|Articles, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, Passing, United States on 2015-10-05 15:41Z by Steven|
Wilmington, North Carolina
Dolezal was accused of being a white person trying to pass as a black person. She stepped down as head of the NAACP’s chapter in Spokane.
Ironically, Americans of mixed heritage who appeared to be white in past centuries could gain better socio-economic opportunities by relocating to regions far from relatives known to be part African or Native American.
Unlike Dolezal, they preferred the advantages of being classified as white.
A different term, “mulatto,” defined those of mixed race, often with one white and one black parent.
If it were known, one drop of Indian or African blood in a family line could propel an individual or group of people into a lifetime of forced segregation and disadvantages in a minority community.
Having pale African-American skin could have provided advantages or separations from other black people, according to a 1930s Federal Writers’ Project.
A Wilmington man known as “Uncle Jackson,” born in 1851 and interviewed for the New Deal writers’ project, reported that there were lots of “mulatto Negros” in this region. Having a father who was part Indian and a mother who was considered mulatto, Jackson said he was not allowed to even play with “common chil’en,” white or colored.
Bygone cultural identity practices in 20th century Wilmington resulted in notable memories from descendants of mixed-race families…
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