared as a column heading in census counts. rather. Indios were Pueblo Indians who lived in their own towns and were economically and politically independent. Although the records might classify a mother as negra (black). On the one hand. Indios. however. coyote and lobo (wolf) were widely used to refer to the “half-breed” children of Indian slave women born in captivity. for example. the sense that mixture diminished “purity” was present. Many of these terms are still commonly used in Latin America. numerous terms were used to refer to different kinds of mixes.16 Color quebrado was a broad term that did not specify the nature or extent of racial mixture but. they might also classify her daughter as lora (brown)17 or might not indicate color at all. Gutiérrez’s 1991 analysis of early records also indicates that race was not necessarily inherited. blacks. Spanish colonial records indicate that (black) race was not necessarily transmitted from one generation to another (Forbes 1988:121). the status of genízaros was similar to that of domestics or slaves (1991:150). Gutiérrez (1991). Hence.” The precise degree of racial mixture was not indicated. Others. mestizos. babies. Finally. English (1973:228). children of indigenous and African parents (Forbes 1988:130). he or she was known as an indio ladino. for example. meant “broken color” or “half-breed. According to Gutiérrez. although like the United States. for example.15 Although in the United States. Gutiérrez (1991) noted the various classifications of Indians and Spaniards in northern New Spain. examining colonial records in Mexico dating between 1690 and 1846. the picture is quite complex. are no longer employed. the blood quantum was not ranked.

of course. racist views were clearly articulated. Analysts today see the projections of wealth as reflecting the insecurities of the criollos and Spanish elite in the American colonies who were attempting to convince Europeans and themselves of the stability and prosperity in the New World. Thus. as was prominent in the north. Also. Indeed. in the early eighteenth century. some commentators of the time distinguished between the influence of “black blood” and that of “Indian blood” on “Spanish blood. Similarly. or the observations and prejudices of these particular upper-class Spanish observers. The question. The casta paintings offer a similarly complicated view. It also is curious that in these paintings. What is unusual about these paintings is that they depict the complexity of intermixing. Sometimes. in Pedro Alonso O’Crouley’s description of eighteenth-century New Spain. accepts without question the superiority of Spaniards and refers without hesitation to the more indelible stigma of mixture with Negroes as opposed to Indians (1972:20 ff). Another Spanish merchant writing at about the same time affirms this view and stresses even more the supremacy of the white pole to the black (Katzew 1996:10–11). from children who appear to be white but whose parents are described as not white.118 RACE IN THE AMERIC AS early period.S. This contrasts with how the children of African slaves or free people of color were classified in the United States. each of these mixed persons is portrayed as wealthy. Writers on the early Spanish American period also have not found evidence of a strict view of hypodescent. the Indians or blacks are not always the female slaves or Indian princesses commonly found in U. to those who appear to be black but whose parents appear to be white. Finally. and the biological and cultural supremacy of the Spanish and Europeans was often explicitly stated or assumed. the Spanish who intermarry or interbreed are depicted as being of both genders. and mixing appeared to be common. as a Spanish merchant from Cadiz. this appears to be the paintings’ purpose. we see a variety of mixtures. where mixing also occurred. they nonetheless present . Although we do not know whether these paintings were more ideal than real or whether these terms were commonly used at that time. the views of the elite class. however. The paintings’ depiction and explication of mixture are not found in the same degree in the north.” For example. marriage statistics seldom gave race. he. literature or folklore. whereas the later casta paintings show them in less affluent circumstances. is whether such texts reflected the prevailing customs.

but not as producing a “Spaniard. recoverable) with blacks.” that is. but Spaniards could return to Spaniards only if the mixture had been with Indians. there is also a return to Indian” (O’Crouley 1972:20). it was difficult to categorize the racial mixture definitively. Blacks and Indians could return to their original types. tente en el aire (hold yourself in midair) and no te entiendo (I don’t understand you). It is likely. a mestizo and a Spaniard. “Spanish stock is mixed with Indian several times over. Indeed. a Spaniard. In fact. a castizo.” The paintings also depict a return to “black. a white and an Indian could have a “white” child. the casta paintings’ racial classifications may have been attempts to clarify and stabilize what was an increasingly fluid society whose social and racial boundaries were uncertain (Katzew 1996). that as the mixtures continued to mix with other mixtures. albinos and moriscos. If. for example. torno atras (a return backward). As O’Crouley pointed out. All of this impeded “the creation of a fixed system of classification and representation” (Katzew 1996:10). even though Spanish commentators may have employed a version of hypodescent at the time. the Spaniard would return. the utility or relevance of these classifications or theories diminished. Thus. Some of the paintings depict this process. Intermarriages with blacks also are described and depicted in the casta paintings as producing white-appearing children.19 After the third generation (when everyone has eight grandparents).18 The casta paintings also show that the results of intermixture differed depending on whether a black or an Indian was mixing with a Spaniard..” which included whites and Spaniards. Suggesting the uncertainty of such boundaries are references in the literature of that time to “castes. if intermarriage continued with the Spanish. very likely only those concerned about maintaining the “purity” of their European ancestry and their “blood” claim to upper-class status or power would have worried about such distinctions (Gutiérrez 1991:292). however. as the two Spanish merchants of the time maintained.” Thus. however. and a castizo and a Spaniard. . Consequently. the difficulty of classifying these mixtures was already evident in at least two of the terms used in the casta paintings.RACE IN THE AMERIC AS 119 a striking visual contrast to how mixture was projected (or not) in the north. white blood was not “redeemable” (i. and thus the Indian stigma would disappear “because it is held as systematic that a Spaniard and an Indian produce a mestizo.e.

The records state that by the seventeenth century. these terms are still common in many Latin American countries today. mulattoes. . mestizos. mulattos. As a consequence. or hairstyle and dress also . writing in the seventeenth century about the deplorable drinking habits of the Indians and other groups of the Mexican population. mutually exclusive racial categories. As noted earlier. moriscos. which included free Negroes. and quite complex. physical type. or from white to black.e. some European immigrants remained quite poor. for example. and even Spaniards . and other social factors in determining race. pigmentation was emphasized. italics added). from European to indigenous. dependent on social perception. it had more than two categories). 235. zambaigos. and implicit and sometimes explicit racism dominated the determination of one’s social status. the notarial records indicate otherwise (1980:223). the concerns in seventeenth-century Central America about the growing number of castes. class. We also see in place by 1744 the use of intermediate terms such as pardo. mestizos. italics in original). 211–213. and déclassé white vagabonds (1973:141–42. At the same time. and it was—as the preceding examples illustrate—apparently fluid. In fact. of Blacks both locally born and of different nations in Africa. Scholars of early Spanish America explain that the racial system in place then had many of the same features found today. Biological descent was only one variable entering the racial calculus. many Latin American countries developed overlapping racial categories on a continuum from light to dark.. social networks. In essence. from early on. 192. It was not bipolar (i. and mestizos of means occasionally had Spanishborn servants. During the early Spanish colonial period. who are the worst among such a vile mob (cited in Katzew 1996:12. a polite description of individuals known to be mulattoes.120 RACE IN THE AMERIC AS MacLeod noted. described these groups as “composed of Indians. but as in the United States. MacLachlan and Rodríguez wrote that although the colonials of New Spain (Mexico today) assumed that there was an ethnic hierarchy (and historians accepted this assumption). wealth and status were not confined just to whites and that the poor included all racial groups. chinos. and the use of the term moreno for those who were negros (O’Crouley 1972). rather than discrete. lobos. .20 Siguenza y Góngoro. it may have been more stringently applied to those with African ancestors than to those with Indian ancestors. Latin America more freely acknowledged the influence of culture. other characteristics such as class. Finally.

1995:433–435. Pryor. For example. Pryor. Argentina. this variability depends on their history of settlement as well as political considerations and policies concerning the collection (or noncollection) of race and ethnic data. Chile. Costa Rica. and Uruguay) had no questions on race/ethnicity (Almey. Almey. Similarly. Moreover. the various countries’ racial and ethnic categories differ. and White (1992) examined how. those countries where Syrians. Pryor.S. the censuses of fifty-one countries classified their populations with regard to race and ethnicity. white. They found that the census forms of those countries whose settlers had a predominantly European cultural background (e.. Lee 1993. where Chinese and East Indian indentured labor was an important part of the country’s history. DeMaio. during a fortyyear period in the twentieth century. pardo (similar to brown). Miller 1991. listed separate categories for these groups. Bureau of the Census 1993). Yet despite what may have been great fluidity in early colonial Spanish America. the race order relied on the existence of oppressed “others” in order to define “the included. Statistics Canada and U.g. and sometimes these change over time (Almey. Cuba and Brazil used color terms to distinguish groups such as black. But the censuses of Central American and Andean countries usually did include questions on ethnicity and race. and yellow. and Campanelli 1990. As we saw in chapter 2.RACE IN THE AMERIC AS 121 were important indicators of social status and ethnic identity (Gutiérrez 1991:205 ff). the censuses of countries in the Americas that had slave and plantation economies generally did ask about ethnicity and race but used different terms for racial categories. race has been conceived differently in each country in Latin America because each has had a different history (Scott 1995:56).21 That is. and White 1992:7). and White 1992. For the countries in Central and South America.” and over time.22 The British West Indies. others . as do the concepts and their definitions (Rout 1976:185–312). Some countries included a category for “mixed. Bates et al.” Racial Configurations A comparison of differences and similarities between north and south may obscure the differences among the different countries in Latin America itself. Lebanese. and other Arabs immigrated in substantial numbers had separate categories for these groups. Some countries do not ask about race and ethnicity. Martin.



replaced “black” with “African.” In the 1980 censuses for Belize, Barbados, and the Dominican Republic, the Portuguese were put into a category different from that for whites (Almey, Pryor, and White 1992). Countries such as Bolivia, Guatemala, and Panama collected data on their large indigenous and nonindigenous populations. But according to Almey, Pryor, and White (1992), the data on indigenous populations were not consistent. In general, such information was collected only sporadically, and the categories changed over time. Moreover, those nations with small and rapidly disappearing indigenous populations, for example, Brazil and Chile, did not attempt to use the national census to identify and count them (Almey, Pryor, and White 1992:8). Thornton noted that Belize counted Mayans and Caribs, those who are mixed Native American and black, and that some countries counted separately those who speak another language (1987:222). Settlement history is not the only variable determining how questions of race and ethnicity are asked (Almey, Pryor, and White 1992) or how racial ideologies are expressed. Government policies, conditions of the nation-state, balance of power, and external views of race also influence how countries come to see or measure race. These factors—because they vary by country—also lead to a multiplicity of racial ideologies and policies (Graham 1990). For example, scholars have concluded that between the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Cuba and Argentina developed racial ideologies that openly or explicitly emphasized and glorified whiteness and whitening (Andrews 1980; Helg 1990; Rout 1976:193 ff); Brazil celebrated its “Racial Paradise or Racial Myth”;23 Puerto Rico talked about a sense of cryptomelanism (Serreno 1945; for a more extensive review of the literature on race in Puerto Rico, see Rodríguez 1996); Mexico celebrated “mestizaje and indigenismo” (Gutiérrez 1991; Knight 1990); and Venezuela created a complacent café con leche society (Wright 1990).24 These racial ideologies also influenced cultural self-definitions, preserved power relationships, shaped policies, and controlled the oppressed.25 Although these characteristics apply to particular countries, regional exceptions within countries and overlaps between countries can be found as well. Moreover, a particular ideology may also be found in another country; for example, El Salvador may also have a café con leche society. In addition, racial formation is constantly evolving, so the characteristics of one period may change.26 Moreover, these characteristics are drawn from analyses of writings on race, which often reflect the



class biases of upper-class intellectuals and political elites in these countries. Popular views of race may therefore be quite different from these descriptions, although one could argue that a country’s racial ideology eventually affects everyone. The process is circular. “Race” is created by cultural practices; it is articulated in a particular way by writers; once constituted, it speaks to and about culture; and it influences the way people see themselves (Nobles 1995:128). But these countries also have much in common. All have a legacy of slavery and the oppression of non-European peoples, although some countries were more dependent on slaves than others were. They all also responded to the development of racialist theories in the nineteenth century and to the shift in the balance of power during this period, with its attendant competition for political and economic dominance. Some countries responded similarly, for example, Cuba and Argentina (Helg 1990), others differently, for example, Mexico (Knight 1990). But the racialist theories and the popular thinking of the time touched them all. This thinking, in turn, influenced each country’s policies, especially with regard to immigration and national conceptions of race and identity. In effect, all the countries emphasized the desirability of whiteness and European immigration policies (Graham 1990). In the same way that all Latin American countries were affected in the past by Eurocentrism and racism, they continue to be affected in the present by new movements, for example, Afrocentrism, Latinismo, and worldwide indigenous rights movements.

Racial Legacies
Despite its different historical constructions, “race” in the various Latin American countries has been more fluid and has led to the creation of more categories than the binary division adopted in the United States. Moreover, race in these countries has not been solely determined by genetic inheritance but has been much affected by other variables such as class, phenotype, language, and degree of assimilation. When viewed through the U.S. racial lens, this view of race is more akin to ethnicity, culture, or national origin, but from the Latin American perspective, it is simply raza, “race.” Recently, this view was manifested in the responses of many Hispanics to the U.S. census’s questions about race. As noted earlier, at least 40 percent of all Hispanics in the United States responded that they



were “other race,” and many of them wrote in a Latino referent, for example, their national origin or a cultural or ethnic label. Moreover, some of the findings of studies conducted by the census echo many of the differences between the U.S. and Latin American views of race just described.27 For example, and as will be discussed in the next chapter, several ethnographers found that Hispanics, especially recent immigrants, generally do not view race as a dichotomous variable but, rather, as a continuum (Bracken and de Bango 1992; Rodríguez and Hagan 1991; Romero 1992). Respondents also conceptualize race “as a constellation of national origin, skin color and culture” (Bates et al. 1994:109). Finally, it was not only particular Hispanic groups that had difficulty with the race and Hispanic-origin questions, but all Hispanics, regardless of national origin (de la Puente 1993:37–38). A study by Kissam, Herrera, and Nakamoto (1993) found that many Hispanics understand “race” to be national origin, nationality, ethnicity, or culture and that for many Hispanics, “race” and “ethnic group” are closely related.28 According to this study, while the meanings of each of the three terms race, Hispanic origin, and ethnic group varied extensively from respondent to respondent, in contrast, the concept of national origin was, for most, well understood. The study’s focus groups confirmed the researchers’ in-depth interview findings (p. xi) and concluded that for the Hispanics they interviewed, race was closely tied to national origin and cultural identity and only weakly to phenotype or genotype (p. 32). The study also provides some intriguing discoveries about education and race. It found that education influenced the respondents’ answers, with those with more education responding in the way the census anticipated, especially to the race question. The study stated that in the cognitive interview, race “provided one of the most frustrating barriers for low-literate Hispanic respondents” (Kissam, Herrera, and Nakamoto 1993:22). Many of the less well educated respondents scanned the first three racial-group terms, blanco (white), negro (black), and “indio” (Indian). They then eliminated each and in some cases wrote in a Hispanic term. Because of the overlap for many Hispanics among race, ethnicity, and national origin, even well-educated Hispanics “expressed annoyance when they realized that their preferred racial group term was part of the amorphous group of ‘otro grupo racial’ (other race)” (p. 23). The authors decided that for the respondents, choosing the “other race” category conveyed a “disturbing and sometimes in-



sulting connotation to Hispanic immigrants about their role in ethnic interactions in the United States” (p. 23). According to the authors, the respondents felt that they had no “label” of their own and only a generic “other race” at the end of the list. The researchers concluded that the message to the Hispanic respondents was that they were less important than other races and that from the perspective of most of the study participants, the “census’s implicit conceptual framework . . . [was] considered inadequate” (p. x).29 These findings prompt several questions. How does the way that a group is seen in the United States compare with the way it sees itself? How long does it take for groups to understand their placement or classification on government forms? How might they resist, such as when people who have always seen themselves as “Cuban” or “Peruvian” are told that they are “Hispanic” and that this is the same as “Argentinean”? This is a repetition of the earlier immigrant experience in which Sicilians became “Italians” and Cherokees became “Indians.” But today, these findings involve for Latinos, at least, an apparent change in definitions of race. Many Latinos may come to the United States believing that race, ethnicity, and hispanidad (Hispanicism) all are related (because this is how “race” is socially constructed in Latin America), but they soon learn that for U.S. census purposes, these are supposedly distinct concepts; that contrary to what the ancients and other cultures believed, a race group is not the same as an ethnic group. Moreover, race is primarily biological or color based. The following anecdote from one of the census studies illustrates another dimension of the racialization process. It suggests that racial perceptions change over time in the United States. A focus group predominantly made up of immigrant Hispanic women was confused about the racial question. A more acculturated Hispanic woman in the group told the others, “What they want you to put down is ‘white’” (conversation with de la Puente, January 6, 1993). This conflict between the U.S. census’s articulation of “race” and the respondents’ views will be discussed in more detail in the next chapter.



African Americans.” The reverberations from this interpretation were many. Asians. Time magazine used this subject as a cover story. which provide a focus for a larger discussion about who reported they were “other race. Pacific Islanders. or any others who checked any category other than “white” were “brown. the 1980 census represented a historical break.” what contributed to their responses. From the perspective of the mainstream press. one of the most significant results of the 1980 and 1990 censuses was that the number of people who checked categories that were “other than white” was much higher than in the 1970 census. and what issues their responses raised. that is.S. and the definition of “American” was scrutinized even more carefully than it had been during the 1960s.1 in chapter 1 which shows these questions).1 Both questions produced surprising results. More broadly. in which it coined the colorful (and subsequently much used) metaphor “the browning of America” (Henry 1990). some corporations changed their marketing plans to be more inclusive. the census asked the respondents to indicate their race and also if they were of Hispanic or Spanish origin (see figure 1. of non-European descent or race. as well as of the persistence and pull of the United States’ bipolar racial structure. CENSUS As chapter 1 pointed out. Implicit—but largely unnoticed—in this phrase was the assumption that all Hispanics. By 1990. one of every four Americans identified himself or herself as either Hispanic or not white. For example. For the first time in its two-hundred-year history. these results and the explanations of them provide dramatic evidence of the fluidity and social construction of race.7 The “Other Race” Option HISPANICS AND THE U. Although these revelations about the United States’ changing “racial-ethnic” composition received 129 .

1 percent between 1980 and 1990 (Rodríguez 1991b:A14. practically no notice was taken of Hispanics’ responses to the race question. in 1990 it appeared five times in the question (see figure 1. in contrast to the 1980 question. DeMaio. or Native American.” Indeed. Moreover. it increased by almost 3 percent in the 1990 census. however. in which the term race did not appear at all.)2 In contrast. the proportion of Hispanics who replied that they were “other race” did not decline. and 4. Boricua. this pattern was repeated. the overwhelming majority (97.5%) of those in the “other race” group were Latino (U. increasing by 45. rather. In fact.5 million. One was that they had misunderstood or had had difficulty with the question. Martin. General Accounting Office 1993). the label race was included in the race question and was also added to the category of “other.S. Although most articles did not specifically refer to Hispanics’ “misunderstanding. or 40% of all Hispanics) chose the “other race” option (Denton and Massey 1989. Hispanics’ responses to the question differed radically from those of the non-Hispanic population. Asian. Honduran. Despite changes in the 1990 census’s race question. or some other cultural or national-origin term. after checking the “other race” box. Tienda and Ortiz 1986). “OTHER RACE” RESPONSES The literature initially offered two explanations for why so many Hispanics chose the “other race” option. they specified that they were Dominican.7 percent of Hispanics indicated that they were white.” many did refer to the “difficulty” that the race item posed or stated that Hispanic .6 percent indicated that they were black. Nevertheless. and Campanelli 1990. Many of them wrote in an explanation in the box asking for race.2). That is. (Another 57. Rodríguez 1989.3 For example. less than 3 percent of the non-Hispanic population in all states said they were “other race” (Rodríguez 1989). A comparison of the race questions used in 1980 and 1990 shows that some of the changes were calculated to reduce the likelihood that respondents would confuse race with national origin. General Accounting Office 1993:26). In 1980. in that a substantial number of Hispanics (7.130 THE “OTHER RACE” OPTION considerable media attention.S. U. the “other race” category was the second largest racial category (after “Asian and Pacific Islanders”).

S. McKenney et al. or nationality or a combination of these and skin color (Bates et al. many other foreign-born persons had difficulty reporting in the race items (McKenney and Bennett 1994:22). that is. 1993. In addition. 1994:109. Office of Management and Budget 1995:44689).. Census reinterview studies (i.”4 Neither interpretation questioned the validity of the race question. As noted earlier. House Committee 1994f:9).)” (Buehler et al. they were Hispanic. U. such as Mexican Americans’ references to themselves as raza and the common use of the term raza to refer to culture and national origin.e. 1991). . One article referred to how Hispanics had “inappropriately identified their race as ‘other’ (for example. These different understandings of race also were evident in many colloquial expressions. later analyses showed that it was not just Hispanics who had “difficulty” with the race question. la raza dominicana (the Dominican race). twothirds of those who did not specify their race did write in their Hispanic ethnicity (U.THE “OTHER RACE” OPTION 131 respondents had “difficulty” responding to questions about race (McKenney and Bennett 1994:21. Hispanics’ more cultural or ethnic view of race was also revealed in the census’s methodological . they were not a race. for example. The second explanation was that the “other race” response represented “mixed-race” individuals. some white Hispanics reported their race as other . There were other indications that Hispanics had different understandings of race. and la raza italiana (the Italian race). McKenney and Cresce 1993:173–222. la raza colombiana (the Colombian race). Rodríguez 1992. Hispanics who said they were “other race” and identified their national origin were seen to be either “mixed up” or “mixed.S. studies that later interviewed those persons who filled out a census form) concluded that in addition to both foreign-born and native-born Hispanics. Further research showed that neither of these explanations was entirely satisfactory. Herrera. In essence. This article went on to say that the Census Bureau “corrected” the classification of race for many persons and created “race-corrected data” that were later used in their calculations (Buehler et al. Kissam. and Nakamoto (1993) observed that many Hispanics chose the “other race” option because they viewed race as culture. national origin. 1989:458). Rodríguez and Cordero-Guzmán 1992. mulattoes and mestizos. 1989:458). 1994a. That is. Indeed. Rodríguez et al. other studies indicated that these responses resulted not from a misunderstanding of the question but from a different understanding of race. in the 1990 census race question. For example. . ethnicity.

birthplace. Indeed. too. The majority (63%) stated that they had chosen the “other race” option because “this was their culture. or political perspective.” Thus. Given a facsimile of the 1980 census question on race. and “Although I was born in the United States.” only 11. ital- . it does not appear that the majority of those Hispanics who say they are “other” do so because they see themselves as “mixed” (Rodríguez 1992). “Hispanics tend to see race as a continuum and use cultural frames of reference when discussing race” (U. which led to public hearings and extensive research on this issue. “I have always known this is my culture”. there was relatively little reaction after 1980 to the “other race” response.5 This. The assumption that “other race” represents mixed race may be true for some Latinos. Representative answers were “Because that’s what my parents and family are”.6 Of those who chose “other race.5 percent referred to biological “race” or mixture (Rodríguez 1992). Office of Management and Budget (1995).132 THE “OTHER RACE” OPTION and ethnographic studies investigating the reporting and undercount issues (see. Office of Management and Budget 1997a:36909). socialization.S. has not been fully supported in subsequent research. my parents are Dominican. THE GOVERNMENT’S RESPONSE Soon after the 1980 census’s results were published. As the Interagency Committee for the Review of the Racial and Ethnic Standards of the Office of Management and Budget later noted. Romero 1992. especially compared with the reactions ten years later after the 1990 census. e. Bracken and de Bango 1992.. but it cannot be assumed that it represents the view of all. The second assumption made about Hispanics’ divergent pattern of racial responses was that those who reported they were “other” were mestizo or mulatto.4 percent gave both physical and cultural reasons. Latino respondents were asked first to answer the question and then to explain their choice of category. which stated that “a high percentage of Hispanics selected ‘other race’ in the 1990 decennial race question” (U. although it does account for some responses. “That’s where my roots are”.S. Another 15. Rodríguez and Hagan 1991.S. Office of Management and Budget 1995:44690. few argued that the “other race” response represented a different understanding of race.” and/or they referred to their family.7 This delayed reaction was reflected in a high-level summary by the U.g. and Elias-Olivares and Farr 1991).

