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

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  • 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 1 of 12 , Oct 19, 2009
      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.


      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.

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