By Carma Henry

Oscar Blayton

Passing

By Oscar H. Blayton

In 1995, a journalist I know was interviewing the First Lady of Virginia, Susan Brown Allen, wife of the new governor at the time, George Allen.

As related to me, Susan Allen began talking about her research into her ancestry with the aim of joining the Daughters of the American Revolution. When the reporter asked if the first lady had done any research on the governor’s family, there was a hesitant response.

“You see,” the first lady explained, “George’s mother was born in Tunisia.”

“In Africa?” the reporter responded, surprised.

“No, in Tunisia.” Mrs. Allen answered.

“Yes, in Africa,” the reporter said.

The reporter’s take away from the conversation was very clear. George Allen’s mother was born in Africa, which made her “African.” And if George Allen’s mother was African, didn’t that make him an “African American?”

Racial pedigree for many “white” Americans is extremely problematic.

In the 1990s, when I was appointed by the court in Hampton, Va. to take depositions in divorce proceedings and recommend to the court whether a divorce should be granted, racial pedigree was a sticky problem for some “white” people who had to give sworn testimony before me.

Even though in 1967, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled …read more

Source:: The Westside Gazette