Why It Was Easy for Rachel Dolezal to Pass as Black

Posted in Articles, History, Media Archive, Passing, Slavery, United States on 2015-12-29 03:34Z by Steven

Why It Was Easy for Rachel Dolezal to Pass as Black

Pacific Standard

Lisa Wade, Associate Professor of Sociology
Occidental College, Los Angeles, California

Race is more social than biological.

Source: (1)ne Drop Project

Earlier this year a CBS commentator in a panel with Jay Smooth embarrassingly revealed that she thought he was white (Smooth’s father is black) and last week the Internet learned that Rachel Dolezal was white all along (both parents identify as white). The CBS commentator’s mistake and Dolezal’s ability to pass both speak to the strange way we’ve socially constructed blackness in this country.

The truth is that African Americans are essentially all mixed race. From the beginning, enslaved and other Africans had close relationships with poor and indentured servant whites, that’s one reason why so many black people have Irish last names. During slavery, sexual relationships between enslavers and the enslaved, occurring on a range of coercive levels, were routine. Children born to enslaved women from these encounters were identified as “black.” The one-drop rule—you are black if you have one drop of black blood—was an economic tool used to protect the institution of racialized slavery (by preserving the distinction between two increasingly indistinct racial groups) and enrich the individual enslaver (by producing another human being he could own). Those enslaved children grew up and had children with other enslaved people as well as other whites…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Author, Yaba Blay, to appear on CNN Newsroom with Don Lemon

Posted in Arts, Media Archive, United States, Videos on 2012-01-13 18:52Z by Steven

Author, Yaba Blay, to appear on CNN Newsroom with Don Lemon

CNN NewsRoom: Weekend Primetime
2012-01-14, 19:00-20:00 EST

Don Lemon, Host

Yaba Blay, Assistant Professor of Africana Studies
Lafayette College

(1)ne Drop author, Yaba Blay, will appear on the weekend edition of CNN Newsroom with Don Lemon on Sunday, January 15, 2012 during the 7:00 pm-8:00 pm hour (EST).

Tags: , , , , ,

(1)ne Drop: 2012 Tour

Posted in Arts, Forthcoming Media, Live Events, United States on 2011-11-12 04:32Z by Steven

(1)ne Drop: 2012 Tour

(1)ne Drop
National Campus Tour
Fall 2011

In an effort to provide audiences the opportunity to more deeply engage the issues raised by the project, the (1)ne Drop project is going on tour. The producers invite colleges and universities across the country to host a (1)ne Drop exhibit. Each exhibition will be accompanied by a multi-media lecture on skin color politics and Black racial identity by Dr. Yaba Blay, (1)ne Drop Author and Producer…

Topics include:

  • One-Drop: Fact? Fiction? or Fate?”
  • “Not Black Enough: The “Other” African American Experience”
  • “¿Black?: The Latin American and Caribbean Experience”
  • “Light Skin + Long Hair: Challenges to Sistahood”

For more information, click here.

Tags: , , , , ,