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Re: The Long-Passed Days of "Passing" and 'Posing'

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  • Rodney S
    I ve heard many stories of family members from Louisiana in decided to cross over to the other side so to speak. There are also a few mysteries that floated
    Message 1 of 12 , Oct 18, 2009
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      I've heard many stories of family members from Louisiana in decided to

      "cross over" to the other side so to speak. There are also a few mysteries that floated around my family. One is the story that my great-grandfather had a half-white brother who was taken to Houston by the White fathers sisters and never heard from again. I am also curious or planning to take the genetic admixture DNA test to what numbers show up. I wouldnt be surprised if my results show extensive european ancestry considered many of my ancestors were louisiana creoles of mixed or multi-racial heritage. You can look at a new pic I just posted showing my great-grandmother and her older sister. Look at their appearance. They look almost racially ambigious.

      Rodney Sam
    • rosanna_armendariz
      Good point. I totally agree that some White persons don t know of their mixed heritage. However, I still maintain that some do and prefer not to mention
      Message 2 of 12 , Oct 18, 2009
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        Good point. I totally agree that some "White" persons don't know of their mixed heritage. However, I still maintain that some do and prefer not to mention it. And others are unwilling to even consider the possibility.



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


        Just wanted to add another thought to this topic. I don't think so many whites
        deny their mixed heritage as were never told. I once read that if a person's
        family has been in the U.S. for five generations or more -- regardless of where
        they are from originally -- they have a high possibility of having mixed
        ancestry, black or white.

        That said, 100 years ago (20yr a generation) 1909, most people weren't going to
        admit to family and friends if they had been involved, sneaking around, or raped
        by a person of another race. Not all mixed relationships were brutal or forced.
        People fall in love, regardless of what the law says, let alone common sense.
        We have only to look at family and friends today (and maybe even our own
        choices!) to know people make choices for partners that make no sense to their
        friends! Anyway, if daddy or grandma had a child--was a mixed child -- NO ONE
        would have wanted it known. It would reflect on the entire family so keeping
        the secret had great importance. It didn't help whites to tell, and blacks
        mostly believed it would only make life harder if the child knew.

        So, this is a long-winded way of saying ignorance of one's heritage is much more
        likely than willful omittance in modern society. Their ancestors never
        mentioned a word. How will you know unless someone tells you? My family kept
        secrets. I'll bet yours did, too. You can bet money white families didn't let
        their own members know what was going on.

        So, don't be so sure people know things and are keeping it a secret. You can't
        hide what you were never told.

        I'd be interested to learn what percentage of whites doing DNA testing are
        learning some surprising things.

        Laura



        In Generation-Mixed@yahoogroups.com, pierre
        jefferson <pierrejefferson2007@...> wrote:



        I agree Rosanna,

        Most people are really not aware consciously what
        they are saying or even thinking concerning this
        matter. Its so ingrained into our society that we
        automatically respond to the images before us. A
        white person tries to add a little color to their
        family by claiming a Indian ancestor and a black
        person tries to whiten up their family by claiming
        a European or other light skin race.




        In Generation-Mixed@yahoogroups.com, rosanna_
        armendariz <rosanna_armendariz@...> wrote:



        I have a White friend now who vaguely refers to her Native American ancestry. I
        think she does it to color up her family line a bit, but probably would not want
        to do this by referring to some distant black ancestor (which is really just as
        likely or more likely than a Nat. Amer. one). However, I don't think she's
        consciously saying to herself, "Oh, my worth will be devalued if I'm part
        Black," etc. Rather, these views are so ingrained in society that they have long
        since become unconscious. Many people of all colors unfortunately don't take the
        time to really reflect on their attitudes and beliefs.


