Forty years ago a five year old child in a Manhattenville Nursery School walked up to her teacher, held out her book, and asked, “Why are they always white?” (Larrick, 1965). Even though Baxley (2008) points to biracial individuals becoming a fast growing segment of today’s population, mixed-race children in 2009 might well have the same question.
Biracial children are often invisible in society because people often categorize them by their dominant physical racial features. For example, if a biracial child has an Asian mother and an African-American father, they are very likely to initially be considered either Asian or African-American based solely on their predominant physical features. Until recently, when completing applications and other forms requiring racial identification, biracial children or their parents would have to choose “other” as their classification. Fortunately today the climate is changing, and many applications and forms now include a category labeled biracial or multiracial. In 2000, for the first time, the U.S. Census allowed people to choose more than one racial category to identify them. However, even with the acknowledgment that there are people who share biracial/multiracial as a category and there is a noticeable increase in interracial relationships and marriages, it is still very difficult to determine the number of biracial children in the United States. Based on the 2000 census, the approximate number of children identified with more than one race is 2.9 million (Armas, 2001).
|Keywords:||Biracial/Multiracial Young Children, Classrooms for Young Children, Picture Books, Criteria for High Quality Picture Books|
Professor of Early Childhood Education and Children's Literature, College of Education, Ohio University, Athens, Ohio, USA
Ohio University, Athens, Ohio, USA
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