Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.
 

Re: Gregory Howard Williams [Racial Identity on The ''Color'' Line]

Expand Messages
  • docilechicken24
    Thanks for sharing this person, I can relate to that. It wasn t til about 19 maybe til I found out I was black [categorized] or a person of color . To this
    Message 1 of 14 , Nov 2, 2006
      Thanks for sharing this person, I can relate to that.
      It wasn't til about 19 maybe til I found out I
      was "black" [categorized] or "a person of color".
      To this day I have family members
      that describe themselves as Italian.

      Dustin



      > When Gregory Howard Williams was 10 years old,
      > his father turned to him on a bus ride to
      > Muncie, Ind., and told him, "Life is
      > going to be different from now on.
      >
      > In Virginia you were white boys.
      > In Indiana, you're going to be "Colored" boys.
      >
      > I want you to remember that you're the
      > same today that you were yesterday.
      >
      > But people in Indiana will
      > treat you differently.
      >
      > The compelling story of just how different
      > that life would be forms the core of Williams'
      > much-discussed new book, `Life on the Color
      > Line: The True Story of a White Boy Who
      > Discovered He was Black' (Dutton, $22.95).
      >
      > Williams left behind the "whites only" schools,
      > swimming pools and move theaters of 1953.
      >
      > Overnight, his racial identity changed.
      >
      > The memoir is No. 232 on the USA
      > TODAY Best-Selling Books list.
      >
      > Williams was born to a [mono-racially]
      > `White' mother and a [mixed-race] "black"
      > [categorized / identified] father when
      > interracial relationships were still
      > against the law in Virginia.
      >
      > His light-skinned father told people
      > he was Italian, and his mother was
      > disowned by her family in Muncie.
      >
      > The couple ran a tavern for servicemen
      > that failed partly because the Korean
      > War ended and partly because Williams'
      > charismatic father drank heavily.
      >
      > Eventually, Williams' mother left
      > the family [due to domestic violence].
      > She took her two youngest children
      > but left Williams and his brother
      > Mike with their father.
      >
      > The two sons would not se or hear
      > from their mother for a decade.
      >
      > With their father, the two boys headed
      > to Muncie, where they discovered that
      > life for "black" boys was very
      > different than for white boys.
      >
      > "I was the same person, but because
      > my heritage, I was treated very
      > differently," Williams says.
      >
      > Teachers had severely lowered expectations,
      > and Williams was denied an academic award
      > in the sixth grade because of his "race".
      >
      > Often going hungry, the two boys lived
      > at first with their paternal grandmother,
      > who had worked at the tavern back
      > in Virginia, where the boys knew
      > her simply as the cook, Miss Sallie.
      >
      > No one had mentioned she
      > was their father's mother.
      >
      > "She was very angry about that."
      >
      > Now the dean of Ohio State University College
      > of Law, Williams wrote the book because he had
      > counseled many minority students and they told
      > him how inspiring and affirming his story was.
      >
      > A top student and high school athlete,
      > Williams put himself through Ball
      > State University while working
      > full time as a sheriff.
      >
      > He also attended law school and
      > has published legal textbooks.
      >
      > When Williams was growing up in Muncie,
      > where the KKK had been active for many
      > years, there was strict racial segregation
      >
      > With fair skin and straight hair, Williams
      > has always looked [`mono'-racially] `White'.
      >
      > But THE ISSUE has "NEVER BEEN
      > `skin-color' --- - it's "race" and
      > "racial" heritage," Williams says.
      >
      > His white grandmother lived less
      > than 10 minutes away in Muncie,
      > yet brutally rejected the two boys.
      >
      > After they begged for their mother's
      > address so they could write her, she
      > ordered them out of her car, saying,
      > "I don't carry messages for n***rs!"
      >
      > Only his mother's youngest sister
      > kept in touch with Williams.
      >
      > By contrast, his "black" relatives and
      > their community accepted the two boys
      > after some playground scuffles and taunts.
      >
      > "We became "black" ["identified"].
      > Those were the people who were supporting us.
      > I became proud of my heritage.
      > I realized who I was.
      >
      > Moreover Williams had seen his father
      > "pass" for [being `mono'-racially]
      > `White' and the pain he suffered
      > emotionally at this self-denial.
      >
      > Economically, however, "passing"
      > generated much more money.
      >
      > Back in Virginia, his father's businesses
      > grossed more than $50,000 in 1951.
      >
      > After the family moved to Muncie, the
      > best job his 41-year-old father, who
      > had attended Howard University, could
      > get was as a janitor for $50.50 a week.
      >
      > What saved Williams in the end was a woman
      > named Miss Dora, who took in the two boys,
      > providing them with a stable home.
      >
      > At 52, Miss Dora earned $25 a week as a
      > domestic, yet fed and cared for the boys.
      >
      > "This woman saved my life," says Williams,
      > who dedicated the book to her, his wife
      > and his now-deceased father who, despite
      > his drinking and difficulties, always
      > encouraged Williams to dream and achieve.
      >
      > His mother, however, remains a wound.
      >
      > Williams understands why she left her husband,
      > but she has never apologized or even admitted
      > that she abandoned two small boys for 10 years.
      >
      > (She periodically returned to Muncie
      > yet never contacted her sons. )
      > When he saw her at age 20,
      > "She didn't want to talk to us about
      > how we had survived, what we had
      > gone through," Williams says.
      > "She was in denial. "
      > When Williams told her recently
      > that the book was to be published,
      > "she was not happy about it."
      >
      > Williams traveled back to Muncie
      > recently and ... visited his
      > elementary school and [discovered]
      > "life has not changed a lot in 31 years"
      > in terms of what "black" children
      > can expect from this world.
      >
      > While he believes there have been
      > "some advances in race relations,there
      > continues to be a lot of divisions. "
      >
      > Quite simply, Williams says it is hard
      > for whites to understand how "overpowering
      > and overshadowing the perceptions about
      > "blacks" in this society can be.
      > "It's very difficult"
      >
      > <<<<<
      >
      > BOOK EXCERPT:
      >
      > `Remember Miss Sallie who used
      > to work for us in the tavern?'
      > Dad's lower lip quivered.
      > He look ill.
      > Had he always looked this unhealthy,
      > I wondered, or was it something
      > that had happened on the trip?
      > `It's hard to tell you boys this,'
      > He paused, then slowly added,
      > `But she's really my momma.
      > That means she's your grandmother. '
      > `But that can't be, Dad!
      > She's Colored!'
      > I whispered, lest I be overheard by
      > the other white passengers on the bus.
      > `That's right, Billy,'
      > he continued.
      > `She's Colored.
      > That makes you
      > Part-Colored, too.'...
      > I didn't understand Day.
      > I knew I wasn't Colored, and neither was he.
      > My skin was white.
      > All of us are white, I said to myself.
      > But for the first time, I had to admit
      > Dad didn't exactly look white.
      > His deeply tanned skin puzzled me
      > as I sat there trying to
      > classify my own father...
      > `I don't wanta be Colored,' Mike whined.
      > `I don't wanta be Colored.
      > We can't go swimming' or skatin,'...
      > I glanced across the aisle to where (Dad) sat
      > grimfaced and erect, staring straight ahead.
      > I saw my father as I never had seen him before.
      > The veil dropped from his face and features.
      > Before my eyes he was transformed
      > from a swarthy Italian to his true
      > self ----- `a high- yellow Mulatto'.
      > My father was [classified as' "a Negro"!
      > We were Colored!
      > After ten years in Virginia on the white side
      > of the Color-Line, I knew what that meant.
      >
      > From `Life on the Color Line'
      >
      > Dawn D.
      > Bennett-Alexander
      >
      > >>>>>
      >
      > ]]]]]
      >
    • j s
      I started finding out at 14 so I understand. BTW this book looks interesting docilechicken24 wrote: Thanks for sharing this person, I
      Message 2 of 14 , Nov 2, 2006
        I started finding out at 14 so I understand.
         
        BTW this book looks interesting

        docilechicken24 <kjoule70@...> wrote:
        Thanks for sharing this person, I can relate to that.
        It wasn't til about 19 maybe til I found out I
        was "black" [categorized] or "a person of color".
        To this day I have family members
        that describe themselves as Italian.

        Dustin

        > When Gregory Howard Williams was 10 years old,
        > his father turned to him on a bus ride to
        > Muncie, Ind., and told him, "Life is
        > going to be different from now on.
        >
        > In Virginia you were white boys.
        > In Indiana, you're going to be "Colored" boys.
        >
        > I want you to remember that you're the
        > same today that you were yesterday.
        >
        > But people in Indiana will
        > treat you differently.
        >
        > The compelling story of just how different
        > that life would be forms the core of Williams'
        > much-discussed new book, `Life on the Color
        > Line: The True Story of a White Boy Who
        > Discovered He was Black' (Dutton, $22.95).
        >
        > Williams left behind the "whites only" schools,
        > swimming pools and move theaters of 1953.
        >
        > Overnight, his racial identity changed.
        >
        > The memoir is No. 232 on the USA
        > TODAY Best-Selling Books list.
        >
        > Williams was born to a [mono-racially]
        > `White' mother and a [mixed-race] "black"
        > [categorized / identified] father when
        > interracial relationships were still
        > against the law in Virginia.
        >
        > His light-skinned father told people
        > he was Italian, and his mother was
        > disowned by her family in Muncie.
        >
        > The couple ran a tavern for servicemen
        > that failed partly because the Korean
        > War ended and partly because Williams'
        > charismatic father drank heavily.
        >
        > Eventually, Williams' mother left
        > the family [due to domestic violence].
        > She took her two youngest children
        > but left Williams and his brother
        > Mike with their father.
        >
        > The two sons would not se or hear
        > from their mother for a decade.
        >
        > With their father, the two boys headed
        > to Muncie, where they discovered that
        > life for "black" boys was very
        > different than for white boys.
        >
        > "I was the same person, but because
        > my heritage, I was treated very
        > differently, " Williams says.
        >
        > Teachers had severely lowered expectations,
        > and Williams was denied an academic award
        > in the sixth grade because of his "race".
        >
        > Often going hungry, the two boys lived
        > at first with their paternal grandmother,
        > who had worked at the tavern back
        > in Virginia, where the boys knew
        > her simply as the cook, Miss Sallie.
        >
        > No one had mentioned she
        > was their father's mother.
        >
        > "She was very angry about that."
        >
        > Now the dean of Ohio State University College
        > of Law, Williams wrote the book because he had
        > counseled many minority students and they told
        > him how inspiring and affirming his story was.
        >
        > A top student and high school athlete,
        > Williams put himself through Ball
        > State University while working
        > full time as a sheriff.
        >
        > He also attended law school and
        > has published legal textbooks.
        >
        > When Williams was growing up in Muncie,
        > where the KKK had been active for many
        > years, there was strict racial segregation
        >
        > With fair skin and straight hair, Williams
        > has always looked [`mono'-racially] `White'.
        >
        > But THE ISSUE has "NEVER BEEN
        > `skin-color' --- - it's "race" and
        > "racial" heritage," Williams says.
        >
        > His white grandmother lived less
        > than 10 minutes away in Muncie,
        > yet brutally rejected the two boys.
        >
        > After they begged for their mother's
        > address so they could write her, she
        > ordered them out of her car, saying,
        > "I don't carry messages for n***rs!"
        >
        > Only his mother's youngest sister
        > kept in touch with Williams.
        >
        > By contrast, his "black" relatives and
        > their community accepted the two boys
        > after some playground scuffles and taunts.
        >
        > "We became "black" ["identified" ].
        > Those were the people who were supporting us.
        > I became proud of my heritage.
        > I realized who I was.
        >
        > Moreover Williams had seen his father
        > "pass" for [being `mono'-racially]
        > `White' and the pain he suffered
        > emotionally at this self-denial.
        >
        > Economically, however, "passing"
        > generated much more money.
        >
        > Back in Virginia, his father's businesses
        > grossed more than $50,000 in 1951.
        >
        > After the family moved to Muncie, the
        > best job his 41-year-old father, who
        > had attended Howard University, could
        > get was as a janitor for $50.50 a week.
        >
        > What saved Williams in the end was a woman
        > named Miss Dora, who took in the two boys,
        > providing them with a stable home.
        >
        > At 52, Miss Dora earned $25 a week as a
        > domestic, yet fed and cared for the boys.
        >
        > "This woman saved my life," says Williams,
        > who dedicated the book to her, his wife
        > and his now-deceased father who, despite
        > his drinking and difficulties, always
        > encouraged Williams to dream and achieve.
        >
        > His mother, however, remains a wound.
        >
        > Williams understands why she left her husband,
        > but she has never apologized or even admitted
        > that she abandoned two small boys for 10 years.
        >
        > (She periodically returned to Muncie
        > yet never contacted her sons. )
        > When he saw her at age 20,
        > "She didn't want to talk to us about
        > how we had survived, what we had
        > gone through," Williams says.
        > "She was in denial. "
        > When Williams told her recently
        > that the book was to be published,
        > "she was not happy about it."
        >
        > Williams traveled back to Muncie
        > recently and ... visited his
        > elementary school and [discovered]
        > "life has not changed a lot in 31 years"
        > in terms of what "black" children
        > can expect from this world.
        >
        > While he believes there have been
        > "some advances in race relations,there
        > continues to be a lot of divisions. "
        >
        > Quite simply, Williams says it is hard
        > for whites to understand how "overpowering
        > and overshadowing the perceptions about
        > "blacks" in this society can be.
        > "It's very difficult"
        >
        > <<<<<
        >
        > BOOK EXCERPT:
        >
        > `Remember Miss Sallie who used
        > to work for us in the tavern?'
        > Dad's lower lip quivered.
        > He look ill.
        > Had he always looked this unhealthy,
        > I wondered, or was it something
        > that had happened on the trip?
        > `It's hard to tell you boys this,'
        > He paused, then slowly added,
        > `But she's really my momma.
        > That means she's your grandmother. '
        > `But that can't be, Dad!
        > She's Colored!'
        > I whispered, lest I be overheard by
        > the other white passengers on the bus.
        > `That's right, Billy,'
        > he continued.
        > `She's Colored.
        > That makes you
        > Part-Colored, too.'...
        > I didn't understand Day.
        > I knew I wasn't Colored, and neither was he.
        > My skin was white.
        > All of us are white, I said to myself.
        > But for the first time, I had to admit
        > Dad didn't exactly look white.
        > His deeply tanned skin puzzled me
        > as I sat there trying to
        > classify my own father...
        > `I don't wanta be Colored,' Mike whined.
        > `I don't wanta be Colored.
        > We can't go swimming' or skatin,'...
        > I glanced across the aisle to where (Dad) sat
        > grimfaced and erect, staring straight ahead.
        > I saw my father as I never had seen him before.
        > The veil dropped from his face and features.
        > Before my eyes he was transformed
        > from a swarthy Italian to his true
        > self ----- `a high- yellow Mulatto'.
        > My father was [classified as' "a Negro"!
        > We were Colored!
        > After ten years in Virginia on the white side
        > of the Color-Line, I knew what that meant.
        >
        > From `Life on the Color Line'
        >
        > Dawn D.
        > Bennett-Alexander
        >
        > >>>>>
        >
        > ]]]]]
        >



        Low, Low, Low Rates! Check out Yahoo! Messenger's cheap PC-to-Phone call rates.

      • tlbaker1
        How did the conversation come up, if you don t mind me asking? Lynne _____ From: Generation-Mixed@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Generation-Mixed@yahoogroups.com] On
        Message 3 of 14 , Nov 2, 2006

          How did the conversation come up, if you don't mind me asking?

           

          Lynne

           


          From: Generation-Mixed@yahoogroups.com
          [mailto: Generation-Mixed@yahoogroups.com ]
          On Behalf Of
          j s
          Sent: Thursday, November 02, 2006 3:26 PM
          To: Generation-Mixed@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: Re: Gregory Howard Williams [Racial Identity on The ''Color'' Line]

           

          I started finding out at 14 so I understand.

          BTW this book looks interesting


          docilechicken24 <kjoule70@...> wrote:


          Thanks for sharing this person, I can relate to that.
          It wasn't til about 19 maybe til I found out I
          was "black" [categorized] or "a person of color".
          To this day I have family members
          that describe themselves as Italian.

          Dustin




          > When Gregory Howard Williams was 10 years old,
          > his father turned to him on a bus ride to
          > Muncie , Ind. , and told him, "Life is
          > going to be different from now on.
          >
          > In Virginia you were white boys.
          > In Indiana , you're going to be "Colored" boys.
          >
          > I want you to remember that you're the
          > same today that you were yesterday.
          >
          > But people in Indiana will
          > treat you differently.
          >
          > The compelling story of just how different
          > that life would be forms the core of Williams'
          > much-discussed new book, `Life on the Color
          > Line: The True Story of a White Boy Who
          > Discovered He was Black' (Dutton, $22.95).
          >
          > Williams left behind the "whites only" schools,
          > swimming pools and move theaters of 1953.
          >
          > Overnight, his racial identity changed.
          >
          > The memoir is No. 232 on the USA
          > TODAY Best-Selling Books list.
          >
          > Williams was born to a [mono-racially]
          > `White' mother and a [mixed-race] "black"
          > [categorized / identified] father when
          > interracial relationships were still
          > against the law in Virginia .
          >
          > His light-skinned father told people
          > he was Italian, and his mother was
          > disowned by her family in Muncie .
          >
          > The couple ran a tavern for servicemen
          > that failed partly because the Korean
          > War ended and partly because Williams'
          > charismatic father drank heavily.
          >
          > Eventually, Williams' mother left
          > the family [due to domestic violence].
          > She took her two youngest children
          > but left Williams and his brother
          > Mike with their father.
          >
          > The two sons would not se or hear
          > from their mother for a decade.
          >
          > With their father, the two boys headed
          > to Muncie , where they discovered that
          > life for "black" boys was very
          > different than for white boys.
          >
          > "I was the same person, but because
          > my heritage, I was treated very
          > differently, " Williams says.
          >
          > Teachers had severely lowered expectations,
          > and Williams was denied an academic award
          > in the sixth grade because of his "race".
          >
          > Often going hungry, the two boys lived
          > at first with their paternal grandmother,
          > who had worked at the tavern back
          > in Virginia , where the boys knew
          > her simply as the cook, Miss Sallie.
          >
          > No one had mentioned she
          > was their father's mother.
          >
          > "She was very angry about that."
          >
          > Now the dean of Ohio State University College
          > of Law, Williams wrote the book because he had
          > counseled many minority students and they told
          > him how inspiring and affirming his story was.
          >
          > A top student and high school athlete,
          > Williams put himself through Ball
          > State University while working
          > full time as a sheriff.
          >
          > He also attended law school and
          > has published legal textbooks.
          >
          > When Williams was growing up in Muncie ,
          > where the KKK had been active for many
          > years, there was strict racial segregation
          >
          > With fair skin and straight hair, Williams
          > has always looked [`mono'-racially] `White'.
          >
          > But THE ISSUE has "NEVER BEEN
          > `skin-color' --- - it's "race" and
          > "racial" heritage," Williams says.
          >
          > His white grandmother lived less
          > than 10 minutes away in Muncie ,
          > yet brutally rejected the two boys.
          >
          > After they begged for their mother's
          > address so they could write her, she
          > ordered them out of her car, saying,
          > "I don't carry messages for n***rs!"
          >
          > Only his mother's youngest sister
          > kept in touch with Williams.
          >
          > By contrast, his "black" relatives and
          > their community accepted the two boys
          > after some playground scuffles and taunts.
          >
          > "We became "black" ["identified" ].
          > Those were the people who were supporting us.
          > I became proud of my heritage.
          > I realized who I was.
          >
          > Moreover Williams had seen his father
          > "pass" for [being `mono'-racially]
          > `White' and the pain he suffered
          > emotionally at this self-denial.
          >
          > Economically, however, "passing"
          > generated much more money.
          >
          > Back in Virginia , his father's businesses
          > grossed more than $50,000 in 1951.
          >
          > After the family moved to Muncie , the
          > best job his 41-year-old father, who
          > had attended Howard University , could
          > get was as a janitor for $50.50 a week.
          >
          > What saved Williams in the end was a woman
          > named Miss Dora, who took in the two boys,
          > providing them with a stable home.
          >
          > At 52, Miss Dora earned $25 a week as a
          > domestic, yet fed and cared for the boys.
          >
          > "This woman saved my life," says Williams,
          > who dedicated the book to her, his wife
          > and his now-deceased father who, despite
          > his drinking and difficulties, always
          > encouraged Williams to dream and achieve.
          >
          > His mother, however, remains a wound.
          >
          > Williams understands why she left her husband,
          > but she has never apologized or even admitted
          > that she abandoned two small boys for 10 years.
          >
          > (She periodically returned to Muncie
          > yet never contacted her sons. )
          > When he saw her at age 20,
          > "She didn't want to talk to us about
          > how we had survived, what we had
          > gone through," Williams says.
          > "She was in denial. "
          > When Williams told her recently
          > that the book was to be published,
          > "she was not happy about it."
          >
          > Williams traveled back to Muncie
          > recently and ... visited his
          > elementary school and [discovered]
          > "life has not changed a lot in 31 years"
          > in terms of what "black" children
          > can expect from this world.
          >
          > While he believes there have been
          > "some advances in race relations,there
          > continues to be a lot of divisions. "
          >
          > Quite simply, Williams says it is hard
          > for whites to understand how "overpowering
          > and overshadowing the perceptions about
          > "blacks" in this society can be.
          > "It's very difficult"
          >
          > <<<<<
          >
          > BOOK EXCERPT:
          >
          > `Remember Miss Sallie who used
          > to work for us in the tavern?'
          > Dad's lower lip quivered.
          > He look ill.
          > Had he always looked this unhealthy,
          > I wondered, or was it something
          > that had happened on the trip?
          > `It's hard to tell you boys this,'
          > He paused, then slowly added,
          > `But she's really my momma.
          > That means she's your grandmother. '
          > `But that can't be, Dad!
          > She's Colored!'
          > I whispered, lest I be overheard by
          > the other white passengers on the bus.
          > `That's right, Billy,'
          > he continued.
          > `She's Colored.
          > That makes you
          > Part-Colored, too.'...
          > I didn't understand Day.
          > I knew I wasn't Colored, and neither was he.
          > My skin was white.
          > All of us are white, I said to myself.
          > But for the first time, I had to admit
          > Dad didn't exactly look white.
          > His deeply tanned skin puzzled me
          > as I sat there trying to
          > classify my own father...
          > `I don't wanta be Colored,' Mike whined.
          > `I don't wanta be Colored.
          > We can't go swimming' or skatin,'...
          > I glanced across the aisle to where (Dad) sat
          > grimfaced and erect, staring straight ahead.
          > I saw my father as I never had seen him before.
          > The veil dropped from his face and features.
          > Before my eyes he was transformed
          > from a swarthy Italian to his true
          > self ----- `a high- yellow Mulatto'.
          > My father was [classified as' "a Negro"!
          > We were Colored!
          > After ten years in Virginia on the white side
          > of the Color-Line, I knew what that meant.
          >
          > From `Life on the Color Line'
          >
          > Dawn D.
          > Bennett-Alexander
          >
          > >>>>>
          >
          > ]]]]]
          >

           

           


          Low, Low, Low Rates! Check out Yahoo! Messenger's cheap PC-to-Phone call rates.