        In Generation-Mixed@yahoogroups.com, pierre
        jefferson <pierrejefferson2007@...> wrote:



        I agree also, saying your part Mohawk is a lot different
        than saying your part Watusi as a white person. Because
        white people know how racist views could strip them of
        their white privilege and value. The only race that really
        doesn't matter as being a asset to your whiteness is being
        part Black. Because the racist will see you instantaneously
        as being of African decent. There are no in betweens when
        it comes to being black or white especially in this country.
        Many whites who know of their black or half black relatives
        always keep them hidden away like damaged goods. Because
        [some feel] the power of blackness certainly requires only one
        drop to make your whiteness invalid. In the old days they would
        call it being "tainted" which actually meant being impure. White
        purity fears black purity! because [some feel] black by nature is
        the genetic code that could eventually wipe out a white family in
        no less than one generation. That's why most schools still use
        black boards because the chalk shows up better. This contrast
        is also felt between white people and black people` because
        race is still the medium we use to define our selves. Color
        is the code we still use to classify our selves on a daily basis.
        WHY? are most people still enslaved to the images created
        by Race? because race and racism depends on the believer in
        them in order to survive and cause people to make a difference
        out of difference, a pure and natural thing created by GOD.


        Pierre



        In Generation-Mixed@yahoogroups.com, rosanna_
        armendariz <rosanna_armendariz@...> wrote



        I agree. I have met many, MANY, "White" people over the years who claim to have
        Native American heritage, but when questioned further, it becomes apparent that
        they have no idea what tribe/nation or who these supposed "Indian" ancestors
        were. I think it's just a trendy thing to say. On the other hand, one rarely
        encounters a supposedly "White" person who mentions having Black ancestors,
        although many probably do.




        In Generation-Mixed@yahoogroups.com,
        quallagirl <latonyabeatty76@...> wrote:



        In a way it is good to be able to choose. I guess people had to do what they had
        to do to get by. I couldn't speak from a white looking person's standpoint,
        considering my so-called exotic features.

        It is also amazing at how many white people are clueless about their African
        ancestry. I also think alot choose to deny that part to avoid being looked down
        on. I notice that it is more accepting to claim Indian heritage. I don't ever
        remember meeting a white person that admits to having black heritage.

        Tonya



        In Generation-Mixed@yahoogroups.com,
        AP Gifts <soaptalk@...> wrote:



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


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


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


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

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

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

        "Growing up, I knew of people who did,
        and I was even instructed not to say,
        at that time, that they were 'Colored'**.

        In order to get their jobs, they
        had to say they were `White'*"

        [[[

        Note:

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

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

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

        These terms "black"^^ and / or "blacks"^^ when in reference
        to a socio-political "identification" -- were originally applied
        largely as a way of describing the new socio-political mindset
        that became popular in the late 1960s wherein many who
        were of at least some-part `Black / Negro' lineage chose to:

        ------ openly support of the new 'pan-African,
        anti-colonialist movement' of the late 1960s;

        ------ refused to hold or see the their or another's
        'Black / Negro' ancestral lineage as being "shameful";

        ------ and by providing support for the whole idea of making
        sure that equal rights would become granted to those
        people who suffered discrimination due to having
        'Black / Negro' ancestry in their familial,
        ethnic, racial or even cultural lineage.

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

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

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

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

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

        ]]]

        Thelma Marshall knows that routine.

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

        She "passed" for `White'*

        "One time I told a woman I was
        "black"^^, 'Colored'** in those days,"
        Marshall recalled.

        "She said, 'You won't get the job
        unless you "pass" for `White'*."

        So that's what Marshall did.
        "I "passed" for `White'* on lots of jobs,"
        she said.
        "I had to be `White'* to get the jobs."

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

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

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

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

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

        In modern times, it meant being able to vote in the South.
        It meant a job in the office rather than a job cleaning the office.
        It meant schools with the latest equipment and books,
        instead of dilapidated buildings and out-of-date texts.
        It often meant better housing.

        It meant being treated with respect, not disdain.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

        Since [the first, actual] `Black' people first came
        to the New World in 1619, they've Mingled and
        Mixed with every Race and Ethnic group here.

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

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

        They just can't pass.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

        Stuckert predicted that the numbers
        would grow in subsequent decades.

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

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

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

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

        State decides for you

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

        ----- Then there were `Free People of Color' [and others],
        who generally had [a] Mixed "racial" heritage ...

        ----- [The free] people-of-color could be 'brown
        with European features', 'light with African
        features' and everything in between.

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

        Some were slave owners,
        others staunch abolitionists. ..

