Being “Brown” in Post 9/11 America

Dec 8, 2016

In the new book 'Brown Threat: Identification in the Security State,' scholar Kumarini Silva examines what it means to be brown in post-9/11 America.
Credit Courtesy of Kumarini Silva

This year marks the 15th anniversary of 9/11, an event that sparked dramatic shifts in global policy and international relations. 

Scholar Kumarini Silva argues that it also led to a fundamental transformation in what it means to be brown in America, and created a situation in which anyone who is not white has the possibility of being labeled as both un-American and a so-called “brown threat.” 

In her new book “Brown Threat: Identification in the Security State” (University of Minnesota Press/2016) Silva interweaves her own personal experience with ethnographic research and popular culture analysis to understand how a shifting understanding of “brown” identity shapes the treatment and control of brown bodies in post-9/11 America. Host Frank Stasio talks with Kumarini Silva, professor of communication at UNC-Chapel Hill.