Historians’ understandings of race have changed dramatically in the last two decades. Earlier generations of historians tended to assume that racial categories were both natural and unchanging. More recently, however, many have begun to see racial categories as socially constructed and dynamic. In this engaging new book, Derek Chang builds upon recent historical and social scientific research to examine how race was made in the years following the Civil War. Acknowledging the centrality of religion in U.S. society in this period, Chang focuses specifically on two Baptist missions as sites of racial formation. One of these missions, begun in 1865 in Raleigh, North Carolina, eventually became Shaw University. The other, the Chinese Mission School in Portland, Oregon, was established in 1874.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/kevin_leonard/41/