Author

Via Perkins

Degree Type

Thesis

Date Information

May 2013

Department

English

First Advisor

Michael Jaros

Abstract

In the form of 25 open-ended questions, I interviewed six half-black, half-white Salem State University students to seek their uncensored experiences in defining themselves and their world as biracial people. I endeavored to build upon the little existing literature that focused on the complexities of being "mulatto" - a loaded term in and of itself. Transitioning from a once uncommon, disgraced, and shamed community, half-black, half-white individuals now represent the largest group of biracial people in America, which comes with its own modern challenges and triumphs. In the vein of Lise Funderburg's Black, White, Other, these six narratives weave together a complex tapestry of valuable memories, perspectives, and insights that each of these young mulattos possesses. I share the text of these interviews in conjunction with photographs I shot of each interviewee, which add an intimate visual dimension to each narrative. I also include a personal introduction to the project, which explains the inspiration for my undertaking as a part of my own biracial journey. Furthermore, the thesis reveals the benefits of engaging in curious and honest conversations about race - the ways it helps shed light on America's past, and how it can create more understanding and respect between individuals and groups alike in the present.

Comments

Includes the text of the introduction and 18 additional files, including the text of the six interviews and 2 photographs of each interviewee.

Amanda's Interview.pdf (125 kB)
Amanda Candid - caption - Singing with the Ssockapella group in the Salem State recital hall..jpg (2023 kB)
Amanda Portrait - caption - Formal portrait, holding photos of mother and father..jpg (3335 kB)
Ben's Interview.pdf (125 kB)
Ben Candid - caption - Hosting an event to watch Game of Thrones in Marsh Hall (he is a Resident Assistant there); talking with one of his residents..jpg (4549 kB)
Ben Portrait - caption - Formal portrait, holding photos of mother and father..jpg (2746 kB)
Zoie's Interview.pdf (123 kB)
Zoie Portrait - caption - Formal portrait, holding photos of mother and father..jpg (2629 kB)
Zoie Candid - caption - Relaxing in Atlantic Hall with friends before attending the annual Salem State Women's Dinner event..jpg (8817 kB)
Dan's Interview.pdf (136 kB)
Dan Portrait - caption - Formal portrait, holding photos of mother and father..jpg (2380 kB)
Dan Candid - caption - Attending a wrestling tournament at Quincy High School (he is a coach); watching while a student on his team competes..jpg (6486 kB)
Chris's Interview.pdf (137 kB)
Chris Portrait - caption - Formal portrait, holding photos of mother and father..jpg (2377 kB)
Chris Candid - caption - Enjoying coffee with his girlfriend at Jaho Cafe in Salem..jpg (6174 kB)
Caitlyn's Interview.pdf (127 kB)
Caitlyn Portrait - caption - Formal portrait, holding photos of mother and father..jpg (2894 kB)
Caitlyn Candid - caption - Rehearsing with the cast of Cabaret in Salem State's Mainstage theatre..jpg (2565 kB)
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