ABSTRACT

Older people carry within themselves the cumulative effects and memories of all the years of their lives (Meyerhoff 1978; Becker 1997; Luborsky 1993). Understanding something as simultaneously personal and social as mixed race identity development means understanding who people now were at specific moments in the past and situating them in the social environments they have experienced across the life span. The meaning of racial and ethnic identity is so contextual in its relationship to historical, structural matters that to talk about it outside of history and location renders any discussion incomplete and shallow.