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

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

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

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

        Some who passed

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

        No identity crisis

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

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

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

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

        His goal was to do the same.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

        Why didn't Hale?

        "I chose "black"^^ because
        I have a "black"^^ identity...

        "We had a heritage, and it
        was something important."

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

        "These were people who used their
        physical appearances because, in
        many cases, that's all they had,"
        Gaudin said.

        "They weren't wealthy.

        In many cases, they felt this was
        their greatest, most valuable resource."

        Unbreakable family ties

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

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

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

        Theoretically, yes.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

        I'm successful and happy, too."

        SOURCE:

        hhttp://www.post-gazette.com/lifestyle/20031026stain1026fnp2.asp

        RELATED LINKS:

        http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Generation-Mixed/message/3331

        http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index;_ylt=Al5eeK2CFwcv4rD5U5qzvEfty6IX?qid=20070527201834AAIhzhM&show=7#profile-info-CiC2JY9Maa

        http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index;_ylt=AiebDu.tSshJzQ0wS5fMp7jty6IX?qid=20070623205206AANUzPN&show=7#profile-info-q1hdwifgaa

        http://boards.mulatto.org/post/show_single_post?pid=34070161&postcount;=13

        http://boards.mulatto.org/post/show_single_post?pid=34070414&postcount;=14.

        .
      • Queen Blues
        I have pondered a right way to respond to this topic fairly and you have put a part of what s been on my mind so perfectly. Some people look upon me as being
        Message 3 of 12 , Oct 18, 2009
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          I have pondered a right way to respond to this topic fairly and you have put a part of what's been on my mind so perfectly.

          "Some" people look upon me as being "white", however because of the other portion of people who have not, I have never been about pretending that is all that I am and also do not believe there is any realism in not presenting myself as a multiracial woman of color.

          I have more than one race, a few embellished stories, outright lies and many different cultures running in my lineage. I have had my DNA tested and it showed me more than I expected to see, because it proved I was more than one race from both parents. The majority of my family would rather not acknowledge what I have no way of not accepting. I have one sister who would rather pass herself off as Mexican rather than accept herself as part "black", even tho there is no knowledge of Mexican heritage in our family.

          As I grow older and wiser, and partly with the valued help of "Generation Mixed" contributions, I am finding it easier to deal with the pain my family's various decisions have caused me. Incidentally, my DNA testing also helped to reveal albinism that was overlooked. Despite the fact that another sister and I had many symptoms of being albino, it had not been considered because we were supposedly "white". But, in fact, the only way that we could have this condition and not have white-blond hair, not be stark-white in complexion and have dark eyes... is that we have African lineage.

          When I was 20, I ran into a man who was a friend of a friend and looked exactly like my father except he was much darker in skin-color. I was trying not to stare, but I finally broke it down to him that the resemblance was just too much & that my father had been adopted & I was wondering if he was related. The following year, he took me to a light-skinned mixed "black" woman who claimed she had given my father up for adoption as a result of a teenage pregnancy, knowing that he was born light and with "nice hair" and knowing that this happened at least every 2nd or 3rd generation in her family, and she wanted my father to have a good chance in life so she hoped he would pass to be adopted as a "white" baby and that's what happened. My father (who really was adopted and has always had African features) got so mad at me when I told him that story, and said it could not be true, I will never probably know for sure, but I believe it 99% of the time, especially after I had my DNA tested & found that I had the gene for albinism.

          As it turned out, my father was adopted by people who could give him a fair chance in life. I do not know the stories about what happened with my mother's side of my genes. I suspect at least part of it is related to my mother's mother's mother who is most likely the person on the other side of the family tree who carried the gene for albinism, because at a time when I was very young, I was already perceiving that my grandmother and great-aunt (her daughters) were "different" as in being women of color and both looking "alike" with each other. It didn't matter to me that no one else in my family acknowledged that perception. That was just the way I saw it as a little girl. DNA just made it more meaningful since I am just about sure my father is mixed and now know that I am mixed from both sides.

          So here I be in 2009 and there are still misconceptions that I feel will forever be made about me in regard to race. But that is not because I go around pretending to be "white" -- It's what other people may see despite my obvious African features.

