The Native American population in the U.S. grew by a staggering 86.5% between 2010 and 2020, according to the latest U.S. Census—a rate demographers say is impossible to achieve without immigration. Birth rates among Native Americans don’t explain the massive rise in numbers. Instead, individuals who previously identified as white are now claiming to be Native American. This growing movement has been captured by terms like “pretendian” and “wannabe.” Another way to describe this recent adoption of Native American identity is what I call “racial shifting.”
No placard encapsulating what lies ahead greets visitors at the entrance of “From Couture to da’ Streets,” a fashion exhibit at the Mississippi Arts and Entertainment Experience in Meridian. The exhibit celebrates Patrick Kelly and TJ Walker, Black fashion designers from some of the most rural parts of Mississippi who honed their creativity to craft unique clothing lines despite challenges they faced in the field as African Americans.
Mississippi’s Joint Redistricting Committee has released its recommendations for the state’s four new congressional districts, and the result could be a sprawling District 2 for the only Democratic and only Black representative, Bennie Thompson, in a state that is 38% Black.