|Randall L. Kennedy|
September 10, 1954 |
Columbia, South Carolina, U.S.
|Alma mater||Princeton University
University of Oxford
Yale Law School
|Known for||The Supreme Court, Freedom of Expression, Race Relations Law, Civil Rights Legislation|
|Spouse(s)||Yvedt Matory, 1986-2005|
|Website||Faculty page for Randall Kennedy at Harvard University|
Any successful black person will have to face suspicion within his or her own community about his or her loyalty to other blacks.
In elite, primarily white institutions, there are many blacks who have white wives. So much so that sometimes there is almost the assumption that I would be married to a white woman.
As soon as you say that there is a community called, let's say, black Americans, you've immediately created a boundary line – who's in that group, who's outside that group.
If you are socially isolated, you are more vulnerable to stereotypes and myths; you won't have the opportunity to have conversations with someone who has a different social background than you.
I was born in Columbia in 1954, the year the Supreme Court invalidated racial segregation in public schools. I visited frequently but did not live there.
The biggest accomplishment, in racial terms, for Barack Obama was being elected. He had to overcome his blackness to be elected. He climbed the Mt. Everest of American politics, becoming an historic first.
In law school, I earned the respect of professors and served on the editorial board of 'The Yale Law Journal.'
Although skin color is undoubtedly the most salient signal of racial identity in America, other actual or imagined bodily features have also been seen as distinctive markers of Negritude. These include the shapes of heads, feet, lips, and noses as well as the texture of hair.
Many people believe that determining who is 'black' is rather easy, a task simplified by the administration of the one-drop rule. Under the one-drop rule, any discernible African ancestry stamps a person as 'black.'
Love is just such a crucial, wonderful thing, and if you are lucky enough to find somebody who genuinely loves you, grab that person and hold on to that person, and nothing else matters.
So long as procreation stems from parents of the same race, appearance and lineage are typically congruent. Interracial unions give rise to added complexity. Interracial amalgamation will produce some individuals whose features diverge from those commonly ascribed to the races of their ancestors.
I think that many black people thought this would be a wonderful and extraordinary thing, for a black family to occupy the White House. Not only black people; a lot of white people thought that, too, but particularly black people.
All white people in the United States have benefited from a white supremacy. But does that mean that a white person should be viewed badly because they turn against a white supremacist policy? Just because you've benefited from something shouldn't disable you from repudiating it.
As important as the presidency is, that's not the only thing to take a look at in determining the racial health of the United States.
I will say go into the world and try to find good people that feel genuine affection and love for you, and disregard everything else about their background.
The idea of the mulatto has been a gathering point for a wide variety of racial prejudices, fears, myths, and speculations.
We know that we're not supposed to be racially biased, and we don't want to think of ourselves as racially biased, so we tell ourselves a different story.
I champion sensibly designed racial affirmative action, not because I have benefited from it personally – though I have. I support it because, on balance, it is conducive to the public good.
The perception of linked fate and that feeling of being always on the spot as a representative of the race, at least in mixed company, are features of African American life that predate affirmative action and arise outside of its presence.