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His mother was a white Kansan and his father, a black Kenyan. That’s a jump of nearly 50 percent since the 2000 census. In the face of such groundbreaking statistics, it’s easy to conclude that multiracial people are a new phenomenon now rapidly growing in rank.Three years later it remains to be seen just what impact Obama’s biracial makeup has had on race relations, but mixed-race people continue to make news headlines, thanks to the U. Census Bureau’s finding that the country’s multiracial population is exploding. The truth is, however, that multiracial people have been a part of the country’s fabric for centuries. There’s also the fact that historical figures from Crispus Attucks to Jean Baptiste Pointe Du Sable to Frederick Douglass were all mixed-race.Other mixed-race people such as the author Danzy Senna or the artist Adrian Piper say that they choose to identify as black because of their political ideologies, which include standing in solidarity with the largely oppressed African-American community.Piper writes in her essay “Passing for White, Passing for Black”: “What joins me to other blacks…is not a set of shared physical characteristics, for there is none that all blacks share.By that point in time, though, much of the multiracial population had grown accustomed to identifying as just one race.So, it’s uncertain if the number of multiracials is actually soaring or if ten years after they were first permitted to identify as mixed-race, Americans are finally acknowledging their diverse ancestry.For example, the headlines of news articles about President Obama’s mixed-race heritage often ask, “Is Obama Biracial or Black?
But studies predict that by the year 2050, nearly one in five Americans may claim a multiracial background.But there’s no evidence that Obama identified as he did on the census for any of those reasons.In his memoir, Dreams From My Father, Obama remarks that the mixed people he’s encountered who insist on the multiracial label concern him because they often seem to make a concerted effort to distance themselves from other blacks.After Woods made this declaration, members of the black community were livid.Colin Powell, for one, weighed in on the controversy by remarking, “In America, which I love from the depths of my heart and soul, when you look like me, you’re black.” After his “Cablinasian” remark, Woods was largely seen as a race-traitor, or at the very least, someone aiming to distance himself from blackness.