Tom Tierney is a famous paper doll artist.  Katrin sent along a link to his American Family series.  The covers erase all non-white families; apparently American Indian families weren’t “American” enough, nor were the indigenous population of what-would-one-day-be-California, African families during the Civil War era, or the many other non-white people that lived here before and after white people arrived.

Elsewhere on his site, Tierney has paper dolls with non-white characters, but they are always specified (e.g., Famous African Americans Paper Dolls or the new Obama Family).  Non-modified, though, “American”= white.

See also our post on how people tried to claim American-ness by claiming whiteness and suing for whiteness.

Lisa Wade is a professor of sociology at Occidental College and the author of Gender: Ideas, Interactions, Institutions, with Myra Marx Ferree. You can follow her on Twitter and Facebook.
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