But Think of the Kids: Catholic Interracialists and the Great American Taboo of Race Mixing

Posted in Articles, History, Media Archive, Religion, Social Science, United States on 2010-11-27 18:03Z by Steven

But Think of the Kids: Catholic Interracialists and the Great American Taboo of Race Mixing

U.S. Catholic Historian
Volume 16, Number 3
Sources of Social Reform, Part One (Summer, 1998)
pages 67-93

David W. Southern, Cotton Professor of History
Westminster College, Fulton Missouri

After requesting church funds for the Catholic Interracial Council of New York (CICNY) in the late 1930s, Father John LaFarge, the foremost Catholic integrationist in the first half of the twentieth century, found he had to justify his plea before James Francis Mclntyre, the much-feared chancellor of the archdiocese of New York, A mean-spirited and authoritarian bishop, Mclntyre had earlier warned the CICNY that church work among African Americans should stress religious conversion rather than social and economic reform. Even though Mclntyre’s conservative attitude was known, LaFarge was startled when the bishop unexpectedly punctuated their meeting by accusing him of advocating interracial marriage.

Mclntyre’s charge was preposterous. Before the post-civil rights era, few American liberals, including African Americans, advocated interracial marriage. While the militant black leader W. E. B. Du Bois preached that no one of his race could sanction antimiscegenation laws that were based on the innate inferiority of African Americans, he did not make the repeal of such laws a high priority. As editor of the Crisis in the 1910s and 1920s, he mostly reported successes in defeating newly proposed antimiscegenation laws in Washington, D.C., and in northern states; and like most white liberals, he insisted that 999 out of each thousand black men had no desire to many white women…

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Miscegenation: the theory of the blending of the races, applied to the American white man and negro.

Posted in Books, History, Media Archive, Monographs, Slavery on 2010-11-26 19:16Z by Steven

Miscegenation: the theory of the blending of the races, applied to the American white man and negro.

H. Dexter, Hamilton & Co.
1864
76 pages
Source: Wilson Anti-Slavery Collection of The University of Manchester, The John Rylands University Library

David Goodman Croly

The Wilson Anti-Slavery Collection is a collection of 19th-century anti-slavery pamphlets received in 1923 from the executors of Henry Joseph Wilson (1833-1914), the distinguished Liberal Member of Parliament for Sheffield. The collection is of particular importance for the study of the activities of the provincial philanthropic societies, such as the Birmingham and Midland Freedmen’s Aid Association, the Birmingham and West Bromwich Ladies’ Negro’s Friend Society, the Glasgow Emancipation Society, the Manchester Union and Emancipation Society, and the Sheffield Ladies Female Anti Slavery Society. Of interest is the prominent role of women in the movement, who formed themselves into societies which lobbied MPs and printed pamphlets on the conditions of slaves. Here we have details of what was sold at their bazaars to raise funds and lists of names of subscribers, the minutiae which bring alive the history of the movement.

Note from Steven F. Riley: This pamphlet coined the term “miscegenation.”

Read the pamphlet here.

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Race Mixture: Boundary Crossing in Comparative Perspective

Posted in Articles, Caribbean/Latin America, Media Archive, Social Science, United Kingdom, United States on 2010-08-28 19:50Z by Steven

Race Mixture: Boundary Crossing in Comparative Perspective

Annual Review of Sociology
August 2009
Volume 35
pages 129-146
DOI: 10.1146/annurev.soc.34.040507.134657
First published online as a Review in Advance on 2009-04-02

Edward E. Telles, Professor of Sociology
Princeton University

Christina A. Sue, Assistant Professor of Sociology
University of Colorado, Boulder

In this article, we examine a large, interdisciplinary, and somewhat scattered literature, all of which falls under the umbrella term race mixture. We highlight important analytical distinctions that need to be taken into account when addressing the related, but separate, social phenomena of intermarriage, miscegenation, multiracial identity, multiracial social movements, and race-mixture ideologies. In doing so, we stress a social constructivist approach to race mixture with a focus on boundary crossing. Finally, we also demonstrate how ideologies and practices of race mixture play out quite differently in contexts outside of the United States, particularly in Latin America. Race-mixture ideologies and practices in Latin America have been used to maintain racial inequality in the region, thus challenging recent arguments by U.S. scholars that greater racial mixture leads to a decline in racism, discrimination, and inequality.

