In the Matter of Color

Author: A. Leon Higginbotham
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780195027457
Format: PDF, ePub
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Focusing on the actions and attitudes of the courts, legislatures, and public servants in six colonies, Judge Higginbotham shows ways in which the law has contributed to injustices suffered by Black Americans

Race Law and American Society

Author: Gloria J. Browne-Marshall
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISBN: 0415952948
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Despite the obstacles to equality under law, black Americans have set a determined path to make the words of the Preamble of the Declaration of Independence a reality for themselves and others. This book is an introduction to race and law in America. It is designed as a tool to the understanding of the role of race in American society through the prism of legal cases brought by and against blacks. The analysis will include American colonial laws, landmark Supreme Court cases of the 19th and 20th centuries as well as relevant recent decisions. In examining these cases the reader will discern the great impact civil rights cases have had on American society as well as the effect our society has had on the legal system. It will provide the reader with a foundation for present day discourse involving pressing issues of race in American society.

Shades of Freedom

Author: A. Leon Higginbotham Jr.
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0190284099
Format: PDF, ePub
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Few individuals have had as great an impact on the law--both its practice and its history--as A. Leon Higginbotham, Jr. A winner of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor, he has distinguished himself over the decades both as a professor at Yale, the University of Pennsylvania, and Harvard, and as a judge on the United States Court of Appeals. But Judge Higginbotham is perhaps best known as an authority on racism in America: not the least important achievement of his long career has been In the Matter of Color, the first volume in a monumental history of race and the American legal process. Published in 1978, this brilliant book has been hailed as the definitive account of racism, slavery, and the law in colonial America. Now, after twenty years, comes the long-awaited sequel. In Shades of Freedom, Higginbotham provides a magisterial account of the interaction between the law and racial oppression in America from colonial times to the present, demonstrating how the one agent that should have guaranteed equal treatment before the law--the judicial system--instead played a dominant role in enforcing the inferior position of blacks. The issue of racial inferiority is central to this volume, as Higginbotham documents how early white perceptions of black inferiority slowly became codified into law. Perhaps the most powerful and insightful writing centers on a pair of famous Supreme Court cases, which Higginbotham uses to portray race relations at two vital moments in our history. The Dred Scott decision of 1857 declared that a slave who had escaped to free territory must be returned to his slave owner. Chief Justice Roger Taney, in his notorious opinion for the majority, stated that blacks were "so inferior that they had no right which the white man was bound to respect." For Higginbotham, Taney's decision reflects the extreme state that race relations had reached just before the Civil War. And after the War and Reconstruction, Higginbotham reveals, the Courts showed a pervasive reluctance (if not hostility) toward the goal of full and equal justice for African Americans, and this was particularly true of the Supreme Court. And in the Plessy v. Ferguson decision, which Higginbotham terms "one of the most catastrophic racial decisions ever rendered," the Court held that full equality--in schooling or housing, for instance--was unnecessary as long as there were "separate but equal" facilities. Higginbotham also documents the eloquent voices that opposed the openly racist workings of the judicial system, from Reconstruction Congressman John R. Lynch to Supreme Court Justice John Marshall Harlan to W. E. B. Du Bois, and he shows that, ironically, it was the conservative Supreme Court of the 1930s that began the attack on school segregation, and overturned the convictions of African Americans in the famous Scottsboro case. But today racial bias still dominates the nation, Higginbotham concludes, as he shows how in six recent court cases the public perception of black inferiority continues to persist. In Shades of Freedom, a noted scholar and celebrated jurist offers a work of magnificent scope, insight, and passion. Ranging from the earliest colonial times to the present, it is a superb work of history--and a mirror to the American soul.

African Americans in the Colonial Era

Author: Donald R. Wright
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 1119133890
Format: PDF, Kindle
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What are the origins of slavery and race-based prejudice in the mainland American colonies? How did the Atlantic slave trade operate to supply African labor to colonial America? How did African-American culture form and evolve? How did the American Revolution affect men and women of African descent? Previous editions of this work depicted African-Americans in the American mainland colonies as their contemporaries saw them: as persons from one of the four continents who interacted economically, socially, and politically in a vast, complex Atlantic world. It showed how the society that resulted in colonial America reflected the mix of Atlantic cultures and that a group of these people eventually used European ideas to support creation of a favorable situation for those largely of European descent, omitting Africans, who constituted their primary labor force. In this fourth edition of African Americans in the Colonial Era: From African Origins through the American Revolution, acclaimed scholar Donald R. Wright offers new interpretations to provide a clear understanding of the Atlantic slave trade and the nature of the early African-American experience. This revised edition incorporates the latest data, a fresh Atlantic perspective, and an updated bibliographical essay to thoroughly explore African-Americans’ African origins, their experience crossing the Atlantic, and their existence in colonial America in a broadened, more nuanced way.

Race and Redemption in Puritan New England

Author: Richard A. Bailey
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199987181
Format: PDF
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As colonists made their way to New England in the early seventeenth century, they hoped their efforts would stand as a "citty upon a hill." Living the godly life preached by John Winthrop would have proved difficult even had these puritans inhabited the colonies alone, but this was not the case: this new landscape included colonists from Europe, indigenous Americans, and enslaved Africans. In Race and Redemption in Puritan New England, Richard A. Bailey investigates the ways that colonial New Englanders used, constructed, and re-constructed their puritanism to make sense of their new realities. As they did so, they created more than a tenuous existence together. They also constructed race out of the spiritual freedom of puritanism.

White by Law

Author: Ian Haney Lopez
Publisher: NYU Press
ISBN: 9780814736982
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Ian Haney Lopez is a professor of law at the University of California, Berkeley.

Families in Crisis in the Old South

Author: Loren Schweninger
Publisher: Univ of North Carolina Press
ISBN: 0807837504
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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In the antebellum South, divorce was an explosive issue. As one lawmaker put it, divorce was to be viewed as a form of "madness," and as another asserted, divorce reduced communities to the "lowest ebb of degeneracy." How was it that in this climate, the number of divorces rose steadily during the antebellum era? In Families in Crisis in the Old South, Loren Schweninger uses previously unexplored records to argue that the difficulties these divorcing families faced reveal much about the reality of life in a slave-holding society as well as the myriad difficulties confronted by white southern families who chose not to divorce. Basing his argument on almost 800 divorce cases from the southern United States, Schweninger explores the impact of divorce and separation on white families and on the enslaved and provides insights on issues including domestic violence, interracial adultery, alcoholism, insanity, and property relations. He examines how divorce and separation laws changed, how married women's property rights expanded, how definitions of inhuman treatment of wives evolved, and how these divorces challenged conventional mores.