Acting White?: Rethinking Race in Post-Racial America by Devon W. Carbado, Mitu Gulati

By Devon W. Carbado, Mitu Gulati

What does it suggest to "act black" or "act white"? Is race basically an issue of phenotype, or does it come from the inflection of a person's speech, the garments in her closet, how she chooses to spend her time and with whom she chooses to spend it? What does it suggest to be "really" black, and who will get to make that judgment?

In appearing White?, major students of race and the legislation Devon Carbado and Mitu Gulati argue that, regardless of a long time of racial development and the pervasiveness of multicultural rhetoric, racial judgments are usually established not only on dermis colour, yet on how someone conforms to behaviour stereotypically linked to a definite race. particularly, racial minorities are judged on how they "perform" their race. This functionality pervades each point in their way of life, even if it's the garments they put on, the way in which they type their hair, the associations with which they associate, their racial politics, the folk they befriend, date or marry, the place they dwell, how they converse, and their outward mannerisms and demeanor. making use of those cues, decision-makers make a decision no longer easily no matter if someone is black however the measure to which he or she is so. hoping on various examples from the place of work, larger schooling, and police interactions, the authors exhibit that, for African american citizens, the prices of "acting black" are excessive, and so are the pressures to "act white." yet, because the authors indicate, "acting white" has expenditures in addition.

Provocative but by no means doctrinaire, appearing White? will boldly problem your assumptions and make you consider racial prejudice from a clean vantage aspect.

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Extra info for Acting White?: Rethinking Race in Post-Racial America

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Ken: (laughs again) Wait a minute, wait a minute you think because of that the audience won’t recognize him as being a black man? Come on. Fred: Is there a problem Ken? Ken: Excuse me? Fred: (stares at Ken) Is there a problem Ken? Ken: (obviously uncomfortable) No . . we don’t have a problem. Fred: I mean, that’s all I’m saying is it’s not his character. Eddie’s supposed to be the smart one, not Jamal right? I mean, you’re the expert here, but to me it rings false. Ken: We’re going to do it one more time.

Indd 38 10/22/2012 9:19:42 PM OUP UNCORRECTED PROOF – FIRST-PROOF, 10/22/12, NEWGEN W hy Ac t W hi te ? ” To the extent that racial cliquishness is at odds with collegiality,60 there is a disincentive for outsiders to associate at work. But why do racial associations on the part of whites carry a different social meaning than racial associations on the part of people of color? With reference to the above example, one answer might be that the white associates did not racially define their association as a white-only association; it just happened that their lunch gatherings were white and male.

In each of the examples, the passing is complete in the sense that, as far as the average observer is concerned, the outsider is an insider. On the other hand, the fact that outsiders can pass has historically made insiders uncomfortable. 17 With respect to race, this 100%, or complete, passing strategy applies only to a small subset of outsiders, because most nonwhites cannot fully pass. Therefore, we focus on partial passing strategies, wherein the outsider’s status is known, but she works her identity to modify the stereotypical assumptions about or otherwise suppress the salience of that status.

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