Action Speaks Tonight

I’ll keep this brief, because I’m at the library using a computer next to a cracked-out old couple that are noisily spying on their kids’ Myspaces. And, you know, there’s that grumpy woman that keeps telling everybody that their time is up.


Tonight’s Action Speaks focuses on the year 2000, when The US Census first allowed people to identify themselves as mixed-race. Here’s the blurb:

For the first time, citizens of the United States were not asked to define themselves by checking a single ethnic box in the census. In all of the census counts through 1990, an individual’s race was supposed to be indicated by checking only one of the boxes presumed to correspond to the main social racial categories. Thus, there was no allowance made for multiracial identification, although the category “other” was recognized in the 1980 and 1990 census and on many local record-keeping forms. Advocates worked throughout the 1990s to rescind this “one box” policy. This change will lead to a discussion of the demographics of hybridization and the hybridization of demographics at the turn of the 21st century in the U.S. and in the world. We will also look at the concept of race as a construct and the notion of racial purity.

And the guests, including at least one spelling bee champion, are:

Teja Arboleda, filmmaker, television producer, director, writer and entertainer and Entertaining Diversity, Inc. Arboleda’s documentary “Crossing The Line: Multiracial Comedians” looks at the relationship between humor and race.

Noel Igantiev, professor of American history at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design. He is author of How the Irish Became White.

Kimberly McClain DaCosta, Assistant Professor of African and African American Studies and Professor of Social Studies, Department of African and African American Studies, Harvard University. Her book Making Multiracials: State, Family and Market in the Redrawing of the Color Line examines how multiracialism emerged as a topic of public discussion in the last quarter century, and how “multiracial” became a recognizable social category and mode of identification.

Maureen T. Reddy, Department of English, Rhode Island College. She has written extensively about race. Her books include Traces, Codes, and Clues: Reading Race in Crime Fiction, Crossing the Color Line: Race, Parenting, and Culture, and Traces, Codes and Clues: Reading Race in Crime Fiction.

115 Empire Street

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