Passed at the height of the eugenics movement, the Racial Integrity Act proclaimed the existence of only two racial categories in Virginia—”colored” and white. The law stripped Native Americans, and members of other groups with dark skin, of their land, voting rights, and legal identity. David Smith (Longwood University) and anthropologist Helen Rountree (Old Dominion University), discuss the Act and its legacy. Also: anthropologist Jeff Hantman (University of Virginia) explains the absurdity of the ‘one drop’ rule and its effect on Native Virginians.
Photo of Monacan Indian children at recess, Jackson Davis Collection, Special Collections, University of Virginia Library
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