Multiracial Heritage Week (June 7–14) & Mixed Race Day (June 27)

Dr. Jarryd Willis PhD
51 min readAug 1, 2023


Here are some lit review notes from Multiracial Heritage Week (June 7 to 14, with Loving Day on the 12th) through Mixed Race Day (June 27)

Short article-by-article content is presented at the start of the article; longer continental lit review content is presented thereafter.

Please use the Table of Contents to Fast Travel ⬇️

Multiracial PRIDE Day

By 2007, the multiracial movement succeeded in establishing two official days celebrating multiraciality. These celebrations are now recognized at the municipal and state levels in parts of Amazonas. They encompass festivities that have included musical performances as well as arts and crafts exhibits celebrating multiraciality.

24 June The Day of the Caboclo (‘Dia do Caboclo’)

— This holiday pays tribute specifically to individuals of Native American and European descent

27 June the Day of Multiraciality (‘Dia do Mestiço’)

— The 27 June date refers to the 27 multiracial representatives elected during the First Conference for the Promotion of Racial Equality held in the city of Manaus, Amazonas, 7–9 April, 2005.

It is also a reference to the month when a multiracial woman, after persistent opposition, was registered as the only multiracial representative at the First National Conference for the Promotion of Racial Equality, which occurred in Brasília, 30 June–2 July 2005. The movement was part of a successful endeavor to prevent the erasure of multiracials in data collection (Daniel, 2012).

Table of Contents

· Multiracial PRIDE Day
24 June The Day of the Caboclo (‘Dia do Caboclo’)
27 June the Day of Multiraciality (‘Dia do Mestiço’)
· Table of Contents
· Multiracial Oath of Social Responsibility
Discrimination Against Interracial Dyads
Interracial Marriage Status Exchange — Shanghai Hukou — Qian & Qian, 2017
· Multiracial Erasure Described Perfectly — CSWAC, 2019 (5.23)
Not (Monoracial) Enough to Fit In
👱🏻‍♀️ Hair 💇🏻‍♀️
Last Name & Skin Tone
⬇️Language & Cultural Proficiency
· Multiracials’ Attitudes On Interracial Marriage — Hayden Prince, 2020
Hispanic Ethnicity Item
Middle Eastern
· Partial-Racial Couples — Littlejohn, 2019
SoCal Lab Findings (CSU-San Marcos & UC-San Diego)

· Mixed Ancestry/Heritage — Vanessa Gonlin, 2020
Multiracial classification varies by racial composition:
Skin Tone
· Familial Discussions of Ethnoracial Heritage — Csizmadia et al., 2015
Yayoi Winfrey, 2016
· Multiracial Immigration Laws
The Amerasian Immigration Act of 1982
The Amerasian Homecoming Act of 1987
· Amerasian Immigrant Children — Thomas, 2015
· Stephanie Gibbs, 2020
Democratize Japan
War Brides Act of 1945

· War Brides Compared to Other Asian Wives — Saenz et al., 1994
Nurture Effect
American Homecoming Act
Multiracials & One-Drop Rule — Bradt, 2010
Monoracials’ Inclusion/Exclusion of Multiracials — Ho & Kteily, 2022

· LatinAsians (Wikipedia)
· Hispanic Multiracials — Ana Gonzalez-Barrera, 2015 (July 10)
· ¿Mejorando La Raza? — Ostfeld & Yadon, 2022
Diversity by State (Eric Jensen et al., 2021)
· Synopsis: Brazil & Latin America
· Brazil — Sheila Gies & Tracy Cassidy, 2010

· Mixed by Design — Emiliano Rodríguez Mega, 2021 (December 13)
— Hybridity: Birth of an idea —
— The Racial Democracy —
Mestizo genomics
· Japanese-Brazilian — Leia Mais, 2008 — Linguas de Imagracao Asiatico
· Japanese-Brazilian — Jillian Kestler-D’Amours, 2014 (June 17)
106 years of immigration
· Japanese-Brazilian (2022)
· A Confluence of Cultures — Celia Sakurai, 2013
· Japanese-Brazilian Culture — Celia Sakurai, 2013
· Japanese-Ness in the Brazilian Amazon — Moana Almeida, 2018 –
· Chinese Peruvian (Taste of Peru, 2013)
· History of Slavery (Nicolas Bourcier, 2012)
(Crocitti, 2020)
· Classification in US, Canada, & Brazil— (Ann Morning, 2004)
Canada: Ancestry, Ethnoracial Info, & Indigenous Affiliation
Brazil: Color Terminology
· South America — Peter Aspinall & Zarine Rocha, 2020
· Trinidad & Tobago — Sue Ann Barratt, 2020

· Afro-Turkey — Davide Lerner & Esra Whitehouse, 2017 (Oct 26)

· Multiracial Turkish-Kurdish — Pelsin Ulgen, 2018
· Multicultural Marriage in Turkey — Hale Bolak Boratav et al., 2021
· Turkish Ethnicity — Abubakr al-Shamahi, 2015
· Turkey — Murat Ergin, 2019 — April 3
Afet İnan, Atatürk’s adopted daughter
· Afet Inan (1937) on stage — emphasised Turks’ whiteness:

· Sidenotes.
Alana Semuels, 2023 (2.21 — TIME)
Cracking the Code That Stalls Minorities — Sylvia Ann Hewlett, 2014
Hewlett, 2012
Since the Racial Reckoning — Richard Orbe-Austin, 2023
Sponsors for Minority Employees — Aimee Hansen, 2022
· Globalization’s Commodification of Multiracials’ Bodies
Lidia Zuin
Yu Takagi & Shinji Nishimoto, 2023
Via The Female Quotient (2023)
· Brazil — Daniel & Hernández, 2020
Co-Opted Into Silence
Gospel of Brazil
The Racial Democracy
· Multiculturalism

Multiracial Oath of Social Responsibility

Maria Root, 2004 —

Discrimination Against Interracial Dyads

Black husband-White wife couples report experiencing more discrimination than White husband-Black wife couples (Baptist et al., 2019; Genç & Su, 2022; Yancey, 2007).

Interracial Marriage Status Exchange — Shanghai Hukou — Qian & Qian, 2017

“Most previous studies tested status exchange for interracial marriage in the United States (e.g., Kalmijn, 1993; Qian, 1997; Fu, 2001; Rosenfeld, 2005; Gullickson, 2006; Gullickson and Fu, 2010), scholars have called for an extension of research on status exchange elsewhere (Kalmijn, 2010; Gullickson and Torche, 2014). This study contributes to this body of research by extending the question of status exchange to hukou intermarriage in urban China.

The likelihood of interracial marriage increases with socioeconomic status for blacks but decreases with socioeconomic status for whites (Fu, 2001; Gullickson, 2006; Gullickson and Torche, 2014). Gullickson and Torche (2014) have referred to this form of exchange as “market exchange.”

Multiracial Erasure Described Perfectly — CSWAC, 2019 (5.23)

“The university allowed students to mark all races that apply when compiling their student record but made little use of this data to recognize multiracial students and target resources to them.”

Not (Monoracial) Enough to Fit In

Multiracial women encountered situations when people did not know their racial identity. People readily made the assumption that the women were monoracial, with the assumptions playing out on appearances or other visible criteria such as last names.

👱🏻‍♀️ Hair 💇🏻‍♀️

Gabriel explains,

*People don’t really know what I am. So, they assume what I am, and they tell me what I am, what I actually am. They say, “You’re this, because you don’t look that way.” …

The way I have my hair is like a signifier of what people assume I am

If I have my hair straight, people think that I’m Latina.
If I have my hair curly, people think I’m Latina or Indian …


Last Name & Skin Tone

Prior to meeting, Elizabeth’s first-year roommate assumed that she was only Mexican.

“[My roommate] told me when she met me, she was confused because my name was Elizabeth Ramos, but when she looked me up on Facebook, I looked White. So, she wasn’t sure if it was the same person.”

Time 1: Elizabeth’s roommate first assumed her to be Mexican because of her last name.
Time 2: However, after looking at her physical features on Facebook, she concluded that Elizabeth was white.

The roommate could switch between seeing one monoracial identity for Elizabeth (Mexican), and then seeing another (White). But it’s unclear if she was able to hold both in mind and view Elizabeth as Multiracial.

Language & Cultural Proficiency

The participants found themselves coming up short in monoracial settings that expected them to be fully proficient in the prevailing culture.
One participant, Vanessa, Mexican and Black, neither knew Spanish nor could she sing, or step, or dance.
Black and Mexican, each found her to not be enough.


She felt comfortable with her circle of Multiracial friends. As graduation loomed, however, she wondered if she should attend the Black Graduation or the Latino Graduation, or just go to the at-large graduation event.


Monica, Blatino, felt a little out of the loop in the Multicultural Recruitment Office, even as she acknowledged both Black and Latino communities were accepting of her.

Georgia, Asian and Native American, told of how her Asian peers were slow to accept her when they more readily accepted monoracial Asian students.

And Gabrielle, mixed-race, felt “left out of the Black community” and began questioning if she was Black enough.


