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AfriGeneas Slave Research Forum

Re: "Free White Mulattoes" in 1860

I believe the sociocultural development of North America relative to race and cultural influence is more complex than what we have been conditioned to believe. American history is a history that is overly simplified, too often mythologized, and full of omissions for the convenience of the average American and public schooling.

In this particular case, though the enumerator may have attempted to, as he proposed, correctly define the, as before denoted “whites” of Marshall County as actually being “free persons of color” as you implied through subjecting them to the “one-drop rule of hypodescent”, it is clear they who were enumerated, many being slave-owners, championed their hyperdescent and succeeded all of their lives in being defined as the “free white citizens” of Marshall County, Mississippi.

I believe historically, there were many intentional enclaves that were populated with clannish tri-racial isolates that have yet to be explored outside of those such as the Ramapo Mountain people, Melungeons, and Louisiana Creoles.

And still today, the origins of some of these peoples is still hotly debated and their histories are shrouded in mystery.

Most social anthropology relative to Diasporic African Americans (and tri-racial isolates) focuses on the broad influences that have developed our people and cultures because of our diverse racial backgrounds, a miscegenation which began for the most part through subjugation in the New World. But the making of “white people” as a social construct is still a subject that is yet to be extensively and properly explored, and a social construct to be challenged for its veracity.

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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