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The Long-Past Days of "Passing" & 'Posing'

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  • multiracialbookclub
    Passing: how posing became a choice for many Americans (An article written by Monica L. Haynes for the Post-Gazette , Sunday, October 26, 2003
    Message 1 of 9 , May 25, 2006
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      Passing: how "posing" became
      a choice for many Americans

      (An article written by Monica L. Haynes for
      the 'Post-Gazette', Sunday, October 26, 2003

      ********************************************************************



      Although Barbara Douglass never told anyone
      she was `White'*, people see her porcelain
      skin and her silky hair and assume she is.

      But Douglass, who lives in Wilkinsburg ,
      is a 53-year-old
      "black"^^ woman.

      She could "pass" for `White'* but she has never tried, she said

      "Growing up, I knew of people who did, and I was even
      instructed not to say, at that time, that they were
      `Colored'**.
      In order to get their jobs, they had to say they were `White'*"

      [[[

      Note:

      **The term
      `Colored'** – as used here – is a reference to a
      person who is of a `Multiracial' / `Mixed-Race `lineage that
      also includes some part or amount of `Black / Negro' ancestry.

      ^^
      The term "black"^^ or "blacks"^^ – as used here – is a
      reference to those `Multiracial' / `Mixed-Race' individuals
      who were both of part-`Black / Negro' ancestry *and* who
      *also*came to be referred to / categorized by the term
      "black"^^.
      This categorization would have arisen either as a result of
      the racist `One-Drop Rule' and / or as a result of  taking
      on the socio-political `identification' that, since the late
      1960's, has come to be referred to by the term
      "black"^^.

      These terms "black"^^ and / or "blacks"^^ – when in reference
      to a socio-political "identification" -- were originally applied
      largely as a way of describing the new socio-political mindset
      that became popular in the late 1960s wherein many who
      were of at least some-part `Black / Negro' lineage chose to
      ------ openly support of the new pan-African, 
      anti-colonialist movement of the late 1960s;
      ------ refused to hold or see the their or another's
      `Black / Negro' ancestral lineage as being "shameful";
      ------ and by providing support for the whole idea of making
      sure that equal rights would become granted to those
      people who suffered discrimination due to having
      `Black / Negro' ancestry in their familial,
      ethnic, racial or even cultural lineage.

      As a result of the racist `One-Drop Rule' – the terms
      "black"^^ and "blacks"^^ were broad-brushed applied to
      entire people groupings (as a `political catch-phrase')
      as instructed by the western media and politicians.

      The term `Black' – as used here – is in reference those
      who are of `Black / Negro' lineage and who also have very
      little to no* known or acknowledged non-`Black / Negro' ancestry.

      The "Racial"-Term `Black' is *not* the same as
      the Socio-Political-`Identification' of
      "black"^^

      *The term `White'* – as used here – is a reference to a person who
      has no known or acknowledged non-'White / Caucasian' ancestry.

      The terms `Pass' and `Passing' – as used here – is
      reference to a person who hid, denied or pretended to
      have no known non-White (and particular `Black / Negro')
      ancestry and / or who would simply choose to
      `remain
      silent' on the whole matter and let strangers `draw their
      own conclusions' based solely on their physical appearance.


      ]]]

      Thelma Marshall knows that routine.

      During the 1950s and early '60s, she did
      what her mother before her had done.
      What her grandmother and aunts had done.

      She "passed" for `White'*

      "One time I told a woman I was
      "black"^^,
      `Colored'** in those days," Marshall recalled.
      "She said, 'You won't get the job
      unless you "pass" for `White'*."
      So that's what Marshall did.

      "I "passed" for `White'* on lots of jobs," she said.
      "I had to be `White'* to get the jobs."

      It's what many fair-skinned
      "blacks"^^ did during those times.

      Marshall's remarks are without shame or remorse.
      She felt she did what she had to do.

      Still, it is a prickly subject, and the 76-year-old woman does not
      want to offend so she asked that her real name not be used.

      [The act of] "passing" for `White'* offered not only opportunities,
      but also the opportunities [that only] `White'* people received.

      During [the] slavery [era], it could mean freedom.
      There are many documented instances of fair-skinned
      slaves who posed as [`White'* [in order] to escape.

      In modern times, it meant being able to vote in the South.
      It meant a job in the office rather than a job cleaning the office.
      It meant schools with the latest equipment and books,
      instead of dilapidated buildings and out-of-date texts.
      It often meant better housing.
      It meant being treated with respect, not disdain.

      Barbara Douglass recalls the difference between
      going out with her `White'* college friends
      vs. her
      "black"^^ college friends.

      "We went to a show, about
      six of us [
      "black"^^ students].

      The manager came and sat behind us.
      I asked him 'Why are you sitting behind us?'
      He said, 'I have to make sure you don't destroy anything.' "

      Douglass said she told the manager that
      he had never sat behind her before.

      His response was, "You never
      came with these people before."

      Douglass, who the manager had assumed
      was `White'*, encouraged her friends to
      leave the theater rather than be insulted …

      Because of her fair skin, Barbara Douglass
      of Wilkinsburg often witnessed -- but never
      tolerated -- racism directed at other people.

      When she was a young child, her parents
      didn't emphasize racial differences.
      "I just figured people came in
      different shades," she said.

      But when the subject came up in her
      dance class, the 8-year-old Douglass
      approached her mother, who explained
      to her about race and racism.

      "We are `a child of God' first.
      We are `human beings' first,"
      Douglass remembered her mother saying.

      In fifth grade, she learned that the United States
      is a melting pot, and she declared to her
      mother that she would be a melting pot.

      Her mother decided it was the perfect
      definition, seeing as how her ancestors were
      Cherokee, `Black', Dutch, German and Irish.

      Maybe all "blacks"^^ would have defined
      themselves that way given the chance.

      Since [the first, actual] `Black' people first came
      to
      the New World in 1619, they've mingled and
      mixed
      with every race and ethnic group here.

      It is not just the fair-skinned "blacks"^^ who
      can lay claim to that melting pot definition.

      Those "blacks"^^ who have the mark of Africa in their
      features and skin tone also have multicultural ancestry.

      They just can't pass.

      Most
      "blacks"^^ were never afforded
      the luxury of defining themselves
      .

      After the Civil War, Southern whites, not wanting this
      swirling of races to get out of hand and seeking to
      keep the [false notion of the] `White'* "race"
      as [being] pure, instituted a rule that
      anyone
      with "one drop" of `Black
      / Negro' blood was
      `Black' [race].

      That spurred even more fair-skinned "blacks"^^
      to cross over and escape Jim Crow laws that kept
      "blacks"^^ in the shackles of second-class citizenship.

      Interestingly, many ``White'*, if they traced
      their blood line or had their DNA tested,
      would find they have "black"^^ ancestors.

      In a 1999 piece for Slate, writer Brent Staples cites
      a 1940s study by Robert Stuckert, a sociologist
      and anthropologist from Ohio State University .

      The study, titled "African Ancestry of the White American
      Population", indicates that during the 1940s, approximately
      15,550 fair-skinned "blacks"^^ per year "crossed the color line".

      The study estimated that by 1950, about 21 percent or 28
      million of the 135 million categorized as `White'* had
      "black"^^ ancestry within the past four generations.

      Stuckert predicted that the numbers
      would grow in subsequent decades.

      Marshall never thought to "pass" permanently,
      although she had family members who did.

      Some fair-skinned
      "blacks"^^ with "good hair"
      and "keen features" did not "pass" but …
      [simply married] others with fair skin ...

      "For generations, my mother's side and
      my father's side married fair so they
      could get jobs," Marshall said.

      "My great-grandfather had a barbershop,
      and he "passed" for `White'*, and he had
      only ``White'* customers in his shop."

      But for many fair-skinned "blacks"^^,
      it was about more than getting jobs.

      There was a mind-set among some ….

      Some social organizations, fraternities and sororities
      admitted only fair-skinned "blacks"^^ or those who
      could pass the "paper bag test," meaning they
      could be no darker than a brown paper bag.

      To this day, Marshall , indoctrinated into such
      thinking as a child, would have preferred that her
      children marry `White'* or … very light-skinned people.

      "All my children married "black"^^,
      much to my regret," she said.
      "I would have preferred they married `White'*
      ... it's still an advantage to be `White'*."

      State decides for you

      Sometimes "blacks"^^ used their fair complexion not for
      personal gain but to circumvent discriminatory practices.

      For example, in the 1940s, "blacks"^^ who looked `White'*
      helped integrate Lewis Place , a neighborhood in St. Louis , Mo.

      Like many cities during this time, Lewis Place
      had covenants that prevented "blacks"^^ from
      buying homes in certain neighborhoods.

      But in the '40s, fair-skinned "blacks"^^ would purchase
      homes on Lewis Street and then transfer deeds to [the]
      darker-skinned
      `black"^^ people who had actually bought them.

      Famed NAACP chief executive Walter White's light skin
      allowed him to investigate lynchings and race riots in the 1920s.

      White, who was raised in Atlanta , under Jim Crow,
      remained an NAACP officer until he died in 1955.

      For nearly a century, just who was [defined or
      categorized as being either] `White'* or
      "black"^^
      depended upon what state that person was in.

      Between the 1890s and 1950s, the peak
      period for
      "blacks"^^ "passing" as `White'*,
      every state had its own racial designation,
      said Wendy Ann Gaudin, a history
      instructor at Xavier University in Louisiana.

      Gaudin has interviewed Mixed-Race people
      in Louisiana who "passed" for `White'* as
      part of study she conducted on that subject.

      A person could be born white in one state and be
      designated
      "black"^^ in another depending upon
      the `racial laws' in that state, said Gaudin, who
      also is a Ph.D. candidate at New York University .

      ----- During the antebellum period, enslaved `Black'
      [race] people were referred to as [being] Negroes.

      ----- Then there were `Free People of Color',
      … who generally had [a] Mixed "racial" heritage
      (and were [often also] born free to free parents).

      ---------- Free people of color could
      be brown-with-European-features,
      light-with-African-features and
      everything in between
      .

      "They were not looked upon as so-called Negroes and
      of course they weren't equated with `White'*, either,"
      Gaudin explained.
      "Society had `a place' for them."

      They were generally in the building trade.
      The women were mostly domestics.
      Some were slave owners,
      others staunch abolitionists.

      Louisiana 's Creoles were known as Free People
      Of Color, or Les Gens de Couleur Libres.

      Defined by their European, Native American
      and African ancestry, they enjoyed a preferred
      status … no matter what their complexion.

      "Creole [for instance] is not [an actual] "race".
      It is a `blended' Ethnicity *and* a `blended' Culture,"
      Gaudin explained. …

      However, after the "one drop"
      rule was instituted and Jim Crow
      [`Segregation] became the law of
      the land in the South, things changed.

      Often, they would move and
      cut ties with family members,
      especially the ones who could not "pass".

      The law aimed at these "White-Negroes",
      as they were sometimes called, actually forced
      more of the very racial mingling it sought to counter.

      "Once these laws were [enacted], "passing" made more
      sense, and it became more necessary," Gaudin said.

      Some who passed

      In her 2002 memoir, "Just Lucky, I Guess,"
      Broadway legend Carol Channing revealed that
      her father, George Channing, was a light-skinned
      "black"^^ man who "passed" [as being `White'*] ...

      When she was 16 and about to go off to
      college, her mother told her about her father.

      "My mother announced to me I was part-Negro,"
      Channing writes. "I'm only telling you this
      because `the Darwinian law' shows that
      you could easily have a "black"^^ baby."

      A noted case of passing in recent history is
      that of Anatole Broyard, longtime literary
      critic for The New York Times.

      Born "black"^^ and raised in "black"^^ neighborhoods in
      New Orleans and Brooklyn , he "passed" for `White'*
      for decades because he did not want to be labeled
      as a 'Negro' writer, he had said, but simply a writer.

      Henry Louis Gates Jr., chairman of the Afro-American
      history department at Harvard, chronicled Broyard's
      brilliant career and secret in a New Yorker
      essay that was included in his 1997 book,
      " Thirteen Ways of Looking at a " Black Man. "

      For years, Broyard sidestepped rumors of his
      ancestry and would credit his skin tone to a
      very distant relative who "may" have been
      "black"^^.

      Even in the waning days of his life, his body
      withered by cancer, he denied his wife's
      request to tell his children of their true heritage.

      They met Broyard's darker-skinned sister, Shirley,
      for the first time at his memorial service in 1990.

      No identity crisis

      Unlike Broyard, Shadyside's Dr. Edward J. Hale
      never sought the advantages of `White'*
      his complexion could have provided him.

      He's a retired staff member of Western
      Pennsylvania Hospital , served as
      chief of medical services and acting
      director of professional services at

      the Veterans Affairs Department Medical
      Center on Highland Drive , and he has
      taught at the University of Illinois , Howard
      University , the University of Pittsburgh
      and Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

      Hale, 80, said he followed the example of his
      father, William J. Hale, founding president of
      Tennessee Agricultural and Industrial State
      College, now known as Tennessee State University .

      Hale had come from a family
      that had accomplished much
      by living as "black"^^ people.

      His goal was to do the same.

      "I've always been fond of my dad, loved and
      adored and respected my father," Hale said.
      "He chose to remain "black"^^.

      He got to be a college president."
      His mother, a graduate of Fisk University ,
      headed up the business department at Tennessee State .
      She, too, was fair enough to "pass", as were Hale's siblings.

         
           Dr. Edward J. Hale chose to follow
           the example of his parents,
           accomplished educators
           Harriet and William J. Hale ...
                The proud son says, "He chose
                to remain 
      "black"^^ [identified]".

      His sister, who earned a master's in
      French from Columbia University , married
      a man who could not "pass", Hale said.

      "But they had a very positive marriage as
      "black"^^ and they lived happily," he added.

      His brother "used to float back and forth
      between being 'White'** and being "black"^^,
      he said. "He did that for work."

      Why didn't Hale?

      "I chose
      "black"^^ because I have a "black"^^ identity...
      "We had a heritage, and it was something important."

      His parents emphasized being proud of who he was,
      excelling at something, making a contribution to society.

      After getting his bachelor's degree at Tennessee
      State , he entered Meharry Medical College in
      Nashville , graduating third in his class in 1945.

      Two years later, he earned a master's in
      physiology from the University of Illinois .

      "As a fair-skinned
      "black"^^, I could "pass" for `White'*,
      but … if you got to be too outstanding, people would
      look into your background," Hale said.

      When he came to Pittsburgh in 1955 to serve
      as chief of medicine for the VA Hospital, he
      knew people would assume he was `White'*.

      They soon learned differently through his stand
      on issues and his friendships with other "black"^^.

      Hale and several other "black"^^ doctors formed the Gateway
      Medical Group, now called Gateway Medical Society.

      He was active in the National Medical Association
      and helped bring their convention to Pittsburgh .

      "I had to make an "identity" for myself, to
      let people know who I was," Hale said.

      Gaudin said it was easy for well-educated
      light-skinned people to take what is considered
      the high road by maintaining their "black"^^ identity.

      Poor, uneducated folks with the same
      complexion faced a different reality.

      "These were people who used their physical
      appearances because, in many cases,
      that's all they had," Gaudin said.
      "They weren't wealthy.
      In many cases, they felt this was
      their greatest, most valuable resource."

      Unbreakable family ties

      Attorney Wendell Freeland remembers a decade or so ago
      when he and his wife were reading in the newspaper
      about the fast rise of a young man who was `White'*.

      In the ensuing conversation, Freeland's wife noted that her
      husband was smarter and much more on the ball than the
      young man and should have reached the same career peak.

      Freeland recalls his daughter saying to him,
      "You've got nothing to complain about;
      you could have [lived as] `White'*".

      Theoretically, yes. Freeland says he can fool
      even those "black"^^ people who swear they
      can detect another "black"^^, no matter how fair.

      Consciously, Freeland said he could no more
      "pass" than his brown-skinned brethren.

      "I never thought about it," said the 78-year-old attorney.
      "My family ties were so great."

      Freeland, who came to Pittsburgh in 1950, grew
      up in a segregated community in Baltimore …


           Wendell Freeland, a Squirrel Hill
      lawyer and
           civil rights activist, never considered "passing"
           as `White'*
      although he witnessed others
           "passing" to get into barred theaters or stores.
                  "That was just casual passing",
                   Freeland says.
                  "I knew people who crossed over."

      As a college student, he encountered
      "blacks"^^ from the British
      West Indies and other places who "passed" to go to the movies
      or to shop in places where
      "blacks^^ were not welcome.

      "That was just casual "passing"," Freeland
      said. "I knew people who crossed over." …

      Freeland, who lives in Squirrel Hill, has spent a
      lifetime utilizing his considerable talents for
      numerous social and civil rights causes.

      He served as senior vice president of the National Urban
      League and was a member of the search committee that
      selected Vernon Jordan to lead that organization in the 1970s.

      He's been on any number of boards, including those of
      Westminster College, University of Pittsburgh and University
      of Pittsburgh Medical Center, and he had been chairman
      of the board of governors for the Joint Center for
      Political and Economic Studies in Washington, D.C.

      As obvious as the European portion of his
      ancestry is, Freeland said it was never a
      source of great pride or interest to him.

      "I'm more proud of my great-great-grandmother's
      manumission [emancipation] papers than
      any drop of `White'* blood," he said.

      "I have to tell you my complexion has certain advantages.
      I learn a lot about `White'* people … ," Freeland said,

      … "It doesn't bother me if somebody "passed" and
      had a life that was more successful and happy.

      I'm successful and happy, too."

