Carina E. Ray
Crossing the Color Line
Race, Sex, and the Contested Politics of Colonialism in Ghana
Ohio University Press 2015
New Books in African StudiesNew Books in British StudiesNew Books in Gender StudiesNew Books in HistoryNew Books in Peoples & PlacesNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books in World AffairsNew Books Network October 7, 2016 Dawne Curry
In Crossing the Color Line: Race, Sex, and the Contested Politics of Colonialism in Ghana (Ohio University Press, 2015), Carina E. Ray interrogates the intersections of race, marriage, gender and empire in this thought-provoking study that challenges the notion of identity and the politics that surround it. Ray plumbs the depth of an array of archival material, which includes travel narratives, visual sources, administrative records, wills, and personal and official correspondence. She also conducted interviews to further piece together the inner lives of Africans and Europeans to show how interracial marriages and relationships evolved in Ghana. In a very compelling way, Ray deconstructs intersexual economies to show their linkages to the slave trade and beyond. Her opening vignette not only sets the stage for the themes she addresses to illustrate how Africans had agency even when it came to marrying across the color line. Shortlisted for the United Kingdom’s Fage and Oliver Prize and the winner of the American Historical Associations’s Wesley-Logan Prize for African Diaspora History, this groundbreaking book has set new standards for understanding race, its implementation and its interpretation not only in Africa but also around the world.