Multiracials’ Attitudes On Interracial Marriage — Hayden Prince, 2020

“Monoracials reported that interracial marriage was a bad thing for society at a rate 5.5x higher than Multiracials.

Multiracials believe interracial marriage is good for society at a higher rate than the general public (Parker et al., 2015).

Hispanic Ethnicity Item

The additional Hispanic-Origin question has been heavily criticized for not accurately depicting the scope of diversity within the United States (Miyawaki, 2016; Lowenthal, 2014).

[Failing to utilize a single Ethnoracial Category is leading to an undercount of interracial couples & Multiracial Americans.]

Campbell (2018) criticizes how the census race question that separates racial identity from Hispanic origin is not actually differentiating between those who are just Latinx and required to indicate a race from those who view themselves as mixed-Latinx (such as White-Latinx or Afro-Latinx) — the repercussions of this confusion are resulting in inaccurate demographic projections in places like Texas.

Middle Eastern

Arab Americans have historically been categorized as White, however, this classification does not resonate with all Arab Americans; especially in our post-9/11 society that is hostile towards visibly Muslim or Middle Eastern looking people (Arab American Institute, 2018; Beydoun, 2013).

Due to the lack of clear representation in the Census forms, the Arab American Institute (2018) found that the U.S. Census Bureau undercounted Arab Americans by about 1.6 million people.

Partial-Racial Couples — Littlejohn, 2019

“Multiracial people are more likely to marry other multiracial people (and have them as neighbors and friends) than are people who do not identify with multiple races (PEW, 2015).
Multiracials may feel closer to (and more accepted by) people with whom racial identities overlap (e.g., black/white Multiracials may feel closer to monoracial black people than to monoracial Asian people) (DaCosta, 2007; Davenport, 2018).”

Multiracials’ romantic preferences “should be less structured along racial lines even when their racial identity does not overlap with the partner group.”
SoCal Lab➡️ This was found by Rodriguez et al. (2022) as Multiracials were more open to interracially dating all monoracial groups than all monoracial groups were to interracially dating each other.


“Multiracials reporting part-white identity are more likely to have a white spouse than are multiracials reporting no white identity.”

SoCal Lab Findings (CSU-San Marcos & UC-San Diego)

Consistent with Littlejohn (2019) & Miyawaki (2015), we found that half-White Multiracials are more likely to date someone White or part-White (56.2%) than interminority Multiracials (43.1%), χ2(1, N = 83) = 5.77, p = .016.


Mixed Ancestry/Heritage — Vanessa Gonlin, 2020

Those who are the products of an interracial union are more likely to identify as Multiracial on the Census (1st Generation Multiracials) than those whose Multiracial heritage is more distant, such as having grandparents from multiple Multiracial backgrounds (2nd Generation Multiracials) (Morning, 2000).

Bratter (2007) finds empirical support for this position, revealing that Multiracial individuals with two monoracial parents are indeed more likely classified as Multiracial than individuals whose Multiracial heritage is a number of generations away.

Multiracial classification varies by racial composition:

Respondents with one White parent tend to be classified as White or Multiracial;
those with one Black parent tend to be classified as Black or Multiracial;
those with one American Indian parent as American Indian or White;
and those with one Asian parent tend to be classified as Multiracial (Bratter, 2007).

Black/White Multiracials who experience or fear rejection from Black people are more likely to identify as White (Khanna, 2011) and Wasians who do not feel they are seen as Asian by Asians are more likely to identify as White (Khanna, 2004).

Skin Tone

People associate Asianness with East Asians who tend to have lighter skin tones relative to South Asians (Hunter, 2007; Rondilla and Spickard, 2007).

Monk (2015) finds that Black people experiencing skin tone discrimination from other Black people is more strongly associated with depression than skin tone discrimination from White people.

Familial Discussions of Ethnoracial Heritage — Csizmadia et al., 2015

“Discussions about children’s ethnic-racial heritage are particularly common in interracial families. In fact, of all racial groups, these discussions take place most frequently in interracial families (Brown et al., 2007).

Families with a Black parent present tend to discuss racial issues & racism more openly than families that did not include a Black parent (Snyder, 2012), which is important for therapists to consider given that many Multiracial children are raised by single White women (Britton, 2013; Csizmadia et al., 2014)” (p. 103).

Interracial families involving 1 White partner make up 70% of all newlywed interracial marriages since 2010.



Yayoi Winfrey, 2016

“What’s truly remarkable is that most married either a Black or White man. The rare exception was when a “war bride” wed a Japanese American intelligence officer stationed in Japan for his bilingual skills.

Nonetheless, most “war brides” entered into interracial marriages and gave birth to Multiracial babies.”


Multiracial Immigration Laws

During the Korean and Vietnam Wars, some U.S. military personnel fathered children with Asian nationals while stationed in Asia. Congress enacted legislation for humanitarian reasons to allow for the admission and immigration of certain Amerasian children fathered by U.S. citizens.

The Amerasian Immigration Act of 1982

— The Amerasian Immigration Act of 1982 granted preferential immigration status to Amerasian Multiracial children of US citizen (mostly) fathers & foreign Asian (mostly) mothers born in Vietnam, Korea, Laos, Cambodia, or Thailand between 1950 and October 22 1982.

The Amerasian Homecoming Act of 1987

— The Amerasian Homecoming Act of 1987 allowed mothers and other immediate family members of certain Vietnamese Amerasians to relocate to the United States with their Amerasian children.

This law allowed Vietnamese applicants to establish a Multiracial identity by appearance.

In short US Immigration used the “What Are You” question.

Amerasian Immigrant Children — Thomas, 2015

“The reliance on racial rationale by American interviewers to determine which applicants “looked” American formally designated approved Amerasians the children of American fathers.
The process of determining which Amerasians qualified for the AHA based on their physical appearance forced American authorities in Vietnam to racially categorize the Amerasians into their own subjective concept of an American appearance.

For those Amerasians whose physical appearance was less distinctly Black or White or whose fathers were non-Black or non-White Americans, the hyper-reliance on race was also a tool of exclusion [as] interviewers denied valid Amerasian applicants.

“Amerasians with Asian American, Latino, and Native American fathers — non-white and non-black — proved difficult to identify.”

In America, their physical appearance prevented them blending into the Vietnamese-American community which continued to label them poor, uneducated, and illegitimate children of prostitutes.

A 1993 survey by the General Accounting Office found that of Amerasians who immigrated to the United States under the AHA, 95% experienced discrimination in the Vietnamese-American community as opposed to 20% from non-Vietnamese-American communities.

In particular, Black Amerasians faced harsher responses as 100% of Black Amerasians experienced discrimination from the Vietnamese American community.”

“After the end of World War II, thousands of young Japanese women married American GIs and came to the United States to embark upon new lives among strangers.”

Stephanie Gibbs, 2020

“Between 1947 and 1964, around 72,700 Asian women immigrated to the US, of which 45,853 consisted of Japanese women, making it the largest migration of Asian women to the US (Simpson, 1998).

The 1st marriage between an American man and a Japanese woman was in March 1946, and was such big news that it was published in the Associated Press, an American news agency. On May 31 1946, the Records of GHQ Supreme Commander for the Allied Power unofficially accepted servicemen’s marriages to Japanese women as long as they abided by the Japanese Civil code to establish legality (Hayashi, 2010).

Democratize Japan

The US’ mission was to democratize Japan in order to prevent another militaristic government from taking control. A tactic they utilized was to show movies to spread American culture & normalize American values.
As the number of American servicemen with Japanese lovers increased, some servicemen wrote directly to their congressmen in the US to gain admission for their Japanese wives or fiancées (Crawford, 2010).

War Brides Act of 1945

Their voices were heard as the War Brides Act of 1945 was eventually passed, giving temporary permission for soldiers to bring their Japanese significant others to the United States. Perhaps due to the massive popularity and increase in immigration, the Soldier Brides Act of 1946/47 extended the period of immigrating spouses.

In 1952, the McCarran-Walter Act, also known as the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952, ended Asian exclusion from immigrating to the United States, abolishing laws preventing Asians from becoming naturalized American citizens, and introduced a system of preferences based on skill sets and family reunification. As a result, more Japanese wives of G.I. ‘s than ever before prepared to move to the United States (Crawford, 2010).

War Brides Compared to Other Asian Wives — Saenz et al., 1994

Overall, approximately 85% of the war brides were Japanese, Korean, or Filipino.


Kim (1977), using data from the Immigration and Naturalization Service, estimates that approximately 66,681 Japanese, 51,747 Filipino, 28,205 Korean, 11,166 Thai, and 8,040 Vietnamese war brides (165,839 overall) entered the United States between 1947 and 1975.

Close to 88% of the war brides’ non-Asian husbands were White.

More than half got married from August 1964 to April 1975.
In roughly 75% of war-bride marriages, both spouses had married only once.

Nurture Effect

Asian war brides had the lowest labor force participation rate (49.8%) whereas U.S.-born in-married Asian wives had the highest rate (71.6%)


War brides had an average of 2.96 children, a significantly higher cumulative fertility rate than the two groups of [interracially] married Asian wives but a significantly lower rate than foreign-born Asian women [married to US-born Asian men].


