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Black, White, Other: Biracial Americans Talk About Race and Identity Paperback – September 14, 1995


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 391 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial; 1st edition (September 14, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0688143474
  • ISBN-13: 978-0688143473
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.7 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,162,035 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

As we prepare to enter a new millenium, for the United States race remains the issue, woven into the fabric of almost every American life. Yet few Americans confront the ambiguities of race as regularly as those of biracial descent. In Black, White, Other journalist Lise Funderburg questions 46 biracial Americans about family and love, work and religion, and the mythology surrounding the "tragic mulatto." Her book reveals a great deal about life on both sides of the color line--and exposes just how artificial, how socially constructed, our concept of race is to begin with. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

In a sensitive exploration of the pressures and prejudices confronting biracial individuals, Funderburg, a New York-based freelance journalist, presents in-depth interviews with 46 American adults who have one black and one white parent. Her respondents report feeling tremendous pressure to choose one racial identity over the other as they were growing up, yet many finally embraced both racial heritages. The interviewees--among them teachers, executives, law students, a psychiatrist, a screenwriter, a newspaper reporter--talk about their developing sense of a biracial identity and how they confront expectations or stereotypes based on their physical appearance. In her insightful probe Funderburg, herself biracial, organizes the testimonies thematically around such topics as love, friendship, parenting, the workplace, religion and politics. Photos.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Lise Funderburg was born in 1959 and educated at Reed College and Columbia University. Her latest book is a memoir and social history called "Pig Candy: Taking My Father South, Taking My Father Home" (Free Press), which is a contemplation of life, death, and barbecue. Her first book was a collection of oral histories, "Black, White, Other: Biracial Americans Talk about Race and Identity," the first to explore the lives of adult children of black-white unions. She has been a regular contributor since 2001 to O, the Oprah Magazine and has written a book about the Tony-winning musical "The Color Purple." Her articles, essays and reviews have appeared widely in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Nation, Salon, Newsday, and other publications.

Funderburg won a 2003 Nonfiction Fellowship from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and has twice been selected as the writer-in-residence at The James Thurber House in Columbus, Ohio. She has received grants from the Dick Goldensohn Fund for Journalists, The Leeway Foundation, and the Puffin Foundation. Funderburg has been awarded residencies at The Blue Mountain Center and the MacDowell Colony. She teaches creative writing at the University of Pennsylvania and Rutgers and lives in Philadelphia with her husband, John Howard, as well as an ancient beagle called Beagle.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Burket@kuhub.cc.ukans.edu on July 5, 1999
Format: Paperback
Funderburg does an excellent job of finding biracial people and asking questions that help them to explain their understanding of race and how it was formulated. My husband and I plan to have children and I have reseacher biracial children and identity for the past two years. Black, White,Other helped to answer a lot of the questions that we have had and I have also share this information with other mixed couples. As licensed therapists this information will be passed on and used to help other biracial people and their parents through tough times. Some of the stories were sad and some made me mad because of the way the children were treated but I found this to be very helpful expecially with clients because life is not always happy-go-lucky Funderburg does an excellent job of saying this though real people's lives. It is an easy read.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 15, 1998
Format: Paperback
I bought this book for my biracial young adult daughter. She has been going through some tough times trying to figure out who she is. She has been raised in a white family and has always been perceived as black by society. This book gave us both some insight into her feelings and confusion.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Christina on March 9, 2000
Format: Paperback
Black White Other is a simple yet graciously objective read. It is written in such a simple style that it is like meeting a good friend for a coffee.
It is a series of interviews with 70+ black/white biracial people of a great array of age, gender, and life experience.
Although the subject mater, 'race' is often genralised, the people in this book are all approached as individuals in every way. With very different lives,personalities and opinions.
For those of you that are of mixed race, you will find this book very comforting, there are many people that understand you. For those that aren't in our situation, don't be afraid to sit down listen to these voices, embrace the lesson and let it manifest in your life.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 17, 1997
Format: Hardcover
After reading "Black, White, Other", you are left feeling deeply moved and comforted. Being 18, and mixed, I appreciated the expereinces after going through my own identity crisis. While reading this book you learn about the differnces that make the world go round - you are left feeling comforted because finally you found others you can relate to as a biracial person.
I keep my copy on my night stand at all times - just in case I need some encouragement!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Edward Arthur on October 15, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Race is is among the most dominant social constructs in America; it defines, informs and sometimes dictates our responses and interaction with people of "otherness". In the collage of people and cultures that defines the American experience, Black White Other, is a relevant part of the dialogue and brings freshness to the conversation on race.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on February 25, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read this book years ago, thought about it, ordered it and read it again. It's an engaging peek into the lives of others. While it doesn't have that Studs Terkel confessional quality, it remains a look at race, class, and culture that one doesn't often get.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By AltarEgo23 on February 13, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Doing What a Good Book does! It makes me think and causes great discussions in my profession! In higher education, the book generated so much thought, reflection, and curiosity that a lot had to be tabled! The first person experiences and honesty of the author and those interviewed does much to highlight and draw out "hard conversations" in a manner no one feels threatened, awkward or offended. It coudl easily be read alone or in a larger group setting. Funderburg writes with an honesty that is as timeless as the topic of race/ethnciity is itself.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 17, 1998
Format: Paperback
This book was great. I could relate to almost every person that was interviewed. I bought a copy for my brother and I will recommend this book to everyone.
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