Date of Award

2012

Degree Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Cultural Studies, PhD

Program

School of Arts and Humanities

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Eve Oishi

Dissertation or Thesis Committee Member

Linda M. Perkins

Dissertation or Thesis Committee Member

Alexandra J. Juhasz

Terms of Use & License Information

Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.

Rights Information

© 2012 Ana Viola Thorne

Abstract

Framing a Blaxicana Identity: A Cultural Ethnography of Family, Race and Community in the Valley Homes, Lincoln Heights, Ohio, 1955-1960 (Blaxicana Identity) is set within the construct of identity formation, against a backdrop of color and culture clash, and the social construction of race. The author's narrative will constitute contextual introductions to discussion topics and iterate direct correlations of her lived experience to larger community and cultural accounts that helped to shape aspects of her Blaxicana identity. The individual and community perceptions of what it means and what it feels like to grow up Negro, Mexican and female in an all black town will determine the scope and complexity of the identity formation factors that may be brought forth in Blaxicana Identity. Geographically situated in the Valley Homes housing projects located in Lincoln Heights, Ohio, just north of Cincinnati, this ethnography will engage the area's background, environment and residents in a dialogue with the larger arenas of race and racism, history, migration, critical race theory, interracial marriage, cultural studies and black towns as they inform the aspects involved in the creation of the author's Blaxicana identity. This multi-perspective engagement will produce a cultural ethnographic portrayal of the Valley Homes, its residents and the author and comprise the ways in which the social and cultural phenomenon of mixed-race identity may be constructed, observed and understood - a depiction that may differ from the historical concepts of identity formation based on color and race. This research will draw its conclusions regarding the construction of a Blaxicana identity by using a critical, self-reflexive method of inquiry that incorporates the author's memories, impressions and artifacts from the 1950's. The author's interracial family experience, defined by an African American father from Nashville, Tennessee and a Mexican mother from Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico, presents the opportunity to examine what was then, considering the time and place, an uncommon combination.

DOI

10.5642/cguetd/25

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