).S. such a result would have meant that the question may not have been relevant to the group or that the response was not a misunderstanding but perhaps a different understanding of the question. General Accounting Office noted that “in both the 1980 and 1990 Censuses. 1994r:95. It did not say.g. in hearings held in 1993 to reassess racial and ethnic standards. alternative explanations were not seriously explored at the time. Despite the substantial changes in thinking about these issues. it seems likely that (1) such an answer would have been noticed before the same result was obtained again ten years later and (2) a search would have been undertaken to determine why the people answered in this way before concluding they did not understand the question or that all of them were hermaphrodites. Only when the results were repeated in the 1990 census—despite attempts to discourage the “other race” response—were other explanations sought. For example. It was only later that the U. General Accounting Office. as recently as 1997.S. income) in a way that differed significantly from expectation or from the rest of answers. U. If 40 percent of any group of people stated that they were neither male nor female. marital status. The following example illustrates this point. But after the 1980 census results were known.g. the Census Bureau’s evaluations in 1980 and 1990 found that “Hispanics had difficulty classifying themselves by race” and that this difficulty led to inconsistent reporting (1997:8). Moreover. many of the expert witnesses and federal representatives accepted the conclusion that Hispanics were confused by or had difficulty classifying themselves in terms of the race categories (see. Office of Management and Budget’s interim report. the notion that Hispanics were confused lingered.. e. according to the U. Consider gender identity.S. The U. if 40 percent of a group (or more than 9 million people in 1990) had responded to any other question on the census (e..S. the Bureau found that Hispanics had difficulty classifying themselves by race” (1997:8). House Committee 1994d:234.” still stated that “some research supports the public comments that some respondents are confused about how to respond to separate race and . that this response was first given in the 1980 census.THE “OTHER RACE” OPTION 133 ics added). while acknowledging that “the [race] question may not be operating as intended.8 Would the situation have been handled or interpreted differently if the issue had not been race? In other words. 1994j:75. however. 1994m:55. These hearings will be the focus of chapter 8. would the assumption have been that the group had difficulty with or misunderstood the question? More likely.

whites always say they are white. some groups are unwavering. The following section reviews the research on how Hispanics’ responses to questions of race are affected by (1) who asks and who answers the question. ethnicity. whether the interviewer was Anglo or Hispanic or whether the respondent answered the questionnaire in private.134 THE “OTHER RACE” OPTION Hispanic origin items” (1995:44679).) In 1999. Office of Management and Budget 1995:44675). that they were not the same as or just “white.S. whether it was open-ended or closed. and (3) the context in which the question is asked. regardless of who asks the question or how the question is asked. REASONS FOR CHOOSING THE “OTHER RACE” CATEGORY Many Hispanics chose “other race” because they saw that their national origin. many Hispanics changed their classification when questioned by census personnel. the results of cognitive interviews conducted by the census led the Office of Management and Budget to decide that “there was confusion regarding the separation of Hispanic or Latino origin from race” (U. and the options offered also influenced the responses. (2) the format of the question. again suggesting confusion.” or “Asian and Pacific Islander. and their answers to questions of race often vary considerably according to context.12 Many studies refer to this variability to as inconsistency because respondents do not consistently give the same answer (U. Office of Management and Budget 1999:10). and so forth were different from the other choices on the census. and African Americans always say they are black (U. In regard to questions about race. The structure of the question.11 But Hispanics are different. It then cited the high proportion of Hispanics who marked “other” in the race question9 and reminded readers that in the census reinterview studies.S.S.” “black. . that is.” But context—often referred to as “external or methods effects”—also influenced how Hispanics responded to the race question. For example. General Accounting Office 1993:26).10 For example. or in person might have affected the answer. over the phone.” “American Indian. (The report did not note the possible role of the census interviewer in influencing this shift to another means of classifying race.

3 percent in the 1970 census to 57. the use of census interviewers to classify Hispanics resulted in significantly more “white” Hispanics and significantly fewer Hispanics in the “other race” category. (The proportions classified as black. Although race was to be self-reported by respondents using a flashcard listing the race categories. in the 1990 census. Second.) Third.” Or . in the census’s Content Reinterview Study. whether it is determined by the person being questioned or by someone else—is important to determining Hispanics’ racial classification. personal interviews were conducted with those who had earlier submitted their information on the decennial census form.THE “OTHER RACE” OPTION 135 Who Asks and Who Answers the Question The question of who determines “race”—that is. This discrepancy in racial classification occurred because in the CPS data. 3 percent were black.” 52 percent were white. 1 was percent API. U. and Masamura 1985). The proportion of “black” Hispanics remained the same in both years (Rodríguez 1991c:65.5 percent other race (del Pinal 1994:2.1). and less than 1 percent was American Indian (del Pinal 1994:4). they stated that the interviewers might have changed the “other race” responses to “white” for respondents who “looked white. in this case. But in March of the next year. Hispanics were 96 percent white and 1. the proportion of “other race” Hispanics rose from only 1 percent in the 1970 census (when census personnel determined racial classification) to 40 percent in 1980. a census interviewer determined racial classification and Hispanic origin.S. 43 percent of Hispanics were “other race. only 10 percent were similarly classified when reinterviewed by census personnel (McKenney.) Consequently. The introduction of self-identification in the census caused the proportion of “white” Hispanics to drop from 93. and Campanelli cited as a possible cause for this inconsistency “interviewer behavior in the reinterview study” (1990:554). Bureau of the Census 1992:3) (see table 7. Fernández. In a study of those who reported that they were “other race” in the 1980 census. At the same time.7 percent in 1980. Three examples are illustrative. 81). or Asian and Pacific Islander also decreased. (The “other race” category was used only when respondents refused to be placed into those specified on the form. DeMaio. Native American. when the Current Population Survey (CPS) was taken. and the “other race” category was not even on the form. Martin.

4.” paper presented at the Workshop on Race and Ethnicity Classification. Sources: Jorge del Pinal.3 21. even though a Latino may write on a census form that he or she is “white.437 51.3 1. Hahn. 1994.2 0. and Poe 1980. Ginorio 1979.7 1. Ginorio and Berry 1972. Poe and colleagues (1993) found that Hispanics were misclassified as non-Hispanic . In the case of Hispanics. and these differences between how Latinos classify themselves and how they are identified by interviewers using the same categories have been found even when the interviewers have been Latinos as well (Falcon 1995. self-classification as Hispanic. or institutional service personnel as “black. Rodríguez 1974. what Latinos say they “are” in standard U.6 0. and interviewer identification have found that self-identified Hispanics are usually labeled as white by interviewers (see Drury.S. For example. employers. Consequently. These examples show the distinction between “self-determined” and “imputed” race. p. Moy. Truman.1 Hispanics by Race in Current Population Survey and 1990 Census CPS a (%) 1990 Census (%) White Black American Indian Asian and Pacific Islander Other race Total Total population a 95.5 100.” This is called perceptual dissonance (Rodríguez 1974.9 22.4 42. Rodríguez and Cordero-Guzmán 1992. 1990 census data from 5% PUMS (Public Use Micro Sample) sample.7 3.” Conversely. and Barker 1996). “racial” terms is not necessarily what they are perceived to be by others. “Social Science Principles: Forming Race-Ethnic Categories for Policy Analysis. Martínez 1988. how people see themselves and how they are identified by others (imputed race) may be quite different.7 99.136 THE “OTHER RACE” OPTION Table 7.354 March 1991 Current Population Survey. a Hispanic who has always thought of himself or herself as dark might be considered by others as “white.” the same person may be viewed by landlords. Tumin and Feldman 1961). Other studies examining ancestry.4 0.7 2. maybe Hispanic respondents answered differently in a personal interview (probably conducted by a white interviewer) than they did on the census questionnaire. 1992). In funeral homes.

for example. One month later. “Puerto Rican.”13 a wide variety of responses were elicited. On the March 1980 Current Population Survey. and 67 percent of Cuban infants (U. This may seem morbidly amusing. Many of those Latinos who had said on the census form that they were “other race” shifted themselves into the “white” category when interviewed later by census personnel (McKenney et al. but few said they were white (11. Hispanics identified themselves overwhelmingly as “white” to a census interviewer who presented them with four non-Hispanic choices (Chevan 1990). however. 1993). Rodríguez and Cordero-Guzmán (1992) found that if an open-ended question were used to ask Puerto Ricans their “race. when Hispanics were filling out the census form in the privacy of their own homes and were offered an “other race” alternative.” “Spanish.5%) responded with ethnic descriptors. Other health surveys have found similar discrepancies between self-classification as “Hispanic” and interviewer identification as “white” or “black” (see Lindan et al. but it has serious practical implications for calculating infant mortality rates. Massey 1980). for example. for example. As Chevan (1990) noted.” Part of the question’s context is the presence of other cultural groups in the census’s race question. 48 percent of Puerto Rican.1%) or black (1.” or “Latino. The Format of the Question The format of the question also has an impact on how Hispanics respond.6 percent.6%). Nationally. Office of Management and Budget 1997a:36910).S. as were 20 percent of Mexican. How the question is structured or phrased also affects how Hispanics respond. The majority (57. when Latinos are faced with rigid categories that do not include either a Hispanic or an “other” category. most Hispanics choose “white. more than half of all Hispanic infants who died within a year (between 1983 and 1985) were classified as either “white” or “black” on their death certificates. the proportion of white Hispanics fell from 97 percent to 55. For example. Some . 1990. Thus. 40 percent chose the “other” option (and wrote in a Latino referent).THE “OTHER RACE” OPTION 137 on 19 percent of death certificates.” This was discovered to be the case in the 1990 census reinterview studies. in the course of one month. the mere presence of an Anglo interviewer was found to influence responses. Chinese and Japanese.

Moreover. because the question about race preceded the question about Hispanic origin. when Martin. Bureau of the Census 1992:3. and in 1997. in 1990 the word race was inserted into the race question numerous times. race as cultural or social (U. Even though formatting issues did influence the “other race” responses. In addition. for the appearance of these groups on the census form might activate a sense of race more akin to that developed in Latin America. continued to report that they were “other.S. In other words.” More recent experiments in which the Hispanic and race items were reversed resulted in fewer persons reporting they were “other. As we have seen. The presence of such cultural groups on the census form became part of the context to which Latinos responded. it was decided to place the Hispanic question before the race question in the 2000 census because government research showed that “Hispanics appear less confused by the race question and do not select the ‘Other’ race category as often” when this is done (U. DeMaio. This is quite plausible. the respondents might have mistakenly assumed that the question was asking about ethnicity. and this induced them to respond culturally as well. and Campanelli (1990) reversed the sequence of the race and Hispanic-origin questions in experimental tests (the Hispanic question was asked first). however. the question included other cultural groups like theirs.138 THE “OTHER RACE” OPTION have argued that this may have prompted Hispanics to respond “other” and write in a Latino referent (Lowry 1982. Foreignborn Hispanics. The format and sequencing of the questions and the presence of other cultural groups in the question were the main reasons offered that Hispanics checked the “other race” category. because the format of the question did not include the word race. the percentage of Hispanics born in the United States who reported “other race” dropped. when the term race was reinserted into the question in 1990. and so they responded to the question by also identifying themselves culturally. racial self-classification is very dependent on context. Wagley 1965). that is.S. they did not account for all the other race responses.” . Consequently. Office of Management and Budget 1997a:36940). Tienda and Ortiz 1986). Hispanics might have assumed that the race question was asking about their “Hispanicity” or Hispanic origin. In this case. This is consistent with the view that for Hispanics.14 The format—where the question is placed on the census form and how the question is asked—also influences the responses. the proportion of Hispanics saying that they were “other” rose.

THE “OTHER RACE” OPTION 139 but the category of “other race” was not eliminated (Bates et al. 15). The most recent and largest government surveys to date obtained substantially the same findings (U. social situation. school admissions. for example. WHO CHOOSES THE “OTHER RACE” RESPONSE? Based on the presumption that the process of Americanization will produce Americans with similar racial views. 1994.S. U. “Other remained the preferred race for a large minority. and low levels of . McKenney et al. Office of Management and Budget 1997a:36912). with their identifying more consistently as Hispanic in urban areas and less consistently in areas with few Hispanics and also among English monolinguals. loans. 1993. Esbach and Gomez (1998) found similar contextual shifts among Hispanic youth. housing and employment” (1997:15). Office of Management and Budget 1995:44679). options on application forms. as illustrated by the Puerto Rican woman who commented at a seminar on race: “The only time I respond that I am ‘white’ on a questionnaire is when I’m applying for a mortgage or a loan. or “perceived advantages in applying for scholarships. found that 40 percent of their mixed-race and Hispanic respondents changed the way they reported their racial/ethnic background depending on the context. different contexts may have particular consequences.S. U.S.” Other situational factors affect how Latinos and other groups respond to questions about both race and ethnicity. Johnson and colleagues. From the respondents’ perspective. Bureau of the Census 1996a. 1997.5%) to indicate ever having identified themselves differently” (p. Hispanics with two Hispanic parents were “much less likely (12. As Bates and colleagues (1995:452. Changes in self-awareness and identification also were responsible for changes in reported identity.” These studies and their results will be discussed again in chapter 8. The Context in Which the Question Is Asked The context in which the question is asked also influences responses. 455) concluded. we would expect that those Hispanics reporting that they are “other race” would be more likely to have been in the United States for the least amount of time and to be foreign born. have limited English skills and education.

The relationships between these variables and how Latinos racially classify themselves are complicated. for which classification as . With greater age and education. but many of those with more education also check “other race. This is not always the case.” As figure 7.140 THE “OTHER RACE” OPTION acculturation. The most notable finding in this analysis was that the tendency to self-classify as “other race” persisted for substantial numbers of all Hispanic groups. foreign or U.-born individuals over the age of 18) with regard to each of the preceding variables. regardless of age or educational attainment. fewer of this same older. Even in the oldest and most educated group (aged 45 to 90). Mexicans and Puerto Ricans report they are “white” more often and “other race” less often. For example. more than 73 percent of college-educated Mexicans (aged 45 to 90) reported they were “white. however. less educated group chose this option. Correspondingly. Moreover.. The respective figures for Puerto Ricans were 70 percent and 44 percent. while more (58%) of the younger.e.17 It is also considerably larger than the 2 percent or less of non-Latinos who choose the “other race” category. my analysis of the 1990 census data shows a similarly complex picture.1 indicates.S.S. the proportion of those who say they are “other race” does decline for all the major Hispanic-origin groups as educational attainment rises. birthplace. knowledge of English. or level of acculturation (i. In part. The following section examines the largest Hispanic-origin groups (those with substantial proportions of U. the higher numbers of Mexicans and Puerto Ricans indicating they are “other race” is associated with the fact that they are younger as a group. despite increasing age and education. whether or not respondents were immigrants) were consistently associated with choosing an “other race” response (1995:452–454). self-classification as “other” remains substantial in all groups. Bates and colleagues’ multivariate analysis did not find “conclusive evidence” that educational level. educated group of Mexicans reported they were “other race” (22%).15 Those Least Educated Do those who choose the “other race” category tend to be less educated? Yes. in the 1990 census data.” compared with only 41 percent of young Mexicans (aged 18 to 26) who had an eighth-grade education or less.16 In addition. but each group has a different slope and profile.

1991a) on Puerto Ricans in New York in the 1980 census. but the trend is in this direction. although the cell sizes were small and additional controls were necessary. “other” showed the most precipitous decline as educational attainment rose. These results are consistent with my earlier work (Rodríguez 1989. there was an intriguing rise in “other race” reporting and fall in “white” classification for the youngest and most educated group. that is. 22 percent of Mexicans and 25 percent of Puerto Ricans with a graduate school education still reported that they were “other. The data indicate that higher education does not always mean a greater likelihood of classification as white. 1990 Public Use Micro Sample (PUMS) 5% sample.1. They suggest that Hispanics’ tendency to choose the “other race” option is not necessarily the consequence of low educational attainment.THE “OTHER RACE” OPTION 141 FIG. those under age thirty-five with some graduate education. 7. Self-Classification as “Other Race” and Educational Attainment.” In addition. Are those with more education also those seen as white and/or those who see themselves as white? Or is it that the very process of higher education— in both Latin America and the United States—induces a change in racial .18 The association between higher education and more frequent selfclassification as “white” raises questions about causation. 1990.

we would expect more foreign-born Hispanics to report they are “other race” and more native-born Hispanics to classify themselves in traditional U. many also choose other race. McKenny and Bennett 1994:22).-born persons in these groups. concepts. my analysis (Rodríguez 1989. racial terms. In the three Hispanic-origin groups. that 53 percent of foreign-born Mexicans and 44 percent of native-born Mexicans chose the “other” category and supplied a Latino referent (1992:22–23).S.66 percent of Puerto Ricans born in the states.S.born individuals over the age of eighteen—that is.” or whatever.20 De la Garza and colleagues obtained similar results from their sample of 2.” for example. Born? Given that the foreign born tend to self-classify themselves differently than do the U. still classified themselves as “other race.142 THE “OTHER RACE” OPTION classification. race categories.-born Latinos classified themselves as “white.S.2 shows this distribution for the largest group.-born Mexicans and 42. They found.” or “API/NAI” than did their foreign-born counterparts.S.S. 1990) of earlier 1980 census data on Puerto Ricans in New York City found that 48 percent of both those born in Puerto Rico and those born in the states chose the “other race” category. Puerto Ricans.S. This is the case. born (Martin.-born Latinos choose traditional U.S.” “black.817 Latinos in the United States. but what is striking is that there are still relatively high proportions of U.S.S. Finally. Those Who Speak Spanish at Home Knowledge of the Spanish language is important to racial classification.-born Hispanics who choose the “other race” category. that is. however. Mexicans. and Campanelli 1990. it appears that although a majority of U.19 Solid proportions of the U. 41. for it conveys terms. Mexicans. and perspectives that do not exist . as “white. DeMaio. especially Mexicans and Puerto Ricans.62 percent of U.21 In sum.S. Figure 7. with large proportions of U. for example. so that individuals come to see and to identify themselves as white? Immigrants or U.” “black. and the “other Spanish/Hispanic” (OSH) group—more U.

Born and For- eign Born.2. Spanish-language terms for “intermediate” racial types like trigueño or moreno are incorporated and influence one’s worldview. The 1990 PUMS (Public Use Micro Sample) data do seem to support the hypothesis that those who speak only English at home are more likely to classify themselves in standard U.3%) was considerably smaller than those who speak Spanish at home (50.3 percent. NAI includes Native Americans. in turn. This may. the pattern was the same. API includes Asian and Pacific Islanders. 1990.” or “API/ NAI. in English. For example. that is. make Latinos more likely to report that they are “other race. 1990 Public Use Micro Sample (PUMS) 5% sample. race terms.S. within these admittedly smaller “English-only” Latino groups. Racial Self-Classification of Mexicans. For example. 7. U.5%).” “black.S. race terms. more persons classified themselves in traditional U.S.” “black. the percentage of Mexicans who “speak only English at home” and classify themselves as “other” (37. with the respective figures being 27.THE “OTHER RACE” OPTION 143 FIG.”24 These results are consistent with earlier work that found a higher percentage of those who spoke only English at home reporting .” for they view “racial” identities through different lenses. 18 and Over.23 Consequently.8 percent and 50.” or API/NAI.22 This was true for almost all the Hispanic-origin groups examined. as “white. as “white. For Puerto Ricans.

although a knowledge of English was not by itself consistently associated with choosing the “other race” response. socialization (in a Spanish-language environment) may be more important than birthplace to determining the racial self-classification of Hispanics. The circular migration and transnational migrations and communities associated with many Hispanic groups. affected by a Latino’s exposure to primary and secondary language environments. phenotype. race terms. or family color constellation—for example. The relationship of language to racial classification clearly is complex. Therefore. for example. Dominicans. . Colombians. Other variables may be significant. 1990).25 More research is needed to understand the role of these and other variables in determining racial self-classification and identity. Rodríguez and CorderoGuzmán (1992). assimilation. but more research is needed in this area (Bates et al. speaking Spanish at home may also be associated with classifying oneself as other race. found that age. with changing one’s racial classification. speaking only English at home did seem to influence the choice of more traditional U. and racial self-classification. The amount of travel to one’s country of origin may also affect language retention. For example.144 THE “OTHER RACE” OPTION that they were white or black (Rodríguez 1989. being the darkest sibling in a family—affect racial self-classification? In particular. Puerto Ricans. As Bates and colleagues noted. McKenney and colleagues’ finding (1993) that speaking another language at home is associated with “inconsistency”—that is. The extent to which the Spanish language is retained and its racial terminology and constructions are applied is. and the respondents’ perception of North Americans’ racial perception of them were strongly related to Puerto Ricans’ racial self-classification. and Mexicans. For example. does living in areas with a high proportion of Hispanics influence how Hispanics racially classify themselves? What is the effect on Latinos’ selfclassification of living near large (or small) proportions of other groups?26 How does national origin. regardless of one’s proficiency in English—also suggests that exposure to Spanish-language environments is important to retaining intermediate and alternative views of race. 1995:452–454). for example. are important in this regard.S. we need to investigate why many Latinos born in the United States continue to classify themselves as “other” and to write in a Latino referent. education. in turn.

But because of these differences and the complexity of the question. 1990) that older. then “persons migrating from one country to another are likely to encounter an official schema for classifying origin. Controlling for age. mainland-born Puerto Ricans. but these results were not statistically significant. time periods. controlling for age. However. 1995:435). Rodríguez and Cordero-Guzmán (1992). eroded hegemonic discourses in race and ethnicity in both the sending and receiving countries (Duany 1998b) and contributed to redefinitions of identity (Duany 2000).” particularly regarding migration to the United States (1998b:148). the more often they classified themselves as white or black. The following studies used different samples. He also found that transnationalism. The question is whether the way that immigrants report their race changes as their time in the United States increases.” found that “length of time in the United States” was only moderately related to self-classification as white rather than other race. The assumption is if race is socially constructed. race or ethnicity which is quite foreign to them” (Bates et al. that is. Duany examined Dominican migration to the United States and Puerto Rico and found support for the restructuring of “cultural conceptions of racial identity.THE “OTHER RACE” OPTION 145 Those Who Have Been Here the Longest The research on Latinos who have lived in the United States for a long time is very limited. the findings must be interpreted cautiously. education. that the older they were. Latinos who had lived longer in the United States were also less affected by the reversal of the race and Hispanic-origin questions and . “back-and-forth” travel patterns. and methodologies. and how the Puerto Rican respondents thought they were “racially classified by North Americans. and the few data we do have—although often qualitatively rich and provocative—are preliminary and only raise more questions. I obtained the same result for Puerto Ricans born in Puerto Rico but now living in New York. Bates and colleagues (1995) found that more recent immigrants to the United States reported that they were “other race” more often than earlier immigrants did. mainland-born Puerto Ricans in New York City classified themselves as black and white more often than did younger. Taking an ethnographic approach. I found (Rodríguez 1989.

Pedraza-Bailey 1985. however. reversing the sequence of the race and Hispanic-origin questions appears to have affected the racial self-classification of Latinos born in the United States. that the changes represent a shift in the nature of the migrations before and after 1980 or that changes in the respective countries are contributing to the differences in racial self-classification patterns. and Salvadorans. This is consistent with the hypothesis that greater exposure to the United States increases the tendency to choose the white or black category. Finally. . changes in the way in which “race” is addressed by these countries’ political leaders.146 THE “OTHER RACE” OPTION tended to choose the white and black categories (Bates et al. Escobar 1999). in turn. e. suggest that the amount of time spent in the United States may not be sufficient by itself to determine racial self-classification.32 It is tempting to conclude that these observations of racial classification patterns reflect an alteration (or the lack thereof) in the racial classification of immigrants the longer they live in the United States. there is little difference in the racial configuration before and after 1980 (see table 7. Portes and Bach 1985). such as relative socioeconomic status. changes.2). If we compare the racial classification pattern of Hispanic immigrants who arrived in the United States before 1980 with those who arrived after 1980. Puerto Ricans. but not of those born abroad.28 Colombians. The childhood years? Young adult years? Teenage years? Also important is the respondents’ subjective assessment of their time spent in the United States or their country of origin. whether immigrants who have arrived more recently have a different racial-classification pattern than do those who arrived earlier varies by country of origin. At the same time.31 Other groups also show some. may be influenced by other variables. This. Taken as a whole. the results of these studies and of more journalistic writings (see. It also is possible. Just as important may be which years were spent in the United States or in the country of origin.g. but relatively trivial. the pattern of racial classification varies considerably by group. for example. That is.29 Dominicans. there were substantial changes among Cubans. The clearest example of this among Latino groups are the Cuban migrations before Castro and soon after Castro and the Mariel boat lift (García 1996. and phenotype. discrimination. aspirations.30 and Panamanians.27 In essence. the nature and timing of immigration streams affect the racial classification patterns of Hispanic groups.. With regard to Mexicans. 1995).