INTRODUCTION

We define race mixture as intimate social interaction across racial boundaries, a phenomenon that has generally been analyzed under the rubric of intermarriage or miscegenation. A sociology of race mixture also involves the racial categorization, identity, politics, and social movements surrounding the progeny of race mixture, much of which falls under the subject of multiracialism. A more comprehensive analysis of race mixture also includes an examination of the national ideologies related to the idea of race mixture and the putative consequences that race mixture will destabilize and eventually erase racial boundaries. These topics are often studied as separate processes, but in this article we seek to bring some unity to an area in which these distinct areas of research overlap.

Sociologists often focus on intermarriage, which has been classically seen as indicating a final stage in the assimilation of racial and ethnic groups in that it presumably represents deep erosion of social boundaries (MM Gordon 1964, Lieberson & Waters 1988, Park 1950). Relatedly, multiracialism has become a rapidly growing topic and refers to the children of parents who self-identify in separate racial categories or to individuals who self-identify as multiracial. Some sociological attention has also been paid to miscegenation, which we define as illegitimate or informal sexual unions, although the term has often been used more broadly to include intermarriage as well. Historically, miscegenation involved highly unequal or even forced relationships; thus they were of a nearly opposite character to those involving intermarriage. Anti-miscegenation laws were able to prevent intermarriage in the United States for 300 years, but they generally were unsuccessful in preventing informal black-white sexual unions and the consequent births that followed (Davis 1991, Sollors 2000). Such unions would merely evade the strict racial boundaries of the United States but did little to challenge or erode them and therefore represent a very different social phenomenon than intermarriage.

Informal sexual unions, like intermarriages, produced so-called mixed-race individuals, who themselves have more recently become subjects of much sociological research. Analysts have examined different paths the progeny of these interracial unions have attempted to take or successfully taken; the paths range from willingly or unwillingly accepting placement in their socially assigned category, seeking a particular status without contesting the boundaries themselves, individually skirting the boundaries, or collectively redefining them (Daniel 2002, Nakashima 1992). Scholarly work has also been done on the placement of these mixed-race individuals in the social structure (Davis 1991, Degler 1971, Mörner 1967, Telles 2004).

Before proceeding, we would like to make an important note regarding terminology used in this paper. The term race mixture implies that one is combining two or more substances with distinct and generally fixed properties. In regard to race, this may seem to be especially essentialistic and biological. The very idea of race mixture or multiracialism is premised on the idea that discrete (or even pure) races exist (Goldberg 1997, Nobles 2002). On the other hand, the sociological study of race mixture refers to behaviors that involve crossing racial boundaries (Bost 2003). Our interpretation is socially constructivist and assumes that there is no biological or essentialist basis for race, but rather, race is a concept involving perceptions of reality. Race is of sociological importance because humans are categorized by race, hierarchized according to these categories, and treated accordingly. As a result, humans often create racial boundaries as a form of social closure and erect obstacles to interaction across these boundaries. At other times, they seek to diminish or otherwise change them.We are interested in how race mixture may construct or reconstruct racial boundaries. Although we recognize the conceptual problems implicit in the term race mixture, for lack of a better term and to be consistent with the literature, we continue to use it, along with related terms such as multiracialism. The concept of ethnicity is related to and sometimes overlaps with the concept of race, but the distinctions are often unclear, context-specific, and highly debatable (Cornell & Hartman 2006, Jenkins 1997, Wimmer 2008). Therefore, the extent to which our discussion is applicable to ethnic as well as race mixture would depend on how one distinguishes race from ethnicity…

Read the entire article here.

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Forsaking All Others: A True Story of Interracial Sex and Revenge in the 1880s South

Posted in Books, History, Law, Media Archive, Monographs, United States on 2010-08-20 16:09Z by Steven

Forsaking All Others: A True Story of Interracial Sex and Revenge in the 1880s South

University of Tennessee Press
2010-11-10
160 estimated pages
Cloth ISBN: 978-1-57233-724-4; 1572337249
Ebook ISBN: 978-1-57233-740-4; 1-57233-740-0

Charles F. Robinson, Vice Provost for Diversity; Associate Professor of History and Director of African American Studies
University of Arkansas

The electronic book (E-Book) is available now.