        • j s
          Basically I was asked by an older black male when I was about 14 if I was mixed, which I had never been asked before, and he said I needed to talk to my mother
          Message 4 of 14 , Nov 3, 2006
            Basically I was asked by an older black male when I
            was about 14 if I was mixed, which I had never been
            asked before, and he said I needed to talk to my
            mother because she wasn't telling me anything.
            Of course she didn't know anything about it
            and I started to think my father, who was
            no longer in the picture, was the "culprit".

            Well as time passed and I started to look at my
            maternal grandmother, I noticed a Lena Horne
            look that she had, as well as the fullness of
            my aunt and uncles lips, curliness of his hair
            (which he brushed strongly down and parted to
            the side - no afros there!) and then heard this
            silliness about how a great grandfather had been
            robbed by pirates on the Mississippi and lost
            the family fortune after the Civil War (those
            types of stories were frequently created to
            explain how Passe-Blanc freedmen and ex-slaves
            had arrived in new places with no possessions
            or real history) and it all made sense.

            Up until then the family had said how there was
            Indian blood in there (and perhaps there was)
            but it seemed that I had found my culprit.
            In fact when I asked my grandmother about our
            history and said I'd like to do some genealogical
            research she said "don't go back too far,
            you're liable to find the tar brush!"
             
              
            tlbaker1 <tlbaker1@...> wrote:
            How did the conversation come up, if you don't mind me asking?

            Lynne



            From: Generation-Mixed@ yahoogroups. com
            [mailto: Generation-Mixed@ yahoogroups. com ]
            On Behalf Of
            j s
            Sent: Thursday, November 02, 2006 3:26 PM
            To: Generation-Mixed@ yahoogroups. com
            Subject: Re: Gregory Howard Williams [Racial Identity on The ''Color'' Line]


            I started finding out at 14 so I understand.
            BTW this book looks interesting


            docilechicken24 <kjoule70@hotmail. com> wrote:

            Thanks for sharing this person, I can relate to that.
            It wasn't til about 19 maybe til I found out I
            was "black" [categorized] or "a person of color".
            To this day I have family members
            that describe themselves as Italian.

            Dustin




            > When Gregory Howard Williams was 10 years old,
            > his father turned to him on a bus ride to
            > Muncie , Ind. , and told him, "Life is
            > going to be different from now on.
            >
            > In Virginia you were white boys.
            > In Indiana , you're going to be "Colored" boys.
            >
            > I want you to remember that you're the
            > same today that you were yesterday.
            >
            > But people in Indiana will
            > treat you differently.
            >
            > The compelling story of just how different
            > that life would be forms the core of Williams'
            > much-discussed new book, `Life on the Color
            > Line: The True Story of a White Boy Who
            > Discovered He was Black' (Dutton, $22.95).
            >
            > Williams left behind the "whites only" schools,
            > swimming pools and move theaters of 1953.
            >
            > Overnight, his racial identity changed.
            >
            > The memoir is No. 232 on the USA
            > TODAY Best-Selling Books list.
            >
            > Williams was born to a [mono-racially]
            > `White' mother and a [mixed-race] "black"
            > [categorized / identified] father when
            > interracial relationships were still
            > against the law in Virginia .
            >
            > His light-skinned father told people
            > he was Italian, and his mother was
            > disowned by her family in Muncie .
            >
            > The couple ran a tavern for servicemen
            > that failed partly because the Korean
            > War ended and partly because Williams'
            > charismatic father drank heavily.
            >
            > Eventually, Williams' mother left
            > the family [due to domestic violence].
            > She took her two youngest children
            > but left Williams and his brother
            > Mike with their father.
            >
            > The two sons would not se or hear
            > from their mother for a decade.
            >
            > With their father, the two boys headed
            > to Muncie , where they discovered that
            > life for "black" boys was very
            > different than for white boys.
            >
            > "I was the same person, but because
            > my heritage, I was treated very
            > differently, " Williams says.
            >
            > Teachers had severely lowered expectations,
            > and Williams was denied an academic award
            > in the sixth grade because of his "race".
            >
            > Often going hungry, the two boys lived
            > at first with their paternal grandmother,
            > who had worked at the tavern back
            > in Virginia , where the boys knew
            > her simply as the cook, Miss Sallie.
            >
            > No one had mentioned she
            > was their father's mother.
            >
            > "She was very angry about that."
            >
            > Now the dean of Ohio State University College
            > of Law, Williams wrote the book because he had
            > counseled many minority students and they told
            > him how inspiring and affirming his story was.
            >
            > A top student and high school athlete,
            > Williams put himself through Ball
            > State University while working
            > full time as a sheriff.
            >
            > He also attended law school and
            > has published legal textbooks.
            >
            > When Williams was growing up in Muncie ,
            > where the KKK had been active for many
            > years, there was strict racial segregation
            >
            > With fair skin and straight hair, Williams
            > has always looked [`mono'-racially] `White'.
            >
            > But THE ISSUE has "NEVER BEEN
            > `skin-color' --- - it's "race" and
            > "racial" heritage," Williams says.
            >
            > His white grandmother lived less
            > than 10 minutes away in Muncie ,
            > yet brutally rejected the two boys.
            >
            > After they begged for their mother's
            > address so they could write her, she
            > ordered them out of her car, saying,
            > "I don't carry messages for n***rs!"
            >
            > Only his mother's youngest sister
            > kept in touch with Williams.
            >
            > By contrast, his "black" relatives and
            > their community accepted the two boys
            > after some playground scuffles and taunts.
            >
            > "We became "black" ["identified" ].
            > Those were the people who were supporting us.
            > I became proud of my heritage.
            > I realized who I was.
            >
            > Moreover Williams had seen his father
            > "pass" for [being `mono'-racially]
            > `White' and the pain he suffered
            > emotionally at this self-denial.
            >
            > Economically, however, "passing"
            > generated much more money.
            >
            > Back in Virginia , his father's businesses
            > grossed more than $50,000 in 1951.
            >
            > After the family moved to Muncie , the
            > best job his 41-year-old father, who
            > had attended Howard University , could
            > get was as a janitor for $50.50 a week.
            >
            > What saved Williams in the end was a woman
            > named Miss Dora, who took in the two boys,
            > providing them with a stable home.
            >
            > At 52, Miss Dora earned $25 a week as a
            > domestic, yet fed and cared for the boys.
            >
            > "This woman saved my life," says Williams,
            > who dedicated the book to her, his wife
            > and his now-deceased father who, despite
            > his drinking and difficulties, always
            > encouraged Williams to dream and achieve.
            >
            > His mother, however, remains a wound.
            >
            > Williams understands why she left her husband,
            > but she has never apologized or even admitted
            > that she abandoned two small boys for 10 years.
            >
            > (She periodically returned to Muncie
            > yet never contacted her sons. )
            > When he saw her at age 20,
            > "She didn't want to talk to us about
            > how we had survived, what we had
            > gone through," Williams says.
            > "She was in denial. "
            > When Williams told her recently
            > that the book was to be published,
            > "she was not happy about it."
            >
            > Williams traveled back to Muncie
            > recently and ... visited his
            > elementary school and [discovered]
            > "life has not changed a lot in 31 years"
            > in terms of what "black" children
            > can expect from this world.
            >
            > While he believes there have been
            > "some advances in race relations,there
            > continues to be a lot of divisions. "
            >
            > Quite simply, Williams says it is hard
            > for whites to understand how "overpowering
            > and overshadowing the perceptions about
            > "blacks" in this society can be.
            > "It's very difficult"
            >
            > <<<<<
            >
            > BOOK EXCERPT:
            >
            > `Remember Miss Sallie who used
            > to work for us in the tavern?'
            > Dad's lower lip quivered.
            > He look ill.
            > Had he always looked this unhealthy,
            > I wondered, or was it something
            > that had happened on the trip?
            > `It's hard to tell you boys this,'
            > He paused, then slowly added,
            > `But she's really my momma.
            > That means she's your grandmother. '
            > `But that can't be, Dad!
            > She's Colored!'
            > I whispered, lest I be overheard by
            > the other white passengers on the bus.
            > `That's right, Billy,'
            > he continued.
            > `She's Colored.
            > That makes you
            > Part-Colored, too.'...
            > I didn't understand Day.
            > I knew I wasn't Colored, and neither was he.
            > My skin was white.
            > All of us are white, I said to myself.
            > But for the first time, I had to admit
            > Dad didn't exactly look white.
            > His deeply tanned skin puzzled me
            > as I sat there trying to
            > classify my own father...
            > `I don't wanta be Colored,' Mike whined.
            > `I don't wanta be Colored.
            > We can't go swimming' or skatin,'...
            > I glanced across the aisle to where (Dad) sat
            > grimfaced and erect, staring straight ahead.
            > I saw my father as I never had seen him before.
            > The veil dropped from his face and features.
            > Before my eyes he was transformed
            > from a swarthy Italian to his true
            > self ----- `a high- yellow Mulatto'.
            > My father was [classified as' "a Negro"!
            > We were Colored!
            > After ten years in Virginia on the white side
            > of the Color-Line, I knew what that meant.
            >
            > From `Life on the Color Line'
            >
            > Dawn D.
            > Bennett-Alexander
            >
            > >>>>>
            >
            > ]]]]]
            >
             

            Low, Low, Low Rates! Check out Yahoo! Messenger's cheap PC-to-Phone call rates.


            Get your email and see which of your friends are online - Right on the new Yahoo.com

          • tlbaker1
            Interesting, you need to write a book. In my family on my mother s side, the further you go back the whiter it gets, moreso than the native and black. I love
            Message 5 of 14 , Nov 3, 2006

              Interesting, you need to write a book.

              In my family on my mother's side, the further you go
              back the whiter it gets, moreso than the native and black.

              I love the pirate story, LOLOL, literally at my keyboard.

              But was this news tramatic for you somehow?

               


              From: Generation-Mixed@yahoogroups.com
              [mailto: Generation-Mixed@yahoogroups.com ]
              On Behalf Of
              j s
              Sent: Friday, November 03, 2006 4:38 PM
              To: Generation-Mixed@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: Re: Gregory Howard Williams [Racial Identity on The ''Color'' Line]

               

              Basically I was asked by an older black male when I
              was about 14 if I was mixed, which I had never been
              asked before, and he said I needed to talk to my
              mother because she wasn't telling me anything.
              Of course she didn't know anything about it
              and I started to think my father, who was
              no longer in the picture, was the "culprit".

              Well as time passed and I started to look at my
              maternal grandmother, I noticed a Lena Horne
              look that she had, as well as the fullness of
              my aunt and uncles lips, curliness of his hair
              (which he brushed strongly down and parted to
              the side - no afros there!) and then heard this
              silliness about how a great grandfather had been
              robbed by pirates on the Mississippi and lost
              the family fortune after the Civil War (those
              types of stories were frequently created to
              explain how Passe-Blanc freedmen and ex-slaves
              had arrived in new places with no possessions
              or real history) and it all made sense.

              Up until then the family had said how there was
              Indian blood in there (and perhaps there was)
              but it seemed that I had found my culprit.
              In fact when I asked my grandmother about our
              history and said I'd like to do some genealogical
              research she said "don't go back too far,
              you're liable to find the tar brush!"

               

                
              tlbaker1 <tlbaker1@...> wrote:


              How did the conversation come up, if you don't mind me asking?


              Lynne

               


              From: Generation-Mixed@ yahoogroups. com
              [mailto: Generation-Mixed@ yahoogroups. com ]
              On Behalf Of
              j s
              Sent: Thursday, November 02, 2006 3:26 PM
              To: Generation-Mixed@ yahoogroups. com
              Subject: Re: Gregory Howard Williams [Racial Identity on The ''Color'' Line]



              I started finding out at 14 so I understand.

              BTW this book looks interesting


              docilechicken24 <kjoule70@hotmail. com> wrote:

               

              Thanks for sharing this person, I can relate to that.
              It wasn't til about 19 maybe til I found out I
              was "black" [categorized] or "a person of color".
              To this day I have family members
              that describe themselves as Italian.

              Dustin




              > When Gregory Howard Williams was 10 years old,
              > his father turned to him on a bus ride to
              > Muncie , Ind. , and told him, "Life is
              > going to be different from now on.
              >
              > In Virginia you were white boys.
              > In Indiana , you're going to be "Colored" boys.
              >
              > I want you to remember that you're the
              > same today that you were yesterday.
              >
              > But people in Indiana will
              > treat you differently.
              >
              > The compelling story of just how different
              > that life would be forms the core of Williams'
              > much-discussed new book, `Life on the Color
              > Line: The True Story of a White Boy Who
              > Discovered He was Black' (Dutton, $22.95).
              >
              > Williams left behind the "whites only" schools,
              > swimming pools and move theaters of 1953.
              >
              > Overnight, his racial identity changed.
              >
              > The memoir is No. 232 on the USA
              > TODAY Best-Selling Books list.
              >
              > Williams was born to a [mono-racially]
              > `White' mother and a [mixed-race] "black"
              > [categorized / identified] father when
              > interracial relationships were still
              > against the law in Virginia .
              >
              > His light-skinned father told people
              > he was Italian, and his mother was
              > disowned by her family in Muncie .
              >
              > The couple ran a tavern for servicemen
              > that failed partly because the Korean
              > War ended and partly because Williams'
              > charismatic father drank heavily.
              >
              > Eventually, Williams' mother left
              > the family [due to domestic violence].
              > She took her two youngest children
              > but left Williams and his brother
              > Mike with their father.
              >
              > The two sons would not se or hear
              > from their mother for a decade.
              >
              > With their father, the two boys headed
              > to Muncie , where they discovered that
              > life for "black" boys was very
              > different than for white boys.
              >
              > "I was the same person, but because
              > my heritage, I was treated very
              > differently, " Williams says.
              >
              > Teachers had severely lowered expectations,
              > and Williams was denied an academic award
              > in the sixth grade because of his "race".
              >
              > Often going hungry, the two boys lived
              > at first with their paternal grandmother,
              > who had worked at the tavern back
              > in Virginia , where the boys knew
              > her simply as the cook, Miss Sallie.
              >
              > No one had mentioned she
              > was their father's mother.
              >
              > "She was very angry about that."
              >
              > Now the dean of Ohio State University College
              > of Law, Williams wrote the book because he had
              > counseled many minority students and they told
              > him how inspiring and affirming his story was.
              >
              > A top student and high school athlete,
              > Williams put himself through Ball
              > State University while working
              > full time as a sheriff.
              >
              > He also attended law school and
              > has published legal textbooks.
              >
              > When Williams was growing up in Muncie ,
              > where the KKK had been active for many
              > years, there was strict racial segregation
              >
              > With fair skin and straight hair, Williams
              > has always looked [`mono'-racially] `White'.
              >
              > But THE ISSUE has "NEVER BEEN
              > `skin-color' --- - it's "race" and
              > "racial" heritage," Williams says.
              >
              > His white grandmother lived less
              > than 10 minutes away in Muncie ,
              > yet brutally rejected the two boys.
              >
              > After they begged for their mother's
              > address so they could write her, she
              > ordered them out of her car, saying,
              > "I don't carry messages for n***rs!"
              >
              > Only his mother's youngest sister
              > kept in touch with Williams.
              >
              > By contrast, his "black" relatives and
              > their community accepted the two boys
              > after some playground scuffles and taunts.
              >
              > "We became "black" ["identified" ].
              > Those were the people who were supporting us.
              > I became proud of my heritage.
              > I realized who I was.
              >
              > Moreover Williams had seen his father
              > "pass" for [being `mono'-racially]
              > `White' and the pain he suffered
              > emotionally at this self-denial.
              >
              > Economically, however, "passing"
              > generated much more money.
              >
              > Back in Virginia , his father's businesses
              > grossed more than $50,000 in 1951.
              >
              > After the family moved to Muncie , the
              > best job his 41-year-old father, who
              > had attended Howard University , could
              > get was as a janitor for $50.50 a week.
              >
              > What saved Williams in the end was a woman
              > named Miss Dora, who took in the two boys,
              > providing them with a stable home.
              >
              > At 52, Miss Dora earned $25 a week as a
              > domestic, yet fed and cared for the boys.
              >
              > "This woman saved my life," says Williams,
              > who dedicated the book to her, his wife
              > and his now-deceased father who, despite
              > his drinking and difficulties, always
              > encouraged Williams to dream and achieve.
              >
              > His mother, however, remains a wound.
              >
              > Williams understands why she left her husband,
              > but she has never apologized or even admitted
              > that she abandoned two small boys for 10 years.
              >
              > (She periodically returned to Muncie
              > yet never contacted her sons. )
              > When he saw her at age 20,
              > "She didn't want to talk to us about
              > how we had survived, what we had
              > gone through," Williams says.
              > "She was in denial. "
              > When Williams told her recently
              > that the book was to be published,
              > "she was not happy about it."
              >
              > Williams traveled back to Muncie
              > recently and ... visited his
              > elementary school and [discovered]
              > "life has not changed a lot in 31 years"
              > in terms of what "black" children
              > can expect from this world.
              >
              > While he believes there have been
              > "some advances in race relations,there
              > continues to be a lot of divisions. "
              >
              > Quite simply, Williams says it is hard
              > for whites to understand how "overpowering
              > and overshadowing the perceptions about
              > "blacks" in this society can be.
              > "It's very difficult"
              >
              > <<<<<
              >
              > BOOK EXCERPT:
              >
              > `Remember Miss Sallie who used
              > to work for us in the tavern?'
              > Dad's lower lip quivered.
              > He look ill.
              > Had he always looked this unhealthy,
              > I wondered, or was it something
              > that had happened on the trip?
              > `It's hard to tell you boys this,'
              > He paused, then slowly added,
              > `But she's really my momma.
              > That means she's your grandmother. '
              > `But that can't be, Dad!
              > She's Colored!'
              > I whispered, lest I be overheard by
              > the other white passengers on the bus.
              > `That's right, Billy,'
              > he continued.
              > `She's Colored.
              > That makes you
              > Part-Colored, too.'...
              > I didn't understand Day.
              > I knew I wasn't Colored, and neither was he.
              > My skin was white.
              > All of us are white, I said to myself.
              > But for the first time, I had to admit
              > Dad didn't exactly look white.
              > His deeply tanned skin puzzled me
              > as I sat there trying to
              > classify my own father...
              > `I don't wanta be Colored,' Mike whined.
              > `I don't wanta be Colored.
              > We can't go swimming' or skatin,'...
              > I glanced across the aisle to where (Dad) sat
              > grimfaced and erect, staring straight ahead.
              > I saw my father as I never had seen him before.
              > The veil dropped from his face and features.
              > Before my eyes he was transformed
              > from a swarthy Italian to his true
              > self ----- `a high- yellow Mulatto'.
              > My father was [classified as' "a Negro"!
              > We were Colored!
              > After ten years in Virginia on the white side
              > of the Color-Line, I knew what that meant.
              >
              > From `Life on the Color Line'
              >
              > Dawn D.
              > Bennett-Alexander
              >
              > >>>>>
              >
              > ]]]]]
              >

               


              Low, Low, Low Rates! Check out Yahoo! Messenger's cheap PC-to-Phone call rates.

