Early Cultural and Racial Blending in Colonial North Carolina

For centuries North Carolinians have attempted to simplify race by creating three broad categories--Native American, Black and Whites However, during the colonial and antebellum periods many Native, Black and White communities contained mixed-race members. Early Virginia, which included Northeastern North Carolina (Albemarle County), Whites resolved their dilemma by establishing race-based slavery, and categorizing all mixed-race peoples as “mulatto” and later “negro” and enslaving them for life. Later through segregation Native Americans, Blacks and people of mixed-race were further separated from Whites further by law.

In spite of this history and law, many mixed-race people in North Carolinas have never seen themselves as simply Native, Black or White and have maintained an identity and history of creolization (mixed-race). This lecture will examine the roles of Natives, Blacks and Whites in the merging of Red, Black and White peoples in North Carolina’s history. This presentation highlights that since first contact, Native Americans, Africans and Europeans have merged in the swamps of the tidewater and coastal plains of Northeastern and Southeastern North Carolina, and even the foothills and hollers of the piedmont and mountains of western North Carolina.  

Lectern, microphone, digital projector, DVD player, VHS player