This Article addresses a thin slice of the American stain. Its value derives from the conversation it attempts to foster related to reckoning, reconciliation, and redemption. As the 1930s Federal Writers’ Project attempted to illuminate and make sense of slavery through its Born in Slavery: Slave Narratives From 1936-1938, so too this project seeks to uncover and name law’s role in fomenting racial division and caste. Part I turns to pathos and hate, creating race and otherness through legislating reproduction— literal and figurative. Part II turns to the Thirteenth Amendment. It argues that the preservation of slavery endured through its transformation. That the amendment makes no room for equality further establishes the racial caste system. Part III then examines the making of racial division and caste through state legislation and local ordinances, exposing the sophistry of separate but equal. Part IV turns to the effects of these laws and how they shaped cultural norms. As demonstrated in Parts I-IV, the racial divide and caste system traumatizes its victims, while also undermining the promise of constitutional equality, civil liberties, and civil rights.
Law and Anti-Blackness,
Mich. J. Race & L.
Available at: https://repository.law.umich.edu/mjrl/vol26/iss2/2