Monday, September 19, 2011

This Day in History September 20, 1664

Well, unfortunately we keep the theme of racism and prejudice going on this day in history.  Have you ever heard of anti-amalgamation?  Indeed it is a word that we no longer use and for good reason.  Keep reading, and if you don't understand the term now, you certainly will.

Amalgamation refers to an African American and a white person marrying.  It was a common practice in this country's early history.  They had indentured servants, and there were of course, the slaves.  It is said that it was especially common amongst the upper class.

It was on this date in 1664 that Maryland passed the Amalgamation law.  The intention of the law was to keep blacks and whites from intermarrying.  I can't even begin to imagine passing such a law, but indeed, things were different.

In the 1860's, the term "miscegenation."  It still meant the same as it had before, but it was a better term.  These laws were lifted during the Reconstruction Period.  Unfortunately, as time neared the end of the 1860's, interracial marriages were again declared void.  It was not until the 1950's and 1960's that these bans were lifted again.

In total, there were 7 states that passed such laws:
Virginia, Massachusetts, North Carolina, South Carolina, Delaware, and Pennsylvania.

Can you imagine all the turmoil that racism and prejudice has brought to this world? When I teach my students about African American history and the horrible things that were done, I really tend to get worked up.  I have been know to say that I am so ashamed of my race and wish that I could make up for what happened.  One of the hardest things I have ever had to endure as a teacher was being called a racist by my students.

Let's be glad that these laws are no longer existent, and may they never come around again.

For more information:

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this article and I too am glad these laws no long exist and pray they never return.


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