Black People : The stigma of being mixed race in South Africa!

Discussion in 'Black People Open Forum' started by panafrica, Mar 3, 2005.

  1. panafrica

    panafrica Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    The topic of mullatoes or mixed race individuals has come up on several occasions in threads. I found an interesting article about a bi-racial South African boy, who tried to pass himself off as white. It shows an interesting perspective on what bi-racials have to deal with in their attempts to find their identity between two communities:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/4304543.stm
     
  2. panafrica

    panafrica Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    There is one paragraph in this article which I found to be particularly interesting:

    While the US doesn't have a "test of the comb" many of us still judge blackness based on skin tone only. Thus much like in South Africa many of us continue to view people within the same family as less "Black/African" than their siblings/parents based on how dark or light they are (even though they share the same genetic heritage). I find this comparison fascinating, because light skinned blacks are often compared to mulattoes, when in reality the two are not the same. The immediate connection is a similarity in appearance (although I have seen people of mixed race who are very dark). However despite similarities in appearance, the majority of light skinned blacks do not have immediate white blood in their families. As a result they do not have the identity crisis which is common with people of direct inter-racial parentage (white father/black mother or black father/white mother). Indeed the majority of light blacks are proud of their African heritage, and feel no ties to other communities (as they shouldn't). One has to wonder when it comes to blackness, which is more important: Appearence or Identity?
     
  3. HODEE

    HODEE Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    " Happy was well aware that whites seemed to lead a much better life than the majority of blacks. "

    Happy's perpective wasn't wrong. What he saw was the case.

    This made me think of that movie. " Imitation to Life. " Where a black mother had a mulatto daughter. She didn't like being black, because the white kids seemed to have more were able to do more and was treated better. Her mother worked for this white woman, helped launch the Aunt Jemima pancake franchise and died of heart break. Never hearing her child say she was sorry. It's a tear jerker of a movie, when Mahalia Jackson starts singing in the end. My sisters would watch this movie and go thru a box of kleenex each.

    I have a few letters and clippings of such a situation. This white man, was shuttled thru life, on a word. The letters say he is a good man. The letters helped him in emloyment, in the military and in life. He had no special talents presented. No special education level obtained. The doors were swung open wide the road made smooth for this young man.

    I think about some of my wifes cousins of mixed marriages. I hope they can find peace in their identity. One needs individuality, uniqueness. It is impossible to remove personality. One can work on changing it, but the truth will seep out.

    It would be hard on the psyche to play another, and be found out later to be faking the role.
     
  4. Akilah

    Akilah Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    I think what's most important is IDENTITY... no matter if you are mixed race, biracial or "fully" black... because as we all know Afrikan Americans are basically a mixed race people due to the effects of slavery... either forceably with rape by the plantation owner and his sons and male relatives (even after slavery was officially over) or by intermarriage with Native Americans and sympathetic whites (quakers,shakers,abolitionists etc..) Even though there are skin color variations amongst Continental Afrikans , the differences in skin tone, hair color, hair texture, eye color etc amongst New World Afrikans is VAST and should in no way be a gauge of "blackness"

    Many
    Blessings!
    Akilah :spinstar:
     
  5. panafrica

    panafrica Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Well said sister Akilah!
     
  6. Akilah

    Akilah Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    :thanks:Brutha PanAfrica !
     
  7. Sun Ship

    Sun Ship Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    One of the deepest African centered sisters I know, both culturally and politically, so happens to be of “mixed race” white/black parentage. She has been more consistent with her politics and cultural identity, than most African centered people I know, who happen to have two Black parents.

    The broader issue of Blacks mixing with Whites is one subject, but once a mixed child is born, nurture usually overrides nature, depending on that child’s experiences over a lifetime. And once they are grown, they are just as responsible for their choices, just like people who have both Black parents. I think it is really two different subjects.

    As far as identity crisis…most “Blue-vein” only social clubs, churches and other organizations were not dominated by people born of a bi-racial relationship, they were usually very light-skinned Blacks, many times with Caucasian features who descended from some distant bi-racial relationship. They kept their noticeable bi-racial features by intermarrying exclusively among themselves, from one generation to another.

