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“The Historical Legal Construction of Black Racial Identity of Mixed Black-White Race Individuals: The Role of State Legislatures”

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Abstract:

This research paper is an analysis of the historical legal construction of black racial identity of mixed black-white race individuals in America. In particular, I investigate how state legislatures in the United States constructed black racial identity through the enactment of laws and constitutional provisions. This research identifies the following two-part framework by which state legislatures historically used the language of the law to coerce mixed black-white race individuals to adopt a personal sense of collective identity with people of black African ancestry: (1) identification of mixed black-white race individuals and blacks/Negroes as constituting two separate racial groups yet speaking of them in the same blush and disadvantaging them the same, and (2) abandoning recognition of mixed black-white race individuals (mulattoes) as a distinct racial group from Negroes/blacks through the enactment of statutes that espoused the rule of hypodescent. To provide empirical support for this paper’s thesis, a survey of statutes across all fifty states ranging from the colonial period up to the mid-1900s is conducted.

Most Common Document Word Stems:

black (166), white (123), state (88), mulatto (81), race (77), mix (76), racial (71), ident (64), law (60), black-whit (58), individu (53), negro (51), statut (39), use (37), legal (32), blood (30), status (26), hypodesc (26), legislatur (24), effect (24), rule (23),

Author's Keywords:

identity, black, race, legislatures, law
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Association:
Name: WESTERN POLITICAL SCIENCE ASSOCIATION
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http://www.csus.edu/ORG/WPSA/


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MLA Citation:

Middleton IV, Richard. "“The Historical Legal Construction of Black Racial Identity of Mixed Black-White Race Individuals: The Role of State Legislatures”" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the WESTERN POLITICAL SCIENCE ASSOCIATION, Manchester Hyatt, San Diego, California, Mar 20, 2008 <Not Available>. 2013-12-15 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p238430_index.html>

APA Citation:

Middleton IV, R. T. , 2008-03-20 "“The Historical Legal Construction of Black Racial Identity of Mixed Black-White Race Individuals: The Role of State Legislatures”" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the WESTERN POLITICAL SCIENCE ASSOCIATION, Manchester Hyatt, San Diego, California Online <PDF>. 2013-12-15 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p238430_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Abstract: This research paper is an analysis of the historical legal construction of black racial identity of mixed black-white race individuals in America. In particular, I investigate how state legislatures in the United States constructed black racial identity through the enactment of laws and constitutional provisions. This research identifies the following two-part framework by which state legislatures historically used the language of the law to coerce mixed black-white race individuals to adopt a personal sense of collective identity with people of black African ancestry: (1) identification of mixed black-white race individuals and blacks/Negroes as constituting two separate racial groups yet speaking of them in the same blush and disadvantaging them the same, and (2) abandoning recognition of mixed black-white race individuals (mulattoes) as a distinct racial group from Negroes/blacks through the enactment of statutes that espoused the rule of hypodescent. To provide empirical support for this paper’s thesis, a survey of statutes across all fifty states ranging from the colonial period up to the mid-1900s is conducted.

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Associated Document Available WESTERN POLITICAL SCIENCE ASSOCIATION
Associated Document Available Political Research Online
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Document Type: PDF
Page count: 21
Word count: 5967
Text sample:
“From the first every English continental colony lumped mulattoes with Negroes in their slave codes and in statutes governing the conduct of free Negroes: the law was clear that mulattoes and Negroes were not to be distinguished for different treatment (Hickman 1179).” “You see unfortunately I am not black. There are lots of different kinds of blood in our family. But here in the United States the word ‘Negro’ is used to mean anyone who has any Negro blood
of assurance that a thorough examination of such statutes was carried out. In addition more researcher insight into the nuisances of each individual state’s racial demographics and social structures would have provided more informed opinions as to why the law evolved the way it did in each specific jurisdiction. However the overall aim of this paper was to elaborate on how and when state law relative to mixed black-white racial identity emerged and not why. As evidenced here this


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