Bill of Rights for Racially Mixed People

Maria Root's "Bill of Rights for Racially Mixed People" is the first time some of these thoughts have been put on paper. "Children of mixed marriages never had anything like this," she says. "We have had feelings all along but not put into any kind of structure. It gives people something to talk about and feel recognized."

The Bill of Rights:

I have the right:

-not to justify my existence in this world

-not to keep the races separate within me

-not to be responsible for people's discomfort with my physical ambiguity

-not to justify my ethnic legitimacy

I have the right:

-to identify myself differently than strangers expect me to identify

-to identify myself differently than how my parents identify me

-to identify myself differently than my brothers and sisters

-to identify myself different in different situations

I have the right:

-to create a vocabulary to communicate about being multiracial

-to change my identity over my lifetime - and more than once

-to have loyalties and identify with more than one group of people

-to freely choose whom I befriend and love

"This is a wonderful statement because it says so much," says Susan Graham, president of Project Race, a Georgia-based organization leading the movement for a multiracial classification on the 2000 census. As the Caucasian mother of two mixed-race children, it has special meaning to her. "My children have read this bill of rights and they agree with it," she adds. "Maria Root did something that has been needed for a long time."

Return to the Beginning of "Blurring the Lines"

Letters to the Editor About "Blurring the Lines"

Links to Multiracial Sites

Send a letter to the editor at

Table of Contents