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As Black As We Wish To Be

Saturday, February 8th at 6AM on 93.9 FM and at 2PM on AM 820 and Wednesday, February 12th at 8PM on 93.9 FM and AM 820

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Saturday, February 08, 2014

Visit a tiny town in the Appalachian foothills of Ohio where, for a century, residents have shared the common bond of identifying as African-American despite the fact that they look white. As a result, everyone’s asking: Am I black? Am I mixed race? Or, am I white?

In this episode of State Of The RE:Union, Al Letson takes a look at Pike County's racial barriers, where lines have been blurred to invisibility, and people inside the same family can vehemently disagree about whether they are black or white.

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Comments [3]

I fail to understand how the use of the term "mixed race" is racist, when the obvious future of humankind on this planet, & possibly beyond, is "mixed race"; that is, if we last that long.

Feb. 12 2014 09:18 PM
Sherman L. Greene from Upper West Side

The host of this program repeatedly refers to the residents of East Jackson as "mixed-race." What does he mean by that term? He seems to be using a variant of the "one drop rule": anyone who has at least "one drop" of African "blood" & at least "one drop" of European "blood" is considered "mixed-race." By this standard, practically ALL black Americans & a large percentage of white Americans are "mixed-race." To be blunt, that is a racist standard.

Feb. 08 2014 02:31 PM
Starita Smith, Ph.D. from Denton, TX

I really appreciated your program. You did, however, understate how easy it is for a person with any black ancestry to become white. The one-drop rule, which has been upheld in court, used for government records and enshrined socially in the U.S., holds that anyone who has a single black ancestor is black. It is one of, if not the most, restrictive definitions of race in the world and it grew out of slavery in the U.S. under the English. The more people who could be defined as black, including the offspring of slave owners, the more property a man would own.

I don't necessarily believe in the one-drop rule, but I don't fool myself that it doesn't remain one of the most powerful racial definitions in the U.S. People are proud of being black, even if they don't look like the stereotypical black person; but at the same time, some people are vehement that they aren't black because they want to avoid difficulties and discrimination that still exist.

Mar. 29 2013 02:19 AM

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