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The Dilemma of Racial Identity

The Dilemma of Racial Identity

Chapter:
(p.11) Chapter One The Dilemma of Racial Identity
Source:
Promises of Citizenship
Author(s):
Kathleen M. German
Publisher:
University Press of Mississippi
DOI:10.14325/mississippi/9781496812353.003.0002

This chapter explores the historical problems of understanding and dividing society along racial lines. In some ways, World War II was a race war as both Allies and Axis enforced forms of racial segregation and purity. This chapter traces the roots of race in Christianity beginning with the Great Chain of Being, then explores federal definitions of race, and finally explains the implications of social and legal separation of races in the Jim Crow segregation persistent through World War II.

Keywords:   Racial hierarchy, Blood quantum, One drop rule, Plessy v Ferguson, Jim Crow segregation

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