Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Who Are You?

I really want to know. Probably not 100% anything, that's for sure. America has always been less racially segregated genetically than the social make-up would indicate. I think American Idol this season really represents America these days. Have you notice how many multi-racial kids there are? This story in the New York Times was heart-warming:

“I was stunned,” she said. “It said I had no Indian blood, but that I did have, in addition to my African ancestry, 28 percent European blood and 8 percent Asian.”

She persuaded her uncle, the Rev. James O. West Jr., a minister from Washington, to get a Y chromosome test.

Relatives always considered Mr. West black, but she said the results showed 52 percent European lineage and DNA that could link him to British royalty and the original settlers of colonial Jamestown, including Thomas West, an Englishman born in 1577 also known as the third Baron De La Warr, who became the first resident governor of the Virginia Colony.

“I was expecting Kunta Kinte,” Ms. Higginsen said, referring to the character in “Roots,” “but I got Lord De La Warr.”

And when her white cousin first met her:
“As soon as Vy stepped off the plane, I could see in her face she was a West,” Mr. West said. He took her to the ranch and to the community college he helped open. Then he took her up a hill to the pine tree where he prays daily. They knelt and thanked God for each other.
What will finding out you're 52% white or black, if you thought you were white, do for your self-image? Will knowing this change how you view the world?

4 comments:

Chalmers said...

I think I am adopted, but not sure. I have this one, weird sister...

As my man in the movie The Commitments said, "I'm black, and I'm proud." (in my best Scottish accent)

Anonymous said...

What will finding out you're 52% white or black, if you thought you were white, do for your self-image? Will knowing this change how you view the world?

Depends on whether you (like the KKK and Blacktivists) hold to the "One Drop Rule".

Caroline said...

I hope it wouldn't change me much. I am a 100% flawed human being with no cultural heritage but I have a wonderful ability to absorb and appreciate characteristics of all areas. I do long for the ignorance of youth when different skin color meant only who would sunburn quicker.

Christy're said...

My husband is "enough" Cherokee to qualify for special perks but he feels it would be wrong to accept them since he looks mostly white.

However, he has been asked multiple times--and so have I--what he "is," because people look at him and know he's not full white.

I think it's somewhat tough for him because he feels like he has to choose either-or as regards race. When really he's both-and. And so will our baby be!