The Mulatta and the Politics of Race by Teresa C. Zackodnik

By Teresa C. Zackodnik

From abolition over the years previous to the civil rights fight started, African American girls famous mixed-race girl made for a robust and, from time to time, very beneficial determine within the conflict for racial justice.

The Mulatta and the Politics of Race strains many key cases during which black ladies have wielded similar to a racially combined lady to attack the colour line. within the oratory and fiction of black girls from the past due 1840s in the course of the Fifties, Teresa C. Zackodnik reveals the mulatta to be a metaphor of accelerating potency.

Before the Civil battle white lady abolitionists created just like the "tragic mulatta," stuck among races, rejected by way of all. African American ladies positioned the mulatta to assorted political use. Black ladies used the mulatta determine to invoke and deal with American and British abolitionist empathy and to contest racial stereotypes of womanhood within the postbellum usa. The mulatta aided writers in critiquing the "New Negro Renaissance" and gave writers leverage to subvert the goals of mid-twentieth-century mainstream American culture.

The Mulatta and the Politics of Race makes a speciality of the antislavery lectures and appearances of Ellen Craft and Sarah Parker Remond, the family fiction of Pauline Hopkins and Frances Harper, the Harlem Renaissance novels of Jessie Fauset and Nella Larsen, and the little-known Fifties texts of Dorothy Lee Dickens and Reba Lee. all through, the writer discovers the in particular necessary and as but unexplored contributions of those black ladies and their makes use of of the mulatta in prose and speech.

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Bill of sale . . , conveying to him, for . . $, . . ‘one negro girl named Abby, thirteen years old’ ” (Catterall :). Testimony apparently ended here, and Judge Sorrels then gave the jury the following instructions: If the jury find . . that the plaintiffs had less than one-fourth of negro blood in their veins, the jury should find them to be free persons upon that fact alone—it being prima facie evidence of freedom—unless defendant . . had proven them to be slaves. . If . .

Polygenesis had become the racial theory of choice by the mid-nineteenth century with the establishment of the American school of ethnology. Dr.  Phrenology grew out of the assumption that the brain is the seat of the mind; the size of each region, determined by the contours and size of the skull, was believed to be directly proportional to the level The Mulatta, American Courts, and the Racial Imaginary  of its function (Stanton ). Morton predictably “discovered” that whites possessed the largest skulls, Africans the smallest, and concluded that not only were people of African descent far less intelligent than whites, they were also “ ‘joyous, flexible, and indolent’ ” individuals (qtd.

Racial The Mulatta, American Courts, and the Racial Imaginary  typology divided human beings into at least four races according to their differing physical appearance; racial determinism held that “the species Homo sapiens was composed of distinctive varieties and that the behavior of individuals and groups was determined by their place in this natural order” (Banton and Harwood ). Nineteenth-century racialism split along the lines dividing monogenists from polygenists, the former arguing for a single creation of human beings who might be physically different as a result of their environment but similar in all other respects, while the latter held that differences in culture and appearance between groups of peoples inhabiting various parts of the world were evidence of separate creations of distinct species.

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