Since its inception, the U.S. has been intensely preoccupied with interracialism. the concept that is embedded in all places in our social and political cloth, together with our feel of nationwide identification. And but, in either its quantitative and symbolic types, interracialism continues to be an incredibly elusive phenomenon, inflicting coverage makers and census forums to wrangle over find out how to delineate it and, on an emblematic point, stirring extreme feelings from worry to fascination.
In The “Tragic Mulatta” Revisited, Eve Allegra Raimon makes a speciality of the mixed-race woman slave in literature, arguing that this determine grew to become a symbolic automobile for explorations of race and nation—both of which have been in trouble within the mid-nineteenth century. at present, judicial, statutory, social, and medical debates in regards to the which means of racial distinction (and intermixture) coincided with disputes over frontier enlargement, that have been by no means simply approximately land acquisition but in addition actually concerning the “complexion” of that frontier. Embodying either northern and southern ideologies, the “amalgamated” mulatta, the writer argues, may be seen as quintessentially American, a precursor to modern motifs of “hybrid” and “mestizo” identities.
Where others have curious about the gendered and racially abject place of the “tragic mulatta,” Raimon reconsiders texts by way of such primary antislavery writers as Lydia Maria baby, William Wells Brown, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and Harriet Wilson to indicate that the determine is extra usefully tested as a manner of knowing the risky and transferring interface of race and nationwide id within the antebellum period.
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