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The United States of the United RacesA Utopian History of Racial Mixing$
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Greg Carter

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780814772492

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814772492.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
The United States of the United Races

Greg Carter

NYU Press

This introductory chapter presents Barack Obama's self-identification on his U.S. census form as a Black African American or Negro. His move settles one of the most prevalent issues during his 2008 presidential campaign—his racial identity—and resounded the monoracial ways of thinking that prevailed throughout U.S. history. Given that Obama often spoke of himself as a mixed-race, many people were surprised when he chose to write only one of his racial identities. Three lessons can be derived from this account: (1) how one talks about oneself can be different from how one identifies from day to day; (2) how one identifies from day to day can be different from how one fills out forms; and (3) one may choose a political statement different from both how one talks and how one identifies.

Keywords:   Barack Obama, Black African American, racial identity, political statement, U.S. census, mixed race

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