Newly Minted

Newly Minted
Right after I was hooded

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

The role of Intimate Realities in Socio-Racial Identity

It is one thing to write theories but I am still always amazed when I experience those possibilites in real life. I had an online conversation today with a member of our facebook group where she suggested that she felt guilty invoking a mixed race identity because she had been raised to identify mono-racially. But, she shared, that she really related to much of what she had read on my blog. I have problematized the catagorization of socio-racial identity as it often misrepresents lived and intimate realities. What I haven't spent time thinking about, although I encountered those who acknowledge a mixed race genealogy while invoking a mono-racial identity, is the emotional connection to the socio-racial identity that one acquires through their intimate realities. Many mixed race writers weave the dissonance between genealogical reality and intimate reality in their writing but it wasn't until this conversation that I really thought about an emotional connection. My own experience has been one of searching and now I am thinking about the experience of having a reflection of something that shakes you causing guilt or shame. Perhaps it is a sense of betraying who your intimate others said you were. I also wonder if intimate reality also has a way of nullifying or negating the fluidity of identity. I have spent a lot of time, and much of the scholarship I have been steeping in during the dissertation supported, issues of self-naming and representation. I am hard pressed to identify discourse that talked about the emotional connection to one's socio-racial identity. There is plenty of evidence that socio-racial, cultural, and ethnic identity elicits emotional responses - anger, hatred, voilence, etc. - but what about loving, longing, guilt and shame. I am so excited about this facebook group (see yesterday's post) and the conversations that it is already generating. Join us! This is going to be a great summer. More soon...

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