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“Real Americans” from The Virginia Quarterly Review

Oscar Villalon

What Blood Won’t Tell

Gross supplies a specific accounting of the contortions into which communities and the courts tangled themselves while trying to figure out who was really white or black, or something else. And she looks at the consequences of this thinking, how it divided a nation into black, “non-white” (Native Americans and immigrant groups that didn’t come from Europe), and white—the people my grandmother and so many others refer to as, simply, Americans.

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