The One Drop Rule: "Multiracial vs Black"

                                                                                                                                          by Tamara Williams

I remember being in 7th grade, and writing on the back of my folder all the things I was told by an older cousin I was “mixed” with. I had a desire to claim all I thought I was, but what was more interesting is that I wanted everyone to know. I had no idea where this desire came from, but I did know the idea of being part of something other than Black intrigued me. I was unaware that the need to denounce my Blackness had already been steeped in my unconscious by mainstream media.

Once in high school, I had given less thought to my identity in terms of ethnicity then I had in the past. Although it did not seem to be an issue for me at the time, I now realize race relations and skin tone were major topics of conversation at my school. Surrounded by other minorities, I was often told I was dark-skinned by my Black peers, even though I didn’t see myself as such. I had always thought I was just Black. I knew Black people came in different tones, but the idea that some tones were considered “better” than others never registered with me. 


Posted on March 25, 2015 .