Official photographic portrait of US President...

Official photographic portrait of US President Barack Obama (born 4 August 1961; assumed office 20 January 2009) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Lena Horne, photographed by Carl Van Vechten, 1941

Lena Horne, photographed by Carl Van Vechten, 1941 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Gans (1999) suggested that there was a strong possibility that the multiracial hierarchy that existed at that time would morph into a bimodal structure with two primary groups: black and non-black. Gans further argued the increasingly voluntary nature of racial identification in the United States might facilitate the eventual adoption of white identity. Popular perception suggests that this has not happened.

Scholars socially define “Multi-racial identity” by the biological union of parents of different races resulting in the outcome of multiracial children (Mouzong, 2008).One stereotype associated with multiracial individuals is the belief that society accepts them more in the minority community. They should therefore identify with the parent of color (Kerwin & Ponterotto, 1995). This perspective is associated with elements of the “one drop rule,” which originated from the belief that each race had its own specific blood type and just one drop of “Negro blood” provided enough evidence to classify that person as black, regardless of their physical appearance (Valentine, 1995; Leland & Beals, 1997). The rule, which stems from slavery, was a way to ensure that the offspring of slaves and masters would remain enslaved.

The ultimate goal behind the “one drop rule” was to promote segregation and discourage social interaction between blacks and whites. However, when multiracial individuals do not culturally identify with both parents, Sebring (1985) contends this may cause them to experience feelings of disloyalty and enormous guilt over their rejection of one parent for the other. Therefore, it is crucial for multiracial children to assume a multiracial identity.

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