Discovering Multiracial Background at 42
I enjoyed a story I read (probably old) about a gentleman finding his “black roots”. I recently decided to open an ancestry account and when I searched my grandmother I discovered the census’ always labeled her as “mulatto” or “negro”. My grandmother had been pretty much an orphan (her mother passed shortly after she was born). The story shared with me is that she was darker and had coarse hair because she was a Jewish/Indian mixture. I confronted my mother (nicely as she has early dementia) and she admitted that she was told as a teen but was told to never breathe a word if she wanted a decent life. I can understand this to some degree. She would have been afraid to tell in the 1950s & 1960s. What bothered me is I was married to a black man for 10 years, we had a child and she loves them both. I didn’t understand her not telling me when I married him or any time in between. She truly has no answer for why other than she didn’t think it mattered any more. Honestly it doesn’t but it does and I have investigated even further to discover family she was never able to know. I am happy this came out before I could confirm with her and I am not angry with my mother. She shared with me her fear of someone finding out during high school, how hard it was to tell my father before they married. She truly still believed her grandmother (on her mother’s side, her dad was white) was a white woman. Through my search I discovered that she too was considered “mulatto”. I think the end of the story is simple. Aren’t we all multiracial now to some extent? Even those of us who appear not to be? I am pale, blue eyed, blonde and do not tan. One would never guess and I think it is best not to assume. Thank you for the site and the stories!