Halle Berry and the 'One-Drop Rule'

Halle Berry's interview with Ebony magazine is raising some eyebrows, as the actress, involved in a custody battle with her white ex-boyfriend over their two-year old daughter, cited the "one-drop" rule as to why the child is black.

The one drop rule is a Jim Crowe-era notion that a person is "black" if they have even a single drop of black blood.

Berry says "I believe in the one-drop theory" in the interview. But she Berry adds that her daughter will have to figure that out for herself someday, and decide how to view herself.

The interview comes out shortly after a New York Times story last month about more Americans viewing themselves not as black or white but as mixed race. The Times, citing evidence from the Pew Research Center, says one in seven marriages is now interracial, an all time high, and predicts the 2010 Census will show that trend is accelerating when data begins to be released in the coming months.

Given what we've already observed about reactions towards the browning of America, we can only imagine that Berry's remarks will be the first of many charged comments from Americans of all colors.

Via the Takeaway

sthrasher@villagevoice.com / twitter: @steven_thrasher

Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help
Allpeople Gifts
Allpeople Gifts

.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~.THE FACTS on the racist 'One-Drop Rule' :.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~.Hereis a brief COMMENTARY on … the consistent misapplication of the racist ‘One-Drop Rule’ ** (to the people who are of any part-Black / Mixed-Race Lineage): . [** PLEASE TAKE NOTE OF THE FACT THAT : .The racist ‘one-drop’ “rule” was made ‘illegal’ in the U.S. in 1967 by the U.S. Supreme Court via the ‘Loving vs. VA’ case (i.e. The ‘Loving’ case) – where the U.S. Supreme Court ruled ... .--- 1) All ‘Anti-Miscegenation’ Laws found throughout the U.S.; . --- 2) The racist ‘VA Racial Integrity Act’ (upon which most 

of the anti-miscegenation ‘laws’ were founded); and .--- 3) The ('black-lineage mocking' and exceedingly) racist ‘One-Drop Rule’ (upon which the ‘Act’ was based.) 

.… as being ‘UN-Constitutional’ (i.e. illegal, banned, etc.)due to the fact that it was both 'racist' and 'unscientific'.] . ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~.THE FACTS on Mixed-Race Linage:.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~.1)It is often a surprise for people to learn that, 

in reality, there is actually No Such Thing As a “Light Skinned Black” person. 

2) Very few people seem to be aware of the fact that the term “Light Skinned Black” is really nothing more than a racist oxymoron created by Racial Supremacists in an effort to 

forcibly deny those Mixed-Race individuals, who are of 

a Multi-Generational Multiracially-Mixed (MGM-Mixed) 

lineage, the right to fully embrace and to also received 

public support in choosing to acknowledge the truth 

regarding their full ancestral heritage and lineage. 

3) The people who have beenslapped with the false label and oxymoronic misnomer of “Light Skinned Black” person are simply Mixed-Race individuals — who are from those 

families which have been “of a CONTINUALLY 

Mixed-Race Lineage THROUGHOUT all of their 

multiple generations” (starting with the very 

first generation of racial-admixing and 

leading to their present generation.). 

4) Seeing that every other Mixed-Race group is allowed 

the dignity of receiving support in havingitself referred to 

by the term that it most prefers … the question becomes 

…“Why should the situation be any different for 

those Mixed-Race individuals who are of an Multi-Generational Multiracially-Mixed MGM-Mixed) / Mixed-Race Lineage?”. 

5) If an MGM-Mixed / Mixed-Raceindividual would like to be referred to by the term ‘Mixed-Race’ (which is what they 

actually are) rather than by that of “Light-Skinned Black“ (aterm, which, once again, has the racist-origin of being 

nothing more than an oxymoronic-phrase that was both 

createdand coined by Racial Supremacists in an effort to 

try to deny these Mixed-Race people their right to and support in 

publicly acknowledging and also embracing their FULL-Lineage) 

there is no reason that they (like every other group on the planet 

– whether Mixed-Race or not) should not be allowed the right to choose the term that society uses in referring to them (andto have their full-lineage acknowledged within that term). 

. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~.RELATEDLINKS: 

. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~.http://groups.yahoo.com/group/...http://groups.yahoo.com/group/... http://groups.yahoo.com/group/... 









. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~.