War brides were significantly less likely to live in California, Hawaii, or New York, the three states with the largest Asian populations. Less than 33% of war brides lived in these states compared with 85% of U.S.-born in-married wives [Asian-Asian couple], about 55% of all foreign-born Asian wives, and 42% of U.S.-born out-married Asian wives [American-born Asian women in interracial marriages].


Multiracials & One-Drop Rule — Bradt, 2010

The “one-drop rule” — also known as hypodescent — dates to a 1662 Virginia law on the treatment of Multiracial individuals.

The legal notion of hypodescent has been upheld as recently as 1985, when a Louisiana court ruled that a woman with a black great-great-great-great-grandmother could not identify herself as “white” on her passport.

Monoracials’ Inclusion/Exclusion of Multiracials — Ho & Kteily, 2022

“The rule of hypodescent is applied more strongly to Black–White than to Asian–White targets.”


LatinAsians (Wikipedia)

Asian Latin Americans or Latinasians are Latin Americans of Asian descent. Asian immigrants to Latin America have largely been from East Asia or West Asia (Fernández, 2005). Historically, Asians in Latin America have a centuries-long history in the region, starting with Filipinos in the 16th century.

The peak of Asian immigration occurred in the 19th and 20th centuries. There are currently more than 4 million Asian Latin Americans, nearly 1% of Latin America’s population. Chinese, Japanese, and the Lebanese are the largest Asian ancestries; other major ethnic groups include Syrians, Indians, Koreans, & Filipinos.

Brazil is home to the largest population of East Asian descent, estimated at 2.08 million (Censo Demográfico, 2010; Nakamura, 2008). The country is also home is a large percentage of West Asian descendants (Petruccelli & Saboia, 2013). Brazil is also home to 10,000 Indians, 5,000 Vietnamese, 4,500 Afghans, 2,900 Indonesians, and 1,000 Filipinos.

With as much as 5% of their population having some degree of Chinese ancestry, Peru has the highest ratio of any country for East Asian descent (Overseas Community Affairs Council, 2013).

It was in this century that the flow into the region spiked dramatically. This rapid influx of hundreds of thousands of mainly male South Asians was due to the need for indentured servants. This is largely tied to the abolition of Black slavery in the Caribbean colonies in 1834. Without the promise of free labor and a hostile working class on their hands, the Dutch colonial authorities had to find a solution — cheap Asian labor (Meade, 2010).

Today, the overwhelming majority of Asian Latin Americans are either of East Asian (namely Chinese, Japanese, or Korean), or West Asian descent (mostly the Lebanese or Syrians) (Fernández, 2005). Many of whom arrived during the second half of the 1800s and the first half of the 1900s (Fernández, 2005).

[About 4.5] million Latin Americans (almost 1% of the total population of Latin America) are of Asian descent. The number may be millions higher, even more so if all who have partial ancestry are included.

For example, Asian Peruvians are estimated at 5% (Overseas Community Affairs Council, 2013) of the population there, but one source places the number of all Peruvians with at least some Chinese ancestry at 5 million, which equates to 20% of the country’s total population (Taste of Peru, 2013).


The Chinese are the most populous Asian Latin Americans. Significant populations of Chinese ancestry are found in Peru, Venezuela, Brazil, Colombia, Argentina, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Panama, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico, Mexico and Costa Rica (where they make up about 1% of the total population; or about 9,000 residents). Nicaragua is home to 14,000 ethnic Chinese; the majority reside in Managua and on the Caribbean coast. Smaller communities of Chinese, numbering just in the hundreds or thousands, are also found in Ecuador and various other Latin American countries. Many Latin American countries are home to barrios chinos (Chinatowns).


Korean people are the third largest group of Asian Latin Americans. The largest community of this group is in Brazil (specially in Southeast region) with a population of 51,550. The second largest is in Argentina, with a population of 23,603 and with active Koreatowns in Buenos Aires. There are more than 10,000 in Guatemala (Yoon, 2015), and Mexico.

Chanchamayo’s Mayor Jung Heung-won, a Korean Peruvian, is the first Mayor of Korean origin in Peru and all of Latin America.

Hispanic Multiracials — Ana Gonzalez-Barrera, 2015 (July 10)

“The term mestizo means mixed in Spanish, and is generally used throughout Latin America to describe people of mixed ancestry with a White European and an indigenous background. Similarly, the term “mulatto” — mulato in Spanish — commonly refers to a mixed-race ancestry that includes White European and Black African roots.

Across Latin America, these are the two terms most commonly used to describe people of mixed-race background. For example, mestizos represent a racial majority in Mexico, most of Central America and the Andean countries of South America.

Mulattos make up smaller shares of the populations in those countries — at most 4%, according to national censuses or other surveys. In Caribbean countries and Brazil, where populations with African ancestry are larger, mulattos make up a larger share of the population — 11% in the Dominican Republic and 47% in Brazil. (A 68% majority in the Dominican Republic identifies as “mestizo/indio.”)

These findings reflect the challenges the U.S. Census Bureau faces when measuring Hispanic racial identity. When asked about their race in census forms, a significant number of Hispanics do not choose a standard census race category such as White, Black or Asian. Instead, about 40% select the “some other race” category. This is coupled with the fact that two-thirds of U.S. Hispanic adults consider being Hispanic as part of their racial background, not just an ethnicity.”

¿Mejorando La Raza? — Ostfeld & Yadon, 2022

Prior work shows that Spanish-dominant Latinos tend to have access to fewer socioeconomic resources than English-dominant Latinos (Krogstad et al., 2015; Pew, 2004). This is, in part, because the resources associated with English-language acquisition:
English-speaking social networks, access to high-quality educational resources, time to invest into learning English, etc. — are also associated with more privileged socioeconomic outcomes (Krashen and Brown, 2005).

In Spanish, there is an old and widely known phrase: “mejorar la raza.” This literally translates to “better the race” and refers to the idea that Latinos should marry lighter-skinned individuals to improve the life chances of their offspring (Chavez-Dueñas et al., 2014). Empirical research provides evidence of this troubling relationship between color and power — both among Latinos in the United States (Allen et al., 2000; Espino and Franz, 2002; Murguia and Telles, 1996) and throughout the societies to which they tie their heritage in Latin America (Telles, 2014; Perreira and Telles, 2014; Villareal, 2010).

Consistent with Monk (2015), this study explored self-assessed skin tone as a form of “embodied social status,” distinct from racial identity, and in doing so illuminated how Latinos’ views on American racial politics are intertwined with the process of skin color identification — building on work showing the relationship between skin color and politics within racial identity groups (Stokes-Brown, 2012; Hochschild and Weaver, 2007; Faught and Hunter, 2012; Wilkinson and Earle, 2013; Yadon, 2020).

Diversity by State (Eric Jensen et al., 2021)

Synopsis: Brazil & Latin America

Brazil — Sheila Gies & Tracy Cassidy, 2010

Spanish, German, Japanese, Jewish, Turkish, Polish, Russian, Ukrainian, Chinese, American, and Syrian-Lebanese immigrants, who all contributed to the formation of one of the most mixed-race countries in the world.

Mixed by Design — Emiliano Rodríguez Mega, 2021 (December 13)

— Hybridity: Birth of an idea —

In the early 1900s, scientifically’ backed racism was prominent in the United States, where pseudoscientific eugenics theorists/proponents believed that mixing of races could result in ‘degeneration’ and ‘decay’.

Latin American politicians/intellectuals pushed back with the idea that racial mixing was in fact positive [& felt it] could be an effective tool for forging a national identity.

— The Racial Democracy —

They formulated theories that encouraged Latin Americans to take up the mestizo identity, which they said combined the best features of each group. Their message was one of social cohesion, which many of these countries used to resist US domination and bring people together under a nationalistic sentiment.

“The mestizo myth was Latin America’s project to put an end to the idea that everything hybrid, everything mixed, was inferior,” says Schwartz-Marín. “It was born as a response to the racist purism of that time.”

This mixed-race ideology has prevailed since the 1920s and 1930s… [it] helped undermine the prevailing racial thinking inherited from 19th-century scientific racism and biological determinism and its 1930s and 1940s variants. Yet, it replaced the belief in hybrid degeneracy with notions of ‘hybrid vigor’…

This also institutionalized Brazil’s image as a racial democracy and gave the ideology social scientific legitimacy. During the regime of Getúlio Vargas (1937–1945), the racial democracy ideology became a cornerstone of state policy.

Relatively high levels of interracial social contact, friendships, & marriages characterize the Brazilian social order along a horizontal dimension.

Brazil has historically been highly antiracialist, celebrating miscegenation, integration, and affirming the racial democracy ideology. Edward Telles (2004) has described Brazilian race relations as the coexistence of social (and cultural) inclusion and economic exclusion.

