“But Where’s Our Box?” Middle Easterners and The Quest for Demographic Recognition

I remember the first time I saw those boxes. It was in the fifth grade, the first time I had to take a standardized testing exam. The usual blanks were there for me to fill: my name, the date, my grade and my school. But below the customary lay the unfamiliar: a heading titled “Racial/Ethnic Category,” and under it, the five racial and one ethnic categories in the United States, as defined by the US Census Bureau: African American, Hispanic/Latino, Asian, Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, and White/Caucasian.

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