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Skin color in songs & singers' names

Related threads:
Lyr Req: Brown Skin Girl / Brown Skinned Girl (35)
(origins) Origins: Brown Skin Girl- folksong from Grenada (75)


MorwenEdhelwen1 02 Oct 11 - 05:55 PM
Stilly River Sage 02 Oct 11 - 11:26 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 02 Oct 11 - 01:16 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 01 Oct 11 - 10:59 PM
Azizi 01 Oct 11 - 12:39 PM
mg 18 Oct 08 - 09:53 PM
Jack Campin 18 Oct 08 - 04:14 PM
Wolfgang 25 Apr 06 - 12:57 PM
katlaughing 24 Apr 06 - 08:12 PM
Azizi 24 Apr 06 - 07:36 PM
katlaughing 24 Apr 06 - 05:35 PM
McGrath of Harlow 24 Apr 06 - 02:42 PM
Azizi 24 Apr 06 - 01:32 PM
McGrath of Harlow 23 Apr 06 - 01:34 PM
Big Mick 23 Apr 06 - 01:24 PM
GUEST,thurg 23 Apr 06 - 01:14 PM
Azizi 23 Apr 06 - 12:17 PM
Azizi 23 Apr 06 - 12:13 PM
Bat Goddess 23 Apr 06 - 11:55 AM
katlaughing 23 Apr 06 - 11:24 AM
Azizi 23 Apr 06 - 07:36 AM
Bert 23 Apr 06 - 12:22 AM
Pauline L 22 Apr 06 - 11:53 PM
McGrath of Harlow 22 Apr 06 - 09:20 PM
Uncle_DaveO 22 Apr 06 - 05:26 PM
Azizi 21 Apr 06 - 10:11 PM
katlaughing 21 Apr 06 - 08:56 PM
GUEST,mg 21 Apr 06 - 08:10 PM
McGrath of Harlow 21 Apr 06 - 07:56 PM
Azizi 21 Apr 06 - 06:52 PM
McGrath of Harlow 21 Apr 06 - 06:14 PM
Peace 21 Apr 06 - 03:52 PM
Azizi 21 Apr 06 - 03:51 PM
Peace 21 Apr 06 - 03:47 PM
Azizi 21 Apr 06 - 03:34 PM
GUEST,thurg 21 Apr 06 - 02:48 PM
GUEST,mg 21 Apr 06 - 01:23 PM
McGrath of Harlow 20 Apr 06 - 08:25 PM
GUEST,ClaireBear 20 Apr 06 - 07:55 PM
katlaughing 20 Apr 06 - 07:11 PM
GUEST,mg 20 Apr 06 - 06:15 PM
Jon W. 20 Apr 06 - 06:05 PM
Azizi 20 Apr 06 - 03:33 PM
Azizi 20 Apr 06 - 12:44 PM
GUEST,ClaireBear 20 Apr 06 - 12:38 PM
GUEST,ClaireBear 20 Apr 06 - 12:36 PM
Wolfgang 20 Apr 06 - 12:24 PM
Azizi 20 Apr 06 - 11:55 AM
Uncle_DaveO 20 Apr 06 - 11:00 AM
GUEST,Greyboy 20 Apr 06 - 03:16 AM
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Subject: RE: Skin color in songs & singers' names
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 02 Oct 11 - 05:55 PM

Yes but Azizi's blog post includes an article from a geneticist which states that albinism in people of Black African descent can cause red hair, and thst there is a form of albinism called rufous albinism which causes red hair.


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Subject: RE: Skin color in songs & singers' names
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 02 Oct 11 - 11:26 AM

It's my understanding that albinos always have white hair, absent all pigment.

SRS


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Subject: RE: Skin color in songs & singers' names
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 02 Oct 11 - 01:16 AM

Refresh.


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Subject: RE: Skin color in songs & singers' names
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 01 Oct 11 - 10:59 PM

Azizi, I read your blog post and it reminded of the fact that Quasimodo, the titular "Hunchback of Notre Dame" has red hair and pale skin. Although he is a Romany, is it possible that his red hair was because of albinism?


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Subject: RE: Skin color in songs & singers' names
From: Azizi
Date: 01 Oct 11 - 12:39 PM

I just added a post to my pancocojams blog that expands on several of my comments on this thread. That blog post also features a video (with photo) of Tampa Red, and two videos by Nina Simone which were posted for their message & aesthetic pleasure and otherwise have nothing to do with skin color in songs and singers names. In addition, a comment to that blog post featured an excerpt of an online article by a geneticist who explains that the occurance of red hair among Black people is often the result of albinism.

That blog post, entitled Black On Black Taunting - "Burnt Rice" , can be visited by clicking: http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2011/10/black-on-black-taunting-burnt-rice.html

Thanks!

Azizi Powell


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Subject: RE: Skin color in songs & singers' names
From: mg
Date: 18 Oct 08 - 09:53 PM

Did we say Old Black Joe?
Burns song about returning soldier...as pale as any lily..art thou my ain dear Willie..
My mental scanner is not doing too well..I shall have to think some more...

Any Metis songs relating to skin color? mg


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Subject: RE: Skin color in songs & singers' names
From: Jack Campin
Date: 18 Oct 08 - 04:14 PM

There is an Argentinian tango from the 1920s, "El Tatuaje" (The Tattooed Man) which is sung from the viewpoint of a (presumably coffee-coloured) woman who is erotically fascinated by the tattooed white skin of her lover, a Northern European sailor (German? Norwegian?). It turns the usual Anglo-American stereotypes of interracial sex upside down.


