Tag Archives: native

Native + African = Black

The One-Drop Rule was established during the late 1800s and early 1900s, when racial classification laws were being passed.  Under this rule, anyone with one drop of African blood was classified as Black.

During that period, it was not uncommon for native Americans to form bonds with Africans, called Negroes.  According to the One-Drop Rule, the child of a Native American and a Negro would be classified as Black.  As harmless as this “label” may have seemed, it excluded many natives from tribal affiliation, thereby stripping them of their heritage and rights.

Know Better:
Blacklisted Native Americans – blackindiansunited5tribesembassy.org

Do Better:
For those of you who have started researching your ancestry using census and vital statistics records, you may keep running into the classification of “Black” or “Negro.”  This doesn’t rule out native American ancestry.  It just means at least one of the parents were African.  The other parent could have been from here, so keep digging.  This is where retrieving oral stories from elder relatives becomes important.  When I interviewed my relatives, I was surprised to find out how many of the grandmothers were so-called Indian.

Last Queen of Hawaii

Image:  “Lydia Kamakaeha” by unknown – onipaa.orgHawaii State Archives. Call Number: PP-98-10-009. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia 

This beautiful sister was the last queen of Hawaii.  Unfortunately, she and her people suffered the same fate as the copper-colored people found in America (by the same perpetrators).  In 1894, she was unlawfully stripped of her sovereignty and overthrown by the U.S. government.  This was during the same time period in which the copper-colored people of America were being forced from their land and “civilized” by the Europeans.  It was then that Hawaii was annexed to the United States.

The difference between copper-colored people of America (who think they’re Black), and Hawaiian people is that Hawaiians are currently organizing to fight for their sovereignty.  Before Blacks in America can come together for any such movement, we must first wake up to who we really are.

Know Better:
Queen Lydia Liliuokalani – biography.com
Debate on Federal Recognition for Native Hawaiians – civilbeat.com

Do Better:
The next time you see a Hawaii tourism commercial advertising a vacation or you actually get to go there yourself, think about the last Queen of Hawaii and the indigenous people who are fighting for what’s rightfully theirs.  Hopefully this will motivate you to find out who you are and fight for your own rights.