Freyre (1963a, b, 1970) characterized Brazilians as a ‘metarace’ that had moved beyond racial specificity due to the egalitarian integration, or reciprocal transracial/transcultural blend, of Europeans, Africans, and Native Americans (Nobles, 2000).


It took many years for Mexico to acknowledge the African connection. In 2015, after a long struggle for recognition, more than 1 million Afro-Mexicans were allowed to identify as such in the national census, which had previously not recognized them. By 2020, the number had increased to 2.5 million people, or 2% of the country’s population.

Mestizo genomics

These findings belong to a larger body of research that, since the 1990s, has strongly portrayed Brazil as a diverse nation that is also raceless, where everyone is so mixed that it is now impossible to differentiate people genetically into different groups or populations. But the idea of a raceless society conflicts with the lived experiences of many Brazilians, particularly those who don’t identify as White.

The thinking about racial mixing has progressed in different ways across Latin America. In Colombia, although the dominant view casts the country as one mixed nation, there is a strong tendency to divide it into several regions, each one with various types and degrees of admixture.

Japanese-Brazilian — Leia Mais, 2008 — Linguas de Imagracao Asiatico

According to research carried out by the Center for Japanese-Brazilian Studies, in 1987, it is estimated that the Japanese population (Japanese and their descendants) residing in Brazil reaches the number of 1,300,000 inhabitants. Today, based on research by Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan (2019), that number is about 2 million, of which the

Issei (first generation Japanese born in Japan) represent 12.51%,
Nisseis (children of Japanese people) 30.85%,
sanseis (grandchildren) 41.33% — among which 42% are mestizos,
yonseis (great-grandchildren of Japanese people) constitute 12.95%, of which 61% are mestizos.

Also according to this the Center for Japanese-Brazilian Studies survey, only 0.23% of the Japanese population in Brazil currently speak Japanese.

On the other hand, the recent wave of migration of workers (Japanese and their descendants) to Japan, the “dekassegi”, may bring some change in the linguistic behavior of those who were in Japan. The Japanese language also marks its presence in Brazilian Portuguese, in the introduction of lexical items that represent the various segments of Japanese culture and that are inserted in Brazilian society, such as in food (sushi, sashimi, tempura, shoyu, shiitake), in sports and leisure (judo, jiujitsu, karaoke), customs (tatami, furô, kimono)

Japanese-Brazilian — Jillian Kestler-D’Amours, 2014 (June 17)

The Association of Nikkei and Japanese Abroad estimates about 2.6 million Japanese currently live outside of Japan. Of that number, most (about 2 million) live in Brazil — or more than 60% of all Japanese descendants — and two-thirds of those live in Sao Paulo state.

“People are re-inventing these traditions in Brazil and adapting the traditions to a Brazilian context.”

106 years of immigration

The first wave of Japanese migrants came to Brazil in 1908 aboard the Kasato Maru. Bound for the Brazilian city of Santos, 60km south of Sao Paulo, the migrants — who worked primarily as farmers in Japan — set out to work in Brazil’s coffee plantations.

An estimated 190,000 Japanese moved to Brazil between 1908 and 1941, the year the two countries severed diplomatic ties as a result of World War II. According to the Japan Times, 55,000 Japanese moved to Brazil from 1953–1973, constituting the last major wave of immigration.

Japanese-Brazilian (2022)

Portuguese is the third most spoken foreign language in Japan,

after Chinese and Korean, & is among the most studied languages by students in the country.

In the Japanese town of Oizumi, it is estimated that 15% of the population speak Portuguese as their native language. Japan has two newspapers in the Portuguese language, besides radio and television stations spoken in that language. The Brazilian fashion and Bossa Nova music are also popular among Japanese (Redacao, 2008).

Japanese Brazilians. (2022, August 23). In Wikipedia.

A Confluence of Cultures — Celia Sakurai, 2013

Japanese culture has a special place in Brazil’s everyday life, for instance in culinary and fine arts, which have introduced and internalized, in the Brazilian population at large, new patterns of taste and aesthetic values. We know for sure that many traits of the Japanese culture, reshaped by the Japanese-Brazilian experience, are strongly present in Brazil nowadays. In a complex process of social relations that mix a large range of cultural changes, the descendants of the Japanese immigrants have been contributing to the shaping of their own ethnic identity and, at the same time, to the general Brazilian cultural diversity.

Japanese-Brazilian Culture — Celia Sakurai, 2013

In the formation of a Japanese-Brazilian culture, like in any other large movement of immigration, the Japanese had to adapt to the conditions offered by the host country, becoming part of the local society and thus modifying their own original culture, [while still] preserving the basic values brought from Japan.

Two aspects that signalize the degree of incorporation of a culture into the other: language and marriages. The Portuguese dictionary added to its vocabulary many Japanese words with modified orthography, such as Tóquio.

[Marriage is among the aspects] that signalize the degree of incorporation of [one culture into another].

Exogamic marriages (aka interracial marriage) [is a barometer of the degree to which] immigrants have been able to overcome cultural barriers.

The rate of marriages with non-descendants of Japanese reaches 70%.

This means that many families are a mix of different ethnic backgrounds which resulted in the formation of a lineage of mixed cultures. Initially, the marriages outside the community triggered family crises and even tragedies because they opened the path to the rupture of traditional patterns brought from Japan.

[Cultural hybridization] is evident in the realm of the private family rites.

Weddings ️️️➡️ The same happens at the wedding rituals, when the option is for the western procedures in the Catholic Church with the bride’s white dress. But the butsudan still lingers among the descendants, which is a demonstration of respect for the beliefs of the older generations.

Funerals ➡️ In funerals, for example, we can say that there is a combination of rituals. There is a combination of the Buddhist rite of incense burning with the Catholic rituals of the seventh-day mass, and then at the 49th day, there is a return to the Buddhist rite, which is more a moment of family reunion than of religious profession.

Holidays ➡️ Just like the 49th day of death of a relative, the Christmas and New Year’s Eve celebrations are also occasions for a family reunion, which is an opportunity for them to experience “living together” with relatives of diverse cultural origins.

49th Day = In Buddhism, the belief is that rebirth happens 49 days after a person passes away, although this exact length of time varies between Buddhist traditions. For example, some groups believe that the person’s karma determines how soon the reincarnation will happen, which affects the mourning period after the funeral.

Japanese-Ness in the Brazilian Amazon — Moana Almeida, 2018 –

This study has contributed to the expansion of Communication Studies and Religious Studies by deepening research on Whiteness, religious racism, jinshu sabetsu (racism), and Brazilian racismo. To achieve this contribution, I directly challenged EuroU.S.-centrism and Abrahamic-centrism.

Although there were Japanese immigrants before (Inagaki), 1908 is the official year of the first wave of Japanese migration to Brazil. The Brazilian census (IBGE) calculated that of the national population of 200 million people in 2016, approximately 1% were nihonjin or nikkeijin. Extreme poverty and wars in Japan, and the need for manual labor in Brazilian plantations after the abolition of slavery in 1888, prompted the Japanese and Brazilian states to encourage Japanese people into believing that they would prosper in South America. After their arrival, the nijonjin who were planning to make money fast and go back home found out they were trapped in a form of semi-slave labor (Adachi, “Japanese Brazilians”; Beltrão and Sugahara; Kodama; Ribeira; Sakurai).

Okada denies archaeological evidence that mainland Japanese people came from Southern islands, and instead says that ōbito migrated from the mainland to the South. This denial is essential to understand how Mahikari is based on Japanese supremacy, because it privileges yamato people from Edo (Tokyo). Not only is the Mu continent a.k.a. mainland Japan the origin of humanity, but also Mount Fuji is the spiritual center of the world.

Chinese Peruvian (Taste of Peru, 2013)

In Peru, Asian Peruvians are estimated to be 3% of the population, but one source places the number of citizens with some Chinese ancestry at 4.2 million, which equates to 15% of the country’s total population. Chinese immigrants in the 19th century, who took a four-month trip from Macau settled Peru as contract laborers or “coolies”. Other Chinese coolies from Guangdong followed.

About 100,000 Chinese contract laborers, almost all male, were sent mostly to the sugar plantations from 1849 to 1874, for the termination of slavery and continuous labor for the coastal guano mines and where they became a major labor force until the end of the century. While the coolies were believed to be reduced to virtual slaves, they also represented a historical transition from slave to free labor. After their contracts ended, many of them adopted the last name of their patrons (one of the reasons that many Chinese Peruvians carry Spanish last names).

Some freed coolies (and later immigrants) established many small businesses. “Calle Capón”, Lima’s Chinatown, also known as “Barrio Chino de Lima”, became one of the Western Hemisphere’s earliest Chinatowns. “Chifa” reflects a fusion by Chinese Peruvians of the products that the Chinese brought with them to those that they found in Peru, and later cultivated themselves. Peru is by far the country with the most Chinese restaurants in Latin America.

The Chinese coolies married Peruvian women, and many Chinese Peruvians today are of mixed Chinese, Spanish, and African or Native American descent.

