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Making Race in the Courtroom
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Making Race in the Courtroom: The Legal Construction of Three Races in Early New Orleans

Kenneth R. Aslakson


No American city's history better illustrates both the possibilities for alternative racial models and the role of the law in shaping racial identity than New Orleans, Louisiana, which prior to the Civil War was home to America's most privileged community of people of African descent. In the eyes of the law, New Orleans' free people of color did not belong to the same race as enslaved Africans and African-Americans. While slaves were “negroes,” free people of color were gens de couleurlibre, creoles of color, or simply creoles. New Orleans' creoles of color remained legally and culturally dist ... More

Keywords: New Orleans, people of color, gens de couleurlibre, creoles of color, negroes, race relations, antebellum period, free blacks

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2014 Print ISBN-13: 9780814724316
Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016 DOI:10.18574/nyu/9780814724316.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Kenneth R. Aslakson, author