“Legacy of ‘one drop rule’ inspires search for family history”

Journal

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by Don Lemon, CNN

You never know from where inspiration will come.

I am often envious of my friends who can recite stories about ancestors that have been handed down through generations. I can’t do that. As a descendant of slavery in America, that hasn’t felt possible for me. Truthfully, I didn’t think about it much until a few weeks ago, after I was asked by CNN’s In America team to write about the impact of a mixed racial background on my life, the idea that “one drop” of black blood makes you black.

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January 29th, 2012

“What does Blackness look like?”

Journal

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 by Yaba Blay for CNN

I always thought I could spot a Black person anywhere. My eyes were trained in New Orleans – home to a historically preeminent group of folks who self-identify as “Creoles.” Many of them would make it a point to announce that they are different—not White, not Black, but “Creole.” A mix of African, Native American, French, and sometimes Spanish heritage, some Creoles are light-skinned enough to be mistaken for— or “pass”—for White people. We call them “passé blanc.”

 

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January 21st, 2012

“It only takes One Drop”

Journal

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 by Don Lemon, CNN

For years, the woman on the left in the photograph below could not be friendly to her own husband in public. She would pretend she didn’t know him or tell people he was her driver. She didn’t want him to be beaten in public as he had many times before.

 

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January 17th, 2012

“Backama Pow”

Journal

Raised in Harlem, by a father consumed with Blackness and a White mother oblivious to the need to be.  I’d come home from my Grandmother’s house belly full of collard greens and a head full of Dax grease.  Fighting my way to black has been a long brawl and I am bruised and confused, as old as I am.

 

 by Vanessa Bonaparte