      SOURCE:
      http://www.cmh.pitt.edu/newspassing102603.html

      RELATED LINKS:
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Generation-Mixed/message/1012
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Generation-Mixed/message/991
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Generation-Mixed/message/1032
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Generation-Mixed/message/1043

    • j s
      I have no problem with people passing, since it can also be argued that someone that white is passing for black, since the preponderance of dna is european.
      Message 2 of 9 , May 26, 2006
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        I have no problem with people passing, since it can also be argued that someone that white is passing for black, since the preponderance of dna is european. The laws and rules regarding race at that time were unjust and evil. If someone chose to ignore them, not participate in the travesty, and live according to free will I have no problem with it. Before anyone complains about it remember these were mixed people being forced to choose one race, which everyone is saying we shouldn't have to do now.  If we shouldn't have to do it today when there is less institutional racism, why should we hold people to do it when there was? And how many of us would "stand up and be counted" as black if by simply keeping our mouths shut  we and our children had better lives?

        multiracialbookclub <soaptalk@...> wrote:
        Passing: how "posing" became
        a choice for many Americans

        (An article written by Monica L. Haynes for
        the 'Post-Gazette', Sunday, October 26, 2003

        ********************************************************************



        Although Barbara Douglass never told anyone
        she was `White'*, people see her porcelain
        skin and her silky hair and assume she is.

        But Douglass, who lives in Wilkinsburg ,
        is a 53-year-old
        "black"^^ woman.

        She could "pass" for `White'* but she has never tried, she said

        "Growing up, I knew of people who did, and I was even
        instructed not to say, at that time, that they were
        `Colored'**.
        In order to get their jobs, they had to say they were `White'*"

        [[[

        Note:

        **The term
        `Colored'** – as used here – is a reference to a
        person who is of a `Multiracial' / `Mixed-Race `lineage that
        also includes some part or amount of `Black / Negro' ancestry.

        ^^
        The term "black"^^ or "blacks"^^ – as used here – is a
        reference to those `Multiracial' / `Mixed-Race' individuals
        who were both of part-`Black / Negro' ancestry *and* who
        *also*came to be referred to / categorized by the term
        "black"^^.
        This categorization would have arisen either as a result of
        the racist `One-Drop Rule' and / or as a result of  taking
        on the socio-political `identification' that, since the late
        1960's, has come to be referred to by the term
        "black"^^.

        These terms "black"^^ and / or "blacks"^^ – when in reference
        to a socio-political "identification" -- were originally applied
        largely as a way of describing the new socio-political mindset
        that became popular in the late 1960s wherein many who
        were of at least some-part `Black / Negro' lineage chose to
        ------ openly support of the new pan-African, 
        anti-colonialist movement of the late 1960s;
        ------ refused to hold or see the their or another's
        `Black / Negro' ancestral lineage as being "shameful";
        ------ and by providing support for the whole idea of making
        sure that equal rights would become granted to those
        people who suffered discrimination due to having
        `Black / Negro' ancestry in their familial,
        ethnic, racial or even cultural lineage.

        As a result of the racist `One-Drop Rule' – the terms
        "black"^^ and "blacks"^^ were broad-brushed applied to
        entire people groupings (as a `political catch-phrase')
        as instructed by the western media and politicians.

        The term `Black' – as used here – is in reference those
        who are of `Black / Negro' lineage and who also have very
        little to no* known or acknowledged non-`Black / Negro' ancestry.

        The "Racial"-Term `Black' is *not* the same as
        the Socio-Political-`Identification' of
        "black"^^

        *The term `White'* – as used here – is a reference to a person who
        has no known or acknowledged non-'White / Caucasian' ancestry.

        The terms `Pass' and `Passing' – as used here – is
        reference to a person who hid, denied or pretended to
        have no known non-White (and particular `Black / Negro')
        ancestry and / or who would simply choose to
        `remain
        silent' on the whole matter and let strangers `draw their
        own conclusions' based solely on their physical appearance.


        ]]]
        Thelma Marshall knows that routine.

        During the 1950s and early '60s, she did
        what her mother before her had done.
        What her grandmother and aunts had done.

        She "passed" for `White'*

        "One time I told a woman I was
        "black"^^,
        `Colored'** in those days," Marshall recalled.
        "She said, 'You won't get the job
        unless you "pass" for `White'*."
        So that's what Marshall did.

        "I "passed" for `White'* on lots of jobs," she said.
        "I had to be `White'* to get the jobs."

        It's what many fair-skinned
        "blacks"^^ did during those times.

        Marshall's remarks are without shame or remorse.
        She felt she did what she had to do.

        Still, it is a prickly subject, and the 76-year-old woman does not
        want to offend so she asked that her real name not be used.

        [The act of] "passing" for `White'* offered not only opportunities,
        but also the opportunities [that only] `White'* people received.

        During [the] slavery [era], it could mean freedom.
        There are many documented instances of fair-skinned
        slaves who posed as [`White'* [in order] to escape.

        In modern times, it meant being able to vote in the South.
        It meant a job in the office rather than a job cleaning the office.
        It meant schools with the latest equipment and books,
        instead of dilapidated buildings and out-of-date texts.
        It often meant better housing.
        It meant being treated with respect, not disdain.

        Barbara Douglass recalls the difference between
        going out with her `White'* college friends
        vs. her
        "black"^^ college friends.

        "We went to a show, about
        six of us [
        "black"^^ students].

        The manager came and sat behind us.
        I asked him 'Why are you sitting behind us?'
        He said, 'I have to make sure you don't destroy anything.' "

        Douglass said she told the manager that
        he had never sat behind her before.

        His response was, "You never
        came with these people before."

        Douglass, who the manager had assumed
        was `White'*, encouraged her friends to
        leave the theater rather than be insulted …

        Because of her fair skin, Barbara Douglass
        of Wilkinsburg often witnessed -- but never
        tolerated -- racism directed at other people.

        When she was a young child, her parents
        didn't emphasize racial differences.
        "I just figured people came in
        different shades," she said.

        But when the subject came up in her
        dance class, the 8-year-old Douglass
        approached her mother, who explained
        to her about race and racism.

        "We are `a child of God' first.
        We are `human beings' first,"
        Douglass remembered her mother saying.

        In fifth grade, she learned that the United States
        is a melting pot, and she declared to her
        mother that she would be a melting pot.

        Her mother decided it was the perfect
        definition, seeing as how her ancestors were
        Cherokee, `Black', Dutch, German and Irish.

        Maybe all "blacks"^^ would have defined
        themselves that way given the chance.

        Since [the first, actual] `Black' people first came
        to
        the New World in 1619, they've mingled and
        mixed
        with every race and ethnic group here.

        It is not just the fair-skinned "blacks"^^ who
        can lay claim to that melting pot definition.

        Those "blacks"^^ who have the mark of Africa in their
        features and skin tone also have multicultural ancestry.

        They just can't pass.

        Most
        "blacks"^^ were never afforded
        the luxury of defining themselves
        .

        After the Civil War, Southern whites, not wanting this
        swirling of races to get out of hand and seeking to
        keep the [false notion of the] `White'* "race"
        as [being] pure, instituted a rule that
        anyone
        with "one drop" of `Black
        / Negro' blood was
        `Black' [race].

        That spurred even more fair-skinned "blacks"^^
        to cross over and escape Jim Crow laws that kept
        "blacks"^^ in the shackles of second-class citizenship.

        Interestingly, many ``White'*, if they traced
        their blood line or had their DNA tested,
        would find they have "black"^^ ancestors.

        In a 1999 piece for Slate, writer Brent Staples cites
        a 1940s study by Robert Stuckert, a sociologist
        and anthropologist from Ohio State University .
        The study, titled "African Ancestry of the White American
        Population", indicates that during the 1940s, approximately
        15,550 fair-skinned "blacks"^^ per year "crossed the color line".

        The study estimated that by 1950, about 21 percent or 28
        million of the 135 million categorized as `White'* had
        "black"^^ ancestry within the past four generations.

        Stuckert predicted that the numbers
        would grow in subsequent decades.

        Marshall never thought to "pass" permanently,
        although she had family members who did.

        Some fair-skinned
        "blacks"^^ with "good hair"
        and "keen features" did not "pass" but …
        [simply married] others with fair skin ...

        "For generations, my mother's side and
        my father's side married fair so they
        could get jobs," Marshall said.

        "My great-grandfather had a barbershop,
        and he "passed" for `White'*, and he had
        only ``White'* customers in his shop."

        But for many fair-skinned "blacks"^^,
        it was about more than getting jobs.

        There was a mind-set among some ….

        Some social organizations, fraternities and sororities
        admitted only fair-skinned "blacks"^^ or those who
        could pass the "paper bag test," meaning they
        could be no darker than a brown paper bag.

        To this day, Marshall , indoctrinated into such
        thinking as a child, would have preferred that her
        children marry `White'* or … very light-skinned people.

        "All my children married "black"^^,
        much to my regret," she said.
        "I would have preferred they married `White'*
        ... it's still an advantage to be `White'*."

        State decides for you

        Sometimes "blacks"^^ used their fair complexion not for
        personal gain but to circumvent discriminatory practices.

        For example, in the 1940s, "blacks"^^ who looked `White'*
        helped integrate Lewis Place , a neighborhood in St. Louis , Mo.

        Like many cities during this time, Lewis Place
        had covenants that prevented "blacks"^^ from
        buying homes in certain neighborhoods.

        But in the '40s, fair-skinned "blacks"^^ would purchase
        homes on Lewis Street and then transfer deeds to [the]
        darker-skinned
        `black"^^ people who had actually bought them.

        Famed NAACP chief executive Walter White's light skin
        allowed him to investigate lynchings and race riots in the 1920s.

        White, who was raised in Atlanta , under Jim Crow,
        remained an NAACP officer until he died in 1955.

        For nearly a century, just who was [defined or
        categorized as being either] `White'* or
        "black"^^
        depended upon what state that person was in.

        Between the 1890s and 1950s, the peak
        period for
        "blacks"^^ "passing" as `White'*,
        every state had its own racial designation,
        said Wendy Ann Gaudin, a history
        instructor at Xavier University in Louisiana.

        Gaudin has interviewed Mixed-Race people
        in Louisiana who "passed" for `White'* as
        part of study she conducted on that subject.

        A person could be born white in one state and be
        designated
        "black"^^ in another depending upon
        the `racial laws' in that state, said Gaudin, who
        also is a Ph.D. candidate at New York University .

        ----- During the antebellum period, enslaved `Black'
        [race] people were referred to as [being] Negroes.

        ----- Then there were `Free People of Color',
        … who generally had [a] Mixed "racial" heritage
        (and were [often also] born free to free parents).

        ---------- Free people of color could
        be brown-with-European-features,
        light-with-African-features and
        everything in between
        .

        "They were not looked upon as so-called Negroes and
        of course they weren't equated with `White'*, either,"
        Gaudin explained.
        "Society had `a place' for them."

        They were generally in the building trade.
        The women were mostly domestics.
        Some were slave owners,
        others staunch abolitionists.

        Louisiana 's Creoles were known as Free People
        Of Color, or Les Gens de Couleur Libres.

        Defined by their European, Native American
        and African ancestry, they enjoyed a preferred
        status … no matter what their complexion.

        "Creole [for instance] is not [an actual] "race".
        It is a `blended' Ethnicity *and* a `blended' Culture,"
        Gaudin explained. …

        However, after the "one drop"
        rule was instituted and Jim Crow
        [`Segregation] became the law of
        the land in the South, things changed.

        Often, they would move and
        cut ties with family members,
        especially the ones who could not "pass".

        The law aimed at these "White-Negroes",
        as they were sometimes called, actually forced
        more of the very racial mingling it sought to counter.

        "Once these laws were [enacted], "passing" made more
        sense, and it became more necessary," Gaudin said.

        Some who passed

        In her 2002 memoir, "Just Lucky, I Guess,"
        Broadway legend Carol Channing revealed that
        her father, George Channing, was a light-skinned
        "black"^^ man who "passed" [as being `White'*] ...

        When she was 16 and about to go off to
        college, her mother told her about her father.

        "My mother announced to me I was part-Negro,"
        Channing writes. "I'm only telling you this
        because `the Darwinian law' shows that
        you could easily have a "black"^^ baby."

        A noted case of passing in recent history is
        that of Anatole Broyard, longtime literary
        critic for The New York Times.

        Born "black"^^ and raised in "black"^^ neighborhoods in
        New Orleans and Brooklyn , he "passed" for `White'*
        for decades because he did not want to be labeled
        as a 'Negro' writer, he had said, but simply a writer.

        Henry Louis Gates Jr., chairman of the Afro-American
        history department at Harvard, chronicled Broyard's
        brilliant career and secret in a New Yorker
        essay that was included in his 1997 book,
        " Thirteen Ways of Looking at a " Black Man. "

        For years, Broyard sidestepped rumors of his
        ancestry and would credit his skin tone to a
        very distant relative who "may" have been
        "black"^^.

        Even in the waning days of his life, his body
        withered by cancer, he denied his wife's
        request to tell his children of their true heritage.

        They met Broyard's darker-skinned sister, Shirley,
        for the first time at his memorial service in 1990.

        No identity crisis

        Unlike Broyard, Shadyside's Dr. Edward J. Hale
        never sought the advantages of `White'*
        his complexion could have provided him.

        He's a retired staff member of Western
        Pennsylvania Hospital , served as
        chief of medical services and acting
        director of professional services at

        the Veterans Affairs Department Medical
        Center on Highland Drive , and he has
        taught at the University of Illinois , Howard
        University , the University of Pittsburgh
        and Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

        Hale, 80, said he followed the example of his
        father, William J. Hale, founding president of
        Tennessee Agricultural and Industrial State
        College, now known as Tennessee State University .

        Hale had come from a family
        that had accomplished much
        by living as "black"^^ people.

        His goal was to do the same.

        "I've always been fond of my dad, loved and
        adored and respected my father," Hale said.
        "He chose to remain "black"^^.

        He got to be a college president."
        His mother, a graduate of Fisk University ,
        headed up the business department at Tennessee State .
        She, too, was fair enough to "pass", as were Hale's siblings.

           
             Dr. Edward J. Hale chose to follow
             the example of his parents,
             accomplished educators
             Harriet and William J. Hale ...
                  The proud son says, "He chose
                  to remain 
        "black"^^ [identified]".

        His sister, who earned a master's in
        French from Columbia University , married
        a man who could not "pass", Hale said.

        "But they had a very positive marriage as
        "black"^^ and they lived happily," he added.

        His brother "used to float back and forth
        between being 'White'** and being "black"^^,
        he said. "He did that for work."

        Why didn't Hale?

        "I chose
        "black"^^ because I have a "black"^^ identity...
        "We had a heritage, and it was something important."

        His parents emphasized being proud of who he was,
        excelling at something, making a contribution to society.

        After getting his bachelor's degree at Tennessee
        State , he entered Meharry Medical College in
        Nashville , graduating third in his class in 1945.

        Two years later, he earned a master's in
        physiology from the University of Illinois .

        "As a fair-skinned
        "black"^^, I could "pass" for `White'*,
        but … if you got to be too outstanding, people would
        look into your background," Hale said.

        When he came to Pittsburgh in 1955 to serve
        as chief of medicine for the VA Hospital, he
        knew people would assume he was `White'*.

        They soon learned differently through his stand
        on issues and his friendships with other "black"^^.

        Hale and several other "black"^^ doctors formed the Gateway
        Medical Group, now called Gateway Medical Society.

        He was active in the National Medical Association
        and helped bring their convention to Pittsburgh .

        "I had to make an "identity" for myself, to
        let people know who I was," Hale said.

        Gaudin said it was easy for well-educated
        light-skinned people to take what is considered
        the high road by maintaining their "black"^^ identity.

        Poor, uneducated folks with the same
        complexion faced a different reality.

        "These were people who used their physical
        appearances because, in many cases,
        that's all they had," Gaudin said.
        "They weren't wealthy.
        In many cases, they felt this was
        their greatest, most valuable resource."

        Unbreakable family ties

        Attorney Wendell Freeland remembers a decade or so ago
        when he and his wife were reading in the newspaper
        about the fast rise of a young man who was `White'*.

        In the ensuing conversation, Freeland's wife noted that her
        husband was smarter and much more on the ball than the
        young man and should have reached the same career peak.

        Freeland recalls his daughter saying to him,
        "You've got nothing to complain about;
        you could have [lived as] `White'*".

        Theoretically, yes. Freeland says he can fool
        even those "black"^^ people who swear they
        can detect another "black"^^, no matter how fair.

        Consciously, Freeland said he could no more
        "pass" than his brown-skinned brethren.

        "I never thought about it," said the 78-year-old attorney.
        "My family ties were so great."

        Freeland, who came to Pittsburgh in 1950, grew
        up in a segregated community in Baltimore …


             Wendell Freeland, a Squirrel Hill
        lawyer and
             civil rights activist, never considered "passing"
             as `White'*
        although he witnessed others
             "passing" to get into barred theaters or stores.
                    "That was just casual passing",
                     Freeland says.
                    "I knew people who crossed over."

        As a college student, he encountered
        "blacks"^^ from the British
        West Indies and other places who "passed" to go to the movies
        or to shop in places where
        "blacks^^ were not welcome.

        "That was just casual "passing"," Freeland
        said. "I knew people who crossed over." …

        Freeland, who lives in Squirrel Hill, has spent a
        lifetime utilizing his considerable talents for
        numerous social and civil rights causes.

        He served as senior vice president of the National Urban
        League and was a member of the search committee that
        selected Vernon Jordan to lead that organization in the 1970s.

        He's been on any number of boards, including those of
        Westminster College, University of Pittsburgh and University
        of Pittsburgh Medical Center, and he had been chairman
        of the board of governors for the Joint Center for
        Political and Economic Studies in Washington, D.C.

        As obvious as the European portion of his
        ancestry is, Freeland said it was never a
        source of great pride or interest to him.

        "I'm more proud of my great-great-grandmother's
        manumission [emancipation] papers than
        any drop of `White'* blood," he said.

