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A dreadful deceit : the myth of race from the colonial era to Obama's America

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"In A Dreadful Deceit, award-winning social historian Jacqueline Jones traces the lives of six African Americans from the colonial era to the late 20th century, using their stories to illustrate the complex ways in which racial ideologies in this country have changed since the first Africans arrived on the nation's shores hundreds of years ago. The very idea of "blackness," she shows, has changed fundamentally over this period. For Antonio, an enslaved Angolan man tortured to death by his owner in 1650s Maryland, being black meant being defined purely in terms of physical characteristics, without regard to his actual ethnicity (his Angolan identity) and without association with any countrymen, confederates, or co-religionists who might support him. The label made Antonio uniquely vulnerable, and indeed gained traction precisely because it defined, rationalized, and exploited that vulnerability. It is one of the terrible ironies of history that later generations of African Americans developed a shared identity around this mythologized label, yet it is also true that each generation has also had to confront its limits and limitations"--

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Lyons Public Library 305.800973 (Text)
Adult Nonfiction

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