Get 20M+ Full-Text Papers For Less Than $1.50/day. Start a 14-Day Trial for You and Your Team.

Learn More →

Skinship: Dialectical Passing Plots in Hannah Crafts' The Bondwoman's Narrative

Skinship: Dialectical Passing Plots in Hannah Crafts' The Bondwoman's Narrative MARTHA J. CUTTER Racial definitions were in crisis within the U.S. during the mid-nineteenth century, with the country moving closer and closer to a Civil War in which the legal basis for enslavement and other forms of discrimination might be abolished. Therefore, historians and legal scholars such as Daniel Sharfstein1 and Joel Williamson2 have argued that the time period of 1830­1860, rather than that of the early twentieth-century, should be regarded as the era of the rise of the "one-drop" rule; laws regarding racial purity were passed amid the emergence of the plantation economy in the 1830s to provide a reliable source of labor and prevent what Sharfstein has termed "racial migration." As Sharfstein has argued, "The one-drop rule's transformation from ideological current to legal bright line and presumed social reality is in essence a story of freedom. [During] the thirty years preceding the Civil War . . . [t]he prospect of freedom for people of African descent hastened the one-drop rule's rise as whites attempted to preserve social hierarchies and property relations in the absence of slavery."3 Legal and scientific discourse from these decades further attempted to stabilize ideas of racial purity, even in the face of http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png American Literary Realism University of Illinois Press

Skinship: Dialectical Passing Plots in Hannah Crafts' The Bondwoman's Narrative

American Literary Realism , Volume 46 (2) – Dec 8, 2013

Loading next page...
 
/lp/university-of-illinois-press/skinship-dialectical-passing-plots-in-hannah-crafts-the-bondwoman-s-kmtiol6GG1
Publisher
University of Illinois Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 American Literary Realism.
ISSN
1940-5103
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

MARTHA J. CUTTER Racial definitions were in crisis within the U.S. during the mid-nineteenth century, with the country moving closer and closer to a Civil War in which the legal basis for enslavement and other forms of discrimination might be abolished. Therefore, historians and legal scholars such as Daniel Sharfstein1 and Joel Williamson2 have argued that the time period of 1830­1860, rather than that of the early twentieth-century, should be regarded as the era of the rise of the "one-drop" rule; laws regarding racial purity were passed amid the emergence of the plantation economy in the 1830s to provide a reliable source of labor and prevent what Sharfstein has termed "racial migration." As Sharfstein has argued, "The one-drop rule's transformation from ideological current to legal bright line and presumed social reality is in essence a story of freedom. [During] the thirty years preceding the Civil War . . . [t]he prospect of freedom for people of African descent hastened the one-drop rule's rise as whites attempted to preserve social hierarchies and property relations in the absence of slavery."3 Legal and scientific discourse from these decades further attempted to stabilize ideas of racial purity, even in the face of

Journal

American Literary RealismUniversity of Illinois Press

Published: Dec 8, 2013

There are no references for this article.