        "I have to tell you my complexion has certain advantages.
        I learn a lot about `White'* people … ," Freeland said,

        … "It doesn't bother me if somebody "passed" and
        had a life that was more successful and happy.

        I'm successful and happy, too."

        SOURCE:
        http://www.cmh.pitt.edu/newspassing102603.html

        RELATED LINKS:
        http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Generation-Mixed/message/1012
        http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Generation-Mixed/message/991
        http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Generation-Mixed/message/1032
        http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Generation-Mixed/message/1043


        Yahoo! Messenger with Voice. PC-to-Phone calls for ridiculously low rates.

      • multiracialbookclub
        You made some really excellent points here, Jeff. Not only do people seem to want to forget that the people that were being accused of passing were actually
        Message 3 of 9 , May 26, 2006
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          You made some really excellent points here, Jeff.

          Not only do people seem to want to forget that
          the people that were being accused of "passing"
          were actually of a predominantly-White/European
          lineage -- but also that their only other alternative
          was to let their FULL-lineage become known
          and to then have an unfair and racist "rule"
          (and all the denial of their rights as human
          beings which accompanied it) applied to them.

          In either case, the fact that they were/are actually
          Mixed-Race people (and are not of any mono-racial
          lineage at all) always seems to be ignored altogether.

          Not only were they *not* 'Black' people
          who were pretending to be 'White' -- 
          they were also *not* 'White' people either
          (at least not by the 'Mono-Racially White'
          definition that was used in that day and
          age -- although today, some people might
          refer to them as being 'Multi-Racial White')

          They were Mixed-Race people who --
          if they had dared to acknowledge their
          FULL-ancestry --- would find themselves
          forced to carry yet another type of false
          label and also have their rights denied them.

          There were and have been a great number
          of people in my family who had the ability
          to "pass" and I feel that whatever choices
          they made -- I can still honor and respect
          them both for and in it -- as my living as
          a Mixed-Race person generations later
          (wherein I can feel free to publicly, openly
          acknowledge and embrace my full-lineage),
          I most certainly do not feel that I would have
          any need --or right-- to judge any of them.

          The world was a lot different for a  
          Mixed-Race person generations ago.

          The situation faced by many of the Mixed-Race people
          who were of a very light-complexion was one in which
          they found themselves either having the false
          (and rather 'oppressive', in that day and age),
          'one drop rule'-based label of "black"
          (or 'Black') being placed on them 
                                --or--
          they found themselves choosing to have the false
          (although somewhat 'safer', in that day and age)
          label of 'White' being applied to themselves 
          (and having it also often exist as a 'life-or-death', or
          exist much of the time as a 'quality-of-life', matter)
          is a situation which is hard to imagine in today's world.

          Like you pointed out -- these were Multi-Racial people
          who were being forced (one way or another) to have to
          choose a singular Mono-Racial label (and categorized /
          status) to have placed on themselves as their 'identity'.

          Mixed-Race people have "passed" themselves
          off under 'other' Mono-Racial labels for centuries
          (and still do so today) -- yet the only time anyone
          acts as if this concept of "passing" is an 'offense'
          is when the Mono-Racial label selected is 'White'.

          (It's as if people are paranoid to have to admit
          that there are a great number of Mixed-Race people
          who exist who have a predominance of European blood
          and / or that there is no such thing as being "pure" White).

          Even in today's world -- if given the choice -- very
          few people would choose the to carry a label that
          would make life harder on themselves and their
          children -- when, by simply 'remaining silent', they
          would be allotted the opportunity for better lives.

          And the Mixed-Race people of our modern-day
          generation (with all the rights available to us)
          are certainly in no position to negatively judge
          the hard choices made by those in days gone by.


          Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this with us.

          In Generation-Mixed@yahoogroups.com,
          j s <creolescience@...> wrote:

          I have no problem with people passing,
          since it can also be argued that someone
          that white is passing for black,
          since the preponderance of dna is european.

          The laws and rules regarding race
          at that time were unjust and evil.

          If someone chose to ignore them,
          not participate in the travesty, 
          and live according to free will
          I have no problem with it.


          Before anyone complains about it remember
          these were mixed people being
          forced
          to choose one race, which everyone
          is saying we shouldn't have to do now.  

          If we shouldn't have to do it today
          when there is less institutional racism,
          why should we hold people to do it when there was?

          And how many of us would "stand up and be counted"
          as black if by simply keeping our mouths
          shut  we and our children had better lives?

          multiracialbookclub <soaptalk@...> wrote:

          Passing: how "posing" became
          a choice for many Americans

          (An article written by Monica L. Haynes for
          the 'Post-Gazette', Sunday, October 26, 2003

          ********************************************************************



          Although Barbara Douglass never told anyone
          she was `White'*, people see her porcelain
          skin and her silky hair and assume she is.

          But Douglass, who lives in Wilkinsburg ,
          is a 53-year-old
          "black"^^ woman.

          She could "pass" for `White'* but she has never tried, she said

          "Growing up, I knew of people who did, and I was even
          instructed not to say, at that time, that they were
          `Colored'**.
          In order to get their jobs, they had to say they were `White'*"

          [[[

          Note:

          **The term
          `Colored'** – as used here – is a reference to a
          person who is of a `Multiracial' / `Mixed-Race `lineage that
          also includes some part or amount of `Black / Negro' ancestry.

          ^^
          The term "black"^^ or "blacks"^^ – as used here – is a
          reference to those `Multiracial' / `Mixed-Race' individuals
          who were both of part-`Black / Negro' ancestry *and* who
          *also*came to be referred to / categorized by the term
          "black"^^.
          This categorization would have arisen either as a result of
          the racist `One-Drop Rule' and / or as a result of  taking
          on the socio-political `identification' that, since the late
          1960's, has come to be referred to by the term
          "black"^^.

          These terms "black"^^ and / or "blacks"^^ – when in reference
          to a socio-political "identification" -- were originally applied
          largely as a way of describing the new socio-political mindset
          that became popular in the late 1960s wherein many who
          were of at least some-part `Black / Negro' lineage chose to
          ------ openly support of the new pan-African, 
          anti-colonialist movement of the late 1960s;
          ------ refuse to hold or see the their or another's
          `Black / Negro' ancestral lineage as being "shameful";
          ------ and provide support for the whole idea of making
          sure that equal rights would become granted to those
          people who suffered discrimination due to having
          `Black / Negro' ancestry in their familial,
          ethnic, racial or even cultural lineage.

          As a result of the racist `One-Drop Rule' – the terms
          "black"^^ and "blacks"^^ were broad-brushed applied to
          entire people groupings (as a `political catch-phrase')
          as instructed by the western media and politicians.

          The term `Black' – as used here – is in reference those
          who are of `Black / Negro' lineage and who also have very
          little to no* known or acknowledged non-`Black / Negro' ancestry.

          The "Racial"-Term `Black' is *not* the same as
          the Socio-Political-`Identification' of
          "black"^^

          *The term `White'* – as used here – is a reference to a person who
          has no known or acknowledged non-'White / Caucasian' ancestry.

          The terms `Pass' and `Passing' – as used here – is
          reference to a person who hid, denied or pretended to
          have no known non-White (and particular `Black / Negro')
          ancestry and / or who would simply choose to
          `remain
          silent' on the whole matter and let strangers `draw their
          own conclusions' based solely on their physical appearance.


          ]]]

          Thelma Marshall knows that routine.

          During the 1950s and early '60s, she did
          what her mother before her had done.
          What her grandmother and aunts had done.

          She "passed" for `White'*

          "One time I told a woman I was
          "black"^^,
          `Colored'** in those days," Marshall recalled.
          "She said, 'You won't get the job
          unless you "pass" for `White'*."
          So that's what Marshall did.

          "I "passed" for `White'* on lots of jobs," she said.
          "I had to be `White'* to get the jobs."

          It's what many fair-skinned
          "blacks"^^ did during those times.

          Marshall's remarks are without shame or remorse.
          She felt she did what she had to do.

          Still, it is a prickly subject, and the 76-year-old woman does not
          want to offend so she asked that her real name not be used.

          [The act of] "passing" for `White'* offered not only opportunities,
          but also the opportunities [that only] `White'* people received.

          During [the] slavery [era], it could mean freedom.
          There are many documented instances of fair-skinned
          slaves who posed as [`White'* [in order] to escape.

          In modern times, it meant being able to vote in the South.
          It meant a job in the office rather than a job cleaning the office.
          It meant schools with the latest equipment and books,
          instead of dilapidated buildings and out-of-date texts.
          It often meant better housing.
          It meant being treated with respect, not disdain.

          Barbara Douglass recalls the difference between
          going out with her `White'* college friends
          vs. her
          "black"^^ college friends.

          "We went to a show, about
          six of us [
          "black"^^ students].

          The manager came and sat behind us.
          I asked him 'Why are you sitting behind us?'
          He said, 'I have to make sure you don't destroy anything.' "

          Douglass said she told the manager that
          he had never sat behind her before.

          His response was, "You never
          came with these people before."

          Douglass, who the manager had assumed
          was `White'*, encouraged her friends to
          leave the theater rather than be insulted …

          Because of her fair skin, Barbara Douglass
          of Wilkinsburg often witnessed -- but never
          tolerated -- racism directed at other people.

          When she was a young child, her parents
          didn't emphasize racial differences.
          "I just figured people came in
          different shades," she said.

          But when the subject came up in her
          dance class, the 8-year-old Douglass
          approached her mother, who explained
          to her about race and racism.

          "We are `a child of God' first.
          We are `human beings' first,"
          Douglass remembered her mother saying.

          In fifth grade, she learned that the United States
          is a melting pot, and she declared to her
          mother that she would be a melting pot.

          Her mother decided it was the perfect
          definition, seeing as how her ancestors were
          Cherokee, `Black', Dutch, German and Irish.

          Maybe all "blacks"^^ would have defined
          themselves that way given the chance.

          Since [the first, actual] `Black' people first came
          to
          the New World in 1619, they've mingled and
          mixed
          with every race and ethnic group here.

          It is not just the fair-skinned "blacks"^^ who
          can lay claim to that melting pot definition.

          Those "blacks"^^ who have the mark of Africa in their
          features and skin tone also have multicultural ancestry.

          They just can't pass.

          Most
          "blacks"^^ were never afforded
          the luxury of defining themselves
          .

          After the Civil War, Southern whites, not wanting this
          swirling of races to get out of hand and seeking to
          keep the [false notion of the] `White'* "race"
          as [being] pure, instituted a rule that
          anyone
          with "one drop" of `Black
          / Negro' blood was
          `Black' [race].

          That spurred even more fair-skinned "blacks"^^
          to cross over and escape Jim Crow laws that kept
          "blacks"^^ in the shackles of second-class citizenship.

          Interestingly, many ``White'*, if they traced
          their blood line or had their DNA tested,
          would find they have "black"^^ ancestors.

          In a 1999 piece for Slate, writer Brent Staples cites
          a 1940s study by Robert Stuckert, a sociologist
          and anthropologist from Ohio State University .
          The study, titled "African Ancestry of the White American
          Population", indicates that during the 1940s, approximately
          15,550 fair-skinned "blacks"^^ per year "crossed the color line".

          The study estimated that by 1950, about 21 percent or 28
          million of the 135 million categorized as `White'* had
          "black"^^ ancestry within the past four generations.

          Stuckert predicted that the numbers
          would grow in subsequent decades.

          Marshall never thought to "pass" permanently,
          although she had family members who did.

          Some fair-skinned
          "blacks"^^ with "good hair"
          and "keen features" did not "pass" but …
          [simply married] others with fair skin ...

          "For generations, my mother's side and
          my father's side married fair so they
          could get jobs," Marshall said.

          "My great-grandfather had a barbershop,
          and he "passed" for `White'*, and he had
          only ``White'* customers in his shop."

          But for many fair-skinned "blacks"^^,
          it was about more than getting jobs.

          There was a mind-set among some ….

          Some social organizations, fraternities and sororities
          admitted only fair-skinned "blacks"^^ or those who
          could pass the "paper bag test," meaning they
          could be no darker than a brown paper bag.

          To this day, Marshall , indoctrinated into such
          thinking as a child, would have preferred that her
          children marry `White'* or … very light-skinned people.

          "All my children married "black"^^,
          much to my regret," she said.
          "I would have preferred they married `White'*
          ... it's still an advantage to be `White'*."

          State decides for you

          Sometimes "blacks"^^ used their fair complexion not for
          personal gain but to circumvent discriminatory practices.

          For example, in the 1940s, "blacks"^^ who looked `White'*
          helped integrate Lewis Place , a neighborhood in St. Louis , Mo.

          Like many cities during this time, Lewis Place
          had covenants that prevented "blacks"^^ from
          buying homes in certain neighborhoods.

          But in the '40s, fair-skinned "blacks"^^ would purchase
          homes on Lewis Street and then transfer deeds to [the]
          darker-skinned
          `black"^^ people who had actually bought them.

          Famed NAACP chief executive Walter White's light skin
          allowed him to investigate lynchings and race riots in the 1920s.

          White, who was raised in Atlanta , under Jim Crow,
          remained an NAACP officer until he died in 1955.

          For nearly a century, just who was [defined or
          categorized as being either] `White'* or
          "black"^^
          depended upon what state that person was in.

          Between the 1890s and 1950s, the peak
          period for
          "blacks"^^ "passing" as `White'*,
          every state had its own racial designation,
          said Wendy Ann Gaudin, a history
          instructor at Xavier University in Louisiana.

          Gaudin has interviewed Mixed-Race people
          in Louisiana who "passed" for `White'* as
          part of study she conducted on that subject.

          A person could be born white in one state and be
          designated
          "black"^^ in another depending upon
          the `racial laws' in that state, said Gaudin, who
          also is a Ph.D. candidate at New York University .

          ----- During the antebellum period, enslaved `Black'
          [race] people were referred to as [being] Negroes.

          ----- Then there were `Free People of Color',
          … who generally had [a] Mixed "racial" heritage
          (and were [often also] born free to free parents).

          ---------- Free people of color could
          be brown-with-European-features,
          light-with-African-features and
          everything in between
          .

          "They were not looked upon as so-called Negroes and
          of course they weren't equated with `White'*, either,"
          Gaudin explained.
          "Society had `a place' for them."

          They were generally in the building trade.
          The women were mostly domestics.
          Some were slave owners,
          others staunch abolitionists.

          Louisiana 's Creoles were known as Free People
          Of Color, or Les Gens de Couleur Libres.

          Defined by their European, Native American
          and African ancestry, they enjoyed a preferred
          status … no matter what their complexion.

          "Creole [for instance] is not [an actual] "race".
          It is a `blended' Ethnicity *and* a `blended' Culture,"
          Gaudin explained. …

          However, after the "one drop"
          rule was instituted and Jim Crow
          [`Segregation] became the law of
          the land in the South, things changed.

          Often, they would move and
          cut ties with family members,
          especially the ones who could not "pass".

          The law aimed at these "White-Negroes",
          as they were sometimes called, actually forced
          more of the very racial mingling it sought to counter.

          "Once these laws were [enacted], "passing" made more
          sense, and it became more necessary," Gaudin said.

          Some who passed

          In her 2002 memoir, "Just Lucky, I Guess,"
          Broadway legend Carol Channing revealed that
          her father, George Channing, was a light-skinned
          "black"^^ man who "passed" [as being `White'*] ...

          When she was 16 and about to go off to
          college, her mother told her about her father.

          "My mother announced to me I was part-Negro,"
          Channing writes. "I'm only telling you this
          because `the Darwinian law' shows that
          you could easily have a "black"^^ baby."

          A noted case of passing in recent history is
          that of Anatole Broyard, longtime literary
          critic for The New York Times.

          Born "black"^^ and raised in "black"^^ neighborhoods in
          New Orleans and Brooklyn , he "passed" for `White'*
          for decades because he did not want to be labeled
          as a 'Negro' writer, he had said, but simply a writer.

          Henry Louis Gates Jr., chairman of the Afro-American
          history department at Harvard, chronicled Broyard's
          brilliant career and secret in a New Yorker
          essay that was included in his 1997 book,
          " Thirteen Ways of Looking at a " Black Man. "

          For years, Broyard sidestepped rumors of his
          ancestry and would credit his skin tone to a
          very distant relative who "may" have been
          "black"^^.

          Even in the waning days of his life, his body
          withered by cancer, he denied his wife's
          request to tell his children of their true heritage.

          They met Broyard's darker-skinned sister, Shirley,
          for the first time at his memorial service in 1990.

          No identity crisis

          Unlike Broyard, Shadyside's Dr. Edward J. Hale
          never sought the advantages of `White'*
          his complexion could have provided him.

          He's a retired staff member of Western
          Pennsylvania Hospital , served as
          chief of medical services and acting
          director of professional services at

          the Veterans Affairs Department Medical
          Center on Highland Drive , and he has
          taught at the University of Illinois , Howard
          University , the University of Pittsburgh
          and Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

          Hale, 80, said he followed the example of his
          father, William J. Hale, founding president of
          Tennessee Agricultural and Industrial State
          College, now known as Tennessee State University .

          Hale had come from a family
          that had accomplished much
          by living as "black"^^ people.

          His goal was to do the same.

          "I've always been fond of my dad, loved and
          adored and respected my father," Hale said.
          "He chose to remain "black"^^.

          He got to be a college president."
          His mother, a graduate of Fisk University ,
          headed up the business department at Tennessee State .
          She, too, was fair enough to "pass", as were Hale's siblings.

             

               Dr. Edward J. Hale chose to follow
               the example of his parents,
               accomplished educators
               Harriet and William J. Hale ...
                    The proud son says, "He chose
                    to remain 
          "black"^^ [identified]".

          His sister, who earned a master's in
          French from Columbia University , married
          a man who could not "pass", Hale said.

          "But they had a very positive marriage as
          "black"^^ and they lived happily," he added.

