Posts Tagged ‘melting pot’

Those Who Want to Live Only With Whites Should Go Back to Ancestors’ Homelands

August 20, 2017

This post is a partial summary of the preceding post which contains links for some of the information.

The white person’s continent is Europe, not American. North America has been a melting pot since the Spanish arrived 500 years ago with African slaves whom they sometimes mated with. The first documented marriage of an African to a North American occurred in Florida in 1525.

In British North America the “melting pot” began a century later at Jamestown. The small populations in the early Virginia communities meant that people often had to marry across the black, white and red color lines. The 1636 marriage of an African man named John Punch to a white woman [who was probably an Irish indentured servant] was not the first such union, but it is one whose descendants have been traced to the 20th Century. Diplomat Dr. Ralph Bunche was one of the dark-complexioned descendants. A Kansas woman named Stanley Ann Dunham [the mother of President Barack Obama]
was one of the white descendants. Dunham like the vast majority of Americans with African ancestry didn’t know she had an African ancestor.

Later the introduction of permanent slavery included two laws which initially accelerated the mixing of African and European DNA. A child’s status as slave or free was determined by the mother’s status as slave [including indentured servants] or free. If the child was black it would be a permanent slave. White children would be indentured servants. Some slave owners increased the number of permanent slaves by requiring white female indentured servants to mate with black males.

Subsequent laws prohibiting sex across the color line were generally ignored if the woman was black. The primary purpose of such laws was to prevent free white women from having black babies who wouldn’t be slaves.

By 1776 some of the descendants of such “mixed” marriages were able to pass for white especially if they moved to a new location and changed their names. Some claimed they had North American or Mediterranean ancestry. The presence of the albino gene in the African genome could have helped some become white. Most probably didn’t tell their children about their ancestry.

During the slavery era some slave owners, including President Thomas Jefferson and his father in law, had slave “wives” called “concubines. Jefferson’s concubine, Sally Hemmings was described as white with long straight hair. The children of Jefferson’s concubine were eventually freed, left Virginia and passed for white.

As the southern urban population began increasing in the early 19th Century, some slave owners bred light skinned women [fancy slaves] for the sex trade. The end of slavery allowed some of these women along with other light skinned former slaves to pass for white. Prostitution provided an economic opportunity for young black women with a resulting increase in light skinned children who could eventually pass for white.

Many whites who checked their ancestry after the broadcast of Alex Haley’s “Roots” were surprised to find that an ancestor who had served in the military had the letter “c” after his name for “colored”.

Barack Obama was the first dark complexion president, but he wasn’t the first president to acknowledge African ancestry. President Warren G.Harding said one of his ancestors might have “jumped the fence”. There is speculation that five other presidents might have had African ancestry: Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson Abraham Lincoln, Calvin Coolidge, and Dwight Eisenhower. It would be difficult to prove or disprove such claims.

Most parents with North American ancestry probably did not pass along the information.

Most of us who consider ourselves white who have some ancestors who arrived five or more generations probably have at least one ancestor who was North American or African. At five generations in the past you can have 32 different ancestors. I know I have a North American ancestor and suspect I have an African ancestor.