LEGAL RACISM, RESISTANCE,
The post-Civil War capitalist-feudal economy did not develop overnight in Amherst County. Rather, it was inseparably integrated into a larger colonial process in which Indians bore the brunt of exploitation. As noted in the previous chapter, the legal foundation for such a system was built on miscegenation laws that cast Indians as marginalized "others" by questioning their very existence in the state of Virginia. Most non-Indian Virginians, especially in Amherst County, could not accept the possibility that Native Americans still resided in the state, particularly "racially pure" Natives. Yet the question of how to deal, legally and ethically, with so-called "mixed-race" peoples in the state was still not fully resolved by the turn of the twentieth century. As late as World War I, for example, Amherst Indians were drafted into the armed services as "whites," as was the practice at that time for all ethnic groups other than blacks (Murray, 1987: p. 223). By the time of the Second World War, however, Virginia miscegenation laws would be elaborated with a fervor previously unmatched, and the Monacans would face the most brutal colonial assault in their experience. But as the century approached its end, conditions would improve markedly for Indian people in Amherst County, and the Monacans would begin to reclaim their
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Book title: Monacans and Miners: Native American and Coal Mining Communities in Appalachia. Contributors: Samuel R. Cook - Author. Publisher: University of Nebraska Press. Place of publication: Lincoln, NE. Publication year: 2000. Page number: 84.
This material is protected by copyright and, with the exception of fair use, may not be further copied, distributed or transmitted in any form or by any means.