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Black identity in biracial black/white people: a comparison of Jacqueline who refuses to be exclusively black and Adolphus who wishes he were.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, Arcadia University, 450 South Easton Road, Glenside, Pennsylvania 19038-3295, USA.


Two biracial college freshmen, both of whom identify as Black, were chosen from a larger sample of participants in a qualitative study of biracial identity development to exemplify the differences in the paths that 2 biracial individuals could take to achieve racial identity resolution. Through the case study method, the authors describe the course and progression of racial identity development (RID) in these 2 individuals and discuss some key themes in their lives that have contributed to the development of their RID. The purposes are fourfold: to describe nonclinical subjective experiences of being biracial in the United States, to explore the differences in the paths that 2 biracial individuals can take to achieve what looks superficially like similar Black racial identity resolution, to demonstrate how identifying as Black can have different meanings and consequences for 2 biracial people, and to contribute to the differentiation of Black RID from biracial Black/White RID. The authors raise questions about the generalizability of monoracial Black and ethnic identity theories to biracial individuals.

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