It is no secret that the United States of America is a melting pot comprised of many different shades and colors. It encompasses a wide range of races, ethnicities, religions and cultural norms. Considering that Indians were the original inhabitants on the land that Christopher Columbus sailed across the sea to rest on, in October of 1492, all races outside of the Indian heritage could reflectively be referred to as “foreigners.” That is to state that not many Americans would truly inherit the term of “Native Americans” outside of the Indians.
In a recent edition published by African-American News&Issues the “one-drop” rule was defined in correlation to Black presidents that lead the United States of America decades before President Barack Obama. With an understanding of the“one-drop” rule in perspective it opens the flood gates for individuals all over the country as to who really would be labeled a Black person.
The rule simply means that any person having a single drop of Black in their blood defines that person as “Black.” Additionally, with the inclusion of rules such as these, authors and researchers alike have found that most Southerners are related.
For years, light-skinned African-Americans have been able to“pass for White” because of distinct features such as: shade, tone and hair textures. This is no new element to society. However, what makes this feat possible is due to the fact that these two races in the South have mixed and mingled and produced children for centuries. Some have a tendency to misrepresent their races due to the stigmas and stereotypes that have been associated with that particular race or group, but the fact still remains.
During the enslavement period of African-Americans in the United States of America, though undisclosed by many slave owners, it was not covert that many White women had their way with their Black slaves, oftentimes producing mixed and interracial children. On the other hand, just as White men had a tendency to become intimately involved with their Black slaves, some of the White women would procreate with their Black male slaves as well. One will find that elements such as these were more prevalent amongst residents of the southern states of America, but not limited to only that region. It is because of acts such as these that studies have determined that most Southerners are related kinship-wise.
Several authors have studied this element and numerous researchers have connected the dots in American history that have been covered in previous years. John C. Inscoe recorded his insight on the subject matter in his book entitled, Georgia in Black and White.
In it, he states the following: “Very probably, most southerners, White and Black, had unrecognized biological kin on both sides of the race line, which might range from children to unknown distant cousins. It is a truism that in small towns and rural areas everyone is related to everyone else. In the South, the unspoken (and false) conceptual limitation on this maxim has been the division of ‘White’ and ‘Black’ people into neatly separate ‘everyones.’ In actuality, the lines of kinship were spun out wildly in all directions, especially during the colonial period, until a great web of biological belonging tied nearly all southerners together. Usually, the descendants of interracial unions became socially ‘Black,’ although thousands of light-skinned individuals chose to become ‘White.’ Socially meaningful interracial kinship obviously made up only a few strands of this great web of belonging.”
To add validity to this claim the American Journal of Human Genetics recently devised a study based off of a genetic testing company, 23 and Me. In the study conducted, it was found that many White Southerners who profess to be ‘White’ have highly concentrated forms of African DNA. The study was so in depth that it was even able to trace back almost exclusively, to the historical time periods of when the mixing of African and European ancestry occurred. Unsurprisingly, it was found that the mixture took place during slavery.
Daniel Jabocy, a writer with the Independent Review generated a review of James N. Gregory’s book entitled The Southern Diaspora: How the Great Migrations of Black and White Southerners Transformed America. The book goes into detail and explains how “a century-long regional migration involving at least 28 million individuals in a nation whose population rose from 76 million in 1900 to 282 million in 2000.”
The review further reveals that Gregory“carefully documents the people’s movements from the southern to the northern United States, their adjustments to a new environment, and how these phenomena reconstructed the country’s social and political landscape.”
Thus, documentation and discoveries such as these serve to show, that not only are many Southerners related but residents elsewhere throughout the United States may be as well.
With the incorporation of many Southerners traveling to other states over varying generations, the odds are endless as to who may or who may not be biologically linked to one another.
Concluding, members of Black and White communities alike would be wise to be careful how we treat and look at each other, especially in the South. With the dismantling of history down throughout the years, many things have been hidden. But, as presented in this article one can easily infer that history is not always the most reputable source.
Nonetheless, researchers that have genetically linked various individuals by hereditary linkages such as blood. Therefore, this evidence is more likely to be true and accurate as there is no way to manipulate one’s blood in testing matters such as these.