Interracial Intimacy in America and the Threat to White Supremacy

Book - 2017
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Loving beyond boundaries is a radical act that is changing America. When Mildred and Richard Loving wed in 1958, they were ripped from their shared bed and taken to court. Their crime: miscegenation, punished by exile from their home state of Virginia. The resulting landmark decision of Loving v. Virginia ended bans on interracial marriage and remains a signature case--the first to use the words "white supremacy" to describe such racism. Drawing from the earliest chapters in US history, legal scholar Sheryll Cashin reveals the enduring legacy of America's original sin, tracing how we transformed from a country without an entrenched construction of race to a nation where one drop of "nonwhite blood" merited exclusion from full citizenship. In vivid detail, she illustrates how the idea of whiteness was created by the planter class of yesterday and is reinforced by today's power-hungry dog-whistlers to divide struggling whites and people of color, ensuring plutocracy and undermining the common good. Cashin argues that over the course of the last four centuries there have been "ardent integrators" and that those people are today contributing to the emergence of a class of "culturally dexterous" Americans. In the fifty years since the Lovings won their case, approval for interracial marriage rose from 4 percent to 87 percent. Cashin speculates that rising rates of interracial intimacy--including cross-racial adoption, romance, and friendship--combined with immigration, demographic, and generational change, will create an ascendant coalition of culturally dexterous whites and people of color. Loving is both a history of white supremacy and a hopeful treatise on the future of race relations in America, challenging the notion that trickle-down progressive politics is our only hope for a more inclusive society. Accessible and sharp, Cashin reanimates the possibility of a future where interracial understanding serves as a catalyst of a social revolution ending not in artificial color blindness but in a culture where acceptance and difference are celebrated.
Publisher: Boston :, Beacon Press,, [2017]
ISBN: 9780807058275
Branch Call Number: 306.8450973 CA
Characteristics: x, 237 pages ; 24 cm


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Sep 15, 2017

This book was well researched, pertinent to the situation we find ourselves in, and ends with a solution, which I hope we can all be intelligent enough to help attain. Cashin divides the book into three parts. First the history of the various ingredients of our mixed race heritage juxtaposed with the rise of white supremacy, the second part is the story of Richard and Mildred Loving and the Loving v. Virginia decision, third is the change in our society as a result of the "Rise of the Culturally Dexterous", a term which Cashin applies to those who have learned to live with and enjoy other cultures than their own. You will want to google "dog-whistling", a term coined by Ronald Reagan, which you will find applies to our current politics in a rather disconcerting way. After reading the library copy, I bought my own copy, so that I would have it to refer to, re-read, and make margin notes. It's that good. Cashin's writing is engaging, she makes her points clearly, and backs them up with solid research.

AnnabelleLee27 Aug 25, 2017

A concise, compelling, and timely examination of the history of inter-racial marriage and race relations in America. The section on colonial history was especially surprising and interesting. Cashing deftly uses the 1967 Richard and Mildred Loving vs Virginia case which resulted in the Supreme Court overturning Virginia's anti-miscegenation laws as the basis for her examination. Her outlook is ultimately optimistic and her premise that love (romantic and platonic) is the strongest antidote to white supremacy is astute and persuasive. A great read!


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