Beyond Slavery’s Shadow: Free People of Color in the South

Posted in Books, Forthcoming Media, History, Monographs on 2021-08-31 02:06Z by Steven

Beyond Slavery’s Shadow: Free People of Color in the South

University of North Carolina Press
October 2021
76 pages
6.125 x 9.25
14 halftones, notes, bibl., index
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-4696-6439-2
Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-4696-6438-5

Warren Eugene Milteer Jr., Assistant Professor of History
University of North Carolina, Greensboro

On the eve of the Civil War, most people of color in the United States toiled in bondage. Yet nearly half a million of these individuals, including over 250,000 in the South, were free. In Beyond Slavery’s Shadow, Warren Eugene Milteer Jr. draws from a wide array of sources to demonstrate that from the colonial period through the Civil War, the growing influence of white supremacy and proslavery extremism created serious challenges for free persons categorized as “negroes,” “mulattoes,” “mustees,” “Indians,” or simply “free people of color” in the South. Segregation, exclusion, disfranchisement, and discriminatory punishment were ingrained in their collective experiences. Nevertheless, in the face of attempts to deny them the most basic privileges and rights, free people of color defended their families and established organizations and businesses.

These people were both privileged and victimized, both celebrated and despised, in a region characterized by social inconsistency. Milteer’s analysis of the way wealth, gender, and occupation intersected with ideas promoting white supremacy and discrimination reveals a wide range of social interactions and life outcomes for the South’s free people of color and helps to explain societal contradictions that continue to appear in the modern United States.

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The Strategies of Forbidden Love: Family across Racial Boundaries in Nineteenth-Century North Carolina

Posted in Articles, History, Law, Media Archive, United States on 2014-03-02 04:05Z by Steven

The Strategies of Forbidden Love: Family across Racial Boundaries in Nineteenth-Century North Carolina

Journal of Social History
Volume 47, Issue 3 (Spring 2014)
pages 612-626
DOI: 10.1093/jsh/sht112

Warren E. Milteer Jr.

This article contends that although local beliefs and legal edicts attempted to discourage sexual and familial relationships between women of color and white men in North Carolina, free women of mixed ancestry and white men developed relationships that mimicked legally-sanctioned marriages. These unions often produced children who maintained frequent interaction with both parents. In nineteenth-century Hertford County, North Carolina, free women of mixed ancestry and their white partners developed creative strategies to deal with the legal limitations inherent in their situation. Women and men in these relationships found ways to secure property rights for women and children and developed methods to prevent legal scrutiny of their living arrangements.

Read or purchase the article here.

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