Barack Obama has put multi-racial identity in the news.
In interviews, people of mixed race said their decision about how to identify themselves was deeply personal, not political; it is influenced by how and where they were reared, how others perceive them, what they look like and how they themselves come to embrace their identity. — NY Times: Who Are We? New Dialogue on Mixed Race
My mother is issei, a first-generation Japanese-American. My father is white.
Growing up an only child with my divorced mother, I never learned her native language, I was late to study her history and never embraced her religion.
Still, I am profoundly her son. Her force of will, her choices and her halting take on American society defined my childhood.
So, I try to understand myself in the context of a racial identity I do not quite own.
My self-identification is an act of will framed by doubt.