by Romana M. Brown on Jun 13, 2018 Uncategorized
Morris tells me, "I always assumed that she was lumped in with white in Alabama, versus black, because those were the only recognized races back then in the Deep South." Her experience exposes the gaps between bureaucratic permissibility and the complexity of racial identity. Those gaps haven't fully closed since Morris's childhood either: Some U.S. states still don't allow multiracial children to be marked as such on their birth certificates.
These documents also show the extent of progress when it comes to gender relations. Just a few decades ago, U.S. birth certificates listed the father's occupation but not the mother's. There was no expectation of working women, at least officially.