               

               


              Get your email and see which of your friends are online - Right on the new Yahoo.com

            • multiracialbookclub
              Jeff, Are you comfortable sharing more with us? If instance .... How did you respond to having your suspicions or curiousity --about your lineage-- confirmed?
              Message 6 of 14 , Nov 4, 2006

                Jeff,

                Are you comfortable sharing more with us?

                If instance ....

                How did you respond to having your suspicions
                or curiousity --about your lineage-- confirmed?

                What made you decide to go ahead and take the
                DNA test that backed up what you had learned?

                Was it difficult find a valid DNA testing company?

                How does your immediate family react to your
                openness about your Multi-Racial lineage?:-$

                How have your friends reacted?:-/

                How did you react (both then and now)?:O

                Thanks and have a great day. :)


                --M

                P.S. 

                Dustin -- can you also share a bit more about how you
                discovered your full-lineage and your reaction (as well
                as that of your family and friends), to learning of it?

                Thanks.


                In Generation-Mixed@yahoogroups.
                com, "tlbaker1" <tlbaker1@...> wrote:

                 

                Interesting, you need to write a book.

                In my family on my mother's side, the further you go
                back the whiter it gets, moreso than the native and black.

                I love the pirate story, LOLOL, literally at my keyboard.

                But was this news tramatic for you somehow?

                 

                From: Generation-Mixed@yahoogroups.com
                [mailto: Generation-Mixed@yahoogroups.com ]
                On Behalf Of
                j s
                Sent: Friday, November 03, 2006 4:38 PM
                To: Generation-Mixed@yahoogroups.com
                Subject: Re: Gregory Howard Williams [Racial Identity on The ''Color'' Line]

                 

                Basically I was asked by an older black male when I
                was about 14 if I was mixed, which I had never been
                asked before, and he said I needed to talk to my
                mother because she wasn't telling me anything.
                Of course she didn't know anything about it
                and I started to think my father, who was
                no longer in the picture, was the "culprit".

                Well as time passed and I started to look at my
                maternal grandmother, I noticed a Lena Horne
                look that she had, as well as the fullness of
                my aunt and uncles lips, curliness of his hair
                (which he brushed strongly down and parted to
                the side - no afros there!) and then heard this
                silliness about how a great grandfather had been
                robbed by pirates on the Mississippi and lost
                the family fortune after the Civil War (those
                types of stories were frequently created to
                explain how Passe-Blanc freedmen and ex-slaves
                had arrived in new places with no possessions
                or real history) and it all made sense.

                Up until then the family had said how there was
                Indian blood in there (and perhaps there was)
                but it seemed that I had found my culprit.
                In fact when I asked my grandmother about our
                history and said I'd like to do some genealogical
                research she said "don't go back too far,
                you're liable to find the tar brush!" 

                 

                tlbaker1 <tlbaker1@...> wrote:

                 

                How did the conversation come
                up, if you don't mind me asking?

                Lynne

                 


                From: Generation-Mixed@ yahoogroups. com
                [mailto: Generation-Mixed@ yahoogroups. com ]
                On Behalf Of
                j s
                Sent: Thursday, November 02, 2006 3:26 PM
                To: Generation-Mixed@ yahoogroups. com
                Subject: Re: Gregory Howard Williams [Racial Identity on The ''Color'' Line]

                 

                I started finding out at 14 so I understand.
                BTW this book looks interesting

                 

                 


                docilechicken24 <kjoule70@hotmail. com> wrote:

                 


                Thanks for sharing this person, I can relate to that.
                It wasn't til about 19 maybe til I found out I
                was "black" [categorized] or "a person of color".
                To this day I have family members
                that describe themselves as Italian.

                Dustin




                > When Gregory Howard Williams was 10 years old,
                > his father turned to him on a bus ride to
                > Muncie , Ind. , and told him, "Life is
                > going to be different from now on.
                >
                > In Virginia you were white boys.
                > In Indiana , you're going to be "Colored" boys.
                >
                > I want you to remember that you're the
                > same today that you were yesterday.
                >
                > But people in Indiana will
                > treat you differently.
                >
                > The compelling story of just how different
                > that life would be forms the core of Williams'
                > much-discussed new book, `Life on the Color
                > Line: The True Story of a White Boy Who
                > Discovered He was Black' (Dutton, $22.95).
                >
                > Williams left behind the "whites only" schools,
                > swimming pools and move theaters of 1953.
                >
                > Overnight, his racial identity changed.
                >
                > The memoir is No. 232 on the USA
                > TODAY Best-Selling Books list.
                >
                > Williams was born to a [mono-racially]
                > `White' mother and a [mixed-race] "black"
                > [categorized / identified] father when
                > interracial relationships were still
                > against the law in Virginia .
                >
                > His light-skinned father told people
                > he was Italian, and his mother was
                > disowned by her family in Muncie .
                >
                > The couple ran a tavern for servicemen
                > that failed partly because the Korean
                > War ended and partly because Williams'
                > charismatic father drank heavily.
                >
                > Eventually, Williams' mother left
                > the family [due to domestic violence].
                > She took her two youngest children
                > but left Williams and his brother
                > Mike with their father.
                >
                > The two sons would not se or hear
                > from their mother for a decade.
                >
                > With their father, the two boys headed
                > to Muncie , where they discovered that
                > life for "black" boys was very
                > different than for white boys.
                >
                > "I was the same person, but because
                > my heritage, I was treated very
                > differently, " Williams says.
                >
                > Teachers had severely lowered expectations,
                > and Williams was denied an academic award
                > in the sixth grade because of his "race".
                >
                > Often going hungry, the two boys lived
                > at first with their paternal grandmother,
                > who had worked at the tavern back
                > in Virginia , where the boys knew
                > her simply as the cook, Miss Sallie.
                >
                > No one had mentioned she
                > was their father's mother.
                >
                > "She was very angry about that."
                >
                > Now the dean of Ohio State University College
                > of Law, Williams wrote the book because he had
                > counseled many minority students and they told
                > him how inspiring and affirming his story was.
                >
                > A top student and high school athlete,
                > Williams put himself through Ball
                > State University while working
                > full time as a sheriff.
                >
                > He also attended law school and
                > has published legal textbooks.
                >
                > When Williams was growing up in Muncie ,
                > where the KKK had been active for many
                > years, there was strict racial segregation
                >
                > With fair skin and straight hair, Williams
                > has always looked [`mono'-racially] `White'.
                >
                > But THE ISSUE has "NEVER BEEN
                > `skin-color' --- - it's "race" and
                > "racial" heritage," Williams says.
                >
                > His white grandmother lived less
                > than 10 minutes away in Muncie ,
                > yet brutally rejected the two boys.
                >
                > After they begged for their mother's
                > address so they could write her, she
                > ordered them out of her car, saying,
                > "I don't carry messages for n***rs!"
                >
                > Only his mother's youngest sister
                > kept in touch with Williams.
                >
                > By contrast, his "black" relatives and
                > their community accepted the two boys
                > after some playground scuffles and taunts.
                >
                > "We became "black" ["identified" ].
                > Those were the people who were supporting us.
                > I became proud of my heritage.
                > I realized who I was.
                >
                > Moreover Williams had seen his father
                > "pass" for [being `mono'-racially]
                > `White' and the pain he suffered
                > emotionally at this self-denial.
                >
                > Economically, however, "passing"
                > generated much more money.
                >
                > Back in Virginia , his father's businesses
                > grossed more than $50,000 in 1951.
                >
                > After the family moved to Muncie , the
                > best job his 41-year-old father, who
                > had attended Howard University , could
                > get was as a janitor for $50.50 a week.
                >
                > What saved Williams in the end was a woman
                > named Miss Dora, who took in the two boys,
                > providing them with a stable home.
                >
                > At 52, Miss Dora earned $25 a week as a
                > domestic, yet fed and cared for the boys.
                >
                > "This woman saved my life," says Williams,
                > who dedicated the book to her, his wife
                > and his now-deceased father who, despite
                > his drinking and difficulties, always
                > encouraged Williams to dream and achieve.
                >
                > His mother, however, remains a wound.
                >
                > Williams understands why she left her husband,
                > but she has never apologized or even admitted
                > that she abandoned two small boys for 10 years.
                >
                > (She periodically returned to Muncie
                > yet never contacted her sons. )
                > When he saw her at age 20,
                > "She didn't want to talk to us about
                > how we had survived, what we had
                > gone through," Williams says.
                > "She was in denial. "
                > When Williams told her recently
                > that the book was to be published,
                > "she was not happy about it."
                >
                > Williams traveled back to Muncie
                > recently and ... visited his
                > elementary school and [discovered]
                > "life has not changed a lot in 31 years"
                > in terms of what "black" children
                > can expect from this world.
                >
                > While he believes there have been
                > "some advances in race relations,there
                > continues to be a lot of divisions. "
                >
                > Quite simply, Williams says it is hard
                > for whites to understand how "overpowering
                > and overshadowing the perceptions about
                > "blacks" in this society can be.
                > "It's very difficult"
                >
                > <<<<<
                >
                > BOOK EXCERPT:
                >
                > `Remember Miss Sallie who used
                > to work for us in the tavern?'
                > Dad's lower lip quivered.
                > He look ill.
                > Had he always looked this unhealthy,
                > I wondered, or was it something
                > that had happened on the trip?
                > `It's hard to tell you boys this,'
                > He paused, then slowly added,
                > `But she's really my momma.
                > That means she's your grandmother. '
                > `But that can't be, Dad!
                > She's Colored!'
                > I whispered, lest I be overheard by
                > the other white passengers on the bus.
                > `That's right, Billy,'
                > he continued.
                > `She's Colored.
                > That makes you
                > Part-Colored, too.'...
                > I didn't understand Day.
                > I knew I wasn't Colored, and neither was he.
                > My skin was white.
                > All of us are white, I said to myself.
                > But for the first time, I had to admit
                > Dad didn't exactly look white.
                > His deeply tanned skin puzzled me
                > as I sat there trying to
                > classify my own father...
                > `I don't wanta be Colored,' Mike whined.
                > `I don't wanta be Colored.
                > We can't go swimming' or skatin,'...
                > I glanced across the aisle to where (Dad) sat
                > grimfaced and erect, staring straight ahead.
                > I saw my father as I never had seen him before.
                > The veil dropped from his face and features.
                > Before my eyes he was transformed
                > from a swarthy Italian to his true
                > self ----- `a high- yellow Mulatto'.
                > My father was [classified as' "a Negro"!
                > We were Colored!
                > After ten years in Virginia on the white side
                > of the Color-Line, I knew what that meant.
                >
                > From `Life on the Color Line'
                >
                > Dawn D.
                > Bennett-Alexander
                >
                > >>>>>
                >
                > ]]]]]
                >

              • j s
                I suppose it was traumatic in the sense that it was something I was mentally unprepared for, growing up and seeing myself as a White kid in the south. But
                Message 7 of 14 , Nov 4, 2006
                  I suppose it was "traumatic" in the sense that it was
                  something I was mentally unprepared for, growing
                  up and seeing myself as a White kid in the south.

                  But for a long time I thought it was all in my mind and that
                  I was simply "passing" for “black” with my lips and hair.
                  I was never really comfortable with being "Mixed" until
                  a few years ago. I think that was because I simply had
                  no proof, and being basically a logical person, I needed
                  it to be more than wishful thinking or hope etc.
                  Also there had been this thing my dad ( who was a con-man,
                  literally) said about how his mother was Sicilian and then
                  an Arab when I was a kid, and really preoccupied with Egypt,
                  North Africa in general, so for many years I really thought
                  he was the source. But then I received copies of his
                  parents and grandparents birth certificates etc and
                  it was all very Anglo names and everyone was White.
                  HOWEVER, his grandmother's maiden name Hughte was
                  something I could only find among Native Americans in the
                  south west, specifically Zuni, Pueblo and Navajo (perhaps a
                  derivative of the tribe "Ute" or "Paiute" from that area) so
                  I began to wonder if all the time I thought he was "passing”
                  as white and looking for an exotic explanation for it,
                  in fact he was hiding from the Native American in him.

                  But what was most frustrating was
                  the sheer lack of evidence in any way!

                  So, a few years ago, to settle it once and for all, I took the
                  ancestry by DNA test ( around $200) and it came back with 88%
                  European, 7% Sub-Saharan African and 5% Native American.
                  When I looked at it logically it kind of made sense -
                  there was no way any of my great grandparents were
                  more than Mulatto or else it would have shown up in
                  documents as Black, and the dilution through the
                  next generations was about the same as my results:
                  1/2 - 1/4/ - 1/8 - 1/16 or 50% - 25% - 12.5% - 6.25%
                  rounded up to 7% with the Native American, for my
                  great grandmother to have the native last name and
                  appear as White on the documents she was probably
                  half, so the amount of transmission is the same.
                  The company says in their literature that their tests seem
                  to validate the genuine percentages when testing biracial
                  children etc, but one must also allow that each person is
                  an individual and it's not a uniform distribution -
                  i.e. siblings of the same parents will not get the exact
                  amount, but common sense tells us that anyway just by
                  looking at kids and seeing which parent they more resemble.

                  What has been weird though, is that this was a sort of silent
                  struggle for many years because I had no proof, and it would go
                  from being a non-issue in my mind to being of great importance.
                  It was something I didn't really share a lot so people
                  that have known me for a long time don’t really know
                  about it nor do I feel really comfortable talking
                  about it since I know they wont really understand.

                  People I meet now, new acquaintances or dates I do
                  tell the whole thing to since it's less complicated.
                  My half brother (mom remarried) is open to it and curious but
                  he's just too tight with money to get the test yet but wants to.

                  My mother is in denial and when I sent her the results
                  conveniently noticed only the Native American, even though it
                  was a smaller amount ("I guess that’s where the cheekbones
                  come from") and completely avoided the "Sub-Saharan-African"
                  ("I didn't really know what that meant" was her response!)
                  And I explained it but then saw the futility of it. I guess
                  she's get it once the Mixed-Race comics I'm making come out.

                  One thing I have done is tell my kids about even though it
                  doesn’t really make sense to them since their mom is Dominican
                  and they are around a lot of Hispanics, so “black” is something
                  associated with a more distinctly dark complexion and
                  features. But I also explained to them about the history and
                  significance of it in the US so they are starting to get it.
                   

                   
                  tlbaker1 <tlbaker1@...> wrote:


                  Interesting, you need to write a book.

                  In my family on my mother's side, the further you go
                  back the whiter it gets, moreso than the native and black.

                  I love the pirate story, LOLOL, literally at my keyboard.

                  But was this news tramatic for you somehow?


                  From: Generation-Mixed@ yahoogroups. com
                  [mailto: Generation-Mixed@ yahoogroups. com ]
                  On Behalf Of
                  j s
                  Sent: Friday, November 03, 2006 4:38 PM
                  To: Generation-Mixed@ yahoogroups. com
                  Subject: Re: Gregory Howard Williams
                  [Racial Identity on The ''Color'' Line]


                  Basically I was asked by an older black male when I
                  was about 14 if I was mixed, which I had never been
                  asked before, and he said I needed to talk to my
                  mother because she wasn't telling me anything.
                  Of course she didn't know anything about it
                  and I started to think my father, who was
                  no longer in the picture, was the "culprit".

                  Well as time passed and I started to look at my
                  maternal grandmother, I noticed a Lena Horne
                  look that she had, as well as the fullness of
                  my aunt and uncles lips, curliness of his hair
                  (which he brushed strongly down and parted to
                  the side - no afros there!) and then heard this
                  silliness about how a great grandfather had been
                  robbed by pirates on the Mississippi and lost
                  the family fortune after the Civil War (those
                  types of stories were frequently created to
                  explain how Passe-Blanc freedmen and ex-slaves
                  had arrived in new places with no possessions
                  or real history) and it all made sense.

                  Up until then the family had said how there was
                  Indian blood in there (and perhaps there was)
                  but it seemed that I had found my culprit.
                  In fact when I asked my grandmother about our
                  history and said I'd like to do some genealogical
                  research she said "don't go back too far,
                  you're liable to find the tar brush!"
                    
                  tlbaker1 <tlbaker1@gmail. com> wrote:


                  How did the conversation come up, if you don't mind me asking?

                  Lynne


                  From: Generation-Mixed@ yahoogroups. com
                  [mailto:Generation-Mixed@ yahoogroups.com ]
                  On Behalf Of
                  j s
                  Sent: Thursday, November 02, 2006 3:26 PM
                  To: Generation-Mixed@ yahoogroups. com
                  Subject: Re: Gregory Howard Williams
                  [Racial Identity on The ''Color'' Line]


                  I started finding out at 14 so I understand.
                  BTW this book looks interesting


                  docilechicken24 <kjoule70@hotmail. com> wrote:


                  Thanks for sharing this person, I can relate to that.
                  It wasn't til about 19 maybe til I found out I
                  was "black" [categorized] or "a person of color".
                  To this day I have family members
                  that describe themselves as Italian.

