For black Americans, multi-racialism is not new

For black Americans, multi-racialism is not new

The Daily Voice

Sitafa Harden

Clearly President-elect Barack Obama, the son of a white American mother and a black Kenyan father, is multi-racial. The only question is what’s so new about that?

In a recent article, AP race and ethnicity writer Jesse Washington explored the issue of multi-racialism brought to a head by this year’s presidential election.
He wrote, “The candidate Obama, in achieving what many thought impossible, was treated differently from previous black generations. And many white and mixed-race people now view President-elect Obama as something other than black.”
But the story of the existence of multi-racial Americans is a story as old as the country itself.  The saga is particularly poignant for black Americans whose mixed-race heritage often harkens back to slavery times…

…”Today, the spectrum of skin tones among African-Americans—even those with two black parents—is evidence of widespread white ancestry. Also, since blacks were sometimes light enough to pass for white, unknown numbers of white Americans today have blacks hidden in their family trees,” Washington acknowledged.
My own family is no exception. My great-grandmother Flora was born to a black mother and a Cherokee Native American father.  My great-grandfather’s mom was also black. His father was white.
So far I could check at least three boxes on a U.S. Census form.  And that’s just based on the three generations of family history I know about. The injustices of slavery obliterated the rest…

Read the entire article here.

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