Identity Notes Part One: Playing in the Light

Author's School

School of Law

Author's Department

Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies

Additional Affiliations

William M. Van Cleve Professor of Law; Vice Provost of the University; Faculty with the Feminist Critical Analysis Seminar

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Originally Published In

Davis, Adrienne D., "Identity Notes Part One: Playing in the Light," 45 Am. U. L. Rev. 695 (1996). Available at http`://digitalcommons.wcl.american.edu/aulr/vol45/iss3/3/.


This Essay had its origins in a panel held during the Washington College of Law at American University's conference on Race, Law and Justice: The Rehnquist Court and the American Dilemma on September 21, 1995. The title of my panel, "Beyond Black and White: Race Conscious Policies and the 'Other Minorities,'" crafted by the conference organizers accomplishes subtly several things that I hope to continue in more explicit fashion in this Essay. The title challenges false binary racial logic from the position of groups who are neither Black nor white. It also foregrounds the history behind the development of this dominant model of binary reasoning about race and law in America.