Compiled and written by Livia Caligor
As Toni Morrison shared with The Guardian in 1992, “In this country American means white. Everybody else has to hyphenate.” In a riveting dialogue on the implications of the African-American identity, she begs her readers to question what it means to be hyphenated, how it feels to be considered American by law but a second-class category of citizens by practice. What does this exactly mean for people of color in this country, especially Black and indigenous people of color? To be an African-American, an Asian-American, a Latinx-American person in this country denotes something very different from being just an American. All of us “Americans” were born or naturalized in the United States, yet non-white individuals are still considered to be half an American, their rights compromised and exploited for the benefit of white communities.