The Fight for Interracial Marriage Rights in Antebellum Massachusetts
When people think of interracial marriage, and the fight for that right, they generally think of the modern day civil rights movement. Many people do not know that there was a fight for this right many years prior. This book covers the fight for interracial marriage rights in Massachusetts, in the broader context of antebellum America. With women generally leading the way, it was a way for them to exercise political rights in a highly constrained society. While not successful, at first slowly, the state came around, and allowed interracial marriages to happen starting in 1843; while other states were rushing to ban interracial marriages. Along the way, the argument of equal civil rights started to creep into the conversation, but that was quickly hushed up because supporters felt it was going to far.
In the current debate about marriage in America, this is an interesting book looking at the past and what was said then compared to now. Amber Moulton does an excellent job bringing this subject to light, especially during an era that is largely overshadowed by the coming Civil War and Mexican-American War. The right to marry has changed over the generations, and this book proves that.
Amber D. Moulton
Harvard University Press