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Partly ColoredAsian Americans and Racial Anomaly in the Segregated South$
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Leslie Bow

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780814791325

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814791325.001.0001

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Anxieties of the ‘Partly Colored’

Anxieties of the ‘Partly Colored’

(p.123) 4 Anxieties of the ‘Partly Colored’
Partly Colored

Leslie Bow

NYU Press

This chapter turns to question of the individual to investigate how intermediacy might be reconciled—or fail to be reconciled—by the subject. Highlighting the ways in which the figure of the Asian “stranger” becomes implicated in southern racial hierarchy, it examines two Asian-American southern memoirs. The first is Choong Son Kim's An Asian Anthropologist in the South: Field Experiences with Blacks, Indians, and Whites (1977), a personal narrative about the ways in which his role as “foreigner” impacts his data collection. The second is Ved Mehta's Sound-Shadows of the New World, his 1985 autobiography describing his experiences as a student at the Arkansas School for the Blind in the 1950s. Both contribute to the understanding of how Asian self-awareness becomes mediated between “not black” and “not white.”

Keywords:   intermediacy, southern racial hierarchy, Asian-American, Choong Son Kim, foreigner, Ved Mehta, Sound-Shadows of the New World, Arkansas School for the Blind

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