mixed race kids

I apologize if this question has been asked before. I could not find it in the search.

My nephew (white) married a beautiful black lady. They just had a baby. The baby is Mulatto (correct?).

Now going either way on race, when does the following generations become one or the other.

Why is it that a person who is 1/4 black, called black, but a person who is 1/4 white called black? (Does it depend on how they look?)

Does the person choose what color they prefer to be? Does society decide for them?

My daughter is 1/16 Cherokee. Is she and Indian? What generation ceased being Indian. She does have the “correct” facial structure for it, but is blonde and fair.

It seems that if anyone has a drop of blood other than white, then they are considered that race. I bet most whites have drops of blood from all over.

Does the race with that drop of blood want to claim them as their race or is it all just random?
:smack:

There was a thread on Halle Berry which you should read…
http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?threadid=159683&highlight=halle+berry+black

Without getting into a Great Debate, the entire concept of “race” has no basis in any accepted science (for the very reasons you mention) – it is simply a social construct.

Correct in the sense that this is what the word “mulatto” means, not correct in the sense that this term is at best old-fashioned and at worst offensive so it’s probably best not to call your nephew’s baby a mulatto unless you know the family won’t be bothered by the word.

It’s mostly the lingering social effects of the old “one drop” laws, but physical appearance does play some part in that someone who “looks black” will likely be considered black by others while someone who “looks white” will not. Although it’s an odd fact that some people of mixed ethnic heritage don’t look much like a stereotypical member of any of those groups but rather some completely different one – a dear black/white biracial friend of mine is constantly being mistaken for a Filipina!

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A little of both, really. Legally, people in the US can now describe themselves as any race they want to be. Of course, if you’re a light-skinned, blue-eyed blonde society at large probably won’t take you seriously if you claim to be anything but “white”.

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See above, although I believe if she can prove that she really is 1/16 Cherokee that may be enough to allow her tribal membership, if she wants it. Or maybe the cutoff point is 1/8. Someone else here must know.

As I said, it’s just a leftover from the “one drop” days, when many white people worried about stupid things like “racial purity” and “tainted blood”.

I always though of Halle Berry, as white, even though I knew she was half black. I guess it is because of her features. However, I knew that she considered herself black. I don’t see why she shouldn’t be either, according to her preference. Her preference is black.

I will certainly not call my neice “mulatto” because I can’t see why we aren’t all just “people”. The skin colors all blur together to me and so does where we come from. We all seem to have come from somewhere else, even likely the Native Indians.

In another century or so, I figure we will all be coffee colored as racial barriers are broken down.

I can’t wait to tell my children they are Cherokee instead of white. Like I said my daughter has the features although she is blonde and fair, and my son has delicate features with blonde hair and fair skin. (He and she wishes this were reversed.)

I didn’t say they were Cherokee instead of white, merely that they may be eligable for tribal membership. If they want to describe themselves as Cherokee that’s their own business; they can call themselves whatever they like. They could even say they’re purple, like you. :slight_smile: But if they want to become members of the Cherokee Nation they have to apply for it. That requires first obtaining the proper documented proof of their Cherokee ancestry.

I just looked up the section of the Cherokee Nation website that deals with tribal registration, here’s the link in case you think your kids might be interested:

http://www.cherokee.org/Services/TribalRegistration.asp

Thank you for the link. I am about to read it. However, I will still tell my kids they are Indian. lol They don’t need to know the truth.

Legally, over time, definitions of who is black and who is white have eventually moved toward a “one-drop” rule. One drop of black blood is ussually enough to make you black, according to popular belief. This may have changed recently, but consider most “blacks” in America probably have some white and/or amerind blood in them.

If youre ineterested, here’s a good book on the subject of miscegenation (racial intermarriage) laws that involve a lot of confusion on how to draw the line between black and white (crossing a state border could redefine who you were racially, at least in the law’s eyes) check this out:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0312294743/qid=1044816146/sr=8-1/ref=sr_8_1/002-9056862-3183247?v=glance&s=booksTell the Court I Love My Wife by Peter Wallenstein