What is Miscegenation? It is the mixing of racial groups, ethnicities and less frequently different religions. Usually relates to two humans of racially different backgrounds producing offspring. Taken from 2 latin words misce to mix and genus meaning race. Usually used in the context of white mans racist attitudes and blacks mans alleged craving for the white woman. Usually used in the context of white mans racist attitudes and blacks mans alleged craving for the white woman.
The term Miscegenation was first used on an anonymous pamphlet in 1863 promoting interracial mixing of whites and blacks. It was named: Miscegenation: The Theory of the Blending of the Races, Applied to the American White Man and Negro.
History First instances of any type of mixing of the races occurred under the system of slavery. These incidents took place under the threat of violence through physical domination and rape. Interracial relationships and the children produced through them became another manifestation of the power relationships between whites and blacks in America.
Use of classifications Passing is the term used to describe the way that some people of black descent could be accepted as a white person due to their complexion and physical features. One Drop Rule – One drop of African American blood to make a person black. There were 9 categories that black people could be placed: Sacatra – Half Griffe/black Griffe – Half Black/ mulatto Marabon – half mulatto/griffe Mulatto – half white / black Quadroon – Half white / mulatto Metif – Half white / quadroon Meamelouc – half white / half metif Quarteron – half white /meamelouc Sang – half white / half quarteroon
Miscegenation Laws Miscegenation Laws US passed laws based on interpretations of the bible particularly story of Phinas. Prohibited any persons who were of different racial backgrounds from cohabitating or marrying each other. Prohibited any ministers / persons from marrying mixed couples. Punished if found guilty of violating. Charge was adultery or fornication. Severe punishments such as fines, prison, slavery even death
Virginia doubled the fine for interracial marriage – Virginia Laws also stated that any white woman who bore a mulatto child would pay a fine or submit to indentured servitude for 5 years and her child 30 years Maryland was the first colony to prohibit interracial marriages All the southern states as well as Massachusetts and Pennsylvania made such unions illegal Alabama- barred marriage ceremonies between members of different races The first court to overturn an anti-miscegenation law was the California Supreme Court Half of the states had laws prohibiting interracial marriage. 1960s - At least 41 States had adopted laws states still had anti – miscegenation laws in place. Overturned in landmark case Loving v Virginia.
3 Important Cases… PACE v. ALABAMA (January 29, 1883) 106 U.S. 583, 1 S.Ct. 637 McLAUGHLIN v. FLORIDA, 379 U.S. 184 (1964) LOVING v. VIRGINIA, 388 U.S. 1 (1967) The Lovings The Lovings
Some interesting facts….. From 1970 to 1994 the number of mixed-race married couples increased from to 1.1 million. In 1991 a Gallop Poll found that, for the first time, more people in the United States approved of interracial marriages (48%) then disapproved (42%).6 Alabama was the last state to repeal the anti-miscegenation laws in November The first known interracial marriage was between Pocahontas and Englishman John Rolfe in 1614.