82 -0.902.37 +1.81 -0.02 -9.32 +4. race categories. an open question on race produced a majority of responses that referred to what is considered in the United States as “ethnicity” but generated a small fraction (12.54 -36. and did the closed question restrict their response? Even though the open-ended question in the 1992 Rodríguez and Cordero-Guzmán study asked specifically about race.23 -5.69 -23. A closed question produced greater numbers of respondents classifying themselves as white or black.733.49 -0.28 +0. of Immigrants Arriving before and after 1980 White (%) Black (%) API/NAI (%) Other (%) Total Mexican Puerto Rican Ecuadoran Colombian Guatemalan Salvadoran Other Latin American Other Spanish/Hispanic Cuban Dominican Panamanian Non-Hispanic Total -1.29 +14.19 +0.73 +1. they said they were intermediate or trigueño (a wheat-colored individual).37%) than for the pre-1980 immigrants (45.44 +2.33 +6.83 +5. as noted earlier.01 +2. ALTERNATIVE VIEWS OR DENIAL We also need to understand better whether the phrasing of the question about racial classification may frame the response.49 -0.35%).228 322.85 1. by Racial Classification and Hispanic-Origin Group.534 120. If we think of the questions as representing contexts to which individuals respond.2 +2. Source: 1990 (Public Use Micro Sample) 1% sample.52 -19.34 +0.06 +2.74 +0.486 58.421 121.6 -22.155 264.7%) of responses that conformed to traditional U.2 +2. but the same proportion indicating they were “other.59 +1. and the majority (54.06 -3.S.947 251.328 153.5%) used physical referents. however. did the open-ended question allow the Latinos in this study to express their own view of race.76 -1.14 +0.31 -0.35 +0.937 Figures indicate the percentage difference between pre-1980 and post-1980 immigrants.35 +0.272.228 3.2 +31.” In this closed question. it .2 Percentage Differences.09 +0.58 -3.39 -0.15 +0.88 +0.604 150.06 -5.6 +5.658 264. For example.39 -1.THE “OTHER RACE” OPTION 147 Table 7.64 -7. white and black (Rodríguez and Cordero-Guzmán 1992).98 -1.19 +2.27 +0.63 +0. For example.093 174.85 +8.13 +2.646 7.77 +0. that is.24 -0. fewer of those who said they were “other” (20%) used ethnic referents. the percentage of Mexicans reporting that they were white was lower for the post-1980 immigrants (43.62 +5. for example.

8 percent. from 5. When Rodríguez and Cordero-Guzmán (1992) asked the respondents how they thought North Americans viewed them. we might argue that Latinos’ choice of an ethnic descriptor. which is to be expected.1 percent. The largest percentage of the group that chose the “other” category (28. as opposed to a racial descriptor. reflects the disinclination of many Hispanics to identify as black and that many more Latinos would be classified or identified as black by others than this study or the census figures indicate. from 1.9 percent. According to Rodríguez and Cordero-Guzmán (1992). From another perspective. The closed question and the presence of categories for white and black. the number who said they were white increased substantially.” and another 11. Puerto Rican. What changed was how they defined “other. since such terms or concepts are not common in English. If there are dual contexts in which the ways of viewing race (or understanding the question about race) differ and if many Hispanics see .148 THE “OTHER RACE” OPTION yielded several responses that ignored physical attributes. But we do not know to what extent these responses may have been influenced by the presence of a Latino interviewer.1 percent to 38. the proportion answering “black” doubled.1 to 11. however. The small proportion who said they were black raises the question of whether they had an aversion to classifying themselves as black or whether they really believed that they were simply not identified as black. when the question was closed and the respondents were asked whether they considered themselves to be white.5 percent.” This shift in responses does indicate coexisting dual racial contexts and the respondents’ awareness of them.5 percent did not specify the kind of “other.5%) thought that they would be seen as “other.” The number of “intermediate” or trigueño terms that had been chosen by 30. This suggests that more in the group thought they would be seen as “darker” when viewed through North American eyes. and the proportion assuming they would be seen as “white” fell from 38. black.8 to 30. introduced a more North American racial context in which the respondents answered in more physical-racial terms about themselves.6 percent to 5. Spanish” or “other. and those who said they were black increased slightly. or other. suggesting that the respondents saw their “race” through their cultural frame of reference. from 11. But the proportion who thought they would be seen as “other” stayed about the same. We also need to understand better why so few in the study responded “white” in the first open-ended question.6 percent of the group dropped.

ethnicity. McKay and de la Puente’s 1995 study used seventy-four respondents from various racial and ethnic backgrounds who had been recruited by community organizations. which might have been because of different methodologies and samples. Still others recognized an intellectual distinction between race and culture but ignored it in their everyday lives or when describing their own identity or themselves. HAITIANS. and my 1992 study used fifty-eight Latinos predominantly from the Northeast. in which the respondents were asked to define race and culture (Rodríguez 1992).THE “OTHER RACE” OPTION 149 race as culture. Did they do so because they felt culturally or socially “none of the above” or because they refused to become officially “brown” in the eyes of North Americans? And what determines racial reporting in the other categories? ASIANS.33 McKay and de la Puente’s analysis (1995) of cognitive interviews contained conceptual questions about race and ethnicity. Some respondents saw race as “independent of culture” and responded to questions of race and ethnicity in the way in which the census expected. do they distinguish between the concept of race and that of culture? In the United States. many saw race as inseparable and indistinguishable from culture. But they decided that their respondents found the questions too difficult. Their results thus differed from those of my 1992 study.” and “Do you think there is any difference between race. and so forth. For example. Straus . What seems apparent at this point is that many Latinos chose (and will choose) the “other race” category. national origin. and others defined race in geographic terms (as “where they came from”). these two concepts are distinct. and ancestry?” These results are intriguing but require more research with larger numbers to find out how other Latino groups in other parts of the country would respond to standardized questions. JAMAICANS. In one small study. in the census’s ethnographic studies. AND RACE Hispanics were not the only group that did not answer as expected or that were seen to have problems with the race and ethnicity questions on the census. My questions were “How do you define race?” and “How do you define culture?” and McKay and de la Puente’s were “Please tell me what you think is the most important characteristic that defines race.

Hispanic origin and ancestry questions on the census form” (de la Puente 1993:38). It was important.C. Chinese American for race.. only thirteen classified themselves as such in subsequent interviews (1991:10). The preliminary results indicate that these non-Hispanic groups also had different views of race.” or “black”? Respondents were also asked about the Hispanic question.” “Afro-American. This study also focused on cognitive understandings of race and ethnicity. Wingerd found that the Haitians she studied checked “other race” or left it blank (1995:17). foreign-born black’s. and Vietnamese. or Pacific Islander’s self-concept of race and ethnicity would result in misreporting. and ancestry. in order to determine the extent to which an English-speaking. cognitive interviews with twenty Filipinos. All these results led to the conclusion that “the way people view their own ethnic or racial identity and the way they perceive the identity of others is a complex psychological and sociological phenomenon that needs to be better understood before modifications are made to the race. Koreans. or other problems. nonresponses. 1992. and Bunte and Joseph discovered that the Cambodians they studied were confused because they were not specifically listed in the Asian and Pacific Islander category (1992:10–11). In focused. ethnicity. foreign-born blacks and Asian and Pacific Islanders in Washington. Rodríguez and CorderoGuzmán 1992). inconsistent responses. D. how did Haitians or Jamaicans view such terms as “African American. Chinese. Asian’s. The results of another not-yet published study by the census were similar (de la Puente 1993). checked “other” and wrote in. to determine how much their culture and beliefs about race and ethnicity influenced their definitions of race.150 THE “OTHER RACE” OPTION noted that of twenty respondents classified as Native Americans in the Chicago census. similar to those discussed in chapter 2 as having existed in ancient times and also to those found in research with Hispanics (Rodríguez 1991c. For example. de la Puente (1993) found that the respondents: • Tended to interpret “race” as “national origin. In this study. 1994a. therefore. to acknowledge their “dual” origin.” • If born in the United States. for example. San Francisco. and Miami were interviewed in English and were part of focus groups. . to understand the respondents’ thought processes and the terms they used when answering questions about race and ethnicity.

the question of how people view (or viewed) themselves becomes very interesting. Instead. When the respondents finally understood that the census wanted historical information in regard to ancestry. they supplied their national origin.THE “OTHER RACE” OPTION 151 • Had some awareness of the U. It may be that the more education that people have in any country. questions concerning “race” are very much affected by contextual variables.” or “my history. and they could not understand why race and culture were different concepts. EDUCATION AND RACIALIZATION The role of education may be very important to constructing one’s concept of race. such as Puerto Rican. Dominican. some had different interpretations of the word. Haitians in Miami considered it almost an insult to be called black. which in turn affect their responses. For example. The variation in Latinos’ responses (compared with the more . Summary In summary. Judy Wingerd observed that in her research.” These concepts match Latinos’ explanations of why they checked “other race” and wrote in a Latino referent. for Latinos. for example. “Chinese. or Honduran in response to the census’s race question (Rodríguez 1992). Although the younger people that Wingerd interviewed learned to call themselves black. In Creole. the Haitians she interviewed had their own register of colors and resisted being confined to one color.” “the area of the country I’m from. Most of the Haitian interviewees were both poorly educated and immigrants to the United States. view of race but retained their own views for self-definition. the term raz (race) is equivalent to “my people. the more often they are exposed to either an alternative or the dominant view of race in the United States.” Once we realize that the way race is currently viewed in the United States is not necessarily the way it is viewed by others or the way it has been viewed historically. • Had trouble understanding terms like ethnic origin and ancestry because of their limited proficiency in English.S.

S. Whether the tendency to choose “other race” represents (or incorporates) a denial of blackness or an alternative view of race needs further research.152 THE “OTHER RACE” OPTION consistent responses of whites. placement. format. we will examine in the next chapter the political sources accompanying these changes. The U. skin color. birthplace.S. which differed from that generally used in the United States. nor were they forced into the “other” response solely by context. or a combination of these. they interpreted the question according to their own frame of reference. Who asks the question. culture. We also must ask whether this question itself reflects the hegemonic nature and pull of the United States’ bipolar racial structure. The respondents who answered “other race” to the race item were not necessarily “mixed” or mixed up. Office of Management and Budget stated that it changed its data collection standards and policy because it needed to collect information reflecting “the increasing diversity of our Nation’s population stemming from growth in interracial marriages and immigration” (U. structure. . and Asians) reflects the influence of context. and the question’s phrasing. Our review of Latinos’ “other race” responses sheds light on the complex dynamics underlying these changes. and purpose all affect Latinos’ responses. whether the interviewer is Anglo and a Hispanic category is a possible choice—the presence of other cultural groups as categories. But what also is evident from this review is that many Latinos who chose the “other race” category saw their “race” as equivalent to their nationality. African Americans. who answers it. ethnicity. Rather. familial socialization. Office of Management and Budget 1999:3). and how and where it is asked—that is.

House of Representatives 1994). (3) the shift of Native Hawaiians from the “Asian and Pacific Islander” category to the “Native American Indian” category. each had been advanced by representatives of the affected constituencies. the one area in which there was agreement was on the need for more research.1 Except for the proposal on Hispanics. The U. and social redefinition. and (4) the inclusion of “Hispanic” as a race category. Census: (1) the addition of a multiracial category. as it was responsible for 153 . Surprisingly.S. and government officials and community representatives commented on the proposals (U. (2) the addition of a special category for Middle Easterners/Arab Americans.S. chair of the House Subcommittee on Census. completed a series of hearings on federal measurements of race and ethnicity. But no groups formed alliances to support any of the proposals. There was nothing particularly remarkable about a series of hearings conducted by a fairly junior congressman. especially when they received relatively little press attention. What made them extraordinary were their proposals.2 Rather.S. and Postal Personnel. The proposals also implicitly reinforced the social constructedness of race categories and their malleability and susceptibility to political. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) also agreed at the hearings to undertake a comprehensive review of the race and ethnic categories used by government agencies. all four proposals challenged the status quo and the assumptions inherent in the government’s current racial and ethnic classification. Congressman Tom Sawyer. Statistics.8 Redefining Race in 2000 I N N O V E M B E R 1 9 9 3 . intellectual. THE PROPOSALS The hearings focused on four proposals to amend the race item on the U.

and Hall 1992. for example. the possibility that a person might have more than one racial identity (particularly at the same time) defied the conventional approach to race in the United States. that is. to meet the needs created by legislation passed to protect civil rights monitoring and enforcement. 1977. white. black. the concept of multiple identities. Directive 15 had been issued on May 12. This concept is particularly relevant to Hispanics and to other groups as well. the children of interethnic or interracial marriages. and Williamson 1984 for excellent analyses of the evolution of this racial construction). passed one year earlier. as well as the requirements of Public Law 94311.3 Whereas all the current racial categories assume one (predominant?) racial identity.S. exclusivist way of viewing race. or Native American Indian. Consequently.154 REDEFINING RACE IN 2000 Directive 15. and publication of economic and social statistics on persons of Spanish origin and descent. This new approach questioned the rule of hypodescent—in which one drop of black blood makes a person racially black (see Davis 1941. and second-generation immigrants from many European. which was inherent in the multiracial proposal. ethnically identified Jews. and Asian countries. Russell. Asian or Pacific Islander. this mutually exclusive way of viewing race has enabled North Americans in the United States to think of racial categories as representing “pure” races (Lee 1993). analysis. House Committee 1994n). Even the “other” race category in the current census race question is mutually exclusive. . for example. whites and blacks that has produced “mixed” children has thus been overlooked and the myth of “pure” races sustained. The extent of mixing (miscegenation) between.”4 As noted earlier. Caribbean. which called for the collection. a multiracial category would acknowledge that a person could be more than one race. Wilson. Multiracial Americans The multiracial proposal challenged the long-held assumption that racial categories were (or had to be) mutually exclusive. Despite the traditional. is increasingly viewed as appropriate for people with various heritages. which specified and defined the categories (U. for it is the choice to be checked when one is “none of the above.

because the census classifies Arab Americans as white. and the Arab American representative who argued in its favor did so on behalf of the population of the entire Middle East. Middle Easterners and Arab Americans have most recently been classified by the census as white. Shohat and Stam 1994). She argued for “an ethnic non-racial classification for persons from the Middle East”—whether or not Arab (U. House Committee 1994g). some Arab Americans identify as white. although a number of scholars have noted that the media regard Arabs as nonwhite (Naber 1998. and others have blonde hair and blue eyes (Naber 1998). with a broad range of phenotypical diversity—some Arab Americans have very dark skin and kinky hair. and the way they are determined in the United States. it was the proposal for a “Middle Eastern” category that most challenged traditional and idealized assumptions about race and ethnicity in the United States by pointing to precedents already in place. Thus.5 The Arab American representative contended that Middle Easterners/Arab Americans deserved their own category for many of the same reasons that Hispanics and other groups have their own categories.6 According to one Arab American researcher. The arguments presented raised basic questions about the nature of race and ethnicity.REDEFINING RACE IN 2000 155 Middle Easterners/Arab Americans Although the multiracial proposal garnered the greatest media attention. some identify as nonwhite because they feel discriminated against because of their political views or their Muslim identity. The representative argued that such counts were necessary because of current . many Arabs and Middle Easterners identified themselves as “people of color” and that this classification was increasingly influenced by current political and ideological disputes and representations (U. which in mainstream American discourse is seen as different from and inferior to a white identity (Naber 1998).S. it is difficult to get a separate count for the group. Moreover. One argument was about self-classification versus classification by others. Furthermore. The proposal was for a Middle Eastern category. Shaheen 1984. some were embracing a notwhite-American position at the same time that they were being classified by the census as white. House Committee 1994g:183). The Arab American representative also pointed out at the hearings that in their personal lives.S. and others as nonwhite.

These protections were seen as necessary because of the discrimination against them. the Arab American representative pointed to “perhaps a demonstration of certain cultural disadvantages” that Arab Americans might experience and to the possibly greater affirmative-action benefits and protections to be gained as a result of identifying as a minority. had similar religious. For example. linguistic. in which Arab Americans are often viewed negatively because of the United States’ changing political relations with some Arab nations. Consequently. and to preserve their religious and cultural practices. and others. which has been documented by the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (Ekin and Gorchev 1992). languages. and were distinguishable from the European-based white majority. This discrimination is seen as related to the politicization of ethnicity. In addition. Turks. “The rationale for the Hispanic classification was to measure a population sharing common geographic and linguistic roots that could distinguish them from the rest of the white population” (U.S. faced similar discrimination and exclusion. The institute pointed out that the Asian and Pacific Islander race category was similar in that it transcended precise racial characteristics and covered a geographical region that represented many nationalities. The Arab American Institute contended as well that both the Hispanic and the Asian and Pacific Islander categories contained models relevant to the reclassification of Middle Easterners. who.7 The proposed Arab American category would include Arabs. Another trend noted is the change in rates of immigration. Afghans. Iranians. and even racial groups. the focus on the increase in politically related discrimination. The representative noted that the current context favoring diversity conflicted with the speed with which Middle Easterners/Arab Americans were becoming Americanized. with a more (physically and socially) diverse stream of Middle Easterners currently coming to the United States than in the past.156 REDEFINING RACE IN 2000 trends. House Committee 1994g:188). it was argued. such as discrimination against Arab Americans in the United States. the . Arab Americans noted a number of fluid and contextually dependent race constructs in the classification of Hispanics and Asians. they would continue as unassimilated (or visible) and persecuted minorities and therefore should be counted separately. Also mentioned was the current context of pluralism. which encouraged immigrant children to respect and be proud of their diversity. to view their native language as an asset. and cultural backgrounds.

rather. the greater diversity of the immigrating population. Office of Management and Budget noted that establishing a new category would require a “consensus building effort to arrive at appropriate terminology and a definition” (U. the Arab American Institute’s spokesperson insisted that Arab racial identity is ethnic and not racial (Samhan 1994). But it is also possible that—regardless of the benefits to be gained— Middle Easterners/Arab Americans. and the establishment of affirmative-action benefits all are context-dependent factors that influence how those affected view themselves and others. set-asides. Some of the issues in this group still requiring resolution were whether the term Arab American or Middle . like Hispanics and other groups or individuals.REDEFINING RACE IN 2000 157 cultural context celebrating diversity. a new pan-ethnic group (Edmonston. Goldstein. “Just as self-definitions internal to racial minorities evolve and emerge. categories formerly used to exclude individuals now have been used to include individuals in affirmative-action programs.” In other words. Office of Management and Budget 1997b:36934). In essence. This shift has introduced. Arab Americans should be counted as a separate group. In its final recommendations. however.” in which one’s (white or nonwhite) racial status is seen to bear no relationship to a group’s identity as a group. they explained that in order to keep up with the changing realities. the lines between and around race and ethnicity as identifiers continue to blur. but rather a recognition of new realities. and so forth (Fienberg 1994). Some readers might view the Middle Eastern proposal as an attempt to capitalize on the benefits associated with the shift from an exclusionary to an inclusionary categorization. the U. a new tension into the issue of classification. with some groups wanting to be classified as protected minorities so that they can benefit from these programs or because they need the programs’ protection. the greater retention of cultural differences. Their position reflects a different view of “race. may simply want to be viewed in accordance with their own self-conceptions of race and identity. House Committee 1994g:188). Moreover. at a later workshop. A Middle Eastern category was not established.8 What was perhaps most interesting in the representative’s presentation is that her request did not represent “a racial redefinition. their position in American society had changed. As a result of the civil rights movement.S. shift and intersect over time” (U.S. the representative pointed out.S. Indeed. and Tamayo Lott 1996:33). Arab Americans were not changing their “race”.

Native Hawaiians are not listed under the Asian and Pacific Islander category but have their own “Native Hawaiian” category along with other Pacific Islanders. which differs from that of Native Americans. also challenged another tradition: the use of geographic origin (with its implied biological characteristics) to determine race. commerce. Between 1826 and 1893. the United States recognized Hawaii as a sovereign nation and extended it full diplomatic recognition. and not just their geographic location on the Asian and Pacific side of the globe. Native Hawaiians placed themselves alongside groups like Native Americans. ships to enter Hawaiian waters and dock in its ports. which countries should be included? Native Hawaiians The request by Native Hawaiians to be counted in the “Native American” category. Native Hawaiians insisted that their history as a conquered and indigenous people be acknowledged. or should the definition be more restrictive. government’s colonial and imperialist past.S.S. Should the category be defined as pertaining to persons whose “mother tongue” or culture was Arabic. Hawaii’s treaties with the United States concerned friendship. It was in 1920 with the passage of the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act that Native Hawaiians were first classified according to a blood quantum definition of 50 percent. who claim certain federal benefits based on earlier treaty agreements in which they exchanged land for perpetual educational and health provisions. and permission for U. . Instead. and Spanish Americans in the Southwest who do not consider themselves immigrants to the United States but see themselves as part of the United States because the United States came to them and took over their land. In the 2000 census. there has been some change. Puerto Ricans. instead of in the “Asian and Pacific Islanders” category. But in 1893. As Hawaii’s Senator Daniel Akaka explained. Before 1893.-backed military coup overthrew the constitutional monarchy headed by Queen Liliuokalani and in 1898 ceded Hawaiian lands to the United States (U. “Native Hawaiians have a unique historical and political relationship with the United States” (quoted in Omandam 1997).S. Although the Hawaiians’ proposal was not supported. a U. In so doing. and if so. House Committee 1994o:199).S. The Hawaiian proposal displayed the U.158 REDEFINING RACE IN 2000 Eastern should be used.

”9 It . was that it was not advanced by the constituent group. which were sent to 5 percent of households. (Only ten thousand copies of the long form had been printed. the compromise reached was that the question would appear on the long form sent to 5 percent of households.” arguing that it was too late to test such an item and that “existing procedures for identifying Hispanic individuals were more valid” (1986:407). Nor is it clear who first advanced this proposal. The proposal challenged the Census Bureau’s official position that race and ethnicity were separate concepts. and it would reclassify what had been an “ethnic group”—in which Hispanics could be of any race—to a “race” group. In 1970. Since millions of questionnaires had already been printed.” such a question was included in the 1970 census long forms. This question relied on self-identification and was not tied to parental birthplace or Spanish surname. however. the census had resisted the demand for a question in which respondents would identify themselves as “Hispanic. But the White House intervened and instructed the secretary of commerce to add a “Hispanic” self-identifier. This lack of Hispanic involvement contrasted sharply with the Hispanics’ earlier involvement with the census.) The question was also tested in the 1969 Current Population Survey. in which all Hispanics were one race. The lack of constituent support for the proposal to include Hispanics as a race category was not noted during the hearings. as earlier questions had been (McKenney and Cresce 1993:175–176).REDEFINING RACE IN 2000 159 Hispanics Finally. “in response to demands by community groups for a comprehensive self-identification measure of Hispanic ethnicity. It called for a new category on all the questionnaires and for Mexican-American or Chicano face-to-face. The results of the 1970 mail-out. Spanishspeaking enumerators. mail-back questionnaire were disputed and protested by Mexican American organizations who decided on a class-action suit. An important difference. Although the case never went to trial. the House subcommittee did hold a series of hearings on statistics for “Spanish-speaking Americans. According to Choldin. The proposal called for the elimination of the “Hispanic” identifier and the addition of a “Hispanic” race category to the race question. the Hispanic proposal also reflected a radical departure from current policy. using Spanish-language questionnaires.

