Descendents of slaves are regular Americans not Africans
|The biggest impediment to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s, dream of a society in which color is not considered important is the continued used of the extremely racist term "African-American". The term implies the descendants of slaves are a separate race whose members belong in Africa rather than the United States even though many have ancestors who were living in North America long before the American Revolution.
The term "African American" arbitrarily segregates people by skin color. The term treats people with dark complexions as if they only had African ancestors even if more of their ancestors came from somewhere else. For example, sportscasters call Asian ancestry golfer Tiger Woods "African American" even though his mother is Asian and his father had Asian and North American ancestors as well as African ancestors.
The only inherent difference between black and white Americans is a half dozen genes that control skin color. A person can have a dark complexion even though a majority of skin color genes come from European ancestors because the genes that code for dark complexion are dominant and only a couple are needed for a relatively dark complexion. One of the genes that codes for a dark complexion is common among peoples of North America and Asia as well as Africa
North American residents have been having sex across the color line since the first African slaves had sexual relationships with their Spanish masters in the 16th Century Spanish colonies located in what are now Florida, Georgia and South Carolina. Sexual relations occurred with the North American peoples who lived in the vicinity of plantations for the first two hundred years of American slavery and accepted runaway slaves into their villages.
Initially slaves in the British colonies were indentured servants who only had to serve as slaves for a few years. Most early slaves were from the British isles, especially Ireland where the English were anxious to take ownership of Irish lands. Initially the more expensive African slaves were also treated as indentured servants.
By the mid 17th Century slave owners decided to turn the dark skinned slaves into permanent slaves with white slaves continuing to be indentured servants. To increase the number of permanent slaves some slave owners required white female slaves to mate with African male slaves so that the resulting dark skinned babies could be kept as permanent slaves. Laws adopted during the period preventing sex across the color line were primarily intended to keep free whites from having dark skinned babies who would have been born free rather than slave
Virtually all the African ancestors of slaves arrived before Congress outlawed importation of Africans in 1808. Only about 500,000 Africans were imported into North America which means that virtually all slaves were born in North America to parents of mixed ancestry; .
The slave genome continued to receive new DNA from plantation owners and overseers until slavery was ended. In slave societies it is common for men of the master class to have sex with women of the slave class. The most prominent example of this practice in the United States was the relationship between President Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings.
Southern laws prohibiting sex across the color line continued to be ignored if the female was black such as in the case of the mother of Sen. Strom Thurmond's black daughter. Dr. King is known to have had a white male ancestor who provided his "Y" chromosome. As recently as the early 1960's, young southern white women were told that boy friends who received passionate good night kisses might seek sexual satisfaction in the black community. White men could rape black women without fear of prosecution until the 1960's.
Sex across the color line has increased since the 1960's because of acceptance of relationships between white women and black men.
It's likely that some children of mixed ancestry were passing for white by the early 18th Century. Many whites who researched their ancestry after the "Roots" television series were surprised to find ancestors whose military records included the letter "C" after the name for "Colored". President Warren G. Harding acknowledged he had some black ancestors. It is very likely that President Abraham Lincoln got his dark curly hair from a black ancestor. Many of his contemporaries believed he had slave ancestors.
It's time we Americans recognize that America is not the home of a black race and a white race, but instead is the home of a single race whose ancestors were red and yellow, black and white.
The Impressions lamented in their song "This is My Country" --
"Some people think we don't have the right
To say its my country
Before they give in, they'd rather fuss and fight
Than say its my country"
It's time we started allowing the descendants of slaves to call America, rather than Africa their country. If light skinned Americans whose ancestors all arrived after the Civil War can call themselves 100% Americans, why must dark skinned Americans whose ancestors may have arrived before the American Revolution be treated as part American and part something else. Many slaves earned their freedom by helping to defeat the British during the Revolution.