          His brother "used to float back and forth
          between being 'White'** and being "black"^^,
          he said. "He did that for work."

          Why didn't Hale?

          "I chose
          "black"^^ because I have a "black"^^ identity...
          "We had a heritage, and it was something important."

          His parents emphasized being proud of who he was,
          excelling at something, making a contribution to society.

          After getting his bachelor's degree at Tennessee
          State , he entered Meharry Medical College in
          Nashville , graduating third in his class in 1945.

          Two years later, he earned a master's in
          physiology from the University of Illinois .

          "As a fair-skinned
          "black"^^, I could "pass" for `White'*,
          but … if you got to be too outstanding, people would
          look into your background," Hale said.

          When he came to Pittsburgh in 1955 to serve
          as chief of medicine for the VA Hospital, he
          knew people would assume he was `White'*.

          They soon learned differently through his stand
          on issues and his friendships with other "black"^^.

          Hale and several other "black"^^ doctors formed the Gateway
          Medical Group, now called Gateway Medical Society.

          He was active in the National Medical Association
          and helped bring their convention to Pittsburgh .

          "I had to make an "identity" for myself, to
          let people know who I was," Hale said.

          Gaudin said it was easy for well-educated
          light-skinned people to take what is considered
          the high road by maintaining their "black"^^ identity.

          Poor, uneducated folks with the same
          complexion faced a different reality.

          "These were people who used their physical
          appearances because, in many cases,
          that's all they had," Gaudin said.
          "They weren't wealthy.
          In many cases, they felt this was
          their greatest, most valuable resource."

          Unbreakable family ties

          Attorney Wendell Freeland remembers a decade or so ago
          when he and his wife were reading in the newspaper
          about the fast rise of a young man who was `White'*.

          In the ensuing conversation, Freeland's wife noted that her
          husband was smarter and much more on the ball than the
          young man and should have reached the same career peak.

          Freeland recalls his daughter saying to him,
          "You've got nothing to complain about;
          you could have [lived as] `White'*".

          Theoretically, yes. Freeland says he can fool
          even those "black"^^ people who swear they
          can detect another "black"^^, no matter how fair.

          Consciously, Freeland said he could no more
          "pass" than his brown-skinned brethren.

          "I never thought about it," said the 78-year-old attorney.
          "My family ties were so great."

          Freeland, who came to Pittsburgh in 1950, grew
          up in a segregated community in Baltimore …



               Wendell Freeland, a Squirrel Hill
          lawyer and
               civil rights activist, never considered "passing"
               as `White'*
          although he witnessed others
               "passing" to get into barred theaters or stores.
                      "That was just casual passing",
                       Freeland says.
                      "I knew people who crossed over."

          As a college student, he encountered
          "blacks"^^ from the British
          West Indies and other places who "passed" to go to the movies
          or to shop in places where
          "blacks^^ were not welcome.

          "That was just casual "passing"," Freeland
          said. "I knew people who crossed over." …

          Freeland, who lives in Squirrel Hill, has spent a
          lifetime utilizing his considerable talents for
          numerous social and civil rights causes.

          He served as senior vice president of the National Urban
          League and was a member of the search committee that
          selected Vernon Jordan to lead that organization in the 1970s.

          He's been on any number of boards, including those of
          Westminster College, University of Pittsburgh and University
          of Pittsburgh Medical Center, and he had been chairman
          of the board of governors for the Joint Center for
          Political and Economic Studies in Washington, D.C.

          As obvious as the European portion of his
          ancestry is, Freeland said it was never a
          source of great pride or interest to him.

          "I'm more proud of my great-great-grandmother's
          manumission [emancipation] papers than
          any drop of `White'* blood," he said.

          "I have to tell you my complexion has certain advantages.
          I learn a lot about `White'* people … ," Freeland said,

          … "It doesn't bother me if somebody "passed" and
          had a life that was more successful and happy.

          I'm successful and happy, too."

          SOURCE:
          http://www.cmh.pitt.edu/newspassing102603.html

          RELATED LINKS:
          http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Generation-Mixed/message/1012
          http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Generation-Mixed/message/991
          http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Generation-Mixed/message/1032
          http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Generation-Mixed/message/1043
        • Peter Barrett
          I agree. The points made are very valid. Even though many were mostly European in ancestry, they had to leave thier family behind for a better life. I think
          Message 4 of 9 , May 26, 2006
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            I agree. The points made are very valid.
            Even though many were mostly European in ancestry,
            they had to leave thier family behind for a better life.
            I think that is what most people don't understand.
            Once that decision is made they couldn't turn back.
            They usually left the areas they were from.

            I met a lady two years ago who grew up thinking she was only white.
            Her daughters and granddaughters are white looking with Blonde hair.
            They are mostly white. The lady though has a light brown skin.
            The father rejected the black side of the family.
            She was always told she was Italian.

            She resents some of the decision her father
            made because he never told them about their true
            identity and is still today racist towards blacks.

            She embraces her new found heritage, and I think that is great.

            Some that passed had siblings that could not.
            A lot of pain went with that on both sides.

            My 3rd great grandmother had three children with a French slaveowner.
            My 2nd great grandmother her daughter probably never married
            and cohabitated with white men and children with them.
            My great grand father married a mixed woman.
            My grandfather married a griffe let's say.

            My family as an array of looks but many of
            us look black or what is percieved as black.
            My grandfather's sibling were the opposite and
            tried to get away from the white ancestry from shame.

            So many descisions as I said were painful on both sides.
            The color line split many of us up forever.

            Peter

            In Generation-Mixed@yahoogroups.com,
            "multiracialbookclub" <soaptalk@...> wrote:

            You made some really excellent points here, Jeff.

            Not only do people seem to want to forget that
            the people that were being accused of "passing"
            were actually of a predominantly-White/European
            lineage -- but also that their only other alternative
            was to let their FULL-lineage become known
            and to then have an unfair and racist "rule"
            (and all the denial of their rights as human
            beings which accompanied it) applied to them.

            In either case, the fact that they were/are actually
            Mixed-Race people (and are not of any mono-racial
            lineage at all) always seems to be ignored altogether.

            Not only were they *not* 'Black' people
            who were pretending to be 'White' --
            they were also *not* 'White' people either
            (at least not by the 'Mono-Racially White'
            definition that was used in that day and
            age -- although today, some people might
            refer to them as being 'Multi-Racial White')

            They were Mixed-Race people who --
            if they had dared to acknowledge their
            FULL-ancestry --- would find themselves
            forced to carry yet another type of false
            label and also have their rights denied them.

            There were and have been a great number
            of people in my family who had the ability
            to "pass" and I feel that whatever choices
            they made -- I can still honor and respect
            them both for and in it -- as my living as
            a Mixed-Race person generations later
            (wherein I can feel free to publicly, openly
            acknowledge and embrace my full-lineage),
            I most certainly do not feel that I would have
            any need --or right-- to judge any of them.

            The world was a lot different for a
            Mixed-Race person generations ago.

            The situation faced by many of the Mixed-Race people
            who were of a very light-complexion was one in which
            they found themselves either having the false
            (and rather 'oppressive', in that day and age),
            'one drop rule'-based label of "black"
            (or 'Black') being placed on them
            --or--
            they found themselves choosing to have the false
            (although somewhat 'safer', in that day and age)
            label of 'White' being applied to themselves
            (and having it also often exist as a 'life-or-death', or
            exist much of the time as a 'quality-of-life', matter)
            is a situation which is hard to imagine in today's world.

            Like you pointed out -- these were Multi-Racial people
            who were being forced (one way or another) to have to
            choose a singular Mono-Racial label (and categorized /
            status) to have placed on themselves as their 'identity'.

            Mixed-Race people have "passed" themselves
            off under 'other' Mono-Racial labels for centuries
            (and still do so today) -- yet the only time anyone
            acts as if this concept of "passing" is an 'offense'
            is when the Mono-Racial label selected is 'White'.

            (It's as if people are paranoid to have to admit
            that there are a great number of Mixed-Race people
            who exist who have a predominance of European blood
            and / or that there is no such thing as being "pure" White).

            Even in today's world -- if given the choice -- very
            few people would choose the to carry a label that
            would make life harder on themselves and their
            children -- when, by simply 'remaining silent', they
            would be allotted the opportunity for better lives.

            And the Mixed-Race people of our modern-day
            generation (with all the rights available to us)
            are certainly in no position to negatively judge
            the hard choices made by those in days gone by.

            Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this with us.

            In Generation-Mixed@yahoogroups.com
            j s <creolescience@> wrote:

            I have no problem with people passing,
            since it can also be argued that someone
            that white is passing for black,
            since the preponderance of dna is european.

            The laws and rules regarding race
            at that time were unjust and evil.

            If someone chose to ignore them,
            not participate in the travesty,
            and live according to free will
            I have no problem with it.

            Before anyone complains about it remember
            these were mixed people being forced
            to choose one race, which everyone
            is saying we shouldn't have to do now.

            If we shouldn't have to do it today
            when there is less institutional racism,
            why should we hold people to do it when there was?

            And how many of us would "stand up and be counted"
            as black if by simply keeping our mouths
            shut we and our children had better lives?

            multiracialbookclub <soaptalk@...> wrote:

            Passing: how "posing" became
            a choice for many Americans

            (An article written by Monica L. Haynes for
            the 'Post-Gazette', Sunday, October 26, 2003

            ********************************************************************

            Although Barbara Douglass never told anyone
            she was `White'*, people see her porcelain
            skin and her silky hair and assume she is.

            But Douglass, who lives in Wilkinsburg,
            is a 53-year-old "black"^^ woman.

            She could "pass" for `White'* but she has never tried, she said

            "Growing up, I knew of people who did, and I was even
            instructed not to say, at that time, that they were `Colored'**.
            In order to get their jobs, they had to say they were `White'*"

            [[[

            Note:

            **The term `Colored'** – as used here – is a reference to a
            person who is of a `Multiracial' / `Mixed-Race `lineage that
            also includes some part or amount of `Black / Negro' ancestry.

            ^^The term "black"^^ or "blacks"^^ – as used here –
            is a reference to those `Multiracial' / `Mixed-Race'
            individuals who were both of part-`Black / Negro'
            ancestry *and* who *also* came to be referred
            to / categorized by the term "black"^^.

            This categorization would have arisen either as a result of
            the racist `One-Drop Rule' and / or as a result of taking
            on the socio-political `identification' that, since the late
            1960's, has come to be referred to by the term "black"^^.

            These terms "black"^^ and / or "blacks"^^ – when in reference
            to a socio-political "identification" -- were originally applied
            largely as a way of describing the new socio-political mindset
            that became popular in the late 1960s wherein many who
            were of at least some-part `Black / Negro' lineage chose to
            ------ openly support of the new pan-African,
            anti-colonialist movement of the late 1960s;
            ------ refuse to hold or see the their or another's
            `Black / Negro' ancestral lineage as being "shameful";
            ------ and provide support for the whole idea of making
            sure that equal rights would become granted to those
            people who suffered discrimination due to having
            `Black / Negro' ancestry in their familial,
            ethnic, racial or even cultural lineage.

            As a result of the racist `One-Drop Rule' – the terms
            "black"^^ and "blacks"^^ were broad-brushed applied to
            entire people groupings (as a `political catch-phrase')
            as instructed by the western media and politicians.

            The term `Black' – as used here – is in reference
            those who are of `Black / Negro' lineage and
            who also have very little to no* known or
            acknowledged non-`Black / Negro' ancestry.

            The "Racial"-Term `Black' is *not* the same as
            the Socio-Political-`Identification' of "black"^^

            *The term `White'* – as used here – is a reference
            to a person who has no known or acknowledged
            non-'White / Caucasian' ancestry.

            The terms `Pass' and `Passing' – as used here – is
            reference to a person who hid, denied or pretended to
            have no known non-White (and particular `Black / Negro')
            ancestry and / or who would simply choose to `remain
            silent' on the whole matter and let strangers `draw their
            own conclusions' based solely on their physical appearance.

            ]]]

            Thelma Marshall knows that routine.

            During the 1950s and early '60s, she did
            what her mother before her had done.
            What her grandmother and aunts had done.

            She "passed" for `White'*

            "One time I told a woman I was "black"^^,
            `Colored'** in those days," Marshall recalled.
            "She said, 'You won't get the job
            unless you "pass" for `White'*."
            So that's what Marshall did.

            "I "passed" for `White'* on lots of jobs," she said.
            "I had to be `White'* to get the jobs."

            It's what many fair-skinned "blacks"^^ did during those times.

            Marshall's remarks are without shame or remorse.
            She felt she did what she had to do.

            Still, it is a prickly subject, and the 76-year-old woman does not
            want to offend so she asked that her real name not be used.

            [The act of] "passing" for `White'* offered not only opportunities,
            but also the opportunities [that only] `White'* people received.

            During [the] slavery [era], it could mean freedom.
            There are many documented instances of fair-skinned
            slaves who posed as [`White'* [in order] to escape.

            In modern times, it meant being able to vote in the South.
            It meant a job in the office rather than a job cleaning the office.
            It meant schools with the latest equipment and books,
            instead of dilapidated buildings and out-of-date texts.
            It often meant better housing.
            It meant being treated with respect, not disdain.

            Barbara Douglass recalls the difference between
            going out with her `White'* college friends
            vs. her "black"^^ college friends.

            "We went to a show, about
            six of us ["black"^^ students].

            The manager came and sat behind us.
            I asked him 'Why are you sitting behind us?'
            He said, 'I have to make sure you don't destroy anything.' "

            Douglass said she told the manager that
            he had never sat behind her before.

            His response was, "You never
            came with these people before."

            Douglass, who the manager had assumed
            was `White'*, encouraged her friends to
            leave the theater rather than be insulted ...

            Because of her fair skin, Barbara Douglass
            of Wilkinsburg often witnessed -- but never
            tolerated -- racism directed at other people.

            When she was a young child, her parents
            didn't emphasize racial differences.
            "I just figured people came in
            different shades," she said.

            But when the subject came up in her
            dance class, the 8-year-old Douglass
            approached her mother, who explained
            to her about race and racism.

            "We are `a child of God' first.
            We are `human beings' first,"
            Douglass remembered her mother saying.

            In fifth grade, she learned that the United States
            is a melting pot, and she declared to her
            mother that she would be a melting pot.

            Her mother decided it was the perfect
            definition, seeing as how her ancestors were
            Cherokee, `Black', Dutch, German and Irish.

            Maybe all "blacks"^^ would have defined
            themselves that way given the chance.

            Since [the first, actual] `Black' people first came
            to the New World in 1619, they've mingled and
            mixed with every race and ethnic group here.

            It is not just the fair-skinned "blacks"^^ who
            can lay claim to that melting pot definition.

            Those "blacks"^^ who have the mark of Africa in their
            features and skin tone also have multicultural ancestry.

            They just can't pass.

            Most "blacks"^^ were never afforded
            the luxury of defining themselves.

            After the Civil War, Southern whites, not wanting this
            swirling of races to get out of hand and seeking to
            keep the [false notion of the] `White'* "race"
            as [being] pure, instituted a rule that
            anyone with "one drop" of `Black
            / Negro' blood was `Black' [race].

            That spurred even more fair-skinned "blacks"^^
            to cross over and escape Jim Crow laws that kept
            "blacks"^^ in the shackles of second-class citizenship.

            Interestingly, many ``White'*, if they traced
            their blood line or had their DNA tested,
            would find they have "black"^^ ancestors.

            In a 1999 piece for Slate, writer Brent Staples cites
            a 1940s study by Robert Stuckert, a sociologist
            and anthropologist from Ohio State University.
            The study, titled "African Ancestry of the White American
            Population", indicates that during the 1940s, approximately
            15,550 fair-skinned "blacks"^^ per year "crossed the color line".

            The study estimated that by 1950, about 21 percent or 28
            million of the 135 million categorized as `White'* had
            "black"^^ ancestry within the past four generations.

            Stuckert predicted that the numbers
            would grow in subsequent decades.

            Marshall never thought to "pass" permanently,
            although she had family members who did.

            Some fair-skinned "blacks"^^ with "good hair"
            and "keen features" did not "pass" but …
            [simply married] others with fair skin ...

            "For generations, my mother's side and
            my father's side married fair so they
            could get jobs," Marshall said.

            "My great-grandfather had a barbershop,
            and he "passed" for `White'*, and he had
            only ``White'* customers in his shop."

            But for many fair-skinned "blacks"^^,
            it was about more than getting jobs.

            There was a mind-set among some ….

            Some social organizations, fraternities and sororities
            admitted only fair-skinned "blacks"^^ or those who
            could pass the "paper bag test," meaning they
            could be no darker than a brown paper bag.

            To this day, Marshall, indoctrinated into such
            thinking as a child, would have preferred that her
            children marry `White'* or … very light-skinned people.

            "All my children married "black"^^,
            much to my regret," she said.
            "I would have preferred they married `White'*
            ... it's still an advantage to be `White'*."

            State decides for you

            Sometimes "blacks"^^ used their fair complexion not for
            personal gain but to circumvent discriminatory practices.

            For example, in the 1940s, "blacks"^^ who looked `White'*
            helped integrate Lewis Place, a neighborhood in St. Louis, Mo.

            Like many cities during this time, Lewis Place
            had covenants that prevented "blacks"^^ from
            buying homes in certain neighborhoods.

            But in the '40s, fair-skinned "blacks"^^ would purchase
            homes on Lewis Street and then transfer deeds to [the]
            darker-skinned `black"^^ people who had actually bought them.

            Famed NAACP chief executive Walter White's light skin
            allowed him to investigate lynchings and race riots in the 1920s.

            White, who was raised in Atlanta, under Jim Crow,
            remained an NAACP officer until he died in 1955.

            For nearly a century, just who was [defined or
            categorized as being either] `White'* or "black"^^
            depended upon what state that person was in.

