Archive for March, 2005

Features of Today’s One-Drop Rule

March 3rd, 2005

This essay uses “one-drop rule” to mean that some people without even a hint of African features or skin tone, like New York Times critic Anatole Broyard or Anthony Hopkins’s character in the film The Human Stain, are classified as members of the Black endogamous group by press and public despite their European appearance. They are seen as unsuitable marriage partners by Whites but suitable by Blacks because of an un-measurable, invisible touch (one drop) of Black ancestry. As Naomi Zack puts it, “One-drop rule: American social and legal custom of classifying anyone with one black ancestor, regardless of how far back, as black.”