Saturday, April 24, 2010

There was another commenter asking me if I had a problem with Blacks. No, not really. They got their story, we got ours. I don't think I ever deny the fact that we have African genes. But we didn't get any of the culture from the genes. I grant you, it's our loss. I mourn that daily. We had some tough times, but we did not have the "Black experience." My ancestors in this country were never slaves. Say what you will, but it made a difference in our experience as mixed-race Americans in the 17th, 18th, and 19th century inA these Americas.

Call us what you will: Melungeons, Redbones, Moors, Lumbees, it's all the same. There is very likely African blood, but we've been denying it/running from it for over 300 years, long enough that we have our own story and it ain't the more typical African-American experience born of slavery and segregation. We have nothing in common with that experience. We were on the other side. Any self-respecting American Black upon learning of this group of mixed-race people called Redbones by others would disavow any possible kinship, culturally or genealogically. We just have a different experience, and it does bug me when my story is claimed by others with no right to use it like were there own.


Anonymous said...

I enjoyed reading through your comments and blogs. It would be my understanding that we're more than likely related. My last name is Clark (the Clarks from Singer, LA). But my grandmother was an Ashworth.. daughter of Charlie W. Ashworth who was the son of Amos Owen Ashworth. I'm not sure where our connection would be on the family tree, but I'm certain there is one.

Anonymous said...

Amen, Cousin. I hold pretty much that same opinion about the possibility of black in our Redbone line. I also look at the time our family was pushed out of Texas and had no idea there was interracial marriages at that time. Although, what do I know? If there was a law against whites and blacks marrying and if that law was enforced...well, I reason, how can such a thing be? Perhaps, before the Perkins/Ashworths/and other Names came south...maybe back then in South Carolina, they were able to intermarry. But black genes is not the issue anyway, is it? I think they make too much of it and that people will always be divided in their beliefs about us Redbones; the same way people are divided on most every issue we face.

Anonymous said...

I glad to find this blog.
I've been research my mothers family line.
Sh was born in DeRidder, LA to my grandmother Grace Willis.
I've tried to find out about her family history and ran across the name (Willis) as a common Redbone name.
I would love to know more.

R Shrum said...

I know that this is long after the writtings of you blog, but I must say that i really liked what you had to say. As you I to am a Redbone, although I only learned of this in the last year. Now I crave to know more of my people, and where they came from and how we came to be in Oklahoma. My fourth great-grandfather was Joseph Willis, and my mother's family was from east Texas. I do know now that my grandfather moved to Oklahoma to build Indian home back in the 20's and 30's and stayed. I also know that Joseph Willis Sr. was a slave; and Indian with a white father, but what I don't know is if he was also of black decent, not that that makes a difference, because I darker skined myself. I would just like to know. The really sad part is that the Redbone people of LA. have stated that, "just because you are a decendent of Joseph Willis that does not make you a Redbone" What is with that. It was said that he was the father of the Redbones. Oh well, some people are just like that. can you help me learn more of my mothers people.

Anonymous said...

I am adopted and recently learned that I am a Clark from the Merryville, LA area. My nickname as a child was "Indian" (dark completion, curly black hair, dark eyes, etc.) I have always been asked what my nationality is and because I am from Louisiana, I usually say Creole. Now I know I am a Redbone and it all makes sense. I have been doing a lot of geneaology research and the history of that area is fascinating. I really actually thought I was a Gypsy (before I found my birth family information).. Sounds like Melungeon/Redbone to me! Guess I knew it all along, lol. Thanks for your writing.