Acting White?: Rethinking Race in Post-Racial America

Paperback | May 15, 2015

byDevon W. Carbado, Mitu Gulati

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What does it mean to "act black" or "act white"? Is race merely a matter of phenotype, or does it come from the inflection of a person's speech, the clothes in her closet, how she chooses to spend her time and with whom she chooses to spend it? What does it mean to be "really" black, and whogets to make that judgment?In Acting White?, leading scholars of race and the law Devon Carbado and Mitu Gulati argue that, in spite of decades of racial progress and the pervasiveness of multicultural rhetoric, racial judgments are often based not just on skin color, but on how a person conforms to behavior stereotypicallyassociated with a certain race. Specifically, racial minorities are judged on how they "perform" their race. This performance pervades every aspect of their daily life, whether it's the clothes they wear, the way they style their hair, the institutions with which they affiliate, their racialpolitics, the people they befriend, date or marry, where they live, how they speak, and their outward mannerisms and demeanor. Employing these cues, decision-makers decide not simply whether a person is black but the degree to which she or he is so. Relying on numerous examples from the workplace,higher education, and police interactions, the authors demonstrate that, for African Americans, the costs of "acting black" are high, and so are the pressures to "act white." But, as the authors point out, "acting white" has costs as well. Provocative yet never doctrinaire, Acting White? will boldly challenge your assumptions and make you think about racial prejudice from a fresh vantage point.

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What does it mean to "act black" or "act white"? Is race merely a matter of phenotype, or does it come from the inflection of a person's speech, the clothes in her closet, how she chooses to spend her time and with whom she chooses to spend it? What does it mean to be "really" black, and whogets to make that judgment?In Acting White?, ...

Devon Carbado is Professor of Law at University of California, Los Angeles. Mitu Gulati is Professor of Law at Duke University.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:212 pages, 9.21 × 6.1 × 0.59 inPublished:May 15, 2015Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0190229217

ISBN - 13:9780190229214

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Acting White, Acting Black, and Doing A Lot of Work1. Why Act White?2. Talking White3. Acting Like a Black Woman4. Acting Like a White Woman5. (Not) Acting Criminal6. Acting Diverse7. Acting Within the Law8. Acting White to Help Other BlacksConclusion: Judging the Acting

Editorial Reviews

"Law students will like Acting White because it is an easy read and it can help those who need to know how to navigate law firms when identity issues come up. Readers wanting to know how to create a working identity they can live with and not feel as though they are selling out can refer tothe authors' discussion of four stages of racial negotiation. This book has much to offer and is a must for any library." --Law Library Journal