    We didn’t have the comb test in the U.S., but light-skinned African Americans did have the paper bag test, other words if you were lighter than a paper bag than you were acceptable… But hair has always played a major role as far as what was better or not (“good hair” =straight/curly, as appose to “bad hair” = nappy/kinky”)

    Hair texture distinction has played a role internationally, because if you can’t change your skin color, you can definitely straighten you hair.

    Just look at how most African Americans make their observations about other groups of people and how these people view themselves. There are many people in the world, especially throughout southern Asia and other places, who look phenotypically African, except for hair texture. And just because of that one feature alone, they are not considered part of the broader Black African family. Matter of fact, I don’t know of any groups that have straight hair that are considered part of a larger racial/societal group that includes sub-Saharan Africans. Most Black people, throughout the world, are grouped in tight exclusive anthropological categories (divide and conqueror). The slightest difference makes the European scientist divide us.

    Like I have always said, Caucasians are always looking for and find similarities to make their group more solidified and larger. And are always finding ways to differentiate Black people and splitter us into sub-categories with no collective similarities to explore or worth mentioning, and the bad part about it is, we fall for it. That is why some Blacks and African-Latinos (like Puerto Ricans) in some cities, where they are so close, they almost breathe the same breath of air, still try to define themselves as almost literally different races. Look how we have debated and fought with each other over race and culture, right here at Destee.com

    Whites of different languages, cultures and even complexions, do not have this problem. It seems that almost everyone is happy to be white, if they can make it.
     
  8. African_Prince

    African_Prince Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    My best friend growing up was 'colored' from Zimbabwe. They ate African foods and are Africans as far as I'm concerned, I remember reading that apparently some 'coloreds' from SA now just consider themselves Black South Africans. My mom was telling her friend that during the 'colonial days' her mom was only allowed a borth certificate because she was mixed (Scottish/African ). I also remember reading how the different colonial masters had different styles and that Purtugals intention in Angola was that the European colonialists totaly mix with the African population ( only White men/African women of course, not vice versa) and create a new 'mullattoe' people who would be granted citizenship and the vote but only them and Whites, not pure/primarily Africans ( that may have sounded stupid but that's what I read ). I think there's a difference between being mixed directly ( one Black parent/one White parent ) and being 'colored' which refers to a specific group of mixed descent ( a White man took an African woman and they had bi-racial kids who instead of marrying Black or White married other mixed people and so on and on for generations) also most 'colored' people from Africa I've seen tend to lean more to a redbonish/light brown complexion, than a steady caramel or medium brown complexion like Halle Berry's or Boris Kodjoes.

    " I find this comparison fascinating, because light skinned blacks are often compared to mulattoes, when in reality the two are not the same. The immediate connection is a similarity in appearance (although I have seen people of mixed race who are very dark). However despite similarities in appearance, the majority of light skinned blacks do not have immediate white blood in their families."

    I agree. Steve Harvey and Halle Berry may be around the same complexion, but Steve Harvey, irrespective of any White/Native American blood he probably has, is primarily African descended and Halle Berry is bi-racial as in one Black, one White parent.

    "Indeed the majority of light blacks are proud of their African heritage, and feel no ties to other communities (as they shouldn't)."

    To be honest, I don't think most Black Americans, light or dark, are proud of or feel any connection to Africa or Africans.

    "One has to wonder when it comes to blackness, which is more important: Appearence or Identity?"

    Identity. Which is why I disagree with the one drop rule, if a Jamaican man married an Irish woman and they had a daughter together, she may look like another light skinned Black person but ethnically she is half Jamaican/half Irish and can claim both cultures as a part of her heritage, no different than a half Nigerian/ half Jamaican or a half Irish/half Italian person.
     
  9. panafrica

    panafrica Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Unfortunately there might be some truth there African_Prince. What I should have said is that most Lightskinned Black Americans are proud to be members of the black race.
     
  10. panafrica

    panafrica Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    I know that this occured; however, I would strongly argue that this was the exception rather than the rule. I would also argue that it is a relic of the past, although I'm sure some still continue this practice.
     
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