AfriGeneas World Research Forum
Re: Mixed Race Families
In Response To: Mixed Race Families ()
I think it is a failure of our system that the author of the article is still using the one drop rule and labelling Jefferson's children "black".
He says "Jefferson's favoritism, however, did not include affection. Jefferson's black children, who seem never to have received so much as an embrace or a peck on the cheek, watched in what must have been painful silence as the great man doted on his white grandchildren."
Earlier he had pointed out that Sally Hemmings was probably 3/4 white "one of several children born to a mixed-race slave named Betty Hemings and a white lawyer and businessman named John Wayles - the father of Thomas Jefferson's wife, Martha"
The children she had with Jefferson would be at least 3/4 if not 7/8 white. Slave born and in a peculiar situation, for certain, but with as much and more claim to European ancestry as African. The "one drop rule" of the time certainly categorized them as black, or at least certainly, not white. Surely they lived better than the majority of the population of the time.
When will we acknowledge the complexity of individual's ancestry but categorize them as mixed or just American?