America does not belong to one race or group . . . Americans have been constantly redefining their national identity from the moment of first contact on the Virginia shore.

-- Ronald Takaki, A Different Mirror

Multiculturalism is a term which came into usage after the idea of a "melting pot" was criticized by minorities as both assimilationist and white-dominated. The social idea of a multiplicity of racial and ethnic identities, unique yet also hybrizing, greatly influenced artistic and intellectual production after the war. It is associated with identity politics and aesthetic productions generated after, and inspired by, civil rights movements of the 1950s and 60s. For our purposes here, a multiculturalist is any person of color, white ethnic, or biracial person whose work is largely oriented around issues of race and/or ethnicity. Multicultural writing after World War II is often defined by autobiographical or pseudo-autobiographical work (e.g. Carlos Bulosan and Maxine Hong Kingston), and by a growing investment in the idea that racial and ethnic minority voices are a crucial element in United States literary history and culture.

As many critics of the Internet have noted, the World Wide Web is a very white place; the lack of websites devoted to multicultural authors reflects this bias. There are, however, many commercial, social, and entertainment sites devoted to issues in multiculturalism and specific groups.




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