Mixed Race America and the Law

A Reader

505 pages

February, 2003

ISBN: 9780814742570


Kevin R. Johnson is Mabie-Apallas Professor of Public Interest Law and Chicano/a Studies at the University of California Davis. His books include Mixed Race America and the Law: A Reader (NYU Press, 2002) and The “Huddled Masses” Myth: Immigration and Civil Rights.

All books by Kevin R. Johnson

For the first time in United States history, the Year 2000 census allowed people to check more than one box to identify their race. This new way of gathering data and characterizing race and ethnicity reflects important changes in how racial identity is understood in America. Besides acknowledging the presence of mixed race citizens, this new understanding promises to have major implications for American law and policy.

With this anthology, Kevin R. Johnson brings together ground-breaking scholarship on the mixed race experience in America to examine the impact of law on these citizens. The foundational essays that comprise the collection present the historical, social, and political contexts surrounding the body of law that addresses race while analyzing the implications of multiracialism. Divided into 12 sections, the reader includes an introduction by Johnson and essential essays by contributors such as Garrett Epps, Judith Resnick, Richard Delgado, Ian Haney-López, Randall Kennedy, and Patricia Hill Collins. Selections address miscegenation, racial classification, interracial adoption, the 2000 census, “passing,” and other topics; each section includes questions to promote further discussion. This book is an invaluable resource for examining the complexities of racial categories in modern America.


  • “In tackling the meaning and implications of mixed race identity in American legal culture, Kevin Johnson provides a crucial contribution to the next wave of critical race theory. This insightful and thought-provoking collection links the history of anti-miscegenation laws to current debates surrounding multiracial identity. Mixed Race America challenges the binary construction of race and unveils contested elements of American identity.”

    —Mary Romero, Arizona State University

  • “It is now standard fare to say that America is increasingly becoming a ‘mixed-raced’ society. But what precisely does that mean? And how does the invocation of the mixed race category shape our thinking about race and discrimination? Exciting and timely, this anthology engages these, among other, questions. It is a must read. Creatively organized to address a number of important themes, the book provides a wonderful indication of what it might mean to take American multiracialism seriously.”

    —Devon W. Carbado, University of California, Los Angeles

  • “The first work of its type . . . It offers a wide selection of material, almost all of it thoughtful and provocative.”


  • Mixed Race America and the Law is . . . a provocative introduction to racial mixture and the law.”

    Journal of Ethnic History

  • “In Mixed Race America and the Law: A Reader, Kevin R. Johnson has edited one of the most important and timely anthologies on the general topic of race mixture and the law.”

    The Law and Politics Book Review

  • “An accomplished, well-researched view of race identity in cinema.”

    M/C Reviews

  • “A recurring theme throughout the essays in Mixed Race Hollywood is that images of interracial relationships and multiracial people have shifted as social norms have evolved, and that groundbreaking representations arguably have also played a significant role in helping to change attitudes.”