Historical TRUTH VS. MYTH & Urban Legend.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~.Listedbelow are links to data on the Historical MYTH of a Color-Based / Slave-Role HIERARCHY — as well 

as the Urban LEGEND of Paper-Bag, Blue-Vein and Other Allegations of Features-Based Entry ‘TESTS’: . http://groups.yahoo.com/group/... 





. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~.Ifthere are any questions regarding the information presented, I can be reached anytime at the email address and / or websites noted below..Thank you and have a good day..Sincerely,.– AllPeople (AP) G.i.f.t.s. soaptalk@hotmail.com Founderand Moderator of the following 

online Lineage-Discussion Communities 






. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~.ADDITIONALLINK: .http://www.facebook.com/notes/... . ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~.



The one-drop rule was created by slave owners in the 17th century, to maintain as slaves people who otherwise would be considered free. In the British colonies of North America the rule was that a white person could not be a slave. English Common Law had a rule that said that the legal and social condition of a newborn was acquired from his father. What that rule implied was that if the father was a free man, his children were going to be free, even if the mother was a slave woman. Slave owners realized that this Common Law rule could be a threat to the ownership of some of his slaves, because since the establishment of slavery in the colonies, black and mullato slave women were giving birth to children that were white or with a lighter skin than their mother. If a white person could not be a slave and a black slave woman give birht to a white or lighter skin child, clearly the father was a free man and that child had a right to be free.

To prevent this, in the North American British colonies were slavery was accepted, adopted the rule that was practiced in the colonies of Civil Law European nations with colonies in the New World. These countries were Spain, Portugal and France. In the colonies of those countries the rule applied was a rule that came from the days of the Roman Empire. It was named Partus Sequitur Ventrem in latin language. Partus means newborn, sequitur means following and ventrem means womb, the newborn follows the womb. If the newborn child came from the womb of a free woman he was free, if the newborn came from the womb of a slave woman he or she was a slave, even if the father was a free man. The first colony to adopt this rule by legislation was Virginia and in the term of 20 years all the Brittish colonies that practiced slavery adopted this partus sequitur ventrem rule.

But now they had a problem, for one part there was a rule that said that no white person could be a slave and now they have this new rule that said that the condition of slavery of a newborn was going to be determined by the legal status of the mother regardless of what was the skin complexion of the newborn. What they were going to do with children of white complexion born of a slave woman? Which rule was going to be applied? If they applied the rule that said that no white person could be a slave, the child would be free. If they applied the partus sequitur ventrem rule the child was a slave. What did they do? They invented a new rule, the one-drop of blood rule, which said that if the newborn child was of white complexion or phenotype he could not be considered white because since he was born from a slave woman, that circumstance implied that someone in the child and mother ancestry was black, because whites could not slaves, and that drop of blood from one of their ancestors would classify this newborn as negro or black, and as a consequence, a slave.

Ben Arrowood
Ben Arrowood

I am a victim of divorce. My parents divorce was finalized 3 days after my 5th birthday, and these custody cases can get ugly. I have seen stories of 2 sided celebrities, where what you see in public is not how they are in private. This kid is mixed, it is neither black or white. I have 2 mixed cousins. I don't believe that Gabriel is a racist, the N-word accusation was just a low blow put out there by a desperate mother trying to hold on to custody of their kid. Remember when Denise Richards made the false claim that Charlie Sheen molested their kids? Desperate mothers, regardless of racial makeup, do these types of things in custody cases all the time.


It wasn't / isn't a "notion." In 20 states it was the law. Notion--whats wrong with you?

marcia dawkins
marcia dawkins

I predict that the issue of Nahla's public racial identification will become increasingly important to contemporary race-talk. It is easy to see how coverage of this story might follow the usual script where Nahla will play the role of the "tragic mulatto," who is confused about who she is and how she fits in. Or, "naturally," she will play the only other role available—the role of racial healer because of her multiracial background. Either way, it is easy to see how making racial victims or racial healers out of multiracial people really only serves to let everyone else off the hook. When we realize that racial reconciliation is everybody's job, not just a job for multiracials, then we might all be a little more mixed and happy.

See Dr. Dawkins' full HuffPo post @ http://www.marciadawkins.com/b...

Now Trending

New York Concert Tickets

From the Vault