I’m writing/editing a source book on the history of mulattoes in the United States and colorism in contemporary society. My goal is to provide students, social scientists, researchers, authors, historians and scholars with current scholarship in the field of Critical Mixed Race Studies.
I welcome discussion here and contributions to the Project. I have tentatively titled the book, Lies My Grandparents Taught Me: Multigenerational Mulattoes Before and After DNA Testing, Say Good Night to Mr. Bowes or The Mulatto Project.
My research begins before “The Conquest” with the origins, nature of race and racism in the Anglo Saxon world of the 15th century. African slavery and miscegenation, colonial slave laws. Colonial slave trade, and the Restoration, Anglo Saxon slavery in the former Spanish and French colonies in the Caribbean in comparison with mainland colonies and evolution of the antebellum plantation system. American slavery post independence, the “creation of a new people, mulattoes”, the slave trade after 1808 and the end of the Atlantic trade. By 1860 Africans in the slave states had greater value than all the land that they worked. Miscegenation and plantation slavery, myths and realities, mulattoes and racist myths, the domestic slave trade, commodification of sexuality in plantation slavery and concubinage, facts and myths. Mulatto privilege and the image of the tragic mulatto, in popular culture and media. The Project will focus on the role of mulattoes in the Reconstruction through the Nadir and to the “Talented Tenth” and the privilege that came with color, who were seen as the “natural heirs” to leadership. Mulatto political leaders and alliances.
My goal is provide an overview to the field and growing body of knowledge under the rubric of Critical Race Studies. The Project will include works of scholars like Winthrop Jordan, A. Leon Higginbotham, Tiye Gordan, Eric Williams, Edward Blyden and W.E.B. DuBois and many others who have made significant contribution to the field. Primary sources and genealogical material, including my own family tree, (See link)
We will provide an in depth of statistical data on colorism, which impacts multigenerational mulattoes, black, brown and white folks. The prejudice based on skin color is a global phenomenon, wherever European conquerors succeeded colorism was the legacy, skin lighteners, hair straighteners, eye surgery. As America moves toward a nonwhite majority it must reckon with its past. Madame Walker became the wealthiest woman of her time selling toxic hair grease to poor black women.
I was motivated by 2 events that profoundly changed my life. We went to Cape May for a family ceremonial burial of my parents at sea, Cape May, where my paternal ancestors were “from”. A cousin claimed that our first ancestor was not a “slave” because he dove off the slave ship, in chains, into the Delaware Bay and swam ashore and passed for an “Indian”. Another said that we were never slaves because we came from New Jersey. Both of these folks had college and graduate degrees.
We want to hear your stories, your family histories, your experiences, How did DNA change your family mythology. Join us…
This is a link to my family tree website…https://www.myheritage.com/site-814395551/farmer