Thursday, August 15, 2013

Greg Carter's "The United States of the United Races," the movie

Now showing at My Book, The Movie: The United States of the United Races: A Utopian History of Racial Mixing by Greg Carter.

The entry begins:
As a survey of positive ideas about racial mixing, The United States of the United Races spans over two hundred years, so a miniseries like Roots would best present the eras in the story I tell.

The book starts by contrasting views on race held by three men: Thomas Jefferson; his secretary in Paris, William Short; and Hector St. John de Crevecoeur, who wrote Letters from an American Farmer, which characterized America as new and mixed. Damian Lewis plays the President; James McAvoy is his more liberal protégé; and Michael Sheen is the Frenchman. On Monticello, Nicole Lyn plays Sally Hemings, with whom Jefferson fathered six illegitimate children. He only manumitted two of these, Madison and Eston. Complicating appearance and race, I cast two Weasley brothers, Rupert Grint and Chris Rankin, as these fair-skinned sons.

The Civil War era hosts the most tumultuous chapter of my book. At one end, the New England Anti-Slavery Society accepted interracial marriage over the racist laws that prohibited it. Wendell Phillips (Tom Wilkinson) expressed this position most regularly, outdoing his mentor, William Lloyd Garrison (David...[read on]
Learn more about The United States of the United Races at the NYU Press website.

Greg Carter is Assistant Professor of History at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

My Book, The Movie: The United States of the United Races.

--Marshal Zeringue