This chapter examines European American's ideas about race in North Carolina's expanding of the slave society. The damaging rumors of illicit sex that European settlers circulated about each other reflected and reinforced the racial ideology by which they identified themselves as "white" and as distinct from African Americans. Slanderers who used allegations of interracial sex to malign their wealthier neighbors or to denigrate white women as "whores," melded together notions of race, class, and gender, implicating each concept in the construction of the others. This chapter discusses in particular how demonstrations of insulting allegations of illicit sex through slander suits aided the construction of racialist thought among European Americans. In the context of North Carolina's growing slave economy, sexual slurs bolstered the racism that accompanied the entrenchment of slavery and this provides a window into the intertwined workings of racial, class, and gender hierarchies.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Title of host publication||The Devil's Lane|
|Subtitle of host publication||Sex and Race in the Early South|
|Publisher||Oxford University Press|
|ISBN (Print)||0195112431, 9780195112436|
|State||Published - Oct 3 2011|
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 1997 by Catherine Clinton and Michele Gillespie. All rights reserved.
- Colonial north carolina
- European americans
- Racial ideology
- Sexual slander
- Slave economy