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Interracial Intimacies: Sex, Marriage, Identity, and Adoption

3.88  ·  Rating Details  ·  94 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
In Interracial Intimacies, Randall Kennedy hits a nerve at the center of American society: race relations and our most intimate ties to each other. Writing with the same piercing intelligence he brought to his national bestseller Nigger: The Strange Career of a Troublesome Word, Kennedy here challenges us to examine how prejudices and biases still fuel fears and inform our ...more
Paperback, 688 pages
Published January 6th 2004 by Vintage (first published January 7th 2003)
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Nov 10, 2009 Emily rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2002
A book with a bibliography that goes on for thirty pages may seem daunting, but this one is indeed rewarding. It has another well-executed opening: the story of Jacqueline Henley. This orphan, under the age of two, was given by her aunt to the authorities in 1952 because "the child possibly was a nigger [in fact, biracial:]" (3). Because she was registered as a white person at birth, however, the law prevented her adoption by the black foster family that wanted her. Jacqueline lived in limbo, ir ...more
Jun 03, 2010 Shanta rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was amazing and attempts to tack the complex history of race in our country. The most fascinating of all is the constant reminder that pigmentation and our different shades as a human family has and still does cause just an uproar and keeps us stagnant in our progression and thinking.

The book was realistic but also provided some interesting points that could definitely be considered in regards to our approach of race relations. I was at first concerned because the book attempted to tac
I'm quitting. Being a queer white person who wants to parent, I am interested in issues around interracial adoption, but I didn't even get to that part cause I realized about 150 pages in that I really didn't trust Kennedy enough to offer an interesting or challenging analysis. His focus is entirely on black/white heterosexual relationships, which I suppose is fine because it's a broad enough topic in and of itself, but it approached it from an angle and with a lense that left me bored and frust ...more
Heather Otieno
Apr 12, 2015 Heather Otieno rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wow. Such a thoughtful and in-depth analysis of race and love/family, especially fascinating to hear more of the legal history on race/family issues. I was surprised and challenged by his push back on cultural competency tests for white adoptive parents, and his dissection of prevalent racial attitudes. Definitely worth a read to gain context around these issues and to sort through your own ideas and assumptions.
Apr 01, 2010 Justin rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The title of this book is misleading. The scope of Kennedy's work here is primarily limited to White/Black intimate and sociological relations in the United States from Antebellum to the present. The reader looking for a broad examination of interracial relationships inclusive of all ethnicities will not find one here. This is a subject worthy of more attention considering that the number of interracial marriages in the US alone increased over 800% from 1960 to 2000, compared to an increase of j ...more
This book was extremely informative. I thought it was going to go over the history of interracial intimacies and the struggles endured to have the right to love and marry who you chose to and then go into more discussion about the acceptance and how to build support and what not but it mainly just shared the still valid struggles of interracial relations and all the grief, killing, and so on that went on in the name of 'purity' and working towards supremacy. I liked the book because it gave a ba ...more
Sep 19, 2007 Nicko rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Best book that I've read in years. Don't judge this book by its cover or title. It has little to do with what you are expecting. A scholarly treatise that belongs on any serious academics bookshelf. Kennedy never fails to up the ante. Thorough.

"Washington was beaten with shovels and bricks … was castrated, and his ears were cut off. A tree supported the iron chain that lifted him above the fire. … Wailing, the boy attempted to climb up the skillet hot chain. For this, the men cut off his finger
Lucy Houser
Jun 19, 2009 Lucy Houser rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What did I learn from this book? That I shouldn't worry about my extremely white self adopting Ethiopian girls! This is a FASCINATING book, extremely well written and persuasive. The (legal) evidence he's collected is a sorry history, and important to understand. I even wrote Prof. Kennedy a fan letter, and he replied. Pretty cool! So, is it clear now that I LOVED this book?
It's an interesting book, but it really does end up being almost a list of one case or incident after another.

I was looking more for something about the psychology and issues within an interracial relationship rather than just discussing the history of them.
Despite this book's place in "could-not-finish", I was very impressed with what I read. I just have a lot of trouble with these scholarly theoretical works. I hope to come back to this book some day and read more of it, because it looks to be very good.
Dell Cia

Slow start, dense reading , very interesting
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