Sweet Taste of Liberty: A True Story of Slavery and Restitution in America

Posted in Biography, Books, Forthcoming Media, History, Law, Monographs, Slavery, United States, Women on 2019-07-12 17:38Z by Steven

Sweet Taste of Liberty: A True Story of Slavery and Restitution in America

Oxford University Press
2019-08-05
288 Pages
28 b/w images, 2 maps
6-1/8 x 9¼ inches
Hardcover ISBN: 9780190846992

W. Caleb McDaniel, Associate Professor of History
Rice University, Houston, Texas

  • The epic, unique, and haunting story an enslaved woman and her quest for justice
  • Incorporates recent scholarship on slavery, reparations, and the ongoing connection between slavery and incarceration of black Americans
  • McDaniel received a Public Scholar fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities that enabled him to write this book

Born into slavery, Henrietta Wood was taken to Cincinnati and legally freed in 1848. In 1853, a Kentucky deputy sheriff named Zebulon Ward colluded with Wood’s employer, abducted her, and sold her back into bondage. She remained enslaved throughout the Civil War, giving birth to a son in Mississippi and never forgetting who had put her in this position.

By 1869, Wood had obtained her freedom for a second time and returned to Cincinnati, where she sued Ward for damages in 1870. Astonishingly, after eight years of litigation, Wood won her case: in 1878, a Federal jury awarded her $2,500. The decision stuck on appeal. More important than the amount, though the largest ever awarded by an American court in restitution for slavery, was the fact that any money was awarded at all. By the time the case was decided, Ward had become a wealthy businessman and a pioneer of convict leasing in the South. Wood’s son later became a prominent Chicago lawyer, and she went on to live until 1912.

McDaniel’s book is an epic tale of a black woman who survived slavery twice and who achieved more than merely a moral victory over one of her oppressors. Above all, A Sweet Taste of Liberty is a portrait of an extraordinary individual as well as a searing reminder of the lessons of her story, which establish beyond question the connections between slavery and the prison system that rose in its place.

Tags: , , , , , ,

The Legible Citizen: Race Making and Classification in Jim Crow Louisiana, 1955-1965

Posted in Census/Demographics, Dissertations, History, Law, Louisiana, Media Archive, United States on 2019-06-24 19:07Z by Steven

The Legible Citizen: Race Making and Classification in Jim Crow Louisiana, 1955-1965

Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee
May 2013
34 pages

Michell Chresfield

Thesis Submitted to the Faculty of the Graduate School of Vanderbilt University in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of MASTER OF ARTS in History

This study examines three legal contests during the high tide of black freedom agitation, 1955-1965, in which citizens of Louisiana challenged the state Bureau of Health’s authority to make racial classifications. Through these cases, I argue that state bureaucrats rather than the judiciary and legislature emerged as a new arbiter of race by the mid-twentieth century; by making racial categorization part of vital information recording, Bureau administrators could gain a better understand of citizens while also helping to shape the very meaning of citizenship in a racialized sense; and that this latter development was obscured by the ubiquitous and seemingly race neutral methods of vital statistic collection. Together these cases enrich general narratives of the Jim Crow era which have tended to focus on the role of the judiciary and the legislature exclusively. Through the inclusion of state bureaucrats, this study illustrates how racial categorization has persisted in a climate that is both more fluid and more obscure than generally acknowledged.

Read the entire thesis here.

Tags: ,

Racially-Mixed Personal Identity Equality

Posted in Articles, Law, Media Archive, United States on 2019-06-03 20:23Z by Steven

Racially-Mixed Personal Identity Equality

Law, Culture and the Humanities
First published online: 2017-03-24
DOI: 10.1177/1743872117699894

Tanya Katerí Hernández, Archibald R. Murray Professor of Law
Fordham University School of Law, New York, New York

A growing number of commentators view discrimination against multiracial (racially-mixed) people as a distinctive challenge to racial equality. This perspective is based on the belief that multiracial-identified persons experience racial discrimination in a manner that makes it necessary to reconsider civil rights law. This article disputes that premise and deconstructs its Personal Identity Equality approach to anti-discrimination law and demonstrates its ill effects reflected in Supreme Court affirmative action litigation.

