Edited by Paul Spickard and G. Reginald Daniel
“This collection is stunning. The editors’ introduction offers a superb brief discussion of the meaning of the term “race,” and the essays are vigorous, sophisticated, earnest, interesting, and honest. It ought to be read widely.” —Winthrop D. Jordan, William F. Winter Professor of History and of Afro-American Studies, F.A.P. Barnard Distinguished Professor, University of Mississippi
“This is a splendid book. It should end up as required reading for courses in Ethnic Studies departments.” —Patrick Miller, Northeastern Illinois University
Racial Thinking in the United States is a comprehensive reassessment of the ideas that Americans have had about race. This useful book draws on the skills and perspectives of nine scholars from the fields of history, sociology, theology, American studies, and ethnic studies. In thirteen carefully crafted essays they tell the history of the American system of racial domination and of twentieth-century challenges to that racial hierarchy, from monoracial movements to the multiracial movement.
The collection begins with an introduction to how Americans have thought about race, ethnicity, and colonialism. The first section of the book describes the founding of racial thinking in the United States along the racial binary of Black and White, and compares that system to the quite different system that developed in Jamaica. Section two describes anomalies in the racial binary, such as the experiences of people of mixed race, and of states such as Texas, California, and Hawai`i, where large groups of non-Black and White racial groups co-exist. Part three analyzes five monoracial challenges to racial hierarchy: the Civil Rights and Black Power movements, the Chicana/o movement, the Asian American movement, Afrocentricity, and the White studies movement. Part four explores the multiracial movement which developed in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries, and assesses whether it constitutes a successful challenge to racial hierarchy and binary racial thinking.
Racial Thinking in the United States provides excellent summaries of historical events and cultural movements, as well as analysis and criticism. It will be a welcome text for undergraduate courses in ethnic studies and American history.
Contributors: Paul Spickard, G. Reginald Daniel, Stephen A. Small, Hanna Wallinger, Lori Anne Pierce, Ralph Armbruster-Sandoval, William Wei, Michael C. Thornton, and Zipporah G. Glass.
“Racial Thinking in the United States is a tremendously useful anthology that brings together cutting-edge scholarship on racial formations in the United States. The collection will be of use to scholars and teachers who are interested in thinking through difficult questions related to teaching racial formations. Those who have waited for a new consideration of racial formations will welcome Racial Thinking in the United States; it provides a solid historical framework within which to understand contemporary issues of racial identity and meaning.” — Journal of American History
“This collection is particularly well-suited for classroom use in an upper-level or graduate course because of the variety of approaches and styles.” — The Journal of Southern History
“In a collection of thirteen essays written by authors from a variety of disciplines including history, sociology, theology, American Studies and ethnic studies, Racial Thinking in the United States proposes a critical reassessment of ideas about race in American history.” — Sage Race Relations Abstracts