Likewise. a sense that it did not matter how Hispanics would be classified as long as they were counted. the Hispanic community’s silence and lack of involvement on the issue of reclassification generally and on the Hispanic proposal specifically were surprising. Perhaps because their position was misinterpreted by some. both recommended additional research before any change was made. Wright 1994). there was little coverage of the issue in the Spanish. an inherent aversion to discussions of race. few representatives of the Hispanic community testified. whereas the proposal being considered would eliminate it.160 REDEFINING RACE IN 2000 was these political forces that contributed to the emergence of the Hispanic identifier on the 1980 census form.’ if testing indicates . a lack of Latino interest in the issue or in the complexity and perhaps perceived irrelevance of the discussions. MALDEF indicated that a recommendation on “whether or how to change the Census’s Hispanic origin and race questions would be premature” (U. a lack of awareness. House Committee 1994b:179).10 Only the National Council of La Raza made a statement at the hearings that was later cited as supporting this proposal (del Pinal 1994. (Its suggested question has this label. House Committee 1994k:178–182). When the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF) and the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) testified at these hearings. see U. the National Council of La Raza decided to clarify its position to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB): The NCLR “would be inclined to support the combination of the race and Hispanic origin questions into a question re-labeled ‘Race/Ethnicity. the statement advocated retaining the current separate “Hispanic” identifier. and MALDEF added that any change contemplated should be targeted to reducing the differential undercount (U.S. requisite Hispanic organizations were present at the hearings.S. Moreover.S.or English-language media and few public discussions elsewhere. Yet a closer reading of the statement shows that by proposing that “Hispanic” be included as a category in the race item. Indeed. Although the major. This sometimes contentious and antagonistic history was not repeated during the Sawyer hearings. or a combination of all these and other factors. House Committee 1994p:178. the council was also requesting that the item be relabeled Race/Ethnicity. neither endorsed the proposal as presented. It is difficult to tell whether this resulted from the exclusion and obfuscation of the issues. Both groups felt that the current Hispanic item should be retained.) Moreover.

italics in original). to include “Hispanic” as a race group) “would not meet program needs and could result in an undercount of the Spanish origin population” (U.e. p. 3). A study (done after the proposal was made) did find that a majority of Hispanics preferred the combined question (U.REDEFINING RACE IN 2000 161 that such a question solicits a greater and more accurate response rate” (1995:8. a researcher at the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Making “Hispanics” a race would make life easier for the data gatherers because there would be one item on the census instead of two and all social races could be counted directly instead of subtracting Hispanics from the various race categories. Bureau of the Census 1990:5). fearing it would lose needed community support (Hispanic Link Weekly Report. of Labor. 1986. These groups were composed mainly of program specialists familiar with census data and their applications. we might ask why the proposal was presented. May 26. Bureau of Labor Statistics 1995:table 3). observed. A number of suppositions are possible.. Dept. a proposal to count Hispanics as a race was introduced before the 1990 census but was so strongly opposed “through the most aggressive campaign ever seen by the bureau” that agency officials decided to abandon it. The Census Bureau’s history concerning this issue also received scant attention in the hearings and other discussions of the proposal. Having a combined question would .11 but this may reflect a different understanding of the question. Given the history of the proposal in the Hispanic community and its lack of apparent support or even involvement. The IWG on race and ethnicity supported retaining a separate question on Spanish/Hispanic origin and concluded that a combined race/Spanish origin question (i. Subsequent attempts by the census to institute such a proposal also were met with similar resistance (McKenney 1994). as a serious and legitimate proposal. “The respondents did not understand the consequences of combining the questions” (Torres 1996:4).S. the census formed and chaired interagency working groups (IWGs) to discuss the 1990 federal census data requirements.S. and continued to be presented. Moreover. In addition. The study’s participants may have understood it as “Do you want to be included?” rather than “Do you want to be a ‘race’?” The preference for a combined question probably does not mean that Hispanics acknowledge or agree that they are a “race” in the same way that the census conceptualizes this term. Earlier. as Ruth McKay. in 1984.

S. In support of the Hispanic proposal.” Furthermore. but at the cost of making them a race within a framework that privileged the white social race. At present. the census proposal referred just to race.” (The “other race” category is not included. Some people may have supported the proposal because they felt it was simply time to acknowledge a new nonwhite or “other” race in the census categories. a race in the United States and should therefore be counted as such. The NCLR. Hispanics were included in the model.” “Native American Indian. was “race.” Still others (both Hispanic and non-Hispanic) argued that Hispanics were. The term used in the proposal. Indeed.” “black.” the two terms were really used interchangeably by society and were synonymous for “Hispanics. House Committee 1994m:54). The proposal would also make the counting of Hispanics consistent across government agencies.” “Asian and Pacific Islander. it could also be argued that the proposal was more like the Latino view of race in that it presented all the “social races” together. Apparently. and the proposal did not refer to ethnic or cultural differences among groups. According to their perspective. which are central to Hispanic views of race. one researcher at the hearings described getting detailed data on various race and ethnic groups as a “cumbersome and fallible process” (U. this new Hispanic race would span a color continuum from “almost white” to “black.S. Office of Management and Budget 1995:44678). for all intents and purposes. because Hispanics were treated as a “race. the census’s and that specified in Directive 15—the executive order resulting from a federal interagency agreement in 1977. however. But whereas the directive makes clear that it refers to both race and ethnicity. In essence.162 REDEFINING RACE IN 2000 also be cheaper for the Census Bureau. some persons subsequently expressed support for a combined race/Hispanic-origin question because “many Hispanics do not identify as a race” and this would end the practice “of using the term race which they see as a social rather than a scientific construct” (U. noted that despite the “technical” differences that might be found between “race” and “ethnicity.” not “social race” and not ethnicity. for example.)12 Those supporting the “Hispanic” race proposal may therefore have tried to adopt the Directive 15 model. Directive 15 places all people into five major racial/ethnic groups: “white. as there would be one less item to tabulate. the government counts Hispanics in two ways.” it was important to be repre- .” and “Hispanic.

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. House Committee 1994c:285–286). what the NCLR envisioned as a “race” was somewhat different from what was spelled out in the Hispanic proposal. . Some groups felt such a category would jeopardize the numbers in their categories. Arthur Fletcher. the lack of a Hispanic “race” category perpetuated the black/white paradigm. chair of the U. it was clear in the hearings that a multiracial category would cause more problems than it would solve. In addition. General Accounting Office 1990).S. linguistic and geographic origins” (U. as noted earlier. Tony Gallegos. For example. Those few that commented were split on the issue” (1995:44678). believed that the census’s successful experience with five racial/ethnic groups precluded the need for such changes (U. some participants were explicitly against it. and be more in keeping with changing demographics. Indeed. and the Office of Management and Budget concluded that “most Federal agencies did not comment on whether race and Hispanic origin should be collected in one question or two questions.15 But the general consensus was that the proposal needed to be tested and its impact evaluated before it was put into operation (Morris 1994). resolve the problem of Hispanic invisibility. U. as this might make the counts more accurate. THE PERSISTENCE OF THE HISPANIC PROPOSAL Despite the lukewarm reception and earlier resistance. Del Valle 1993. House Committee 1994b:253.S. The lack of support continued. Moreover. it was not enthusiastically endorsed by anyone. 1. which consistently excluded Hispanics. 1992:94–95. what a “Hispanic race” category would do to the counts of other minorities. de la Garza et al.REDEFINING RACE IN 2000 163 sented in the race item (see chap. Bendick 1992. Commission on Civil Rights. . alter the prevailing black/ white axis and paradigm. (However. chair of the U. the proposal continued to be considered seriously.13) Such approaches appeared to argue that Hispanics be called a “race” in return for recognition.S. 260). stated that the commission recommended “against reclassifying Hispanics as a racial group” because they were “a complex community of races bound by common cultural.S. When the Office of Management . It was not clear at the time. .14 Although the proposal to make “Hispanics” a race received some attention by others testifying at the hearings. though.S.

Dept.S. and by 1995.S. The Office of Management and Budget created the Interagency Committee for the Review of the Racial and Ethnic Standards and. one of which was “the effect of adding ‘Hispanic’ to the list of racial categories” (U. the “Hispanic” proposal and the multiracial proposal. so that it could evaluate how the “inclusion of an Hispanic category in the list of races” would affect racial and ethnic data (U. Bureau of Labor Statistics 1995:1). an interagency research initiative. rather than as a separate ethnic category. by the time the Hispanic Advisory Committee to the Census was established in 1994.16 This special supplement surveyed by phone more than sixty thousand randomly selected households. it mentioned having “Hispanic as a racial designation. Nonetheless.” adding that combining race and Hispanic origin has become one of “the more significant issues that have been identified for research and testing” (U. Indeed. The Studies The first study in this research agenda was a supplement to the Current Population Survey (CPS) that collected information on several key issues. At subsequent hearings on this proposal.S. General Accounting Office 1997:8). only two were pursued. The census also conducted cognitive research on this proposal. Hispanic input into the proposal continued to be minimal. Office of Management and Budget 1995:44690).S. additional research plans were made to examine larger samples (U. The Bureau of Labor Statistics designed the special supplement to the usual May 1995 Current Population Survey (CPS). Office of Management and Budget 1995:44691). This research was to evaluate the proposals for revising racial and ethnic reporting categories and to determine the potential effect of any changes. Office of Management and Budget 1995:44690).164 REDEFINING RACE IN 2000 and Budget requested comments on the proposals being reviewed for the “Standards for the Classification of Federal Data on Race and Ethnicity” in 1994.S. Hispanic involvement did not greatly increase. the proposal had already been discussed and researched. of Labor. the proposal persisted and became part of a massive research effort. Instead. Of the four proposals presented at the House hearings. as part of this. . the meetings of the committee in 1995/96 were to discuss the findings from the National Content Survey that had tested this combined question (U.

REDEFINING RACE IN 2000 165 Other agencies were to carry out similar research. a proposal to make Hispanics a race (subsequently called the combined format). using an approach similar to that of the Bureau of Labor Statistics (i. Although several interesting and detailed results were produced. In 1996. Finally. the National Center for Health Statistics. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention were to evaluate the recording of racial classifications on death certificates. The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) was to conduct a literature search and make an inventory of DHHS minority health databases. Dept.S. Office of Management and Budget 1995:44690–44691). the National Center for Education Statistics was to examine current issues.e. the National Center for Health Statistics. and RAETT tested a number of innovations. Why did these hearings take place at all? Why were they examining previously unexamined questions? What was their purpose? .S.000 households for the Race and Ethnic Targeted Test (RAETT).17 Consequently. Finally. The CPS. of Labor. and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention studied the methods used to gather data in this area. the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health. comparing combined and separate race and Hispanic-origin questions). we should ask. was to examine the effects of racial classification changes on birth certificates. the net result of the CPS. Both sent self-administered. and RAETT studies was that the combined format resulted in fewer Hispanics and whites being counted (U. NCS. and the reversal of the sequence of the race and Hispanic questions. The Purpose of the Hearings Why did the proposal to make “Hispanic” a race persist despite its lukewarm support? To answer this. NCS. mail-back questionnaires to 90. Bureau of Labor Statistics 1995:table 1). The National Center for Education Statistics and the Office for Civil Rights in the Department of Education conducted surveys in public schools to determine how they collect data. and how schools currently collect. maintain. For example. the Bureau of the Census conducted two other major studies. state legislation. and report racial and ethnic data (U. including the introduction of a multiracial category. the proposal to make “Hispanic” a race was abandoned..000 households for the National Content Survey (NCS) and 112.

Goldstein. when it classified “mulattoes” as a race category. and the public (Edmonston. not the least of which is why these issues were being addressed in 1993. and many have different views of race. For example. The Concerns Leading to the Hearings Congressman Thomas Sawyer opened the hearings by citing three concerns: (1) the identification of multiracial persons. and Tamayo Lott 1996:35). multiracial persons. or need to identify. “Hispanics and Middle Easterners who do not identify with any of the four major racial categories. (2) Hispanics and Middle Easterners who do not identify with any of the four major racial categories.166 REDEFINING RACE IN 2000 A later analysis of the revision process maintained that the OMB began to consider revising the federal standards for racial and ethnic classification because of the demographic and social changes taking place in the United States and because of the increasing dissatisfaction with the current standard among data users. data providers. however. but not the groups called “Hispanics” and “Middle .” raises the question of why it is acceptable for the foreign born. The fact that this question was being asked at all signaled a major adjustment in the way that racial and ethnic concepts—until now taken at face value— might be viewed in the future. many are seen to be multiracial. “the identification of multiracial persons” implies that there is currently some interest in. These concerns raise a number of questions. The last time that the census counted in a separate category those people whom it viewed as multiracial was in 1920. and (3) self-identification by foreign-born persons whose understanding of race is often shaped by different definitions and understandings in their countries or cultures of origin. The “concerns” expressed at the hearings hinted at some of the underlying issues that led to this reexamination. all three pertain to them because many are foreign born. Although only the second concern refers specifically to Hispanics.” The second concern. The third concern suggests an awareness of alternative views of race among the foreign born when it acknowledged that the understanding of race and “self-identification by foreign-born persons” is “often shaped by different definitions and understandings in their countries or cultures of origin.18 Thus the purpose of the hearings was to ascertain whether the way the federal government measured race and ethnicity was satisfactory.



Easterners,” to have different understandings of race. Was the assumption that these groups were born in the United States and not abroad? If so, then the real concern was that different understandings of “race” were persisting among Hispanics and Middle Easterners born in the United States Preceding these hearings was a more general questioning and heightened awareness of the resurgence of racial and ethnic tensions on an international scale, for example, the Islamic fundamentalists’ conflicts. In addition, in the U.S. scientific community there was a major reexamination of race and ethnicity. The fact that this was receiving special attention in the major media added to the need to reconsider the meaning of race and ethnicity (see, e.g., Barringer 1993; Bernal 1987; Discover November 1994; Marks 1994; Newsweek February 13, 1995; Rosin 1994; Wood 1994; Wright 1994). Congressman Sawyer noted that the stated “concerns” had been voiced by “many people . . . during the 1990 census” (U.S. House Committee 1994a). These “many people” may have been those gathering the data or those constituencies interested in specific census issues. At the governmental level, the concern began to surface largely because of the results of the 1980 and 1990 censuses. With the shift in the 1980 decennial census from interviewer-identified race to self-identified race, unexpected issues and questions emerged. According to a former census official, the idea of “race and ethnicity” as a state of mind had not been accepted by the census earlier, but with the shift to self-identified race, the census recognized that this type of reporting raised other issues (Estrada 1994).

Data-Quality Problems
Four key problems were discussed in a report submitted to Congressman Sawyer by the General Accounting Office (GAO) earlier that year:19 1. The growth of the “other race” category. 2. Problems in the consistency with which some groups reported their race and Hispanic origin. 3. A high allocation rate for the Hispanic item. 4. Some misreporting problems in both the race and the ethnicity items.



Table 8.1 Percentage of Hispanics Choosing “Other Race” in Different Question Formats
Race Question Hispanic Question Multiracial Category Percentage Choosing “Other Race”

First First First First

Included Not included Included Not included

33.0 42.9 25.1 24.9

Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census, National Content Survey 1996a:tables 11 and 12.

These were referred to as the “data-quality” issues that led to the hearings. Although these issues affected many groups, they particularly concerned the large and growing Latino population. Indeed, a close examination of the GAO report reveals that Hispanics were at the center of many of these issues, although this was not noted. For example, Hispanics make up the overwhelming majority (97.5%) of the “other race” category. Thus, its dramatic growth is due to the fact that Hispanics continue to choose it, and it is difficult to recode their national-origin responses into other race categories. With regard to the second problem, the extent to which individuals consistently give the same response to questions of race and Hispanic origin, many Hispanics changed their answers in reinterview studies and in response to a series of contextual factors, whereas other groups did not. The GAO’s report noted that only 36 percent of those who said on the census form that they were “other race” said that again when reinterviewed. The report did not specify whether most of these respondents were Hispanic, but they likely were because they made up 95 percent of this category (U.S. General Accounting Office 1993).20 Curiously, although “consistency” was a problem when answering “race” questions, responses to the “Hispanic” question were highly consistent, with 90 percent of Mexicans, 92 percent of Puerto Ricans, 86 percent of Cubans, and 100 percent of “those who said they were nonHispanic” responding the same way on both occasions. The exceptions here were those who said they were “other Hispanic,” with only 64 percent answering similarly in the reinterview study.



On the third problem, it was also the “Hispanic” item that had the highest allocation rate.21 The Census Bureau allocates a particular response for questions left unanswered on the census questionnaire. This allocation procedure is based on a complicated series of steps for each item that best approximates the missing information. The allocation rate for the Hispanic-origin question was not only the highest of all the questions, but it also increased from 4.2 percent in 1980 to 10 percent.22 This was seen as particularly problematic: “The results from the 1990 census showed that the Hispanic-origin item continues to pose one of the more significant data quality challenges for the Bureau in terms of allocation rate” (U.S. General Accounting Office 1993:24). Why was the allocation rate so high for the Hispanic question in 1990? Why did 10 percent not answer the question about whether they were Hispanic? The GAO report saw two underlying problems: One was that many persons who were not Hispanic skipped the question altogether because they did not see it as relevant.23 Another problem was that some Hispanics “equate their ‘Hispanicity’ with race by responding ‘other race’ in the race item, indicating they are Hispanic in the space the race item provides, and then skipping over the Hispanic origin item because they see this item as superfluous” (U.S. General Accounting Office 1993:25). That is, “confusion” about the race item might have spilled over to problems with the Hispanic-origin item. The GAO report does not explain what it means by “confusion” with the race item, the implication is that it refers to Hispanics’ responding they are “other race.” Two years later, the OMB stated that most of those who did not respond to the “Hispanic” item were non-Hispanics (U.S. Office of Management and Budget 1995:44689). Consequently, the reason for the high nonresponse rate for the “Hispanic” item was more that nonHispanics saw the question as irrelevant to them than that Hispanics were “confused.” The last problem, misreporting, refers to several problems but is seen to be principally the result of mistakes or misinformation. An example is those who responded they were “other Hispanic” and later said in the reinterview studies that they were not Hispanic at all but wanted to indicate they were “other than Span/Hisp.”24 Examples of misreporting in the race question are those who checked the “other race” category and wrote in a response that the census reclassified as



one of the other four race categories, so “German” in “other race” was reclassified as “white.” The report does not make clear to what extent Hispanics were involved in this problem. Indeed, it is these early reports’ lack of reference to Hispanics’ specific reporting behavior that is most puzzling, particularly because Hispanics were so central to many of the concerns raised at the hearing.25 These problems notwithstanding, the GAO report concluded that the 1990 data on race and Hispanic origin were “generally of high quality” (U.S. General Accounting Office 1993:28). The report did note a growing awareness of the population’s increasing diversity, but it was not Hispanics to whom it was alluding; rather, the report cited the more than 200,000 codes that had to be developed to accommodate all the write-ins in the “Asian and Pacific Islander,” “Native American Indian,” and “other race” categories (U.S. General Accounting Office 1993:28). The responses that produced the greatest number of codes because of write-in responses were the Ancestry and the Native American Indian items (Edmonston, Goldstein, and Tamayo Lott 1996:23).

• Regardless of the format used, a substantial proportion of the answers remain in the “other race” category. An important part of the “data-quality” issues addressed was the respondents’ tendency to choose the “other race” category. As we now know, almost all those (97%) in this category were Hispanic. The purpose of the proposal to make “Hispanic” a race was to reduce the number of persons choosing the “other race” category. I suspect that the reasoning was that if Hispanics saw their group represented with the others, they would choose “Hispanic” and not “other race.” In all three studies, when Hispanics were made a race; that is, when the combined question was used, the number of persons who chose the “other race” option dropped. But what the studies showed was that regardless of the context of the question, for example, whether or not a multiracial category was included or whether multiple responses were allowed, many people still chose the “other race” category.



Sequencing was also thought to affect whether Hispanics chose the “other race” option; that is, if Hispanics were asked about their Hispanic origin first, they would not choose “other race.” In all three studies, placing the “Hispanic” question before the “race” question did reduce—but did not eliminate—the number of persons choosing the “other race” option. An example of this adherence to the “other race” response can be seen in the NCS study in which respondents were asked to choose their race under what might be considered—from a statistician’s perspective—fitting conditions for discouraging an “other race” response (U.S. Bureau of the Census 1996a). Ideal conditions meant including a “multiracial” category (so that those of mixed race could choose it) and placing the “Hispanic” question before the race question (so that those who saw “race” as “culture” and “national origin” would have already identified themselves as such and could now choose their race). Under these conditions, the proportion choosing “other race” did decline, but 25.17 percent of Hispanics still chose this option (see table 8.1). (Although this was a substantial proportion, it was not statistically significant.)26 • Hispanics choose more than one category even when instructed not to. Two other findings from these studies are relevant. One is that when the combined question was used in the RAETT test, a high percentage of respondents (18% to 19%) checked that they were Hispanic and also checked one of the other race categories. Indeed, the Hispanic respondents checked more than one category even when they were instructed not to do so (U.S. Bureau of the Census 1997:4, chart I). Although the results of the RAETT test can be generalized only to areas with relatively high concentrations of Hispanics and other targeted populations, it is interesting that the census’s Hispanic Advisory Committee recommended that respondents be allowed to choose “more than one” category on the “Hispanic” item as well. In other words, the committee thought it important that respondents be able to say they were both “Hispanic” and “not Hispanic” (those who might want to acknowledge a Hispanic component as well as a white, black, etc. component in their response). This recommendation was considered but not accepted because it had not been tested.



• The responses of Hispanic-origin groups differed. Finally, some of the studies showed that the various Hispanic-origin groups responded differently to the questions. For example, in the CPS study, when having to choose the “Hispanic” or another category in the combined question, a minority of Cubans (39.92%) chose the “Hispanic” category, compared with a majority of Mexicans (85.15%), Puerto Ricans (71.51%), and Central or South Americans (77.67%). The introduction of a multiracial category increased the percentage of Cubans who chose the “Hispanic” category, but it was still only 46.40 percent. In the other Hispanic groups, the percentage choosing the “Hispanic” category also increased slightly or stayed about the same (U.S. Office of Management and Budget, 1997a:36916, table 4.4). These results are consistent with those cited in chapter 7 regarding who chooses the “other race” option. • Why Did Hispanics Choose “Other Race”? As noted earlier, the reasons that some Hispanics continued to choose the “other race” category are complex and require further research. To some degree, the context and format of the question influence the choice. But the choice also reflects different conceptions of “race” and perhaps a resistance to the racial structure as articulated in the United States. This resistance may be traced to Hispanics’ objections to being classified as a uniform, subordinate, not-white race. Or it may irritate Hispanics who see themselves as physically diverse and defined by national origin or culture. In either case, making “Hispanic” a race may have been seen as a perpetuation and extension of the racialist thinking of the past. The OMB’s final recommendations cite findings that both supported and did not support separate race and Hispanic-origin questions. Those findings that did not support a combined question were that the concepts of race and ethnicity were difficult to separate; that Hispanics want to identify their race in addition to their Hispanic origin; that some Hispanics, including the Census Hispanic Advisory Committee and most Hispanic organizations, opposed a single, combined question; that “Hispanic” was not considered a race by some respondents and users; and, finally, that a combined question would increase the need for additional tabulations because people would choose



more than one category. Those findings that did support a single, combined question indicated that it would eliminate redundancy, thereby acknowledging that for many Hispanics, race, culture, and national origin are the same.

Race in Formation
The OMB finally decided to retain the two-question format, but it also decided to allow individuals to choose more than one category.27 Moreover, it recommended that when self-identification was not feasible or appropriate, a combined question could be used (U.S. Office of Management and Budget 1997a:36930, 36939). The recommendation that a combined question be used when self-identification was not possible suggested that attempts be made “to obtain proxy responses (from family or friends) as opposed to using observer identification” in order to ensure accurate data.

Unresolved Issues
According to the Office of Management and Budget, government research shows that less than 2 percent of persons are expected to choose more than one race category (U.S. Office of Management and Budget 1999:4; Tucker et al. 1996). The preliminary Census 2000 Dress Rehearsal Results, although not representative of the country as a whole, also do not show many persons choosing more than one category (del Pinal 1999). Therefore, the OMB does not anticipate any significant impact on redistricting decisions or on total population counts used for apportionment or for compliance with one-person, one-vote requirements because of the “choose more than one” option (U.S. Office of Management and Budget 1999:33 ff). But other researchers estimate that the impact will be larger, that this shift may be greater than the net size of the undercount (Goldstein and Morning 1999). Moreover, they estimate that this shift will have different effects on the single-race groups, with whites declining between 3 and 6 percent, blacks between 3 and 7 percent, Native Americans between 15 and 25 percent, and Asian and Pacific Islanders between 4 and 9 percent. This change in practice and policy has been put into effect. But at this writing, there still are a number of unknowns. Unknown (and not included in the preceding estimates) is the role of the media in



influencing individuals to “choose more than one.” Also unknown are the implications for race-based public policies. As Goldstein and Morning (1999) asked, Will people who in the past said they were white and now claim Native American Indian ancestors in the race question be eligible for minority small business loans? Will those who previously said they were only black and now say they are white and black no longer be eligible? Should some individuals (or groups) of more than one race be protected classes and others not? For example, if those of Japanesewhite ancestry are economically more advantaged than those of Vietnamese-black ancestry, should the latter be protected but not the former? Last, it is not known how the data should be tabulated. A number of possibilities are under discussion, but no firm decision has been made (U.S. Office of Management and Budget 1999).