History of Slavery (Nicolas Bourcier, 2012)

Of the 9.5 million people captured in Africa and brought to the New World between the 16th and 19th century, nearly 4 million landed in Rio, 10x more than all those sent to the United States. Rio represented the largest urban concentration of slaves since the end of the Roman empire, more than 40% of the population, almost a complete city in irons.

Brazil was the last American nation to abolish slavery, on 13 May, 1888.

(Crocitti, 2020)

There is hardly any official memorialization of the event beyond Juneteenth celebrations in the African American community, and even those I suspect are more prevalent in the South. Quite the opposite, many Americans memorialized the struggle to maintain slavery in the US by erecting statues of Confederate generals and political leaders, displaying the Confederate flag in government and private spaces, and even nicknaming a college football team The Rebels.

In Brazil, which had many more slaves than the US, schools teach children the exact day, 13 May 1888, that Princess Isabel issued the Golden Law abolishing slavery in Brazil. Photographs, paintings and statues memorialize the event. Every city of decent size has its Rua Treze de Maio (13 May Street) to commemorate abolition.

None of this means that Brazil is free of racism, but instead that racism in Brazil is different than that found in the US. Not better or worse than racism in the US, just different in both obvious and subtle ways such as memorializing the date of abolition.

Classification in US, Canada, & Brazil— (Ann Morning, 2004)

Perhaps the country most demographically similar to the United States is Brazil, but as numerous authors have demonstrated, the two countries seem to have developed quite different forms of race relations and imagery (Marx 1998; Nobles 2000). In short, the United States’ demographic evolution and its cultural response are unique.

However, I sketch below a few points of comparison between it and other societies outside Europe in which the descendants of European settlers have remained a distinct majority — like Canada, Australia, and New Zealand — or have assimilated a large African population, like Brazil.

Canada: Ancestry, Ethnoracial Info, & Indigenous Affiliation

Like the United States, Canada uses three questions to elicit ethnic information from its respondents.

First is an ancestry question, “To which ethnic or cultural group(s) did this person’s ancestors belong?” Answer examples are given, and individuals are permitted four open-ended fill-in entries.
Next Canadians are asked (without specifying the term “race”), “Is this person…” and they are given the following response options: White; Chinese; South Asian; Black; Arab/West Asian; Filipino; South East Asian; Latin American; Japanese; Korean; Other-specify (respondents may mark more than one group).
Finally, Canadians are asked about their indigenous affiliation.

Three differences from the U.S. procedure are particularly noteworthy. First is the list of categories on the Canadian race question; as in the United States, they include categories such as White, Black and several Asian categories (e.g. Chinese, Japanese).


Canada includes the category “Latin American” among these choices — unlike the American creation of a separate Hispanic ethnicity question

— and

they include an “Arab/West Asian” option, thereby facilitating the self-identification of people of Arab or Middle Eastern descent.

Brazil: Color Terminology

In contrast to the American, Canadian, Australian and New Zealander cases, the Brazilian census’ ethnic enumeration is limited to race, and in particular, color terminology. It asks for respondents’ “color or race” (“A sua cor ou raça e:”) and the response options use color terms (Branca, Amarela) and imply a gradation of color (Preta, Parda).7 Since Brazil is the only other country highlighted here to have been a large-scale importer of African slaves, it is notable that both the U.S. and Brazil privilege the concept of race — anchored in a black/white binary — in their ethnic enumeration practices, whereas Canada, Australia and New Zealand evoke “ethnicity” and “ancestry.” In fact, the link between “race” terminology in official classification and African slavery is further evinced by the finding that in this study, virtually all of the 12 countries to refer to race are either New World former slave societies (United States, Anguilla, Bermuda, Brazil, Jamaica, Saint Lucia) and/or their territories (United States Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands).

South America — Peter Aspinall & Zarine Rocha, 2020

“The term mestizo is generally used throughout Latin America to describe people of mixed ancestry with a White European and an indigenous background or phenotypic markers. It is found with the greatest frequency in Central American censuses (Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua) but also in one of the censuses in South America (Ecuador) and in one of the Caribbean island countries (Cuba). Thus, apart from Belize, the term is a Latin American phenomenon. Only in El Salvador is the term defined, as a ‘mix of White and indigenous’. Similarly, the term mulatto commonly refers to persons of a White European and Black African mixed race ancestry or phenotypic markers. ‘Mulatto’ is a census category exclusive to Latin American countries: Colombia and Ecuador in South America, Costa Rica in Central America, and the Caribbean island country of Cuba. It has long been regarded as a pejorative term in the USA and Canada.

Several other specific terms are used in South America. In Brazil, ‘parda’ is one of five census colour or race categories — branca, preta, parda, indígena, and amarela — used by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE) and translates approximately to ‘brown’. It is generally used to refer to Brazilians of mixed ethnic ancestries.
A wider range of ‘mixed’ terms — Cabocla (mixed), Mameluca (mestizo), Marrom (brown), Mestiça (mestizo), Misturada (mixed), Morena (mulatto), Morena clara (light mulatto), Morena escura (dark mulatto), Mulata (mulatto), and Parda (brown) — were shown as responses to an open-ended question about self-reported colour/race classification in a Rio de Janeiro 2005 survey of students (Santos et al., 2009).

A few other countries use specific terms:

Venezuela: Brown [Morena/o] in its 2011 Census;
Suriname: ‘Gemengd’ (meaning ‘mixed’) in its 2012 Census;
Ecuador: Montubio, a mestizo people of the countryside of coastal Ecuador, in its 2010 census.

Caribbean Islands: ‘Mixed’ is the only term used amongst the former British colonies in the Caribbean islands.

The USA 2010 Census instructed respondents to mark one or more races in a list of fifteen options. This question was also asked in the US Caribbean territories (see below).

Multi-ticking was introduced in the USA in 2000, this being the first attempt to capture the multiracial population since the ‘mulatto’ category was used in the 1920 and preceding censuses. In this respect, the USA differs from countries in Latin America. Clearly, mixed identity combinations in both Canada and the USA are limited by the list of predesignated categories in these (race and population group) questions, which omit Hispanic (USA) and Aboriginal (Canada) in their lists of predesignated categories.

At an individual level, colonial administrators, even after devising a classification scheme, found the assignment of some individuals problematic, as illustrated in 1891 by the observations of the census commissioner in Calcutta:
It is extremely difficult to say under what nationality certain persons should be classified. It is a tradition in some old Eurasian families to say they are of true British descent. And one meets problems such as the one laid before me by one of my supervisors, who asked how the son of a German father by a Creole mother born in Calcutta was to describe himself.

Looking at the man, I said

he had better call himself Eurasian;

but I am not sure that I was right. The rule is that people are recorded according to their own descriptions, and therefore there is considerable room for doubt as to the results (India, 1891, p. 28).”

Christopher, A. J. (2020). Race and Ethnicity Classification in British Colonial and Early Commonwealth Censuses. The Palgrave International Handbook of Mixed Racial and Ethnic Classification. Springer International Publishing.

Trinidad & Tobago — Sue Ann Barratt, 2020

“The mixed group in Trinidad and Tobago is extremely heterogenous, as my discussion of the features of the labelled categories of mixedness reveals. The generalized ‘mixed’ or ‘mixed other’ group classifies individuals who are products of either consistent mixing through each generation of their family or individuals who have multiple inherited ethnic influences due to mixing in some generations of their family, thus making precise categorization unreliable despite phenotypical appearance. To be ‘just mixed’ in Trinidad and Tobago in particular is to be a Travesaou, a plantation term for an unidentifiably mixed individual, as Rahim (2010) accounts for it, or a Callaloo, a person mixed with a little bit of everything and thus too mixed to specify, as England (2010) describes.

Though this may not be asserted as fact for every individual, the dougla may include an ‘African’ parent who, by ancestry may be one of many intermediate categories or combinations which lie between extremes of Black and White (Khan, 1993). As England pointed out

most of the Trinidadians who today identify as African or negro can claim to be mixed — a great-grandfather who is Scottish, a great-grandmother who is Carib or Spanish. Creole (or Negro or African) is essentially understood as an already mixed category with different subtypes contained within the larger category that are coded by color and hair texture. (2008, p. 5)

Trinidad appears to be a bipolar society with two main races, but where one, the Afro, has the connotations of being an already mixed category, and the other, the Indo, has the connotations of racial and cultural purity

… individuals who are any mixture of African, European, Carib or Spanish are lumped into the creole category, understood as simply different variations and shades of Afro Trinidadian identity, a multigenerational or mixed identity … Creole or AfroTrinidadian, then, often serves as a catch-all category for all kinds of mixture, revealing the logic of absorbent Blackness. (2010, p. 208)

Rahim’s (2010) use of the term travesaou or unidentifiably mixed, and England’s (2010) citing of the term callaloo, do well to describe the apparently African, yet possibly mixed parent of dougla progeny.