Read or purchase the article here.

Tags: , , , ,

Mulattoes Cannot Vote Under the “Grandfather Clause.”

Posted in Articles, Law, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2019-06-02 01:17Z by Steven

Mulattoes Cannot Vote Under the Grandfather Clause.

The Progressive Farmer
Winston, North Carolina
Tuesday, 1902-09-30
page 5, column 4
Source: Chronicling America (ISSN 2475-2703), Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.

Thumbnail for 5

The Observer is in receipt of the following from a friend at Carthage:

“A question which is having some discussion here is: Can a mulatto whose father was a white man register under the ‘grandfather clause?’”

Now it is a generally accepted fact that most mulattoes are such from the fact that their fathers and not their mothers were white. Would this general application be sufficient grounds for a general mulatto registration? If not, could a mulatto whose mother was a negro but whose father is unknown register according to law? Is the burden upon the applicant for registration to prove that his father was a white man and could vote prior to 1867?

“Your subscribers would be pleased to have you give some editorial answers and explanations to the above questions. I am certain such would be of interest to many people throughout the State at this time and the independence of your paper renders it the logical medium through which such information can do the most good.”

Assuming that the mulatto was the illegitimate son of a white man (which must be assumed, as marriages between whites and blacks is and was unlawful) the mulatto could not vote, as the law does not recognize that an illegitimate has any father and unless the said mulatto is otherwise qualified he cannot get in under the “grandfather clause.”

As nearly all negroes were slaves prior to their emancipation the presumption is that the grandfather of any mulatto was disqualified from voting prior to 1868, and the burden rests upon him to show to the contrary before he shall be entitled to register or vote. —Charlotte Observer.

Tags: , , , , , ,

How Public Policy Impacts Racial Inequality

Posted in Anthologies, Books, Communications/Media Studies, Economics, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Law, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Justice, Social Science, United States on 2019-06-01 22:29Z by Steven

How Public Policy Impacts Racial Inequality

Louisiana State University Press
May 2019
208 pages
5.50 x 8.50 inches
12 graphs
Paperback ISBN: 9780807170700

Edited by:

Josh Grimm, Associate Professor; Associate Dean of Research and Strategic Initiatives
Manship School of Mass Communication, Louisiana State University

Jaime Loke, Assistant Professor
Bob Schieffer College of Communication, Texas Christian University

How Public Policy Impacts Racial Inequality, edited by Josh Grimm and Jaime Loke, brings together scholars of political science, sociology, and mass communication to provide an in-depth analysis of race in the United States through the lens of public policy. This vital collection outlines how racial issues such as profiling, wealth inequality, and housing segregation relate to policy decisions at both the local and national levels. Each chapter explores the inherent conflict between policy enactment, perception, and enforcement.

Contributors present original research focused on specific areas where public policy displays racial bias. Josh Grimm places Donald Trump’s immigration policies—planned and implemented—in historical perspective, identifying trends and patterns in common between earlier legislation and contemporary debates. Shaun L. Gabbidon considers the role of the American justice system in creating and magnifying racial and ethnic disparities, with particular attention to profiling, police killings, and reform efforts. Jackelyn Hwang, Elizabeth Roberto, and Jacob S. Rugh illustrate the continued presence of residential segregation as a major fixture defining the American racial landscape. As a route to considering digital citizenship and racial justice, Srividya Ramasubramanian examines how race shapes media-related policy in ways that perpetuate inequalities in media access, ownership, and representation. Focusing on lead poisoning, tobacco, and access to healthy foods, Holley A. Wilkin discusses solutions for improving overall health equity. In a study of legal precedents, Mary E. Campbell and Sylvia M. Emmanuel detail the extent to which measures aimed at addressing inequality often neglect multiracial individuals and groups. By examining specific policies that created wealth inequality along racial lines, Lori Latrice Martin shows how current efforts perpetuate asset poverty for many African Americans. Shifting focus to media reception, Ismail K. White, Chryl N. Laird, Ernest B. McGowen III, and Jared K. Clemons analyze political opinion formation stemming from mainstream information sources versus those specifically targeting African American audiences.

