The Fluid Symbol of Mixed Race
Version of Record online: 11 MAY 2010
© by Hypatia, Inc.
Special Issue: Feminist Legacies/Feminist Futures: The 25th Anniversary Issue
Volume 25, Issue 4, pages 875–890, Fall 2010
How to Cite
ZACK, N. (2010), The Fluid Symbol of Mixed Race. Hypatia, 25: 875–890. doi: 10.1111/j.1527-2001.2010.01121.x
- Issue online: 11 MAY 2010
- Version of Record online: 11 MAY 2010
Philosophers have little to lose in making practical proposals. If the proposals are enacted, the power of ideas to change the world is affirmed. If the proposals are rejected, there is new material for theoretical reflection. During the 1990s, I believed that broad public recognition of mixed race, particularly black and white mixed race, would contribute to an undoing of rigid and racist, socially constructed racial categories. I argued for such recognition in my first book, Race and Mixed Race (Zack 1993), a follow-through anthology, American Mixed Race (Zack 1995), and numerous articles, especially the essay, “Mixed Black and White Race and Public Policy,” which appeared first in Hypatia in 1995.1 I also delivered scores of public and academic lectures and presentations on this subject, all of which expressed the following in varied forms and formats: Race is an idea that lacks the biological foundation it is commonly assumed to have. There is need for broad education about this absence of foundation; mixed-race identities should be recognized, especially black–white identities.