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Troubling the Family

Troubling the Family: The Promise of Personhood and the Rise of Multiracialism

Habiba Ibrahim
Copyright Date: 2012
Edition: NED - New edition
Pages: 256
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  • Book Info
    Troubling the Family
    Book Description:

    Troubling the Family argues that the emergence of multiracialism during the 1990s was determined by underlying and unacknowledged gender norms. Opening with a germinal moment for multiracialism—the seemingly instantaneous popular appearance of Tiger Woods—Habiba Ibrahim examines how the shifting status of racial hero for black and multiracial communities makes sense only by means of an account of masculinity.

    eISBN: 978-0-8166-8280-5
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. INTRODUCTION: The Rising Son of Multiracialism
    (pp. vii-xxxii)

    Eldrick “Tiger” Woods’s rise to celebrity in 1997 was accompanied by a debate about his racial identity—black or multiracial—that offers a few paradigmatic examples of the multiracial phenomenon. The multiracial movement was conceptualized and mobilized by stake-holders who were interested in the well-being of multiracial families. Primarily, the multiracial child became an icon that represented the social and political horizon, a future in which the full recognition of personhood—selfhood unfettered by taxonomic restraints—would be fulilled. But beyond its iconic role in the movement, the multiracial child itself also became the strategic focus of multiracial family organizations....

  4. CHAPTER 1 Multiracial Timelines: A Genealogy of Personhood
    (pp. 1-42)

    This is a study of U.S. multiracialism. The multiracial movement may be said to have culminated in political efforts to change the racial categories of the 2000 U.S. Census to include multiracial identity, but the movement’s impact was much more far-reaching in both direct and indirect ways. The range of the movement’s impact is provocative: why did multiracialism emerge at the end of the twentieth century as a new form of U.S. racial identity, and how did Americans come to experience the virtual normalization of multiracial identity between 1997 and 2007? What was the particular result of the multiracial movement’s...

  5. CHAPTER 2 Legitimizing the Deviant Family: Loving v. Virginia and the Moynihan Report
    (pp. 43-80)

    This chapter explores how two significant state documents of the 1960s—Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s “The Negro Family: The Case for National Action,” or, as it is more widely known, the Moynihan Report (1965), and the U.S. Supreme Court decision ofLoving v. Virginia(1967)—together mark the historical basis for the multiracial movement’s preoccupation with the family. When read together, these two documents reveal a seemingly contradictory national stance on the American family. On the one hand, the state wanted to tighten its regulation of black, supposedly unstable families. On the other hand, the state wanted to loosen regulation by...

  6. CHAPTER 3 The Whiteness of Maternal Memoirs: Politicizing the Multiracial Child
    (pp. 81-120)

    The previous chapter focused on howLoving v. Virginia, the 1967 Supreme Court decision that marks the beginning of legitimacy for interracial marriage, is the originating moment for 1990s-era discourses on multiracialism. While the legacy ofLovingallows for ongoing consideration of the legitimization of deviant family formations, which not only include multiracial families but also same-sex marriage and parenthood, the 1967 legislation actually shared the same political logic of the Moynihan Report, published in 1965. By comprehending the nine-year period of exile imposed on Richard and Mildred Loving by the state, and by keeping the subsequentLovingdecision and...

  7. CHAPTER 4 Ambivalent Outcomes: Blackness and the Return of Racial Passing
    (pp. 121-160)

    The previous chapter focused on the manner in which white motherhood had been mobilized through an emergent multiracial politics of the 1990s. In general, this mobilization occurred through several strategies: as mentioned earlier in this book, one was advocacy, as Project RACE cofounder Susan Graham suggested was necessary for the self-esteem and recognition of multiracial children. Another strategy was a thoroughgoing consideration about how motherhood itself facilitated a transformation of consciousness for white women of black/multiracial children, such as the one Jane Lazarre undergoes. The previous chapter focused extensively on this second strategy. Both strategies suggest that the agency of...

  8. CONCLUSION: Dreams of the Father and Potentials Lost
    (pp. 161-176)

    In 2007, the multiracial senator from Illinois, Barack Obama, emerged as a strong candidate with the potential to become the first black president of the United States. The viability of multiracialism had become mainstream since Tiger Woods’s pronouncement in 1997. By 2007, it was possible for Obama to recognize his white mother while simultaneously identifying—and being identified—as black.Troubling the Familyopened with a racial/gender paradigm that arose in 1997, and it now closes in 2007 by discussing a symbol of multiracial personhood ostensibly attained. IfTroubling the Familybegan with an anecdote that described how a race...

  9. Acknowledgments
    (pp. 177-180)
  10. Notes
    (pp. 181-196)
  11. Index
    (pp. 197-218)