An intensely dramatic true story, Forsaking All Others recounts the fascinating case of an interracial couple who attempted—in defiance of society’s laws and conventions—to formalize their relationship in the post-Reconstruction South. It was an affair with tragic consequences, one that entangled the protagonists in a miscegenation trial and, ultimately, a desperate act of revenge.

From the mid-1870s to the early 1880s, Isaac Bankston was the proud sheriff of Desha County, Arkansas, a man so prominent and popular that he won five consecutive terms in office. Although he was married with two children, around 1881 he entered into a relationship with Missouri Bradford, an African American woman who bore his child. Some two years later, Missouri and Isaac absconded to Memphis, hoping to begin a new life there together. Although Tennessee lawmakers had made miscegenation a felony, Isaac’s dark complexion enabled the couple to apply successfully for a marriage license and take their vows. Word of the marriage quickly spread, however, and Missouri and Isaac were charged with unlawful cohabitation. An attorney from Desha County, James Coates, came to Memphis to act as special prosecutor in the case. Events then took a surprising turn as Isaac chose to deny his white heritage in order to escape conviction. Despite this victory in court, however, Isaac had been publicly disgraced, and his sense of honor propelled him into a violent confrontation with Coates, the man he considered most responsible for his downfall.

Charles F. Robinson uses Missouri and Isaac’s story to examine key aspects of post-Reconstruction society, from the rise of miscegenation laws and the particular burdens they placed on anyone who chose to circumvent them, to the southern codes of honor that governed both social and individual behavior, especially among white men. But most of all, the book offers a compelling personal narrative with important implications for our supposedly more tolerant times.

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Interzones: Black/White Sex Districts in Chicago and New York in the Early Twentieth Century

Posted in Books, Gay & Lesbian, History, Media Archive, Monographs, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States on 2010-05-17 21:55Z by Steven

Interzones: Black/White Sex Districts in Chicago and New York in the Early Twentieth Century

Columbia University Press
August 1997
248 pages
Paper ISBN: 978-0-231-10493-7
Cloth ISBN: 978-0-231-10492-0

Kevin Mumford, Professor of African-American History
University of Iowa

Interzones is an innovative account of how the color line was drawn—and how it was crossed—in twentieth-century American cities. Kevin Mumford chronicles the role of vice districts in New York and Chicago as crucibles for the shaping of racial categories and racial inequalities.

Focusing on Chicago’s South Side and Levee districts, and Greenwich Village and Harlem in New York at the height of the Progressive era, Mumford traces the connections between the Great Migration, the commercialization of leisure, and the politics of reform and urban renewal. Interzones is the first book to examine in depth the combined effects on American culture of two major transformations: the migration north of southern blacks and the emergence of a new public consumer culture.

Mumford writes an important chapter in Progressive-era history from the perspectives of its most marginalized and dispossessed citizens. Recreating the mixed-race underworlds of brothels and dance halls, and charting the history of a black-white sexual subculture, Mumford shows how fluid race relations were in these “interzones.” From Jack Johnson and the “white slavery” scare of the 1910’s to the growth of a vital gay subculture and the phenomenon of white slumming, he explores in provocative detail the connections between political reforms and public culture, racial prejudice and sexual taboo, the hardening of the color line and the geography of modern inner cities.

The complicated links between race and sex, and reform and reaction, are vividly displayed in Mumford’s look at a singular moment in the settling of American culture and society.

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Acts of Intercourse: “Miscegenation” in three 19th Century American Novels

Posted in Articles, History, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, United States on 2010-03-24 01:35Z by Steven

Acts of Intercourse: “Miscegenation” in three 19th Century American Novels

American Studies in Scandinavia
Volume 27 (1995)
pages 126-141

Domhnall Mitchell, Professor of English
Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway

Until this period of the evening, the duties of hospitality and the observances of religion had prevented familiar discourse. But the regular offices of the housewife were now ended for the night; the handmaidens had all retired to their wheels; and as the bustle of a busy and more stirring domestic industry ceased, the cold and selfrestrained silence, which had hitherto only been broken by distant and brief observations of courtesy, or by some wholesome allusion to the lost and probationary condition of man, seemed to invite an intercourse of a more general character.

