Questions for the year 2000 census are already being vetted, and controversy is rising over the request by some multiracial Americans and their parents for a new "block" in its racial classification field. Spencer, an American studies and music professor at the University of Richmond who is himself multiracial, examines the experience of the mixed-race people classified as "coloreds" in South Africa as a basis for urging the U.S. not to add that new choice but to adopt instead a delicate "balancing act . . . a denouncing of race but a dependency on it until the vestiges of racism are obliterated." Spencer traces major arguments in favor of a separate "multiracial" classification and then challenges those arguments by tracing the actual consequences of such an intermediary racial status under apartheid and potential consequences of a similar category in the U.S. Not an essential acquisition but appropriate where issues of racial classification stimulate debate. Mary Carroll
"Takes on the difficult task of explaining, from a civil-rights perspective, why government should refuse to recognize a [mixed race] category. . . . Thought-provoking."
-The New York Times Book Review
"An excellent work of mediation and reconciliation. A book not only of American importance but of global significance."
-Hendrik W. van der Merwe,Director-emeritus of the Centre for Intergroup Studies, University of Cape Town
"Argues boldly and convincingly with valid arguments against the creation of amultiracial classification."
"Jon Michael Spencer has highlighted a new and rising issue on the scene of race relations. . . . Spencer takes a clear, firm, and well-informed position on this complex and vital issue. It is a challenge that the nation will one day be forced to meet."
-Joel R. Williamson,author of New People: Miscegenation and Mulattoes in the United States