            Between the 1890s and 1950s, the peak
            period for "blacks"^^ "passing" as `White'*,
            every state had its own racial designation,
            said Wendy Ann Gaudin, a history
            instructor at Xavier University in Louisiana.

            Gaudin has interviewed Mixed-Race people
            in Louisiana who "passed" for `White'* as
            part of study she conducted on that subject.

            A person could be born white in one state and be
            designated "black"^^ in another depending upon
            the `racial laws' in that state, said Gaudin, who
            also is a Ph.D. candidate at New York University.

            ----- During the antebellum period, enslaved `Black'
            [race] people were referred to as [being] Negroes.

            ----- Then there were `Free People of Color',
            ... who generally had [a] Mixed "racial" heritage
            (and were [often also] born free to free parents).

            ---------- Free people of color could
            be brown-with-European-features,
            light-with-African-features and
            everything in between.

            "They were not looked upon as so-called Negroes and
            of course they weren't equated with `White'*, either,"
            Gaudin explained.
            "Society had `a place' for them."

            They were generally in the building trade.
            The women were mostly domestics.
            Some were slave owners,
            others staunch abolitionists.

            Louisiana's Creoles were known as Free People
            Of Color, or Les Gens de Couleur Libres.

            Defined by their European, Native American
            and African ancestry, they enjoyed a preferred
            status … no matter what their complexion.

            "Creole [for instance] is not [an actual] "race".
            It is a `blended' Ethnicity *and* a `blended' Culture,"
            Gaudin explained. ...

            However, after the "one drop"
            rule was instituted and Jim Crow
            [`Segregation] became the law of
            the land in the South, things changed.

            Often, they would move and
            cut ties with family members,
            especially the ones who could not "pass".

            The law aimed at these "White-Negroes",
            as they were sometimes called, actually forced
            more of the very racial mingling it sought to counter.

            "Once these laws were [enacted], "passing" made more
            sense, and it became more necessary," Gaudin said.

            Some who passed

            In her 2002 memoir, "Just Lucky, I Guess,"
            Broadway legend Carol Channing revealed that
            her father, George Channing, was a light-skinned
            "black"^^ man who "passed" [as being `White'*] ...

            When she was 16 and about to go off to
            college, her mother told her about her father.

            "My mother announced to me I was part-Negro,"
            Channing writes. "I'm only telling you this
            because `the Darwinian law' shows that
            you could easily have a "black"^^ baby."

            A noted case of passing in recent history is
            that of Anatole Broyard, longtime literary
            critic for The New York Times.

            Born "black"^^ and raised in "black"^^ neighborhoods in
            New Orleans and Brooklyn, he "passed" for `White'*
            for decades because he did not want to be labeled
            as a 'Negro' writer, he had said, but simply a writer.

            Henry Louis Gates Jr., chairman of the Afro-American
            history department at Harvard, chronicled Broyard's
            brilliant career and secret in a New Yorker
            essay that was included in his 1997 book,
            "Thirteen Ways of Looking at a "Black Man."

            For years, Broyard sidestepped rumors of his
            ancestry and would credit his skin tone to a
            very distant relative who "may" have been "black"^^.

            Even in the waning days of his life, his body
            withered by cancer, he denied his wife's
            request to tell his children of their true heritage.

            They met Broyard's darker-skinned sister, Shirley,
            for the first time at his memorial service in 1990.

            No identity crisis

            Unlike Broyard, Shadyside's Dr. Edward J. Hale
            never sought the advantages of `White'*
            his complexion could have provided him.

            He's a retired staff member of Western
            Pennsylvania Hospital, served as
            chief of medical services and acting
            director of professional services at
            the Veterans Affairs Department Medical
            Center on Highland Drive, and he has
            taught at the University of Illinois, Howard
            University, the University of Pittsburgh
            and Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

            Hale, 80, said he followed the example of his
            father, William J. Hale, founding president of
            Tennessee Agricultural and Industrial State
            College, now known as Tennessee State University.

            Hale had come from a family
            that had accomplished much
            by living as "black"^^ people.

            His goal was to do the same.

            "I've always been fond of my dad, loved and
            adored and respected my father," Hale said.
            "He chose to remain "black"^^.

            He got to be a college president."
            His mother, a graduate of Fisk University,
            headed up the business department at Tennessee State.
            She, too, was fair enough to "pass", as were Hale's siblings.



            Dr. Edward J. Hale chose to follow
            the example of his parents,
            accomplished educators
            Harriet and William J. Hale ...

            The proud son says, "He chose
            to remain "black"^^ [identified]".

            His sister, who earned a master's in
            French from Columbia University, married
            a man who could not "pass", Hale said.

            "But they had a very positive marriage as
            "black"^^ and they lived happily," he added.

            His brother "used to float back and forth
            between being 'White'** and being "black"^^,
            he said. "He did that for work."

            Why didn't Hale?

            "I chose "black"^^ because I have a "black"^^ identity...
            "We had a heritage, and it was something important."

            His parents emphasized being proud of who he was,
            excelling at something, making a contribution to society.

            After getting his bachelor's degree at Tennessee
            State, he entered Meharry Medical College in
            Nashville, graduating third in his class in 1945.

            Two years later, he earned a master's in
            physiology from the University of Illinois.

            "As a fair-skinned "black"^^, I could "pass" for `White'*,
            but ... if you got to be too outstanding, people would
            look into your background," Hale said.

            When he came to Pittsburgh in 1955 to serve
            as chief of medicine for the VA Hospital, he
            knew people would assume he was `White'*.

            They soon learned differently through his stand
            on issues and his friendships with other "black"^^.

            Hale and several other "black"^^ doctors formed the Gateway
            Medical Group, now called Gateway Medical Society.

            He was active in the National Medical Association
            and helped bring their convention to Pittsburgh.

            "I had to make an "identity" for myself, to
            let people know who I was," Hale said.

            Gaudin said it was easy for well-educated
            light-skinned people to take what is considered
            the high road by maintaining their "black"^^ identity.

            Poor, uneducated folks with the same
            complexion faced a different reality.

            "These were people who used their physical
            appearances because, in many cases,
            that's all they had," Gaudin said.
            "They weren't wealthy.
            In many cases, they felt this was
            their greatest, most valuable resource."

            Unbreakable family ties

            Attorney Wendell Freeland remembers a decade or so ago
            when he and his wife were reading in the newspaper
            about the fast rise of a young man who was `White'*.

            In the ensuing conversation, Freeland's wife noted that her
            husband was smarter and much more on the ball than the
            young man and should have reached the same career peak.

            Freeland recalls his daughter saying to him,
            "You've got nothing to complain about;
            you could have [lived as] `White'*".

            Theoretically, yes. Freeland says he can fool
            even those "black"^^ people who swear they
            can detect another "black"^^, no matter how fair.

            Consciously, Freeland said he could no more
            "pass" than his brown-skinned brethren.

            "I never thought about it," said the 78-year-old attorney.
            "My family ties were so great."

            Freeland, who came to Pittsburgh in 1950, grew
            up in a segregated community in Baltimore…



            Wendell Freeland, a Squirrel Hill lawyer and
            civil rights activist, never considered "passing"
            as `White'*although he witnessed others
            "passing" to get into barred theaters or stores.

            "That was just casual passing",
            Freeland says.
            "I knew people who crossed over."

            As a college student, he encountered "blacks"^^ from the British
            West Indies and other places who "passed" to go to the movies
            or to shop in places where "blacks^^ were not welcome.

            "That was just casual "passing"," Freeland
            said. "I knew people who crossed over." ...

            Freeland, who lives in Squirrel Hill, has spent a
            lifetime utilizing his considerable talents for
            numerous social and civil rights causes.

            He served as senior vice president of the National Urban
            League and was a member of the search committee that
            selected Vernon Jordan to lead that organization in the 1970s.

            He's been on any number of boards, including those of
            Westminster College, University of Pittsburgh and University
            of Pittsburgh Medical Center, and he had been chairman
            of the board of governors for the Joint Center for
            Political and Economic Studies in Washington, D.C.

            As obvious as the European portion of his
            ancestry is, Freeland said it was never a
            source of great pride or interest to him.

            "I'm more proud of my great-great-grandmother's
            manumission [emancipation] papers than
            any drop of `White'* blood," he said.

            "I have to tell you my complexion has certain advantages.
            I learn a lot about `White'* people … ," Freeland said,

            ... "It doesn't bother me if somebody "passed" and
            had a life that was more successful and happy.

            I'm successful and happy, too."

            SOURCE:
            http://www.cmh.pitt.edu/newspassing102603.html

            RELATED LINKS:
            http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Generation-Mixed/message/1012
            http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Generation-Mixed/message/991
            http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Generation-Mixed/message/1032
            http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Generation-Mixed/message/1043
          • wintyreeve@aol.com
            Hi Friends- I was in a very weird situation the other day... In fact this whole experience is weird. Since the children and I are homeless we are constantly
            Message 5 of 9 , May 26, 2006
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              Hi Friends-
               
              I was in a very weird situation the other day...

              In fact this whole experience is weird.
              Since the children and I are homeless we are constantly filling out forms for assistance
              and things like that. Every time we go into an office, it seems that we have to
              explain what race we are. And every person has a different opinion!
              Has anyone been through this kind of thing?

              I was filling out papers at a govt office, and the lady helping me
              put my race as "black" and the race of my children as "white".
              That does not even make sense!
              When I saw the forms, everything was all typed up...and ready for me to sign.
              So it was like the lady was imposing on me, and telling to just sign to this.
              It was the strangest thing to have someone look at me then tell me what I am.

              I was filling out another set of papers--and this lady was nice.
              She had the sense to ask me what I wanted to list my race as, and let me do whatever I want.

              Next time I am going to be a b*t*h and tell these people that I am from Jupiter.
              If they ask for clarification I will tell them it is an unknown clan from the sticks of Wisconsin!

              Shaking My Head at Life...
               
              Lynn
               
            • multiracialbookclub
              Passing: how posing became a choice for many Americans (An article written by Monica L. Haynes for the Post-Gazette , Sunday, October 26, 2003
              Message 6 of 9 , Oct 18, 2006
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                Passing: how "posing" became
                a choice for many Americans

                (An article written by Monica L. Haynes for
                the 'Post-Gazette', Sunday, October 26, 2003

                ********************************************************************



                Although Barbara Douglass never told anyone
                she was `White'*, people see her porcelain
                skin and her silky hair and assume she is.

                But Douglass, who lives in Wilkinsburg ,
                is a 53-year-old
                "black"^^ woman.

                She could "pass" for `White'* but she has never tried, she said

                "Growing up, I knew of people who did, and I was even
                instructed not to say, at that time, that they were
                `Colored'**.
                In order to get their jobs, they had to say they were `White'*"

                [[[

                Note:

                **The term
                `Colored'** – as used here – is a reference to a
                person who is of a `Multiracial' / `Mixed-Race `lineage that
                also includes some part or amount of `Black / Negro' ancestry.

                ^^
                The term "black"^^ or "blacks"^^ – as used here – is a
                reference to those `Multiracial' / `Mixed-Race' individuals
                who were both of part-`Black / Negro' ancestry *and* who
                *also*came to be referred to / categorized by the term
                "black"^^.
                This categorization would have arisen either as a result of
                the racist `One-Drop Rule' and / or as a result of  taking
                on the socio-political `identification' that, since the late
                1960's, has come to be referred to by the term
                "black"^^.

                These terms "black"^^ and / or "blacks"^^ – when in reference
                to a socio-political "identification" -- were originally applied
                largely as a way of describing the new socio-political mindset
                that became popular in the late 1960s wherein many who
                were of at least some-part `Black / Negro' lineage chose to
                ------ openly support of the new pan-African, 
                anti-colonialist movement of the late 1960s;
                ------ refused to hold or see the their or another's
                `Black / Negro' ancestral lineage as being "shameful";
                ------ and by providing support for the whole idea of making
                sure that equal rights would become granted to those
                people who suffered discrimination due to having
                `Black / Negro' ancestry in their familial,
                ethnic, racial or even cultural lineage.

                As a result of the racist `One-Drop Rule' – the terms
                "black"^^ and "blacks"^^ were broad-brushed applied to
                entire people groupings (as a `political catch-phrase')
                as instructed by the western media and politicians.

                The term `Black' – as used here – is in reference those
                who are of `Black / Negro' lineage and who also have very
                little to no* known or acknowledged non-`Black / Negro' ancestry.

                The "Racial"-Term `Black' is *not* the same as
                the Socio-Political-`Identification' of
                "black"^^

                *The term `White'* – as used here – is a reference to a person who
                has no known or acknowledged non-'White / Caucasian' ancestry.

                The terms `Pass' and `Passing' – as used here – is
                reference to a person who hid, denied or pretended to
                have no known non-White (and particular `Black / Negro')
                ancestry and / or who would simply choose to
                `remain
                silent' on the whole matter and let strangers `draw their
                own conclusions' based solely on their physical appearance.


                ]]]

                Thelma Marshall knows that routine.

                During the 1950s and early '60s, she did
                what her mother before her had done.
                What her grandmother and aunts had done.

                She "passed" for `White'*

                "One time I told a woman I was
                "black"^^,
                `Colored'** in those days," Marshall recalled.
                "She said, 'You won't get the job
                unless you "pass" for `White'*."
                So that's what Marshall did.

                "I "passed" for `White'* on lots of jobs," she said.
                "I had to be `White'* to get the jobs."

                It's what many fair-skinned
                "blacks"^^ did during those times.

                Marshall's remarks are without shame or remorse.
                She felt she did what she had to do.

                Still, it is a prickly subject, and the 76-year-old woman does not
                want to offend so she asked that her real name not be used.

                [The act of] "passing" for `White'* offered not only opportunities,
                but also the opportunities [that only] `White'* people received.

                During [the] slavery [era], it could mean freedom.
                There are many documented instances of fair-skinned
                slaves who posed as [`White'* [in order] to escape.

                In modern times, it meant being able to vote in the South.
                It meant a job in the office rather than a job cleaning the office.
                It meant schools with the latest equipment and books,
                instead of dilapidated buildings and out-of-date texts.
                It often meant better housing.
                It meant being treated with respect, not disdain.

                Barbara Douglass recalls the difference between
                going out with her `White'* college friends
                vs. her
                "black"^^ college friends.

                "We went to a show, about
                six of us [
                "black"^^ students].

                The manager came and sat behind us.
                I asked him 'Why are you sitting behind us?'
                He said, 'I have to make sure you don't destroy anything.' "

                Douglass said she told the manager that
                he had never sat behind her before.

                His response was, "You never
                came with these people before."

                Douglass, who the manager had assumed
                was `White'*, encouraged her friends to
                leave the theater rather than be insulted …

                Because of her fair skin, Barbara Douglass
                of Wilkinsburg often witnessed -- but never
                tolerated -- racism directed at other people.

                When she was a young child, her parents
                didn't emphasize racial differences.
                "I just figured people came in
                different shades," she said.

                But when the subject came up in her
                dance class, the 8-year-old Douglass
                approached her mother, who explained
                to her about race and racism.

                "We are `a child of God' first.
                We are `human beings' first,"
                Douglass remembered her mother saying.

                In fifth grade, she learned that the United States
                is a melting pot, and she declared to her
                mother that she would be a melting pot.

                Her mother decided it was the perfect
                definition, seeing as how her ancestors were
                Cherokee, `Black', Dutch, German and Irish.

                Maybe all "blacks"^^ would have defined
                themselves that way given the chance.

                Since [the first, actual] `Black' people first came
                to
                the New World in 1619, they've mingled and
                mixed
                with every race and ethnic group here.

                It is not just the fair-skinned "blacks"^^ who
                can lay claim to that melting pot definition.

                Those "blacks"^^ who have the mark of Africa in their
                features and skin tone also have multicultural ancestry.

                They just can't pass.

                Most
                "blacks"^^ were never afforded
                the luxury of defining themselves
                .

                After the Civil War, Southern whites, not wanting this
                swirling of races to get out of hand and seeking to
                keep the [false notion of the] `White'* "race"
                as [being] pure, instituted a rule that
                anyone
                with "one drop" of `Black
                / Negro' blood was
                `Black' [race].

                That spurred even more fair-skinned "blacks"^^
                to cross over and escape Jim Crow laws that kept
                "blacks"^^ in the shackles of second-class citizenship.

                Interestingly, many ``White'*, if they traced
                their blood line or had their DNA tested,
                would find they have "black"^^ ancestors.

                In a 1999 piece for Slate, writer Brent Staples cites
                a 1940s study by Robert Stuckert, a sociologist
                and anthropologist from Ohio State University .

                The study, titled "African Ancestry of the White American
                Population", indicates that during the 1940s, approximately
                15,550 fair-skinned "blacks"^^ per year "crossed the color line".

                The study estimated that by 1950, about 21 percent or 28
                million of the 135 million categorized as `White'* had
                "black"^^ ancestry within the past four generations.

                Stuckert predicted that the numbers
                would grow in subsequent decades.

                Marshall never thought to "pass" permanently,
                although she had family members who did.

                Some fair-skinned
                "blacks"^^ with "good hair"
                and "keen features" did not "pass" but …
                [simply married] others with fair skin ...

                "For generations, my mother's side and
                my father's side married fair so they
                could get jobs," Marshall said.

                "My great-grandfather had a barbershop,
                and he "passed" for `White'*, and he had
                only ``White'* customers in his shop."

                But for many fair-skinned "blacks"^^,
                it was about more than getting jobs.

                There was a mind-set among some ….

                Some social organizations, fraternities and sororities
                admitted only fair-skinned "blacks"^^ or those who
                could pass the "paper bag test," meaning they
                could be no darker than a brown paper bag.

                To this day, Marshall , indoctrinated into such
                thinking as a child, would have preferred that her
                children marry `White'* or … very light-skinned people.

