by Danielle M. Rosenberg 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.
For those living in countries where birth certificates are rarely seen, it might seem like the document is a relic of an earlier time more obsessed with filial legitimacy. But birth certificates are still essential to basic citizenship rights across the world. For one thing, they often serve as a stepping stone to other identification documents, such as social_security cards and passports.