Got Koko? Hawaiian Racial Identification and Multiracial Diversity

Shawn Malia Kanaiaupuni, Kamehameha Schools
Nolan J. Malone, Kamehameha Schools

Hawaiians are one of the most multiracial groups in the United States. We examine conditions leading to Native Hawaiian identification among mixed-race Hawaiians using Census 2000. In earlier analyses using the 1990 Census, where multiracial people could choose only one race, findings suggest that strong ties to Hawai'I--the cultural and geographic home of Hawaiian population, history, and culture--are vital to the intergenerational transmission of Hawaiian identification in both continental and island multiracial families. Further, some similarities in racial identification existed among multiracial Native Hawaiians, American Indians, and Asian Americans. Presently, we take advantage of the detail afforded by the multiple-race classifications in Census 2000 to examine how racial identification may differ between multi-race and single race Hawaiians, while also examining differences among specific multiracial Hawaiian groups. This research will contribute to our growing understanding about racial identity processes among multiracial individuals.

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Presented in Session 27: Racial Identification among Mixed Heritage Americans