In terms of the Indian parent, he or she is not so included in this catch-all category because Indians, who arrived after the class/color, White/Black hierarchy was well entrenched, were not integrated and occupied a separate residential and cultural space from Africans. In addition, a discourse of racial purity has constructed Indianness as exclusive rather than inclusive, therefore, where the Indian is mixed this is a threat to Indianness by contamination and dilution as there is now a creation of another category no longer Indian (England, 2008, 2010; Rampersad, 2000; Puri, 1999). Thus, the extent of the mixing between Indians and other ethnicities not including Africans in this case is unclear because, as Segal (1993) explains

the second generation of descendants from ‘mixed’ unions involving ‘Indians’ were erased rather than memorialized. In the absence of a lexicalized space for this ‘mixing’, the ‘mixing’ itself was neither kept track of nor constituted … genealogical ‘mixing’ had been placed under erasure. (pp. 94, 97)”

As of 2022, Turkey has been the largest refugee host country in the world for at least 9 consecutive years.

Afro-Turkey — Davide Lerner & Esra Whitehouse, 2017 (Oct 26)

Mustafa Olpak’s book, the first and the last autobiographical and introspective study of Turkey’s dwindling black minority. Olpak coined the term Afro-Turk and founded the movement to help resurrect their identity, but the history of the estimated 1.3 million people who were forced into slavery and shipped from Africa to the territories controlled by the Ottoman Empire remains little more than a footnote of Turkish history.

While “the library of the Congress of the United States of America has over 600 personal accounts of African-American slaves, none could be found in Ottoman archives,” notes Turkish historian Hakan Erdem in his commentary to Olpak’s book.

Today the number of Afro-Turks is estimated at only a few tens of thousands. Many still live in the villages of Haskoy, Yenicifler and Yenikoy, near Izmir, while some reside in rural areas around Ayvalik, Antalya and Adana, as well as in Istanbul. Most were first brought to Turkey to work as domestic servants or in the tobacco and cotton fields along the Aegean Sea; they settled near Izmir once they were freed. Although the slave trade was officially made illegal in 1857 following pressure from Britain and other European powers, it took until the beginning of the 20th century to eliminate the practice altogether and to liberate those who were owned by Ottoman families since before the slave trade was outlawed.

In Izmir, the state provided safe houses for former slaves as well as assistance to integrate them into the labor market; whole villages and neighborhoods inhabited by the Afro-Turks were dubbed “Arap” areas — the Turkish word for Arab, which is still used as slang to refer to black people.

‘A second trauma’

While shame and pain played a role in many Afro-Turks’ choice to bury their past, these were not the only factors. Upon arrival, slaves were immediately converted to Islam, their names were changed and they were forced to put all aspects of their free life in Africa behind them. With a version of Islamic law ruling over the Ottoman Empire, treatment of slaves was different from America. Children of slaves were born free citizens, intermarriage was legal and after a period of seven to 10 years, Islamic law encouraged owners to release their slaves.

Beyond this, a large number of Afro-Turks were among the half-a-million Muslims from Greece who were forcibly exchanged for a million Christians from Turkey in the population swap that came after the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne. For the Afro-Turks, the transfer represents “a second trauma” and a “second displacement,” explains Lulufer Korukmez, a Turkish academic who studied the group, at Ege University in Izmir. Ironically, one of the main promoters of the plan was League of Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Fridtjof Nansen, who believed that creating more ethnically homogeneous states would diminish forced displacement and war in the long run.

Afro-Turks also went through “a powerful Turkification” with the founding of the Turkish Republic, which set in motion a process of “nation-building that subsumed and suppressed other consciousnesses,” explains Ehud Toledano, an expert on slavery in the Ottoman Empire at Tel Aviv University. “At the end of it all, of their old identity very little is left.”

Multiracial Turkish-Kurdish — Pelsin Ulgen, 2018

There are an estimated one million Kurdish-Turkish mixed families living in Turkey (Ergil, 2000).

Multiracial Turkish-Kurdish individuals “reported that because they do not know Kurdish, it was difficult for them to identify themselves as Kurdish.” Just as research found that Asian-White Multiracials “with knowledge and ability to speak Asian language had a greater degree of acceptance of Asian identity (Khanna, 2004). Similarly, both Wijeyesinghe (2001) and Root (2003) proposed that a Multiracial individual’s identity choice or experience of that identity is strongly affected by the languages spoken in the home environment.

Multiracial Turkish-Kurdish individuals “expressed difficulties such as discrimination they experienced and having no sense of belonging to either side; that is, being in between.

In Turkey, Kurdish-Turkish Multiracial individuals face discrimination, pressure to choose only one ethnic identity, and lack of belonging to any ethnic group. All of these may have an adverse effect on their general well-being and mental health. Therefore, some key issues should to be taken into consideration by mental health workers. Sue and Sue (2003) recommended some strategies for psychologists when working with Multiracial individuals, which are also applicable to Turkish-Kurdish Multiracial individuals.”

Multicultural Marriage in Turkey — Hale Bolak Boratav et al., 2021

Multicultural couplehood is defined by the presence of different social, ethnic, racial, religious identifications in the relationship. Research has looked at both what facilitates and maintains multicultural relationships, what may be their particular challenges, and how they are negotiated.

Like all forms of romantic relationships, multicultural relationships are established upon the common themes of attraction, love, compatibility, and companionship (Daneshpour, 2003; Killian, 2001; Negy & Snyder, 2000; Watts & Henriksen, 1999).
Research suggests that following the initial attraction, partners tend to focus on commonalities such as education, age, and economic status and to de-prioritize the differences based on characteristics such as race or ethnicity (Killian, 2001).

Turkish Ethnicity — Abubakr al-Shamahi, 2015

Today, out of a population of almost 80 million, there are estimated to be around 55 million ethnic Turks, 12.5 million Kurds, 2.5 million people of Circassian origin, 2 million Bosnians, and Albanian, Georgian and Arab origin populations of around 1 million each.

Turkey — Murat Ergin, 2019 — April 3

In 1909, the question ‘Could a Turkish citizen be naturalized as a White person?’ was put before the US Circuit Court in Cincinnati. The New York Times, covering the case, further asked: ‘Is the Turk a White Man?’

The Times recognized that ‘the original Turks were of East Asian ancestry’, yet unfortunately depicted them as a ‘cruel and massacring people’. At the same time, it highlighted that Turks, being ‘Europeans’, were as ‘White’ as ‘the Huns, Finns, and Cossacks’.

This ambiguity around Turkey’s racial identity in the global perception played a significant role in stimulating the country’s modernization initiatives. Furthermore, it shaped Turkey’s promotion of particular national identity narratives, influencing their propagation in the realm of education for many decades.

In 1928, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the great modernizing founder of the Republic of Turkey, found himself presented with the question of Whiteness. Afet İnan, Atatürk’s adopted daughter, took a French geography book to Atatürk, and asked him if, as the book says, Turks are of the yellow race.

His response: ‘No, it cannot be. Let’s occupy ourselves with it. You work on it.

Afet İnan, Atatürk’s adopted daughter

Inan was only 20 years old. However, by delegating Inan the task of searching for Turkish origins, Atatürk made her a state-supported proponent of Turkish whiteness.

Afet Inan (1937) on stage — emphasised Turks’ whiteness:

“The obvious characteristic of this Central Asian race is brachycephalic; its corporeal formation, despite fabricated legends, is proportional; and its skin has no relationship with the colour of yellow; it is mainly and generally white.”

İnan vowed to use the latest Western science to show Turks’ racial purity, to overturn these ‘fabricated legends’ of Western scholars about the Asianness of Turks.

The whiteness of Turks was a means to insist they were rightful owners of Western civilisation

İnan’s domination of the Turkish nationalist campaign for whiteness at this conference became clear. She was 24 years old and with no credentials as a scholar. But when two professors offered subtle and apologetic criticism of the empirical basis for the new whiteness theory, İnan took the lead in quelling their tentative opposition. The two dissenters were Mehmet Fuat Köprülü (1890–1966) and Zeki Velidi Togan (1890–1970), both professors of history. Their main objection was that the claims of the whiteness campaign were outstripping the evidence. Scholars, they said, need more evidence to substantiate some of the claims the conference was trying to advance. Köprülü’s dissent, coming from a scholar who studies Ottoman history using meticulous analysis of archival material, triggered a series of attempted rebuttals and apologies.

There was an absence of data for an advanced prehistoric Turkish civilisation

Again, İnan was the first to criticise. Her political power compelled Köprülü to come to the stage, protesting that there has been a misunderstanding.

Lying to Self

The Central Themes of Turkish History made a number of notable and fanciful assertions that found their way into school curricula, and established themselves as orthodoxy among Turkish educators and scholars. They include: 1) Turks are the original white race; 2) Turks are the descendants of an ancient, central Asian civilisation, which is the oldest and most advanced in the world; 3) Turks spread civilisation to the rest of the world when they migrated out of central Asia, their mythical homeland; 4) when they encountered other races, ancient Turks assimilated and Turkified them.

This last claim was an interesting twist on the peculiarly racist one-drop rule in the US, whereby anyone with any black ‘blood’ is black. In the Turkish model, racial mixture did not debase the ‘superior’ race. Instead, it raised and assimilated ‘inferior’ races. Turkish people learned that the cradle of Western whiteness and civilization was to be found in Asia. The American philosopher John Dewey (1859–1952) visited Turkey in 1924 to prepare a report on education, and quipped: ‘It is paradoxical that it should be necessary for a nation to go into Asia in order to make sure that it is to be Europeanised.’

