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Race Relations

The Europeans who explored and settled in North America had no doubt as to the relation between their white race and all other people, whether native to North America or from elsewhere around the globe. The white race, in their minds, was entirely superior and was destined to rule over all other races.

With respect to the Indians, the Europeans felt no obligation to them except to teach them European ways which they could practice on the unwanted land that could be set aside for them until they, as was assumed, died out. No notion of ownership of the land by the natives was given any credence. Even the "civilized tribes" were removed from land they had possessed for generations because they had no title conferred by a European authority.

Blacks were imported from Africa to work as slaves from the 17th century until the Civil War. It was their blackness that qualified them for slavery, and blackness prevented their every assuming full rights even if freed. At the time of the outbreak of the Civil War, free blacks in the North still could not generally vote.

Chinese were imported for work in California and on railroads in the West, providing the required labor for hard, dangerous work. When the work was done, however, the Chinese became unwelcome. Many were massacred and Chinese were excluded from further immigration to America.

An influx of Japanese into the Pacific states had been proceeding for decades, with Japanese immigrants blending into society and economy, but when World War II broke out, it was the Japanese on the West coast who were interned, while no similar action was taken with regard to the Germans on the East Coast.

Legalized racism took the form of Jim Crow laws in the South and obstacles to mixed race marriage were created in most states, although often ignored. An increasing emphasis on the "equal protection" provisions of the Constitution since the middle of the 20th century have largely eliminated legalized racial discrimination.

- - - Books You May Like Include: ----

What Comes Naturally: Miscegenation Law and the Making of Race in America by Peggy Pascoe.
A long-awaited history that promises to dramatically change our understanding of race in America, What Comes Naturally traces the origins, spread, and...
Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans by Kadir Nelson.
The story of America and African Americans is a story of hope and inspiration and unwavering courage. But it is also the story of injustice; of a coun...
Parting the Waters: Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights Movement 1954-63 by Taylor Branch.
The first book of a formidable three-volume social history, Parting the Waters is more than just a biography of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. during...
Manliness and Civilization: A Cultural History of Gender and Race in the United States, 1880-1917 by Gail Bederman.
When former heavyweight champion Jim Jeffries came out of retirement on the fourth of July, 1910 to fight current black heavywight champion Jack Johns...
The Wages of Whiteness: Race and the Making of the American Working Class by David R. Roediger.
The Wages of Whiteness provides an original study of the formative years of working-class racism in the United States. In an Afterword to this second ...
Simple Justice: The History of Brown v. Board of Education and Black America's Struggle for Equality by Richard Kluger.
Simple Justice is the definitive history of the landmark case Brown v. Board of Education and the epic struggle for racial equality in this country. C...
America in Our Time: From World War II to Nixon What Happened and Why by Godfrey Hodgson.
America in Our Time is a history of the turbulent years between the end of World War II and the fall of Richard Nixon. Focusing on the 1960s, the book...
White Flight: Atlanta and the Making of Modern Conservatism by Kevin M. Kruse.
During the civil rights era, Atlanta thought of itself as "The City Too Busy to Hate," a rare place in the South where the races lived and thrived tog...

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