Presenting nuanced case studies of key topics, How Public Policy Impacts Racial Inequality offers a timely and wide- ranging collection on major social and political issues unfolding in twenty-first century America.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Fear of a Multiracial Planet: Loving’s Children and the Genocide of the White Race

Posted in Articles, History, Law, Media Archive, United States on 2019-05-27 02:16Z by Steven

Fear of a Multiracial Planet: Loving’s Children and the Genocide of the White Race

Fordham Law Review
Volume 86, Issue 6 (2018)
pages 2761-2771

Reginald Oh, Professor of Law
Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, Cleveland, Ohio

Part I analyzes the Loving decision striking down antimiscegenation laws and examines the segregationists’ justifications for antimiscegenation laws. Next, Part II explores the historical opposition of white segregationists to interracial marriages, families, and children and argues that the principle and practice of endogamy is a central feature of Jim Crow segregation. Finally, Part III examines the present ideology of white nationalism and shows that white nationalists oppose interracial unions and families for some of the same reasons that white segregationists opposed them. Specifically, white nationalists oppose interracial families because they are one of the main factors contributing to the so-called genocide of the white race.

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , ,

Multiracial Malaise: Multiracial as a Legal Racial Category

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Law, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2019-05-27 01:58Z by Steven

Multiracial Malaise: Multiracial as a Legal Racial Category

Fordham Law Review
Volume 86, Issue 6 (2018)
pages 2783-2793

Taunya Lovell Banks, Jacob A. France Professor of Equality Jurisprudence
University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law

The focus of this Article is the underlying assumption of the Brookings Institution report that multiracial individuals constitute a separate racial category. My discussion of legal racial categories focuses only on government “racial” definitions. Multiracial individuals should enjoy the freedom to self-identify as they wish—and, like others, be afforded the protections of anti discrimination law. The question is whether a separate legal racial category is needed to provide that protection. Race in this country has been “crafted from the point of view of [white] race protection” protecting the interests of white Americans from usurpation by non whites and, unless the creation of a separate multiracial legal category advances this goal, change will be resisted. Commentaries grounded in Fourteenth Amendment Equal Protection Clause and federal statutory anti-discrimination jurisprudence shape the construction of racial categories in U.S. law. This jurisprudence influences the racial categories and definitions used for the census. The next Part briefly discusses the attempt to get a multiracial category on the U.S. census.

[R]ace is at once an empty category and a powerful instrument. —Melissa Nobles1

Racism is about race: more races can lead . . . to changes in the way racism is presented, and ultimately to more, rather than less, racism. —Paulette M. Caldwell2

INTRODUCTION

The fiftieth anniversary of Loving v. Virginia,3 which struck down Virginia’s antimiscegenation statute, provides an opportunity to reflect on Loving’s impact. A 2017 Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data found that interracial marriages constitute 17 percent of all marriages,4 which represents an increase of 14 percent since the U.S. Supreme Court decided Loving in 1967.5 One byproduct of the increase in interracial marriages is the growing number and prominence of multiracial children. For example, a July 2017 Brookings Institution report characterizes Barack Obama, born six years before Loving, as the person who gave growing “prominence” to the emergence of multiracial people in America.6

Increasingly, there is interest in the offspring of interracial unions and how they compare to monoracial individuals. The Brookings Institution, for example, reported that “there is no test score gap between white and multiracial high school students.”7 The report seems to define “multiracial” very narrowly as people with parents from different racialized groups.8 Yet the multiracial population in the United States is not a new phenomenon. By limiting multiracial “to first-generation children of interracial couples,”9 as others have, the report fails to acknowledge older and larger generations whose genealogical mixture is more distant. Many of the people within this older multiracial population are racially classified by government and custom as black or African American, and they constitute “around 40 [percent] of the total population.”10 In contrast, according to the 2000 census, firstgeneration multiracial individuals (including those with remote African ancestry) make up roughly 2 percent of the total population and are more likely to be seen as multiracial.11

