Visibly white but legally designated as black, my mother did what the 1924 Virginia state law, the Act to Preserve Racial Integrity, was determined to prevent.

Visibly white but legally designated as black, my mother did what the 1924 Virginia state law, the Act to Preserve Racial Integrity, was determined to prevent. In an effort to preserve the “purity” of the white race, this law enshrined the one-drop rule, legally designating anyone with even one drop of African blood as black. A eugenicist at the time expressed the fear emblazoned in the law: “Many thousands of white Negros … were quietly and persistently passing over the line.” My mother was one of them.

Gail Lukasik, “My mother passed for white for most of her life. Here’s what that taught me about racial identity.” Mic, September 12, 2017. https://mic.com/articles/184393/my-mother-passed-for-white-for-most-of-her-life-heres-what-that-taught-me-about-racial-identity.

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