An interdisciplinary journal about regions, places, and cultures of the US South and their global connections
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  • Negotiating Black Identities

    Karyn Lacy, University of Michigan

    3 May 2005

    Dr. Karyn Lacy presented "Constructing Racial Identities" at Emory University on March 2, 2005. In excerpts from her lecture, Prof. Lacy advances the idea of strategic assimilation as an way of understanding how contemporary middle-class Blacks are managing their lives in suburban spaces. She draws from her research in two counties near Washington, D. C.: Prince George's County, Maryland (a majority-Black county) and Fairfax County, Virginia (predominately White).


    Use the scroller to the right of the playlist to watch all seven parts of the talk.
    Maps Referenced:
    map of Fairfax County and Prince George's County

    About the Speaker:

    Karyn Lacy is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Michigan. Her areas of research include race and ethnicity, the sociology of culture, suburban sociology, and stratification. Prof. Lacy's book, Negotiating Black Identities (forthcoming from the University of California Press), examines how the Black middle class defines itself in relation to Whites, to the middle class, and to Blacks from other classes. Her current work explores the impact of an elite social organizations on the construciton and reproduction of class-based identities among middle-class Blacks.

    Prof. Lacy's lecture was sponsored by the Emory American Studies Program and the Graduate Institute of the Liberal Arts.

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    Recommended Resources:


    Lacy, Karyn R. "Black Spaces, Black Places: Strategic Assimilation and Identity Construction in Middle-Class Suburbia." Ethnic and Racial Studies 27, No. 6 (November 2004): 908–930.

    Portes, Alejandro and Min Zhau. "The New Second Generations: Segmented Assimilation and its Varients." Annals, American Academy of Political and Social Science 530 (1993): 74–96.

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