Drawing from the earliest chapters in US history, legal scholar Sheryll Cashin reveals the enduring legacy of America’s original sin, tracing how we transformed from a country without an entrenched construction of race to a nation where one drop of nonwhite blood merited exclusion from full citizenship. In vivid detail, she illustrates how the idea of whiteness was created by the planter class of yesterday and is reinforced by today’s power-hungry dog-whistlers to divide struggling whites and people of color, ensuring plutocracy and undermining the common good.
Sheryll Cashin writes about race and inequality in America. Her new book Loving, explores the history and future of interracial intimacy, how white supremacy was constructed and how “culturally dexterous” allies may yet dismantle it. Cashin is the author of several books, including Place Not Race and The Failures of Integration. She is a law professor at Georgetown and a sought-after speaker and commentator on issues of race. Cashin clerked for Justice Thurgood Marshall and was raised in Alabama by parents who were civil rights activists.
The Washington History Seminar is co-chaired by Eric Arnesen (George Washington University) and Philippa Strum (Woodrow Wilson Center) and is sponsored jointly by the National History Center of the American Historical Association and the Wilson Center’s History and Public Policy Program. It meets weekly during the academic year. The seminar thanks the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations and the George Washington University History Department for their support.