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AfriGeneas Free Persons of Color Forum

Re: Who were Free People of Color?

Thanks ET for your response:

I posed this question many years ago because I suspected that my research of my free ancestors of color HAD TO DIFFER FROM OTHER PERSON'S ANCESTORS. My Spanish Creole ancestors from Florida, Alabama and Louisiana and my Charleston free ancestors differed in how they obtained their freedom.

Certainly this string of responses has educated me and the AfriGeneas family; that the origin of Free People of Color in the Americas followed no rigid rule. The history of Free People of Color broke all stereotypic rules. Skin Color WAS NOT a prerequisite for freedom. Nor was any specific region. The tired Louisiana Creole stereotype of offspring from a rich French planter and a woman of color is supplanted by the sterling research posted on the AfriGeneas Free Persons of Color Forum.

But if we must dwell on the Free People of Color who were mixed race:

My goodness, Forum Manager Paul Heinnegg’s landmark study adds a different history to the offspring of white women and black men from Virginia, the Carolinas, etc. His research is just a click away from this Forum.

AfriGeneas interviewed Dr. Jane Landers "Black Society in Spanish Florida." Her study of Prince Witten, an African from Guinea reminds us that African born men and women were sophisticated beings who knew how to manipulate a racist system to gain their freedom.

Please click on the link below to read Witten's brief biography and a copy of his petition to grant land to him and other Blacks.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/aia/part2/2h56.html

Closer to home and the AfriGeneas family is the history of Art Thomas' family. His ancestors' journey to freedom became an international incident during the French and Indian War.

So please everyone, search the Free People of Color forum to find a wealth of research on a history of Africans in the Americas that will never be defined by one description or rule.

K Wyer Lane

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18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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