          I'm not going around wearing a sign to announce to everyone I am a woman of color, but I am someone who looks so unique that I've had people who knew me as a child, and not seen me for decades, recognize me, I am someone who has experienced so much racism that it is often imperceptible for me when there are other people of color calling me "white", especially if it's obvious to me that they are also mixed.

          Like I was mentioning earlier though, I am very thankful for the existence of this online group and your various contributions. I haven't done a whole lot of contributing in here, but I have been reading. I've been going through a lot of changes in the past year or so, including things with my health, not sure how long I'm gonna be allowed to stay living on this planet, so I just wanted to give you all a great amount of thanks for being out there.

          Peace



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



          Just wanted to add another thought to this topic. I don't think so many whites
          deny their mixed heritage as were never told. I once read that if a person's
          family has been in the U.S. for five generations or more -- regardless of where
          they are from originally -- they have a high possibility of having mixed
          ancestry, black or white.

          That said, 100 years ago (20yr a generation) 1909, most people weren't going to
          admit to family and friends if they had been involved, sneaking around, or raped
          by a person of another race. Not all mixed relationships were brutal or forced.
          People fall in love, regardless of what the law says, let alone common sense.
          We have only to look at family and friends today (and maybe even our own
          choices!) to know people make choices for partners that make no sense to their
          friends! Anyway, if daddy or grandma had a child--was a mixed child -- NO ONE
          would have wanted it known. It would reflect on the entire family so keeping
          the secret had great importance. It didn't help whites to tell, and blacks
          mostly believed it would only make life harder if the child knew.

          So, this is a long-winded way of saying ignorance of one's heritage is much more
          likely than willful omittance in modern society. Their ancestors never
          mentioned a word. How will you know unless someone tells you? My family kept
          secrets. I'll bet yours did, too. You can bet money white families didn't let
          their own members know what was going on.

          So, don't be so sure people know things and are keeping it a secret. You can't
          hide what you were never told.

          I'd be interested to learn what percentage of whites doing DNA testing are
          learning some surprising things.

          Laura
        • Queen Blues
          Laura, I have pondered a right way to respond to this topic fairly and you have put a part of what s been on my mind so perfectly. Some people look upon me
          Message 4 of 12 , Oct 18, 2009
          • 0 Attachment
            Laura, I have pondered a right way to respond to this topic fairly and you have put a part of what's been on my mind so perfectly.

            "Some" people look upon me as being "white", however because of the other portion of people who have not, I have never been about pretending that is all that I am and also do not believe there is any realism in not presenting myself as a multiracial woman of color.

            I have more than one race, a few embellished stories, outright lies and many different cultures running in my lineage. I have had my DNA tested and it showed me more than I expected to see, because it proved I was more than one race from both parents. The majority of my family would rather not acknowledge what I have no way of not accepting. I have one sister who would rather pass herself off as Mexican rather than accept herself as part "black", even tho there is no knowledge of Mexican heritage in our family.

            As I grow older and wiser, and partly with the valued help of "Generation Mixed" contributions, I am finding it easier to deal with the pain my family's various decisions have caused me. Incidentally, my DNA testing also helped to reveal albinism that was overlooked. Despite the fact that another sister and I had many symptoms of being albino, it had not been considered because we were supposedly "white". But, in fact, the only way that we could have this condition and not have white-blond hair, not be stark-white in complexion and have dark eyes... is that we have African lineage.

            When I was 20, I ran into a man who was a friend of a friend and looked exactly like my father except he was much darker in skin-color. I was trying not to stare, but I finally broke it down to him that the resemblance was just too much & that my father had been adopted & I was wondering if he was related. The following year, he took me to a light-skinned mixed "black" woman who claimed she had given my father up for adoption as a result of a teenage pregnancy, knowing that he was born light and with "nice hair" and knowing that this happened at least every 2nd or 3rd generation in her family, and she wanted my father to have a good chance in life so she hoped he would pass to be adopted as a "white" baby and that's what happened. My father (who really was adopted and has always had African features) got so mad at me when I told him that story, and said it could not be true, I will never probably know for sure, but I believe it 99% of the time, especially after I had my DNA tested & found that I had the gene for albinism.

