Bind Us Apart: the real history | mulatto | no racism? | Truth Be Told


In 1776, the United States declared independence from Britain with a devastatingly simple phrase: “All men are created equal.”

While Thomas Jefferson may not have originally intended those words to encompass non-white people, they had leaked into the struggle for black and Indian rights long before Edward Coles threw them at their author in 1814.

In Massachusetts, enslaved people drew upon the state constitution’s claim that “all men are born free and equal” to demand their freedom.  The state’s judges found in their favor in 1783, and slavery in Massachusetts was outlawed.

Over the following decades, anti-slavery societies founded by black and white activists employed the Declaration’s most sonorous line relentlessly.  “That a people who have declared ‘that all men are by nature equally free and independent,’” wrote the Virginia judge St. George Tucker in 1796, “should in defiance of so sacred a truth . . . tolerate a practice incompatible therewith, is such an evidence of the weakness and inconsistency of human nature, as every man who hath a spark of patriotic fire in his bosom must wish to see removed from his own country.”

While the Spanish and the British had organized their colonial possessions around hierarchies of wealth or title, the new United States had declared itself a horizontal society.  But this meant that the end of slavery or the incorporation of Native Americans would commit the new republic to becoming something without precedent in the modern world: a multiracial society dedicated to equal rights and potential.

Excerpted from “Bind Us Apart: How Enlightened Americans Invented Racial Segregation” by Nicholas Guyatt. Published by Basic Books. Copyright © 2016 by Nicholas Guyatt. Reprinted with permission of the publisher. All rights reserved.

(top photo) Cover detail of “Bind Us Apart” (Credit: Basic Books)


“Mulatto: It’s Not a Cool Word”

A new multi-media project explores black mixed identity through the lens of the history of America’s racial classification.  Sourced:



Why’s it gotta be racist?

by zandalee333

If you’ve been told you’ve done something racist, why not try to understand why rather than getting defensive?

In a nutshell, I’m a member of a social media page dedicated to a popular TV show made up fans mainly from the LGBTI community and their allies.  One person left a post about how angry they would be if a particular twist in the season occured and he would “coon swing” the producers if it happened (please don’t google that term, it will bring you nothing but sadness and rage).

I would love to gather some of the baby gays who are unaware or ignorant of the shoulders of giants we stand on and organise a history lesson.



Addressing White Privilege and Interracial Dating In many ways, interracial dating is less contentious than it’s ever been (e.g., it used to be illegal). But the increased visibility of harmful stereotypes and issues like white privilege means that couples today still have to confront certain truths that aren’t easy to talk about. KQED’s new show, Truth Be Told, is trying to help. (The Takeaway)

We highly recommend this PODCAST!  xoxox Trace


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