Thursday, September 08, 2011
Unlike passing blacks, these white-skinned blacks, for lack of a better description, are very proud of their black history, some of which dates back even prior to the Mayflower. These ‘white-blacks’ clearly have predominantly Caucasian genetic background, but due to the laws of the day and circumstances, were classified as black and lived their lives as such. They worked as blacks, attended church and school as blacks, and were often (but not always) segregated from opportunities afforded whites. As you would expect, some white-blacks used their white-features to elevate themselves above pigmented blacks, but this author suspects that this elevation is a more common occurrence with traditional light-skinned blacks.
On one occasion, a dear Bostonian friend from a prominent Washington DC family invited me to accompany her on a visit with the grown daughters of a childhood friend. The home of one of the girls resembled typical collegial-Cambridge, white Cambridge that is. Blonde hair and blue eyes were everywhere, especially the children. But something did not seem ‘right’. Everyone was so at ease with my friend’s black-related activities, including the black stranger - me. In the car after we had departed my friend abruptly says, “I know what you are thinking, and the answer is yes, those people are black.” Wow! Did not see that one coming! (I secretly think this smart woman was purposely padding my worldly education, an activity she graciously has repeated to this day.)
James C. Collier
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