                "All my children married "black"^^,
                much to my regret," she said.
                "I would have preferred they married `White'*
                ... it's still an advantage to be `White'*."

                State decides for you

                Sometimes "blacks"^^ used their fair complexion not for
                personal gain but to circumvent discriminatory practices.

                For example, in the 1940s, "blacks"^^ who looked `White'*
                helped integrate Lewis Place , a neighborhood in St. Louis , Mo.

                Like many cities during this time, Lewis Place
                had covenants that prevented "blacks"^^ from
                buying homes in certain neighborhoods.

                But in the '40s, fair-skinned "blacks"^^ would purchase
                homes on Lewis Street and then transfer deeds to [the]
                darker-skinned
                `black"^^ people who had actually bought them.

                Famed NAACP chief executive Walter White's light skin
                allowed him to investigate lynchings and race riots in the 1920s.

                White, who was raised in Atlanta , under Jim Crow,
                remained an NAACP officer until he died in 1955.

                For nearly a century, just who was [defined or
                categorized as being either] `White'* or
                "black"^^
                depended upon what state that person was in.

                Between the 1890s and 1950s, the peak
                period for
                "blacks"^^ "passing" as `White'*,
                every state had its own racial designation,
                said Wendy Ann Gaudin, a history
                instructor at Xavier University in Louisiana.

                Gaudin has interviewed Mixed-Race people
                in Louisiana who "passed" for `White'* as
                part of study she conducted on that subject.

                A person could be born white in one state and be
                designated
                "black"^^ in another depending upon
                the `racial laws' in that state, said Gaudin, who
                also is a Ph.D. candidate at New York University .

                ----- During the antebellum period, enslaved `Black'
                [race] people were referred to as [being] Negroes.

                ----- Then there were `Free People of Color',
                … who generally had [a] Mixed "racial" heritage
                (and were [often also] born free to free parents).

                ---------- Free people of color could
                be brown-with-European-features,
                light-with-African-features and
                everything in between
                .

                "They were not looked upon as so-called Negroes and
                of course they weren't equated with `White'*, either,"
                Gaudin explained.
                "Society had `a place' for them."

                They were generally in the building trade.
                The women were mostly domestics.
                Some were slave owners,
                others staunch abolitionists.

                Louisiana 's Creoles were known as Free People
                Of Color, or Les Gens de Couleur Libres.

                Defined by their European, Native American
                and African ancestry, they enjoyed a preferred
                status … no matter what their complexion.

                "Creole [for instance] is not [an actual] "race".
                It is a `blended' Ethnicity *and* a `blended' Culture,"
                Gaudin explained. …

                However, after the "one drop"
                rule was instituted and Jim Crow
                [`Segregation] became the law of
                the land in the South, things changed.

                Often, they would move and
                cut ties with family members,
                especially the ones who could not "pass".

                The law aimed at these "White-Negroes",
                as they were sometimes called, actually forced
                more of the very racial mingling it sought to counter.

                "Once these laws were [enacted], "passing" made more
                sense, and it became more necessary," Gaudin said.

                Some who passed

                In her 2002 memoir, "Just Lucky, I Guess,"
                Broadway legend Carol Channing revealed that
                her father, George Channing, was a light-skinned
                "black"^^ man who "passed" [as being `White'*] ...

                When she was 16 and about to go off to
                college, her mother told her about her father.

                "My mother announced to me I was part-Negro,"
                Channing writes. "I'm only telling you this
                because `the Darwinian law' shows that
                you could easily have a "black"^^ baby."

                A noted case of passing in recent history is
                that of Anatole Broyard, longtime literary
                critic for The New York Times.

                Born "black"^^ and raised in "black"^^ neighborhoods in
                New Orleans and Brooklyn , he "passed" for `White'*
                for decades because he did not want to be labeled
                as a 'Negro' writer, he had said, but simply a writer.

                Henry Louis Gates Jr., chairman of the Afro-American
                history department at Harvard, chronicled Broyard's
                brilliant career and secret in a New Yorker
                essay that was included in his 1997 book,
                " Thirteen Ways of Looking at a " Black Man. "

                For years, Broyard sidestepped rumors of his
                ancestry and would credit his skin tone to a
                very distant relative who "may" have been
                "black"^^.

                Even in the waning days of his life, his body
                withered by cancer, he denied his wife's
                request to tell his children of their true heritage.

                They met Broyard's darker-skinned sister, Shirley,
                for the first time at his memorial service in 1990.

                No identity crisis

                Unlike Broyard, Shadyside's Dr. Edward J. Hale
                never sought the advantages of `White'*
                his complexion could have provided him.

                He's a retired staff member of Western
                Pennsylvania Hospital , served as
                chief of medical services and acting
                director of professional services at

                the Veterans Affairs Department Medical
                Center on Highland Drive , and he has
                taught at the University of Illinois , Howard
                University , the University of Pittsburgh
                and Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

                Hale, 80, said he followed the example of his
                father, William J. Hale, founding president of
                Tennessee Agricultural and Industrial State
                College, now known as Tennessee State University .

                Hale had come from a family
                that had accomplished much
                by living as "black"^^ people.

                His goal was to do the same.

                "I've always been fond of my dad, loved and
                adored and respected my father," Hale said.
                "He chose to remain "black"^^.

                He got to be a college president."
                His mother, a graduate of Fisk University ,
                headed up the business department at Tennessee State .
                She, too, was fair enough to "pass", as were Hale's siblings.

                   
                     Dr. Edward J. Hale chose to follow
                     the example of his parents,
                     accomplished educators
                     Harriet and William J. Hale ...
                          The proud son says, "He chose
                          to remain 
                "black"^^ [identified]".

                His sister, who earned a master's in
                French from Columbia University , married
                a man who could not "pass", Hale said.

                "But they had a very positive marriage as
                "black"^^ and they lived happily," he added.

                His brother "used to float back and forth
                between being 'White'** and being "black"^^,
                he said. "He did that for work."

                Why didn't Hale?

                "I chose
                "black"^^ because I have a "black"^^ identity...
                "We had a heritage, and it was something important."

                His parents emphasized being proud of who he was,
                excelling at something, making a contribution to society.

                After getting his bachelor's degree at Tennessee
                State , he entered Meharry Medical College in
                Nashville , graduating third in his class in 1945.

                Two years later, he earned a master's in
                physiology from the University of Illinois .

                "As a fair-skinned
                "black"^^, I could "pass" for `White'*,
                but … if you got to be too outstanding, people would
                look into your background," Hale said.

                When he came to Pittsburgh in 1955 to serve
                as chief of medicine for the VA Hospital, he
                knew people would assume he was `White'*.

                They soon learned differently through his stand
                on issues and his friendships with other "black"^^.

                Hale and several other "black"^^ doctors formed the Gateway
                Medical Group, now called Gateway Medical Society.

                He was active in the National Medical Association
                and helped bring their convention to Pittsburgh .

                "I had to make an "identity" for myself, to
                let people know who I was," Hale said.

                Gaudin said it was easy for well-educated
                light-skinned people to take what is considered
                the high road by maintaining their "black"^^ identity.

                Poor, uneducated folks with the same
                complexion faced a different reality.

                "These were people who used their physical
                appearances because, in many cases,
                that's all they had," Gaudin said.
                "They weren't wealthy.
                In many cases, they felt this was
                their greatest, most valuable resource."

                Unbreakable family ties

                Attorney Wendell Freeland remembers a decade or so ago
                when he and his wife were reading in the newspaper
                about the fast rise of a young man who was `White'*.

                In the ensuing conversation, Freeland's wife noted that her
                husband was smarter and much more on the ball than the
                young man and should have reached the same career peak.

                Freeland recalls his daughter saying to him,
                "You've got nothing to complain about;
                you could have [lived as] `White'*".

                Theoretically, yes. Freeland says he can fool
                even those "black"^^ people who swear they
                can detect another "black"^^, no matter how fair.

                Consciously, Freeland said he could no more
                "pass" than his brown-skinned brethren.

                "I never thought about it," said the 78-year-old attorney.
                "My family ties were so great."

                Freeland, who came to Pittsburgh in 1950, grew
                up in a segregated community in Baltimore …


                     Wendell Freeland, a Squirrel Hill
                lawyer and
                     civil rights activist, never considered "passing"
                     as `White'*
                although he witnessed others
                     "passing" to get into barred theaters or stores.
                            "That was just casual passing",
                             Freeland says.
                            "I knew people who crossed over."

                As a college student, he encountered
                "blacks"^^ from the British
                West Indies and other places who "passed" to go to the movies
                or to shop in places where
                "blacks^^ were not welcome.

                "That was just casual "passing"," Freeland
                said. "I knew people who crossed over." …

                Freeland, who lives in Squirrel Hill, has spent a
                lifetime utilizing his considerable talents for
                numerous social and civil rights causes.

                He served as senior vice president of the National Urban
                League and was a member of the search committee that
                selected Vernon Jordan to lead that organization in the 1970s.

                He's been on any number of boards, including those of
                Westminster College, University of Pittsburgh and University
                of Pittsburgh Medical Center, and he had been chairman
                of the board of governors for the Joint Center for
                Political and Economic Studies in Washington, D.C.

                As obvious as the European portion of his
                ancestry is, Freeland said it was never a
                source of great pride or interest to him.

                "I'm more proud of my great-great-grandmother's
                manumission [emancipation] papers than
                any drop of `White'* blood," he said.

                "I have to tell you my complexion has certain advantages.
                I learn a lot about `White'* people … ," Freeland said,

                … "It doesn't bother me if somebody "passed" and
                had a life that was more successful and happy.

                I'm successful and happy, too."

                SOURCE:
                http://www.cmh.pitt.edu/newspassing102603.html

                RELATED LINKS:
                http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Generation-Mixed/message/1012
                http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Generation-Mixed/message/991
                http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Generation-Mixed/message/1032
                http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Generation-Mixed/message/1043

              • j s
                Great article. It s kind of tough sometimes being in this boat because so many people assume things about you, and while you want to correct them, sometimes
                Message 7 of 9 , Oct 19, 2006
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                  Great article.

                  It's kind of tough sometimes being in this boat because
                  so many people assume things about you, and while
                  you want to correct them, sometimes its just more
                  aggravation than its worth and the best thing
                  you can do is keep your mouth shut.

                  I work alongside some very "ghetto" Blacks and they
                  have a lot of assumptions about how a “black”
                  person is "one-drop" and how they "should"
                  act, speak and carry themselves etc.

                  I just really don't need to be lectured about how I need
                  to listen to hip hop and be ‘a “real” “black” man’ etc,
                  so I find I do it more to save myself the annoyance of
                  local Blacks than to shield myself from ‘White’ racism.

                  In fact I like telling ‘Whites’ because you can see
                  their "true colors” by how they act afterwards -
                  like if they start wanting to talk about "black"
                  things to you all of a sudden because
                  they can no longer see you as an
                  individual but a racial identity


                  multiracialbookclub <soaptalk@...> wrote:
                  Passing: how "posing" became
                  a choice for many Americans

                  (An article written by Monica L. Haynes for
                  the 'Post-Gazette' , Sunday, October 26, 2003

                  ************ ********* ********* ********* ********* ********* ********* **



                  Although Barbara Douglass never told anyone
                  she was `White'*, people see her porcelain
                  skin and her silky hair and assume she is.

                  But Douglass, who lives in Wilkinsburg ,
                  is a 53-year-old
                  "black"^^ woman.

                  She could "pass" for `White'* but she has never tried, she said

                  "Growing up, I knew of people who did, and I was even
                  instructed not to say, at that time, that they were
                  `Colored'**.
                  In order to get their jobs, they had to say they were `White'*"
                  [[[

                  Note:

                  **The term
                  `Colored'** – as used here – is a reference to a
                  person who is of a `Multiracial' / `Mixed-Race `lineage that
                  also includes some part or amount of `Black / Negro' ancestry.

                  ^^
                  The term "black"^^ or "blacks"^^ – as used here – is a
                  reference to those `Multiracial' / `Mixed-Race' individuals
                  who were both of part-`Black / Negro' ancestry *and* who
                  *also*came to be referred to / categorized by the term
                  "black"^^.
                  This categorization would have arisen either as a result of
                  the racist `One-Drop Rule' and / or as a result of  taking
                  on the socio-political `identification' that, since the late
                  1960's, has come to be referred to by the term
                  "black"^^.

                  These terms "black"^^ and / or "blacks"^^ – when in reference
                  to a socio-political "identification" -- were originally applied
                  largely as a way of describing the new socio-political mindset
                  that became popular in the late 1960s wherein many who
                  were of at least some-part `Black / Negro' lineage chose to
                  ------ openly support of the new pan-African, 
                  anti-colonialist movement of the late 1960s;
                  ------ refused to hold or see the their or another's
                  `Black / Negro' ancestral lineage as being "shameful";
                  ------ and by providing support for the whole idea of making
                  sure that equal rights would become granted to those
                  people who suffered discrimination due to having
                  `Black / Negro' ancestry in their familial,
                  ethnic, racial or even cultural lineage.

                  As a result of the racist `One-Drop Rule' – the terms
                  "black"^^ and "blacks"^^ were broad-brushed applied to
                  entire people groupings (as a `political catch-phrase' )
                  as instructed by the western media and politicians.

                  The term `Black' – as used here – is in reference those
                  who are of `Black / Negro' lineage and who also have very
                  little to no* known or acknowledged non-`Black / Negro' ancestry.

                  The "Racial"-Term `Black' is *not* the same as
                  the Socio-Political- `Identification' of
                  "black"^^

                  *The term `White'* – as used here – is a reference to a person who
                  has no known or acknowledged non-'White / Caucasian' ancestry.

                  The terms `Pass' and `Passing' – as used here – is
                  reference to a person who hid, denied or pretended to
                  have no known non-White (and particular `Black / Negro')
                  ancestry and / or who would simply choose to
                  `remain
                  silent' on the whole matter and let strangers `draw their
                  own conclusions' based solely on their physical appearance.


                  ]]]
                  Thelma Marshall knows that routine.

                  During the 1950s and early '60s, she did
                  what her mother before her had done.
                  What her grandmother and aunts had done.

                  She "passed" for `White'*

                  "One time I told a woman I was
                  "black"^^,
                  `Colored'** in those days," Marshall recalled.
                  "She said, 'You won't get the job
                  unless you "pass" for `White'*."
                  So that's what Marshall did.

                  "I "passed" for `White'* on lots of jobs," she said.
                  "I had to be `White'* to get the jobs."

                  It's what many fair-skinned
                  "blacks"^^ did during those times.

                  Marshall's remarks are without shame or remorse.
                  She felt she did what she had to do.

                  Still, it is a prickly subject, and the 76-year-old woman does not
                  want to offend so she asked that her real name not be used.

                  [The act of] "passing" for `White'* offered not only opportunities,
                  but also the opportunities [that only] `White'* people received.

                  During [the] slavery [era], it could mean freedom.
                  There are many documented instances of fair-skinned
                  slaves who posed as [`White'* [in order] to escape.

                  In modern times, it meant being able to vote in the South.
                  It meant a job in the office rather than a job cleaning the office.
                  It meant schools with the latest equipment and books,
                  instead of dilapidated buildings and out-of-date texts.
                  It often meant better housing.
                  It meant being treated with respect, not disdain.

                  Barbara Douglass recalls the difference between
                  going out with her `White'* college friends
                  vs. her
                  "black"^^ college friends.

                  "We went to a show, about
                  six of us [
                  "black"^^ students].

                  The manager came and sat behind us.
                  I asked him 'Why are you sitting behind us?'
                  He said, 'I have to make sure you don't destroy anything.' "

                  Douglass said she told the manager that
                  he had never sat behind her before.

                  His response was, "You never
                  came with these people before."

                  Douglass, who the manager had assumed
                  was `White'*, encouraged her friends to
                  leave the theater rather than be insulted …

                  Because of her fair skin, Barbara Douglass
                  of Wilkinsburg often witnessed -- but never
                  tolerated -- racism directed at other people.

                  When she was a young child, her parents
                  didn't emphasize racial differences.
                  "I just figured people came in
                  different shades," she said.

                  But when the subject came up in her
                  dance class, the 8-year-old Douglass
                  approached her mother, who explained
                  to her about race and racism.

                  "We are `a child of God' first.
                  We are `human beings' first,"
                  Douglass remembered her mother saying.

                  In fifth grade, she learned that the United States
                  is a melting pot, and she declared to her
                  mother that she would be a melting pot.

                  Her mother decided it was the perfect
                  definition, seeing as how her ancestors were
                  Cherokee, `Black', Dutch, German and Irish.

                  Maybe all "blacks"^^ would have defined
                  themselves that way given the chance.

                  Since [the first, actual] `Black' people first came
                  to
                  the New World in 1619, they've mingled and
                  mixed
                  with every race and ethnic group here.

                  It is not just the fair-skinned "blacks"^^ who
                  can lay claim to that melting pot definition.

                  Those "blacks"^^ who have the mark of Africa in their
                  features and skin tone also have multicultural ancestry.

                  They just can't pass.

                  Most
                  "blacks"^^ were never afforded
                  the luxury of defining themselves
                  .

                  After the Civil War, Southern whites, not wanting this
                  swirling of races to get out of hand and seeking to
                  keep the [false notion of the] `White'* "race"
                  as [being] pure, instituted a rule that
                  anyone
                  with "one drop" of `Black
                  / Negro' blood was
                  `Black' [race].

                  That spurred even more fair-skinned "blacks"^^
                  to cross over and escape Jim Crow laws that kept
                  "blacks"^^ in the shackles of second-class citizenship.

                  Interestingly, many ``White'*, if they traced
                  their blood line or had their DNA tested,
                  would find they have "black"^^ ancestors.

