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Mixed People: "Natural Bridges" to Racial Healing & Utopia?

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On today’s episode of Mixed Race Radio we will meet Rainier Spencer, Professor of Afro-American Studies in the Interdisciplinary Degrees Program at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV). He has authored three books: 1) Reproducing Race: The Paradox of Generation Mix, Lynne Rienner, 2011 2) Challenging Multiracial Identity, Lynne Rienner, 2006 and 3) Spurious Issues: Race and Multiracial Identity Politics in the United States, Westview, 1999) All this AND he currently serves as Senior Advisor to the UNLV President.

Dr. Spencer is the founder and director of hte Afro-American Studies Program at UNLV and is considered one of the founders of the field of critical mixed-race theories. While his research interest is in multiracial identity from the perspective of racial skepticism, including the ways that multiracial identity is implicated in the reification of biological race his interdisciplinary teaching interests include Afro-American history and popular culture as well as American slavery. In addition to writing numerous anthology chapters in this field of study, Rainier Spencer has been interviewed by and has provided commentary for the New York Times, has appeared on both American & Canadian television to discuss mixed-race identity, and is a featured speaker in the documentary film Multiracial Identity (Abacus Productions, 2010).

Using his book, Reproducing Race: The Paradox of Generation Mix as the foundation for today’s episode, we will discuss the long held view that mixed race people are somehow supposed to serve as a bridge to unite all people, “But what of the notion that black/white persons are in themselves natural bridges for the facilitation of racial healing and reconciliation? It should come as no surprise that this is a biological argument dressed up in sociological
attire.” – Dr. Rainier Spencer

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RAINIER SPENCER
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