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AfriGeneas Free Persons of Color Forum

Re: True Origins of the fpoc of Appalachia

There are many reasons people change their identities. Human beings have been doing this for ages. Some do it for protection and survival. Examples would be Jews passing as Germans in order to escape the Holocaust. Other folks pretending to be of a different religion to prevent persecution. I have relatives from the past who "passed" for white in order to get better opportunities and quality of life they lacked if they were to remain a "black". People pass all the time.

Who we are and our identities are not permanent. I've read of Europeans and Africans go "Native" after being adopted and accepted by Native Americans. So, I don't see what their ancestors did in a negative light because during that time,[in the 1800s and upwards], it was difficult to be a free Black in the slave-holding South[save Louisiana which was a different world with the Louisiana Creoles]. They had an appearance that was perceived as "non-white", but odd enough for them to claim some exotic origin.

So an identity that was fabricated out of a desire to protect themselves from discrimination and racism BECAME an identity for future generations of people that did not mention being of mixed African ancestry.

But of course that was the past, and knowing the truth about your origins is liberating. It doesn't make them "black" if they have African ancestry anyway. Especially if it was so distant. One's identity shouldn't come from ancestry anyways.

But the idiotic hypo descent rule of Blackness is another topic for another day.

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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