AfriGeneas Free Persons of Color Forum
In Response To: Re: Indian? ()
this might be off the topic,,but as far as indian ancestry.. there were a bunch of laws passed in those days... especially Virginia that sometimes labeled people with native american blood as "mulatto" "free people of color" and even "negro". Sometimes an individual with no african ancestry was listed as being "mulatto". This might explain the changes in the racial designations of the same person changing over time. A "mulatto" in say 1708 did not necessarly have the same meaning in say 1865. You have to remember that the dominant society defined the non-white population in a way that beneficting them and maintained the social structure. A lot of times native american ancestry is made invisible when people define them as being "mulatto", "negro" or "free person of color". There is this professor in California(who is a distant cousin of mine) is researching the invisiblity native american ancestry of the louisiana creole population and how native americans are marginilized between the usual discussions of black and white in america. I have researched on an early group of free blacks who originated in the 18th century southwest louisiana(some of them were my relatives). Some of them were native american. These newly freed slaves intermixed with native americans, free and enslaved blacks, free people of mixed-race, and europeons over the generations. I've seen one branch descending from the marriage between a freed african slave and his native american wife become native american over generations. Others assimiliated into the gens de coleur population, some became a part of the free black or emanicapted black populations, finally others assimilated into the white louisiana population. So, i take racial designations like "mulatto" or "negro" with a grain of salt. I've seen my ggg grandfather defined as "white", "mulatto" and "black" in three different census years. And i dont believe in imposed 21st century terminology like "african-americans" on an 18th century population of multi-racial people who did not define themselves as such and had the society consider them as much. Just my comment.
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