Vanderbilt Law Review

First Page



How much would it be worth to a young man entering upon the practice of law, to be regarded as a white man rather than a colored one?... Probably most white persons if given a choice, would prefer death to life in the United States as a colored person.... Indeed, [being white] is the master-key that unlocks the golden door of opportunity.

There is no law of the United States, or of the state of Louisiana defining the limits of race-who are white and who are "colored'? By what rule then shall any tribunal be guided in determining racial character? It may be said that all those should be classed as colored in whom appears a visible admixture of colored blood. By what law? With what justice? Why not count every- one as white in whom is visible any trace of white blood? There is but one reason to wit, the domination of the white race.'