Photo Series Explores Multiracial America

The 125th anniversary issue of National Geographic magazine features striking photographs that document the shifting racial landscape of the U.S.

By Von Diaz Oct 02, 2013

For the 125th anniversary issue of National Geographic magazine, photographer Martin Schoeller captured a series of images that explore the increasingly multiracial face of the U.S.  The striking images speak as much to increased racial diversity as the complexities of racial self-identification.  Beginning in 2000 the U.S. Census allowed people to choose more than one race. Nearly seven million people selected multiple races that year and in 2010, 32 percent more people chose to do so. Each of the photographs depicted in this October 2013 issue includes both the self-ID chosen by the person photographed, and the boxes they checked on either the 2000 or 2010 census.

In the accompanying article, author Lise Funderberg talks about the significance of this change in the census:

Although the multiple-race option is still rooted in that taxonomy, it introduces the factor of self-determination. It’s a step toward fixing a categorization system that, paradoxically, is both erroneous (since geneticists have demonstrated that race is biologically not a reality) and essential (since living with race and racism is). 

(h/t Huffington Post Black Voices)