Black, White, Other
The question most commonly asked about interracial unions is, “What about the children?” Lise Funderburg, a journalist who is herself the child of such a union, has decided in BLACK, WHITE, OTHER to ask the children themselves. Although she concedes that she has chosen her subject in part because it is about herself, Funderburg for the most part lets the forty-six men and women who agreed to be interviewed to speak for themselves. The criteria for inclusion were that each subject have one biological parent who identified as black and one who identified as white, and that the subjects define themselves as biracial.
Since the number of interracial unions is increasing at an accelerating rate, the relevance and timeliness of Funderburg’s book are beyond doubt. In the year before this book appeared, there were approximately four times as many interracial marriages as there had been twenty-five years before. As a treatment of the subject, BLACK, WHITE, OTHER reflect the strength and limitations of Funderburg’s method. Its greatest strength lies in the authenticity of the personal stories told; its principal limitation in the absence of a clarifying framework. The subjects, more than two-thirds of them women and almost half under thirty, do not necessarily constitute a representative sample; and Funderburg’s comments, in the general introduction and in introductions to the individual chapters, are for the most part tentative and superficial. Her...
(The entire section is 393 words.)
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