The election of America’s first biracial president brings the question dramatically to the fore. What does it mean to be biracial or tri-racial in the United States today? Anthropologist Stephanie Bird takes us into a world where people are struggling to be heard, recognized, and celebrated for the racial diversity one would think is the epitome of America’s melting pot persona. But being biracial or tri-racial brings unique challenges – challenges including prejudice, racism and, from within racial groups, colorism. Yet America is now experiencing a multiracial baby boom, with at least three states logging more multiracial baby births than any other race aside from Caucasians. As the Columbia Journalism Review reported, American demographics are no longer black and white. In truth, they are a blended, difficult-to-define shade of brown.
Bird shows us the history of biracial and tri-racial people in the United States, and in European families and events. She presents the personal traumas and victories of those who struggle for recognition and acceptance in light of their racial backgrounds, including celebrities such as golf expert Tiger Woods, who eventually quit trying to describe himself as Cablanasin, a mix including Asian and African American. Bird examines current events, including the National Mixed Race Student Conference, and the push to dub this Generation MIX. And she examines how American demographics, government, and society are changing overall as a result. This work includes a guide to tracing your own racial roots.