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Get Mulatto America: At the Crossroads of Black and White PDF

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By Stephan Talty

ISBN-10: 0060959746

ISBN-13: 9780060959746

ISBN-10: 0061350451

ISBN-13: 9780061350450

Black and white tradition has been mixing and colliding in the United States for centuries. within the 1700s, black slaves found their masters' Bibles and located in them a seditious religion in their personal. within the Nineteen Twenties, younger white males fell in love with New Orleans jazz and created an underground of cultural dissidents. within the Seventies, black variety started its takeover of the activities international and made Dr. J and Michael Jordan the idols of thousands. Drawing on unique examine and bold new interpretations of the most important occasions in American historical past, writer Stephan Talty paints a portrait of a misplaced the United States: one during which musicians, writers, and traditional humans led the state to a deeper figuring out of the strangers at the different part of city.

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Additional info for Mulatto America: At the Crossroads of Black and White Culture: A Social History

Example text

They were less fascinated by color itself, but more concerned with the shades of white authority. If they had one stereotype that might encompass the white figure in the black mind, it would be, in a biblical sense, that of Pharaoh. 30 M U L A T T O A M E R I C A If the white slave tore the veil aside for the whites who brushed up against him, there was one institution that did the same for blacks, but on a much larger scale: Christianity. Religion came to the slaves, to most Americans, slowly. Americans are familiar with the missionaries sent to Africa and the Orient, but few remember that the colonies were once on the European list of heathen nations that needed conversion.

They were not a glorification of the slavemaster’s color; they were an indictment of it. There is no more important moment in black American history, and few in American culture. Before the coming of Christianity, slaves stood on the threshold of the Western world; they were physically present, but they were outsiders in most other ways. When they accepted the Gospels, the slaves consciously entered the Western tradition. It was an irreversible decision: blacks committed their minds to the new world and began to focus much of their lives and their strategies for liberation in the church.

Dirtpoor white farmers grew more respectable, less enamored of spiritual visions, and embarrassed by the charismatic church, and they quietly divorced themselves from their black brethren. Black worshippers who felt undervalued, patronized, or hemmed in spiritually split off to form their own churches, or were simply forced out by white congregations. Though there was still constant intermingling between exceptional 44 M U L A T T O A M E R I C A white preachers and white masters who allowed the full word of God— with its promises of freedom hidden like underwater mines in the text—most often Christianity was now used as a tool of social control.

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Mulatto America: At the Crossroads of Black and White Culture: A Social History by Stephan Talty


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