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Policing IntimacyLaw, Sexuality, and the Color Line in Twentieth-Century Hemispheric American Literature$
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Jenna Grace Sciuto

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9781496833440

Published to University Press of Mississippi: January 2022

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781496833440.001.0001

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“There is no In-Between”

“There is no In-Between”

Community, Sexuality, and the Shifting Construction of Race in Ernest Gaines’s Louisiana

Chapter:
(p.47) Chapter 2 “There is no In-Between”
Source:
Policing Intimacy
Author(s):

Jenna Grace Sciuto

Publisher:
University Press of Mississippi
DOI:10.14325/mississippi/9781496833440.003.0003

This chapter analyzes Ernest Gaines’s portrayal of Louisiana plantation society and the structures of racial control that had been inherited from the systems of law, including the 1685 Code Noir, 1724 Code Noir, the Digest of 1808, and the Civil Code of 1825. Catherine Carmier (1964)and The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman (1973) both portray interracial relationships and the complex patterns of policing regulating the interactions of various race and class groups, including the white planter class, white Cajuns, Creoles of color, and black community—a multidirectional self-policing occurring at all levels of society. Creoles of color remained a distinct racial group in many communities, in spite of the shift towards a binary classification system legally instituted by the black codes following the Civil War. This chapter investigates the shift in racial construction that occurred in Louisiana during this period, as illustrated by the novels.

Keywords:   Ernest Gaines, Louisiana, Plantation Society, Code Noir, Creoles of color

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