Birth of a White Nation, Second Edition examines the social construction of race through the invention of white people. Surveying colonial North American law and history, the book interrogates the origins of racial inequality and injustice in American society, and details how the invention still serves to protect the ruling elite to the present day.
This second edition documents the proliferation of ideas imposed and claimed throughout history that have conspired to give content, form, and social meaning to one’s racial classification. Beginning its expanded narrative with the development of diverse Native American societies through contact with European colonizers in the Tidewater region, and progressing to the emigration of Mexicans, Irish, and other "non-whites", this new edition addresses the ongoing production and reproduction of whiteness as a distinct and dominant social category. It also looks to the future by developing a new, applied framework for countering racial inequality and promoting greater awareness of anti-racist policies and practices.
Birth of a White Nation will be of great interest to students, scholars, and general readers seeking to make sense of the dramatic racial inequities of our time and to forge an antiracist path forward.
Table of Contents
Introduction 1. Before the Invention of White People 2. White People: The Creation 3. How "Whites" Became a Success 4. The Americanization of Whites 5. Contingent Whites and Inbetween People: Mexicans and Irish in the U.S. 6. Whiteness 7. Deconstructing Whiteness Afterword Acknowledgements
Jacqueline Battalora is an attorney and Professor of Sociology at Saint Xavier University in Chicago. In addition to this book, Battalora is an editor of the journal Understanding & Dismantling Privilege and she frequently develops and delivers lectures and training that advance the understanding of the construction of race and its impact today
Drawing on history and law, Birth of a White Nation reveals how, when, where, and why a group called "white people" was first created in colonial North America. This origin story of white-body supremacy examines how a core organizing feature of U.S society came to be. Birth of a White Nation is an important read for anyone who seeks to understand the key developments that have kept us—and continue to keep us—from being a united nation.
Resmaa Menakem, author of My Grandmother’s Hands and Rock the Boat
The past is never separate from the present, and if we do not know the past and cannot trace it into the present, we are left with deeply problematic explanations for current conditions. In a cultural moment of white nationalism on the rise and the explicit expression of white superiority permissible, it is imperative that we understand race as a relatively new human invention. We cannot unmake racism if we don’t know how we made race. Dr. Battalora provides an accessible foundation for the antiracism project. Her work has been indispensable to mine.
Robin DiAngelo, Ph.D., author of White Fragility: Why It's So Hard For White People To Talk About Racism
Do you want to understand the history of the term "white people" in the United States and how it has shaped our laws and identities? Read Birth of a White Nation by Jacqueline Battalora. A clearly written and illuminating book.
Rosemary Radford Ruether, author of 34 books including Sexism and God Talk