AfriGeneas Free Persons of Color Forum
FPOC: An "Ill-Fated Class?"
In scanning the slaves/petition link provided by Alane, I ran across several petitions from white men to the Virginia legislature in which they sought legislation to exclude FPOC from the State of Virginia.(History tells us they ultimately succeeded). In support of this legislation, the group is quoted as having argued the following:
"Free people of color are neither freemen nor slaves. 'The mark set on them by nature precludes their enjoyment, in this country, of the privileges of the former, and the laws of the land do not allow them to be reduced to the condition of the latter.' Hence, they are of necessity, degraded, profligate, vicious, turbulent and discontented." The petitioners state they do not want to be cruel or unchristian[sic], but they seek to rid themselves of the "'ill-fated class' within their midst."
Do you agree that this class of AAs was destined to an evil fate or unfortunate end? If so, would it be the result of their own making? Do you find these petitioners' characterization of FPOC tenuous? On what, if anything, do you suppose they based these characterizations? Do these statements more accurately reflect the underlying fears of these white men regarding FPOC rather than comprise accurate assessments of the character of FPOC? What do you believe were their real motivations in seeking to ban FPOC from their midst? Do you suppose this is how we all as FPOC are still viewed by some? many?
I would be interested in hearing your analysis of these statements from our retrospective position.