The Price of Being Born of Mixed-Race During Slavery

7 Posted by - November 7, 2015 - LATEST POSTS, Looking Black On Today

It is easy to think of mixed children during #slavery as the product of white slave owners, white overseers, and African slave women. The truth is not all mixed-raced children were the result of the African women being R*pedd. A free woman of color could have had a child or children fathered by a white man. The biracial children in this case were considered free; it was the mother’s status that determined whether a child was free or not.  “The child’s status determination was due to the 1662 law “in the case of a child one of whose parents was free and one slave, the status of the offspring followed that of the mother,” (Foner 52), these children would often then become their father’s property.

White women did not just have a new found revelation and start loving the arms of a #black man. Many white women and black men also had affairs, more often than expected. The offspring of these couples were also considered free since, the mother’s status of slavery or freedom was the determining factor. No, mix-raced children did not have it easy, just because the color of the skin. In actuality, these children had a difficult life, very rarely were they accepted by the white communities or the black communities. Most white fathers usually denied that a slave’s light-skinned offspring was his, even though sometimes the resemblance could not be denied.

“The poor white children of the slave mother are sold like brutes to the highest bidder, by their worse than brute father, while their free born brothers and sisters, who are not whiter than they in complexion, or purer in heart, inherit the father’s wealth, and enjoy the blessings of that freedom which is the choicest earthly gift from God to man. Thus slavery degrades and makes fiendish the dearest relations and the purest instincts of humanity. “(MerryCoz)
A mixed-child born to a white woman was often abandoned or sold secretly. If the children were the product of a slave owner’s dalliance with a slave woman, they received the same enslaved treatment as any other slave, and were also looked upon with contempt by their mistresses. The children would often be singled out for all sorts of abuse from forcing them to wait on their white half-siblings to enduring physical mistreatment.

Mixed-race women were particularly sought after by white men. Their fairer complexion often gave them more attractive features, and white men desired to buy them and use them as concubines. After the Civil War, most people of mixed-race, especially if they resembled the white parent in skin tone and other features, simply moved away from the area in which they were born. They could often ‘pass,’ as the term was at the time, meaning to claim that they were not racially mixed.  Many would form new identities and create a new life for themselves never looking back.




  • Marie August 24, 2016 - 8:11 am Reply

    Mixed people still try to “pass”. If only every one could pass as another identity when things got tough.

  • […] persons born of black or mixed-origin enslaved women R*pedd by white slaveholders (source 46)] were, based on their genetical origin, legally subject to enslavement under then-US Federal […]

  • Christian November 19, 2017 - 10:45 am Reply

    No Marie we fucking don’t

  • Teresa January 10, 2018 - 2:03 pm Reply

    What would you know? These women were R*pedd tortured and worked til death.
    No one wants to lose their identity, but until you lived a slaves life, you wouldn’t understand

  • Chris January 24, 2018 - 10:33 pm Reply

    Teresa your absolutely correct.

  • Leah May 6, 2018 - 12:58 pm Reply

    “Because they had more attractive features” fuck off you ignorant slut

  • Karen May 29, 2018 - 2:21 pm Reply

    I am the product of a maternal grandfather who was passing in the early 1900’s. He married a black woman had 6 children half of which looked white with straight hair and freckles the other looked black (my Grandmother was one of the ‘white’ looking children) My Great Grandparents lived in secrecy in Richmond, Va. – always living in houses that were isolated with no neighbors in the middle of nowhere because my Great Grandfather had a supervisory job with the railroad. If it were known that he had a black family he would have lost everything. This was never discussed until after his death in 1980 when I was told he & his sibling were all ‘passing’ but he was the only one who married a black spouse which insured he would never see his siblings again because they lived in fear of being discovered.

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