                  In a 1999 piece for Slate, writer Brent Staples cites
                  a 1940s study by Robert Stuckert, a sociologist
                  and anthropologist from Ohio State University .
                  The study, titled "African Ancestry of the White American
                  Population", indicates that during the 1940s, approximately
                  15,550 fair-skinned "blacks"^^ per year "crossed the color line".

                  The study estimated that by 1950, about 21 percent or 28
                  million of the 135 million categorized as `White'* had
                  "black"^^ ancestry within the past four generations.

                  Stuckert predicted that the numbers
                  would grow in subsequent decades.

                  Marshall never thought to "pass" permanently,
                  although she had family members who did.

                  Some fair-skinned
                  "blacks"^^ with "good hair"
                  and "keen features" did not "pass" but …
                  [simply married] others with fair skin ...

                  "For generations, my mother's side and
                  my father's side married fair so they
                  could get jobs," Marshall said.

                  "My great-grandfather had a barbershop,
                  and he "passed" for `White'*, and he had
                  only ``White'* customers in his shop."

                  But for many fair-skinned "blacks"^^,
                  it was about more than getting jobs.

                  There was a mind-set among some ….

                  Some social organizations, fraternities and sororities
                  admitted only fair-skinned "blacks"^^ or those who
                  could pass the "paper bag test," meaning they
                  could be no darker than a brown paper bag.

                  To this day, Marshall , indoctrinated into such
                  thinking as a child, would have preferred that her
                  children marry `White'* or … very light-skinned people.

                  "All my children married "black"^^,
                  much to my regret," she said.
                  "I would have preferred they married `White'*
                  ... it's still an advantage to be `White'*."

                  State decides for you

                  Sometimes "blacks"^^ used their fair complexion not for
                  personal gain but to circumvent discriminatory practices.

                  For example, in the 1940s, "blacks"^^ who looked `White'*
                  helped integrate Lewis Place , a neighborhood in St. Louis , Mo.

                  Like many cities during this time, Lewis Place
                  had covenants that prevented "blacks"^^ from
                  buying homes in certain neighborhoods.

                  But in the '40s, fair-skinned "blacks"^^ would purchase
                  homes on Lewis Street and then transfer deeds to [the]
                  darker-skinned
                  `black"^^ people who had actually bought them.

                  Famed NAACP chief executive Walter White's light skin
                  allowed him to investigate lynchings and race riots in the 1920s.

                  White, who was raised in Atlanta , under Jim Crow,
                  remained an NAACP officer until he died in 1955.

                  For nearly a century, just who was [defined or
                  categorized as being either] `White'* or
                  "black"^^
                  depended upon what state that person was in.

                  Between the 1890s and 1950s, the peak
                  period for
                  "blacks"^^ "passing" as `White'*,
                  every state had its own racial designation,
                  said Wendy Ann Gaudin, a history
                  instructor at Xavier University in Louisiana.

                  Gaudin has interviewed Mixed-Race people
                  in Louisiana who "passed" for `White'* as
                  part of study she conducted on that subject.

                  A person could be born white in one state and be
                  designated
                  "black"^^ in another depending upon
                  the `racial laws' in that state, said Gaudin, who
                  also is a Ph.D. candidate at New York University .

                  ----- During the antebellum period, enslaved `Black'
                  [race] people were referred to as [being] Negroes.

                  ----- Then there were `Free People of Color',
                  … who generally had [a] Mixed "racial" heritage
                  (and were [often also] born free to free parents).

                  ---------- Free people of color could
                  be brown-with-European -features,
                  light-with-African- features and
                  everything in between
                  .

                  "They were not looked upon as so-called Negroes and
                  of course they weren't equated with `White'*, either,"
                  Gaudin explained.
                  "Society had `a place' for them."

                  They were generally in the building trade.
                  The women were mostly domestics.
                  Some were slave owners,
                  others staunch abolitionists.

                  Louisiana 's Creoles were known as Free People
                  Of Color, or Les Gens de Couleur Libres.

                  Defined by their European, Native American
                  and African ancestry, they enjoyed a preferred
                  status … no matter what their complexion.

                  "Creole [for instance] is not [an actual] "race".
                  It is a `blended' Ethnicity *and* a `blended' Culture,"
                  Gaudin explained. …

                  However, after the "one drop"
                  rule was instituted and Jim Crow
                  [`Segregation] became the law of
                  the land in the South, things changed.

                  Often, they would move and
                  cut ties with family members,
                  especially the ones who could not "pass".

                  The law aimed at these "White-Negroes" ,
                  as they were sometimes called, actually forced
                  more of the very racial mingling it sought to counter.

                  "Once these laws were [enacted], "passing" made more
                  sense, and it became more necessary," Gaudin said.

                  Some who passed

                  In her 2002 memoir, "Just Lucky, I Guess,"
                  Broadway legend Carol Channing revealed that
                  her father, George Channing, was a light-skinned
                  "black"^^ man who "passed" [as being `White'*] ...

                  When she was 16 and about to go off to
                  college, her mother told her about her father.

                  "My mother announced to me I was part-Negro,"
                  Channing writes. "I'm only telling you this
                  because `the Darwinian law' shows that
                  you could easily have a "black"^^ baby."

                  A noted case of passing in recent history is
                  that of Anatole Broyard, longtime literary
                  critic for The New York Times.

                  Born "black"^^ and raised in "black"^^ neighborhoods in
                  New Orleans and Brooklyn , he "passed" for `White'*
                  for decades because he did not want to be labeled
                  as a 'Negro' writer, he had said, but simply a writer.

                  Henry Louis Gates Jr., chairman of the Afro-American
                  history department at Harvard, chronicled Broyard's
                  brilliant career and secret in a New Yorker
                  essay that was included in his 1997 book,
                  " Thirteen Ways of Looking at a " Black Man. "

                  For years, Broyard sidestepped rumors of his
                  ancestry and would credit his skin tone to a
                  very distant relative who "may" have been
                  "black"^^.

                  Even in the waning days of his life, his body
                  withered by cancer, he denied his wife's
                  request to tell his children of their true heritage.

                  They met Broyard's darker-skinned sister, Shirley,
                  for the first time at his memorial service in 1990.

                  No identity crisis

                  Unlike Broyard, Shadyside's Dr. Edward J. Hale
                  never sought the advantages of `White'*
                  his complexion could have provided him.

                  He's a retired staff member of Western
                  Pennsylvania Hospital , served as
                  chief of medical services and acting
                  director of professional services at

                  the Veterans Affairs Department Medical
                  Center on Highland Drive , and he has
                  taught at the University of Illinois , Howard
                  University , the University of Pittsburgh
                  and Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

                  Hale, 80, said he followed the example of his
                  father, William J. Hale, founding president of
                  Tennessee Agricultural and Industrial State
                  College, now known as Tennessee State University .

                  Hale had come from a family
                  that had accomplished much
                  by living as "black"^^ people.

                  His goal was to do the same.

                  "I've always been fond of my dad, loved and
                  adored and respected my father," Hale said.
                  "He chose to remain "black"^^.

                  He got to be a college president."
                  His mother, a graduate of Fisk University ,
                  headed up the business department at Tennessee State .
                  She, too, was fair enough to "pass", as were Hale's siblings.

                     
                       Dr. Edward J. Hale chose to follow
                       the example of his parents,
                       accomplished educators
                       Harriet and William J. Hale ...
                            The proud son says, "He chose
                            to remain 
                  "black"^^ [identified] ".

                  His sister, who earned a master's in
                  French from Columbia University , married
                  a man who could not "pass", Hale said.

                  "But they had a very positive marriage as
                  "black"^^ and they lived happily," he added.

                  His brother "used to float back and forth
                  between being 'White'** and being "black"^^,
                  he said. "He did that for work."

                  Why didn't Hale?

                  "I chose
                  "black"^^ because I have a "black"^^ identity...
                  "We had a heritage, and it was something important."

                  His parents emphasized being proud of who he was,
                  excelling at something, making a contribution to society.

                  After getting his bachelor's degree at Tennessee
                  State , he entered Meharry Medical College in
                  Nashville , graduating third in his class in 1945.

                  Two years later, he earned a master's in
                  physiology from the University of Illinois .

                  "As a fair-skinned
                  "black"^^, I could "pass" for `White'*,
                  but … if you got to be too outstanding, people would
                  look into your background," Hale said.

                  When he came to Pittsburgh in 1955 to serve
                  as chief of medicine for the VA Hospital, he
                  knew people would assume he was `White'*.

                  They soon learned differently through his stand
                  on issues and his friendships with other "black"^^.

                  Hale and several other "black"^^ doctors formed the Gateway
                  Medical Group, now called Gateway Medical Society.

                  He was active in the National Medical Association
                  and helped bring their convention to Pittsburgh .

                  "I had to make an "identity" for myself, to
                  let people know who I was," Hale said.

                  Gaudin said it was easy for well-educated
                  light-skinned people to take what is considered
                  the high road by maintaining their "black"^^ identity.

                  Poor, uneducated folks with the same
                  complexion faced a different reality.

                  "These were people who used their physical
                  appearances because, in many cases,
                  that's all they had," Gaudin said.
                  "They weren't wealthy.
                  In many cases, they felt this was
                  their greatest, most valuable resource."

                  Unbreakable family ties

                  Attorney Wendell Freeland remembers a decade or so ago
                  when he and his wife were reading in the newspaper
                  about the fast rise of a young man who was `White'*.

                  In the ensuing conversation, Freeland's wife noted that her
                  husband was smarter and much more on the ball than the
                  young man and should have reached the same career peak.

                  Freeland recalls his daughter saying to him,
                  "You've got nothing to complain about;
                  you could have [lived as] `White'*".

                  Theoretically, yes. Freeland says he can fool
                  even those "black"^^ people who swear they
                  can detect another "black"^^, no matter how fair.

                  Consciously, Freeland said he could no more
                  "pass" than his brown-skinned brethren.

                  "I never thought about it," said the 78-year-old attorney.
                  "My family ties were so great."

                  Freeland, who came to Pittsburgh in 1950, grew
                  up in a segregated community in Baltimore …


                       Wendell Freeland, a Squirrel Hill
                  lawyer and
                       civil rights activist, never considered "passing"
                       as `White'*
                  although he witnessed others
                       "passing" to get into barred theaters or stores.
                              "That was just casual passing",
                               Freeland says.
                              "I knew people who crossed over."

                  As a college student, he encountered
                  "blacks"^^ from the British
                  West Indies and other places who "passed" to go to the movies
                  or to shop in places where
                  "blacks^^ were not welcome.

                  "That was just casual "passing"," Freeland
                  said. "I knew people who crossed over." …

                  Freeland, who lives in Squirrel Hill, has spent a
                  lifetime utilizing his considerable talents for
                  numerous social and civil rights causes.

                  He served as senior vice president of the National Urban
                  League and was a member of the search committee that
                  selected Vernon Jordan to lead that organization in the 1970s.

                  He's been on any number of boards, including those of
                  Westminster College, University of Pittsburgh and University
                  of Pittsburgh Medical Center, and he had been chairman
                  of the board of governors for the Joint Center for
                  Political and Economic Studies in Washington, D.C.

                  As obvious as the European portion of his
                  ancestry is, Freeland said it was never a
                  source of great pride or interest to him.

                  "I'm more proud of my great-great- grandmother' s
                  manumission [emancipation] papers than
                  any drop of `White'* blood," he said.

                  "I have to tell you my complexion has certain advantages.
                  I learn a lot about `White'* people … ," Freeland said,

                  … "It doesn't bother me if somebody "passed" and
                  had a life that was more successful and happy.

                  I'm successful and happy, too."

                  SOURCE:
                  http://www.cmh. pitt.edu/ newspassing10260 3.html

                  RELATED LINKS:
                  http://groups. yahoo.com/ group/Generation -Mixed/message/ 1012
                  http://groups. yahoo.com/ group/Generation -Mixed/message/ 991
                  http://groups. yahoo.com/ group/Generation -Mixed/message/ 1032
                  http://groups. yahoo.com/ group/Generation -Mixed/message/ 1043


                  Get your own web address for just $1.99/1st yr. We'll help. Yahoo! Small Business.
                • tlbaker1
                  good stuff, good stuff, thanks for all the info you provide us, Multi, this is a great group!! Lynne _____ From: Generation-Mixed@yahoogroups.com
                  Message 8 of 9 , Oct 19, 2006
                  View Source
                  • 0 Attachment

                    good stuff, good stuff, thanks for all the info
                    you provide us, Multi, this is a great group!!

                     

                    Lynne

                     


                    From: Generation-Mixed@yahoogroups.com
                    [mailto: Generation-Mixed@yahoogroups.com ]
                    On Behalf Of
                    multiracialbookclub
                    Sent: Wednesday, October 18, 2006 10:57 PM
                    To: Generation-Mixed@yahoogroups.com
                    Subject: [Generation-Mixed] The Long-Past Days of "Passing" & 'Posing'

                     

                    Passing: how "posing" became
                    a choice for many Americans


                    (An article written by Monica L. Haynes for
                    the 'Post-Gazette' , Sunday, October 26, 2003

                    ************ ********* ********* ********* ********* ********* ********* **



                    Although Barbara Douglass never told anyone
                    she was
                    `White'*, people see her porcelain
                    skin and her silky hair and assume she is.

                    But Douglass, who lives in Wilkinsburg ,
                    is a 53-year-old
                    "black"^^ woman.

                    She could "pass" for
                    `White'* but she has never tried, she said

                    "Growing up, I knew of people who did, and I was even
                    instructed not to say, at that time, that they were
                    `Colored'**.
                    In order to get their jobs, they had to say they were
                    `White'*"

                    [[[

                    Note:

                    **The term `Colored'** – as used here – is a reference to a
                    person who is of a `Multiracial' / `Mixed-Race `lineage that
                    also includes some part or amount of `Black / Negro' ancestry.

                    ^^The term "black"^^ or "blacks"^^ – as used here – is a
                    reference to those `Multiracial' / `Mixed-Race' individuals
                    who were both of part-`Black / Negro' ancestry *and* who
                    *also*came to be referred to / categorized by the term
                    "black"^^.
                    This categorization would have arisen either as a result of
                    the racist `One-Drop Rule' and / or as a result of  taking
                    on the socio-political `identification' that, since the late
                    1960's, has come to be referred to by the term
                    "black"^^.


                    These terms "black"^^ and / or "blacks"^^ – when in reference
                    to a socio-political "identification" -- were originally applied
                    largely as a way of describing the new socio-political mindset
                    that became popular in the late 1960s wherein many who
                    were of at least some-part `Black / Negro' lineage chose to
                    ------ openly support of the new pan-African, 
                    anti-colonialist movement of the late 1960s;
                    ------ refused to hold or see the their or another's
                    `Black / Negro' ancestral lineage as being "shameful";
                    ------ and by providing support for the whole idea of making
                    sure that equal rights would become granted to those
                    people who suffered discrimination due to having
                    `Black / Negro' ancestry in their familial,
                    ethnic, racial or even cultural lineage.


                    As a result of the racist `One-Drop Rule' – the terms
                    "black"^^ and "blacks"^^ were broad-brushed applied to
                    entire people groupings (as a `political catch-phrase' )
                    as instructed by the western media and politicians.

                    The term `Black' – as used here – is in reference those
                    who are of `Black / Negro' lineage and who also have very
                    little to no* known or acknowledged non-`Black / Negro' ancestry.

                    The "Racial"-Term `Black' is *not* the same as
                    the Socio-Political- `Identification' of
                    "black"^^

                    *The term `White'* – as used here – is a reference to a person who
                    has no known or acknowledged non-'White / Caucasian' ancestry.

                    The terms `Pass' and `Passing'
                    – as used here – is
                    reference to a person who hid, denied or pretended to
                    have no known non-White (and particular `Black / Negro')
                    ancestry and / or who would simply choose to
                    `remain
                    silent' on the whole matter and let strangers `draw their
                    own conclusions' based solely on their physical appearance.

                    ]]]

                    Thelma Marshall knows that routine.

                    During the 1950s and early '60s, she did
                    what her mother before her had done.
                    What her grandmother and aunts had done.

                    She "passed" for
                    `White'*

                    "One time I told a woman I was
                    "black"^^,
                    `Colored'** in those days," Marshall recalled.
                    "She said, 'You won't get the job
                    unless you "pass" for
                    `White'*."
                    So that's what Marshall did.

                    "I "passed" for
                    `White'* on lots of jobs," she said.
                    "I had to be
                    `White'* to get the jobs."

                    It's what many fair-skinned
                    "blacks"^^ did during those times.

                    Marshall's remarks are without shame or remorse.
                    She felt she did what she had to do.

                    Still, it is a prickly subject, and the 76-year-old woman does not
                    want to offend so she asked that her real name not be used.

                    [The act of] "passing" for
                    `White'* offered not only opportunities,
                    but also the opportunities [that only]
                    `White'* people received.

                    During [the] slavery [era], it could mean freedom.
                    There are many documented instances of fair-skinned
                    slaves who posed as [
                    `White'* [in order] to escape.

                    In modern times, it meant being able to vote in the South.
                    It meant a job in the office rather than a job cleaning the office.
                    It meant schools with the latest equipment and books,
                    instead of dilapidated buildings and out-of-date texts.
                    It often meant better housing.
                    It meant being treated with respect, not disdain.

                    Barbara Douglass recalls the difference between
                    going out with her
                    `White'* college friends
                    vs. her
                    "black"^^ college friends.

                    "We went to a show, about
                    six of us [
                    "black"^^ students].

                    The manager came and sat behind us.
                    I asked him 'Why are you sitting behind us?'
                    He said, 'I have to make sure you don't destroy anything.' "

                    Douglass said she told the manager that
                    he had never sat behind her before.

                    His response was, "You never
                    came with these people before."

