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Passing for "black": The Effa Manley story

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  • multiracialbookclub
    Passing for black : The life story of Effa Manley Effa Manley was a mono-racial White woman who
    Message 1 of 2 , Mar 10, 2007
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      Passing for "black":
       
      The life story of Effa Manley





      Effa Manley was a mono-racial White
      woman who chose to "pass" for being
      a
      "black"-categorized, Mixed-Race woman
      of the African-American Ethnic grouping
       .

      Manley was also the only female owner in
      the entire history of The Negro Leagues.

      And her considerable influence extended
      beyond baseball as well; she was also
      active in the
      African-American-led
      Civil Rights Movement.

      Manley was born March 27, 1900.

      Her birth, like much of
      her life, was controversial.

      Manley rarely discussed her heritage,
      and most people simply assumed that
      she was a
      light-complexioned Mixed-Race
      woman of the African-American Ethnicity
      .

      But Manley, in an interview she held in 1973,
      Manley admitted that she was actually White.

      Her mother, Bertha Ford Brooks, was White,
      of German and Asian-Indian descent.

      Effa explained that Bertha, who earned a
      living as a seamstress, became pregnant
      by her White employer, John M. Bishop,
      who was also a wealthy Philadelphian.

      Manley's Black stepfather, Benjamin Brooks,
      sued Bishop and received a settlement of
      $10,000 before he and Bertha divorced.

      Bertha remarried, and Effa was then
      later raised in a household with a
      Black step-father and
      part-Black 
      half-siblings, and so chose
      to live as a "
      black" person.

      After graduation from high school in
      Philadelphia , Effa moved to New York
      --- where she took work in the
      millinery (hat-making) business.

      Fittingly, she met Abe Manley, a man
      24 years her senior, at the 1932
      World Series at Yankee Stadium.


      Abe and Effa married the following
      year, on June 15, 1935 and ran
      the Eagles, a Negro National
      League team, from 1935-48.

      A book, about the life of `Effa
      Manley', is currently available
      .

      The book is entitled --
      '
      Queen of the Negro
      Leagues
      : Effa Manley
      and the Newark Eagles'

      and the book is written by
      author, James Overmyer




      SOURCES:
      http://www.nlbpa.com/manley_effa.html
      http://www.negroartist.com/NEGRO%20LEAGUE%20BASEBALL.htm 

    • Heather Stimmel
      Wow! Now, this is interesting. I m surprised this was even permitted, back then. I m shocked that she wasn t found out and killed for doing such a thing,
      Message 2 of 2 , Mar 11, 2007
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        Wow! Now, this is interesting.
        I'm surprised this was even permitted, back then.
        I'm shocked that she wasn't "found out" and
        killed for doing such a thing, given how
        people felt about "race," back then.
        I suppose, since she was living in a home
        with "black" parents (father?). I don't know.

        What does anyone else think of this story?

        People like Effa Manley, and her family,
        are real HEROS... in my book =)
        I can't imagine how difficult it must
        have been for her, and her family ...
        for her to have "passed" as black???!

        Interesting, indeed! Heather

        Related Link:
        http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Generation-Mixed/message/2619
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