Turkish modernizers saw no paradox in looking eastward to Asia for evidence of the achievements and qualities that they believed would make them white and European.

It was not until the 1990s that the effects of the Turkish race-science campaign faced a real correction.

The past few decades have witnessed a rising interest and nostalgia for Ottoman and Islamic history. The whiteness campaign that went along with modernization had repudiated the Ottoman empire as an aberration in Turkey’s long history. The rise of ‘Ottomania’ today rehabilitates the Ottoman past, and roots Turkish identity in it. In Turkey today, the idea prevails that Turks are the descendants of the Ottomans, rather than a prehistoric superior civilization in central Asia.”


. — “Since the racial reckoning of 2020, the quest for racial equity has become less of a priority for many companies” (Richard Orbe-Austin, 2023).

Alana Semuels, 2023 (2.21 — TIME)

— “Marie Roker-Jones (founder of Curious Culture) pins the shift in attention away from diversity to about two years after the death of George Floyd, or May of 2022.

— The data seem to back her up: a November 2022 Glassdoor report found that the share of U.S.-based companies listed on their site offering access to a diversity program slipped slightly in the third quarter of 2022, to 41%, from 43% the previous year. And a report by Lever, a recruiting software company, surveying 1,000 full-time employees and 500 employers involved in the hiring process found that 18% of companies decreased their investment in DEI in 2022 from the previous year.

— — — McKinsey has found that ethnically diverse companies are 36% more likely to outperform companies that are less diverse. Companies with the most gender diversity on their executive teams were 25% more likely to experience above-average profitability. — — —

“If you have more voices from different backgrounds at the table, your product is going to do better and you are going to have a bigger reach,” says Sam, of the diversity recruiting agency Nextplay.

Cracking the Code That Stalls Minorities — Sylvia Ann Hewlett, 2014

— In a workplace where unconscious bias continues to permeate the corridors of power, and leadership is mostly White and male, minority professionals are measurably disadvantaged in their efforts to be perceived as leaders.

Hewlett, 2012

— “More than 35% of Hispanics & 45% of Asians say they “need to compromise their authenticity” to conform to their company’s standards of demeanor or style.

— “You lead a dual life, you absolutely do,” said an Indian senior manager. “There is an inhibition. You just don’t want to talk about it. And I’d never dream of wearing a sari to work.”

— About 55% of Asians with a sponsor are content with their rate of advancement, compared with just 30% of Asians without such backing.

— The desire by people of color to “pay it forward” is robust; at the senior level, an impressive 26% of Black Americans, and 20% each of Asians and Hispanics feel obligated to sponsor employees of their same gender or ethnicity — compared with 7% of White Americans.

— [Unfortunately,] minorities worry about the taint of favoritism on their careers if they enter into a minority-minority sponsor relationship. “

Since the Racial Reckoning — Richard Orbe-Austin, 2023

— If there is an issue with retaining minority employees, then you should explore how your workplace is hostile to them, rather than providing alternative rationales for their departure.

Sponsors for Minority Employees — Aimee Hansen, 2022

— Minorities are nearly 40% less likely to report having a sponsor (see also Hewlett & Ihezie, 2022).

— About 71% of sponsors report their protégé is the same race or gender as their own.

Globalization’s Commodification of Multiracials’ Bodies

The commodification of phenotypically ambiguous Multiracials reflects their presumed embodied value in a globalized marketplace. It suggests that “race contains market value as long as it is kept at arm’s length from ostensibly stable racial groups” (Spenrath, 2011). Indeed, Nilsen & Turner (2014) noted that “a colorblind trend in television is the casting of actors who are marked as racially ambiguous & therefore removed from any identifiable cultural identity.”

“Mixed-race bodies are popular commodified images used by global capital to sell both products & ideas of cosmopolitanism, multiculturalism, & globality” (King-O’Riain, 2014, p. 271).
“Hybrid and ‘multicultural’ bodies once rejected as incorrigibly contaminated during the eugenics movement are now used to hustle world music, athletic apparel, and popular films” (Brayton, 2013).

Waring (2013) argues that the exoticism attached to mixed‐race bodies is dependent upon how an individual’s phenotype manages to blur racial categorization, reflecting “the insidious way that late capitalism creates a market out of formerly oppressed groups” (Spenrath, 2011).

Multiracials serve as a form of safe diversity bringing “color into the frame without conflict” (Catherine Squires, 2014, p. 7).


Among Multiracials born in 2018, most were Hispanic-White (39.1%). Moreover, Hispanic-White Multiracials’ households are “fairly evenly divided between families in which the Hispanic parent is the father & those in which it is the mother” (Alba, 2021).

Black-White Multiracials usually have a White mother.

Asian-White Multiracials usually have a White father.


“Rather than considering interracial couples a homogeneous group, future studies should account for the different types of these couples as it may have implications on results” (Tarah Midy, 2018)

Among monoracials, the most common interracial couples are half-White couples (Brooks, 2021; Brooks & Lynch, 2019; Livingston & Brown, 2017):

🥇 Hispanic-White couples (42%)

🥈 Asian-White couples (15%)

🥉 Black-White couples (11%)

Among the interminority couples:

4️⃣ Black-Hispanic couples (5%)

5️⃣ Asian-Hispanic couples (3%)

[Black-White couples remain] “the most sensationalized and stigmatized of pairings” (Brooks, 2021).

Lidia Zuin

— Yu Takagi & Shinji Nishimoto (2023) use “generative #Ai to imageically reconstruct what a person is seeing.”
These tools may provide insights into how different people perceive the world & may help us “understand other species’ perceptions of the world.”

Yu Takagi & Shinji Nishimoto, 2023

— “The lack of agreement regarding specific details of the reconstructed images may reflect differences in perceived experience across subjects, rather than failures of reconstruction.” #AiForGood

Via The Female Quotient (2023)

“Ruby Bridges Hall was the first Black child to desegregate the all-white William Frantz Elementary School in Louisiana in 1960.

Bridges was one of six Black children in New Orleans who successfully cleared the test determining their eligibility to attend the exclusively white elementary school. While two of the students opted to remain at their previous school, Bridges fearlessly ventured to William Frantz Elementary alone, while the remaining three children were transferred to McDonogh №19, subsequently known as the McDonogh Three.

To ensure Bridges’ safety due to large crowds of protestors, four federal marshals accompanied her and her mother as they made their way to school on the first day. For the first year, she needed federal protection every day with protesters at the school gates.

White parents withdrew their children from the school, and the staff refused to teach Bridges, except for one teacher: Barbara Henry from Boston. For an entire year, Henry taught Bridges alone, just the two of them in a classroom. Over the course of the year, a few white parents let their children back into the school and things slowly changed.

Today, Bridges still lives in New Orleans with her family and serves as the chair of the Ruby Bridges Foundation, an organization she established in 1999, advocating for tolerance, respect, and diversity through programs and resources. Elaborating on the foundation’s objective, she emphasizes that racism is an affliction that primarily affects adults and emphasizes the importance of preventing its perpetuation through the exploitation of children.”


Brazil — Daniel & Hernández, 2020

The scarcity of Portuguese women gave rise to miscegenation between White men and Native American women, and after the introduction of African slavery, with women of African descent. These relationships were largely consummated through coercion and violence such as rape, fleeting extramarital relations, and concubinage, rather than mutual consent. Whether through coercion or consent, Portuguese civil and ecclesiastical authorities condemned miscegenation. Official reprimands failed to have the desired effect. Consequently, authorities turned a blind eye to interracial intimacy. The interracial family was informally legitimized notwithstanding legal barriers to racial intermarriage (Degler, 1971; Furtado, 2008; Nazzari, 1996; Russell-Wood, 1982).

There is no systematic evidence to elucidate with any exactitude official record-keeping on race in colonial Brazil. Then, as today, various terms were used to describe multiracials, including mulato (Black/White), mameluco or caboclo (Native American/White), and so on. Mameluco appears more frequently in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century documents, and, unlike caboclo, is not used in modern Brazil. During the early colonial period, most multiracials were mamelucos. When Native Americans began to die by the thousands, colonists increasingly imported African slaves (although as late as the 1580s, Native Americans still composed two-thirds of the slave labor force).

After 1600, when the transition to African labor was complete, there was an increase in the numbers of multiracials of African and European or African, European, and Native American descent (mulatos) — and to a lesser extent, individuals of African and Native American descent (cafusos) (Lockhart & Schwartz, 1987).

Co-Opted Into Silence

European Brazilians granted multiracials an intermediate location somewhat superior to that of Blacks but significantly inferior to that of Whites. This assured African Brazilians collectively were retained at the bottom of society.

Yet select multiracials have been rewarded through what Degler (1971) refers to as the ‘mulatto escape hatch’. This informal social device allows some ‘visibly’ multiracial people (because of talent, culture, or education) token vertical mobility and with it the rank of situational ‘Whiteness’.