                    Douglass, who the manager had assumed
                    was
                    `White'*, encouraged her friends to
                    leave the theater rather than be insulted …

                    Because of her fair skin, Barbara Douglass
                    of Wilkinsburg often witnessed -- but never
                    tolerated -- racism directed at other people.

                    When she was a young child, her parents
                    didn't emphasize racial differences.
                    "I just figured people came in
                    different shades," she said.

                    But when the subject came up in her
                    dance class, the 8-year-old Douglass
                    approached her mother, who explained
                    to her about race and racism.

                    "We are `a child of God' first.
                    We are `human beings' first,"
                    Douglass remembered her mother saying.

                    In fifth grade, she learned that the United States
                    is a melting pot, and she declared to her
                    mother that she would be a melting pot.

                    Her mother decided it was the perfect
                    definition, seeing as how her ancestors were
                    Cherokee, `Black', Dutch, German and Irish.

                    Maybe all
                    "blacks"^^ would have defined
                    themselves that way given the chance.

                    Since [the first, actual] `Black' people first came
                    to the New World in 1619, they've mingled and
                    mixed with every race and ethnic group here.

                    It is not just the fair-skinned
                    "blacks"^^ who
                    can lay claim to that melting pot definition.

                    Those
                    "blacks"^^ who have the mark of Africa in their
                    features and skin tone also have multicultural ancestry.

                    They just can't pass.

                    Most
                    "blacks"^^ were never afforded
                    the luxury of defining themselves
                    .

                    After the Civil War, Southern whites, not wanting this
                    swirling of races to get out of hand and seeking to
                    keep the [false notion of the]
                    `White'* "race"
                    as [being] pure, instituted a rule that
                    anyone with "one drop" of `Black
                    / Negro' blood was
                    `Black' [race].

                    That spurred even more fair-skinned "blacks"^^
                    to cross over and escape Jim Crow laws that kept
                    "blacks"^^ in the shackles of second-class citizenship.

                    Interestingly, many `
                    `White'*, if they traced
                    their blood line or had their DNA tested,
                    would find they have
                    "black"^^ ancestors.

                    In a 1999 piece for Slate, writer Brent Staples cites
                    a 1940s study by Robert Stuckert, a sociologist
                    and anthropologist from Ohio State University .

                    The study, titled "African Ancestry of the White American
                    Population", indicates that during the 1940s, approximately
                    15,550 fair-skinned
                    "blacks"^^ per year "crossed the color line".

                    The study estimated that by 1950, about 21 percent or 28
                    million of the 135 million categorized as
                    `White'* had
                    "black"^^ ancestry within the past four generations.

                    Stuckert predicted that the numbers
                    would grow in subsequent decades.

                    Marshall never thought to "pass" permanently,
                    although she had family members who did.

                    Some fair-skinned
                    "blacks"^^ with "good hair"
                    and "keen features" did not "pass" but …
                    [simply married] others with fair skin ...

                    "For generations, my mother's side and
                    my father's side married fair so they
                    could get jobs," Marshall said.

                    "My great-grandfather had a barbershop,
                    and he "passed" for
                    `White'*, and he had
                    only `
                    `White'* customers in his shop."

                    But for many fair-skinned
                    "blacks"^^,
                    it was about more than getting jobs.

                    There was a mind-set among some ….

                    Some social organizations, fraternities and sororities
                    admitted only fair-skinned
                    "blacks"^^ or those who
                    could pass the "paper bag test," meaning they
                    could be no darker than a brown paper bag.

                    To this day, Marshall , indoctrinated into such
                    thinking as a child, would have preferred that her
                    children marry
                    `White'* or … very light-skinned people.

                    "All my children married
                    "black"^^,
                    much to my regret," she said.
                    "I would have preferred they married
                    `White'*
                    ... it's still an advantage to be `White'*."

                    State decides for you

                    Sometimes
                    "blacks"^^ used their fair complexion not for
                    personal gain but to circumvent discriminatory practices.

                    For example, in the 1940s,
                    "blacks"^^ who looked `White'*
                    helped integrate Lewis Place , a neighborhood in St. Louis , Mo.

                    Like many cities during this time, Lewis Place
                    had covenants that prevented
                    "blacks"^^ from
                    buying homes in certain neighborhoods.

                    But in the '40s, fair-skinned
                    "blacks"^^ would purchase
                    homes on Lewis Street and then transfer deeds to [the]
                    darker-skinned
                    `black"^^ people who had actually bought them.

                    Famed NAACP chief executive Walter White's light skin
                    allowed him to investigate lynchings and race riots in the 1920s.

                    White, who was raised in Atlanta , under Jim Crow,
                    remained an NAACP officer until he died in 1955.

                    For nearly a century, just who was [defined or
                    categorized as being either]
                    `White'* or "black"^^
                    depended upon what state that person was in.

                    Between the 1890s and 1950s, the peak
                    period for
                    "blacks"^^ "passing" as `White'*,
                    every state had its own racial designation,
                    said Wendy Ann Gaudin, a history
                    instructor at Xavier University in Louisiana .

                    Gaudin has interviewed Mixed-Race people
                    in Louisiana who "passed" for
                    `White'* as
                    part of study she conducted on that subject.

                    A person could be born white in one state and be
                    designated
                    "black"^^ in another depending upon
                    the `racial laws' in that state, said Gaudin, who
                    also is a Ph.D. candidate at New York University .

                    ----- During the antebellum period, enslaved `Black'
                    [race] people were referred to as [being] Negroes.

                    ----- Then there were `Free People of Color',
                    … who generally had [a] Mixed "racial" heritage
                    (and were [often also] born free to free parents).

                    ---------- Free people of color could
                    be brown-with-European -features,
                    light-with-African- features and
                    everything in between
                    .

                    "They were not looked upon as so-called Negroes and
                    of course they weren't equated with
                    `White'*

                  • tlbaker1
                    I hear you, I don t identify w/any of that so called “black culture” (and the ghetto movement)- I no longer like mainstream music (could be do to age /
                    Message 9 of 9 , Oct 19, 2006
                    View Source
                    • 0 Attachment

                      I hear you, I don't identify w/any of that so called
                      �black culture� (and the ghetto movement)- I no longer
                      like mainstream music (could be do to age / generation gap).
                      So, I am not �Black� enough for them so
                      be it - don't talk to me, I don't care, LOL.
                      No one is required to wear their ancestry on their
                      sleeve, if you don't want to talk about it is your choice.
                      As for passing, if someone assumes you are of another
                      race and they haven't asked you about it what are
                      you supposed to do - say 'I am not really white,
                      don't give the job, home, or whatever."
                      People will ask me if I am mixed and sometimes
                      I will just say no just so I don't have to go through
                      the whole story w/them depends on who is asking.

                       

                      Lynne



                      From: Generation-Mixed@yahoogroups.com
                      [mailto: Generation-Mixed@yahoogroups.com ]
                      On Behalf Of
                      j s
                      Sent: Thursday, October 19, 2006 5:15 AM
                      To: Generation-Mixed@yahoogroups.com
                      Subject: Re: [Generation-Mixed]The Long-Past
                      Days of "Passing" amp; 'Posing'

                       

                      Great article.

                      It's kind of tough sometimes being in this boat because
                      so many people assume things about you, and while
                      you want to correct them, sometimes its just more
                      aggravation than its worth and the best thing
                      you can do is keep your mouth shut.

                      I work alongside some very "ghetto" Blacks and they
                      have a lot of assumptions about how a “black”
                      person is "one-drop" and how they "should"
                      act, speak and carry themselves etc.

                      I just really don't need to be lectured about how I need
                      to listen to hip hop and be ‘a “real” “black” man’ etc,
                      so I find I do it more to save myself the annoyance of
                      local Blacks than to shield myself from ‘White’ racism.

                      In fact I like telling ‘Whites’ because you can see
                      their "true colors” by how they act afterwards -
                      like if they start wanting to talk about "black"
                      things to you all of a sudden because
                      they can no longer see you as an
                      individual but a racial identity


                      multiracialbookclub <soaptalk@hotmail. com> wrote:


                      Passing: how "posing" became
                      a choice for many Americans


                      (An article written by Monica L. Haynes for
                      the 'Post-Gazette' , Sunday, October 26, 2003

                      ************ ********* ********* ********* ********* ********* ********* **



                      Although Barbara Douglass never told anyone
                      she was
                      `White'*, people see her porcelain
                      skin and her silky hair and assume she is.

                      But Douglass, who lives in Wilkinsburg ,
                      is a 53-year-old
                      "black"^^ woman.

                      She could "pass" for
                      `White'* but she has never tried, she said

                      "Growing up, I knew of people who did, and I was even
                      instructed not to say, at that time, that they were
                      `Colored'**.
                      In order to get their jobs, they had to say they were
                      `White'*"

                      [[[

                      Note:

                      **The term `Colored'** – as used here – is a reference to a
                      person who is of a `Multiracial' / `Mixed-Race `lineage that
                      also includes some part or amount of `Black / Negro' ancestry.

                      ^^The term "black"^^ or "blacks"^^ – as used here – is a
                      reference to those `Multiracial' / `Mixed-Race' individuals
                      who were both of part-`Black / Negro' ancestry *and* who
                      *also*came to be referred to / categorized by the term
                      "black"^^.
                      This categorization would have arisen either as a result of
                      the racist `One-Drop Rule' and / or as a result of  taking
                      on the socio-political `identification' that, since the late
                      1960's, has come to be referred to by the term
                      "black"^^.


                      These terms "black"^^ and / or "blacks"^^ – when in reference
                      to a socio-political "identification" -- were originally applied
                      largely as a way of describing the new socio-political mindset
                      that became popular in the late 1960s wherein many who
                      were of at least some-part `Black / Negro' lineage chose to
                      ------ openly support of the new pan-African, 
                      anti-colonialist movement of the late 1960s;
                      ------ refused to hold or see the their or another's
                      `Black / Negro' ancestral lineage as being "shameful";
                      ------ and by providing support for the whole idea of making
                      sure that equal rights would become granted to those
                      people who suffered discrimination due to having
                      `Black / Negro' ancestry in their familial,
                      ethnic, racial or even cultural lineage.


                      As a result of the racist `One-Drop Rule' – the terms
                      "black"^^ and "blacks"^^ were broad-brushed applied to
                      entire people groupings (as a `political catch-phrase' )
                      as instructed by the western media and politicians.

                      The term `Black' – as used here – is in reference those
                      who are of `Black / Negro' lineage and who also have very
                      little to no* known or acknowledged non-`Black / Negro' ancestry.

                      The "Racial"-Term `Black' is *not* the same as
                      the Socio-Political- `Identification' of
                      "black"^^

                      *The term `White'* – as used here – is a reference to a person who
                      has no known or acknowledged non-'White / Caucasian' ancestry.

                      The terms `Pass' and `Passing'
                      – as used here – is
                      reference to a person who hid, denied or pretended to
                      have no known non-White (and particular `Black / Negro')
                      ancestry and / or who would simply choose to
                      `remain
                      silent' on the whole matter and let strangers `draw their
                      own conclusions' based solely on their physical appearance.

                      ]]]

                      Thelma Marshall knows that routine.

                      During the 1950s and early '60s, she did
                      what her mother before her had done.
                      What her grandmother and aunts had done.

                      She "passed" for
                      `White'*

                      "One time I told a woman I was
                      "black"^^,
                      `Colored'** in those days," Marshall recalled.
                      "She said, 'You won't get the job
                      unless you "pass" for
                      `White'*."
                      So that's what Marshall did.

                      "I "passed" for
                      `White'* on lots of jobs," she said.
                      "I had to be
                      `White'* to get the jobs."

                      It's what many fair-skinned
                      "blacks"^^ did during those times.

                      Marshall 's remarks are without shame or remorse.
                      She felt she did what she had to do.

                      Still, it is a prickly subject, and the 76-year-old woman does not
                      want to offend so she asked that her real name not be used.

                      [The act of] "passing" for
                      `White'* offered not only opportunities,
                      but also the opportunities [that only]
                      `White'* people received.

                      During [the] slavery [era], it could mean freedom.
                      There are many documented instances of fair-skinned
                      slaves who posed as [
                      `White'* [in order] to escape.

                      In modern times, it meant being able to vote in the South.
                      It meant a job in the office rather than a job cleaning the office.
                      It meant schools with the latest equipment and books,
                      instead of dilapidated buildings and out-of-date texts.
                      It often meant better housing.
                      It meant being treated with respect, not disdain.

                      Barbara Douglass recalls the difference between
                      going out with her
                      `White'* college friends
                      vs. her
                      "black"^^ college friends.

                      "We went to a show, about
                      six of us [
                      "black"^^ students].

                      The manager came and sat behind us.
                      I asked him 'Why are you sitting behind us?'
                      He said, 'I have to make sure you don't destroy anything.' "

                      Douglass said she told the manager that
                      he had never sat behind her before.

                      His response was, "You never
                      came with these people before."

                      Douglass, who the manager had assumed
                      was
                      `White'*, encouraged her friends to
                      leave the theater rather than be insulted …

                      Because of her fair skin, Barbara Douglass
                      of Wilkinsburg often witnessed -- but never
                      tolerated -- racism directed at other people.

                      When she was a young child, her parents
                      didn't emphasize racial differences.
                      "I just figured people came in
                      different shades," she said.

                      But when the subject came up in her
                      dance class, the 8-year-old Douglass
                      approached her mother, who explained
                      to her about race and racism.

                      "We are `a child of God' first.
                      We are `human beings' first,"
                      Douglass remembered her mother saying.

                      In fifth grade, she learned that the United States
                      is a melting pot, and she declared to her
                      mother that she would be a melting pot.

                      Her mother decided it was the perfect
                      definition, seeing as how her ancestors were
                      Cherokee, `Black', Dutch, German and Irish.

                      Maybe all
                      "blacks"^^ would have defined
                      themselves that way given the chance.

                      Since [the first, actual] `Black' people first came
                      to the New World in 1619, they've mingled and
                      mixed with every race and ethnic group here.

                      It is not just the fair-skinned
                      "blacks"^^ who
                      can lay claim to that melting pot definition.

                      Those
                      "blacks"^^ who have the mark of Africa in their
                      features and skin tone also have multicultural ancestry.

                      They just can't pass.

                      Most
                      "blacks"^^ were never afforded
                      the luxury of defining themselves
                      .

                      After the Civil War, Southern whites, not wanting this
                      swirling of races to get out of hand and seeking to
                      keep the [false notion of the]
                      `White'* "race"
                      as [being] pure, instituted a rule that
                      anyone with "one drop" of `Black
                      / Negro' blood was
                      `Black' [race].

                      That spurred even more fair-skinned "blacks"^^
                      to cross over and escape Jim Crow laws that kept
                      "blacks"^^ in the shackles of second-class citizenship.

                      Interestingly, many `
                      `White'*, if they traced
                      their blood line or had their DNA tested,
                      would find they have
                      "black"^^ ancestors.

                      In a 1999 piece for Slate, writer Brent Staples cites
                      a 1940s study by Robert Stuckert, a sociologist
                      and anthropologist from Ohio State University .

                      The study, titled "African Ancestry of the White American
                      Population", indicates that during the 1940s, approximately
                      15,550 fair-skinned
                      "blacks"^^ per year "crossed the color line".

                      The study estimated that by 1950, about 21 percent or 28
                      million of the 135 million categorized as
                      `White'* had
                      "black"^^ ancestry within the past four generations.

                      Stuckert predicted that the numbers
                      would grow in subsequent decades.

                      Marshall never thought to "pass" permanently,
                      although she had family members who did.

                      Some fair-skinned
                      "blacks"^^ with "good hair"
                      and "keen features" did not "pass" but …
                      [simply married] others with fair skin ...

                      "For generations, my mother's side and
                      my father's side married fair so they
                      could get jobs," Marshall said.

                      "My great-grandfather had a barbershop,
                      and he "passed" for
                      `White'*, and he had
                      only `
                      `White'* customers in his shop."

                      But for many fair-skinned
                      "blacks"^^,
                      it was about more than getting jobs.

                      There was a mind-set among some ….

                      Some social organizations, fraternities and sororities
                      admitted only fair-skinned
                      "blacks"^^ or those who
                      could pass the "paper bag test," meaning they
                      could be no darker than a brown paper bag.

                      To this day, Marshall , indoctrinated into such
                      thinking as a child, would have preferred that her
                      children marry
                      `White'* or … very light-skinned people.

                      "All my children married
                      "black"^^,
                      much to my regret," she said.
                      "I would have preferred they married
                      `White'*
                      ... it's still an advantage to be `White'*."

                      State decides for you

                      Sometimes
                      "blacks"^^ used their fair complexion not for
                      personal gain but to circumvent discriminatory practices.

                      For example, in the 1940s,
                      "blacks"^^ who looked `White'*
                      helped integrate Lewis Place , a neighborhood in St. Louis , Mo.

                      Like many cities during this time, Lewis Place
                      had covenants that prevented
                      "blacks"^^ from
                      buying homes in certain neighborhoods.

                      But in the '40s, fair-skinned
                      "blacks"^^ would purchase
                      homes on Lewis Street and then transfer deeds to [the]
                      darker-skinned
                      `black"^^ people who had actually bought them.

                      Famed NAACP chief executive Walter White's light skin
                      allowed him to investigate lynchings and race riots in the 1920s.

                      White, who was raised in Atlanta , under Jim Crow,
                      remained an NAACP officer until he died in 1955.

                      For nearly a century, just who was [defined or
                      categorized as being either]
                      `White'* or "black"^^
                      depended upon what state that person was in.

                      Between the 1890s and 1950s, the peak
                      period for
                      "blacks"^^ "passing" as `White'*,
                      every state had its own racial designation,
                      said Wendy Ann Gaudin, a history
                      instructor at Xavier University in Louisiana .

                      Gaudin has interviewed Mixed-Race people
                      in Louisiana who "passed" for

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