Jamie’s Team Pick
The 125th anniversary issue of National Geographic, features a collection of portraits titled “The Changing Face of America.” This collection highlights the diversity of the multicultural population in America. Multiracial identity has gained attention following U.S. Census Bureau’s decision in 2000 to allow citizens to check more than one racial category. It is now reported that number of people choosing to identify as multiracial has jumped thirty-two percent in ten years to include over 1.5 million individuals. President Obama’s personal history has also brought attention to the rising multiracial community. While his presidency may have been heralded as the beginning of a post-racial society, it is clear that the United States continues its obsession with race. The experiences of multiracial Americans speaks to the persistence of racism and stereotypes in our society.
In the article that accompanies the photo galley, Lise Funderburg, (author of the ground-breaking anthology about the multiracial experience Black, White, Other), shares the stories of several multiracial people, highlighting how many people still feel the pressure to identify with one ethnic group, while others have found interesting and complex ways to express their mixed heritage. Funderburg argues that the existence multiracial and the growth of this community will continue to force our society to confront our racial biases:
If we can’t slot people into familiar categories, perhaps we’ll be forced to reconsider existing definitions of race and identity, presumptions about who is us and who is them.