Subtitle: Black-White Multiracial Families in a Racially Divided World
Author: Heather M. Dalmage
Subject: Sociology/African American Studies
Paper ISBN 0-8135-2844-5
Cloth ISBN 0-8135-2843-7
Pages: 192 pp.
Description: A sociological analysis of the experiences and challenges faced by black-white multiracial families
"Dalmage presents the results of 47 interviews with members of interracial (black-white) families. . . . This is a thoughtful and data-backed analysis for all collections, useful to readers at many levels."Choice
"Heather M. Dalmage provides unique insight into the dynamics of multiracialism both academically as a sociologist and personally as a woman in a blackwhite interracial marriage. As she writes on the first page of her work, More than five hundred years worth of socially, politically, economically and culturally created racial categories rest in the phrase "what are you?" Dalmage succeeds in capturing her audience with this compelling statement."Sociology
"Tripping on the Color Line discusses the problems faced by families who are multiracial either through adoption or marriage. It explains many of the concerns faced by people in these types of families. . . . Some of the issues covered are multiracial families and housing, the importance of racially mixed areas for racially mixed families, and when to address racial issues and when just to ignore them. . . . A very insightful work."MultiCultural Review
"A unique overview of a neglected issue, based on a unique familiarity with the literature on multiculturalism, black liberation, and race relations. Through her strong narrative, [Dalmage] is able to illuminate for the reader the world of those who are mutiracial and who are involved in multiracial relationships. This is a very useful book and will the basis for future policy discussions on race and racialization in the United States."Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare
This work focuses on how multi-racial family members deal with the influence their racial identity has on their daily lives. . . . Tripping on the Color Line is a very creative thought-provoking work with a human touch that gives readers a greater awareness of what it is like to be non-white in white America."Big Muddy: A Journal of the Mississippi Valley
"Tripping on the Color Line is one of the most brilliant and provocative books yet written about the politics of multiracial identity. Its profound message deepens our understanding of the complex ways race still colors our lives."Michael Eric Dyson
"Tripping on the Color Line provides a blueprint for discussions about race in a way no other text I have read has accomplished. Dalmage uses black-white interracial relationships and the experiences of persons of mixed racial heritage to provide accessible, yet sophisticated, explanations of a broad array of racial issues." Maria P. P. Root, editor of The Multiracial Experience: Racial Borders as the New Frontier
"This is a book at the bordersof the personal and the political, the lived and the researched, the family and the society. It is a splendid, provocative book. It will open minds, hearts, and discussion."Barbara Katz Rothman, author of Genetic Maps and Human Imaginations: The Limits of Science in Understanding Who We Are
At the beginning of the twentieth century, W.E.B. Du Bois predicted that the central problem facing the United States in the new century would be that of the "color line." Now, with another century upon us, many people are found straddling the color line. They come from the growing number of multiracial families in America, families seeking their places in a racially polarized society.
In interviews with individuals from blackwhite multiracial families, Heather M. Dalmage examines the challenges they face and explores how their experiences demonstrate the need for rethinking race in America. She examines the lived reality of race in the ways multiracial families construct their identities and sense of community and politics. The lack of language to describe multiracial experiences, along with the methods of negotiating racial ambiguity in a racially divided, racist society are central themes of Tripping on the Color Line. By connecting her interviewees stories to specific issues, such as census categories, transracial adoption, and intermarriage, Dalmage raises the debate to a broad discussion of the idea of race and its impact on social justice.
Heather M. Dalmage is an assistant professor of sociology at the School of Policy Studies at Roosevelt University, Chicago.