We Are Who We Say We Are: A Black Familys Search for Home Across the Atlantic World

Paperback | December 10, 2014

byMary Frances Berry

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This colored Creole story offers a unique historical lens through which to understand the issues of migration, immigration, passing, identity, and color-forces that still shape American society today. We Are Who We Say We Are provides a detailed, nuanced account of shifting forms of racialidentification within an extended familial network and constrained by law and social reality.Author Mary Frances Berry, a well-known expert in the field, focuses on the complexity and malleability of racial meanings within the US over generations. Colored Creoles, similar to other immigrants and refugees, passed back and forth in the Atlantic world. Color was the cause and consequence formigration and identity, splitting the community between dark and light. Color could also split families. Louis Antoine Snaer, a free man of color and an officer in the Union Army who passed back and forth across the color line, had several brothers and sisters. Some chose to "pass" and some decidedto remain "colored," even though they too, could have passed. This rich global history, beginning in Europe - with episodes in Haiti, Cuba, Louisiana, and California - emphasizes the diversity of the Atlantic World experience.

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This colored Creole story offers a unique historical lens through which to understand the issues of migration, immigration, passing, identity, and color-forces that still shape American society today. We Are Who We Say We Are provides a detailed, nuanced account of shifting forms of racialidentification within an extended familial netw...

Mary Frances Berry is Geraldine R. Segal Professor of American Social Thought and Professor of History at the University of Pennsylvania. She is the author of several books, including And Justice For All: The United States Commission On Civil Rights and the Struggle For Freedom in America (2009) and My Face Is Black Is True: Callie Hou...
Format:PaperbackDimensions:224 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 0.68 inPublished:December 10, 2014Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199978336

ISBN - 13:9780199978335

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Table of Contents

Preface1. Becoming Colored Creole2. Becoming Americans3. Family Troubles4. Fighting for Democracy5. Becoming "Negroes"6. Opportunity and Tragedy in Iberia Parish7. Mulattoes and Colored Creoles8. Just Americans9. At Home or Away: We Are Who We Say We AreEpilogue: Becoming "Black"Notes

Editorial Reviews

"Mary Frances Berry's gift as a writer is her ability to follow an individual family--here the Snaer family--and show us America anew. Berry impressively details how the social construction of race was lived in America-the ways in which people were placed and shaped, how they were seen, andhow they altered their identity in a racially stratified United States." --Jeanne Theoharis, Brooklyn College of CUNY and author of the award-winning The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks