Irish African Native American
I, like many black people have been told or claim to have Native American bloodlines, but I suspect that mostly my bloodline is Irish or English. But I have no proof really. However, my maternal grandmother used to pass for white when it suited her…she would pass when she wanted to shop at John Wanamaker and Strawbridges in Philadlephia, pa (when they were still in existence), but she and several of her sisters all married black (dark brown skinned men with good hair). I remember someone saying when I was very young that it was important to keep the color in the blood. I also remember as a child being a bit confused about “color” because my aunt who looked white would tell me to never let a white person in your house, not EVER and don’t bring one of them home to marry either. I just kept thinking…yea ok, but you are white. What was odd too as that she and her sisters would use whitening skin cream. They were already very fair, and pretty much hated white people, but they would lighten their skin. So I thought they were so very light due to the skin cream! I thought..wow they must use a lot of it to get their whole bodies so white. Anyway, I remember hearing a story in my family about how the white slave owner gave a couple of hundred acres to my ancestor who had many babies for him, but when he died, the white family took it back, as black people were not allowed to own property. Not sure how true that story is, but that is what I remember of it. I often wondered who this white family is, and if they are still around down in Georgia. On my dad’s maternal side it is another story. A story of hard work and success, a slave who came up north, taught himself to read and write, worked for John Wanamaker as his valet, and then retired to open his own business. His first client was John Wanamaker! John Wanamaker supported his valet’s enterprising spirit and became our family’s first client. Our family had a farm, multiple houses. My greatgrandfather became one of the founders of the Berean Bank (I believe a black bank), he was also a minister in NJ, I believe Riverton, NJ….I have some pictures of him…really amazing. I’ll have to see if I can upload some pictures. My grandmother ran many of the business and she was the first to attend college. She lost most of the holdings during the Great Depression (the stock market crash). But she kept a few of the homes as rentals and raised my dad. I never met my grandparents as they were long dead when I finally came along.