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AfriGeneas Free Persons of Color Forum

Re: FPOC - Here Comes De Judge!

Hello Barbara,

I suggest you read the literature that points to the contrary - not necessarily about passing per se but about your second premise dealing with ideas of superiority.

There are quite an number of in depth studies of the subtle relationships between color, class, and caste around - this is actually the topic of my dissertation research. I'd be happy to provide you with some suggested readings.

That is not to say that all AA's of lighter hue look down on, or feel superior to their darker brethren - but there has been a systematic process of socialization over time, within the AA community dating back to pre-emancipation, that has reinforced these divisions and ideologies - distasteful though they may be to us all.

Like K said in another post - we need to take an objective approach to our research and accept our people - warts and all. And this "color consciousness" is much more than a wart - it's a big ugly stain that has marred the interpersonal relationships within our own community for a very long time - and I am sorry to say - has not been eradicated - even today.

FPOC organized societies - during the slave period - like the Browns - in Charleston - which excluded many who couldn't pass the skin tone test.

Read Willard Gatewoods recent work on "Aristocrats of Color: the Black Elite 1880 - 1920" which though it is post slavery in it's focus, points to the roots that developed during the slave period.

I will fish around on my hard drive and post other books dealing with this subject, when I can lay my hands on the bibliography.

And this subject is germane to our study since it has its roots in the subtle divisions between slave and free in not only the US but for those who are researching ancestors in the Caribbean.


18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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