Amazing. I've also done archival research on my own family. My father's parents are from South Carolina and are of tri-racial ancestry. At one time my father's people owned land (during the period of slavery, were identified as Indian/Mulatto, and (probably) due to their position in society at the time, married white women. In the early 20th century there was again a change in racial perceptions; this coincided with a change to the 1920 census in which the "mulatto" category was removed from the census. Members of my family seemed to experience an identity crisis during that period, and we split into Indian, white, and black identity groups that became very rigid. With that split came a loss of understanding of the history of our family, and in some cases an identification with groups whose history was divergent from our own. When I began my research in 1985 as a result of writing down family stories told to me by my great-uncle, I had no idea I was going to find such a complex history. I thought I knew who we were, but I really had no idea! As I uncovered bits of family history, I shared it with family members, some of whom insisted that I not tell anyone what I found, but to me, it was obvious, it was factual, and as Professor Miles suggested, it was a chance to learn and grow closer to people, not to grow apart. I'm very thankful I heard this story this morning (I'm a regular listener), and know that now that Professor Miles story has reached out to me, I have to resume my research. Mine is similar to hers, but from a different angle, and the story needs to be shared. Thank you.
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