Issues Raised
The “Hispanic” proposal, as well as the other proposals discussed at the initial hearings, raise a number of issues. They—and the events that followed these hearings—also revealed the dynamics of racial formation as we approach the next millennium. All the proposals made clear the extent to which race and the construction of racial categories are influenced by nonbiological factors, although this was seldom recognized or expressed. On a theoretical level, the proposal to make “Hispanic” a race raised the issue of how Hispanics should be counted. Should they be treated as a European ethnic group (albeit multiracial) or as a separate race? The first approach was (and is now) the one in effect in the census: Hispanics could be of any race. The second approach implied that Hispanics were seen (and saw themselves?) as a distinct social group—a race—regardless of phenotype. Hispanics, as well as many other groups, challenge the U.S. system of racial classification because they do not fit neatly into the given categories. They are neither a race nor a racially homogenous ethnic group. Rather, they are a diverse array of multiracial ethnic groups, bound together by language, cultural ancestry, and discrimination in the United States. They can best be understood in a paradigm acknowledging that the social constructions popularly called “race” are really all social groupings that convey political, social, and cultural differentials. Within such a paradigm, Latinos and other “races” are clustered eth-

U. 165. to the concerns voiced and to the “data-quality” issues raised that prompted the hearings and subsequent research. In addition.S. Just as in 1930 when the government introduced a “Mexican” race category.5%) of the 2 million who said they were “Native American Indian” also reported that they were of Hispanic origin. a combined question might also dilute the counts of other race groups. House Committee 1994k:179). Rodríguez 1990. The increase in numbers at both times contributed strongly to these racial classification projects. and Frisbie 1987. 1992. They showed. for example. Making “Hispanic” a race and eliminating a separate “Hispanic” identifier would not allow individuals to respond that they were. Office of Management and Budget 1995:44678). Indeed.S. making “Hispanic” a race would make it difficult to compare the data with past censuses. the government is proposing to create a race category for all Hispanics. Joseph argued.REDEFINING RACE IN 2000 175 nicities in a hierarchy of power growing out of the history of whites and other social races in the United States.S.28 The hearings and the subsequent process showed “race” in formation. both Hispanic and black (U. the difficulties and contradictions of the current racial classification structure. it might be said that Hispanics have come to redefine everyone else. Murguía.” An interesting irony here is that at the same time that the influx of Hispanics led to the redefinition of all other groups. for example. While in the . Hispanics who in the past might have reported that they were “black” or “white” might indicate instead that they were “Hispanic” (U. In 1990. the government attempted to redefine Hispanics as a race. the counts and comparability of counts over time of Native Americans would be affected adversely by making “Hispanic” a race (U. House Committee 1994l).S. The “Hispanic” proposal also highlighted the role played by “race” or color in the United States. albeit silently. Using one combined question might make it more difficult to determine which Hispanics are more likely to be victims of discrimination.000 (or 8. research has shown that Hispanics who classify themselves as white or who are classified as white by others fare better economically than those classified in other racial categories (Arce. As Rachel A. and sometimes acknowledged. Office of Management and Budget 1995:44678. Finally. Telles and Murguía 1990). as we end the twentieth century. Hispanics contributed significantly. as in the use of terms such as “nonHispanic whites” and “non-Hispanic blacks. 1991a. As noted previously.

” This revealed the growing official concern that current categories might not be relevant to some respondents.S.176 REDEFINING RACE IN 2000 past and in public discourse. taken in concert they suggest the extent to which “race” and “ethnicity” are being reassessed in the public sphere. racial and ethnic concepts had often been projected as fairly immutable and not subject to diverse interpretations.29 Thus. it poses the question of whether there is a conflict between providing recognizable categories that are relevant to respondents and needing to gather uniform. the concepts were treated as separate.30 This lesson also raises questions about the government’s ability to identify individuals correctly and clearly. but on the other (practical or applied) hand. Last. The hearings also demonstrated that the government is beginning to question its former views on race and ethnicity and to explore alternative views. . The final determination of how race and ethnicity will be measured or viewed in the next century will depend on several factors. Demographic diversity will continue. In stating the “lessons” from the hearings. Congressman Sawyer stated that “the categories had to be relevant to those responding if cooperation was to be secured. the intermingling of the concepts was recognized. In addition. Although the stated concerns and the final formulations raised a number of questions. on the one (conceptual) hand. it suggests an emerging awareness of procrustean census tactics on the part of government officials. House Committee 1994f). The incidence of intermarriage and the number of interracial individuals will also continue to grow. Individuals and groups will continue to have their own particular and changing views on race. They also reveal a changing demographic picture as well as a serious reexamination of race by academics and policymakers that may be having a significant influence on public discourse. we must improve our understanding of how people view themselves. Consequently. if we are to understand the growing diversity of this country. comparative data. it was now being publicly acknowledged on a national level that these concepts were not mutually exclusive but were fluid and “dynamic” (U.

Although Brazilians are not considered Hispanic because they do not speak Spanish. one person in the household fills out the census forms. father. But we do not know who fills out the census form and how the “race” of each person in a household is determined. THE UNDOCUMENTED AND THE UNDERCOUNT We do not know how many undocumented persons are included in contemporary census data. Generally. eldest son. in 1997 the U. the numbers of Latinos have increased dramatically. The data on Hispanics do not include Brazilians.7 million Latinos. But because we do not have estimates of how many undocumented are counted in the census data. with the total number ranging from 2 million to 5 million (Passel and Woodrow 1984. population “officially” contained 29.S. but we know that Latinos make up a large proportion of the growing numbers of both undocumented and documented immigrants. 1993). but which person that is. Woodrow-Lafield 1992. though not usually Hispanics. we assume that the data reflect individual choice.365 million. but they do include persons from Spain. In 1999. or 11 percent of the total (Reed and Ramirez 1998:table 1). Different methods yield different estimates of the undocumented. may affect the racial classifications recorded. or whoever. It ac177 . though we do not know by how much. The Latino population is also expected to continue to grow substantially.Appendix A Data Limitations and the Undercount When we examine data on the racial self-classification of individuals. Despite this underestimation. the mother. As we have noted. we must assume that they underestimate the numbers of Latinos. many Brazilians consider themselves Latinos. the official figure was 31.

they will be counted in these categories and not as “Hispanics. Passel and Woodrow 1984. Latinos who did not own property but lived in large urbanized areas of the Northeast were undercounted by an estimated 6.2 percent (Hispanic Link. but this seems conservative. geography. undercount rates overall have been found to vary widely by age.2). Robinson et al. For example. and homeownership status. Even though the Latino communities are large. but if they lived in similar areas of the Midwest and owned property. p. In general. Latino undercount rates have not been studied extensively. a historical analysis of undercount rates from 1940 to 1990 by Robinson and colleagues (1993) did not include Hispanic undercount rates.178 APPENDIX A counts for almost half of contemporary immigration (Passel 1993:1076). given the large number of estimated undocumented and documented Latino immigrants (Passel 1993:1076. 1993).33 percent. but also related to. 1993). Woodrow-Lafield 1992. estimates of undercount or any other counts will be un- . growing. the undocumented issue is the undercount issue. The official 1990 undercount estimate for Hispanics is 5. DIFFERENT METHODS. particularly for Latinos because of how they identify or are identified racially.72 percent. and it comprises 42. with black males having consistently higher rates over time than the total population (Hogan 1993. and diverse. Given the diversity and rapid growth of the Hispanic population. Both may affect the undercount estimates (Passel 1993:1076). race. so that it would continue to grow even if all immigration were to cease. August 1994. Hogan’s (1993) analysis of 1990 undercount rates indicates that the rates for Hispanics also varied widely. DIFFERENT ESTIMATES Why the undercount rates differ is very complicated. it is surprising that the Hispanic undercount has not received more attention. If Hispanics are reported as “white” in vital statistics data or if they report themselves as “other” or “black” in census data.5 percent of the United States’ total foreign-born population (U. Bureau of the Census 1993c). Somewhat separate from. Hispanics are often not included in analyses because the data used are limited to race. This also is a population with a very high birthrate and a youthful median age.S.” If Hispanics are reassigned to a “Hispanic” category. For example. they were overcounted by 4.

1 How Hispanics identify household units also affects undercounts. followed by blacks. Other reasons are that people move. Mexicans.2 He concluded that because 40 percent of the differences among groups could not be explained by the available indicators. “idiosyncratic social. Mexican Americans. Certain groups— blacks.3 Puerto Ricans had the highest omission rate. and economic aspects of ethnicity constitute major sources of census omission” (Fein 1990:297). One is that they are missed because they live in irregular and complex household arrangements. Some households were not counted because their living quarters were not visible to postal clerks because they were. McKay (1993) found that Hispanics often omitted boarders as part of the household. and Asian and Native Americans). boarders or people who were “staying with” them were often not counted. Or the census takers would not recognize that a housing unit might have more than one household living in it. and Puerto Ricans—were less motivated to fill out forms than other groups were (non-Hispanic whites. As do members of many African American communities. other Hispanics. fear government and outsiders. behind and/or above a commercial establishment. other Hispanics. Thus. education seemed to measure something other than the respondent’s ability (1990:296). Bureau of the Census 1992 for estimates of these effects). respondents may not supply all the information asked for on the census forms. and speak English poorly (de la Puente 1993). Examining the census’s Current Population Survey. respondents distinguished between people who were “living with” and those who were “staying with” a family unit. There are many reasons that individuals are not counted in the census. Asians. and Native Americans. In other words. those who most often omitted . Fein (1990) examined the causes of census omissions among different racial and ethnic groups and found some factors that were common “sources of omission” for different groups and other factors that were unique to particular groups. Most interesting was Fein’s conclusion that for Puerto Ricans.S.APPENDIX A 179 derstated (see U. OMISSIONS Besides not being counted by the census. for example. cultural.

the census figures were not revised to . This affects the “visibility”—or the lack of it—of the Latino population at all levels. but what about at the local level or in geographic areas where substantial numbers of Latinos live? When just racial data are examined and Hispanics have not been selected out. less tangible factors influence it as well. the question of how the presence of Hispanics in all those categories influences results is seldom addressed or considered. such as household structure and fear of government. but particularly at the policy level. These assignments to standard race categories are increasingly problematic (Passel 1993: 1076). although most of the reasons for the undercount are straightforward.180 APPENDIX A information were those with the most education. making up more than 97 percent of the “other race” category. The Census Bureau estimates undercounts by comparing their population counts with birth. IMPLICATIONS One result of the scanty research on the Latino undercount is that we do not have a clear view of the parameters of this population and its future impact on the United States. the bureau had to reassign racial categories to those who designated “other race” on the census. and they also present a picture different from that given by the census without these reassignments. Other implications pertain to current practice. More generally. A final implication again involves an undercount. death. such data are important to general analyses of the population. Both Passel (1993: 1076) and Vobejda (1991:9) observed that individuals who checked “other race” on the census forms were reclassified to determine undercount estimates. whites’ median income be higher without this reassignment? This may not be a problem at the national level at which the impact is not great. and immigration records. Thus. Would. about 43 percent of Hispanics in the nation (or approximately 9 million persons) chose the “other race” option. given the size and rapid growth of this population. Also not well studied is how this practice affects the socioeconomic and health profiles of the resulting categories. Despite issuing an official undercount estimate. In order to match the census numbers to those administrative records that do not use an “other race” category. As noted earlier. for example. apparently other.

Areas such as southern California. thus negatively affecting the representation of Latinos. and New York would likely have made adjustments that could have increased the representation of Latinos. it could have generated more income for Los Angeles and New York City. According to an article in Hispanic Link (August 1994:2). including undercount figures could have benefited districts with large Latino populations. Also. changing the figures might have created an extra congressional seat for both California and Arizona. see Anderson and Fienberg 1999.) . Moreover.APPENDIX A 181 include it. (For comprehensive analyses of the litigation of the 1990 undercount suit. the latter the primary plaintiff in the undercount suit. though at the expense of Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. Texas.

he was placed in the “black” category and was viewed as solely black and not in any way white.1 Even though the child was half white and half black. the “hypodescent rule” was applied.S. and considerations of ethnicity or culture were relegated to issues of color and race. race categories had a child. In the case of a child of two nonwhites. shows that the majority of Asian/white couples state that the race of their children is “white.” which underlies the biological concept of race in the United States.” he was classified as being so. even though the child was not purely “black. thus he was nonwhite. The child was considered—as the prefix hypo.implies— less than white. that is. In essence. For example. and contrary to logic. in the past when people from two U. Contemporary practice. which allows people to choose their own race. but the classification as only one race contributed to the myth of racial purity.”2 In the case of Native American/white unions. the child was placed in the same category as the nonwhite parent. Race was a master status. has been shown to be illogical and to be disregarded by many today.Appendix B The Biological Concept of Race in the United States The biological concepts of race and its implicit assumptions have been challenged on a number of grounds. such as physical type and socialization. IT IS ILLOGICAL The concept of “pure races.” In neither instance was “purity” a factor. and the child was classified as “black. but generally black ancestry predominated in classification. the race reported for children tends to be consistent with that of 182 . other considerations entered the picture.

Egyptians and Middle Eastern-South Asian groups” as white has been based more on the recognition of their political and cultural accomplishments than on their physical resemblance to blond Scandinavians. Contexts affecting racial classification include the political/legal. 35–36. people “who are called ‘white’ are really pinkish. particularly as it has been constructed and understood in the United States. and that most whites are really “pinkish-yellowish. and economic frameworks that . OTHER VARIABLES AND CONTEXT ARE IMPORTANT According to Forbes. Although color terms are used. making racial categories even less “pure.” GROUPS ARE NOT REALLY JUST ONE COLOR Second. cultural. there is a variance between the ideology of beliefs and the reality of observations (1993:93). the color categories) differs from the reality. Few are truly white-white. It seems that many of these “so-called Caucasoid groups could just as well be regarded as being non-white or intermediate (mixed) types of people” (1990:6–7). and race often depends on context (Haney López 1996:xiii). the classification of “many dark. the majority is just 66 percent (Bennett. Yet even in this case.APPENDIX B 183 the mother. McKenney. presentday racial self-classifications deviate from earlier approaches. the concept of race. Lee observed that some “white”-looking people are classified as “black” and that some whites are darker in color than are some nonwhites.” The theory here (i. curly-haired Italians. 22). light grayish. regardless of whether she is Native American or white. and economic variables enter the racial calculus as well. for example. The term is symbolic and non-specific.. Asians. has been criticized on the grounds that people are not really one color. creamy. political. For example. and Harrison 1995:18. Thus. very light brown. The same is true of the term ‘black’” (Forbes 1988:95). regardless of whether this is the father or the mother. Or as Lee phrased it.e. ruddy reddish and so on. social. that not all “blacks” are black. Only in the case of black/white unions are the majority of children given the race of the black parent.

Clement. politically. race as a scientific or biological construct have been intensely questioned. so that they can be considered affirmative-action candidates. In short. see also Sanjek 1994). tribal membership (Bates et al. the assumptions that biological race is a given. Thus. In much of this literature. and that ethnicity is less important than color and race have been questioned in both the academic literature and the popular press. A 1989 survey indicated that about 70 percent of cultural anthropologists and 50 percent of physical anthropologists rejected race as a biological category (Begley 1995:67. considerations other than color or biological ancestry are important to constructing these categories and classifying individuals. Common to the relatively recent. For example.184 APPENDIX B encompass individuals and groups. or they see themselves. They are not “red” in color. and implicit in these frameworks are variables that influence racial and ethnic classifications. These contexts vary over time. For example. Earlier questioning in the academic anthropological community preceded the inquiry in the popular press.g. as members of a political unit called a tribe or a nation. or spiritually with this group. experts argue that the differences within groups are often greater than the differences between groups (Begley 1995:67. Others are “black” because their ancestors were classified as “black” or because currently they identify culturally.” IT IS DISREGARDED BY SCIENTISTS AND ITS SCIENTIFIC UNDERPINNINGS ARE QUESTIONED Third. Some people alter their classification as “white” and become members of other groups (e. minority status. Gregory and Sanjek 1994:6–7.. the assumptions underlying the simple but classical conception of U. . that some geographic regions are homogeneous. or the variables mentioned in the introduction to this book (Leets. 1995:433–435). language.S. national origin. “race” in the United States is not just “color. critical literature on race is a distrust of the validity of race as a biological concept and an increasing awareness of the illogic of the United States’ racial constructions. many persons are put into the “red” group because they are seen. that hypodescent is a natural law. religion. and Giles 1996:2). Gutin 1994:73. the “red” group) when they develop a sense of cultural pride or. for example. Marks 1994. more crassly.

Wills 1994:81). Shreeve 1994:60. making neighboring populations more similar (Marks 1994:34). that is. and genetics later quantified. He also noted that Africans are more biologically diverse than Europeans. Through natural selection. Those who are best able to survive in a particular environment live to reproduce others who will carry their genetic heritage. both academic and popular research is concerned not with whether there are rigid biological distinctions between races but with when our most recent common ancestors lived and when subpopulations branched off (Goldstein and Morning 1999:5. adapt to their surroundings. are anatomical properties. populations. (2) genetic drift. for example. These random fluctuations increase the uniqueness of populations. and (3) gene flow. Natural selection occurs as people. The sense in this literature is that although there appear to be clearly visible differences among groups. as humans have migrated. that there is far more biological diversity within any group than between groups (1994:34). Rather. fieldwork revealed. pigmentation. Washburn 1963. Random fluctuations in a gene pool occur as a result of genetic drift. Genetic drift also contributes to the variation of groups. as are nearly all the genetically determined variants detectable in the human gene pool. Finally. Lemonick and Dorfman 1999). Marks (1994) pointed out that hair color varies greatly among Europeans and native Australians. developed trade networks. . This has increased the gene flow between populations. what we use to distinguish groups. eye form.3 Moreover. populations become differentiated from other populations.APPENDIX B 185 1995. they are distributed along geographical gradients. in fact these are just population clusters. and body build. At present. the physical characteristics that appear to mark these groups (and that some people see as equivalent to distinct categories or races of people) are distributed along gradients. and these gradients span populations. specialists contend that what generally varies from one population to the next is the proportion of people in these groups displaying a particular trait or gene. In other words. In essence. intermarriage and “other child-producing unions” have resulted. but not among other peoples. This variation is gradual. As Marks put it. differentiating them from other populations. but in nonadaptive ways. Rosin 1994. and engaged in the political conquests of other populations. but they are not restricted to particular groups. Three factors account for the variation of populations: (1) natural selection. For example.

the recent controversy over racial differences in intelligence was revived—but not settled—by books like the best-selling The Bell Curve by Richard Hernstein and Charles Murray. very light skinned groups in cold. the controversy over racial differences persists” (Morganthau 1995:64). rather. they are those best adapted to these environments. . northern latitudes are not pure types or populations. For example. our conception of “pure” racial types is also a construction.186 APPENDIX B Geographic barriers are also cited as important to creating different development paths for different population groups (Diamond 1997). extensive criticism of the concept of race and even though “scientists have been broadly unable to come up with any significant set of differences that distinguishes one racial group from another. Thus. Consequently. Moreover. graduated distinctions. for example. “the racial categories with which we have become so familiar are the result of our imposing arbitrary cultural boundaries in order to partition gradual biological variation” (Marks 1994:34). Despite the recent. These culturally constructed categories that we develop and call “races” are discrete and are unlike biological.

House of Representatives 1895:xcv–xcvi.S. the states designed their own forms and categories. the information they collected 187 .) Missing or Miscellaneous Information The “all other free persons” category may have included errors and the “don’t knows. In other words. 926. It could be argued that the shift reflected a mere change in terminology but not in definition (Bill Creech. even though it was not so named.1 CHANGE IN TERMINOLOGY.Appendix C A Technical Oversight or Racial Flux? Given that the “color” term and concept endured in the U. No specific instructions were issued to census takers until 1820 (U. census for most of the nineteenth century and a large part of the twentieth century. and before 1830. 1853a:xxxvi. the people in this category were the free colored. The category then represented only a very small proportion of the population—1.S. NOT DEFINITION One explanation is that the shift to a color category was inconsequential. National Archives. See. 6.5 percent (or 59. an intriguing question is why the first three censuses did not contain a color term. Thus.557) in 1790 (Wright 1956:49). e. U. conversation. November 1995). tables ix and lxvii.” It may have reflected the most generic category possible for what was then a very unstandardized process of data gathering. U. Bureau of the Census 1989:ii). Secretary of the Interior 1853a:table xxxvii. (This was the position that later censuses took with regard to the meaning of this category. Related to this question is why the original “all other free persons” category was replaced by the “free colored” category.g.S..S.

in which he specifically noted the need to count the population according to “sex. age. Statutes at Large 1963:548).S. In addition. and 1810 censuses specified that the “colors of free persons” be reported (Jackson and Teeples 1976.2 But the census categories did not reflect this requirement. some of the founding fathers had been interested in counting the “colors” of the free population. In other states.4 President James Madison had earlier proposed a more comprehensive first census to Congress. arguing that the census should count the numbers engaged in the different “professions and arts. italics in original).” and the third category (“all other free persons”) was placed under the “colored” category. except Indians. On this schedule. all the legislative acts mandating the 1790. Change in Political Leadership Another view is that the shift simply reflected political changes in leadership. Massachusetts kept all these categories except “slaves” and added “free colored persons” and “foreigners. Indeed. From the beginning of the census.S. of course.3 The 1820 legislation was similar to the earlier legislative acts but also included a substantially different schedule form (U. foreigners were “white. and it is not clear why.” In its 1820 census. Bureau of the Census 1967:133.” Massachusetts’s 1820 census also asked for the age and gender of the “free colored persons” (U. not taxed. when it was no longer a slave state. The emphasis on color in this census is also seen in Secretary of State John Quincy Adams’s instructions to the marshals.” and “all other free persons.S.” “slaves. color.” . Bureau of the Census 1978:7). the Massachusetts census form of 1810 counted “free white males. many states changed the categories they used from one decennial census to another. 1800. Bureau of the Census 1967:43).S. For example. not naturalized. the category of “slaves” remained. U. For the early censuses.” “free white females.” He also suggested that Congress count “free blacks” along with “free white men.S. Bureau of the Census 1978). This letter was published at the front of the 1820 census. condition of life” (U. marshals submitted their returns to the federal government “in whatever form they found convenient and sometimes with added information” (U.188 APPENDIX C varied.

According to Parrillo’s analysis of colonial data.036 runaway servants and apprentices. the absence of a color term before 1820 may also have reflected the influence of an earlier period of racial formation in the United States in which there was a great deal of flux and classifications may have been more fluid and differently determined.5 but it may be that President Madison and Secretary of State Adams finally had their way in the 1820 census. 161–172). population of 2. RACIAL FLUX Alternatively. he found that 5.” “swarthy. and African Americans and Native Americans together were more numerous than the English in the South (1994:530). Color may also have been viewed differently at that time. or black (p.” “dark. The English also made up only 46. an individual’s status was not “determined solely on the basis of race” (Franklin 1967:225 ff.S. 505). in 1776. In addition. Indian. Thus the group referred to today as “white” included some who were described then as “not-white” or “dark. In addition. Higginbotham 1978:22).587 million. It is interesting that of twenty-six reprinted advertisements from the Pennsylvania Gazette for “white indentured servants who fled their masters” (1728–1790). blacks constituted less than 10 percent of the total . Africans accounted for 39.” Some colonial figures suggest that there was more heterogeneity during this period than is generally acknowledged today. In his sample of 1.” and “slaves.2 percent of the population of the southern states and 20. One’s status as a free person may have been more important than color. A number of scholars note that in the very early colonial period. Galenson found that whereas in the northern colonies.APPENDIX C 189 “free white women.5 percent of the total. more than a quarter of the runaways—or seven of the twenty-six ads—were described as “brown.” (Wright 1956:132–133) Some in Congress opposed a census that did more than count individuals.9 percent (less than half) of the total U. Meaders discovered in his more extensive review of runaway indentured servants between 1729 and 1760 in Pennsylvania that there were “a few black and Indian indentured fugitive servants” (1993:xi).79 percent were of unknown or mixed race.” or “of a brownish complexion” (Smith and Wojtowicz 1989:5.

New York 1790. Heads of Families.FIG. 190 . C.1.

slaves. . political district) in New York City in 1790.6 percent of the total white population in 1790 and more than 10 percent of the populations of Connecticut (26%). for example. This also was a period when substantial numbers of individuals were described in early colonial data as “unassigned. South Carolina. New Hampshire.1 indicates. The “all other free persons” category may also have included persons not of African descent. of all the households with members in the “all other free persons.. or “other” free people who were not seen as simply white.e. But the general assumption in the literature and in later census reports was that this early category consisted of “free blacks. mestizos. sex.7 It is likely that many people in this category were “free people of African descent.”6 Who exactly was in the “all other free persons” category has not yet been determined.4 percent were in households listed without last names. such as Asians and Arabs. These people may have been the first products of the American amalgam of European groups and may also have included taxed Indians and those mixed with taxed Indians.” It is generally understood that in the 1790 census. as well as persons of some African descent. Montgomery Ward. “a family where there is a name of the head of the family with nothing written after it . In any case.” They constituted 6. Although unassigned. and Rhode Island. Vermont. Virginia. reveals a rather complex picture. and Georgia. In New York City. New York City’s 1790 census records show the name of the head of the family and then the number in each family who were free whites (by age. is likely to be a free black family” (Carlberg 1992:33). But the majority (55.” But they may also have been of Native American . Five households without last names had only white persons resident (Heads of Families 1992:119–124). My own analysis of the largest ward (i. North Carolina.” including “those of mixed or unknown nationality and/or living in the back country.” 44. they illustrate the flux and variability characteristic at the time.APPENDIX C 191 population in 1770. and “all other free persons. . taxed Indians. and headship status). they were included in the white colonial counts (Parrillo 1994:533). in Maryland. they made up 35 to 61 percent of the total population (1981:119). Maine (24%). even with regard to groups classified as white. As figure C.6%) lived in households that had last names and included white persons as well as slaves in some cases.

