Commentary 4 Senior Thesis: Aimee Duran

Senior Meghan Rankins, who is a part of the Kelly Honors Program in Historical Studies, presented her thesis-in-progress. Her presentation titled “Legislating Legitimacy: Interracial Inheritance in 19th-Century South Carolina” reminded me of the trip Humanities just took to Montgomery, Alabama. Meghan’s main focus for her thesis was the Rutledge v. Tunno (1904) case. Her key points that she mentioned were about having interracial marriages in the South. Those that were descendants of a white father and a colored mother had more privileges than those who were descendants of a black father and a white mother. Black men and white women were not accepted by the society. If a person had any percentage of being colored they would automatically be considered black and no privileges would be given to them. The amount of discrimination that existed still exists today, but in different forms. We all know that slavery occurred in the past and that has a huge impact on the society that we live in today. Although we can not go back in time to fix the mistakes and the violence that was suffered, we can fix our actions and the way they affect people of color today. Slavery exists today in a different form through issues like mass incarceration and police brutality. These issues should not only be spoken about, instead actions should be taken to fight against them in order to make a difference and not let history repeat itself.

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