Western society has a shameful and recent legacy of slavery and is a country stratified by race, gender and class. For some, like renowned African American author, scholar and social activist, bell hooks, the United States is a country with a strong tradition of institutionalized racism which permeates all aspects of modern America society (see hooks' Ain't I a Woman: Black Women and Feminism, 1981). Importantly as well, the United Kingdom has a colonial legacy in which racist ideas about civilisation governed its colonial conquests. For many in the UK as well as in the United States, racism is an ever-present aspect of the social condition and is built upon a rigid social code, a white/black binary which has its roots in a belief that whiteness is superior to all other types of skin tones. The following will explore racism today and the relationship between whiteness and race in modern society....
variety of factors can account for this disparity, low birth weight remains the most prominent cause of a higher infant mortality rate amongst black babies. In fact, black babies in America have a 300% greater likelihood of being born with a low birthrate relative to their white counterparts. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention found a variety of socio-economic causes for the phenomenon of low birth weight, including poverty, poor nutrition, a lack of knowledge about pregnancy and the challenges associated with it, and access to proper medical facilities. The disparity in black-white successful birth ratios in America thus can be attributed to social forces and socio-economic differences amongst black and white Americans (Carmichal and Iyasu, 1998; Kogan, 1997)
Binary Logic of Race
The binary logic of race is inherently hierarchical and people of mixed racial parentage or individuals who are bi-racial are somewhere in-between the artificial and socially constructed binary so pervasive in modern American society. How do mulatto people identify within the rigid constraints of the racial binary How is racial identity redefined by individuals who, through no fault of the own, do not fit into the supposedly neat and compact racial categories society seeks to impose on them Most importantly, how are people who are mulatto freed from the binary concept of race and how do these people define their own unique racial identities Seeking to answer these questions and further analyze the social construction of identity today, this essay will discuss readings from Reddy, Walker, Senna and Williams with an eye to the social construction of race and racial identity. The specific focus will be on how the artificial binaries of race and race hierarchy are navigated and