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Mulatto: The White Slave
Transcript of Mulatto: The White Slave
and Laurel Castenholz Mulatto:
The White Slave photo (cc) Malte Sörensen @ flickr What is a mulatto? "Whites frequently made invidious comparisons between Negroes and mulattoes and claimed that the admixture of white blood gave mulattoes special qualities. The ‘pure African,’ as represented by the field hands, was incapable of refinement and advance, said an anonymous writer.” The History of Mulattoes Other Terms: Mulatto: a person whose ancestry is a mixture of Negro and Caucasian; usually defined as half of each. Quadroon: a person having one-fourth black ancestry; the offspring of a mulatto and a white.
• Octoroon: a person having one-eighth black ancestry; the offspring of a quadroon and a white
• Mustefino: refers to a person with one-sixteenth African ancestry Mulattoes were given special treatment over Negroes; they would get the better slave jobs such as cook, butler, coachman, personal companion while Negros would most always be field hands. “Toward the whites [mulattoes] were humble; toward the blacks, contemptuous; toward their own slaves, brutal. The brown population identified with the European side of its ancestry and abjured the African side.” Mulattoes believed they were above Negroes in status and they affiliated more with their white blood; after emancipation many would stick to their own kind (mulatto) rather than associate with Negroes “Various anti-slavery novelists portrayed dark-skinned blacks like Uncle Tom as patient, loyal, obedient, and docile but showed Mulattoes as impatient and angry and sometimes prone to revolt in their seething desire to break the chains of slavery.” Mulattoes in Literature George Harris -
Mulatto Uncle Tom's Cabin Eliza Harris -
Quadroon Cassy -
Mulatto "Said George six feet in height, a very light mulatto, brown curly hair; is very intelligent, speaks handsomely, can read and write, will probably try to pass for a white man..." George Harris Stowe chose to use characters of white descent for the purpose of swaying her audience into being more sympathetic towards slaves. It gives the reader a sense of understanding. Harriet Beecher Stowe George has characteristics befitting white men of the time, which make him a threat to anyone he is not related to, i.e., his master. “More than any other writer, Harriet Beecher Stowe succeeded in exploiting promulatto bias as a device for leveling a powerful indictment against slavery. Her immensely popular novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, featured mulattoes as the appealing protagonists. Most of Stowe’s heroes and heroines were nearly white in appearance, and she assigned them the greatest imagination, intelligence, and rebelliousness toward slavery.”