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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 , 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 2 of 9 , Oct 19, 2006
      • 0 Attachment
        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 3 of 9 , Oct 19, 2006
        • 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 4 of 9 , Oct 19, 2006
          • 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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