Americans are a single race of people whose members may be red or yellow, black or white.
The essays in this book involve racial issues. Many of them were previously published on a blog I had on the London Telegraph before the reader blog feature was discontinued. The most important theme is the fact that Americans are not divided into different "races" by color. Americans are a single race whose individual members may be red or yellow, black or white. Each essay reflects the information I had at the time I wrote it and I'm not going to edit them so they are in agreement. The more recent essays will usually be first because they deal with more current issues.
The dark complexioned descendants of slaves are not some lost tribe of Africans living in America as the term "African-Americans" implies. On average they are more qualified to be called Americans than white Americans. The first Africans arrived at the British settlement at Jamestown in 1619. The African ancestors of slaves virtually all arrived in the United States before 1808. Most arrived before the American Revolution. A significant portion of the white population arrived after the Civil War.
The first documented union of an African and a North American occurred in Spain's Florida colony in 1525. Spanish men and Frenchmen often arrived in North America without wives. They had to mate with either North American women or the African slaves.
The mixing of the different populations in the British colonies began at Jamestown. In the early years of the Virginia colony people sometimes had to marry across the black, red and white color lines because the small population meant there often weren't an equal number of men and women within the different color groups. The marriage of an African named John Punch to a white woman in Virginia in 1636 wasn't the first such union, but genealogists have been able to trace the descendants of the union to the 20th Century. Dark complexioned descendants include Nobel Prize winning diplomat Ralph Bunche. White descendants include Stanley Ann Dunham, the mother of President Barack Obama.
Initially slaves in the British North American colonies were indentured servants who served as slaves as a means of paying off a debt such as paying for the cost to come to North America. When the first Africans arrived in1619 they became indentured servants. When Parliament authorized Africans [who were presumed to be non-Christian] to be held as permanent slaves the law said that a child's status as slave or free would be the same as the mother's status. The law said that light skinned children of slave mothers would be indentured servants and dark skinned children would be permanent slaves. Some slave owners increased the number of permanent slaves by having their white female [primarily Irish] slaves mate with their African male slaves. The white male slaves then mated with the African female slaves. This practice produced a substantial Afro-Irish slave population. During the 17th Century a substantial portion of the Irish population was sent to North America and the islands as temporary slaves called indentured servants so the English could take Irish land.
Virginia enacted laws to prevent free white women from having sexual relations with black men to prevent the birth of free black babies. Virginia wasn't concerned about sex across the color line if the woman was a slave or black. The practice of white men having sex with black women continued through the Jim Crow era. In the south in the Jim Crow era a white man could rape a black woman without fear of prosecution.
By the American Revolution descendants of the early unions between Europeans and Africans had begun passing for white. By 1800 some slaves were white. President Thomas Jefferson's second wife was a slave who was also his sister in law. Sally Hemmings was the daughter of the union of Jefferson's father-in-law John Wayles and a slave. After three free wives died, Wayles chose a slave to be his concubine. Hemmings was described as white with long straight hair. Just before the Civil War abolitionists encouraged some escaped slaves to produce autobiographies. Some of these narratives mentioned white slaves. During the Civil War an early photo showing a family of slaves who were white reached the north and was used to encourage support for the war.
Barack Obama was the first president with a dark complexion, but not the first president with African ancestry. President Warren G. Harding acknowledged that one of his ancestors might have jumped the fence. Contemporaries of Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson and Abraham Lincoln believed each had an African ancestor whose identity might have been misrepresented. With no fingerprints or photos. a person traveling from one place to another might have been able to assume the identity of a person who died.
#3. African American Is a Segregationist Term
ID #892803 entered on September 23, 2016 at 4:53pm
#2. How God Ended North American Slavery
ID #892800 entered on September 23, 2016 at 4:15pm
#1. Truth About Slavery
ID #891894 entered on September 9, 2016 at 10:35pm