That said, the escape hatch has broader implications. It has allowed millions of individuals who have African ancestry, but who are phenotypically White, or near-White, to become self-identified and socially designated as such with all the privileges of Whiteness.

In the USA, the one-drop rule could transform into Black and subject to its accompanying social indignities an individual who appears otherwise White.

In Brazil, the escape hatch has made it possible for such individuals to completely escape Blackness and its social liabilities. It thus serves as a form of social control by guaranteeing that many individuals possessing the socio-cultural capital to serve as voices in the antiracist struggle are co-opted into silence.

Gospel of Brazil

Largely influenced by scientific racism and biological determinism espoused by European and European-American thinkers, many 19th-century Brazilian intellectuals expressed alarm about the deleterious consequences of miscegenation and cultural blending. According to Thomas Skidmore, they considered multiracials genetically and culturally ‘inferior’ through notions of ‘hybrid degeneracy’ (Skidmore, 1974; Stepan, 1991).


In the early 1900s, there was a turnabout in the thinking of the elite with respect to Brazil’s African and Native American racial and cultural heritage. This paved the way in the 1920s and 1930s for a re-evaluation of miscegenation and cultural blending by perpetuating the ideology of mestiçagem, which became central to the development of Brazilian national identity (Davis, 1999; Hernández, 2013; Loveman, 2014).

Mid-twentieth-century Brazilian thinkers, such as anthropologist Gilberto Freyre (1963a, b, 1970), argued that [interracial unions] and cultural blending had an invigorating, rather than enervating, impact on Brazil.

Freyre characterized Brazilians as a ‘metarace’

that had moved beyond racial specificity due to the egalitarian integration, or reciprocal transracial/transcultural blend, of Europeans, Africans, and Native Americans (Nobles, 2000).

Racial designations and markers were fluid and based more on physical appearance, in combination with culture and class, than on ancestry, as was the case in the USA (Nogueira, 1985 [1954]).

Moreover, there was an absence of legalized racial discrimination. Social inequality was supposedly based on class and culture. This school of thought helped undermine the prevailing racial thinking inherited from 19th-century scientific racism and biological determinism and its 1930s and 1940s variants. Yet, it replaced the belief in hybrid degeneracy with notions of ‘hybrid vigor’ touting [interracial couples & multiracials] as ‘browning’ while implicitly euphemizing the previous ideology of Whitening and Europeanization. This also institutionalized Brazil’s image as a racial democracy and gave the ideology social scientific legitimacy.

During the regime of Getúlio Vargas (1937–1945), the racial democracy ideology became a cornerstone of state policy.

The Racial Democracy

The 1940 Census not only returned to the use of color designations but also seemingly supported claims of an increasingly amalgamated (and Whiter) Brazil. The census employed the color categories of branco, preto, and pardo, as well as amarelo (yellow) for the recent Asian immigrants (primarily Japanese).

The pardo category, which in the census of 1890 had been applied strictly to multiracials of preto and branco descent, became an overarching term for individuals who did not fit the categories preto, branco, or amarelo (i.e. to include individuals who identified as mulato, moreno, caboclo, etc.) (Carvalho & Wood, 2004).

In the late twentieth century, pardo was still used to encompass all intermediate colors between European and African, including Native Americans, although in the 1960 Census, Índio was added in order to count the indigenous population.

Census data indicate multiracials declined from 41.4% to 21.2% between 1890 and 1940. Whites had grown from 44% to 63.5% during the same period. This was attributable more to the massive immigration of Europeans than an increase in miscegenation or racial self-recoding of multiracials as Whites (Nobles, 2000; Skidmore, 1974).

Darker-skinned individuals were disproportionately found at the bottom of society (Wood and Carvalho, 1988).

The popular saying ‘money Whitens’, which was utilized as proof of Brazil’s racial democracy, paradoxically evinced the tacitly ignored fact of White privilege. These data made the racial democracy ideology even more crucial during the military dictatorships that dominated Brazil between 1964 and 1985.

By 1969, faculty at the University of São Paulo (USP), who were conducting cutting-edge research measuring racial inequality, were branded as subversives and given compulsory retirement. Many were imprisoned; others emigrated or were exiled. Racial mobilization was deemed racist and a threat to national security.

Individuals who organized to address a problem the White-dominated state declared non-existent risked detention, incarceration, and even torture.

No racial data were collected in the 1970 Census. Once again, officials argued racial categories were ambiguous and virtually meaningless.

Their true motivation was to promote the belief that race was insignificant in shaping social stratification, thus depriving researchers of data confirming how poorly African Brazilians fared in terms of key social indicators (Hasenbalg et al., 1989; Lovell-Webster, 1987).

Since the 1970s, the Black movement has rearticulated an African Brazilian identity grounded in a positive valuation of Blackness. This identity interrogates Brazil’s Whitening ideology and the European aesthetic bias that permeates mass culture and holds sway over the public imagination in determining one’s perceived worth (Paschel, 2016). Activists believe [interracial couples & multiracials] and fluid racial categories and identities have thwarted African Brazilian unity and social progress. They seek to transform Brazil’s [tripartite racial hierarchy] into a binary one that unifies Blacks (pretos) and multiracials (pardos) as African Brazilians (negros) and distinguishes them from Whites (brancos) (Daniel, 2006).

Further research conducted by Silva, Hasenbalg, and other social scientists beginning in the 1990s confirmed and expanded on these analyses.

‘For Brazilians, a White majority does not exist in the country’ (Nobles, 2000).

Datafolha’s data indicated 51% of the total number of individuals identified as moreno, negro, or preto. If those who self-identified as pardo (6%), mulato (1%), and escuro (dark) (1%) are included, the final tally is 59%. There was no indication IBGE officials were willing to adopt the term moreno. If the agency ever approved moreno as an official category, the number of individuals identifying as ‘Black’ and ‘White’ would decrease.

This would indicate Brazil would have a non-White majority but would not necessarily translate into an African Brazilian majority (Nobles, 2000).

Melissa Nobles (2000) points out some individuals might view support of the term moreno as the achievement of Freyre’s notion of a Brazilian metarace based on morenidade (‘brunettism’). Racial blending has been uncoupled from the racial democracy ideology, and ‘brownness’ embraced, but the notion of a non-discriminatory Brazil does not necessarily follow from this (Nobles, 2000).

Additionally, 0.5% of the national population was amarelo and 0.4% was Indígena, a tabulation made possible since the addition of that category on the 1991 Census (Instituto Brasileiro de Geografía e Estadísticas, 2000; Neves, 2002; Paixão, 2004).


…the overwhelming majority of Brazil’s population of 211 million has some African ancestry (whether or not they acknowledge or identify with it).

Public discourse increasingly includes references to ‘racial diversity’ and ‘multiculturalism’, that is, support for group differences based on equal footing (egalitarian pluralism), [as opposed to] the traditional reference to ‘racial unity’ (egalitarian integration) (Nobles, 2000; Bailey, 2009). Stanley Bailey’s (2009) concepts of ‘racialist’ and ‘antiracialist’ are instructive in terms of understanding this transformation in Brazilian race relations and racial discourse. The concepts refer to collective subjectivities that are divided along racial lines and embrace discrete categories of race (racialist) and those that embrace racial ambiguity and blending (antiracialist).

In contrast to the highly racialist albeit equally racist social order in the USA, Brazil has historically been highly antiracialist, celebrating miscegenation, integration, and affirming the racial democracy ideology.

Increased racialism aimed at fostering group pluralism premised on a distinct African Brazilian racial and cultural center of reference is considered a legitimate feature of Brazil’s racial order, compared to the traditional discourse of integration. The goal is still to integrate African Brazilians as equals.

In 2010, Brancos (91,051,646) still compose almost half of the population, although they decreased from 54% in 2000 to 48% in 2010;
pardos (82,277,333) increased from 40% in 2000 to 43% in 2010;
and pretos (14,517,961) increased from 6.2% in 2000 to 7.6% in 2010.

Amarelos totalled 2,084,288 (1.1%) and Indígenas totalled 817,963 (0.4%) (Instituto Brasileiro de Geografía e Estatísticas, 2011; Barnes, 2011).

These statistics indicate Brazil has an African Brazilian (or non-White) majority,

but one that is composed overwhelmingly of pardos, which is typically ignored and dismissed, or at least downplayed. Some attribute the decrease in the percentage of Whites and growth in the percentage of African Brazilians to the Black movement’s success in furthering a positive valuation of Blackness. Others consider this an opportunistic response to the perceived benefits of affirmative action. What is clear is Black and multiracial activists are articulating racial designations differently from traditional Brazilian racial commonsense. Those designations have been individual ‘free-floating’, and frequently elusive, physical markers, combined with cultural and socioeconomic criteria.

The population embraces racial ambiguity and the lack of clear racial group subjectivity.



Dr. Jarryd Willis PhD

I'm passionate about making a tangible difference in the lives of others, & that's something I have the opportunity to do a professor & researcher.