A CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title for 2014

Arica's book with award seal

That the Blood Stay Pure: African Americans, Native Americans, and the Predicament of Race and Identity in Virginia 

That the Blood Stay Pure traces the history and legacy of the commonwealth of Virginia’s effort to maintain racial purity and its impact on the relations between African Americans and Native Americans. Arica L. Coleman tells the story of Virginia’s racial purity campaign from the perspective of those who were disavowed or expelled from tribal communities due to their affiliation with people of African descent or because their physical attributes linked them to those of African ancestry. Coleman also explores the social consequences of the racial purity ethos for tribal communities that have refused to define Indian identity based on a denial of blackness. This rich interdisciplinary history, which includes contemporary case studies, addresses a neglected aspect of America’s long struggle with race and identity.

“[T]this tremendous book, wisely honing in on one state, one set of political agendas, and a chronological view of the phenomenon of negotiated ethnicity, is the most thorough treatment of the topic this reviewer has read. A pure joy! . . . Essential.” —Choice”

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