Orginal Publication Date
Explorations in Ethnic Studies
In 1854 the California State Supreme Court sought to bar all non-Caucasians from equal citizenship and civil rights. The court stated: The word "Black" may include all Negroes, but the term "Negro" does not include all Black persons . . . . We are of the opinion that the words "White," "Negro," "Mulatto" and "Black person," whenever they occur in our constitution . . . must be taken in their generic sense . . . that the words "Black person," in the 14th section must be taken as contra distinguished from White, and necessarily includes all races other than the Caucasian. As convoluted as the quote may be, it tends to express a strong tendency in the history of the United States, toward creating two broad classes of people: white and non-white, citizen and non-citizen (or semi-citizen).
Copyright, ©EES, The National Association for Ethnic Studies, 1984