Forbidden Love: The Secret History of Mixed-Race America

Forbidden Love: The Secret History of Mixed-Race America

by Gary B. Nash
     
 

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Forbidden Love is a pathbreaking book that only a master historian could write. The first work for younger readers to describe the true history of racial mixing in America, it exposes how desperately some people have fought to guard our racial borderlines.

Gary Nash, a past president of the Organization of American Historians, has been instrumental in

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Overview

Forbidden Love is a pathbreaking book that only a master historian could write. The first work for younger readers to describe the true history of racial mixing in America, it exposes how desperately some people have fought to guard our racial borderlines.

Gary Nash, a past president of the Organization of American Historians, has been instrumental in rethinking how history should be taught in schools. Now, starting with John Rolfe and Pocahontas, pausing to compare the United States with Canada and Mexico, and ending with his own multiracial classrooms, he shows how racial mixing, and the fear of it, is at the heart of American history.

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up-Nash writes of mixed-race America from the premise that race has no proven scientific basis. He discusses what race is, noting "...there is more genetic variation within any grouping we call `race' than between any two such groups." He traces the defining concept of "race" across the centuries and the impact of racial designations on the intermingling of immigrants. Vignettes about Native Americans, African Americans, Asian Americans, and mixed-race Americans who have lived successful biracial, bicultural lives highlight his discussions. Black-and-white photographs and reproductions of pamphlet pages, posters, broadsides, advertisements, and other archival materials illustrate the text. Bibliographical notes reflect extensive research and include historic and contemporary authorities. Nash dispels myths and misconceptions to fight prejudice as he reflects on a difficult subject. An intriguing topic, well handled.-Gail Richmond, San Diego Unified Schools, CA Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Horn Book Magazine
What do Thomas Jefferson, Pocahontas, and Phil Gramm have in common? Forbidden Love describes how all of these well-known Americans crossed racial lines in their relationships. Thomas Jefferson had at least five children with Sally Hemings, one of his slaves; English tobacco planter John Rolfe married Pocahontas, both because of the political expediency of the union and because of his love for her; and conservative Republican Phil Gramm was elected to the Senate in 1984 with a Japanese-American wife by his side. Informative on many levels, Nash's text gives young adults a detailed overview of the history of racism and segregation in America, beginning with the fact that racial definitions "lack any objective foundation." Nash identifies many contradictions that have arisen as a result of separatist thinking. For instance, in the late 1700s, Thomas Jefferson wanted to banish from Virginia white women who bore mulatto children, while he said nothing of black women-such as Sally Hemings-who gave birth to mixed-race children. During this same time period, despite the proliferation of "scientific research" that "proved" the intellectual and moral inferiority of black people, Thomas Fuller, an African-born Virginia slave, stunned his white interrogators with his ability to solve spectacular mathematical problems. Illustrations and photographs throughout Forbidden Love enhance the impact of the text. Copies of antimiscegenation pamphlets from the mid-1800s, lithographs of racist literature about black minstrelsy before the Civil War, and a poster created by Spaniards in 1760 that positively illustrates all of the different possible mixings that can create mestizo children give readers a well-rounded understanding of how complex the issues of race are in our culture and how slowly change takes place. Gaskins's book What Are You? takes up where Nash leaves off, offering many personalized snapshots of the lives of mixed-race children and young adults today. Entries in What Are You? include the featured speaker's name, age, hometown, and parents' ancestries. Gaskins presents a summary of each contributor's ideas, and all of the entries also include quotes from the speaker. These entries reveal the regularity with which mixed-race children must defend who they are and answer insensitive questions from strangers about matters that they often consider intensely personal. By putting a contemporary face on historical problems of race, What Are You? makes an excellent companion piece to Forbidden Love. The interesting topic and accessibility of both texts will appeal to young adult readers, and both books offer a wealth of resource information for further exploration.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780805049534
Publisher:
Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Publication date:
05/01/1999
Series:
Edge Books
Edition description:
REV
Pages:
224
Product dimensions:
7.32(w) x 9.32(h) x 0.89(d)
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

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