                  Dustin




                  > When Gregory Howard Williams was 10 years old,
                  > his father turned to him on a bus ride to
                  > Muncie , Ind. , and told him, "Life is
                  > going to be different from now
                  on.
                  >
                  > In Virginia you were white boys.
                  > In Indiana , you're going to be "Colored" boys.
                  >
                  > I want you to remember that you're the
                  > same today that you were yesterday.
                  >
                  > But people in Indiana will
                  > treat you differently.
                  >
                  > The compelling story of just how different
                  > that life would be forms the core of Williams'
                  > much-discussed new book, `Life on the Color
                  > Line: The True Story of a White Boy Who
                  > Discovered He was Black' (Dutton, $22.95).
                  >
                  > Williams left behind the "whites only" schools,
                  > swimming pools and move theaters of 1953.
                  >
                  > Overnight, his racial identity changed.
                  >
                  > The memoir is No. 232 on the USA
                  > TODAY Best-Selling Books
                  list.
                  >
                  > Williams was born to a [mono-racially]
                  > `White' mother and a [mixed-race] "black"
                  > [categorized / identified] father when
                  > interracial relationships were still
                  > against the law in Virginia .
                  >
                  > His light-skinned father told people
                  > he was Italian, and his mother was
                  > disowned by her family in Muncie .
                  >
                  > The couple ran a tavern for servicemen
                  > that failed partly because the Korean
                  > War ended and partly because Williams'
                  > charismatic father drank heavily.
                  >
                  > Eventually, Williams' mother left
                  > the family [due to domestic violence].
                  > She took her two youngest children
                  > but left Williams and his brother
                  > Mike with their father.
                  >
                  > The two sons would not se or hear
                  > from their mother for a decade.
                  >
                  > With
                  their father, the two boys headed
                  > to Muncie , where they discovered that
                  > life for "black" boys was very
                  > different than for white boys.
                  >
                  > "I was the same person, but because
                  > my heritage, I was treated very
                  > differently, " Williams says.
                  >
                  > Teachers had severely lowered expectations,
                  > and Williams was denied an academic award
                  > in the sixth grade because of his "race".
                  >
                  > Often going hungry, the two boys lived
                  > at first with their paternal grandmother,
                  > who had worked at the tavern back
                  > in Virginia , where the boys knew
                  > her simply as the cook, Miss Sallie.
                  >
                  > No one had mentioned she
                  > was their father's mother.
                  >
                  > "She was very angry about that."
                  >
                  > Now the dean of Ohio
                  State University College
                  > of Law, Williams wrote the book because he had
                  > counseled many minority students and they told
                  > him how inspiring and affirming his story was.
                  >
                  > A top student and high school athlete,
                  > Williams put himself through Ball
                  > State University while working
                  > full time as a sheriff.
                  >
                  > He also attended law school and
                  > has published legal textbooks.
                  >
                  > When Williams was growing up in Muncie ,
                  > where the KKK had been active for many
                  > years, there was strict racial segregation
                  >
                  > With fair skin and straight hair, Williams
                  > has always looked [`mono'-racially] `White'.
                  >
                  > But THE ISSUE has "NEVER BEEN
                  > `skin-color' --- - it's
                  "race" and
                  > "racial" heritage," Williams says.
                  >
                  > His white grandmother lived less
                  > than 10 minutes away in Muncie ,
                  > yet brutally rejected the two boys.
                  >
                  > After they begged for their mother's
                  > address so they could write her, she
                  > ordered them out of her car, saying,
                  > "I don't carry messages for n***rs!"
                  >
                  > Only his mother's youngest sister
                  > kept in touch with Williams.
                  >
                  > By contrast, his "black" relatives and
                  > their community accepted the two boys
                  > after some playground scuffles and taunts.
                  >
                  > "We became "black" ["identified" ].
                  > Those were the people who were supporting us.
                  > I became proud of my heritage.
                  > I realized who I was.
                  >
                  > Moreover Williams had seen his father
                  > "pass" for [being `mono'-racially]
                  > `White' and the pain he
                  suffered
                  > emotionally at this self-denial.
                  >
                  > Economically, however, "passing"
                  > generated much more money.
                  >
                  > Back in Virginia , his father's businesses
                  > grossed more than $50,000 in 1951.
                  >
                  > After the family moved to Muncie , the
                  > best job his 41-year-old father, who
                  > had attended Howard University , could
                  > get was as a janitor for $50.50 a week.
                  >
                  > What saved Williams in the end was a woman
                  > named Miss Dora, who took in the two boys,
                  > providing them with a stable home.
                  >
                  > At 52, Miss Dora earned $25 a week as a
                  > domestic, yet fed and cared for the boys.
                  >
                  > "This woman saved my life," says Williams,
                  > who dedicated the book to her, his wife
                  > and his now-deceased
                  father who, despite
                  > his drinking and difficulties, always
                  > encouraged Williams to dream and achieve.
                  >
                  > His mother, however, remains a wound.
                  >
                  > Williams understands why she left her husband,
                  > but she has never apologized or even admitted
                  > that she abandoned two small boys for 10 years.
                  >
                  > (She periodically returned to Muncie
                  > yet never contacted her sons. )
                  > When he saw her at age 20,
                  > "She didn't want to talk to us about
                  > how we had survived, what we had
                  > gone through," Williams says.
                  > "She was in denial. "
                  > When Williams told her recently
                  > that the book was to be published,
                  > "she was not happy about it."
                  >
                  > Williams traveled back to Muncie
                  > recently and ... visited his
                  > elementary school and [discovered]
                  > "life has
                  not changed a lot in 31 years"
                  > in terms of what "black" children
                  > can expect from this world.
                  >
                  > While he believes there have been
                  > "some advances in race relations,there
                  > continues to be a lot of divisions. "
                  >
                  > Quite simply, Williams says it is hard
                  > for whites to understand how "overpowering
                  > and overshadowing the perceptions about
                  > "blacks" in this society can be.
                  > "It's very difficult"
                  >
                  > <<<<<
                  >
                  > BOOK EXCERPT:
                  >
                  > `Remember Miss Sallie who used
                  > to work for us in the tavern?'
                  > Dad's lower lip quivered.
                  > He look ill.
                  > Had he always looked this unhealthy,
                  > I wondered, or was it something
                  > that had happened on the trip?
                  > `It's hard to tell you boys this,'
                  > He paused, then slowly added,
                  > `But she's really my momma.
                  > That means she's your grandmother. '
                  >
                  `But that can't be, Dad!
                  > She's Colored!'
                  > I whispered, lest I be overheard by
                  > the other white passengers on the bus.
                  > `That's right, Billy,'
                  > he continued.
                  > `She's Colored.
                  > That makes you
                  > Part-Colored, too.'...
                  > I didn't understand Day.
                  > I knew I wasn't Colored, and neither was he.
                  > My skin was white.
                  > All of us are white, I said to myself.
                  > But for the first time, I had to admit
                  > Dad didn't exactly look white.
                  > His deeply tanned skin puzzled me
                  > as I sat there trying to
                  > classify my own father...
                  > `I don't wanta be Colored,' Mike whined.
                  > `I don't wanta be Colored.
                  > We can't go swimming' or skatin,'...
                  > I glanced across the aisle to where (Dad) sat
                  > grimfaced and erect, staring straight ahead.
                  > I saw my father as I never had seen him before.
                  > The veil dropped from his face and features.
                  > Before
                  my eyes he was transformed
                  > from a swarthy Italian to his true
                  > self ----- `a high- yellow Mulatto'.
                  > My father was [classified as' "a Negro"!
                  > We were Colored!
                  > After ten years in Virginia on the white side
                  > of the Color-Line, I knew what that meant.
                  >
                  > From `Life on the Color Line'
                  >
                  > Dawn D.
                  > Bennett-Alexander
                  >
                  > >>>>>
                  >
                  > ]]]]]
                  >
                   

                • tlbaker1
                  Jeff the tragic hexadecaroon ;) You are too funny, I am a little rusty in geometry, I had to look this up, LOLOLOL, don t you laugh, though!!!! You are saying
                  Message 8 of 14 , Nov 4, 2006

                    Jeff the tragic hexadecaroon ;)


                    You are too funny, I am a little rusty in geometry,
                    I had to look this up, LOLOLOL, don't you laugh, though!!!!

                    You are saying you are 1/16 a person-of-color,

                    Yes?


                    But seriuosly, these are interesting findings for you and if
                    you mother and other friends are not supportive at least you
                    have your brother and you new acquaintences who will understand.

                    What is there not to understand, they simply choose
                    not be open to your ancestry for one reason or another.


                    My niece's mother is Dominican, she is 9.
                    It will be interesting how she will
                    relate to her ancestry when she grows up.

                     

                    Lynne

                     

                     


                    From: Generation-Mixed@yahoogroups.com
                    [mailto: Generation-Mixed@yahoogroups.com ]
                    On Behalf Of
                    j s
                    Sent: Saturday, November 04, 2006 8:43 AM
                    To: Generation-Mixed@yahoogroups.com
                    Subject: Jeff the tragic hexadecaroon ;)

                     

                    I suppose it was "traumatic" in the sense that it was
                    something I was mentally unprepared for, growing
                    up and seeing myself as a White kid in the south.

                    But for a long time I thought it was all in my mind and that
                    I was simply "passing" for “black” with my lips and hair.
                    I was never really comfortable with being "Mixed" until
                    a few years ago. I think that was because I simply had
                    no proof, and being basically a logical person, I needed
                    it to be more than wishful thinking or hope etc.
                    Also there had been this thing my dad ( who was a con-man,
                    literally) said about how his mother was Sicilian and then
                    an Arab when I was a kid, and really preoccupied with Egypt,
                    North Africa in general, so for many years I really thought
                    he was the source. But then I received copies of his
                    parents and grandparents birth certificates etc and
                    it was all very Anglo names and everyone was White.
                    HOWEVER, his grandmother's maiden name Hughte was
                    something I could only find among Native Americans in the
                    south west, specifically Zuni, Pueblo and Navajo (perhaps a
                    derivative of the tribe "Ute" or "Paiute" from that area) so
                    I began to wonder if all the time I thought he was "passing”
                    as white and looking for an exotic explanation for it,
                    in fact he was hiding from the Native American in him.

                    But what was most frustrating was
                    the sheer lack of evidence in any way!

                    So, a few years ago, to settle it once and for all, I took the
                    ancestry by DNA test ( around $200) and it came back with 88%
                    European, 7% Sub-Saharan African and 5% Native American.
                    When I looked at it logically it kind of made sense -
                    there was no way any of my great grandparents were
                    more than Mulatto or else it would have shown up in
                    documents as Black, and the dilution through the
                    next generations was about the same as my results:
                    1/2 - 1/4/ - 1/8 - 1/16 or 50% - 25% - 12.5% - 6.25%
                    rounded up to 7% with the Native American, for my
                    great grandmother to have the native last name and
                    appear as White on the documents she was probably
                    half, so the amount of transmission is the same.
                    The company says in their literature that their tests seem
                    to validate the genuine percentages when testing biracial
                    children etc, but one must also allow that each person is
                    an individual and it's not a uniform distribution -
                    i.e. siblings of the same parents will not get the exact
                    amount, but common sense tells us that anyway just by
                    looking at kids and seeing which parent they more resemble.

                    What has been weird though, is that this was a sort of silent
                    struggle for many years because I had no proof, and it would go
                    from being a non-issue in my mind to being of great importance.
                    It was something I didn't really share a lot so people
                    that have known me for a long time don’t really know
                    about it nor do I feel really comfortable talking
                    about it since I know they wont really understand.

                    People I meet now, new acquaintances or dates I do
                    tell the whole thing to since it's less complicated.
                    My half brother (mom remarried) is open to it and curious but
                    he's just too tight with money to get the test yet but wants to.

                    My mother is in denial and when I sent her the results
                    conveniently noticed only the Native American, even though it
                    was a smaller amount ("I guess that’s where the cheekbones
                    come from") and completely avoided the "Sub-Saharan-African"
                    ("I didn't really know what that meant" was her response!)
                    And I explained it but then saw the futility of it. I guess
                    she's get it once the Mixed-Race comics I'm making come out.

                    One thing I have done is tell my kids about even though it
                    doesn’t really make sense to them since their mom is Dominican
                    and they are around a lot of Hispanics, so “black” is something
                    associated with a more distinctly dark complexion and
                    features. But I also explained to them about the history and
                    significance of it in the US so they are starting to get it.

                     


                     
                    tlbaker1 <tlbaker1@...> wrote:



                    Interesting, you need to write a book.

                    In my family on my mother's side, the further you go
                    back the whiter it gets, moreso than the native and black.

                    I love the pirate story, LOLOL, literally at my keyboard.

                    But was this news tramatic for you somehow?



                    From: Generation-Mixed@ yahoogroups. com
                    [mailto: Generation-Mixed@ yahoogroups. com ]
                    On Behalf Of
                    j s
                    Sent: Friday, November 03, 2006 4:38 PM
                    To: Generation-Mixed@ yahoogroups. com
                    Subject: Re: Gregory Howard Williams
                    [Racial Identity on The ''Color'' Line]



                    Basically I was asked by an older black male when I
                    was about 14 if I was mixed, which I had never been
                    asked before, and he said I needed to talk to my
                    mother because she wasn't telling me anything.
                    Of course she didn't know anything about it
                    and I started to think my father, who was
                    no longer in the picture, was the "culprit".

                    Well as time passed and I started to look at my
                    maternal grandmother, I noticed a Lena Horne
                    look that she had, as well as the fullness of
                    my aunt and uncles lips, curliness of his hair
                    (which he brushed strongly down and parted to
                    the side - no afros there!) and then heard this
                    silliness about how a great grandfather had been
                    robbed by pirates on the Mississippi and lost
                    the family fortune after the Civil War (those
                    types of stories were frequently created to
                    explain how Passe-Blanc freedmen and ex-slaves
                    had arrived in new places with no possessions
                    or real history) and it all made sense.

                    Up until then the family had said how there was
                    Indian blood in there (and perhaps there was)
                    but it seemed that I had found my culprit.
                    In fact when I asked my grandmother about our
                    history and said I'd like to do some genealogical
                    research she said "don't go back too far,
                    you're liable to find the tar brush!"

                      
                    tlbaker1 <tlbaker1@gmail. com> wrote:



                    How did the conversation come up, if you don't mind me asking?


                    Lynne

                     


                    From: Generation-Mixed@ yahoogroups. com
                    [mailto: Generation-Mixed@ yahoogroups. com ]
                    On Behalf Of
                    j s
                    Sent: Thursday, November 02, 2006 3:26 PM
                    To: Generation-Mixed@ yahoogroups. com
                    Subject: Re: Gregory Howard Williams
                    [Racial Identity on The ''Color'' Line]



                    I started finding out at 14 so I understand.

                    BTW this book looks interesting


                    `docilechicken24 <kjoule70@hotmail. com> wrote:



                    Thanks for sharing this person, I can relate to that.
                    It wasn't til about 19 maybe til I found out I
                    was "black" [categorized] or "a person of color".
                    To this day I have family members
                    that describe themselves as Italian.

                    Dustin




                    > When Gregory Howard Williams was 10 years old,
                    > his father turned to him on a bus ride to
                    > Muncie ,
                    Ind. , and told him, "Life is
                    > going to be different from now on.
                    >
                    > In Virginia
                    you were white boys.
                    > In Indiana ,
                    you're going to be "Colored" boys.
                    >
                    > I want you to remember that you're the
                    > same today that you were yesterday.
                    >
                    > But people in Indiana
                    will
                    > treat you differently.
                    >
                    > The compelling story of just how different
                    > that life would be forms the core of Williams'
                    > much-discussed new book, `Life on the Color
                    > Line: The True Story of a White Boy Who
                    > Discovered He was Black' (Dutton, $22.95).
                    >
                    > Williams left behind the "whites only" schools,
                    > swimming pools and move theaters of 1953.
                    >
                    > Overnight, his racial identity changed.
                    >
                    > The memoir is No. 232 on the
                    w:st="on"> USA
                    > TODAY Best-Selling Books list.
                    >
                    > Williams was born to a [mono-racially]
                    > `White' mother and a [mixed-race] "black"
                    > [categorized / identified] father when
                    > interracial relationships were still
                    > against the law in
                    w:st="on">Virginia .
                    >
                    > His light-skinned father told people
                    > he was Italian, and his mother was
                    > disowned by her family in
                    w:st="on">Muncie .
                    >
                    > The couple ran a tavern for servicemen
                    > that failed partly because the Korean
                    > War ended and partly because Williams'
                    > charismatic father drank heavily.
                    >
                    > Eventually, Williams' mother left
                    > the family [due to domestic violence].
                    > She took her two youngest children
                    > but left Williams and his brother
                    > Mike with their father.
                    >
                    > The two sons would not se or hear
                    > from their mother for a decade.
                    >
                    > With their father, the two boys headed
                    > to Muncie ,
                    where they discovered that
                    > life for "black" boys was very
                    > different than for white boys.
                    >
                    > "I was the same person, but because
                    > my heritage, I was treated very
                    > differently, " Williams says.
                    >
                    > Teachers had severely lowered expectations,
                    > and Williams was denied an academic award
                    > in the sixth grade because of his "race".
                    >
                    > Often going hungry, the two boys lived
                    > at first with their paternal grandmother,
                    > who had worked at the tavern back
                    > in Virginia ,
                    where the boys knew
                    > her simply as the cook, Miss Sallie.
                    >
                    > No one had mentioned she
                    > was their father's mother.
                    >
                    > "She was very angry about that."
                    >
                    > Now the dean of
                    w:st="on">Ohio State University College
                    > of Law, Williams wrote the book because he had
                    > counseled many minority students and they told
                    > him how inspiring and affirming his story was.
                    >
                    > A top student and high school athlete,
                    > Williams put himself through Ball
                    > State
                    University while working
                    > full time as a sheriff.
                    >
                    > He also attended law school and
                    > has published legal textbooks.
                    >
                    > When Williams was growing up in
                    w:st="on">Muncie ,
                    > where the KKK had been active for many
                    > years, there was strict racial segregation
                    >
                    > With fair skin and straight hair, Williams
                    > has always looked [`mono'-racially] `White'.
                    >
                    > But THE ISSUE has "NEVER BEEN
                    > `skin-color' --- - it's "race" and
                    > "racial" heritage," Williams says.
                    >
                    > His white grandmother lived less
                    > than 10 minutes away in
                    w:st="on">Muncie ,
                    > yet brutally rejected the two boys.
                    >
                    > After they begged for their mother's
                    > address so they could write her, she
                    > ordered them out of her car, saying,
                    > "I don't carry messages for n***rs!"
                    >
                    > Only his mother's youngest sister
                    > kept in touch with Williams.
                    >
                    > By contrast, his "black" relatives and
                    > their community accepted the two boys
                    > after some playground scuffles and taunts.
                    >
                    > "We became "black" ["identified" ].
                    > Those were the people who were supporting us.
                    > I became proud of my heritage.
                    > I realized who I was.
                    >
                    > Moreover Williams had seen his father
                    > "pass" for [being `mono'-racially]
                    > `White' and the pain he suffered
                    > emotionally at this self-denial.
                    >
                    > Economically, however, "passing"
                    > generated much more money.
                    >
                    > Back in Virginia ,
                    his father's businesses
                    > grossed more than $50,000 in 1951.
                    >
                    > After the family moved to
                    w:st="on">Muncie , the
                    > best job his 41-year-old father, who
                    > had attended
                    w:st="on">Howard University , could
                    > get was as a janitor for $50.50 a week.
                    >
                    > What saved Williams in the end was a woman
                    > named Miss Dora, who took in the two boys,
                    > providing them with a stable home.
                    >
                    > At 52, Miss Dora earned $25 a week as a
                    > domestic, yet fed and cared for the boys.
                    >
                    > "This woman saved my life," says Williams,
                    > who dedicated the book to her, his wife
                    > and his now-deceased father who, despite
                    > his drinking and difficulties, always
                    > encouraged Williams to dream and achieve.
                    >
                    > His mother, however, remains a wound.
                    >
                    > Williams understands why she left her husband,
                    > but she has never apologized or even admitted
                    > that she abandoned two small boys for 10 years.
                    >
                    > (She periodically returned to
                    w:st="on">Muncie
                    > yet never contacted her sons. )
                    > When he saw her at age 20,
                    > "She didn't want to talk to us about
                    > how we had survived, what we had
                    > gone through," Williams says.
                    > "She was in denial. "
                    > When Williams told her recently
                    > that the book was to be published,
                    > "she was not happy about it."
                    >
                    > Williams traveled back to
                    w:st="on">Muncie
                    > recently and ... visited his
                    > elementary school and [discovered]
                    > "life has not changed a lot in 31 years"
                    > in terms of what "black" children
                    > can expect from this world.
                    >
                    > While he believes there have been
                    > "some advances in race relations,there
                    > continues to be a lot of divisions. "
                    >
                    > Quite simply, Williams says it is hard
                    > for whites to understand how "overpowering
                    > and overshadowing the perceptions about
                    > "blacks" in this society can be.
                    > "It's very difficult"
                    >
                    > <<<<<
                    >
                    > BOOK EXCERPT:
                    >
                    > `Remember Miss Sallie who used
                    > to work for us in the tavern?'
                    > Dad's lower lip quivered.
                    > He look ill.
                    > Had he always looked this unhealthy,
                    > I wondered, or was it something
                    > that had happened on the trip?
                    > `It's hard to tell you boys this,'
                    > He paused, then slowly added,
                    > `But she's really my momma.
                    > That means she's your grandmother. '
                    > `But that can't be, Dad!
                    > She's Colored!'
                    > I whispered, lest I be overheard by
                    > the other white passengers on the bus.
                    > `That's right, Billy,'
                    > he continued.
                    > `She's Colored.
                    > That makes you
                    > Part-Colored, too.'...
                    > I didn't understand Day.
                    > I knew I wasn't Colored, and neither was he.
                    > My skin was white.
                    > All of us are white, I said to myself.
                    > But for the first time, I had to admit
                    > Dad didn't exactly look white.
                    > His deeply tanned skin puzzled me
                    > as I sat there trying to
                    > classify my own father...
                    > `I don't wanta be Colored,' Mike whined.
                    > `I don't wanta be Colored.
                    > We can't go swimming' or skatin,'...
                    > I glanced across the aisle to where (Dad) sat
                    > grimfaced and erect, staring straight ahead.
                    > I saw my father as I never had seen him before.
                    > The veil dropped from his face and features.
                    > Before my eyes he was transformed
                    > from a swarthy Italian to his true
                    > self ----- `a high- yellow Mulatto'.
                    > My father was [classified as' "a Negro"!
                    > We were Colored!
                    > After ten years in
                    w:st="on">Virginia on the white side
                    > of the Color-Line, I knew what that meant.
                    >
                    > From `Life on the Color Line'
                    >
                    > Dawn D.
                    > Bennett-Alexander
                    >
                    > >>>>>
                    >
                    > ]]]]]
                    >

                     


                  • docilechicken24
                    The search for my background has been a headache, but at the same time, it has defined my adult life. I am a masters student in Afro-Am Studies right now. I
                    Message 9 of 14 , Nov 6, 2006
                      The search for my background has been a headache,
                      but at the same time, it has defined my adult life.

