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AfriGeneas Free Persons of Color Forum

Re: Inquiry on the Color Line
In Response To: Re: Inquiry on the Color Line ()

I've had the pleasure of mtg Daniel after a posting here last year about my article a number of years ago for the Baton Rouge Advocate, & I have found this exchange to be of great import & enlightenment. I would like to propose a discussion point. I'm genuinely interested in hearing other opinions.

If a family is of mixed heritage, black & white, & they are both light enough to be considered white in some communities, & dark enough to be accepted as black in other communities -- why do we say they are "passing" in either instance? Are they not both black AND white? If they have passed for, say, employment reasons, why is it considered proper for them to go home & "live as the black woman [or man] they truly are?" Or be better for them to "become white" when it's societally/financially easier to do so?

I truly would like to understand. It's my sense that this is often where, at worst, racism begins &, at best, why The Color Line darkens, w/little hope ever of being erased. I believe it's a human need to be able to identify w/a community, & this may be a large part of the issue. Yet by forcing ourselves to "pick one," ultimately eradicating the other side of an encompassing heritage, we separate ourselves even further from any possibility of gaining the understanding needed to come together -- for our own good, our family's good, & the greater good of the human condition.

Lest I'm accused of not understanding what it's like to live in any other world than that which I've lived all my life, I'll be the 1st to say: that's true. I don't. Certainly not in the way of someone who has lived in a more oppressed world. But, then again, I'll never get the chance to understand, & share, & personally, deeply care if I have no opportunity to get close enough to learn . . . because of the deep divide caused by the support, & lifting-up, of that still very real Color Line.

I invite anyone who's interested in sharing frienldy, enlightening discussion to respond to my sincere cyber-hand of communication. Let's share our worlds, our Color Lines, to see if we can somehow become multi-racial, multi-cultural, & not ALWAYS one or the other.

Blessings -- Linda Alexander


18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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