Interracial Figures of the American Renaissance This essay examines Cora from The Last of the Mohicans, Frederick Douglass, and Harriet Ann Jacobs. The American Renaissance marks a period of social injustice and the fight of the minority to bring about social change. Women and African-Americans (who were freed or escaped from slavery) begin to gain a voice through literacy, and use that voice to start the movement to abolish slavery and gain women rights. The development of literacy makes it impossible to ignore women and African-Americans because their writing provides a permanent record of the horrors of slavery and injustice of oppressing the minority groups. Furthermore, the gain in literacy by these groups makes Anglo-Saxons face the realities of their world and challenges the American dream. Perhaps the most fascinating result of the destruction to the American dream is the introduction of the interracial character. During this period of history (and long after it) the myth existed that the races were pure. Judith R. Berzon in her book Neither White Nor Black: The Mulatto Character in American Fiction, attributes the emergence of interracial characters in the nineteenth and twentieth century to "(1) a widespread fear of miscegenation; (2) the tenacious view that mulattoes are a Îdegenerate, sterile and short-lived breedâ ; (3) the unresolved dilemma of the social and economic roles of the emancipated African-American; and (4) the unease with which Caucasians generally regarded those who carry traits of both racial groups" (19). The interracial characters exposed the reality in America, that the children of slaves on the plantation were a result of white slave owners having intercourse with their slaves. Co... ... middle of paper ... ...s, an American Slave." Paul Laufer, ed. The Heath Anthology of American Literature, vol 1, 3rd ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1998. Douglass, Frederick. "What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July." Paul Laufer, ed. The Heath Anthology of American Literature, vol 1, 3rd ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1998. Jacobs, Harriet Ann. "Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl." Paul Laufer, ed. The Heath Anthology of American Literature, vol 1, 3rd ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1998. Kinney, James. Amalgamation! Race, Sex, and Rhetoric in the Nineteenth-Century American Novel. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1985. Mills, Charles W. "Whose Fourth of July? Frederick Douglass and ÎOriginal Intent.â" Bill E. Lawson and Frank M. Kirkland, eds. Frederick Douglass: A Critical Reader. Massachusetts: Blackwell Publishers, 1999.