New People: Miscegenation and Mulattoes in the United States

Posted in Books, History, Media Archive, Monographs, Social Science, United States on 2009-11-02 01:51Z by Steven

New People: Miscegenation and Mulattoes in the United States

Louisiana State University Press
240 pages
6 x 9
Paper ISBN-13: 978-0-8071-2035-4

Joel Williamson, Lineberger Professor in the Humanities
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

New People is an insightful historical analysis of the miscegenation of American whites and blacks from colonial times to the present, of the “new people” produced by these interracial relationships, and of the myriad ways in which miscegenation has affected our national culture. Because the majority of American blacks are in fact of mixed ancestry, and because mulattoes and pure blacks ultimately combined their cultural heritages, what begins in the colonial period as mulatto history and culture ends in the twentieth century as black history and culture. Thus, understanding the history of the mulatto becomes one way of understanding something of the experience of the African American.

Williamson traces the fragile lines of color and caste that have separated mulattoes, blacks, and whites throughout history and speculates on the effect that the increasing ambiguity of those lines will have on the future of American society.

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Impurity of Blood: Defining Race in Spain, 1870-1930

Posted in Anthropology, Books, Europe, History, Media Archive, Monographs, Social Science on 2009-11-02 01:28Z by Steven

Impurity of Blood: Defining Race in Spain, 1870-1930

Louisiana State University Press
Published: December 2009
288 pages
Trim: 6 x 9
Illustrations: 1 map
Cloth ISBN: 13: 978-0-8071-3516-7

Joshua Goode, Professor of History and Cultural Studies
Claremont Graduate University, California

Although Francisco Franco courted the Nazis as allies during the Spanish Civil War in the late 1930s, the Spanish dictator’s racial ideals had little to do with the kind of pure lineage that obsessed the Nazis. Indeed, Franco’s idea of race—that of a National Catholic state as the happy meeting grounds of many different peoples willingly blended together—differed from most European conceptions of race in this period and had its roots in earlier views of Spanish racial identity from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. In Impurity of Blood, Joshua Goode traces the development of racial theories in Spain from 1870 to 1930 in the burgeoning human science of anthropology and in political and social debates, exploring the counterintuitive Spanish proposition that racial mixture rather than racial purity was the bulwark of national strength.

Goode begins with a history of ethnic thought in Spain in the medieval and early modern era, and then details the formation of racial thought in Spain’s nascent human sciences. He goes on to explore the political, social, and cultural manifestations of racial thought at the dawn of the Franco regime and, finally, discusses its ramifications in Francoist Spain and post–World War II Europe. In the process, he brings together normally segregated historiographies of race in Europe.

Goode analyzes the findings of Spanish racial theorists working to forge a Spanish racial identity in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, when race and racial sciences were most in vogue across Europe. Spaniards devised their own racial identities using scientifically substantiated racial ideas and confronted head-on the apparent limitations of Spain’s history by considering them as the defining characteristics of la raza española. The task of the Spanish social sciences was to trace the history of racial fusion: to study both the separate elements of the Spanish composition and the factors that had nurtured them. Ultimately, by exploring the development of Spanish racial thought between 1875 and 1930, Goode demonstrates that national identity based on mixture—the inclusion rather than the exclusion of different peoples—did not preclude the establishment of finely wrought and politically charged racial hierarchies.

Providing a new comprehensive view of racial thought in Spain and its connections to the larger twentieth-century formation of racial thought in the West, Impurity of Blood will enlighten and inform scholars of Spanish and European history, racial theory, historical anthropology, and the history of science.

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George Henry White: An Even Chance in the Race of Life

Posted in Biography, Books, History, Media Archive, Monographs, Slavery, United States on 2009-11-02 01:07Z by Steven

George Henry White: An Even Chance in the Race of Life

Louisiana State University Press
Trim: 6 x 9
cloth ISBN: 978-0-8071-2586-1

Benjamin R. Justesen

Although he was one of the most important African American political leaders during the last decade of the nineteenth century, George Henry White has been one of the least remembered. A North Carolina representative from 1897 to 1901, White was the last man of his race to serve in the Congress during the post-Reconstruction period, and his departure left a void that would go unfilled for nearly thirty years. At once the most acclaimed and reviled symbol of the freed slaves whose cause he heralded, White remains today largely a footnote to history. In this exhaustively researched biography, Benjamin R. Justesen rescues from obscurity the fascinating story of this compelling figure’s life and accomplishments.

The mixed-race son of a free turpentine farmer, White became a teacher, lawyer, and prosecutor in rural North Carolina. From these modest beginnings he rose in 1896 to become the only black member of the House of Representatives and perhaps the most nationally visible African American politician of his time. White was outspoken in his challenge to racial injustice, but, as Justesen shows, he was no militant racial extremist as antagonistic white democrats charged. His plea was always for simple justice in a nation whose democratic principles he passionately loved. A conservative by philosophy, he was a dedicated Republican to the end. After he retired from Congress, he remained active in the fight against racial discrimination, working with national leaders of both races, from Booker T. Washington to the founders of the NAACP.

Through judicious use of public documents, White’s speeches, newspapers, letters, and secondary sources, Justesen creates an authoritative and balanced portrait of this complex man and proves him to be a much more effective leader than previously believed.

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The Louisiana Metoyers

Posted in Articles, History, Louisiana, Media Archive, Slavery, United Kingdom on 2009-11-02 00:42Z by Steven

The Louisiana Metoyers

American Visions
June, 2000

Elizabeth Shown Mills

Gary B. Mills (1944-2002)

The Metoyer family of Louisiana provides an intriguing ample of the degree to which class, race and economic lines were blurred in early America. The Metoyers were both slaves and masters; in that regard, they were not unique. They were singular in the degree of their success. In the pre-Civil War South, they were, as a family unit, the wealthiest of all free families of color in the nation. After the war, they endured generations of poverty but preserved a rich store of oral history, much of which has been documented at Melrose Plantation in Melrose, La. The Metoyer family has been nationally conspicuous since 1975–the year that Melrose, the last of at least a dozen pillared, two-story “mansion houses” that they built on their plantations, was declared a National Historic Landmark.

On January 8, 1736, Francoise (a slave belonging to Chevalier Louis Juchereau de St. Denis) and Marie Francoise were married in Natchitoches, La. The only clues indicating the origins of this African couple are the names of four of their children: Dgimby, Choera, Yandon and Coincoin. These names can be attributed to the Ewe linguistic group of the Gold Coast-Dahomey region of Africa. Although Catholic custom required all baptized Christians to bear a saint’s name, popular custom among the French permitted a variety of nicknames, or dits, as the French called them. The custom extended to the slave population as well, and a number of slaves are identified in official records by the African name that French masters permitted them to retain.

The pronunciation of Coincoin is close to that of Ko-kwe, a name given to all second-born daughters by those who speak the Glidzi dialect of the Ewe language. Marie Therese dite Coincoin, the second daughter born to Francois and Marie Francoise, was baptized at the Natchitoches Post on August 24, 1742. Colonial Louisiana’s Code Noir (Black Laws), which did not permit the separation by sale of a husband and wife or of a child under 14 from its mother, kept the family of Francois and Marie Francoise together as a stable unit until April 18, 1758, when the couple died together in an epidemic that also killed their mistress…

Read the entire article here.

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