The New York Times is still afraid of using the terms “biracial” and “multiracial. Readers of this blog know that Kwame Anthony Appiah and I usually see the world of reporting on race differently, but he even he is trying now or perhaps he just slipped up. He wrote:

“By the cultural logic, or illogic, of race, Kamala Harris, like Barack Obama, counts both as biracial and as Black. Among major-party vice-presidential candidates, she qualifies as the first Asian-American, the first Indian-American, the first African-American, the first woman of color. Identities, of course, are multiple, interactive and, yes, subject to revision. As the architects of political Blackness rightly insisted, collective identities are always the subject of contestation and negotiation.

Political Blackness may have had its day, but we’re still coming to grips with its central insight: Blackness, like whiteness, has never not been political.”

Perhaps one day, Appiah will see multiracial or biracial as the term of choice.

Susan Graham for Project RACE