Under French rule, Saint-Domingue's population, as previously mentioned, was divided into three main social groups or racial-classes, the whites or "Blancs", the "Affranchis", a group composed of free Blacks and mulattoes
, and the great masses of imported enslaved Africans who constituted 75 percent of the population.
were likely more intelligent than blacks because the
This intermediary position also makes "mulattoes
," as a synecdoche for free people of color in general, the symbols in myriad representations of the Haitian Revolution of a struggle between the anti-racism ideologies of many humanitarians and some abolitionists' ambivalence about the economic ramifications of ending slavery.
ultimately became a buffer class between whites and blacks, and whites preferred to deal with them, believing them to be more intelligent and culturally refined than Africans.
Such details support Woods's characterization of colonies in Florida and Texas made up of "Spaniards, blacks, Indians, mestizos, and mulattoes
" in which Catholicism provided a degree of "religious and cultural unity" quite different from anything found in the English colonies (24).
Because limpieza de sangre was requisite to holding all state and church offices, Africans, mulattoes
, and Indians were totally excluded from positions of authority, and therefore, based on calidad, they were also consigned to the lowest social classes.
In 1546 another royal decree granted mulattoes
equal rights with white settlers, allowing mulattoes
to vote and hold office on the town council.
Equally relevant is the fact that musicianship offered enslaved and free blacks and mulattoes
expanded agencies for politically acceptable creative expressions and employment; indeed, we learn that many slave owners took pride in being able to host social dances performed by talented, enslaved blacks.
"A segment of the audience is carrying in the back of its head some sense of movie history," said Bogle, author of Toms, Coons, Mulattoes
, Mammies & Bucks: An Interpretive History of Blacks in American Films.
qualities of mulattoes
. In particular, I focus on the characteristics
While his settings cover a vast geographical scope, from South Africa to North America to the South Seas to Maida Vale, his characters, dominated by theater people and New Women, also include "impoverished novelists, playwrights, painters, composers, circus clowns, opera singers, clerks and typists, South African overseers, female journalists, Jewish financiers, mulattoes
, con-men, persons with disabilities, working spinsters, seamstresses, drama critics, and the nouveau riche" (192).