America’s label game misses diversity of race

America’s label game misses diversity of race: The term “African-American” does less to define blacks than divide communities. But some hope one man of mixed heritage can ease the tensions.
By WAVENEY ANN MOORE, Times Staff Writer
Published August 1, 2004

In the literal sense, rising Democratic star Barack Obama is African-American.

His father was a black man from Kenya, his mother, a white American from Kansas.

African. American.

But racial identity is hardly so simple.

When Obama captivated viewers at last week’s Democratic National Convention, what did Americans see? What he calls himself and how others perceive him provide a sharp prism through which to view the meaning of “African-American” today.

Who is African-American?

This article still doesn’t address the issues of Hispanics and Arabs or the right to include “white” in the mixed race spectrum.

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