My Coloured Thoughts: Last of the Mohicans and Perceptions of Mixed Race Peoples

My Coloured Thoughts: Last of the Mohicans and Perceptions of Mixed Race Peoples

Originally presented at the 1999 Southwest Graduate Literature Symposium on “Expanding ‘Literature(s)’, Challenging Boundaries”
Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona
1999-03-12 through 1999-03-14

Zoë Ludski
Ryerson Polytechnic University

But alas, to make me
A fixed figure for the time of scorn
To point his slow unmoving finger at
Othello act 4, scene. 2

Although Coopers novel, The Last of the Mohicans, is obviously outdated in its reflection of Native American people, the depiction of Cora, a women of mixed race, maintains its validity today. The text provides valuable insight into race issues surrounding multiracial people that is still pertinent and important today. Cooper is extremely perceptive in showing how Cora’s heritage affects her self perception and causes her to judge herself and others in light of visible characteristics such as skin colour.

Today’s discussions and literature on race issues present a wide range of feelings on the topic of mixed race. Currently in the United States there is a large movement supporting the creation of a multiracial category for the US census. This movement has considerable opposition, particularly from within the black American community. This situation is a reminder of the diverse opinions and contrasting views in regards to the issue of mixed race.

It is valuable to re-examine the character Cora in light of contemporary race theory in order to gain an insight into the past and present of mixed race people in America…

Read the entire paper here.

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