Interactions of the early 1850s

By Adam Christa and Danielle Munstedt

In the early 1850s, our modern definition of racism did not exist because slaves still served a definitively subservient role in society; therefore, blacks were discriminated against since there wasn't a social taboo against biblical allusions to evil figures.

Adam Christa

1. This time period was is viewed as extremely controversial in today's time because we are so used to the ideas of the reforming ages of the 20th century where racism was given its meaning however the mid 19th century was not culturally the same. An idea I saw first hand was the idea that African-Americans who had not conformed to white society, were seen as outcasts who performed forbidden rituals that went against the status-quo of the era. Finally, the older and more conformed an African-American looked the more civilized he was depicted.

2. I was extremely surprised that the "racism" depicted was not nuanced in any way or fashion. The idea that blacks were subservient was ingrained into the minds of the adults of the era. An allusion of an African-American to the devil was not hard to find at all. Symbolism was not as nuanced and niche specific as it is in today's media