In any case. or Native American ancestry. .192 APPENDIX C descent or various combinations of European. we need to find out who else might have been in this category and whether there were regional variations with regard to its composition during this period of racial flux and notyet-crystallized categories of color. Asian. African.

One possibility is that after 1820. the growth rate dropped dramatically. The proportionate decline in the free population occurred despite the passage of legislation in 1807 prohibiting the importation of foreign slaves (see Blaustein and Zangrando 1968:53–57 for a description of this act.2 illustrates how the gap between the free and unfree grew substantially between 1820 and 1860. Part of the increase in the number of slaves was due to the admission of new states during this period. tables 20 and 17). free people of color were no longer counted as they had been before when there was no color term in the third category.2). It still is curious that the population of free people of color did not grow significantly during this period. as well as other statutes passed by Congress to restrict the slave trade). the numbers and proportion of “free colored” did not increase much (see figures D.S. After 1820. 1790–1840 The free population of color grew by 82. Indeed. as shown in figure 4.1 and table 4.” or that many were perhaps not counted at all after 1820. Arkansas (1836). In her local-area study of free women of color in the nineteenth century. Figure D.Appendix D Free People of Color THE EARLY PERIOD. Bureau of the Census 1967:sec.1 percent between 1790 and 1800 and then by 71.1 and D.1. growing only 25.9 percent between 1800 and 1810. vi. In the following decade. the proportion of all African Americans who were free actually declined between 1840 and 1860. and Texas (1845) entered as slave states. “all other free persons. Florida (1845). Of these states. however. It was in 1820 that the category “free colored persons” was introduced and included “all other free persons” (U.3 percent between 1810 and 1820. Logan Alexander (1991) decided that they usually did not 193 .

2. D. D.1. 194 . 1790–1860. FIG. The Increase in Numbers of Slaves and Free African Americans. The Negro Almanac 1971:344. Proportion of African Americans Who Were Free.FIG. 1790–1860. The Negro Almanac 1971:344.

Franklin 1967:214– 241. perhaps because they realized that there were unpredictable swings in the freedoms allowed free people of color. The following anecdote suggests how many mixed people were in the South.” their freedoms might be curtailed (Bell 1973. where the majority of slaves and free people of color lived. This precarious status was also mentioned in a 1907 census report summarizing the first hundred years of the census. BLURRED BOUNDARIES The growth of a free. and the invisible African ancestry of noted black leaders (Blockson and Fry 1977).S. making it impossible to distinguish the “white” from the “colored. Frazier 1962:117 ff). Logan Alexander 1991).” he solemnly declared. people who might have been counted in this group when the category was not “colorized” might have realized by 1820 that if they were counted as “colored. It stated that in earlier times.” This concern appears to have been behind the admonitions to the census enumerators in 1850 (when mulattoes were first counted) to be very careful about determining color.APPENDIX D 195 bother to register for the census. a “free negro” was believed to be a threat or have an “unfavorable influence” on other slaves in the same “neighborhood” (U. Bell (1973) noted that the legislation concerning free people of color fluctuated from liberal to more restrictive in different states. George Tillman objected: “Gentlemen. Accordingly. it was expected it would be even more difficult to maintain the boundaries between “white” and “not white. Bureau of the Census 1967:37. mixed population threatened to blur group boundaries. the suspected black ancestry of a number of famous “white” Americans. “then we must acknowledge that there is not a full-blooded Caucasian on the floor of this convention!” (Blockson and Fry 1977:107). When the South Carolina legislature tried to define race by suggesting that “a Negro” was any person with even a single drop of nonwhite blood. see also Fishel and Quarles 1970:127–144. some “free colored persons” probably passed into the white population (Hodes 1997:67 ff). If the chains of slavery were lifted.” The reality of the extent to which “miscegenation” had made many “visibly white” can be seen in the numerous advertisements promising rewards for runaway slaves who could pass for white. Last. to indicate whether the free .

the instructions state. so many will be transferred from a faster to a slower rate of increase” (Kennedy 1862:8).S. census forms) for free inhabitants. In the instructions given for determining the color of slaves. that “it is important to observe the growing disparity between the pace at which the white and colored races are advancing in this country. Secretary of the Interior 1853b:xxii). it was important to discern any “perceptible . enumerators were told that “the color of all slaves should be noted” (U.. Secretary of the Interior 1853b:xxii. In the section explaining the schedules (i. it was very important to distinguish color among the free colored but not among the slaves. Thus. It also concluded. The assumption was that given the current rates of increase for both groups. which also required free and slave individuals to be identified according to whether they were mulatto or black.e.2 This led proslavery advocates to conclude incongruously that slavery was more beneficial than freedom to persons of African descent. this phrase was not included. The census of 1860 was taken on the eve of the Civil War. AFTER THE CIVIL WAR As Williamson (1984) and Davis (1992) argue.e. however. rather.” The number of whites was increasing faster than that of slaves. if slaves were emancipated.. it was after the Civil War that the need to distinguish all people of color (i. “It is very desirable that these particulars be carefully regarded” (U. It too examined the general population growth of the free colored and concluded that it was “a stationary population.196 APPENDIX D person was “mulatto” or “black” (U. it should be observed. and the free colored had the lowest rate of increase. carried no such admonition (Jackson and Teeples 1976). those who had been slaves as well those who had been free) from whites became more intense.1 These differential growth rates were seen to be relevant to the issue of possible emancipation: “Leaving the issue of the present civil war for time to determine. Secretary of the Interior 1853b:xxiii). they would not increase as rapidly as they had when they were slaves. Instructions for the section on mortality.” that they had as many deaths as births (Kennedy 1862:6). if large numbers of slaves shall be hereafter emancipated.S. Without slavery. italics added). Color distinctions among the dead were apparently not as important.S.

the census appears to have become obsessed with distinguishing the amount of Negro blood in individuals (Wright 1956:187). the same approach was echoed in the 1894 Supreme Court case of Plessy v. .3 Having been lost on the battlefield.4 shows. the concern with determining “traces” of Negro blood continued. The Supreme Court’s ruling against the petitioner thereupon made tenable and authenticated the concept of hypodescent and legitimized the Jim Crow legislation of the day for many decades to come. Although this obsession had eased by the next census. the struggle over the social status of African Americans moved to the area of racial classification.4 As noted earlier and as table 4. Ferguson. The plaintiff held that he should have the rights of a white man because he was seven-eighths white and only one-eighth black.APPENDIX D 197 trace” among the now-freed population as a way of maintaining the antebellum social structure. and by 1890.


for example. 2. or whatever in different contexts by different people or even by the same person” (1986: 275). such as the Journal of Ethnic Studies or the Latino Studies Journal. According to Jorge del Pinal. Works based on census material. Dominguez states that “an individual may be identified as indio. tend to use the term Hispanic. 3. But under more controlled conditions.d. Rodríguez 1991a). those used in the dictionary and by the census—and less heavily on definitions that represent academic consensus. Hayes-Bautista and Chapa 1987. Treviño 1987. In addition.. more useful for my purposes. and they also are relevant to the issues and data I analyze. Oboler 1995. At the descriptive level. Except when specifically referring to women. In her study of Spanish-speaking Caribbeans. the findings may be more typical of practices in the more traditional social science publications. trigueno. See the following for different arguments concerning the preferred term: Gimenez 1989. they are. In this book. Since census definitions come largely out of political and bureaucratic negotiation. Therefore. less mainstream journals. prieto. 42. some labor market differences by race and gender have been noted (Gómez n. NOTES TO CHAPTER 1 1. in part because both terms are used in the literature and I try to use those of the authors I cite when discussing their work. blanco. in this regard. mainly because this is the category under which the data were collected. July 30. Although this review was quite extensive.7 percent of the Hispanics who chose the “other race” category in the 1990 census gave a Latino referent. In this book I rely more heavily on commonly used definitions of race and ethnicity—that is. 4. Other works refer to surveys employing the term Latino.Notes NOTES TO INTRODUCTION 1. However. I use both Hispanic and Latino. I use the word Latino to refer to both women and men. 1999). 2. 94.3 percent of “other race” persons who provided a write-in gave a Latino referent (personal communication. my analyses of how Latinas and Latinos classify themselves racially have not revealed significant differences. were not included. two-thirds of all 199 .

framework. . 11. Martínez-Echazábal uses the word “mestisaje as a way of avoiding the English term miscegenation because in the Anglo-American context miscegenation refers exclusively to the sexual union of two people of different races while in the Ibero-American contexts it signals both biological and cultural interracial mixing” (1998:38).S. The Hispanic population increased from 4.200 NOTES TO CHAPTER 1 those who did not specify their race wrote in their Hispanic ethnicity (U.S.” 6.5 percent in 1970 to 79. The degree to which racism is perceived and experienced in the Latino framework may be related to phenotype. Asian/white unions are more likely to classify their children as “white” instead of “Asian. 1998a) examined the formatting of these questions. 7.S. 1998b) evaluated two versions of the race question and the revised Hispanic-origin question on the Census 2000 form. those farthest from the stereotyped “Latin look” may be those most acutely aware of. (1998a:III-22–23) for light and humorous discussions of skin color in the cognitive interviews. to some degree. The two samples questioned fifty-nine Hispanics from different parts of the nation. and the white non-Hispanic population decreased from 83. MacDorman. 5. The growth rates of Hispanic-origin groups differed. Consequently. and the other (Davis et al. Hypodescent is also referred to as the “one-drop rule. Atkinson. or in the best position to observe. and Asian and Pacific Islanders increased by 108 percent. face-to-face interviews were commissioned by the U. Consequently. and Parker (1999) noted that their analysis of the 4 million births in the United States each year may slightly underestimate the percentage of interracial births. Puerto Ricans by 35 percent. U. Bureau of the Census 1972. discrimination. 8. population in 1970 to 9 percent in the 1990 census. 1982). This will be covered in chapter 3. Native Americans increased by 38 percent. the high proportion of interracial children classified as “white” can.S. 9.6 percent in 1990 (del Pinal and Garcia 1993. racism and discrimination. Bureau of the Census in order to evaluate the race and Hispanic-origin questions on the Census 2000 form. In 1990. and other Hispanics by 67 percent (del Pinal 1993). the black population increased by 13 percent. One set (Davis et al. Office of Management and Budget 1995:44689). be explained by the composition of interracial couples.” This pattern is similar among Native Americans and contrasts with the two-thirds of children in black/white families who have consistently been identified as “black” in the last few decennial censuses. and therefore most aware of. Between 1980 and 1990. 10. al. 12.5 percent of the total U.” in which “one drop” of “nonwhite or black blood” determines a person’s “race. those farthest from either the local mean or the ideal European model may be those most subject to. with Mexicans increasing by 54 percent.6 percent in 1980 to 75.S. but see Davis et. Cubans by 30 percent. In the dominant U. Two sets of cognitive.

and Tamayo Lott 1996. and Masamura 1985. almost one-third (31%). Mendlein. Hahn 1994. and the proposal to shift Native Hawaiians from the “Asian and Pacific Islander” category to the “Native American Indian” category was supported by Senator Daniel Akaka from Hawaii. Wilson. Office of Management and Budget 1997a). The Arab American Institute argued for the addition of a special category for Arab Americans. 16. Hahn. the National Coalition for an Accurate Count of Asians and Pacific Islanders. McKenney. 15. and Harrison 1995:22. and it is this information that is used to draw boundaries for congressional and state legislative districts (Holmes 1999:24). Fernandez. 12–13).g. accounted for almost one-third. Falcon 1995. and black/white couples comprised fewer than one-seventh. and most of these marriages were to whites (Bennett. House of Representatives 1994o). Numerous scholars have noted differences between observed and respondent-reported race (see.S.. Rodríguez and Cordero-Guzmán 1992. The “other race” category. for example. For example. whereas the proportion of Hispanics in the population was 11 percent of the population (Reed and Ramírez 1998:table 1). See. Tumin and Feldman 1961). American Indian/white couples were the second largest group (22%). and Hall 1992 on the antecedents of “colorism” in the African American community and Jaimes 1994 on how blood quantum policies contributed to internal jockeying for Indian-ness. Supreme Court decided in January 1999 that the Census Bureau could not use sampling to help produce the official population figure that would be used to determine the number of House seats that each state would be allocated. However. and representatives of Native Hawaiians (U. 1989.S. 17. Rodríguez 1974. the proposal for a multiracial category was actively supported and advanced by organizations such as Project RACE and the Association of Multiethnic Americans. e.S. and Helgerson 1993. Results from the following studies reflect the resulting mélange of findings from the use of local versus national databases or differing models. which consisted mainly of Hispanics. Those responding that they were “multiracial” in a series of surveys conducted by various government agencies rarely reached 2 percent (U. 18.NOTES TO CHAPTER 1 201 Asian/white couples accounted for the largest proportion of interracial couples. 13. Massey 1980. . It is a tendency found in many oppressed groups and often leads to unnecessary divisions and acrimony within the group. that is. Goldstein. 14. 1993. the Court did not explicitly rule on whether sampling would be permitted to establish where precisely in a state people live. McKenney. Edmonston. The U. Russell. The privileging of one color or type over others in the group is often the result of historical practices and the effect of racial policies pursued within bipolar systems. McKenny and Bennett 1994. McKenney et al.

at every skill level. For an interesting discussion of whether race should be employed as a research category in public health research. Kossoudji (1988) discovered that Hispanics have paid more dearly for their lack of English-language skills than have Asians. the average American would see him as black (Ebony. This is part of what keeps the concept of race real. 2. 23. and Asian. “race” is a set of socially constructed meanings subject to change and contestation through power relations and social movements. 20. For example. see Fullilove 1998 and various comments on this article in the subsequent volume of the American Journal of Public Health (1999). Omi and Winant 1995). and it is embedded in a particular social context (Duany 1998b. Tiger Woods refers to himself as “Cablinasian”—Ca. 21.” July 1997. black. Stolzenberg (1982) found that occupational discrimination against Hispanics affects only first-generation. 138). the “red” and “yellow” color groups . discriminatory institutional and legal treatment. NOTES TO CHAPTER 2 1. Torres (1992) discovered discrimination in earnings against all Puerto Ricans but more often against island-born Puerto Rican women and men than against those born in the mainland United States. residential segregation. “Black America and Tiger’s Dilemma. dual labor markets. Indian. bl. examining wage-gap differences among Hispanics of different national origins and non-Hispanic whites. But Meléndez (1991) saw discrimination as important to explaining a large proportion of the wage gap between Hispanic and non-Hispanic New Yorkers. 19. found that discrimination varied in importance in explaining the wage gap and was not a major factor with regard to the gap between Hispanic and non-Hispanic women. and segregated school systems. 28–30. non-Englishspeaking immigrants. and foci. just as genetic material is inherited. for example. 22. Marks (1994) maintains that folk concepts of race—flawed and scientifically deficient as they may be—are passed down from generation to generation. In this simple conception of race. in. Caucasian. The classic film Ethnic Notions conveys this message well by juxtaposing the media images in a particular historical context against the reality of that time. Reimers (1985). Given the socially constructed nature of race. pp. The conception of subordinate social races can be eliminated only when the structures that support these conceptions are eliminated. racial identity is historically flexible and culturally variable.202 NOTES TO CHAPTER 1 controls. Telles and Lim (1998) addressed this question in Brazil and found the interviewer’s classification to be more useful for determining treatment. In other words. Some African Americans maintain that regardless of how he sees himself.

not to designate negative “racial” attributes (Snowden 1983. 9. was used to determine “race. This. people were confusing racism and ethnocentrism (1989:11).” “color prejudice. who argues otherwise. According to Thompson. it appears that groups had different skin colors at different times in their evolutionary history. he argues. however. 5. this led to their association with humble status. However. What was strange was “the number of those in the Greco-Roman world who rejected the norm of whiteness and openly stated their rejection” (1983:79). does do this in his own work. he is also somewhat critical because he feels that Snowden does not take into account Roman perceptions of race. Thompson agreed that some scholars interpret Roman comments about blacks in literature and iconography as reflecting “race prejudice. but it was used to describe futile labors or the unchangeability of nature. was quite different from the reactions of whites. he said. But this. 4. was not strange. it appears that “blood quantum. however. Nonetheless. that the treatment of a person of color depended on his or her status and not color. Although Thompson (1989) basically agrees with Snowden (1983). black. He also did not find in Greek drama any specifically . Thompson (1989:10 ff) points out that because most Aethiops were in humble positions. According to Wills (1994). the 2000 decennial census offered the option of choosing more than one race category. and another barbarian but cultivated world (1989:10 ff). “To wash an Ethiopian white” was a common expression in Greek and Roman literature. the Greco-Roman view distinguished among the “developed” world of pale brown (albus) Mediterranean people. 59).” that is. 10.” There is. 3. who says that the hypodescent rule has been rigidly enforced for Asian mixes by the Asian. and Davis 1992. the amount of “red” or “yellow” blood and not the “one-drop” criterion. he argues that this association was not a prejudice. 6. Instead. some disagreement in the literature about the extent to which the hypodescent rule was (and is) rigidly applied to all white/nonwhite mixes. and white communities. 8.” and “racism” but that in these cases. Thompson (1989) contends that he. and he concluded that the image of Ethiopians in Greek and Roman literature was essentially favorable (Snowden 1983:55. 7).NOTES TO CHAPTER 2 203 are also defined as nonwhite. Snowden found that the ancients did not make color the focus of irrational sentiments or the basis for uncritical evaluation. 7. a barbarian “underdeveloped” world. See Root 1992a and c and 1995. the evolution of skin color was not a one-time event. With regard to the ancients’ aesthetic preferences. As noted earlier. Snowden found a few more expressed preferences in classical literature for white beauty than those for black or dark beauty. who were struck by the novelty of Africans’ skin.

” followed by Asian and Pacific Islanders and those of “other race. They are simply the end points of the old mercantile trade networks” (1994:60). painting interraciality as problematic” (1992:281). When you got off. For example. boy did everybody look different! Our traditional racial groupings aren’t definitive types of people. According to Williams. culture. 17. Whites and blacks had very low rates of outmarriage (3% and 6. Even people like Marco Polo in the thirteenth century or the Islamic explorer Ibn Batuta in the fourteenth century never thought in racial terms. 18. and White 1992). Pryor. disposition. as well as color (1996:1). . “Most of the research on racially blended peoples and their families reflects Eurocentric bias. he includes differences based on language. Thus. even though the Greeks had confronted Ethiopians as enemies in the Persian wars (Snowden 1983:48). 12. the term Hispanic was first introduced by the census in 1980 to describe persons of Spanish origin and it is today used by some to identify themselves outside of the census context. 15. “naming” has both descriptive as well as prescriptive power. for example. 13. Moreover. Hispanics (like Native Americans and Asian and Pacific Islanders) also . A recent analysis of Asians’ intermarriages did not find a consistent relationship between education and intermarriage (Lee and Yamanaka 1990). considerable variation between race and ethnic groups with regard to intermarriage. Native Americans had the greatest percentage of “outmarriage. Bilger’s review (1997) of the contemporary debate between Frank M. The question of what categories or terms are used to describe or count a population is important for language is not a transparent window. 11.8 percent of blacks married others within their own “race” group. because they had seen everything in between. . and wind up on a different continent entirely. Shreeve argues that the concept of race did not exist until the Renaissance. and Molefi K. it is a screen through which a culture views its world. director of African-American Studies at Temple University in Philadelphia. On a more theoretical level. Asante.204 NOTES TO CHAPTER 2 antiblack sentiments. 97 percent of whites and 92. the authors concluded that ethnicity lacked replicability and a shared meaning and had multiple dimensions and overlapping categories (Almey. [T]hat changed when you could get into a boat. when ships could navigate the open ocean. There was. When talking about the racialization process.2%. because traveling by foot and camel rarely allowed them to cover more than twenty-five miles a day: “It never occurred to them to categorize people. however. and appearance. See. . 16. respectively). Snowden Jr. but his view of “race” is considerably broader than that of other writers. sail for months.” who were mainly Hispanic. even though the majority of intermarriages were between whites and blacks. 14. Hannaford maintains that these changes were foreshadowed in earlier writings.

In sum. In some cases. 2. national origin. I have stated elsewhere that the consolidation of these multiple identities represents a unique form of resistance to the United States’ dichotomized racial structure (Rodriguez 1994a).6%) or Cubans (36.NOTES TO CHAPTER 3 205 had relatively high outmarriage rates.S. 5.6 percent of “other Hispanic” marriages were to non-Hispanics. The three fastest-growing groups in the country—Native Americans. 35. the interviewers asked the respondent for additional information or read the summary to him or her for confirmation or validation.3 percent of Mexican. Paradoxically. in order to check for bias. the increasing number of Latino immigrants to the United States is enforcing Latinos’ more traditional focus on national identity and cultural differences between themselves and other groups. 4. 25.-born and foreign-born Latinos are experiencing these pressures. religion. and Giles 1996). A large proportion married non-Hispanics: 28. and Hispanics— had the highest rates of outmarriage. for example. 19. Finally. this similarity might have introduced biases not readily identifiable. minority status.1%) married “out” more than Mexicans (30. The reason may be that Hispanic subgroups are geographically concentrated and separated from one another and there are more eligible non-Hispanic marriage partners.S. the interviewers were asked to summarize two of their interviews. the report stated that in areas where they are relatively numerous. Clement. social. Although it was desirable for the interviewer and interviewee to have similar backgrounds. with some variation by Hispanic subgroup. and economic contexts contain the variables that influence racial and ethnic classifications. So. who emphasizes the significance of the Chicano .3%) and Puerto Ricans (45. the smaller “racial” groups are reasonably well identified but in areas where they are rare. The other interviewers then reviewed and edited the summaries.4 percent of Puerto Rican. at the same time that U. 1995:433–435) or those found in the academic literature (Leets. and asked additional questions. See Hurtado 1997. checking for inconsistencies and personal and factual conclusions. they may be misclassified (U. Bureau of the Census 1953:35).7 percent of Cuban. “Other Hispanics” (50. Forbes noted a similar pressure on Native Americans by whites and blacks in the United States to be black Americans (1990:33 ff). and 43. Asian and Pacific Islanders.8%) did. language. and tribal membership (Bates et al. both Latino and non-Latino. 20. NOTES TO CHAPTER 3 1. the original interviewers rewrote the summary. 3. These political-legal.

1997). When asked. Johnson et al. became a graduate student. . 6. however. Her racial identity is clear. 1997:3). A much later decennial census confirmed this practice of counting only taxed Indians: “Those bound for a term of years have always been taken among the free. rather. She described herself as being “white. Herrera. In response to the census item. some Latino respondents do not like the “other race” classification (Kissam. This woman’s responses reflect her life in the United States.” She added that she had not bothered to look at the other categories to see whether they might be more appropriate.” This does not mean. as white as they come. then white.S. The following example of a young white middle-class woman responding to the racial questions used in these case studies illustrates the “normative” position. For most European Americans. that being “none of the above” is not a problem for them. she replied. The woman was born in the Midwest and was a graduate student on the West Coast. Yet some of the case studies described here convey the sense that it is all right to be “other. etc. These respondents maintain that “‘other’ implies you don’t belong to a group” or represents marginality (Johnson et al. or pigmentation may affect the way in which other European Americans identify their race. 2. Secretary of the Interior 1853b:xvi). although factors such as class. that these respondents endorse the category of “other race” but. NOTES TO CHAPTER 4 1. religion.” When asked why she had answered in this way. Indians not taxed always excluded” (U. and finally identified her current student role and future occupational goals. for she did not consider herself “ethnic. national origin.206 NOTES TO CHAPTER 3 movement at that time in shaping the evolution of her own identity as a strongly and proudly identified Chicana.). and Nakamoto 1993.” The only times she did not answer “white” was when the question did not specifically address race—as when asked how she would describe herself over the phone (she said she would describe her clothing) or whether her identity had changed (she said it did when she got married. racial identity is less complicated and more straightforward. 7. “Because I’m white. She was at least third-generation northern European on both her maternal and paternal sides. The fact that neither the sex nor the ages of free or slave African Americans were requested indicates the relative unimportance of these groups in the social hierarchy at the time. she checked “white.” The young woman’s responses to the other racial identifiers were similarly unvarying. According to a number of studies. “How do you identify yourself?” she first stated she was a woman.

