Sex, Love, Race: Crossing Boundaries in North American History

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Since pre-colonial days, America has been both torn apart and united by love, sex, and marriage across racial boundaries. Whether motivated by violent conquest, economics, lust, or love, such unions have disturbed some of America's most sacred beliefs and prejudices.

Sex, Love, Race provides a historical foundation for contemporary discussions of sex across racial lines, which, despite the numbers of interracial marriages and multiracial children, remains a controversial issue today. The first historical anthology to focus solely and widely on the subject, Sex, Love, Race gathers new essays by both younger and well-known scholars which probe why and how the specter of sex across racial boundaries has so threatened Americans of all colors and classes.

Traversing the whole of American history, from liaisons among Indians, Europeans, and Africans to twentieth-century social scientists' fascination with sex between "Orientals" and whites, the essays cover a range of regions, races, ethnicities, and sexual orientations. In so doing, Sex, Love, Race, sketches a larger portrait of the overlapping construction of racial, ethnic, and sexual identities in America.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Hodes has compiled a thoughtful collection of essays which explore the implications of interracial sexual activity from the colonial period to the late 20th century."

-Virginia Quarterly Review

"In editing this collection, Martha Hodes has performed an invaluable service to those of us in the profession who endeavor to teach what has been the focus of our own scholarship: race and sex."

-The Journal of Southern History

"Important. . . . The breadth of human experience and historical subfields traversed by the authors is astonishing."

-Journal of Social History

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814735572
  • Publisher: New York University Press
  • Publication date: 1/1/1999
  • Pages: 416
  • Sales rank: 1,322,519
  • Product dimensions: 6.70 (w) x 9.90 (h) x 1.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Martha Hodes is Assistant Professor of History at New York University and author of White Women, Black Men: Illicit Sex in the Nineteenth-Century American South.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Interconnecting and Diverging Narratives 1
1 The Hidden History of Mestizo America 10
Pt. I Colonial Era
2 "They Need Wives": Metissage and the Regulation of Sexuality in French Louisiana, 1699-1730 35
3 The Pastor and the Prostitute: Sexual Power among African Americans and Germans in Colonial New York 60
4 The Saga of Sarah Muckamugg: Indian and African American Intermarriage in Colonial New England 72
5 Eroticizing the Middle Ground: Anglo-Indian Sexual Relations along the Eighteenth-Century Frontier 91
6 "Shamefull Matches": The Regulation of Interracial Sex and Marriage in the South before 1900 112
Pt. II Early National and Antebellum Periods
7 Lines of Color, Sex, and Service: Comparative Sexual Coercion in Early America 141
8 Unfixing Race: Class, Power, and Identity in an Interracial Family 164
9 From Abolitionist Amalgamators to "Rulers of the Five Points": The Discourse of Interracial Sex and Reform in Antebellum New York City 191
10 White Pain Pollen: An Elite Biracial Daughter's Quandary 213
Pt. III Civil War and Reconstruction
11 Misshapen Identity: Memory, Folklore, and the Legend of Rachel Knight 237
12 Still Waiting: Intermarriage in White Women's Civil War Novels 254
13 "Not That Sort of Women": Race, Gender, and Sexual Violence during the Memphis Riot of 1866 267
14 The Disappearance of Susan Daniel and Henderson Cooper: Gender and Narratives of Political Conflict in the Reconstruction-Era U.S. South 294
15 Livestock, Boundaries, and Public Space in Spartanburg: African American Men, Elite White Women, and the Spectacle of Conjugal Relations 313
Pt. IV Turn of the Century
16 Accomplished Ladies and Coyotes: Marriage, Power, and Straying from the Flock in Territorial New Mexico, 1880-1920 331
17 The Reform of Rape Law and the Problem of White Men: Age-of-Consent Campaigns in the South, 1885-1910 352
18 The Appeal of Cole Blease of South Carolina: Race, Class, and Sex in the New South 373
19 Remapping the Black/White Body: Sexuality, Nationalism, and Biracial Antimiscegenation Activism in 1920s Virginia 399
Pt. V Twentieth Century
20 The Prison Lesbian: Race, Class, and the Construction of the Aggressive Female Homosexual, 1915-1965 423
21 Mixing Bodies and Cultures: The Meaning of America's Fascination with Sex between "Orientals" and "Whites" 444
22 Miscegenation Law, Court Cases, and Ideologies of "Race" in Twentieth-Century America 464
23 Speaking of Race: Sarah Patton Boyle and the "T. J. Sellers Course for Backward Southern Whites" 491
24 Crossing Oceans, Crossing Colors: Black Peace Corps Volunteers and Interracial Love in Africa, 1961-1971 514
Index 531
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