            As it turned out, my father was adopted by people who could give him a fair chance in life. I do not know the stories about what happened with my mother's side of my genes. I suspect at least part of it is related to my mother's mother's mother who is most likely the person on the other side of the family tree who carried the gene for albinism, because at a time when I was very young, I was already perceiving that my grandmother and great-aunt (her daughters) were "different" as in being women of color and both looking "alike" with each other. It didn't matter to me that no one else in my family acknowledged that perception. That was just the way I saw it as a little girl. DNA just made it more meaningful since I am just about sure my father is mixed and now know that I am mixed from both sides.

            So here I be in 2009 and there are still misconceptions that I feel will forever be made about me in regard to race. But that is not because I go around pretending to be "white" -- It's what other people may see despite my obvious African features.

            I'm not going around wearing a sign to announce to everyone I am a woman of color, but I am someone who looks so unique that I've had people who knew me as a child, and not seen me for decades, recognize me, I am someone who has experienced so much racism that it is often imperceptible for me when there are other people of color calling me "white", especially if it's obvious to me that they are also mixed.

            Like I was mentioning earlier though, I am very thankful for the existence of this online group and your various contributions. I haven't done a whole lot of contributing in here, but I have been reading. I've been going through a lot of changes in the past year or so, including things with my health, not sure how long I'm gonna be allowed to stay living on this planet, so I just wanted to give you all a great amount of thanks for being out there.

            Peace



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



            Just wanted to add another thought to this topic. I don't think so many whites
            deny their mixed heritage as were never told. I once read that if a person's
            family has been in the U.S. for five generations or more -- regardless of where
            they are from originally -- they have a high possibility of having mixed
            ancestry, black or white.

            That said, 100 years ago (20yr a generation) 1909, most people weren't going to
            admit to family and friends if they had been involved, sneaking around, or raped
            by a person of another race. Not all mixed relationships were brutal or forced.
            People fall in love, regardless of what the law says, let alone common sense.
            We have only to look at family and friends today (and maybe even our own
            choices!) to know people make choices for partners that make no sense to their
            friends! Anyway, if daddy or grandma had a child--was a mixed child -- NO ONE
            would have wanted it known. It would reflect on the entire family so keeping
            the secret had great importance. It didn't help whites to tell, and blacks
            mostly believed it would only make life harder if the child knew.

            So, this is a long-winded way of saying ignorance of one's heritage is much more
            likely than willful omittance in modern society. Their ancestors never
            mentioned a word. How will you know unless someone tells you? My family kept
            secrets. I'll bet yours did, too. You can bet money white families didn't let
            their own members know what was going on.

            So, don't be so sure people know things and are keeping it a secret. You can't
            hide what you were never told.

            I'd be interested to learn what percentage of whites doing DNA testing are
            learning some surprising things.

            Laura
          • rosanna_armendariz
            Wow, you have a fascinating story. Thank you for sharing here. I never would have thought about people using albinism as a way to pass for White. I wish
            Message 5 of 12 , Oct 19, 2009
            • 0 Attachment
              Wow, you have a fascinating story. Thank you for sharing here. I never would have thought about people using albinism as a way to pass for "White." I wish you the best with your health and just said a prayer for you. Be well & God bless.



              In Generation-Mixed@yahoogroups.com,
              "Queen Blues" <la_cayena@...> wrote:



              I have pondered a right way to respond to this topic fairly and you have put a
              part of what's been on my mind so perfectly.

              "Some" people look upon me as being "white", however because of the other
              portion of people who have not, I have never been about pretending that is all
              that I am and also do not believe there is any realism in not presenting myself
              as a multiracial woman of color.

              I have more than one race, a few embellished stories, outright lies and many
              different cultures running in my lineage. I have had my DNA tested and it showed
              me more than I expected to see, because it proved I was more than one race from
              both parents. The majority of my family would rather not acknowledge what I have
              no way of not accepting. I have one sister who would rather pass herself off as
              Mexican rather than accept herself as part "black", even tho there is no
              knowledge of Mexican heritage in our family.