S. . In the 1830 census. Quadroons.” The instructions to the enumerators referred to “Color. By the 1890 census. Secretary of the Interior 1853a:xxxii). blind and insane colored persons. The 1900 census.” n. 4. The next census. The 1850 and 1860 censuses followed the same procedures.S. These latter categories made up smaller proportions of the southwest and northern territories. the hypodescent rule was firmly in place. Japanese.0 percent. Octoroons.” and “M”).p. and table footnotes explicitly indicate that “Negro” “includes all persons of negro descent” (U. used the 1860 format but added letter codes in the column head (i. Although foreign-born whites were separated from native-born whites for the first time in 1830.S.” (U. Interestingly. mulatto.). 9.S.S. Mulattoes. tables were included with columns for “Deaf and dumb. only one table in the 1890 population census volume presented the data collected on the various categories of mixtures. but it also combined the “free colored” and “slave” populations to calculate projected population increases (U. or mulatto” appeared on the census form under the “color” column.6 percent and 1. and the Civilized Indian Population.. Japanese. 7. “Whether white.e. House of Representatives 1895:table 10.S. 36) 9. the question was. Dept. this did not affect the total count of whites. Secretary of the Interior 1853a:table xxxvii) and the ratio of illiterate persons to total population (De Bow 1854a:153). The “foreign born” have been counted in every decennial census since then. in fact. the data on race and color were generally presented in the columns for Negroes. noted that these figures’ worthlessness had been acknowledged in the 1890 census (U. in compiling tables of census data gathered earlier.” The colored included both free persons and slaves (U. respectively (Heads of Families 1992). 397).” “B. Chinese. Japanese or Indian.S. House of Representatives. The 1850 decennial census described and presented data for the population’s three classes: whites. the former “all other free persons” and free colored categories were combined with the “slaves” category to determine the percentage of blacks in the total population between 1790 and 1890 (U. 6.S. 10. in the 1840 census for Maine. blind and insane white persons” and for “Deaf and dumb.S. In the other tables. In the 1890 census. Bureau of the Census 1989:20). black. sex and age were also requested for the first time within this third category and within the “slaves” category (U. For example. House of Representatives. 1895:xcv–xcvi). 8. It was entitled “Colored Population Classified as Negroes. octoroon. “W. in 1870. black. Bureau of the Census 1989:34. quadroon. Chinese. free colored. of State 1842: table entitled “Aggregate Amount of Each Description of Persons within the District of Maine. 1895:xcv). and slave (U.NOTES TO CHAPTER 4 207 3. but in 1860 the actual categories “white. and Civilized Indians. by States and Territories: 1890” (U. p. Moreover. Census Office 1901:cxi). Chinese. 5.

19. 21.S. Dept. 18.S. 14. (2) one parent native born and the other foreign born. but persons of Asian origin could not. Japanese. According to Williamson. prompt the dominated to collude in the perpetuation of their own exclusion. 1921:102). but beneficial. East Indians. The last two categories were often combined in tables because they were thought not to “differ greatly in characteristics” (U. 17. One exception was the distribution of the mulatto and black population by state for 1910 and 1920 (U. From yet another perspective. the formation of races in which people of African descent have triumphed over negative definitions and arrived at authentic and more constructive self-definitions. then. Different states resolved the issue differently (see Kettner 1978:287–333). to make sure that no one who might possibly be identified as black also became identified as white. House of Representatives 1895:clxxx). The table in the introduction of the 1890 census also included a separate column tabulating “persons of Negro descent” (U. 16.208 NOTES TO CHAPTER 4 11. Dept. 15. Secretary of the Interior. Counts for Indians and Chinese were reported in the 1860 census. In the 1880 census. acceptance of the one-drop rule means internalizing the oppression of the dominant group. (3) both parents foreign born. of Commerce. under certain historical conditions. it was the acceptance of the “one-drop” rule that was the antithesis to assimilation into white culture—which mulattoes and blacks had earlier pursued—and the start of building a separate culture for blacks. Census takers were instructed that “in order to obtain separate figures . the legal and citizenship status of free mulattoes was originally not clear. Wacquant (1994) sees this shift as demonstrating how “resistance” and the formation of an oppositional cultural identity may. For a mixed person.S. 13. 1872b). and few states specified their status. of Commerce. Mulattoes and blacks were also counted in the 1910 and 1920 censuses. Bureau of the Census 1922:10). The four categories were (1) both parents native born. persons of African origin could become naturalized citizens. Bureau of the Census. the hypodescent rule is seen to have had more deleterious consequences: “The function of the one-drop rule was to solidify the barrier between black and white. House of Representatives 1883:xxxvi).S. When the Fourteenth Amendment was passed. Williamson (1984) and Davis (1992) see as ironic. Maps showing the density of foreign population were also included in this 1870 census (U. the “Asiatic” category was also more explicitly defined as including Chinese. and (4) foreign born oneself.S. 12. but it was not until 1870 that categories for these groups appeared on the census form. and so on and not including Native Americans or “half-breeds” (U. 20. buying into the system of racial domination” (Spickard 1992:19). As the next chapter explains.

or Japanese. although the term color was kept until 1960 (U. ‘Chicano. Negro. while ‘Brown (Negro)’ would be considered as Negro or Black for census purposes” (U. Many other groups were also counted in the “other race” category.S. Japanese. 24. Chinese. NOTES TO CHAPTER 5 1. Aleut. Koreans. Bureau of the Census 1989:60). and Malayan races” and added that “other races” included all “racial stocks” not listed separately. Bureau of the Census 1932. “color and race” were explained in the introduction. and whether they were of foreign or mixed parentage (U. Chinese. The table was accompanied by a chart of the number of Mexicans in selected states. The terms used in these “introductions” were not necessarily the same as those used on the census form.).’ ‘Moslem. Consequently. the enumerators’ manual also contained a long list of possible classifications and how they were to be reported. procedures. would be returned as Mexicans (Mex)” (U. and changes from the previous census and noted problems in conducting the census. Filipino. 1943.’ ‘La Raza. 1953.S. Many of the decennial censuses contained introductory sections in which the census explained terms. Negro.S. Eskimo.NOTES TO CHAPTER 5 209 for Mexicans. concepts. but it was the Chinese (first counted in 1860) and the Japanese (first counted in 1870) who were reported separately because they were seen to constitute the largest “other race” groups. 22. their birthplace. 1989:69). “An Indian not taxed should. the respondent’s relatives living in the unit were also of the same race.S. Interestingly. 1963. The list of categories included white.S.” that is. persons who said they were “brown” were white unless they indicated they were also “Negro. for example. Asian Indians. or having parents born in Mexico. 25.’ or ‘Brown’ were to be changed to white. American Indian. who were not definitely white. and “(etc. it was decided that all persons born in Mexico. Hawaiian. the number of Mexicans who had been miscounted as “whites” in the previous census. “For example.” The terms used in the introductions also varied over time. Chinese. it still maintained that groups of “color” included “Negroes. American Indians.” 23. Filipinos. although self-classification was accepted. Filipinos. Indian. The 1870 census states. in 1950. Bureau of the Census 1932:2). Bureau of the Census 1963:xx). Although the 1960 census stated that race was derived from what was “commonly accepted by the general public” (U. Japanese. to put it upon the . Part Hawaiian. but the census form simply referred to “race.’ ‘Mexican American. 2. For example. This same census also contained a table entitled “Estimated Number of Mexicans Included in the White Population in 1920.” Enumerators were also instructed to assume that unless they learned otherwise. Bureau of the Census 1989:83).

they are found in communities composed wholly or mainly of Indians. In a word. Secretary of the Interior 1872a:19). and hospitality. Garfield. such persons are to be treated as belonging to the white population. .S.210 NOTES TO CHAPTER 5 lowest possible ground. The fact that he sustains a vague political relation is no reason why he should not be recognized as a human being by a census which counts even the cattle and horses of the country” (U. Wilson argues that the acceptance of the blood quantum approach rep- . The report did not endorse the criterion applied to former slaves in which children born of slave mothers were to be slaves. Secretary of the Interior 1872a:19). . who lived on reservations but who were not otherwise counted because they were not receiving annuities from the United States or who did not live on reservations but lived in U. Although they were referred to in negative terms similar to those used for Africans. Alaska (Ninth Census of the United States 1869:13 ff). Where. such comments did not usually refer to color or physical features. 1869) also notes the concern at the time with counting the recently freed black population and Indians. the opposite construction is taken. The report specifically noted “how few of pure Indian race are to be found outside of Government reservations” and how variously mixed were others in camps or settlements popularly known as Indian (U. An issue on which there is some difference of opinion but little systematic research is how Europeans perceived Native Americans in terms of color. stoicism. Hough (February 5.S. It stated that this unfortunate criterion “was the bad necessity of a bad cause. from Dr. 3. James A. 4. The 1870 census report states. 6.S. alien customs. it was “warfare.S. However.S. tastes. which required every point to be construed against freedom” (U. Secretary of the Interior 1872a:22). and the enraging refusal of Indians to accept the white man’s ‘civilization’” that contributed to negative views of Indians (quoted in Wilson 1992:117). territories. in the equilibrium produced by the equal division of blood. adopting their habits of life and methods of industry. 5. Correspondence to the Hon. for example. be reported in the census just as truly as the vagabond or pauper of the white or the colored race. chair of the Census Committee. Franklin B. Secretary of the Interior 1872a:19). and associations of the half-breed are allowed to determine his gravitation to the one class or the other” (U. on the other hand. Wilson (1992:117) argues that Indians were not seen as a “significantly darker race” until the 1750s and that they were not called “red” until after 1800. 7. yet they are today classified as a separate race. Many Native Americans have intermarried. He maintains that Indians were looked down on because of their “brutishness” but that this was seen to be the result of custom and environment and that it was partially ameliorated by the virtues of physical hardiness. the habits. “Where persons reported as ‘half-breeds’ are found residing with whites. . Rather.

12. 13. U. 9.g. 11. citizenship” before 1952—for example. “The idea of combining dependency and wardship with the idea of a separate allegiance and nationality was perhaps inconsistent. middle. It states that “the right of a person to become a naturalized citizen of the United States shall not be denied or abridged because of race” (Takaki 1994:26). then it would be the desired color. Another felt consternation at discovering he was more Filipino than Native American.NOTES TO CHAPTER 5 211 resents a “victory of the principles of racial stratification over ethnicity” and that it also “contributes to the confusion between race and ethnicity. The Continental Congress of 1775 had already established northern. That is. the desire to be white (as opposed to any other color) has been rooted in the privileges and rights that this color offers. This census also counted the number of free people of color and of whites living in these particular nations (Kennedy 1862:10–11).S. but it sufficed to exclude the Native Americans from the status and the privileges of American citizenship” (1978:300). 10. 15. ruling stated unequivocally that the Japanese were “aliens ineligible for citizenship” (Almaguer 1994:10). the Chinese between 1850 and 1882 and at least 420 Japanese immigrants before 1910 when the Ozawa v. if the privileged color were yellow. The 1790 law was in effect until 1952 when the Walter-McCarren Act reversed this policy. On an individual level. This was recently illustrated in South Africa after apartheid’s demise in 1994 when some “blacks” who had earlier passed into “colored” status as relief from repression reverted to their black racial identities (Duke 1998). As Kettner stated. Nor could white men who were adopted into Indian tribes alter the obligations they owed as a result of their primary citizenship (Kettner 1978:298–299). why would anyone want to be white instead of what they actually were? In other words. There is evidence that some nonwhite immigrants were “mistakenly granted U. 8. In this regard. and southern departments with boards of commissioners authorized to conclude treaties with organized tribes.. the Choctaw) were not under the jurisdiction of Indian laws. One student had consistently expressed a preference to be with fullbloods until she discovered that she herself was not full-blooded.S. as Indians are viewed and treated variously as a race and as an ethnic group” (1992:119). A permanent standing committee on Indian affairs was established in 1776 (Kettner 1978:291). Interestingly. it is interesting that in most court decisions before the Civil War. slaves whose masters lived in or were adopted by Indian nations (e. Wilson (1992) cites the experiences of two of his students as illustrating the way in which Native Americans commonly internalize these state definitions. federal law took precedence in matters of citizenship and slavery. 14. If this were not the case. some of the Punjabis in California married Mexican American women in order to be able to own land (in their wives’ names) .

as late as 1960. 1970. for example. 17.S. The National Research Council’s recent analysis of the discussions about the changing federal standards for racial and ethnic classification took a similar approach. Bureau of the Census 1973:app. Other Asian. was included in the 1910. A question about one’s “mother tongue. Not until the 1970 census did the instructions indicate that a response suggesting Indo-European stock (which included Asian Indians) was to be included in the white category (U. Bureau of the Census 1943:3). 1920. Japanese. 5).S. and Tamayo Lott 1996. Samoan. Middle Easterners. 22. 1930. also allowed greater numbers of Indians to immigrate to the United States. Some. and those Hispanics who were not definitely any of the other races. 1980. appearance was determined by white census enumerators.212 NOTES TO CHAPTER 5 (Leonard 1992).3 percent of Hispanics were classified as “white” (U. 24. 21. For example. which was officially entitled the “India Immigration and Naturalization Act of 1946” (and unofficially known as the Luce-Celler Bill). Bureau of the Census 1973: app. It was the same 1960 census that classified as “white” those southern Europeans. Vietnamese. The groups included with Asian Indians are Filipinos. In 1970. 1960. NOTES TO CHAPTER 6 1. They were clearly entitled to citizenship rights in 1946/47 and could own land. 15. the census explained the procedure in the following way: “Persons of Mexican birth or ancestry who were not definitely Indian or of other Nonwhite races were returned as White” (U. When exactly the classification of Asian Indians as white began is a matter of some debate.S. The law. Bureau of the Census 1972:table 2). while others were not (Leonard 1992:207). 18. Guamanian or Chamorro. were classified as white because of their physical appearance. In this way. and 1990 censuses (U. Bureau of the Census still indicated in its census instructions that Asian Indians were to be classified as racially “other” and that “Hindu” was to be written in for them (1989:78). 23. However.” 19. This concept of “new people” is borrowed from Williamson (1984).S. 20. See Tienda and Ortiz 1986 for a very good analysis of the census items in the 1980 census that are associated with an “Hispanic” identification.” or language spoken at home. C). particularly those of the second generation. 2. As . Korean. In all likelihood. they circumvented the prohibition against nonwhite. the U. see pp. as the majority of census enumerators during this period were white.S. 16. In 1940. The last two categories allow individuals to write in their “race. and 18 in Edmonston. 93. Native Hawaiian. foreign-born individuals owning land. although he uses it to refer solely to African Americans in the United States. and Other Pacific Islanders. 1940. Goldstein.

which came to be called mestizaje in Latin America. for example. 10. more “racial” concept of hybrid was emphasized. variable in understanding the histories and current-day situations of many Central American countries. Wilson. It is unclear to what extent this secondary source. 5. occupation. and ownership of land (1991:202 ff). who argues that the size of the Amerindian population that survived in Central America is an important.NOTES TO CHAPTER 6 213 used in this chapter. with a variety of hair textures and features). 8. See also Frazier 1962:162–175. This example also illustrates each country’s distinct racial constructions. But gradually. may have overlooked—and consequently obscured—particular notations of color or mixture in the originals. ethnicity. 2. The classic example of changing “race” over space is given in the description of how the “race” of a Latin American man can change from “white” in Puerto Rico to “mulatto” or “mestizo” in Mexico to “black” in the United States. Davis refers to the hypodescent rule as assigning racially mixed persons to the status of the subordinate group. wild and tame or citizen and stranger. and the Hispanic Caribbean had more continuity. first published in 1932. straight haired). 9. but neglected. race. 6.” He also states that this rule is also known as the “one black ancestor rule” because it is not as stringently applied to other nonwhites (1992:5). Adams 1989. some rough equivalents for common terms are trigueño/a (wheat colored). 12. Russell. 3. 11. and indio (Indian prototype. Hoetink (1985) also argues that the non-Hispanic Caribbean had sharper class divisions. affirmative-action offices and black protestors as it is by Ku Klux Klansmen. who often had European ancestors. jabao (high yellow). which describes the . According to Gutiérrez. See Denton and Massey 1989. racial classifications may have been less rigid. It is possible that in the period before the first decennial census. Latin America refers to Spanish. He contends that the word hybrid was formerly used to refer to any type of mixture. Forbes (1988) argues that the evolution of the term mestizo (or hybrid) reflects this shift. See.or Portuguese-speaking Central and South America and the Spanish-speaking Caribbean. for example. who reviewed the central role of the Catholic Church with regard to the consideration of African slaves as having souls and therefore being worthy of saving. 4. a narrow. and Hall (1992) argue that similar ideas developed in the African American community and flow from earlier distinctions between field and house slaves. moreno (dark skinned. calidad was a summation of several measures of social worth in the community: religion. Although these terms are fluctuating and ambiguous and vary somewhat from country to country. 7. legitimacy. He contends that this “American cultural definition of blacks is taken for granted as readily by judges. See appendix C.

it is assumed that they must have been wealthy peninsular Spaniards or criollos. and their offspring. the use of this term declined. They were viewed as antisocial elements who served as intermediaries with the Indians. In other words. Today this is the term used for a “parrot” (1988:111). Although little is known about who specifically commissioned them. It is curious that both these terms referred to animals. 19. 18. O’Crouley’s 1972 text also contains illustrations and descriptions of the “modes of dress” of these mixtures and families. in . interpreting the racial climate that these paintings reflect is quite difficult. mainly in Mexico and Peru. Gutiérrez found in his analysis of northern Mexico that the vast majority of racial mixing in 1750 and in 1790 occurred among mixed bloods. The casta paintings were a series of fourteen to twenty paintings that depicted families and individuals that had interbred.” He argues that this might have made more precise racial or physical distinctions less important or possible. 17. Forbes says that the term loro (or the feminine lora) was the archaic term used in Spain for people from North Africa. the Americas. or mestizo painters (García Sáiz 1996). persons of full or partial European descent born and/or raised in the Spanish colonies.214 NOTES TO CHAPTER 6 evidence for this in Smith and Wojtowicz’s 1989 and Meaders’s 1993 analyses of advertisements for runaway indentured servants between 1728 and 1790. the Canary Islands. 21. This may have reflected the negative view of such children or simply the strongly agrarian environment of the time. 15. this has been found to be the case with regard to census categories in Canada (Statistics Canada and U. whereas terms referring to other “mixes” did not. 13. These were often the unacknowledged children of slave owners. Klor de Alva (1996:60 ff) and MacLeod (1973) also noted the expansion in number and variety of mixed peoples during the early colonial period. 14. Specifically. They were often painted by unknown. He also notes that the first Spanish explorers referred to the indigenous people as loro colored but that after 1570. According to O’Crouley (1972). Their rapid growth and their possible alliance with the Indians also were feared. concluded that they represent a fictional melting pot with mixed messages of half-celebration and half-coercion and that this is the legacy of Latin America today. for example. 16. “like married like. indigenous. The genre of casta (caste) painting was developed in the beginning of the eighteenth century. As Cotter 1996 and the essays in Katzew 1996 suggest. Bureau of the Census 1993). It was sometimes used to refer to mixed individuals. mestizo referred to the cross between a Spaniard and an Indian. 20. castizo to the cross between a Spaniard and a mestizo.S. According to MacLeod 1973. Cotter. but it was also used to apply to brown-skinned persons. or India. he rejects the notion that persons were blind to race (1991:292). However. these groups were free but were not seen to be the social or legal equals of Creoles or Peninsulares. that is.

Hanchard 1994. . Fontaine 1985. Fernandes 1969. as in the term mestizo. The sample was chosen so as to include immigrants for whom English was not their first language. Winant 1992). which refers to someone who is half-Indian and half-Spanish. see the following for an analysis of past and more contemporary views of the development of race ideology and practices in Brazil: Andrews 1980. They were (1) irregular and complex household arrangements (plus the fact that different groups conceived of households differently and would. Brookshaw 1986. Martin. Nobles 1995. for example. and Los Angeles. 25. 28. 24. 1993. behind and above a commercial establishment). 1991. and Campanelli 1990. and in the Americas (Almey. (2) irregular housing (some households were not counted because their living quarters were not visible to postal clerks. San Francisco. Pryor. Skidmore 1990. D. DeMaio. not include persons living in the household but not considered members of the household.” and in Latin America. As Winant pointed out.” or color. Silva and Hasenbalg 1992. dominant classes shape the entire culture of their society. popular movements. in-depth interviews and focus groups in Washington. and White 1992).C. as well as Hispanics who spoke only English. Degler 1986. 22. 1979. Graham perhaps best described the influence of such ideologies: “It is now commonplace among historians to refer to hegemonic ideologies through which. Frazier 1942. and intellectuals of all types develop racial projects that interpret and reinterpret the meaning of race (Winant 1992:183). Telles 1992. (4) fear of government and outsiders. The idea of race as it was formulated in the 19th century seems to have served that function” (1990:1). therefore. 1994. 26. race is always being contested and defined. creating the predominant intellectual categories and limiting the possible range of any challenge. it is argued. These ideologies are accepted (at least for awhile) by the very groups who are thereby controlled. These were studies conducted or commissioned by the census as part of its efforts to determine why people were either missed or erroneously included in the last decennial census. Indigenismo refers to the indigenous population. (3) residential mobility. state agencies. This study used cognitive. 23. A number of reasons were found for the undercount of various groups in diverse areas of the country. and (5) a poor command of English (de la Puente 1993:37). The literature in this area on Brazil is extensive. Miller 1991). Dzidzienyo 1993.NOTES TO CHAPTER 6 215 the United States (Lee 1993.. Hellwig 1992. Elites. being. Stephens defined pardo or parda as “gray” or “brown” (1989:341). 27. Margolis and Carter 1979. boarders. Mestizaje refers to a biological and cultural mixture. Café con leche is translated literally as “coffee with milk. religions. this color covers a range from beige to mocha. and cryptomelanism is a term created to signify the death of “melanin. for example.

1991a). who noted the difficulties of discerning race from Hispanics’ subjective responses on the census.” It is unclear whether they shared the Latino view of “race” or if they were using another criterion. for example. The question about ethnic origin did not elicit within-country ethnicity. These fourteen categories were listed under the four major categories. As noted earlier. fourteen categories in 1980. The authors recommended that to gather such information. Cuban. I examined these data by gender and found few differences between males and females with regard to the general issue of racial classification. The Census Bureau asked a similar question in the 1970 census. e. Hispanics can be of any race. I have not presented separate data for men and women. what had been eight categories in the 1970 census became. and a final “No. These were preliminary results..” (McKenney and Cresce 1993). When comparing Hispanics with other “races. the U. none of these. Asian and Pacific Islander. Given the predominance of the bipolar perspective. some readers assumed that if the category was called “other race. black. Consequently.S. 4. 8. The question asked for the person’s origin or descent and provided five categories: Mexican. Wright 1994 and Sandor 1994.216 NOTES TO CHAPTER 6 29. there was also relatively little coverage of the issue in the popular . With the exception of some articles. according to the current census policy. but members of Congress. and “members of some of the minority communities” opposed it (U. and Native American Indian. for example.g. See Rodríguez 1990 and Massey and Denton 1992. Rosenbaum (1996) and Rodríguez (1990. 7. A subcategory called “Asian and Pacific Islander” was also included for the first time in 1990. white.S. House Committee 1994n:215). Denton and Massey (1989) and Massey and Denton (1992) explicitly mentioned this interpretation.” it had to mean that those in the category were “other than white or black. 2. With regard to the race question.” the researchers assumed that Hispanics were a “race.” that is. 6. There was some reaction. the census should change the phrase “ethnic origin” and ask: Cual es el origen de esta persona? “What is this person’s origin?” NOTES TO CHAPTER 7 1. mulattoes or mestizos. Puerto Rican. that is. through modifications and additions. Mayan Guatemalan. 5. Office of Management and Budget proposed adding an “other” racial category to Directive 15. This sample is described in chapter 3. In 1988. Central or South American and Other Spanish. Others. some of the federal agencies. but it was included only in the 5 percent sample questionnaire. 3. did not define the category as a mixed-race category but did use the category in their analyses.