Proponents of a multiracial legal category complain that multiracial individuals are harmed by not being recognized under law as multiracial. Specifically, they argue that the law neither recognizes their personal identity nor protects their right to self-identify racially and to have that identity accepted.12 Despite the long history of multiracial people in the United States, Fourteenth Amendment equal protection constitutional jurisprudence, statutory antidiscrimination laws, and the census do not formally recognize a separate multiracial category. Thus, the question is whether legal recognition is needed to remedy race-based discrimination experienced by multiracial individuals.13

Historically, courts grappling with racial-identity questions looked at three factors, phenotypical characteristics, ancestry, and racial reputation in the community, to resolve the issue.14 The courts relied on a binary classification system of white and nonwhite; the underlying issue in these cases being whether one party had any nonwhite ancestry. Thus, until recently, Barack Obama, despite his white mother, would be classified racially as black, since twentieth-century notions of race held that any known African ancestry made one black.15

Admittedly, since Loving, conventional notions of race in the United States have “destabilized” as a result of “increases in immigration, intermarriage, and cross-racial adoptions.”16 Reflecting the era of racial self-identification,17 racial categories are more fluid in the twenty-first century, even for people who, historically, racially classified as black. These attitudinal changes are reflected in a 2007 Pew Research Center finding that “[n]early four-in-ten African Americans (37%) say that blacks can no longer be thought of as a single race” because of increasing diversity within that community.18

Conventional blackness, where one is “black” if one’s African ancestry is visible or known,19 is on the wane. As critical race theory legal scholar Neil Gotanda posits, race—particularly the racial category “black”—while a consistent and constant “social divider,” is not a “stable, coherent legal and social concept.”20 Today, people with some African ancestry may move away from blackness and, in some respects, the legal multiracial category movement is an example.21

The focus of this Article is the underlying assumption of the Brookings Institution report that multiracial individuals constitute a separate racial category. My discussion of legal racial categories focuses only on government “racial” definitions. Multiracial individuals should enjoy the freedom to self-identify as they wish—and, like others, be afforded the protections of antidiscrimination law. The question is whether a separate legal racial category is needed to provide that protection. Race in this country has been “crafted from the point of view of [white] race protection”22— protecting the interests of white Americans from usurpation by nonwhites and, unless the creation of a separate multiracial legal category advances this goal, change will be resisted.

Commentaries grounded in Fourteenth Amendment Equal Protection Clause and federal statutory antidiscrimination jurisprudence shape the construction of racial categories in U.S. law. This jurisprudence influences the racial categories and definitions used for the census. The next Part briefly discusses the attempt to get a multiracial category on the U.S. census…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , ,

Separate: The Story of Plessy v. Ferguson, and America’s Journey from Slavery to Segregation

Posted in Books, History, Law, Louisiana, Media Archive, Monographs, United States on 2019-05-20 14:38Z by Steven

Separate: The Story of Plessy v. Ferguson, and America’s Journey from Slavery to Segregation

W. W. Norton
February 2019
624 pages
6.6 × 9.6 in
Hardcover ISBN 978-0-393-23937-9

Steve Luxenberg

A myth-shattering narrative of how a nation embraced “separation” and its pernicious consequences.

Plessy v. Ferguson, the Supreme Court case synonymous with “separate but equal,” created remarkably little stir when the justices announced their near-unanimous decision on May 18, 1896. Yet it is one of the most compelling and dramatic stories of the nineteenth century, whose outcome embraced and protected segregation, and whose reverberations are still felt into the twenty-first.

Separate spans a striking range of characters and landscapes, bound together by the defining issue of their time and ours—race and equality. Wending its way through a half-century of American history, the narrative begins at the dawn of the railroad age, in the North, home to the nation’s first separate railroad car, then moves briskly through slavery and the Civil War to Reconstruction and its aftermath, as separation took root in nearly every aspect of American life.

