This case, this story, and the black woman at the heart of it forces us to move past binary notions of race, gender, and sexuality but also, too, it resists snap judgments about who exactly is good or evil and calls into question the validity of standard notions of justice.
Suggested further reading related to Purchasing Whiteness.
What do you think would have happened if a free mulatto — someone of mixed white and African heritage — living in New York or Virginia, had sent a letter to either of the Georges, either King George III (1760-1820) or President George Washington (1789-1797) asking if he might purchase whiteness?
NEP has published numerous articles and book reviews on Slavery and Race in Colonial Latin America. What hierarchies conditioned the relations between Africans, Europeans, and native groups? How did these socio-racial systems work on the day to day of life in Colonial Latin America? And, how did racially discriminated groups resist? These are some of the key questions addressed in the articles below.
In the late nineteenth century, white Southerners imposed a system of constraints on African Americans, denying blacks their Constitutional rights, and, indeed, their human rights. This system—often violently enforced—was called “Jim Crow,” named after a minstrel song that stereotyped blacks. It included the disfranchisement of black men, the forcible segregation of blacks from whites in public spaces, and forms of state-sanctioned terrorism such as lynching, which included hanging, mutilating, and burning victims alive.
Ahnia Leary Pin Oak Middle School Junior Division Individual Performance Read Ahnia’s Process Paper Treme is one of the most iconic neighborhoods in New Orleans. Its dynamic history, culture and music even inspired a critically acclaimed HBO drama. Ahnia Leary wanted to present the story of this vibrant section of the Big Easy for Texas History Day, particularly its long history of racial tension […]
February is Black History month. It is a time for remembrance and reflection for all Americans, but for Historians it is also a rich period for study and research. iTunes U, the academic branch of Apple’s iTunes store, is featuring a vast collection of first-hand oral histories, interviews, and lectures on the extensive history of African Americans.
by Jorge Cañizares Esguerra Two flights had been cancelled in Chicago and I had already waited for seven hours to catch a plane. As temperatures kept dropping and a snowstorm was fast approaching, I just jumped on a bus to go to Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana. I plowed my way to the Morris […]
The castas, or mixed race populations, suffered numerous forms of discrimination in colonial Latin America, but in practice pardos and mulatos could still achieve some social mobility. A rare few, by the mid eighteenth century, were able to petition the Spanish crown through a process known as the gracias al sacar, to purchase whiteness.
My father’s family came from Cape Verde, a tiny archipelago off the west coast of Africa near Senegal. Cape Verde was part of the Portuguese empire until a bloody fight for freedom initially led by my personal hero, Amilcar Cabral, brought independence to nation in July 1975.