Rutherford’s Bill Galloway reflects on genealogy, racial history

Posted in Articles, History, Media Archive, Passing, United States on 2014-03-10 05:49Z by Steven

Rutherford’s Bill Galloway reflects on genealogy, racial history
Woodland Park, New Jersey
Thursday, 2014-02-20

Kelly Nicholaides

Bill Galloway, a resident with roots that go back to the 1920s in Rutherford, is proud of both his black roots and the “miscegenation” of his family. The longtime-Rutherford resident’s ancestors built a solid foundation with a focus on education and work ethic in a fully integrated school system since the 1920s. The family built relationships with individuals of all backgrounds, and made lasting connections that cemented their success as community leaders.

A pharmacist who still works full-time, Galloway, 85, reflected on his genealogy as well as the evolution of the concept of race, and notes that his family has a long history of bi-racial roots on both maternal and paternal sides. Regardless, Galloway notes that even if one doesn’t appear black, any black individuals in one’s ancestry technically makes someone black. Part-African-American, part-Scottish and British, with a bit of Native American, Pacific Islander on his paternal side, Galloway, eschews the term African-American. Additionally, he does not differentiate between ethnicity, which relies on DNA, and race, which applies to physical attributes.

“First it was colored, then Negro, then black, and now African American. Yet all of us came from mixed race families, when you think about it. I’m the darkest in my family,” Galloway reflects. “The black race is everything from jet black to pure white. If you have even just a little black in you, even if you don’t appear black, you’re still black. Race has nothing to do with color of your skin. Race is what’s in your DNA.”…

…”Back in those days, and since the miscegenation of the 1860s, black woman had babies by slave owners, and there were thousands during the Civil War. Around 1900, white women were fined if they had a bi-racial baby,” Galloway says. “Back then, people who got tired of discrimination got rid of their birth certificates, came up north here and 100 miles around, and passed as white people. They took Bibles and put in their birth dates and new names. The Bible was accepted as ID,” Galloway explains…

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