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The Making of American Whiteness: The Formation of Race in Seventeenth-Century Virginia is authored by Carmen P. Thompson.
By The Skanner News | The Skanner News
Published: 20 March 2023

"The Making of American Whiteness" book will be presented by Dr. Carmen P. Thompson, in conversation with Dr. Darrell Millner on Thursday, April 6, 2023, at 5:30 p.m. at the Oregon Historical Society.

"The Making of American Whiteness: The Formation of Race in Seventeenth-Century Virginia" changes the narrative about the origins of race and Whiteness in America. With an exhaustive range of archival documents, Carmen P. Thompson demonstrates not only that Whiteness predates European expansion to the Americas — as evidenced by European participation in the transatlantic slave trade since the fifteenth century — but, more importantly, that Whiteness was the principal dynamic in the settlement of Virginia, the first colony in what would become the United States of America.

Just as the system of White supremacy was the principal order that fueled the transatlantic slave trade, it was likewise the framework that drove the organization of civil society in Virginia, including the organization and structure of the colony’s laws; its social, political, and economic policies; and its system of governance. This book shows what Whiteness looked like in everyday life in the early seventeenth century, finding it eerily predictive to Whiteness today. 

The book signing and presentation event is free and open to the public. Doors will open at 5:30 p.m., and a short program will begin at 6 p.m. Books will be available for purchase and signing by the author through the OHS Museum Store, and light refreshments will be served. Learn more and register for the event here.

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