11. the way the question is asked)” (1995:2). and 91 percent of Asian and Pacific Islanders gave the same answer during a reinterview study that they had given on the census questionnaire (U.7 percent and 52. the number of people who reported this ancestry increased eight times over that in 1991 (Norris 1999:A9). 12. 13. Reporting race was less consistent for Hispanics and a number of other groups. the proportion classifying themselves as “other race” continued to be substantial for Mexicans .” “Spanish. 98 percent of whites.S.S. or Aleut “may not be straightforward” and “may have a reliability problem and be sensitive to methods effects (e. for example. Mexicans. and persons who did not read or speak English well (U. By including the category “Canadian” in its list of sample answers. next to its question on ethnic origins..NOTES TO CHAPTER 7 217 press.3 percent.S. for example.4 percent of Cubans with an eighth-grade education or less classified themselves as “other. General Accounting Office 1993:22 ff). 15. 17. Neither the English. This analysis was based on the 1990 PUMS (Public Use Micro Sample) 5 percent sample and included individuals who answered affirmatively to the Hispanic-identifier question on the 1990 census. multiple-race persons. A U. 9.g. Department of Labor study of racial and ethnic identification recognized that the identification of American Indian. The “other Spanish/Hispanic” (OSH) group are those respondents who reported in a less country-specific way.” whereas the proportions of Mexicans and Puerto Ricans with an equivalent education were higher and similar. A recent and dramatic example of how just the presence of particular groups on census forms could influence responses was noted in the last Canadian census. The “other Latin American” (OLA) group are those who indicated their “origin” from a Spanish-speaking country in the Caribbean or Central or South America. In this analysis. With regard to the race question.” “mestizo. among those with a graduate education.” or “Meso-American Indian. and Cubans refer to those who checked one of these categories on this census question. Eskimo.” “Spanish American. respectively. 96 percent of blacks. Puerto Ricans. 10. External effects on identification have been acknowledged for Native Americans. The question asked was “How would you describe yourself racially?” 14. For example. 52. the distribution of Cubans was different from that of Mexicans and Puerto Ricans. that they were “Hispanic.or the Spanish-language media took much notice of the 1980 results.) 16. It also referred to the 10 percent of the general population who did not answer the Hispanic-origin question. For example. Only 14. General Accounting Office 1993:22 ff). the foreign born. Cubans with both little and much education reported they were “other race” much less often than did the other groups.” (See appendix A for a discussion of the data limitations of the 1990 census.

and Puerto Ricans. 41.S.5%). The differences were smaller for Puerto Ricans: 48.2 percent of U. The differences were more marked for the “other Spanish/Hispanic” group. than did island-born Puerto Ricans. born and the foreign born reported race were slight in some cases. or identify themselves with. and Cubans (8.” compared with the U. 18. a slightly higher proportion classified themselves as black.19 percent of those born in the United States reporting that they were white. Similarly. and somewhat more Mexican immigrants in this age group (54. more of the foreign-born persons in the OSH group reported they were “black” or “Asian and Pacific Islander. In addition.S. For example.9 percent for the foreign born.S.218 NOTES TO CHAPTER 7 (32.87 percent for the U. 70. The figures for those reporting that they were “other” were 23.0%) reported that they were “other. The 1990 data do not show self-classification as black to be associated with age or education in any consistent or distinct pattern. though with differences of degree.” compared with 47.74 percent of those eighteen and older were born in the United States.-born group (41.3%) and Puerto Ricans (31. This is a reversal of the “whitening” process more prevalent in Latin America (see Rodríguez 1974).4%). Pacific Islander. 42.8 percent of immigrant Mexicans. 10. 56. The pattern is the same for other groups.66 percent of those born in the states reported that they were “other. 20.5 percent of those who speak only English checked . Of the “other Spanish/Hispanic” group. Earlier research on Puerto Ricans in New York City suggested some preliminary evidence of a “browning” phenomenon. I discovered (Rodríguez 1989. 22. Among Cubans. Figures for the other groups were “other Latin Americans” (21. “other Spanish/Hispanics” (11. 1990) that among mainland-born Puerto Ricans. eighteen and older. We cannot assume that because individuals report they speak “only English at home. Differences between how the U. 70 percent of the OSH group was born on the mainland. Because the numbers reporting they were Asian.9 percent of those born abroad. for example. Mexicans. but not for the OSH group.8 percent of those born abroad. compared with 52. compared with 44. or Native American Indian were so small. 42.62%). 23.09 percent of Puerto Ricans.S.” they do not speak Spanish at all. But generalizations about “browning” versus “whitening” are risky because the cell sizes were small. with 63.4 percent of those born abroad.66 percent. I obtained similar results in 1990 for U.” 21.S. 19. they are not discussed in detail.-born Mexicans reported that they were white. compared with 47.1%). “Speaking only English at home” is only a partial proxy for language knowledge. nonwhites. who were born in the states classified themselves as white.60 percent. in which individuals see themselves as.-born Mexicans and Puerto Ricans.7%). born and 25. and fewer as white.

reversing the Hispanic and race items also reduced Hispanics’ nonresponse rates for this question. 18.7 and 36. and 2. identifying as “other race” in 1980 was positively associated with the density of the Hispanic population in a particular state and negatively associated with the proportion of blacks in that state.NOTES TO CHAPTER 7 219 “other race.5 percent in Kansas. Puerto Ricans are not immigrants. and for the “other Spanish/Hispanic” group. the greater the proportion of blacks was. the greater the proportion of Hispanics was. There was a great deal of variation from state to state in the proportion of Hispanics who identified as “other race.4 percent API/NAI. 24. 0. and the respondents’ perception of how North Americans saw them racially. 29. Conversely. 2. This study used logit regression to analyze the original survey data of 258 travelers to Puerto Rico—half of the sample lived in Puerto Rico and the other half in the United States.” Many recent Cuban refugees—described in the popular press as “Marielitos”—were seen as “darker” and as having lower-class origins than the earlier waves of post-Castro immigrants.5 percent black. For “other Latin Americans. I found (Rodríguez 1989) that for Hispanics.” from 6 percent in West Virginia to 48. 1. 25. the more likely Hispanics were to give biracial classifications for themselves as white or black.25 percent identified as white. Of Cubans who immigrated within the last ten years.1 percent. the figures are 58. with the proportion of whites in a particular state. 30.4 percent of Cubans who speak Spanish at home. Interestingly. 78. 28.9 percent black. In the Dominican case.” the respective figures are 23. although the proportion who classified .06 percent of those who immigrated before 1980. compared with 86.7 and 36.6%). that is. But consistent with the general pattern of the other groups.24%).35 percent of whom identified as black and 11.18 percent as “other. however. 26. I believe that the more salient the biracial structure was.3 percent white.95%) or “other” (16. but the amount of reduction varied in three experiments conducted in 1990. It was not associated.4 percent. higher percentages of those who speak only English reported that they were black or API/NAI. a lower proportion of Cubans speaking only English reported that they were white (76. and 0.4 percent white. See Rodriguez 1989c for a discussion of the (im)migrant status of Puerto Ricans. It controlled for age. compared with Cubans who speak Spanish at home (84. According to Bates and colleagues (1994). This pattern also holds for Puerto Ricans.6 percent API/NAI for those who speak Spanish at home. education. This contrasts with 48. More of the recent immigrants identified as black (4. compared with the earlier immigrants.” compared with 12. and other Latin Americans. other Spanish/Hispanic. For Mexicans speaking only English. 27. but the census does provide the year that they first came to the mainland to stay. amount of time spent in the United States. the more likely they would identify as “other race” and write in a Latino referent.4%).

NOTES TO CHAPTER 8 1. 31.14%). there was a slight decrease in the number of Ecuadorian and Guatemalan immigrants classifying themselves as white and an increase in those reporting they were “other. given the polyglot composition of this latter group. did comment on the proposals and expressed support (or the lack of it) for the different proposals. referred to proposals to provide an open-ended question to solicit information on race and ethnicity or to combine the concepts of race. Although no major alliances were projected. This “other race” category was not viewed as a satisfactory option by the multiracial groups. Many reject this mutually exclusive approach (see Graham 1994.16 percent. B.78%) compared with the last ten years (47. Indeed. House Committee 1994d) was more explicit than others about opposition to the multiracial proposal when he expressed concern about the potential impact of such a category on the numerical representation of blacks. However. Other proposals were made or discussed. and ancestry. However.27 percent. they classified themselves as racially white and answered questions in cultural terms. from 43.68 to 38. 2. it is difficult to determine the reason for this. 33. Tidwell of the National Urban League (U.04 percent after 1980.32 percent and the proportion reporting that they were “other” rising from 22. The proposal for a multiracial category particularly engaged the attention of many of those at the hearings. In other words. Dr. for it implied to them that individuals were “none of the above” while their position was that they were “more than one of the above. 32. 3. from 26. 4. the percentage of recent immigrants indicating they were “other” decreased.77 percent to 32.S. Panamanians had another transformation.S. 1996). The apparently greater shifts in the Panamanian group may have been affected by the group’s relatively smaller size. Others provided qualified commentary on the proposals. the proportion of immigrants checking “black” increased. Root 1992b.220 NOTES TO CHAPTER 7 themselves as white was the same for both recent and earlier immigrants. many of those testifying. but others resist a “mixed race” classification (see Jones 1994. with the percentage classifying themselves as black dropping from 46. many fewer of the OSH group classified themselves as white before 1980 (56. For example. Katzen. for example.” . ethnicity. For example. particularly the federal representatives. but these did not receive much attention at this time (1994:219).16 to 42. although it too was not endorsed by most of the private or public groups testifying. House Committee 1994r:95). Sinclair 1994). from the OMB. the National Coalition for an Accurate Count of Asians and Pacific Islanders did support the proposal of Native Hawaiians as presented (U.” Also.94 to 24.



As noted earlier, this position resonates with some Hispanics, who also feel that they are “more than one of the above.” 5. It should be noted that at this point in the process, the representative acknowledged that the group’s constituency had not yet formed a consensus approach with regard to ethnicity, race, and minority status. 6. Although increasingly used in the United States, the term people of color has also been used in more international contexts. It is both a cultural/ethnic and a political definition of identity that is often a response to the privileged conception of the term white. 7. The “Asian and Pacific Islander” census category had thirty different ethnic groups, each with its own language, health statistics, education, income, and history in the United States (U.S. House Committee 1994h). 8. In this context, they gave the example of persons from the Indian subcontinent who had not been considered “Asian” and had lobbied successfully to be counted not as “whites” but separately within the “Asian and Pacific Islander” category. 9. This was a subcommittee of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Post Office and Civil Service. It held hearings on May 28, 1974; June 12, 1974; March 21, 1975; March 21, 1975; and June 1, 1976. 10. The MALDEF statement also indicated that a more important problem was the “lack of a uniform definition of ‘Hispanic’ throughout the Federal Government”—for example, the Department of Labor included Americans of Brazilian and Portuguese ancestry in its definition of “Hispanic,” but the census did not (U.S. House Committee 1994k:178). MALDEF argued that this lack of uniformity compromised the data on Hispanics. 11. In this study, all four groups had a “preference for Hispanic origin as a racial category.” The range for all four groups was 61 to 74 percent expressing this preference, with those who had received the combined question having a higher majority (U.S. Dept. of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics 1995:table 3). 12. The approach taken in Directive 15 is compatible with the Census Bureau’s approach, for census data can be manipulated and presented in the form required by Directive 15. Many governmental agencies, as well as academic and private-sector researchers, collect their data using the Directive 15 categories. Directive 15 has been criticized because its classification criteria are not uniformly applied to all groups. The directive establishes four criteria for classifying persons into racial or ethnic categories: (1) descent from original peoples of specific regions or nations, (2) a specific cultural origin, (3) cultural identification or affiliation, and (4) physical race itself. The directive includes as “white” any person with origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, North Africa, or the Middle East. Thus, Arabs from these areas are classified as white, but a specific cultural origin is used to classify Hispanics and not Arabs (Hahn 1992, 1994; Hahn, Mendlein, and Helgerson 1993).



13. Specifically, the NCLR statement said: “While we recognize and understand that there is a technical difference between the terms ‘race’ and ethnicity, frequently these terms are interchangeably used by society. The practical consequences of ‘Hispanic’ as a ‘race’ then, warrant that it be included in the racial identifier question. The absence of such categorization [i.e., Hispanic] contributes to a ‘black-white’ paradigm currently used to discuss the concept of and issues related to race in the U.S.; as the changing demographics confirm, that paradigm is neither accurate nor useful” (U.S. House Committee 1994p:177). 14. As just noted, the NCLR also attached to its position paper recommended census questions that included retitling the race item “Race/Ethnicity” and retaining the separate Hispanic question. Hence, although it appeared to be in favor of making “Hispanic” a race, the NCLR supported “the consideration of a question that would read, ‘Race/Ethnicity,’ followed by the ‘White, nonHispanic,’ ‘black, non-Hispanic,’ the other categories as currently listed, and ‘Hispanic’” (U.S. House Committee 1994p:177). Thus, the NCLR would make the race question a race/ethnicity item. This suggests that its view of “race” was still more akin to the “social race” concept associated with Latin American views of race (Pitt-Rivers 1975; Wagley 1965). 15. This comment suggests that when race and ethnicity are explicitly combined and defined as such, many issues disappear. Fernández seemed to recommend a similar approach in his testimony, that whenever information was sought on both racial and ethnic groups, a category called “multiracial/ multiethnic” be used (1992:128). 16. Two other issues were also examined: (1) the inclusion of a multiracial category and (2) preferences for such terms as “African-American” or “Latino.” 17. These findings were first evident in the special Current Population Survey sample, which was divided into four panels, two of which were asked a question in which Hispanics were listed as a category in the race question, and the other two were asked separate race and Hispanic-origin questions. The respondents were first visited and then interviewed a number of times by phone for more than a year (U.S. Dept. of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics 1995). The proportion that identified as “Hispanic” dropped significantly (by 20% to 25%) when the combined question was used. Fewer Hispanics also reported they were “white” (4% to 5% less) (U.S. Dept. of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics 1995:4, table 8). As indicated in the study, “a higher percent of people identified themselves as Hispanic when they were asked a separate question than when Hispanic was included as a racial category” (U.S. Dept. of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics 1995:2). The extent to which different Hispanic groups chose the “Hispanic” race group varied by national origin, with Cubans being “more likely to identify as



‘White’ in all panels” compared with the other Hispanic-origin groups (U.S. Dept. of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics 1995:4). Thus, some groups, such as “Cubans and ‘Other Hispanic’ are less likely to be included as Hispanics when Hispanic is included in the list of races” (Tucker et al. 1996:45). This is in keeping with the findings discussed in chapter 7 on who chooses the “other race” category. 18. Specific dissatisfactions were that there had been little research on the substantive meaning or relevance of the Directive 15 categories and that some respondents did not identify with or find applicable any of the available categories while others encountered technical difficulties because of the current wording of the directive. Examples of these difficulties were that persons of Hispanic ethnicity were explicitly assumed in Directive 15 to be either white or black and not Asian and Pacific Islander or American Indian and Alaskan Native. There was no race category that included persons native to Central and South America, no race category for blacks from areas in the world other than Africa, and uncertainty about many persons from northern Africa. There also were problems with classifying Brazilians and persons from Spain who were included with Hispanics and were thus separated from other European groups (Edmonston, Goldstein, and Tamayo Lott 1996:25). 19. The report was a response to the request for information from the committee overseeing the preparation of the 2000 census. It also indicated that the Government Accounting Office had earlier provided the subcommittee with information on December 15, 1992. 20. Other groups that also did not consistently give the same response were Native Americans (only 59% were consistent) and “Other Asian or Pacific Islanders” (18%) (U.S. General Accounting Office 1993). 21. In 1990, the allocation rate for the race question was 2 percent. In other words, 2 percent of those who responded to the census form did not answer this question; consequently they were allocated (assigned) to another race. This rate was comparable to the allocation rates for other questions on the census, but it did represent an increase from 1.5 percent in 1980 (U.S. General Accounting Office 1993). 22. The census indicated that the increase from 1980 to 1990 in the Hispanic-origin allocation rate was due to a lower level of follow-up in 1990. In 1980, the census corrected missing or inconsistent information in phone calls or visits. In 1990, funds for these correcting activities were given to other areas, for example, unanticipated cost increases and new program priorities (U.S. General Accounting Office 1993). A preliminary analysis did not find any consistent bias in the 10 percent allocated (U.S. General Accounting Office 1993). 23. This report did not indicate the response rate for Hispanics and nonHispanics on the Hispanic-origin question.



24. This was termed high inconsistency in the Other-Hispanic category. 25. In making this statement, I am not advocating a conspiracy theory or even suggesting that those who organized the hearings were remiss in their arrangements. Rather, I am referring to the general lack of Hispanic input in all the discussions concerning reevaluations of the race and ethnic measures. The hearings were just a reflection of this. 26. As noted earlier, this is not to say that sequencing and the presence of a multiracial category are unimportant, for when the race question was asked first and the “multiracial” category was not included, more Hispanics (42.9%) chose “other race” (see table 8.1). When a mixed-race category was offered and the race question was asked first, 33 percent chose “other race.” This suggests that—as discussed in earlier chapters—for some Hispanic respondents, “other race” represents a mixed-race response. The presence of the multiracial category reduced the number that chose the “other race” category in the race-first scenario (U.S. Bureau of the Census 1996a:table 11). However, as the figures indicate, this was not the case for all, for 33 percent still chose the “other race” response under these same conditions. Moreover, there are other indications of the importance of sequencing. When we asked the “Hispanic” question first, the proportion of Hispanics who chose the “other race” category was almost the same, regardless of whether a multiracial category was offered (25.1%) or not (24.9%). Thus, a quarter of the Hispanics still chose “other race” even when a multiracial option was available and they had already indicated their Hispanic identity (U.S. Bureau of the Census 1996a:table 12). In the RAETT study, changing the sequence also reduced— but did not eliminate—the number of nonresponses to the “Hispanic” question (de la Puente et al. 1997). 27. Other changes include the separate listing of Asian Pacific Islander groups without a generic category called Asian or Pacific Islander. The OMB also allowed the census to use, in the 2000 census only, a sixth category, called “Some other race” (print race) (U.S. Office of Management and Budget 1999:13). 28. This group of 165,000 was not uniformly distributed (U.S. House Committee 1994l). 29. The then–acting director of the census stated that “the dynamic nature of ethnicity and to a lesser extent, race, further complicates the evaluations of the questions. Ethnicity totals are in constant flux. Ethnicity distributions change as a result of new immigration flows, new and different ways of identifying ethnicity, blending, and intermarriage, and the emergence of new ethnic identities” (U.S. House Committee 1994f:14). See also U.S. Bureau of the Census 1990:5 for recent assessments of the race and ethnicity questions. 30. Congressman Sawyer’s two other lessons were that there was a need “to continue to collect race and ethnic data” and that there “should continue to be uniform data across government agencies.”




1. The National Center for Health Statistics, for example, coded Hispanics into the “white” category on vital statistics records (McKenney and Bennett 1994:21). 2. The common factors were age, relationship to household head, and income. Factors that varied by group were household size, sex, education, and district office mail response rates. The differences between groups decreased when covariates were added. 3. Mail response rates were also generally lower in the 1980s than in the 1970s, despite the census’s efforts to improve response rates (Fein 1990:298).

1. The American College Dictionary (New York: Random House, 1957:595) states that the term hypo is a “prefix meaning ‘under’ either in place or in degree (‘less’ or ‘less than’).” 2. In 1990, Asian/white marriages constituted the largest group of interracial marriages, 31 percent. In the majority of Asian/white unions, the father is white. About as many American Indian women marry whites as do American Indian men. In the majority of black/white marriages, the father is black (Bennett, McKenney, and Harrison 1995:table 1). 3. The growing consensus on this statement is evident in Gutin’s comment about scientists involved with the Human Genome Diversity Project. She says that the scientists repeat, almost like a “mantra,” that “the patterns of variation that appear at the genetic level cut across visible racial divisions.” This genetic unity means, for instance, that “white Americans, though ostensibly far removed from black Americans in phenotype, can sometimes be better tissue matches for them than are other black Americans” (1994:73).

1. This shift has not been given much attention in the literature or in most accounts of changes in census classifications (see, e.g., Anderson, 1988; U.S. Bureau of the Census 1978, 1989). The question is why researchers and others have not more closely examined it. One possibility is that the shift may have been seen as inconsequential because of the size of the category. Or it may have been seen as reflecting a change in terminology but not in the definition of the group. In other words, the researchers may have simply assumed that the category referred to people of color and not been aware of the absence of a color term or deemed the absence to be insignificant. Nonetheless, this difference in census categories was the first notable change since the census began. The one other

which established the 1790 census. The first act. Secretary of the Interior 1853a:table xxxvii). marshals to count the inhabitants in their districts. from all others. and 1820 censuses were similar in that they retained this phrasing. including those bound to service for a term of years. the House passed Madison’s proposal.p.).S. A search of correspondence files “did not reveal any record of correspondence with the marshals” for the 1790 census other than that relating to the transmission of their commissions (Wright 1956:44). and. 6. If we knew how the first census law was put into effect.p.S. 4. A letter dated March 31. and they may have instructed the marshals (Wright 1956:44). the inclusion of the term “except Indians not taxed” in the “all other free persons” category in 1800 seems to have been one mainly of clarification. indeed. The 1820 census also counted for the first time the gender and ages of “free colored persons” and of “slaves. 1. EXCEPT INDIANS NOT TAXED” (capitalization in the original). Actually. For example. most of the later tables (comparing these population groupings over time) completely ignored the distinction between “all other free persons” and “free . containing two copies of the census act was sent to the state governors.). 1790. The shift from “all other free persons” to categories of color was only minimally addressed in the decennial censuses. 3. Statutes at Large 1963:550. that is.” But the gender and age of “foreigners” or of “all other persons. “omitting Indians not taxed. that prior to 1820 the returns of slaves and free negroes were made in gross numbers. n. except Indians not taxed” (U. but the Senate did not. Census for 1820 1821:no.226 NOTES TO APPENDIX C change. 5. as acknowledging an error or a simple shift. Just how President George Washington and Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson put the first census law into operation is “not definitely known” (Wright 1956:44). we might know why “colors of free persons” was not determined. the 1850 census notes in one table that the “free colored persons” category includes “THOSE RETURNED UNDER THE DENOMINATION OF “ALL OTHER FREE PERSONS. 5. authorized U. Since Senate sessions were closed during this period. and distinguishing free persons. The subsequent legislative acts establishing the 1800.S. n. the change was clearly not worthy of much discussion. EXCEPT INDIANS NOT TAXED?” (Census for 1820. 1810. it is not known exactly why the Senate did not approve it. except Indians not taxed” were not recorded (U. at that period a small portion of the latter class were returned under the general appellation of [following in italics] all other free persons. 2. without regard to sex or age. Interrogatory 33 in the 1820 census specifically instructs the assistants of the marshals to determine “how many other persons. despite the legal requirement to do so. A footnote to this table adds that “it is proper to remark. 1821:no. distinguishing also the sexes and colours of free persons. and the free males of 16 years and upward from those under that age” (Wright 1956:43). Regardless of how this footnote is interpreted. Moreover.

it discussed the numbers of Negroes who had gone to Liberia between 1820 and 1856. their appearance (specifically.” For example.S. Secretary of the Interior 1853a:xxxvi. Given that this census was taken on the eve of the Civil War. they constituted 23.” Finally.S. then it is possible that they might have been classified as “white. This census found that the population of whites had risen by 38 percent.3 percent of New York City’s total population. 3.. As long as individuals were slaves. If a “trace” was not perceptible.5 percent of the total population of the borough of Harlem. residence. according to this criterion.g. 7. their similarity to whites) was not of major consequence. 4. while slaves constituted only 6 percent of New York City’s total population. U. NOTES TO APPENDIX D 1. 6. the majority of people of African descent had been slaves. and other social factors may also have influenced perception. The phrase “any perceptible trace” raises some interesting possibilities. 485 percent versus 757 percent. U. Williamson (1984) and Hodes (1997) found that fierce opposition to miscegenation and mulattoes surfaced after the Civil War. .1 percent of the total population of Harlem (Heads of Families 1992:119–124). The previous seventy years showed a similar contrast. e. tables ix and lxvii). House of Representatives 1895:xcv–xcvi. as are the figures of many of the earlier censuses. Similarly. family. 2. After slavery.” However. The city’s wards also varied greatly in the proportions in their populations of (a) slaves and (b) “all other free people. they constituted 5. while “all other free people” constituted 3. the possibility of passing and becoming “white” became more of a threat. the accuracy of its figures is unreliable. 926. the majority of whom had been free (Kennedy 1862:8). classification was based more on “perception” than on known biological descent (Miller 1991). while that of slaves and free colored had increased by less than 22 percent between 1850 and 1860.NOTES TO APPENDIX D 227 colored” (see. The report also predicted that many of the emancipated slaves would be of mixed descent. since “in 1850 one-ninth part of the whole colored class were returned as mulattoes. The question is whether. Before the Civil War.


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Previously. and Yale University. CO: Westview Press.S. RO D R Í G U E Z is a Professor of Sociology at Fordham Uni- versity’s College at Lincoln Center. MIT. She has also been a Senior Fellow at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History and a Visiting Scholar at the Russell Sage Foundation.About the Author C L A R A E . Her most recent book is Latin Looks: Images of Latinas and Latinos in the U. Media (Boulder. 1997). 283 . she was the Dean of Fordham University’s College of Liberal Studies. She has been a Visiting Professor at Columbia Unitersity.

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