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AfriGeneas Free Persons of Color Forum

Re: Who were Free People of Color?

Louis,

The key phrase in your comment is "independant of skin color". In our race-obsessed society modern investigators have completely missed this point in the rush to define surviving close-kinship ethnic communities by skin color or the lack thereof.

For decades the academic effort has obscured the origin and identity of colonial ethnic communities by ignoring ethnic identities in favor of the white-promoted concept of race. Here the white standard of race is sharply at odds with the historical record of ethnic communities.

I am reminded of the French-descended people of the Virgin Islands, who are still called "Frenchies", independent of skin color, or the Indian people of the former Portuguese colony of Goa, who to this day are known as Portuguese. These are ethnic communities, of all skin colors, who maintain their ethnic identity regardless of race labels.

This is no less true in our country. The ignorance exibited by academics in this area is pervasive to the extent that one is led to question whether the academic community is innocently ignorant or actively resentful of the survival of colonial ethnic communities into the 21st century.

My personal preference is for an intelligent examination of the historical record as opposed to a "preferred history", painted with the tar-brush of race.

James Nickens

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18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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