The Tragic Mulatto Myth

Lydia Maria Child introduced the literary character that we call the tragic mulatto1 in two short stories: “The Quadroons” (1842) and “Slavery’s Pleasant Homes” (1843). She portrayed this light skinned woman as the offspring of a white slaveholder and his black female slave. This mulatto’s life was indeed tragic. She was ignorant of both her mother’s race and her own. She believed herself to be white and free. Her heart was pure, her manners impeccable, her language polished, and her face beautiful. Her father died; her “negro blood” discovered, she was remanded to slavery, deserted by her white lover, and died a victim of slavery and white male violence. A similar portrayal of the near-white mulatto appeared in Clotel(1853), a novel written by black abolitionist William Wells Brown.

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Light-skinned-ed Girl: Mixed Experience History Month 2013: Johnny Woodson, circus performer

See on Scoop.itMixed American Life

Johnny Woodson was born Feb. 10, 1864 in St. Louis, MO. He was the son of two registered free persons of color. His mother was described as mulatto. Woodson began his performing career as a clog dancer and minstrel.

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Light-skinned-ed Girl: Mixed Experience History Month 2013: Manuel Woodson, contortionist extraordinaire

See on Scoop.itMixed American Life

Emanuel (Manuel) Woodson was born Nov. 1, 1865, the son of a registered freeman of color and a mother who was described as mulatto in St. Louis, MO. The Woodson family was a talented family of performers.

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Wetback, Mulatto, whatever….

bb

So again yesterday, at zero-dark-thirty, I’m running around. Oops, forgot it was Easter weekend and I have a bazillion things to do. CNN is on and I vaguely hear something about a “Representative” (Don Young (R) – Alaska, to be exact) calling Latinos “wetbacks”. Work, laundry, grocery store, wait a minute. Wetbacks? Really? An elected official no less? From the party that just got its butt beat, because of their insensitivity? Really? This morning, a little more clear-headed, I search for “Congressman, wetbacks” and read the whole sordid little story.

A term that was originally used to describe Mexicans that came across the border into Texas via the Rio Grande River it made me think about a term that I absolutely hate…..mulatto. The first time I was called one, I was in junior high school and someone called me a mulatto with such affection, I thought, that’s cute….tomayto, tomato, potayto, potato, mulatto. But as I grew older, and saw the disdain that people would pronounce the word….moooolattoe…..like it was an exotic, too bitter coffee from Marrakesh…I began to not like the word.
I am tired of the labels that people have to put on others to make themselves feel better. I am saddened that our elected officials continue to make choices that are divisive, especially when talking about those who are from other places, backgrounds or ideologies. Hopefully, somewhere in our future , people will realize that we are all human, and not the derogatory labels they choose to put on us. Peace, bb.

signs

See on Scoop.itMixed American Life

I think this list is cute. For the record numbers 6, 9, and 16 do not apply to me at all.  I’m not sure if 13, 14, or 19 do either.  Not very important, just sayin’. But especially not #6.  That is…

See on mulattodiaries.wordpress.com