Black, White, and Indian:Race and the Unmaking of an American, by Claudio Saunt

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Did the five-generation family known as the Grayson’s chronicled in detail by Claudio Saunt in his non-fiction book, Black, White, and Indian: Race and the Unmaking of an American deny their common origins to conform to “America’s racial hierarchy?” Furthermore, use “America’s racial hierarchy as a survival strategy?” I do not agree with Saunt’s argument whole-heartedly. I refute that the Grayson family members used free will and made conscious choices regarding the direction of their family and personal lives. In my opinion, their cultural surroundings significantly shaped their survival strategy and not racial hierarchy. Thus, I will discuss the commonality of siblings Katy Grayson and William Grayson social norms growing up, the…show more content…
She came from Spanish Florida and was therefore probably part Spanish, Mesoamerican, and African.” (pg.11) Sinnugee was adopted into the Creek Nation. Katy and William were multi-racial children partly European, Mesoamerican, and Black. The two grew up in a melting pot of red, white, and black skin colors and perhaps had a more open mind to outside influences rather than racial hierarchy. It is purported by U.S. Indian agent, Hawkins that Robert, their father had “employs 11 hands, red, white, and black spinning and weaving,” “had his family around him grinning and picking cotton.” (pg. 17) Living in this environment set in motion the framework for their own personal choices with life partners. They freely picked their own mates, unlike some cultures where the parents arranged marriages, or forbidden taboos prohibited sexual coupling. Katy and William both had relations with African partners and bore children with them. When Katy was sixteen years old, she made a decision to form a relationship with a “negro”, and conceived her first child with him, a boy named John; by doing this she challenged the prevailing sentiment among Creek politicians that Africans should be slaves, not spouses.” (pg. 21) In the year, 1813 Katy made a conscious choice to intermingle with a black man, specifically going against the wishes of her Indian Creek heritage. She had a second child named Annie fathered by a black man. It is unknown if the

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