THE ONE DROP RULE: WHERE IS THE KING LEGACY?
What a legacy Dr. King has gifted to us?! But let’s be real about the obstacles we still face. Racism is alive and well. Not only is it alive, but it’s an Equal Opportunity Employer. How ironic?!! The very thing that divides us is the common denominator for us all.
I wish I could say that we are only judged by the “content of our character”, but that would be untrue. If only I could wave a magic wand and the hurt and pain of this injustice would be gone. How long? Too long. Remembering Sam Cooke; a change gonna come.
I was looking at a preview of a report on CNN. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to see the report. What stuck in my mind is that I had written a post on my Facebook wall about how I’d lost contact with so many of my relatives and ancestry because of that “One Drop Rule.” Many had made a conscious decision to pass for white. I have many cousins and family members I’ve recently connected with on both sides of my family. Like you; most of my family has a varied ethnicity. There is a term used in Black culture denoting a person of mixed ancestry; mulatto. As Black Americans (sounds like a misnomer) we have been brain-washed to believe that lighter is better. We may be chanting, “I’m Black and I’m proud!”(In my James Brown voice.), but the reality is somewhat askew.
Due to slavery and mixing of the races; there were generations of slaves who were the Master’s children. They were passed as white or at the very least given the privilege of being a “house-negro.” A history we don’t like to speak of. Black berry, molasses, chocolate, mocha, caramel, cocoa……sounds like I’m describing something sweet, but I’m trying to paint a picture of how many different shades of Black there are.
One Drop Rule: Simply stated, was a law actually adopted in the early 1900’s by several states that said if you had one drop of Black blood in your body you were considered Black. Think of the ramifications. What was my great great-grandfather thinking when he married his French sweetheart and brought her back to Texas?
There have been times I asked, “Is so and so white?” including my own Father. It wasn’t a racist thing. I just really didn’t know. As a little girl I would hear my Great-Uncle Earl tell stories about using his color to help his friends. All his sisters decided to pass and disassociate themselves with the family; except my Great-Grandmother. Her husband was dark as night. Imagine the contrast. Uncle Earl told me that his friends weren’t allowed to get gas for their cars. He would take their cars and get the gasoline. I don’t know where he was, but he was on a train and the section for “Coloreds” was full. He said the “White” section was virtually empty. He made a ruckus and told the engineer, “Let these niggers on the train!” The engineer in turn told him that he didn’t want to be responsible so he would be held responsible for all the niggers. After all the people were on my Uncle quietly told them, “I’m one of you!”
Moses led his people out of Egypt and out of slavery. Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation in 1865. Dr. King and countless others forged ahead through the Civil Rights Movement. What would King have thought to have seen President Obama elected?
Attached are some pictures for the http://1nedrop.com website. Please support the cause and press “Like” on their Facebook page. So close and yet so far; if we don’t tell our story who will?