                      I am a masters student in Afro-Am Studies right now.
                      I was a Physics undergrad.
                      This mess has completely switched the direction of my life.

                      For one thing, my color, race was brought up in
                      high school but I trusted my family's explanations.
                      Why would they lie to me, were my feelings.
                      I couldn't imagine that.
                      I wouldn't say my family flat out lied, but there
                      was and continues to be a bunch of covering up.

                      Anyway.

                      Basically, when I went to my undergraduate
                      college, away from my parental security blanket,
                      I started noticing, basically that I was the only person
                      who recognized me as White or as I called it, European.

                      This got me thinking, what if I'm not White?

                      In high school I prided myself on being a dark skinned
                      White man and enjoyed the obvious contradiction.

                      I was steeped in what I call the "White" frame of mind.
                      Obviously not all White people will conceive
                      of things in the way I describe, but everything
                      I describe were prevalent attitudes among
                      me and my White peers and my family, the
                      White side and “black” side (all of whom
                      still to this day identifies as White).

                      My White frame of mind made it easy to feel contempt to
                      Hispanics because they didn't speak English, it made it easy to
                      resent women and minority groups that got access to scholarships
                      that I thought I deserved, and I had no conception of race,
                      I figured it was a thing of the past and I didn't know
                      and didn't care what they were making a fuss about.

                      This is part of the reason why finding I had
                      ‘color’ in me was so difficult to deal with.

                      My shortsighted world view where everything White
                      is right had to go in order for me to accept myself.

                      It took me about 3-6 months to become okay with
                      the possibility that I may have some black in me.

                      I always tried to be honest to myself so I accepted the
                      possibility and started researching my past and my culture.

                      Until high school or maybe college, I believed that most
                      French people were darker than the other Europeans because my
                      dad's family said they were French and they had some ’color’
                      to them, we were darker than all the other White people.

                      (Funny story, in high school when I went to the house
                      of a friend of mine that was in a poorer area, I got
                      so scared of the black people that were around.
                      I routinely forgot I had brown skin and acted scared and
                      nervous like I actually had White skin, not that having
                      White skin would have put me in any particular danger,
                      but I learned somewhere along the line that black people
                      will hurt White people so I became very afraid of black people.)

                      Anyway, I started looking into my culture, and also
                      asking my mother about me and I started compiling
                      in my mind physical traits that I and family members
                      had that were in common with "black" people.
                      I started researching Creole's and I
                      starting looking for genealogy research.

                      I also started talking to a lot of people about my suspicions.
                      There was the general reaction as I was talking about my
                      suspicions to others I knew, family, random White people
                      I knew, whoever, I didn't see anything wrong with it.

                      As I started mentioning my suspicions, I started
                      hearing a lot of, ‘no you're not “black”’,
                      ‘no I don't believe you’, or family members started
                      jokingly using racial slurs to express my color.

                      I heard the n***** word more after that
                      than I did my entire life previously.
                      Only once in my childhood I was called it.

                      This reaction, although subtle, got me thinking that people
                      believed that something was wrong with being “black”.
                      I had a cousin say, it all makes sense, but I can't believe
                      it, I can't believe my grandma is a “black” woman.

                      These people had a vision of “black” people that was quite
                      negative, so I figured that they liked me, and I didn't fit
                      into their negative stereotype, so I must not have been “black”.

                      My close friends supported me, but when it came to my family,
                      nobody understood where I was coming from, why I was doing this.
                      I wouldn't even mention this to my grandparents directly.
                      There was a battle going on under the surface of my conversations,
                      me trying to find out more about who they were and clues to their
                      racial identity, and them trying to lead me in a different direction.

                      It took about 3 years for me to get my hands on Census
                      information that proved to me that I had some African Roots.

                      To my surprise I found out it wasn't
                      one ancestor, it was all of them.
                      All of my ancestors as far as I have gone
                      back so far have been Mulattoes.
                      My grandparents were passing.

                      The summer after I found out I took a science internship in
                      New Orleans not because I liked the topic, but because I
                      wanted to find a way to go to Louisiana so I could learn more.
                      I met some of my grandma's relatives for the first time.
                      My grandparents took pains throughout their
                      pasts to keep these relatives away from us.
                      They were darker too.
                      They didn't even consider themselves
                      "black” though, or even ‘Colored’.

                      Why this is happening confounded me and made me angry.
                      I didn't like the implications that something
                      was wrong with having black in me.
                      It meant that since I do, something was wrong with me,
                      and I had too much pride in who I was to accept that bs.

                      Since then, I've been trying to learn and
                      get comfortable with my new identity.

                      It took me quite a while to shed my White self image
                      and actually believe that people saw a ‘Colored’ person
                      when they looked at me, cause even after I knew I
                      was “black”, I still felt like I was a White guy.

                      Just since being here I found out that like 3 years ago
                      a cousin of mine had a genetic test done and not only was there
                      black and native american as I suspected but also east asian.

                      This meant that my grandparents knew longer than I did
                      their ancestry, and it has been a bit unnerving knowing
                      that I have been tiptoeing around and they have been
                      playing along, with something that they already knew.

                      This identity redefinition and transformation has also
                      caused problems with my White family, including my mother.

                      My mother and sisters wanted me to continue identifying
                      as White and felt offended that I would do otherwise.

                      The excuse was, I only had a tinsy winsy bit, almost nothing,
                      not significant, you're blowing it out of proportion.

                      You can imagine how infuriating that was,
                      cause that statement inferred that I was
                      just making up the last 3 or 4 years of
                      my life and I was the cause of my growing
                      feelings of alienation and isolation.

                      Because I had the audacity to express preference in
                      females with darker skin, my mother also decided
                      to get offended over that and start feeling insecure.

                      So all this time when I am quite confused,
                      very hurt, a bit angry, and feeling very
                      alone, I also had to take extra care to
                      make sure she knew that I loved her,
                      thought she was beautiful, etc.

                      Obviously, I haven't healed all the way from this experience,
                      I have felt betrayed by virtually all of my family members.

                      I believe I will eventually foster in, especially my dad's
                      family a sense of pride for all that they are and my
                      mom and my sisters will eventually understand me.

                      Until them, I am the only ‘person-of-color’
                      in my family, and because my identity has not
                      been validated by them, I feel illegitimate
                      and quite insecure about the decisions I have
                      made because I don't really look black
                      (although I don't look White either)
                      so basically the only people who see me
                      as a “black” man are those that I tell
                      I am “black”, and since my family doesn't
                      reinforce my identity, I am in this
                      strange state of isolation or limbo
                      or something that I dislike greatly.

                      I don't regret my decisions one bit though.

                      This is my story.

                      Finding this out has literally flipped my life 180
                      degrees and I am a very different person now
                      than I was before because of these experiences.

                      What counts though is that I am happier
                      with myself now than I ever have been
                      and these experiences have made me
                      a better more understanding person.

                      I have learned patience also.

                      Thanks for letting me share.
                      Getting my story out to anyone
                      that will listen means a lot to me.
                      It gives me a sense that
                      my experiences are not in vain.

                      (Not to paint my family as villains,
                      cause they are not, I love them to death.
                      If you were ever around me much, you'd see very
                      quickly that my family is the center of my life.
                      I'm always talking about them, if
                      you know me, you know my family.
                      But this is precisely what made this
                      issue so difficult for me to deal with.)

                      Dustin





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





                      Jeff,

                      Are you comfortable sharing more with us?

                      If instance ....

                      How did you respond to having your suspicions
                      or curiousity --about your lineage-- confirmed?

                      What made you decide to go ahead and take the
                      DNA test that backed up what you had learned?

                      Was it difficult find a valid DNA testing company?

                      How does your immediate family react to your
                      openness about your Multi-Racial lineage? [:-$]

                      How have your friends reacted? [:-/]

                      How did you react (both then and now)? [:O]

                      Thanks and have a great day. [:)]


                      --M



                      P.S.

                      Dustin -- can you also share a bit more about how you
                      discovered your full-lineage and your reaction (as well
                      as that of your family and friends), to learning of it?



                      Thanks.




                      In Generation-Mixed@yahoogroups
                      <mailto:Generation-Mixed@yahoogroups.
                      com, "tlbaker1" <tlbaker1@wrote:



                      Interesting, you need to write a book.

                      In my family on my mother's side, the further you go
                      back the whiter it gets, moreso than the native and black.

                      I love the pirate story, LOLOL, literally at my keyboard.

                      But was this news tramatic for you somehow?



                      From: Generation-Mixed@yahoogroups.com
                      [mailto:Generation-Mixed@yahoogroups.com]
                      On Behalf Of j s
                      Sent: Friday, November 03, 2006 4:38 PM
                      To: Generation-Mixed@yahoogroups.com
                      Subject: Re: Gregory Howard Williams
                      [Racial Identity on The ''Color''Line]


                      Basically I was asked by an older black male when I
                      was about 14 if I was mixed, which I had never been
                      asked before, and he said I needed to talk to my
                      mother because she wasn't telling me anything.
                      Of course she didn't know anything about it
                      and I started to think my father, who was
                      no longer in the picture, was the "culprit".

                      Well as time passed and I started to look at my
                      maternal grandmother, I noticed a Lena Horne
                      look that she had, as well as the fullness of
                      my aunt and uncles lips, curliness of his hair
                      (which he brushed strongly down and parted to
                      the side - no afros there!) and then heard this
                      silliness about how a great grandfather had been
                      robbed by pirates on the Mississippi and lost
                      the family fortune after the Civil War (those
                      types of stories were frequently created to
                      explain how Passe-Blanc freedmen and ex-slaves
                      had arrived in new places with no possessions
                      or real history) and it all made sense.

                      Up until then the family had said how there was
                      Indian blood in there (and perhaps there was)
                      but it seemed that I had found my culprit.
                      In fact when I asked my grandmother about our
                      history and said I'd like to do some genealogical
                      research she said "don't go back too far,
                      you're liable to find the tar brush!"



                      tlbaker1 <tlbaker1@...wrote:



                      How did the conversation come
                      up, if you don't mind me asking?

                      Lynne




                      From: Generation-Mixed@yahoogroups.com
                      [mailto:Generation-Mixed@yahoogroups.com]
                      On Behalf Of j s
                      Sent: Thursday, November 02, 2006 3:26 PM
                      To: Generation-Mixed@yahoogroups.com
                      Subject: Re: Gregory Howard Williams
                      [Racial Identity on The ''Color''Line]



                      I started finding out at 14 so I understand.
                      BTW this book looks interesting




                      docilechicken24 <kjoule70@...wrote:



                      Thanks for sharing this person, I can relate to that.
                      It wasn't til about 19 maybe til I found out I
                      was "black" [categorized] or "a person of color".
                      To this day I have family members
                      that describe themselves as Italian.

                      Dustin












                      When Gregory Howard Williams was 10 years old,
                      his father turned to him on a bus ride to
                      Muncie, Ind., and told him, "Life is
                      going to be different from now on.
                      In Virginia you were white boys.
                      In Indiana, you're going to be "Colored" boys.
                      I want you to remember that you're the
                      same today that you were yesterday.

                      But people in Indiana will
                      treat you differently.
                      The compelling story of just how different
                      that life would be forms the core of Williams'
                      much-discussed new book, `Life on the Color
                      Line: The True Story of a White Boy Who
                      Discovered He was Black' (Dutton, $22.95).

                      Williams left behind the "whites only" schools,
                      swimming pools and move theaters of 1953.

                      Overnight, his racial identity changed.

                      The memoir is No. 232 on the USA
                      TODAY Best-Selling Books list.

                      Williams was born to a [mono-racially]
                      `White' mother and a [mixed-race] "black"
                      [categorized / identified] father when
                      interracial relationships were still
                      against the law in Virginia.

                      His light-skinned father told people
                      he was Italian, and his mother was
                      disowned by her family in Muncie.

                      The couple ran a tavern for servicemen
                      that failed partly because the Korean
                      War ended and partly because Williams'
                      charismatic father drank heavily.

                      Eventually, Williams' mother left
                      the family [due to domestic violence].
                      She took her two youngest children
                      but left Williams and his brother
                      Mike with their father.

                      The two sons would not se or hear
                      from their mother for a decade.

                      With their father, the two boys headed
                      to Muncie, where they discovered that
                      life for "black" boys was very
                      different than for white boys.

                      "I was the same person, but because
                      my heritage, I was treated very
                      differently," Williams says.

                      Teachers had severely lowered expectations,
                      and Williams was denied an academic award
                      in the sixth grade because of his "race".

                      Often going hungry, the two boys lived
                      at first with their paternal grandmother,
                      who had worked at the tavern back
                      in Virginia, where the boys knew
                      her simply as the cook, Miss Sallie.

                      No one had mentioned she
                      was their father's mother.

                      "She was very angry about that."

                      Now the dean of Ohio State University College
                      of Law, Williams wrote the book because he had
                      counseled many minority students and they told
                      him how inspiring and affirming his story was.

                      A top student and high school athlete,
                      Williams put himself through Ball
                      State University while working
                      full time as a sheriff.

                      He also attended law school and
                      has published legal textbooks.

                      When Williams was growing up in Muncie,
                      where the KKK had been active for many
                      years, there was strict racial segregation

                      With fair skin and straight hair, Williams
                      has always looked [`mono'-racially] `White'.

                      But THE ISSUE has "NEVER BEEN
                      `skin-color' --- - it's "race" and
                      "racial" heritage," Williams says.

                      His white grandmother lived less
                      than 10 minutes away in Muncie,
                      yet brutally rejected the two boys.

                      After they begged for their mother's
                      address so they could write her, she
                      ordered them out of her car, saying,
                      "I don't carry messages for n***rs!"

                      Only his mother's youngest sister
                      kept in touch with Williams.

                      By contrast, his "black" relatives and
                      their community accepted the two boys
                      after some playground scuffles and taunts.

                      "We became "black" ["identified"].
                      Those were the people who were supporting us.
                      I became proud of my heritage.
                      I realized who I was.

                      Moreover Williams had seen his father
                      "pass" for [being `mono'-racially]
                      `White' and the pain he suffered
                      emotionally at this self-denial.

                      Economically, however, "passing"
                      generated much more money.

                      Back in Virginia, his father's businesses
                      grossed more than $50,000 in 1951.

                      After the family moved to Muncie, the
                      best job his 41-year-old father, who
                      had attended Howard University, could
                      get was as a janitor for $50.50 a week.

                      What saved Williams in the end was a woman
                      named Miss Dora, who took in the two boys,
                      providing them with a stable home.

                      At 52, Miss Dora earned $25 a week as a
                      domestic, yet fed and cared for the boys.

                      "This woman saved my life," says Williams,
                      who dedicated the book to her, his wife
                      and his now-deceased father who, despite
                      his drinking and difficulties, always
                      encouraged Williams to dream and achieve.

                      His mother, however, remains a wound.

                      Williams understands why she left her husband,
                      but she has never apologized or even admitted
                      that she abandoned two small boys for 10 years.

                      (She periodically returned to Muncie
                      yet never contacted her sons. )
                      When he saw her at age 20,
                      "She didn't want to talk to us about
                      how we had survived, what we had
                      gone through," Williams says.
                      "She was in denial. "
                      When Williams told her recently
                      that the book was to be published,
                      "she was not happy about it."

                      Williams traveled back to Muncie
                      recently and ... visited his
                      elementary school and [discovered]
                      "life has not changed a lot in 31 years"
                      in terms of what "black" children
                      can expect from this world.

                      While he believes there have been
                      "some advances in race relations,there
                      continues to be a lot of divisions. "

                      Quite simply, Williams says it is hard
                      for whites to understand how "overpowering
                      and overshadowing the perceptions about
                      "blacks" in this society can be.
                      "It's very difficult"

                      <<<<<

                      BOOK EXCERPT:

                      `Remember Miss Sallie who used
                      to work for us in the tavern?'
                      Dad's lower lip quivered.
                      He look ill.
                      Had he always looked this unhealthy,
                      I wondered, or was it something
                      that had happened on the trip?
                      `It's hard to tell you boys this,'
                      He paused, then slowly added,
                      `But she's really my momma.
                      That means she's your grandmother. '
                      `But that can't be, Dad!
                      She's Colored!'
                      I whispered, lest I be overheard by
                      the other white passengers on the bus.
                      `That's right, Billy,'
                      he continued.
                      `She's Colored.
                      That makes you
                      Part-Colored, too.'...
                      I didn't understand Day.
                      I knew I wasn't Colored, and neither was he.
                      My skin was white.
                      All of us are white, I said to myself.
                      But for the first time, I had to admit
                      Dad didn't exactly look white.
                      His deeply tanned skin puzzled me
                      as I sat there trying to
                      classify my own father...
                      `I don't wanta be Colored,' Mike whined.
                      `I don't wanta be Colored.
                      We can't go swimming' or skatin,'...
                      I glanced across the aisle to where (Dad) sat
                      grimfaced and erect, staring straight ahead.
                      I saw my father as I never had seen him before.
                      The veil dropped from his face and features.
                      Before my eyes he was transformed
                      from a swarthy Italian to his true
                      self ----- `a high- yellow Mulatto'.
                      My father was [classified as' "a Negro"!
                      We were Colored!
                      After ten years in Virginia on the white side
                      of the Color-Line, I knew what that meant.

                      From `Life on the Color Line'

                      Dawn D.
                      Bennett-Alexander


                      ]]]]]
                    • j s
                      Ironically, were that blood to be Native American it would have been an ENTIRELY different result. Which really shows how people and this society is. I can
                      Message 10 of 14 , Nov 7, 2006
                        Ironically, were that blood to be Native American
                        it would have been an ENTIRELY different result.
                        Which really shows how people and this society is.

                        I can relate to ALOT of what you wrote. I think, during
                        my "awakening", for lack of a better word, I probably had
                        a few moments that, in retrospect, I'm not so proud of;
                        moments where I consciously behaved "black" in an effort
                        for those around me to see it so I wouldn't have to explain
                        it. But it was just as much a lie and not really me,
                        almost my stereotype of what I thought I should be like.

                        Now I look back at that time with some embarrassment
                        and see myself as a bit of a buffoon. I needed to
                        realize that acceptance of what was inside of me
                        didn't automatically negate who I had been all my
                        life and there was nothing inherently wrong with my
                        likes, dislikes and preferences. There was no need
                        to carry myself a different way nor speak ebonics or
                        any other stuff I did in my attempt to find my way.
                        Having black in you is almost a political or
                        philosophical situation because it forces one
                        to re-examine their worldview, the society
                        around them and their place in it.

                        Many blacks I met were quite quick to accept me but I also
                        discovered a silent pressure to apply the One-Drop rule
                        and for me to not express White cultural expressions
                        which made them uncomfortable. Things I liked were seen
                        as silly or nerdy, and I found myself "dumbing down" my
                        vocabulary and subject matter. Again realizing, after
                        really looking in the mirror, that I didn't fit in
                        there either, and that I was not being myself. I simply
                        didn't have 'the commonality of experience' and many
                        cultural attitudes or behaviors felt really alien
                        to me. I still needed to be true to myself but
                        didn't want to accept the true implications - that
                        it meant I was even more alone or cut-off than
                        before. But it was something I had to do for me.

                        I remember a book entitled "Crisis for the black intellectual"
                        and that sort of summed/continues to sum it up for me and
                        has been why I have been able to accept the DNA and the
                        implications without needing to fit in or be accepted as
                        black. I can appreciate the impact it has had on my
                        life without the need to fit into a specific lifestyle.
                        I draw my inspiration and strength from the vibrancy
                        and achievement of the early "black" intellectuals
                        (who were basically all Mulattoes, if even that much)
                        The Harlem Renaissance and The Civil Rights Movement.

                        I also can appreciate African culture and our history
                        in this country for what it is. But I also don't have
                        a need to get dreads, start wearing kente cloth nor
                        changing my name to something "African" to express it.
                        Those would be as silly to me as running around in a
                        kilt because I'm also Scottish. Besides that behavior
                        is usually for the benefit of others, to affect
                        their perceptions of us and I simply am no longer
                        motivated by external approval or validations.

                        I also no longer made blanket apologies for short-comings in
                        ”the black community” and see the White man as inherently evil.

