This blog is about the story of my family here in America. We arrived in the 1630s as Puritans, and became the common folk of the New World.

What the *one drop* rule was

As anyone who has read *The History of White People*, by Nell Irvin Painter, knows, trying to categorize people by race is impossible. But that hasn't stopped people from trying. One of the most fascinating concepts to me is the *one drop rule* to determine if a person is not white.

All of us have seen black people with lighter skin that most white people. So the definition of being black in the United States, was done by determining if a person had even the tiniest amount of black blood in them, as in having an ancestor, no matter how distant, who was black.

And this had to do with the enforcement of laws relating to Miscegenation, which simply meant that it was illegal for people of two different races to marry.

So, if you follow the twisted logic of this, it meant that someone could be convicted of Miscegenation if it could be proved that, while they thought that they were white, they had an ancestor who was black. And that was the *one drop* rule, which meant having one drop of black blood in you.

Future generations will be puzzled by all of this definition of race. In fact, I see it already happening in my lifetime, although most people hold on tightly to the strange concept of race. The fact of the matter is that there is no such thing as race, but that doesn't stop people from imagining there is.

By the way, if you ever see the movie *Showboat* and wonder why Steve pricks Julie's finger with a neeedle and sticks it in his mouth, you will how the *one drop* rule worked, or rather, didn't work, in regards to Miscegenation.
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