James Fenimore Cooper, The Wept of Wish-ton-Wish (Columbus, Ohio; Charles E. Merrill, 1970).

In a 19th century American novel like Cooper’s The Wept of Wish-ton-Wish, intercourse usually means conversation, an important activity which supports, sustains and secures a community’s perception of its shared identity. If we take the above quotation as an example, Cooper manages to convey a sense of common purpose and harmonious enterprise, to such an extent that the people described seem almost to function as members of one family. But intercourse of another, sexual kind also takes place in the novel, between one of the white daughters of this family and a Narragansett sachem. The second kind of intercourse takes place outside the confines of, and disturbs the kind of stability and integrity represented by, the first. The unanimity of social institutions is disrupted and threatened first by the arrival and second by the acceptance of the Indian within the white family. When it is remembered that, in 19th century American history, the word intercourse is further associated with a series of acts regulating the transaction of land and goods between European Americans and Native Americans, and that there was contention about exactly what kind of contact, if any, should be maintained between the two groups, then it can be seen that this single word carries with it a complex sequence of literary and cultural connotations.

Intercourse, then, is a useful term with which to begin looking at aspects of relations between Native American Indians and Europeans in certain 19th Century American novels. For the word can have several definitions. It implies physical intimacy; it can also mean commercial exchange, including the transaction of property: and finally, it suggests discourse, or dialogue. These different meanings indicate different levels we might profitably look at.

In its modern sense, intercourse suggests sexual relations, and several 19th century novels imagine the possibility of union between Indians and Whites. I have chosen three of these; Hobomok, written by Lydia Maria Child and published in 1824; Catharine Maria Sedgwick‘s Hope Leslie, which appeared in 1827; and the second, revised, 1833 edition of The Wept of Wish-ton-Wish (or The Borderers), by James Fenimore Cooper, which was first printed in 1829. Although all three of the works under consideration were written by Americans in the 1820s, the time and place of their narration is 17th century New England, so there is an element of dialogue between texts and historical contexts. The dialogue also involves a reconstruction of early colonial history. These novels integrate or negotiate with Indian versions of historical events as well as attempting to create colourful rather than credible Native characters. For example, in 1653, a woman was hanged for taking the Indian demigod Hobbamock as her husband, and it is therefore interesting that Child’s novel Hobomok begins with Mary Conant going into the forest late at night and meeting the Indian character of the same name, who she later marries and has a child by.  Instead of the dominant 17th century imperatives of war and suspicion, Hobomok dramatizes the possibility of an assimilation which is at once sexual and cultural. And yet, what I intend to show in this article is that Indian loving is in fact not very different in its final results from the kind of Indian hating which characterized later works such as James Hall’s Sketches of History, Life and Manners in the West (1835) and Robert Montgomery Bird’s Jibbenainosay, or Nick of the Woods (1837)…

Read the entire article here.

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Miscegenation Facts […From 1879]

Posted in Articles, Canada, History, Media Archive on 2010-03-17 05:00Z by Steven

Miscegenation Facts […From 1879]

Daily British Colonist
Vicoria, British Columbia
1879-10-07
21st Year
Page 1, 2nd Column

David W. Higgins, Editor and Proprietor

The child of colored parents of different tints, such as quadroon and mulatto, or mulatto and black, will be nearer to the tint of the darker parent.  If both parents of the same color, the child will be a shade darker, and singularly enough, the second child will be darker than the first, the third darker than the second, and so on to the last. In other words, a colored community, left to itself, is fatally destined to return to the original African black after a limited number of generations.  Thus, while each alliance with an individual of pure Caucasian blood brings the negro a step nearer to the white standard, the reverse is the case the moment the Caucasian element is withheld, and the color retrogrades from light to dark…

Continue reading the “facts” in this article here.

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A new paradigm of race: Visit to Brazil prompts the question: Can mixing everyone up solve the race problem?

Posted in Articles, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Media Archive, Social Science, South Africa, United States on 2010-02-07 20:57Z by Steven

A new paradigm of race: Visit to Brazil prompts the question: Can mixing everyone up solve the race problem?

