Hypodescent is the societal practice of assigning children of mixed union to the ethnic group which is perceived by the dominant group as being 'subordinate.'Appearances can be pretty deceiving, I figure. I was raised on Nazi stories, describing how white supremacists hunted down anyone with A SINGLE DROP of Jewish blood. As a kid I heard that a Negro was any person who had a single drop of black blood. One drop and, no matter what you looked like, you were in that other race. Well, not just ‘another’ race: you were in a race that wasn’t as good as people who were all white.
And what is 'all white,' anyway? I got to thinking how best to categorize people, based on race.
An African-American cousin and I were discussing 'octaroons' and 'mulatto,' and the whole idea of race sorta collapsed on me. I was trying to figure out how pigmentation will be handled after racism has faded from our consciousness: I had this vision where we’d each be rated by a specific, pertinent number; no longer categorized 'Non-Hispanic White' or 'Caucasoid' or whatever. I figured science would give us a number (or a code, for those embracing complexity). I thought that number or code might come from DNA research, but maybe it will be a number generated by a densitometer.
The Reflective Qualities of MelaninBut then I realized I change pigmentation throughout the year (Before my honeymoon I no idea that blacks darkened after a couple weeks in Hawaii.), so we’d each have to be a range numbers. Then, I realize I have moles and sometimes scabs like what I got from scratching chigger bites while down in Kentucky … heck I’m a vast array of skin tones!
|Amelia (Turner) Leer c1872