Award-winning author Steve Luxenberg draws from letters, diaries, and archival collections to tell the story of Plessy v. Ferguson through the eyes of the people caught up in the case. Separate depicts indelible figures such as the resisters from the mixed-race community of French New Orleans, led by Louis Martinet, a lawyer and crusading newspaper editor; Homer Plessy’s lawyer, Albion Tourgée, a best-selling author and the country’s best-known white advocate for civil rights; Justice Henry Billings Brown, from antislavery New England, whose majority ruling endorsed separation; and Justice John Harlan, the Southerner from a slaveholding family whose singular dissent cemented his reputation as a steadfast voice for justice.

Sweeping, swiftly paced, and richly detailed, Separate provides a fresh and urgently-needed exploration of our nation’s most devastating divide.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Remembering Jane Bolin, the first African-American female judge in the U.S.

Posted in Articles, Biography, History, Law, Media Archive, United States, Women on 2019-04-12 02:12Z by Steven

Remembering Jane Bolin, the first African-American female judge in the U.S.

New Haven Register
2019-02-27

David L. Goodwin, Staff Attorney
Appellate Advocates, New York, New York

Van C. Tran, Assistant Professor of Sociology
Columbia University, New York, New York

Judge Jane Bolin shown at her home in New York after she was sworn in as a family court judge on July 22, 1939. She was the nation’s first black female judge and the first black woman to graduate from Yale Law School. She died in 2007 at age 98. Photo: Associated Press File Photo / AP
Judge Jane Bolin shown at her home in New York after she was sworn in as a family court judge on July 22, 1939. She was the nation’s first black female judge and the first black woman to graduate from Yale Law School. She died in 2007 at age 98. Photo: Associated Press File Photo

The struggle for inclusion and diversity in politics has ensued for decades, but for the first time in U.S. history, the rising political power of black women took center stage in the 2018 election. Last November, Harris County [Texas] made history by electing 17 black female judges to the bench — a group of candidates widely known as “Black Girl Magic.”

Their victory was extraordinary and unprecedented. Black female judges were the exception, not the norm, in the judiciary. In 1966, Judge Constance Baker Motley, appointed to the Southern District of New York by President Lyndon Johnson, became the first black woman to serve as a federal district judge. In 1979, Judge Amalya Kearse, appointed to the Second Circuit by President Carter, was the first black woman to be appointed to a federal Court of Appeals.

Three decades before these “first” appointments, Judge Jane Bolin (1908-2007) held the honor of being the first African-American female judge in the United States

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Interracial Marriage in a Southern Area: Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, History, Law, Media Archive, Social Science, United States, Virginia on 2019-04-08 17:13Z by Steven

Interracial Marriage in a Southern Area: Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia

Journal of Comparative Family Studies
Volume 8, Number 2, ETHNIC FAMILIES: STRUCTURE AND INTERACTION (SUMMER 1977)
pages 217-241

Thomas P. Monahan, Professor of Sociology
Villanova University, Villanova, Pennsylvania

Representing the Southern tradition, Virginia and Maryland in Colonial times enacted strong laws against racial intermarriage, which continued in force until 1967. For over 100 years the District of Columbia, located between Virginia and Maryland at the North-South borderline, allowed the races to marry without legal restriction. Strong social restraints, nevertheless, existed. How frequently mixed marriages occurred in the District in the past, and in all three jurisdictions after 1967, when such marriages could legally take place anywhere in the United States, is a matter of special interest. What change has there been in the extent and nature of interracial marriage in this geographical area?1

The Legal Control of Intermarriage

Shortly after the settlement of the English colonies in America, public opinion became antagonistic toward the interbreeding of whites with Negroes, mulattoes, or Indians, and laws were passed to control biological blending and intermarriage of the races (Ballagh, 1902; Johnson, 1919, Guild, 1936; Reuter, 1931:75; Scott, 1930; Wilson, 1965:20; Jordan, 1968:139).

Virginia

Ten years after the importation of a small number of Negro slaves into the colony, the Virginia Assembly in 1630 ordered the sound whipping of one Hugh Davis for lying with a Negress, a heathen (Hening, 1809:1-146; Hurd, 1858:1-229), and in 1640 a Robert Sweet was ordered by the Governor and Council to do penance in church for impregnating a Negro woman, who was to be whipped…

Read or purchase the article here.

Tags: , , ,