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Race-Conscious Color Blindness: World War II, <i>Brown v. Board of Education</i>, and the Strange Persistence of the One-Drop Rule

Victor Thompson

in The Oxford Handbook of African American Citizenship, 1865-Present

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780195188059
Published online September 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780195188059.013.0005

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Politics & International Relations

 Race-Conscious Color Blindness: World War II, Brown v. Board of Education, and the Strange Persistence of the One-Drop Rule

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The impact of WWII and Nazi Germany was without a doubt a significant catalyst for a shift in American racial ideologies. African Americans were celebrated across the globe, and a small global renaissance of black culture reinvigorated African American identity movements and what it meant to be African American. It transformed American black racial identity from that of ex-slave to one of a global subject and producer of culture. Culturalist arguments about race successfully challenged some of the basic assumptions about race by attacking people's belief that race was biological and pointed to the environmental and cultural influences of individual difference and the image of race as deterministic and biological began to dismantle. Scholar W. E. B. Du Bois's model for understanding racial inequality spread as a model for doing research. In particular, his rejection of biology and essentialism as an explanation for racial inequality, was influential.

Keywords: World War II; African Americans; racial ideology; identity movements; racial inequality; cultural influences

Article.  11936 words. 

Subjects: Politics ; US Politics ; Political Behaviour

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