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Census and Consensus?

A Historical Examination of the US Census Racial Terminology- Used for American Residents of African Ancestry


Iman Makeba Laversuch

Colored, Black, Negro, Mulatto, Quadroon, Octoroon, African American. This book provides an in-depth analysis of the language policies governing the selection and application of the racial classifiers used by the United States Census for American residents of African ancestry over the past 200 years. The historical linguistic investigation is supplemented by a corpus of letters sent by the American public concerning not only the government’s controversial policies of racial designation, but also its methods of racial classification. Detailed demographic information about the evolving multicultural diversity of the US society is provided, along with a critical political discussion of the ways in which these sociological developments may effect the ways Americans define themselves.
Contents: An Interdisciplinary Survey of Past Research on Racial Labeling – «Miscegenation»: The Historical Confound to the US Census System of Racial Classification for US Residents of African Ancestry – Strategies for Determining the Racial Classification of American Residents with African Ancestry – The Historical Inventory of Racial Ethnonyms – A Diachronic Analysis of the Individual Racial Ethnonyms from 1790 to 2000 – A Diachronic Analysis of the System of Racial Labels – Identity Politics, Language Planning, and the US Census: The Costs and Benefits of Change.