1 See Ellison’s “The World and the Jug” in Shadow and Act, 140. Ellison’s
list of authors argues for the premise of my BookMarks: Reading in Black
and White—that, given the opportunity to list a literary ancestry, black
authors place themselves into relationships with elite writers of the tradi-
tional Western canon.
2 Among the most well known is John Callahan’s masterwork, In the African-
American Grain. My own Moorings and Metaphors would appropriately be
included in those theoretical works that reached toward West Africa in a
search for U.S. black fictions’ memories of kin.
3 Notice that the posting of this certificate on an oﬃcial site of the White
House (WhiteHouse.gov) indicates the way the issue has been not only
politicized but made an oﬃcial communication of the Obama White
House. See http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2011/04/27/president- oba
mas- long- form- birth- certificate.
Introduction. Bound by Law
1 The niH notes that data collection on race and/or ethnicity, required
for clinical research that the niH will support, is understood as “social-
political constructs and should not be interpreted as being anthropological