Recurring Themes Across Culture Groups
In response to BIPOC communities being subjected to cultural racism, colonialism, and inaccurate representations of their histories and cultural practices, many ancestor scholars of color sought to rectify representational distortions and to reinforce the vitality and integrity of their communities in the present. Both implicitly and deliberately, these ancestors produced scholarship that actively countered the long histories of misrepresentation, appropriation, and marginalization of their cultures.
Another significant theme concerns how Indigenous, Black, Mexican, and immigrant communities have sustained or experienced disruptions to their linguistic heritages, and the priorities they have placed on seeking to revitalize, recover, reclaim, and preserve their non-English language heritages.
The impact of racism and colonialism on the lives and experiences of their communities was an important and frequent issue explored by ancestor scholars. Distinguishing these experiences from bicultural or interethnic experiences, they examined the many ways multiracial encounters often negatively and systemically misshaped the lives and opportunities of their families and communities through the harms of racism and colonialism, including through experiences ranging from navigating the liminalities of multiracial identities and relationships to negotiating segregation, and surviving violent policies and interactions. They also explored the resistance, resilience, and persistence needed for survivance, a term promoted by Native American author, Gerald Vizenor, which refers to survival and a sense of communal vital presence and continuation (1999, Manifest Manners).