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AfriGeneas Slave Research Forum

Re: We know why they removed the list!


A reading of all the postings in this thread, starting with mine of May 3, 2003, indicates the Bowen report was removed because it was not true. The writer had made a major mistaken assumption which was clearly proven to be false. That is was mistaken has been acknowledged by scholarly researchers, both black and white.

It is certain that many Americans have mixed racial ancestry dating back to the days of slavery. That some mixed race persons, in order to avoid consequences of racial prejudice, “passed” for white is a reality. Some descendants of “passers” may be knowingly hiding the facts, but many more are probably honestly unaware.

Many Americans who have direct or collateral black ancestors are not aware of it, sometimes because of a “coverup”somewhere along the way, but more often simply because the family history in general has not been passed down. It is common here at AfriGeneas to see descendants of slaves posting about finding their white ancestors from the days of slavery. What is less common, not just at AfriGeneas but also at other genealogical sites, is to find postings by whites who have just discovered they have direct black ancestors, or even that they have black collateral ancestors. Giving up even a small part of “white privilege” is something whites are reluctant to do. I just read again the 1947 novel “Kingsblood Royal” by Sinclair Lewis, wherein a white man embarks on a brief genealogical search to appease his father who believes they are related to royalty, and instead finds they are descendants of a black frontier pioneer. This novel still has much worthwhile to say about white privilege and racial prejudice and is worth reading.

My original posting has received almost 500 views, which is unfortunate publicity for erroneous research. While it is encouraging to see so much interest in the subject of mixed race Americans, I would like to see more initiative taken by white Americans to inquire into the possibility they have mixed racial ancestry, direct or collateral, and to publicize the results. I have touched on this in some of the materials I have posted at various places on the Web, but some day I would like to do more, perhaps starting a web site directly for this purpose.

So Nicola, you are correct that there is a coverup, some forgotten and some continuing, but the elimination of the erroneous Bowen paper is not a part of that.

Tom Blake

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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