                        It's all, like myself, a shade of gray ;)

                        I'm sure you have or will experience a lot of this
                        but I'm sure you will find your way since you had
                        the strength to confront it all in the first place.
                        Feel free to write me directly.

                        Regards,
                        Jeff

                         
                         
                        docilechicken24 <kjoule70@...> wrote:


                        The search for my background has been a headache,
                        but at the same time, it has defined my adult life.

                        I am a masters student in Afro-Am Studies right now.
                        I was a Physics undergrad.
                        This mess has completely switched the direction of my life.

                        For one thing, my color, race was brought up in
                        high school but I trusted my family's explanations.
                        Why would they lie to me, were my feelings.
                        I couldn't imagine that.
                        I wouldn't say my family flat out lied, but there
                        was and continues to be a bunch of covering up.

                        Anyway.

                        Basically, when I went to my undergraduate
                        college, away from my parental security blanket,
                        I started noticing, basically that I was the only person
                        who recognized me as White or as I called it, European.

                        This got me thinking, what if I'm not White?

                        In high school I prided myself on being a dark skinned
                        White man and enjoyed the obvious contradiction.

                        I was steeped in what I call the "White" frame of mind.
                        Obviously not all White people will conceive
                        of things in the way I describe, but everything
                        I describe were prevalent attitudes among
                        me and my White peers and my family, the
                        White side and “black” side (all of whom
                        still to this day identifies as White).

                        My White frame of mind made it easy to feel contempt to
                        Hispanics because they didn't speak English, it made it easy to
                        resent women and minority groups that got access to scholarships
                        that I thought I deserved, and I had no conception of race,
                        I figured it was a thing of the past and I didn't know
                        and didn't care what they were making a fuss about.

                        This is part of the reason why finding I had
                        ‘color’ in me was so difficult to deal with.

                        My shortsighted world view where everything White
                        is right had to go in order for me to accept myself.

                        It took me about 3-6 months to become okay with
                        the possibility that I may have some black in me.

                        I always tried to be honest to myself so I accepted the
                        possibility and started researching my past and my culture.

                        Until high school or maybe college, I believed that most
                        French people were darker than the other Europeans because my
                        dad's family said they were French and they had some ’color’
                        to them, we were darker than all the other White people.

                        (Funny story, in high school when I went to the house
                        of a friend of mine that was in a poorer area, I got
                        so scared of the black people that were around.
                        I routinely forgot I had brown skin and acted scared and
                        nervous like I actually had White skin, not that having
                        White skin would have put me in any particular danger,
                        but I learned somewhere along the line that black people
                        will hurt White people so I became very afraid of black people.)

                        Anyway, I started looking into my culture, and also
                        asking my mother about me and I started compiling
                        in my mind physical traits that I and family members
                        had that were in common with "black" people.
                        I started researching Creole's and I
                        starting looking for genealogy research.

                        I also started talking to a lot of people about my suspicions.
                        There was the general reaction as I was talking about my
                        suspicions to others I knew, family, random White people
                        I knew, whoever, I didn't see anything wrong with it.

                        As I started mentioning my suspicions, I started
                        hearing a lot of, ‘no you're not “black”’,
                        ‘no I don't believe you’, or family members started
                        jokingly using racial slurs to express my color.

                        I heard the n***** word more after that
                        than I did my entire life previously.
                        Only once in my childhood I was called it.

                        This reaction, although subtle, got me thinking that people
                        believed that something was wrong with being “black”.
                        I had a cousin say, it all makes sense, but I can't believe
                        it, I can't believe my grandma is a “black” woman.

                        These people had a vision of “black” people that was quite
                        negative, so I figured that they liked me, and I didn't fit
                        into their negative stereotype, so I must not have been “black”.

                        My close friends supported me, but when it came to my family,
                        nobody understood where I was coming from, why I was doing this.
                        I wouldn't even mention this to my grandparents directly.
                        There was a battle going on under the surface of my conversations,
                        me trying to find out more about who they were and clues to their
                        racial identity, and them trying to lead me in a different direction.

                        It took about 3 years for me to get my hands on Census
                        information that proved to me that I had some African Roots.

                        To my surprise I found out it wasn't
                        one ancestor, it was all of them.
                        All of my ancestors as far as I have gone
                        back so far have been Mulattoes.
                        My grandparents were passing.

                        The summer after I found out I took a science internship in
                        New Orleans not because I liked the topic, but because I
                        wanted to find a way to go to Louisiana so I could learn more.
                        I met some of my grandma's relatives for the first time.
                        My grandparents took pains throughout their
                        pasts to keep these relatives away from us.
                        They were darker too.
                        They didn't even consider themselves
                        "black” though, or even ‘Colored’.

                        Why this is happening confounded me and made me angry.
                        I didn't like the implications that something
                        was wrong with having black in me.
                        It meant that since I do, something was wrong with me,
                        and I had too much pride in who I was to accept that bs.

                        Since then, I've been trying to learn and
                        get comfortable with my new identity.

                        It took me quite a while to shed my White self image
                        and actually believe that people saw a ‘Colored’ person
                        when they looked at me, cause even after I knew I
                        was “black”, I still felt like I was a White guy.

                        Just since being here I found out that like 3 years ago
                        a cousin of mine had a genetic test done and not only was there
                        black and native american as I suspected but also east asian.

                        This meant that my grandparents knew longer than I did
                        their ancestry, and it has been a bit unnerving knowing
                        that I have been tiptoeing around and they have been
                        playing along, with something that they already knew.

                        This identity redefinition and transformation has also
                        caused problems with my White family, including my mother.

                        My mother and sisters wanted me to continue identifying
                        as White and felt offended that I would do otherwise.

                        The excuse was, I only had a tinsy winsy bit, almost nothing,
                        not significant, you're blowing it out of proportion.

                        You can imagine how infuriating that was,
                        cause that statement inferred that I was
                        just making up the last 3 or 4 years of
                        my life and I was the cause of my growing
                        feelings of alienation and isolation.

                        Because I had the audacity to express preference in
                        females with darker skin, my mother also decided
                        to get offended over that and start feeling insecure.

                        So all this time when I am quite confused,
                        very hurt, a bit angry, and feeling very
                        alone, I also had to take extra care to
                        make sure she knew that I loved her,
                        thought she was beautiful, etc.

                        Obviously, I haven't healed all the way from this experience,
                        I have felt betrayed by virtually all of my family members.

                        I believe I will eventually foster in, especially my dad's
                        family a sense of pride for all that they are and my
                        mom and my sisters will eventually understand me.

                        Until them, I am the only ‘person-of-color’
                        in my family, and because my identity has not
                        been validated by them, I feel illegitimate
                        and quite insecure about the decisions I have
                        made because I don't really look black
                        (although I don't look White either)
                        so basically the only people who see me
                        as a “black” man are those that I tell
                        I am “black”, and since my family doesn't
                        reinforce my identity, I am in this
                        strange state of isolation or limbo
                        or something that I dislike greatly.

                        I don't regret my decisions one bit though.

                        This is my story.

                        Finding this out has literally flipped my life 180
                        degrees and I am a very different person now
                        than I was before because of these experiences.

                        What counts though is that I am happier
                        with myself now than I ever have been
                        and these experiences have made me
                        a better more understanding person.

                        I have learned patience also.

                        Thanks for letting me share.
                        Getting my story out to anyone
                        that will listen means a lot to me.
                        It gives me a sense that
                        my experiences are not in vain.

                        (Not to paint my family as villains,
                        cause they are not, I love them to death.
                        If you were ever around me much, you'd see very
                        quickly that my family is the center of my life.
                        I'm always talking about them, if
                        you know me, you know my family.
                        But this is precisely what made this
                        issue so difficult for me to deal with.)

                        Dustin

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

                        Jeff,

                        Are you comfortable sharing more with us?

                        If instance ....

                        How did you respond to having your suspicions
                        or curiousity --about your lineage-- confirmed?

                        What made you decide to go ahead and take the
                        DNA test that backed up what you had learned?

                        Was it difficult find a valid DNA testing company?

                        How does your immediate family react to your
                        openness about your Multi-Racial lineage? [:-$]

                        How have your friends reacted? [:-/]

                        How did you react (both then and now)? [:O]

                        Thanks and have a great day. [:)]

                        --M

                        P.S.

                        Dustin -- can you also share a bit more about how you
                        discovered your full-lineage and your reaction (as well
                        as that of your family and friends), to learning of it?

                        Thanks.

                        In Generation-Mixed@ yahoogroups
                        "tlbaker1" <tlbaker1@...> wrote:

                        Interesting, you need to write a book.

                        In my family on my mother's side, the further you go
                        back the whiter it gets, moreso than the native and black.

                        I love the pirate story, LOLOL, literally at my keyboard.

                        But was this news tramatic for you somehow?

                        From: Generation-Mixed@ yahoogroups. com
                        [mailto:Generation-Mixed@ yahoogroups. com]
                        On Behalf Of j s
                        Sent: Friday, November 03, 2006 4:38 PM
                        To: Generation-Mixed@ yahoogroups. com
                        Subject: Re: Gregory Howard Williams
                        [Racial Identity on The ''Color''Line]

                        Basically I was asked by an older black male when I
                        was about 14 if I was mixed, which I had never been
                        asked before, and he said I needed to talk to my
                        mother because she wasn't telling me anything.
                        Of course she didn't know anything about it
                        and I started to think my father, who was
                        no longer in the picture, was the "culprit".

                        Well as time passed and I started to look at my
                        maternal grandmother, I noticed a Lena Horne
                        look that she had, as well as the fullness of
                        my aunt and uncles lips, curliness of his hair
                        (which he brushed strongly down and parted to
                        the side - no afros there!) and then heard this
                        silliness about how a great grandfather had been
                        robbed by pirates on the Mississippi and lost
                        the family fortune after the Civil War (those
                        types of stories were frequently created to
                        explain how Passe-Blanc freedmen and ex-slaves
                        had arrived in new places with no possessions
                        or real history) and it all made sense.

                        Up until then the family had said how there was
                        Indian blood in there (and perhaps there was)
                        but it seemed that I had found my culprit.
                        In fact when I asked my grandmother about our
                        history and said I'd like to do some genealogical
                        research she said "don't go back too far,
                        you're liable to find the tar brush!"

                        tlbaker1 <tlbaker1@.. .wrote:

                        How did the conversation come
                        up, if you don't mind me asking?

                        Lynne

                        From: Generation-Mixed@ yahoogroups. com
                        [mailto:Generation-Mixed@ yahoogroups. com]
                        On Behalf Of j s
                        Sent: Thursday, November 02, 2006 3:26 PM
                        To: Generation-Mixed@ yahoogroups. com
                        Subject: Re: Gregory Howard Williams
                        [Racial Identity on The ''Color''Line]

                        I started finding out at 14 so I understand.
                        BTW this book looks interesting

                        docilechicken24 <kjoule70@.. .wrote:

                        Thanks for sharing this person, I can relate to that.
                        It wasn't til about 19 maybe til I found out I
                        was "black" [categorized] or "a person of color".
                        To this day I have family members
                        that describe themselves as Italian.

                        Dustin

                        When Gregory Howard Williams was 10 years old,
                        his father turned to him on a bus ride to
                        Muncie, Ind., and told him, "Life is
                        going to be different from now on.
                        In Virginia you were white boys.
                        In Indiana, you're going to be "Colored" boys.
                        I want you to remember that you're the
                        same today that you were yesterday.

                        But people in Indiana will
                        treat you differently.
                        The compelling story of just how different
                        that life would be forms the core of Williams'
                        much-discussed new book, `Life on the Color
                        Line: The True Story of a White Boy Who
                        Discovered He was Black' (Dutton, $22.95).

                        Williams left behind the "whites only" schools,
                        swimming pools and move theaters of 1953.

                        Overnight, his racial identity changed.

                        The memoir is No. 232 on the USA
                        TODAY Best-Selling Books list.

                        Williams was born to a [mono-racially]
                        `White' mother and a [mixed-race] "black"
                        [categorized / identified] father when
                        interracial relationships were still
                        against the law in Virginia.

                        His light-skinned father told people
                        he was Italian, and his mother was
                        disowned by her family in Muncie.

                        The couple ran a tavern for servicemen
                        that failed partly because the Korean
                        War ended and partly because Williams'
                        charismatic father drank heavily.

                        Eventually, Williams' mother left
                        the family [due to domestic violence].
                        She took her two youngest children
                        but left Williams and his brother
                        Mike with their father.

                        The two sons would not se or hear
                        from their mother for a decade.

                        With their father, the two boys headed
                        to Muncie, where they discovered that
                        life for "black" boys was very
                        different than for white boys.

                        "I was the same person, but because
                        my heritage, I was treated very
                        differently, " Williams says.

                        Teachers had severely lowered expectations,
                        and Williams was denied an academic award
                        in the sixth grade because of his "race".

                        Often going hungry, the two boys lived
                        at first with their paternal grandmother,
                        who had worked at the tavern back
                        in Virginia, where the boys knew
                        her simply as the cook, Miss Sallie.

                        No one had mentioned she
                        was their father's mother.

                        "She was very angry about that."

                        Now the dean of Ohio State University College
                        of Law, Williams wrote the book because he had
                        counseled many minority students and they told
                        him how inspiring and affirming his story was.

                        A top student and high school athlete,
                        Williams put himself through Ball
                        State University while working
                        full time as a sheriff.

                        He also attended law school and
                        has published legal textbooks.

                        When Williams was growing up in Muncie,
                        where the KKK had been active for many
                        years, there was strict racial segregation

                        With fair skin and straight hair, Williams
                        has always looked [`mono'-racially] `White'.

                        But THE ISSUE has "NEVER BEEN
                        `skin-color' --- - it's "race" and
                        "racial" heritage,"
                        colorWilliams says.

                        His white grandmother lived less
                        than 10 minutes away in Muncie,
                        yet brutally rejected the two boys.

                        After they begged for their mother's
                        address so they could write her, she
                        ordered them out of her car, saying,
                        "I don't carry messages for n***rs!"

                        Only his mother's youngest sister
                        kept in touch with Williams.

                        By contrast, his "black" relatives and
                        their community accepted the two boys
                        after some playground scuffles and taunts.

                        "We became "black" ["identified" ].
                        Those were the people who were supporting us.
                        I became proud of my heritage.
                        I realized who I was.

                        Moreover Williams had seen his father
                        "pass" for [being `mono'-racially]
                        `White' and the pain he suffered
                        emotionally at this self-denial.

                        Economically, however, "passing"
                        generated much more money.

                        Back in Virginia, his father's businesses
                        grossed more than $50,000 in 1951.

                        After the family moved to Muncie, the
                        best job his 41-year-old father, who
                        had attended Howard University, could
                        get was as a janitor for $50.50 a week.

                        What saved Williams in the end was a woman
                        named Miss Dora, who took in the two boys,
                        providing them with a stable home.

                        At 52, Miss Dora earned $25 a week as a
                        domestic, yet fed and cared for the boys.

                        "This woman saved my life," says Williams,
                        who dedicated the book to her, his wife
                        and his now-deceased father who, despite
                        his drinking and difficulties, always
                        encouraged Williams to dream and achieve.

                        His mother, however, remains a wound.

                        Williams understands why she left her husband,
                        but she has never apologized or even admitted
                        that she abandoned two small boys for 10 years.

                        (She periodically returned to Muncie
                        yet never contacted her sons. )
                        When he saw her at age 20,
                        "She didn't want to talk to us about
                        how we had survived, what we had
                        gone through," Williams says.
                        "She was in denial. "
                        When Williams told her recently
                        that the book was to be published,
                        "she was not happy about it."

                        Williams traveled back to Muncie
                        recently and ... visited his
                        elementary school and [discovered]
                        "life has not changed a lot in 31 years"
                        in terms of what "black" children
                        can expect from this world.

                        While he believes there have been
                        "some advances in race relations,there
                        continues to be a lot of divisions. "

                        Quite simply, Williams says it is hard
                        for whites to understand how "overpowering
                        and overshadowing the perceptions about
                        "blacks" in this society can be.
                        "It's very difficult"

                        <<<<<

                        BOOK EXCERPT:

                        `Remember Miss Sallie who used
                        to work for us in the tavern?'
                        Dad's lower lip quivered.
                        He look ill.
                        Had he always looked this unhealthy,
                        I wondered, or was it something
                        that had happened on the trip?
                        `It's hard to tell you boys this,'
                        He paused, then slowly added,
                        `But she's really my momma.
                        That means she's your grandmother. '
                        `But that can't be, Dad!
                        She's Colored!'
                        I whispered, lest I be overheard by
                        the other white passengers on the bus.
                        `That's right, Billy,'
                        he continued.
                        `She's Colored.
                        That makes you
                        Part-Colored, too.'...
                        I didn't understand Day.
                        I knew I wasn't Colored, and neither was he.
                        My skin was white.
                        All of us are white, I said to myself.
                        But for the first time, I had to admit
                        Dad didn't exactly look white.
                        His deeply tanned skin puzzled me
                        as I sat there trying to
                        classify my own father...
                        `I don't wanta be Colored,' Mike whined.
                        `I don't wanta be Colored.
                        We can't go swimming' or skatin,'...
                        I glanced across the aisle to where (Dad) sat
                        grimfaced and erect, staring straight ahead.
                        I saw my father as I never had seen him before.
                        The veil dropped from his face and features.
                        Before my eyes he was transformed
                        from a swarthy Italian to his true
                        self ----- `a high- yellow Mulatto'.
                        My father was [classified as' "a Negro"!
                        We were Colored!
                        After ten years in Virginia on the white side
                        of the Color-Line, I knew what that meant.

                        From `Life on the Color Line'

                        Dawn D.
                        Bennett-Alexander

                        ]]]]]


                      • Rodney Sam
                        Wow, thats an interesting story and a stop so rare one given the state of Intermixture between Europeons, Native Americans, and Africans over the last 400
                        Message 11 of 14 , Nov 7, 2006
                          Wow, thats an interesting story and a stop so rare one given
                          the state of Intermixture between Europeons, Native Americans,
                          and Africans over the last 400 years of history here
                          that a lot of people deny(particulary 'White' people).
                          There is a book by Shirly Haislip that explains her
                          search for her relatives who "passed" as 'White'.
                          Also remember this funny anedote how she was researching
                          in the archives somewhere in DC and there was the old
                          white couple who was having somewhat of a dilemma.
                          The husband was confused because he believed he found
                          his gg grandfather in the records, the place, the
                          name, the location, and the age were all correct.
                          His wife asked him why. He said it could be
                          right because the man they found was black!






                           

                        • Tyrone Anderson
                          Message 12 of 14 , Nov 7, 2006

                            I can relate to ALOT of what you wrote. I think, during
                            my "awakening", for lack of a better word, I probably had
                            a few moments that, in retrospect, I'm not so proud of;
                            moments where I consciously behaved "black" in an effort
                            for those around me to see it so I wouldn't have to explain
                            it. But it was just as much a lie and not really me,
                            almost my stereotype of what I thought I should be like.
                             
                            I think you speak for a lot of people on this.
                            And not just Mixed and Biracial people,
                            but Non-Mixed Blacks as well.
                            I think it hits even more on a cultural expression.
                            Class and upbringing have a lot to do with it.
                            The 'Black Intelligentsia is probably behave
                            97% differently from impoverished blacks.
                            Communities of blacks who are upscale middle -
                            upper class (There are a lot of ‘em out there ya'll)
                            will be seen as having more 'white' mannerisms at times.
                            I have a cousin who is for all intents and purposes wouldn't
                            be seen as Mixed, she grew up in the late 70's early 80's
                            in a 99% White suburb and she is the blackest Valley
                            Girl I know, culturally she is 'white' and even though
                            I understand all of this she still confuses me lol.


                            Now I look back at that time with some embarrassment
                            and see myself as a bit of a buffoon. I needed to
                            realize that acceptance of what was inside of me
                            didn't automatically negate who I had been all my
                            life and there was nothing inherently wrong with my
                            likes, dislikes and preferences. There was no need
                            to carry myself a different way nor speak ebonics or
                            any other stuff I did in my attempt to find my way.
                            Having black in you is almost a political or
                            philosophical situation because it forces one
                            to re-examine their worldview, the society
                            around them and their place in it.



                            I like that thought.

