Sunday, September 6, 2009
The role of race in defining Florida
Over the coarse of 496 years of history in the Americas, race and racialization in Florida has progressed significantly. Upon European arrival in the Americas in the early 1500s, there was a clear and defining culture clash. From religion, and appearance, to technology, and sexual practice - the Native Americans and Europeans simply had very little in common. These initial dissimilarities quickly steered from a cultural interest to deliberate racialization. For example, the Spanish, English, and French settlers initially described the Native Americans as, "muscular and athletic," however soon shifted their descriptions to, "primal, and animalistic." As the Native Americans became more and more of an obstacle to European supremacy, the ultimate solution of a deliberate targeting of Natives based on race was carried out. This trend was consistent across the continent - and our society today still reflects the actions of European racialization in Florida.