Societal Views on Interracialism Throughout American History

6209 Words 25 Pages
"-- we are all complicit and we all carry a certain responsibility for America's original sin: racism." -- David Bedrick, The Huffington Post, 10 April 2015

"Half-breed”, “Mulatto”, “Octoroon.” All of these terms at one point served to describe individuals of mixed race, particularly African and Caucasian. The controversy of interracialism has transcended generations, as well as cultures. It is a subject that, historically, has held the potential to incite savage racial discrimination, loathing, and violence. Indeed, even in today’s significantly more enlightened and politically correct views on race, interracial relationships and individuals still possess the potential to make many uncomfortable.

Two historical
…show more content…
Despite their controversial nature and subject matter, both achieved wide success and popularity. The two plays were also manipulated in pre-production to better suit their audiences and produce a more “box-office friendly” show.

In analysis of the texts of these plays, it becomes evident that both periods and cultures suffered from similar types of problems with interracialism, though to a slightly greater and more violent extent in the latter piece of Hughes’s. However, merely analyzing the texts sketches an often incomplete picture, as these plays were, to a large extent, created for the purpose of protesting and attempting to manipulate the very attitudes they presented. Therefore, in order to truly consider how the nature and extent of attitudes towards interracialism had evolved from the pre-Civil War to the Harlem Renaissance, one must look not only at the texts of the plays, but also to their critical commentaries, manipulation in pre-production, and audience responses. These sources outside of the texts greatly contribute to the conclusion that although discrimination, maliciousness, and brutality were problems that accompanied interracialism in both periods, they were slightly increased in intensity and nature in the Harlem Renaissance of the 1930’s compared to the late 1850’s.

"Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay, and red, and he placed them on separate
Open Document