                            Many blacks I met were quite quick to accept me but I also
                            discovered a silent pressure to apply the One-Drop rule
                            and for me to not express White cultural expressions
                            which made them uncomfortable. Things I liked were seen
                            as silly or nerdy, and I found myself "dumbing down" my
                            vocabulary and subject matter. Again realizing, after
                            really looking in the mirror, that I didn't fit in
                            there either, and that I was not being myself. I simply
                            didn't have 'the commonality of experience' and many
                            cultural attitudes or behaviors felt really alien
                            to me. I still needed to be true to myself but
                            didn't want to accept the true implications - that
                            it meant I was even more alone or cut-off than
                            before. But it was something I had to do for me.

                            I remember a book entitled "Crisis for the black intellectual"
                            and that sort of summed/continues to sum it up for me and
                            has been why I have been able to accept the DNA and the
                            implications without needing to fit in or be accepted as
                            black. I can appreciate the impact it has had on my
                            life without the need to fit into a specific lifestyle.
                            I draw my inspiration and strength from the vibrancy
                            and achievement of the early "black" intellectuals
                            (who were basically all Mulattoes, if even that much)
                            The Harlem Renaissance and The Civil Rights Movement.

                            Great point there. I use that a lot, when dealing with
                            people who think they know what it means to be 'black'
                            The 'culture' was created by a bunch of
                            Mixed folk, many who could pass for White.
                            The Harlem Renaissance culturally to me
                            was not One-Droppist because there was a
                            lot of celebration of diversity and Mixture.
                            A lot of thought revolved around Mixture and 'pure'.
                            Poems by Langston Hughes-Mulatto, W.E.B. Dubois,
                            Adam Clayton Powell Jr and his father Rev. Powell Sr.
                            (who was Quadroon) Zora Neal Hurston Walter White
                            Paintings celebrating the octoroon beauty,
                            plays and books that dealt with passing as
                            well as just being Mixed and the list goes on.
                             

                            I also can appreciate African culture and our history
                            in this country for what it is. But I also don't have
                            a need to get dreads, start wearing kente cloth nor
                            changing my name to something "African" to express it.
                            Those would be as silly to me as running around in a
                            kilt because I'm also Scottish. Besides that behavior
                            is usually for the benefit of others, to affect
                            their perceptions of us and I simply am no longer
                            motivated by external approval or validations.

                            I also no longer made blanket apologies for short-comings in
                            ”the black community” and see the White man as inherently evil.

                            It's all, like myself, a shade of gray ;)

                            I'm sure you have or will experience a lot of this
                            but I'm sure you will find your way since you had
                            the strength to confront it all in the first place.
                            Feel free to write me directly.

                            Regards,
                            Jeff

                            j s <creolescience@...> wrote:
                            Ironically, were that blood to be Native American
                            it would have been an ENTIRELY different result.
                            Which really shows how people and this society is.

                            I can relate to ALOT of what you wrote. I think, during
                            my "awakening", for lack of a better word, I probably had
                            a few moments that, in retrospect, I'm not so proud of;
                            moments where I consciously behaved "black" in an effort
                            for those around me to see it so I wouldn't have to explain
                            it. But it was just as much a lie and not really me,
                            almost my stereotype of what I thought I should be like.

                            Now I look back at that time with some embarrassment
                            and see myself as a bit of a buffoon. I needed to
                            realize that acceptance of what was inside of me
                            didn't automatically negate who I had been all my
                            life and there was nothing inherently wrong with my
                            likes, dislikes and preferences. There was no need
                            to carry myself a different way nor speak ebonics or
                            any other stuff I did in my attempt to find my way.
                            Having black in you is almost a political or
                            philosophical situation because it forces one
                            to re-examine their worldview, the society
                            around them and their place in it.

                            Many blacks I met were quite quick to accept me but I also
                            discovered a silent pressure to apply the One-Drop rule
                            and for me to not express White cultural expressions
                            which made them uncomfortable. Things I liked were seen
                            as silly or nerdy, and I found myself "dumbing down" my
                            vocabulary and subject matter. Again realizing, after
                            really looking in the mirror, that I didn't fit in
                            there either, and that I was not being myself. I simply
                            didn't have 'the commonality of experience' and many
                            cultural attitudes or behaviors felt really alien
                            to me. I still needed to be true to myself but
                            didn't want to accept the true implications - that
                            it meant I was even more alone or cut-off than
                            before. But it was something I had to do for me.

                            I remember a book entitled "Crisis for the black intellectual"
                            and that sort of summed/continues to sum it up for me and
                            has been why I have been able to accept the DNA and the
                            implications without needing to fit in or be accepted as
                            black. I can appreciate the impact it has had on my
                            life without the need to fit into a specific lifestyle.
                            I draw my inspiration and strength from the vibrancy
                            and achievement of the early "black" intellectuals
                            (who were basically all Mulattoes, if even that much)
                            The Harlem Renaissance and The Civil Rights Movement.

                            I also can appreciate African culture and our history
                            in this country for what it is. But I also don't have
                            a need to get dreads, start wearing kente cloth nor
                            changing my name to something "African" to express it.
                            Those would be as silly to me as running around in a
                            kilt because I'm also Scottish. Besides that behavior
                            is usually for the benefit of others, to affect
                            their perceptions of us and I simply am no longer
                            motivated by external approval or validations.

                            I also no longer made blanket apologies for short-comings in
                            ”the black community” and see the White man as inherently evil.

                            It's all, like myself, a shade of gray ;)

                            I'm sure you have or will experience a lot of this
                            but I'm sure you will find your way since you had
                            the strength to confront it all in the first place.
                            Feel free to write me directly.

                            Regards,
                            Jeff

                             

                            docilechicken24 <kjoule70@hotmail. com> wrote:


                            The search for my background has been a headache,
                            but at the same time, it has defined my adult life.

                            I am a masters student in Afro-Am Studies right now.
                            I was a Physics undergrad.
                            This mess has completely switched the direction of my life.

                            For one thing, my color, race was brought up in
                            high school but I trusted my family's explanations.
                            Why would they lie to me, were my feelings.
                            I couldn't imagine that.
                            I wouldn't say my family flat out lied, but there
                            was and continues to be a bunch of covering up.

                            Anyway.

                            Basically, when I went to my undergraduate
                            college, away from my parental security blanket,
                            I started noticing, basically that I was the only person
                            who recognized me as White or as I called it, European.

                            This got me thinking, what if I'm not White?

                            In high school I prided myself on being a dark skinned
                            White man and enjoyed the obvious contradiction.

                            I was steeped in what I call the "White" frame of mind.
                            Obviously not all White people will conceive
                            of things in the way I describe, but everything
                            I describe were prevalent attitudes among
                            me and my White peers and my family, the
                            White side and “black” side (all of whom
                            still to this day identifies as White).

                            My White frame of mind made it easy to feel contempt to
                            Hispanics because they didn't speak English, it made it easy to
                            resent women and minority groups that got access to scholarships
                            that I thought I deserved, and I had no conception of race,
                            I figured it was a thing of the past and I didn't know
                            and didn't care what they were making a fuss about.

                            This is part of the reason why finding I had
                            ‘color’ in me was so difficult to deal with.

                            My shortsighted world view where everything White
                            is right had to go in order for me to accept myself.

                            It took me about 3-6 months to become okay with
                            the possibility that I may have some black in me.

                            I always tried to be honest to myself so I accepted the
                            possibility and started researching my past and my culture.

                            Until high school or maybe college, I believed that most
                            French people were darker than the other Europeans because my
                            dad's family said they were French and they had some ’color’
                            to them, we were darker than all the other White people.

                            (Funny story, in high school when I went to the house
                            of a friend of mine that was in a poorer area, I got
                            so scared of the black people that were around.
                            I routinely forgot I had brown skin and acted scared and
                            nervous like I actually had White skin, not that having
                            White skin would have put me in any particular danger,
                            but I learned somewhere along the line that black people
                            will hurt White people so I became very afraid of black people.)

                            Anyway, I started looking into my culture, and also
                            asking my mother about me and I started compiling
                            in my mind physical traits that I and family members
                            had that were in common with "black" people.
                            I started researching Creole's and I
                            starting looking for genealogy research.

                            I also started talking to a lot of people about my suspicions.
                            There was the general reaction as I was talking about my
                            suspicions to others I knew, family, random White people
                            I knew, whoever, I didn't see anything wrong with it.

                            As I started mentioning my suspicions, I started
                            hearing a lot of, ‘no you're not “black”’,
                            ‘no I don't believe you’, or family members started
                            jokingly using racial slurs to express my color.

                            I heard the n***** word more after that
                            than I did my entire life previously.
                            Only once in my childhood I was called it.

                            This reaction, although subtle, got me thinking that people
                            believed that something was wrong with being “black”.
                            I had a cousin say, it all makes sense, but I can't believe
                            it, I can't believe my grandma is a “black” woman.

                            These people had a vision of “black” people that was quite
                            negative, so I figured that they liked me, and I didn't fit
                            into their negative stereotype, so I must not have been “black”.

                            My close friends supported me, but when it came to my family,
                            nobody understood where I was coming from, why I was doing this.
                            I wouldn't even mention this to my grandparents directly.
                            There was a battle going on under the surface of my conversations,
                            me trying to find out more about who they were and clues to their
                            racial identity, and them trying to lead me in a different direction.

                            It took about 3 years for me to get my hands on Census
                            information that proved to me that I had some African Roots.

                            To my surprise I found out it wasn't
                            one ancestor, it was all of them.
                            All of my ancestors as far as I have gone
                            back so far have been Mulattoes.
                            My grandparents were passing.

                            The summer after I found out I took a science internship in
                            New Orleans not because I liked the topic, but because I
                            wanted to find a way to go to Louisiana so I could learn more.
                            I met some of my grandma's relatives for the first time.
                            My grandparents took pains throughout their
                            pasts to keep these relatives away from us.
                            They were darker too.
                            They didn't even consider themselves
                            "black” though, or even ‘Colored’.

                            Why this is happening confounded me and made me angry.
                            I didn't like the implications that something
                            was wrong with having black in me.
                            It meant that since I do, something was wrong with me,
                            and I had too much pride in who I was to accept that bs.

                            Since then, I've been trying to learn and
                            get comfortable with my new identity.

                            It took me quite a while to shed my White self image
                            and actually believe that people saw a ‘Colored’ person
                            when they looked at me, cause even after I knew I
                            was “black”, I still felt like I was a White guy.

                            Just since being here I found out that like 3 years ago
                            a cousin of mine had a genetic test done and not only was there
                            black and native american as I suspected but also east asian.

                            This meant that my grandparents knew longer than I did
                            their ancestry, and it has been a bit unnerving knowing
                            that I have been tiptoeing around and they have been
                            playing along, with something that they already knew.

                            This identity redefinition and transformation has also
                            caused problems with my White family, including my mother.

                            My mother and sisters wanted me to continue identifying
                            as White and felt offended that I would do otherwise.

                            The excuse was, I only had a tinsy winsy bit, almost nothing,
                            not significant, you're blowing it out of proportion.

                            You can imagine how infuriating that was,
                            cause that statement inferred that I was
                            just making up the last 3 or 4 years of
                            my life and I was the cause of my growing
                            feelings of alienation and isolation.

                            Because I had the audacity to express preference in
                            females with darker skin, my mother also decided
                            to get offended over that and start feeling insecure.

                            So all this time when I am quite confused,
                            very hurt, a bit angry, and feeling very
                            alone, I also had to take extra care to
                            make sure she knew that I loved her,
                            thought she was beautiful, etc.

                            Obviously, I haven't healed all the way from this experience,
                            I have felt betrayed by virtually all of my family members.

                            I believe I will eventually foster in, especially my dad's
                            family a sense of pride for all that they are and my
                            mom and my sisters will eventually understand me.

                            Until them, I am the only ‘person-of-color’
                            in my family, and because my identity has not
                            been validated by them, I feel illegitimate
                            and quite insecure about the decisions I have
                            made because I don't really look black
                            (although I don't look White either)
                            so basically the only people who see me
                            as a “black” man are those that I tell
                            I am “black”, and since my family doesn't
                            reinforce my identity, I am in this
                            strange state of isolation or limbo
                            or something that I dislike greatly.

                            I don't regret my decisions one bit though.

                            This is my story.

                            Finding this out has literally flipped my life 180
                            degrees and I am a very different person now
                            than I was before because of these experiences.

                            What counts though is that I am happier
                            with myself now than I ever have been
                            and these experiences have made me
                            a better more understanding person.

                            I have learned patience also.

                            Thanks for letting me share.
                            Getting my story out to anyone
                            that will listen means a lot to me.
                            It gives me a sense that
                            my experiences are not in vain.

                            (Not to paint my family as villains,
                            cause they are not, I love them to death.
                            If you were ever around me much, you'd see very
                            quickly that my family is the center of my life.
                            I'm always talking about them, if
                            you know me, you know my family.
                            But this is precisely what made this
                            issue so difficult for me to deal with.)

                            Dustin

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

                            Jeff,

                            Are you comfortable sharing more with us?

                            If instance ....

                            How did you respond to having your suspicions
                            or curiousity --about your lineage-- confirmed?

                            What made you decide to go ahead and take the
                            DNA test that backed up what you had learned?

                            Was it difficult find a valid DNA testing company?

                            How does your immediate family react to your
                            openness about your Multi-Racial lineage? [:-$]

                            How have your friends reacted? [:-/]

                            How did you react (both then and now)? [:O]

                            Thanks and have a great day. [:)]

                            --M

                            P.S.

                            Dustin -- can you also share a bit more about how you
                            discovered your full-lineage and your reaction (as well
                            as that of your family and friends), to learning of it?

                            Thanks.

                            In Generation-Mixed@ yahoogroups
                            "tlbaker1" <tlbaker1@... > wrote:

                            Interesting, you need to write a book.

                            In my family on my mother's side, the further you go
                            back the whiter it gets, moreso than the native and black.

                            I love the pirate story, LOLOL, literally at my keyboard.

                            But was this news tramatic for you somehow?

                            From: Generation-Mixed@ yahoogroups. com
                            [mailto:Generation-Mixed@ yahoogroups. com]
                            On Behalf Of j s
                            Sent: Friday, November 03, 2006 4:38 PM
                            To: Generation-Mixed@ yahoogroups. com
                            Subject: Re: Gregory Howard Williams
                            [Racial Identity on The ''Color''Line]

                            Basically I was asked by an older black male when I
                            was about 14 if I was mixed, which I had never been
                            asked before, and he said I needed to talk to my
                            mother because she wasn't telling me anything.
                            Of course she didn't know anything about it
                            and I started to think my father, who was
                            no longer in the picture, was the "culprit".

                            Well as time passed and I started to look at my
                            maternal grandmother, I noticed a Lena Horne
                            look that she had, as well as the fullness of
                            my aunt and uncles lips, curliness of his hair
                            (which he brushed strongly down and parted to
                            the side - no afros there!) and then heard this
                            silliness about how a great grandfather had been
                            robbed by pirates on the Mississippi and lost
                            the family fortune after the Civil War (those
                            types of stories were frequently created to
                            explain how Passe-Blanc freedmen and ex-slaves
                            had arrived in new places with no possessions
                            or real history) and it all made sense.

                            Up until then the family had said how there was
                            Indian blood in there (and perhaps there was)
                            but it seemed that I had found my culprit.
                            In fact when I asked my grandmother about our
                            history and said I'd like to do some genealogical
                            research she said "don't go back too far,
                            you're liable to find the tar brush!"

                            tlbaker1 <tlbaker1@.. .wrote:

                            How did the conversation come
                            up, if you don't mind me asking?

                            Lynne

                            From: Generation-Mixed@ yahoogroups. com
                            [mailto:Generation-Mixed@ yahoogroups. com]
                            On Behalf Of j s
                            Sent: Thursday, November 02, 2006 3:26 PM
                            To: Generation-Mixed@ yahoogroups. com
                            Subject: Re: Gregory Howard Williams
                            [Racial Identity on The ''Color''Line]

                            I started finding out at 14 so I understand.
                            BTW this book looks interesting

                            docilechicken24 <kjoule70@.. .wrote:

                            Thanks for sharing this person, I can relate to that.
                            It wasn't til about 19 maybe til I found out I
                            was "black" [categorized] or "a person of color".
                            To this day I have family members
                            that describe themselves as Italian.

                            Dustin

                            When Gregory Howard Williams was 10 years old,
                            his father turned to him on a bus ride to
                            Muncie, Ind., and told him, "Life is
                            going to be different from now on.
                            In Virginia you were white boys.
                            In Indiana, you're going to be "Colored" boys.
                            I want you to remember that you're the
                            same today that you were yesterday.

                            But people in Indiana will
                            treat you differently.
                            The compelling story of just how different
                            that life would be forms the core of Williams'
                            much-discussed new book, `Life on the Color
                            Line: The True Story of a White Boy Who
                            Discovered He was Black' (Dutton, $22.95).

                            Williams left behind the "whites only" schools,
                            swimming pools and move theaters of 1953.

                            Overnight, his racial identity changed.

                            The memoir is No. 232 on the USA
                            TODAY Best-Selling Books list.

                            Williams was born to a [mono-racially]
                            `White' mother and a [mixed-race] "black"
                            [categorized / identified] father when
                            interracial relationships were still
                            against the law in Virginia.

                            His light-skinned father told people
                            he was Italian, and his mother was
                            disowned by her family in Muncie.

                            The couple ran a tavern for servicemen
                            that failed partly because the Korean
                            War ended and partly because Williams'
                            charismatic father drank heavily.

                            Eventually, Williams' mother left
                            the family [due to domestic violence].
                            She took her two youngest children
                            but left Williams and his brother
                            Mike with their father.

                            The two sons would not se or hear
                            from their mother for a decade.

                            With their father, the two boys headed
                            to Muncie, where they discovered that
                            life for "black" boys was very
                            different than for white boys.

                            "I was the same person, but because
                            my heritage, I was treated very
                            differently, " Williams says.

                            Teachers had severely lowered expectations,
                            and Williams was denied an academic award
                            in the sixth grade because of his "race".

                            Often going hungry, the two boys lived
                            at first with their paternal grandmother,
                            who had worked at the tavern back
                            in Virginia, where the boys knew
                            her simply as the cook, Miss Sallie.

                            No one had mentioned she
                            was their father's mother.

                            "She was very angry about that."

                            Now the dean of Ohio State University College
                            of Law, Williams wrote the book because he had
                            counseled many minority students and they told
                            him how inspiring and affirming his story was.

                            A top student and high school athlete,
                            Williams put himself through Ball
                            State University while working
                            full time as a sheriff.

                            He also attended law school and
                            has published legal textbooks.

                            When Williams was growing up in Muncie,
                            where the KKK had been active for many
                            years, there was strict racial segregation

                            With fair skin and straight hair, Williams
                            has always looked [`mono'-racially] `White'.

                            But THE ISSUE has "NEVER BEEN
                            `skin-color' --- - it's "race" and
                            "racial" heritage,"
                            Williams says.

                            His white grandmother lived less
                            than 10 minutes away in Muncie,
                            yet brutally rejected the two boys.

                            After they begged for their mother's
                            address so they could write her, she
                            ordered them out of her car, saying,
                            "I don't carry messages for n***rs!"

                            Only his mother's youngest sister
                            kept in touch with Williams.

                            By contrast, his "black" relatives and
                            their community accepted the two boys
                            after some playground scuffles and taunts.

                            "We became "black" ["identified" ].
                            Those were the people who were supporting us.
                            I became proud of my heritage.
                            I realized who I was.

                            Moreover Williams had seen his father
                            "pass" for [being `mono'-racially]
                            `White' and the pain he suffered
                            emotionally at this self-denial.

                            Economically, however, "passing"
                            generated much more money.

                            Back in Virginia, his father's businesses
                            grossed more than $50,000 in 1951.

                            After the family moved to Muncie, the
                            best job his 41-year-old father, who
                            had attended Howard University, could
                            get was as a janitor for $50.50 a week.

                            What saved Williams in the end was a woman
                            named Miss Dora, who took in the two boys,
                            providing them with a stable home.

                            At 52, Miss Dora earned $25 a week as a
                            domestic, yet fed and cared for the boys.

                            "This woman saved my life," says Williams,
                            who dedicated the book to her, his wife
                            and his now-deceased father who, despite
                            his drinking and difficulties, always
                            encouraged Williams to dream and achieve.

                            His mother, however, remains a wound.

                            Williams understands why she left her husband,
                            but she has never apologized or even admitted
                            that she abandoned two small boys for 10 years.

                            (She periodically returned to Muncie
                            yet never contacted her sons. )
                            When he saw her at age 20,
                            "She didn't want to talk to us about
                            how we had survived, what we had
                            gone through," Williams says.
                            "She was in denial. "
                            When Williams told her recently
                            that the book was to be published,
                            "she was not happy about it."