              As I grow older and wiser, and partly with the valued help of "Generation Mixed"
              contributions, I am finding it easier to deal with the pain my family's various
              decisions have caused me. Incidentally, my DNA testing also helped to reveal
              albinism that was overlooked. Despite the fact that another sister and I had
              many symptoms of being albino, it had not been considered because we were
              supposedly "white". But, in fact, the only way that we could have this condition
              and not have white-blond hair, not be stark-white in complexion and have dark
              eyes... is that we have African lineage.

              When I was 20, I ran into a man who was a friend of a friend and looked exactly
              like my father except he was much darker in skin-color. I was trying not to
              stare, but I finally broke it down to him that the resemblance was just too much
              & that my father had been adopted & I was wondering if he was related. The
              following year, he took me to a light-skinned mixed "black" woman who claimed
              she had given my father up for adoption as a result of a teenage pregnancy,
              knowing that he was born light and with "nice hair" and knowing that this
              happened at least every 2nd or 3rd generation in her family, and she wanted my
              father to have a good chance in life so she hoped he would pass to be adopted as
              a "white" baby and that's what happened. My father (who really was adopted and
              has always had African features) got so mad at me when I told him that story,
              and said it could not be true, I will never probably know for sure, but I
              believe it 99% of the time, especially after I had my DNA tested & found that I
              had the gene for albinism.

              As it turned out, my father was adopted by people who could give him a fair
              chance in life. I do not know the stories about what happened with my mother's
              side of my genes. I suspect at least part of it is related to my mother's
              mother's mother who is most likely the person on the other side of the family
              tree who carried the gene for albinism, because at a time when I was very young,
              I was already perceiving that my grandmother and great-aunt (her daughters) were
              "different" as in being women of color and both looking "alike" with each other.
              It didn't matter to me that no one else in my family acknowledged that
              perception. That was just the way I saw it as a little girl. DNA just made it
              more meaningful since I am just about sure my father is mixed and now know that
              I am mixed from both sides.

              So here I be in 2009 and there are still misconceptions that I feel will forever
              be made about me in regard to race. But that is not because I go around
              pretending to be "white" -- It's what other people may see despite my obvious
              African features.

              I'm not going around wearing a sign to announce to everyone I am a woman of
              color, but I am someone who looks so unique that I've had people who knew me as
              a child, and not seen me for decades, recognize me, I am someone who has
              experienced so much racism that it is often imperceptible for me when there are
              other people of color calling me "white", especially if it's obvious to me that
              they are also mixed.

              Like I was mentioning earlier though, I am very thankful for the existence of
              this online group and your various contributions. I haven't done a whole lot of
              contributing in here, but I have been reading. I've been going through a lot of
              changes in the past year or so, including things with my health, not sure how
              long I'm gonna be allowed to stay living on this planet, so I just wanted to
              give you all a great amount of thanks for being out there.

              Peace



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



              Just wanted to add another thought to this topic. I don't think so many whites
              deny their mixed heritage as were never told. I once read that if a person's
              family has been in the U.S. for five generations or more -- regardless of where
              they are from originally -- they have a high possibility of having mixed
              ancestry, black or white.

              That said, 100 years ago (20yr a generation) 1909, most people weren't going to
              admit to family and friends if they had been involved, sneaking around, or raped
              by a person of another race. Not all mixed relationships were brutal or forced.
              People fall in love, regardless of what the law says, let alone common sense.
              We have only to look at family and friends today (and maybe even our own
              choices!) to know people make choices for partners that make no sense to their
              friends! Anyway, if daddy or grandma had a child--was a mixed child -- NO ONE
              would have wanted it known. It would reflect on the entire family so keeping
              the secret had great importance. It didn't help whites to tell, and blacks
              mostly believed it would only make life harder if the child knew.

              So, this is a long-winded way of saying ignorance of one's heritage is much more
              likely than willful omittance in modern society. Their ancestors never
              mentioned a word. How will you know unless someone tells you? My family kept
              secrets. I'll bet yours did, too. You can bet money white families didn't let
              their own members know what was going on.

              So, don't be so sure people know things and are keeping it a secret. You can't
              hide what you were never told.

              I'd be interested to learn what percentage of whites doing DNA testing are
              learning some surprising things.

              Laura
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