One -Drop Rule

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The One-Drop Rule: A Key Player in the Construction of Race in the United States

Barack Obama’s election as the President of the United States in 2008 was considered by many to be a representation of the huge strides the country has made in terms of race relations. Considering that blacks in America were denied civil rights less than five decades ago, his election certainly indicates that progress has been made. Obama and his election to office is linked to this progress because much of the population considers him to be black, including himself. Yet, Obama has as much “white ancestry” as he does “black ancestry.” This specific example can be related to the convention ‘that considered a white woman capable of giving birth to a black
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The idea of the one-drop rule was applied to these laws causing it not only to be a widely excepted rule by the countries populous, but also as a legally accepted one. Hollinger explains that “The principle was sharpened under Jim Crow, when opposition to social equality for black was well served by a monolithic notion of blackness accompanied by legislation that outlawed as miscegenation black-white marriages.” [10] These laws rested upon the constructed notion that blackness was somehow indicated by biological factors. A perfect example of this is that “Law regulating interracial marriage and the conduct of free people of color defined blackness as a genealogical quantum” In some places even those who had “one-sixteenth “black blood” [were] legally black,” [11] and therefore denied the right to marry a white person. Anti-miscegenation legislation, which has implied use of the one-drop rule, has a long history in the United States with the final anti-miscegenation law was struck down in Loving vs. Virginia as recently as 1967. These laws were created to maintain racial purity, and have been instrumental in solidifying both the idea of race and different racial categories in the United States. Some laws did implement the terms created to describe people of certain racial mixtures, such as octoroon and mulatto, however, these classifications were often abandoned as they were thought to soften the boundaries between racial
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