A couple of years ago I posted a segment from the PBS series Faces of America focusing on the legal efforts by Syrian immigrants in the late 1800s and early 1900s to be officially recognized as White (and thus eligible for naturalized citizenship). It nicely illustrates the social construction of race and ethnicity, and the way  power struggles are embedded in the categories we recognize and who is assigned to each one.

In Not Quite White: Arabs, Slavs, and the Contours of Contested Whiteness, directors Jamil Khoury and Stephen Combs integrated scenes from Khoury’s play WASP: White Arab Slovak Pole and interviews with scholars from the Arab American and Polish American communities to “reflect upon contested and probationary categories of whiteness and the use of anti-Black racism as a ‘whitening’ dye.”

Thanks to Katrin for the link!