Bloomington Herald-Times
2004-08-29
Courtesy of: Black Film Center/Archive
Indiana University

Audrey T. McCluskey, Director Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center
Indiana University

If Tiger Woods lived in Brazil he would not have had to coin the word “Cablanasian” to describe the multiracial mixture of caucasian, black, and Asian that makes up his lineage nor face derision from those of us who thought he was trippin’ (being silly, unreal). As my husband and I saw on a recent trip, in Brazil race-mixing is the rule, not the exception, with the majority of its 170 million people being visible incarnates of the slogan that officials like to tout: “We’re a multiracial democracy. We’re not white, or black, or Indian, we’re all Brazilians.”

Skeptical, but being swept along by the stunning beauty of the country and its people, I did begin to wonder if (contrary to learned opinion) Brazil had solved its race problem by just mixing everyone up. British scholar Paul Gilroy recently said that Brazil and South Africa – a country that I also visited recently and will invoke later – present “a new paradigm of race” that is more subtle and flexible than the U.S.’s old “one drop” (of black blood makes you black) rule that equates whiteness with mythical purity…

Read the entire article here.

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Tiger Woods Is Not the End of History: or, Why Sex across the Color Line Won’t Save Us All

Posted in Articles, History, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2010-02-02 19:08Z by Steven

Tiger Woods Is Not the End of History: or, Why Sex across the Color Line Won’t Save Us All

The American Historical Review
Volume 108, Number 5
December 2003

Henry Yu, Professor of History
University of California, Los Angeles

In December 1996, several months after Tiger Woods left Stanford University to become a professional golfer, a Sports Illustrated story entitled “The Chosen One” quoted Tiger’s father, Earl, claiming that his son was “qualified through his ethnicity” to “do more than any other man in history to change the course of humanity.” Tiger’s mother, Kultida, agreed, asserting that, because Tiger had “Thai, African, Chinese, American Indian and European blood,” he could “hold everyone together. He is the Universal Child.” The story’s author concluded that, “when we swallow Tiger Woods, the yellow-black-red-white man, we swallow … hope in the American experiment, in the pell-mell jumbling of genes. We swallow the belief that the face of the future is not necessarily a bitter or bewildered face; that it might even, one day, be something like Tiger Woods’ face.” Building on the interest in Tiger Woods, stories about mixed-race children and intermarriage proliferated. In January 2000, both Newsweek and Time opened the millennium with cover art speculating on the multi-racial faces of America’s future. 

The celebration of Tiger Woods’ mixed descent and his widespread popularity would seem to support David Hollinger‘s argument that the history of the United States has been a successful (albeit episodic) history of “amalgamation” overcoming group differences. With Woods as a prominent example, we might even be “crazy enough to believe” the idea that eventually “racism can be ended by wholesale intermarriage,” as Hollinger hints in his concluding paragraph.  However, I would argue that focusing on “intermarriage” and “race-mixing” should bring us to a different conclusion about U.S. history, and Woods might serve as a useful prism for separating out some other important aspects of the encounter of the United States with Asia and the Pacific…

Read the entire article here.

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Africa in Mexico: A Repudiated Heritage/África en México: una herencia repudiada

Posted in Africa, Anthropology, Books, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Media Archive, Mexico, Monographs, Social Science on 2010-01-28 20:51Z by Steven

Africa in Mexico: A Repudiated Heritage/África en México: una herencia repudiada

Edwin Mellen Press
2007
140 pages
ISBN10: 0-7734-5216-8; ISBN13: 978-0-7734-5216-9

Marco Polo HernĂĄndez Cuevas, Asssociate Professor of Spanish
North Carolina Central University

This study explores the African presence in Mexico and the impact it has had on the development of Mexican national identity over the past centuries. By analyzing Mexican miscegenation from a perspective identified as mestizaje positivo (positive miscegenation) where an equality exists among all ethnic heritages are equal forming the glue that binds together the new ethnicity, it reveals that Mexico’s African heritage is alive and well. In the end, the author calls for further examinations into the damage caused to the majority of the Mexican population by a Eurocentric mentality that marks them as inferior.

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