One Drop, but Many Views on Race

A series of portraits and an accompanying book argue that racial identity is not merely biological or genetic, but also a matter of context and even personal choice.

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Did one-drop rules have a positive side?

OneDropRule_CNN[Transcription by Steven F. Riley]

Soledad O’Brien: Why do so many black people—me included—embrace the “one-drop rule” when it really, literally, has its roots in terrible things?

Yaba Blay: Again, I think because the “one-drop rule,” in as much as it was oppressive, protected us.  It gave us an identity in the same way that when we talk about white parents of mixed-race kids, you know, and you’ll hear a lot of white parents say, “oh my child can choose to be whatever they want to be.” And then you see the child struggling. That there’s some comfort and there’s some strength that comes with being told what you are. And so I think the “one-drop rule” gave us a definition of blackness that was unquestionable. There was no space to be mixed-race, biracial, any of these things. And from that, we were able to mobilize, right, in the fight against Jim Crow; in the fight against segregation; in the fight against racism. That, again it gave us the parameters for what our community ultimately was.

Source: Mixed Race Studies

Opinion: What does Blackness look like? – In America – CNN

Via Scoop.itMixed American Life

Editor’s note: Yaba Blay, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of Africana studies who teaches courses at Lafayette College. Her research focuses on black identity, with specific attention to skin color and hair politics.

New Photo Essay: (1)ne Drop

Via Scoop.itMixed American Life

(1)ne Drop seeks to challenge narrow, yet popular perceptions of what “Blackness” is and what “Blackness” looks like
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