Growing up As a Multiethnic, Multicultural, and “Multiracial” American

By Teja Arboleda

For once it’s not just black and white. In this compelling chronicle of his journey through life as a multicultural and multiethnic American,Teja Arboleda uniquely and personally challenges institutionalized notions of race, culture, ethnicity, and class. Arboleda has presented his story around the United States through his one-man performance-lectureEthnic Man!

Now, in this book, he fleshes out the depth of his experience as a culturally and racially mixed American, illustrating throughout the enigma of cultural and racial identity and the American identity crisis.

This book is utilized in hundreds of colleges around the nation, and incorporated into many courses and curricula covering: sociology, race and culture, diversity, multiculturalism and ethnic studies.

To facilitate its use as a course text, In the Shadow of Race is offered with a Teacher’s Guide written by Christine Clark, Ph.D.

Topics for discussion include:

  • the social construction of race
  • racial separatism vs. diversity
  • racial, ethnic, and cultural identity development
  • the politics of racial categorization
  • mixed “race” peoples
  • cultural identity vs. identity by heritage
  • the concept of a “cultural home;” and
  • changing identities within cultures


For the past many years, Arboleda has performed a highly successful one-man show, ‘Ethnic Man,’ throughout the U.S. This volume is his attempt to turn this largely autobiographical show into a book. Engagingly written and highly accessible, In the Shadow of Race contains many keen insights and useful observations…

An engaging odyssey of an individual coming to terms with personal, family, and social identity. This is more than one person’s experience, however, because Teja’s story is the quintessential American dilemma, perhaps with more wrinkles than most. It is a story of the heartbreak and promise of the American dream.
Sonia Nieto, Ph.D., University of Massachusetts

Mr. Arboleda’s personal odyssey is quite powerful!….with implications for how we view other human beings, for understanding how cultural traditions exist concurrently, and how they might evolve into ‘new’ traditions….This book could take our thinking to the next level when we talk about race relations.
Thomassine Sellers, San Francisco State University

Finding the answers to the question ‘Who am I?’ and ‘Where do I belong’ is a developmental process of finding one’s identity….This does not happen automatically….It is a transformation. This transformation process of ethnic identity development is very charismatically told by Teja Arboleda….The story is not just about race and skin color or ethnicity, it is more importantly about how culture defines an individual’s style and perspective….The importance of this book is that is demonstrates from a very personal perspective the search of self-identity that most people of color, immigrants, and interracial children are going through.
Barbara J. Shade, University of Wisconsin-Parkside 

Publisher: Taylor & Francis, Inc. (Originally, Lawrence Earlbaum Associates, Inc.)
Pub. Date: May 1998
ISBN-13: 9780805825749
280pp is committed to presenting diverse points of view. However, the viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at IMD.