                            Williams traveled back to Muncie
                            recently and ... visited his
                            elementary school and [discovered]
                            "life has not changed a lot in 31 years"
                            in terms of what "black" children
                            can expect from this world.

                            While he believes there have been
                            "some advances in race relations,there
                            continues to be a lot of divisions. "

                            Quite simply, Williams says it is hard
                            for whites to understand how "overpowering
                            and overshadowing the perceptions about
                            "blacks" in this society can be.
                            "It's very difficult"

                            <<<<<

                            BOOK EXCERPT:

                            `Remember Miss Sallie who used
                            to work for us in the tavern?'
                            Dad's lower lip quivered.
                            He look ill.
                            Had he always looked this unhealthy,
                            I wondered, or was it something
                            that had happened on the trip?
                            `It's hard to tell you boys this,'
                            He paused, then slowly added,
                            `But she's really my momma.
                            That means she's your grandmother. '
                            `But that can't be, Dad!
                            She's Colored!'
                            I whispered, lest I be overheard by
                            the other white passengers on the bus.
                            `That's right, Billy,'
                            he continued.
                            `She's Colored.
                            That makes you
                            Part-Colored, too.'...
                            I didn't understand Day.
                            I knew I wasn't Colored, and neither was he.
                            My skin was white.
                            All of us are white, I said to myself.
                            But for the first time, I had to admit
                            Dad didn't exactly look white.
                            His deeply tanned skin puzzled me
                            as I sat there trying to
                            classify my own father...
                            `I don't wanta be Colored,' Mike whined.
                            `I don't wanta be Colored.
                            We can't go swimming' or skatin,'...
                            I glanced across the aisle to where (Dad) sat
                            grimfaced and erect, staring straight ahead.
                            I saw my father as I never had seen him before.
                            The veil dropped from his face and features.
                            Before my eyes he was transformed
                            from a swarthy Italian to his true
                            self ----- `a high- yellow Mulatto'.
                            My father was [classified as' "a Negro"!
                            We were Colored!
                            After ten years in Virginia on the white side
                            of the Color-Line, I knew what that meant.

                            From `Life on the Color Line'

                            Dawn D.
                            Bennett-Alexander

                            ]]]]]





                            "Man would rather be a little higher than the apes, than a little lower than the angels." -"I am Black & I am White, and know there is no difference. Each one casts a shadow, and all shadows are dark." -Walter White:
                             
                          • tlbaker1
                            Excellent little bio of yourself, Dustin, reads like book! Thanks for sharing it w/us, takes a lot of courage to explore who we really are and present this new
                            Message 13 of 14 , Nov 7, 2006
                              Excellent little bio of yourself, Dustin, reads like book!
                              Thanks for sharing it w/us, takes a lot of courage to explore who
                              we really are and present this new self to our family and friends.
                              I love your honesty, keep sharing w/us (and supportive
                              friends and family), especially when you are feeling
                              insecure or down, etc., it will help you heal faster.

                              Lynne

                              -----Original Message-----

                              From: Generation-Mixed@yahoogroups.com
                              On Behalf Of docilechicken24
                              Sent: Tuesday, November 07, 2006 12:00 AM
                              To: Generation-Mixed@yahoogroups.com
                              Subject: Re: Jeff's discovery of his full
                              ancestral lineage (Dustin's background))

                              The search for my background has been a headache,
                              but at the same time, it has defined my adult life.

                              I am a masters student in Afro-Am Studies right now.
                              I was a Physics undergrad.
                              This mess has completely switched the direction of my life.

                              For one thing, my color, race was brought up in
                              high school but I trusted my family's explanations.
                              Why would they lie to me, were my feelings.
                              I couldn't imagine that.
                              I wouldn't say my family flat out lied, but there
                              was and continues to be a bunch of covering up.

                              Anyway.

                              Basically, when I went to my undergraduate
                              college, away from my parental security blanket,
                              I started noticing, basically that I was the only person
                              who recognized me as White or as I called it, European.

                              This got me thinking, what if I'm not White?

                              In high school I prided myself on being a dark skinned
                              White man and enjoyed the obvious contradiction.

                              I was steeped in what I call the "White" frame of mind.
                              Obviously not all White people will conceive
                              of things in the way I describe, but everything
                              I describe were prevalent attitudes among
                              me and my White peers and my family, the
                              White side and "black" side (all of whom
                              still to this day identifies as White).

                              My White frame of mind made it easy to feel contempt to
                              Hispanics because they didn't speak English, it made it easy to
                              resent women and minority groups that got access to scholarships
                              that I thought I deserved, and I had no conception of race,
                              I figured it was a thing of the past and I didn't know
                              and didn't care what they were making a fuss about.

                              This is part of the reason why finding I had
                              'color' in me was so difficult to deal with.

                              My shortsighted world view where everything White
                              is right had to go in order for me to accept myself.

                              It took me about 3-6 months to become okay with
                              the possibility that I may have some black in me.

                              I always tried to be honest to myself so I accepted the
                              possibility and started researching my past and my culture.

                              Until high school or maybe college, I believed that most
                              French people were darker than the other Europeans because my
                              dad's family said they were French and they had some 'color'
                              to them, we were darker than all the other White people.

                              (Funny story, in high school when I went to the house
                              of a friend of mine that was in a poorer area, I got
                              so scared of the black people that were around.
                              I routinely forgot I had brown skin and acted scared and
                              nervous like I actually had White skin, not that having
                              White skin would have put me in any particular danger,
                              but I learned somewhere along the line that black people
                              will hurt White people so I became very afraid of black people.)

                              Anyway, I started looking into my culture, and also
                              asking my mother about me and I started compiling
                              in my mind physical traits that I and family members
                              had that were in common with "black" people.
                              I started researching Creole's and I
                              starting looking for genealogy research.

                              I also started talking to a lot of people about my suspicions.
                              There was the general reaction as I was talking about my
                              suspicions to others I knew, family, random White people
                              I knew, whoever, I didn't see anything wrong with it.

                              As I started mentioning my suspicions, I started
                              hearing a lot of, 'no you're not "black"',
                              'no I don't believe you', or family members started
                              jokingly using racial slurs to express my color.

                              I heard the n***** word more after that
                              than I did my entire life previously.
                              Only once in my childhood I was called it.

                              This reaction, although subtle, got me thinking that people
                              believed that something was wrong with being "black".
                              I had a cousin say, it all makes sense, but I can't believe
                              it, I can't believe my grandma is a "black" woman.

                              These people had a vision of "black" people that was quite
                              negative, so I figured that they liked me, and I didn't fit
                              into their negative stereotype, so I must not have been "black".

                              My close friends supported me, but when it came to my family,
                              nobody understood where I was coming from, why I was doing this.
                              I wouldn't even mention this to my grandparents directly.
                              There was a battle going on under the surface of my conversations,
                              me trying to find out more about who they were and clues to their
                              racial identity, and them trying to lead me in a different direction.

                              It took about 3 years for me to get my hands on Census
                              information that proved to me that I had some African Roots.

                              To my surprise I found out it wasn't
                              one ancestor, it was all of them.
                              All of my ancestors as far as I have gone
                              back so far have been Mulattoes.
                              My grandparents were passing.

                              The summer after I found out I took a science internship in
                              New Orleans not because I liked the topic, but because I
                              wanted to find a way to go to Louisiana so I could learn more.
                              I met some of my grandma's relatives for the first time.
                              My grandparents took pains throughout their
                              pasts to keep these relatives away from us.
                              They were darker too.
                              They didn't even consider themselves
                              "black" though, or even 'Colored'.

                              Why this is happening confounded me and made me angry.
                              I didn't like the implications that something
                              was wrong with having black in me.
                              It meant that since I do, something was wrong with me,
                              and I had too much pride in who I was to accept that bs.

                              Since then, I've been trying to learn and
                              get comfortable with my new identity.

                              It took me quite a while to shed my White self image
                              and actually believe that people saw a 'Colored' person
                              when they looked at me, cause even after I knew I
                              was "black", I still felt like I was a White guy.

                              Just since being here I found out that like 3 years ago
                              a cousin of mine had a genetic test done and not only was there
                              black and native american as I suspected but also east asian.

                              This meant that my grandparents knew longer than I did
                              their ancestry, and it has been a bit unnerving knowing
                              that I have been tiptoeing around and they have been
                              playing along, with something that they already knew.

                              This identity redefinition and transformation has also
                              caused problems with my White family, including my mother.

                              My mother and sisters wanted me to continue identifying
                              as White and felt offended that I would do otherwise.

                              The excuse was, I only had a tinsy winsy bit, almost nothing,
                              not significant, you're blowing it out of proportion.

                              You can imagine how infuriating that was,
                              cause that statement inferred that I was
                              just making up the last 3 or 4 years of
                              my life and I was the cause of my growing
                              feelings of alienation and isolation.

                              Because I had the audacity to express preference in
                              females with darker skin, my mother also decided
                              to get offended over that and start feeling insecure.

                              So all this time when I am quite confused,
                              very hurt, a bit angry, and feeling very
                              alone, I also had to take extra care to
                              make sure she knew that I loved her,
                              thought she was beautiful, etc.

                              Obviously, I haven't healed all the way from this experience,
                              I have felt betrayed by virtually all of my family members.

                              I believe I will eventually foster in, especially my dad's
                              family a sense of pride for all that they are and my
                              mom and my sisters will eventually understand me.

                              Until them, I am the only 'person-of-color'
                              in my family, and because my identity has not
                              been validated by them, I feel illegitimate
                              and quite insecure about the decisions I have
                              made because I don't really look black
                              (although I don't look White either)
                              so basically the only people who see me
                              as a "black" man are those that I tell
                              I am "black", and since my family doesn't
                              reinforce my identity, I am in this
                              strange state of isolation or limbo
                              or something that I dislike greatly.

                              I don't regret my decisions one bit though.

                              This is my story.

                              Finding this out has literally flipped my life 180
                              degrees and I am a very different person now
                              than I was before because of these experiences.

                              What counts though is that I am happier
                              with myself now than I ever have been
                              and these experiences have made me
                              a better more understanding person.

                              I have learned patience also.

                              Thanks for letting me share.
                              Getting my story out to anyone
                              that will listen means a lot to me.
                              It gives me a sense that
                              my experiences are not in vain.

                              (Not to paint my family as villains,
                              cause they are not, I love them to death.
                              If you were ever around me much, you'd see very
                              quickly that my family is the center of my life.
                              I'm always talking about them, if
                              you know me, you know my family.
                              But this is precisely what made this
                              issue so difficult for me to deal with.)

                              Dustin





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





                              Jeff,

                              Are you comfortable sharing more with us?

                              If instance ....

                              How did you respond to having your suspicions
                              or curiousity --about your lineage-- confirmed?

                              What made you decide to go ahead and take the
                              DNA test that backed up what you had learned?

                              Was it difficult find a valid DNA testing company?

                              How does your immediate family react to your
                              openness about your Multi-Racial lineage? [:-$]

                              How have your friends reacted? [:-/]

                              How did you react (both then and now)? [:O]

                              Thanks and have a great day. [:)]


                              --M



                              P.S.

                              Dustin -- can you also share a bit more about how you
                              discovered your full-lineage and your reaction (as well
                              as that of your family and friends), to learning of it?



                              Thanks.




                              In Generation-Mixed@yahoogroups
                              <mailto:Generation-Mixed@yahoogroups.
                              com, "tlbaker1" <tlbaker1@wrote:



                              Interesting, you need to write a book.

                              In my family on my mother's side, the further you go
                              back the whiter it gets, moreso than the native and black.

                              I love the pirate story, LOLOL, literally at my keyboard.

                              But was this news tramatic for you somehow?



                              From: Generation-Mixed@yahoogroups.com
                              [mailto:Generation-Mixed@yahoogroups.com]
                              On Behalf Of j s
                              Sent: Friday, November 03, 2006 4:38 PM
                              To: Generation-Mixed@yahoogroups.com
                              Subject: Re: Gregory Howard Williams
                              [Racial Identity on The ''Color''Line]


                              Basically I was asked by an older black male when I
                              was about 14 if I was mixed, which I had never been
                              asked before, and he said I needed to talk to my
                              mother because she wasn't telling me anything.
                              Of course she didn't know anything about it
                              and I started to think my father, who was
                              no longer in the picture, was the "culprit".

                              Well as time passed and I started to look at my
                              maternal grandmother, I noticed a Lena Horne
                              look that she had, as well as the fullness of
                              my aunt and uncles lips, curliness of his hair
                              (which he brushed strongly down and parted to
                              the side - no afros there!) and then heard this
                              silliness about how a great grandfather had been
                              robbed by pirates on the Mississippi and lost
                              the family fortune after the Civil War (those
                              types of stories were frequently created to
                              explain how Passe-Blanc freedmen and ex-slaves
                              had arrived in new places with no possessions
                              or real history) and it all made sense.

                              Up until then the family had said how there was
                              Indian blood in there (and perhaps there was)
                              but it seemed that I had found my culprit.
                              In fact when I asked my grandmother about our
                              history and said I'd like to do some genealogical
                              research she said "don't go back too far,
                              you're liable to find the tar brush!"



                              tlbaker1 <tlbaker1@...wrote:



                              How did the conversation come
                              up, if you don't mind me asking?

                              Lynne




                              From: Generation-Mixed@yahoogroups.com
                              [mailto:Generation-Mixed@yahoogroups.com]
                              On Behalf Of j s
                              Sent: Thursday, November 02, 2006 3:26 PM
                              To: Generation-Mixed@yahoogroups.com
                              Subject: Re: Gregory Howard Williams
                              [Racial Identity on The ''Color''Line]



                              I started finding out at 14 so I understand.
                              BTW this book looks interesting




                              docilechicken24 <kjoule70@...wrote:



                              Thanks for sharing this person, I can relate to that.
                              It wasn't til about 19 maybe til I found out I
                              was "black" [categorized] or "a person of color".
                              To this day I have family members
                              that describe themselves as Italian.

                              Dustin












                              When Gregory Howard Williams was 10 years old,
                              his father turned to him on a bus ride to
                              Muncie, Ind., and told him, "Life is
                              going to be different from now on.
                              In Virginia you were white boys.
                              In Indiana, you're going to be "Colored" boys.
                              I want you to remember that you're the
                              same today that you were yesterday.

                              But people in Indiana will
                              treat you differently.
                              The compelling story of just how different
                              that life would be forms the core of Williams'
                              much-discussed new book, `Life on the Color
                              Line: The True Story of a White Boy Who
                              Discovered He was Black' (Dutton, $22.95).

                              Williams left behind the "whites only" schools,
                              swimming pools and move theaters of 1953.

                              Overnight, his racial identity changed.

                              The memoir is No. 232 on the USA
                              TODAY Best-Selling Books list.

                              Williams was born to a [mono-racially]
                              `White' mother and a [mixed-race] "black"
                              [categorized / identified] father when
                              interracial relationships were still
                              against the law in Virginia.

                              His light-skinned father told people
                              he was Italian, and his mother was
                              disowned by her family in Muncie.

                              The couple ran a tavern for servicemen
                              that failed partly because the Korean
                              War ended and partly because Williams'
                              charismatic father drank heavily.

                              Eventually, Williams' mother left
                              the family [due to domestic violence].
                              She took her two youngest children
                              but left Williams and his brother
                              Mike with their father.

                              The two sons would not se or hear
                              from their mother for a decade.

                              With their father, the two boys headed
                              to Muncie, where they discovered that
                              life for "black" boys was very
                              different than for white boys.

                              "I was the same person, but because
                              my heritage, I was treated very
                              differently," Williams says.

                              Teachers had severely lowered expectations,
                              and Williams was denied an academic award
                              in the sixth grade because of his "race".

                              Often going hungry, the two boys lived
                              at first with their paternal grandmother,
                              who had worked at the tavern back
                              in Virginia, where the boys knew
                              her simply as the cook, Miss Sallie.

                              No one had mentioned she
                              was their father's mother.

                              "She was very angry about that."

                              Now the dean of Ohio State University College
                              of Law, Williams wrote the book because he had
                              counseled many minority students and they told
                              him how inspiring and affirming his story was.

                              A top student and high school athlete,
                              Williams put himself through Ball
                              State University while working
                              full time as a sheriff.

                              He also attended law school and
                              has published legal textbooks.

                              When Williams was growing up in Muncie,
                              where the KKK had been active for many
                              years, there was strict racial segregation

                              With fair skin and straight hair, Williams
                              has always looked [`mono'-racially] `White'.

                              But THE ISSUE has "NEVER BEEN
                              `skin-color' --- - it's "race" and
                              "racial" heritage," Williams says.

                              His white grandmother lived less
                              than 10 minutes away in Muncie,
                              yet brutally rejected the two boys.

                              After they begged for their mother's
                              address so they could write her, she
                              ordered them out of her car, saying,
                              "I don't carry messages for n***rs!"

                              Only his mother's youngest sister
                              kept in touch with Williams.

                              By contrast, his "black" relatives and
                              their community accepted the two boys
                              after some playground scuffles and taunts.

                              "We became "black" ["identified"].
                              Those were the people who were supporting us.
                              I became proud of my heritage.
                              I realized who I was.

                              Moreover Williams had seen his father
                              "pass" for [being `mono'-racially]
                              `White' and the pain he suffered
                              emotionally at this self-denial.

                              Economically, however, "passing"
                              generated much more money.

                              Back in Virginia, his father's businesses
                              grossed more than $50,000 in 1951.

                              After the family moved to Muncie, the
                              best job his 41-year-old father, who
                              had attended Howard University, could
                              get was as a janitor for $50.50 a week.

                              What saved Williams in the end was a woman
                              named Miss Dora, who took in the two boys,
                              providing them with a stable home.

                              At 52, Miss Dora earned $25 a week as a
                              domestic, yet fed and cared for the boys.

                              "This woman saved my life," says Williams,
                              who dedicated the book to her, his wife
                              and his now-deceased father who, despite
                              his drinking and difficulties, always
                              encouraged Williams to dream and achieve.

                              His mother, however, remains a wound.

                              Williams understands why she left her husband,
                              but she has never apologized or even admitted
                              that she abandoned two small boys for 10 years.

                              (She periodically returned to Muncie
                              yet never contacted her sons. )
                              When he saw her at age 20,
                              "She didn't want to talk to us about
                              how we had survived, what we had
                              gone through," Williams says.
                              "She was in denial. "
                              When Williams told her recently
                              that the book was to be published,
                              "she was not happy about it."

                              Williams traveled back to Muncie
                              recently and ... visited his
                              elementary school and [discovered]
                              "life has not changed a lot in 31 years"
                              in terms of what "black" children
                              can expect from this world.

                              While he believes there have been
                              "some advances in race relations,there
                              continues to be a lot of divisions. "

                              Quite simply, Williams says it is hard
                              for whites to understand how "overpowering
                              and overshadowing the perceptions about
                              "blacks" in this society can be.
                              "It's very difficult"

                              <<<<<

                              BOOK EXCERPT:

                              `Remember Miss Sallie who used
                              to work for us in the tavern?'
                              Dad's lower lip quivered.
                              He look ill.
                              Had he always looked this unhealthy,
                              I wondered, or was it something
                              that had happened on the trip?
                              `It's hard to tell you boys this,'
                              He paused, then slowly added,
                              `But she's really my momma.
                              That means she's your grandmother. '
                              `But that can't be, Dad!
                              She's Colored!'
                              I whispered, lest I be overheard by
                              the other white passengers on the bus.
                              `That's right, Billy,'
                              he continued.
                              `She's Colored.
                              That makes you
                              Part-Colored, too.'...
                              I didn't understand Day.
                              I knew I wasn't Colored, and neither was he.
                              My skin was white.
                              All of us are white, I said to myself.
                              But for the first time, I had to admit
                              Dad didn't exactly look white.
                              His deeply tanned skin puzzled me
                              as I sat there trying to
                              classify my own father...
                              `I don't wanta be Colored,' Mike whined.
                              `I don't wanta be Colored.
                              We can't go swimming' or skatin,'...
                              I glanced across the aisle to where (Dad) sat
                              grimfaced and erect, staring straight ahead.
                              I saw my father as I never had seen him before.
                              The veil dropped from his face and features.
                              Before my eyes he was transformed
                              from a swarthy Italian to his true
                              self ----- `a high- yellow Mulatto'.
                              My father was [classified as' "a Negro"!
                              We were Colored!
                              After ten years in Virginia on the white side
                              of the Color-Line, I knew what that meant.

                              From `Life on the Color Line'

                              Dawn D.
                              Bennett-Alexander


                              ]]]]]




                              Yahoo! Groups Links
                            Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.