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Subject: RE: Skin color in songs & singers' names
From: Wolfgang
Date: 25 Apr 06 - 12:57 PM

Skin colour in singers' names: A fairly well known (to those liking carnival songs) German singer had the name Ernst Neger (Ernest Negro).

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Skin color in songs & singers' names
From: katlaughing
Date: 24 Apr 06 - 08:12 PM

Yes, they do need to do that, Azizi. It was very hard on our friend's daughters, all three of them. Fortunately the girls "rose above it" and are still best friends and loyal sisters.

I've been to powwows and met Native Americans with skin lighter than my own and redder hair. There was an interesting series on PBS in January, I believe it was, in which they tested the DNA of various people, including Oprah Winfrey, a woman professor to see just how much of whatever race they really were. One fellow's DNA was almost all northern european yet he had always identified as a Black person.

Here it is: CLICK and the intro:

AFRICAN AMERICAN LIVES, an unprecedented four-part PBS series, takes Alex Haley's Roots saga to a whole new level through moving stories of personal discovery. Using genealogy, oral history, family stories and DNA analysis to trace lineage through American history and back to Africa, the series provides a life-changing journey for a diverse group of highly accomplished African Americans: a neurosurgeon, a TV host, an astronaut, a music entrepreneur, a sociologist, a movie star, a minister and a comedian. Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr., W.E.B. Du Bois professor of the Humanities and chair of African and African American Studies at Harvard University, hosts the series. Participants include Dr. Ben Carson, Whoopi Goldberg, Bishop T.D. Jakes, Dr. Mae Jemison, Quincy Jones, Dr. Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot, Chris Tucker and Oprah Winfrey.


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Subject: RE: Skin color in songs & singers' names
From: Azizi
Date: 24 Apr 06 - 07:36 PM

Frank Snowden Jr's: "Before Color Prejudice-The Ancient View Of Blacks" {Harvard University Press, 1983} and "Blacks in Antiquity : Ethiopians in the Greco-Roman Experience (Belknap Press) are two excellent resources about those subjects.

Here is an online synopsis of "Before Color Prejudice":
In this richly illustrated account of black-white contacts from the Pharaohs to the Caesars, Frank Snowden demonstrates that the ancients did not discriminate against blacks because of their color. For three thousand years Mediterranean whites intermittently came in contact with African blacks in commerce and war, and left a record of these encounters in art and in written documents. The blacks--most commonly known as Kushites, Ethiopians, or Nubians--were redoubtable warriors and commanded the respect of their white adversaries. The overall view of blacks was highly favorable. In science, philosophy, and religion color was not the basis of theories concerning inferior peoples. And early Christianity saw in the black man a dramatic symbol of its catholic mission.
This book sheds light on the reasons for the absence in antiquity of virulent color prejudice and for the difference in attitudes of whites toward blacks in ancient and modern societies."

http://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog/SNOBEF.html


-snip-

Frank Snowden, is a listed on that website as a Professor of Classics at Howard University. For those who may be interested, Snowden's photo on that website shows that he is a rather light skinned man, and Howard University is known {among African Americans anyway} as a university that was founded by wealthy White Southerners for their mixed race children who they claimed.

In 1967 when I went to that university for its homecoming, I saw students who had White [people's] features and red hair, or brown hair, or blond hair, or black hair. I also saw light skinned brown skin, redbone, brown skin, dark brown skin, dark skin, very dark skin people-and just about all of them were Black-at least that's what my Howard Universtity girlfriend told me when I whispered to her and asked why all those White people were at that football game.
And I remember that she told me that it's a good thing that I whispered that question, 'cause if some of those people knew that I had questioned their race, they'd be hard on my case.

I would also like to say that in my work in the "human services" field, I have seen how internal and external color prejudice negatively impacts families and children. Image how horrible it would be if the dark skinned father Dr. Huxtable {from that Bill Cosby Show} favored his two light skinned daughters and constantly put down his brown skinned son & daughters or the light skinned mother favored one or the other sets of children because of their skin complexion. Unfortunately, this happens in real life...And the fault for this can not fully be placed on history and on present day institutional racism. Those Black {and Latinos, and other people of color who favor a person because of his or her skin color} have to recognize the harm that they are doing,accept their own fault, and get their head and heart and soul together.


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Subject: RE: Skin color in songs & singers' names
From: katlaughing
Date: 24 Apr 06 - 05:35 PM

It happens in other ethnic groups, too. Our best friends and neighbours back East were Puerto Rican. The lightest-skinned daughter was looked upon, by the entire extended family, as having more abilities, etc. than he darker sisters. All of the elders considered her light colour to be more desirable. I wonder did that hold true before slavery or is it a prejudice only learned from white masters?

kat


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Subject: RE: Skin color in songs & singers' names
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 24 Apr 06 - 02:42 PM

That bit about being singled about for talking differently, and for having different interests from those that predominated in the new school doesn't really sound so much like stereotyping, but more like the kind of thing that happens when a kid transfers from one school to another which is very different.

But in the USA it gets seen as a primarily a matter of colour. In England it would be more likely to be seen primarily as a matter of class. Both explanations would be part of the truth - but the same processes go on even when class and colour aren't involved, for example in a transfer from a rural to an urban school, or a day school to a boardsing school, or mixed sex to single sex.


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Subject: RE: Skin color in songs & singers' names
From: Azizi
Date: 24 Apr 06 - 01:32 PM

As background to this thread, see this article:

Shades of Black Personal Stories of Colorism and Privilege By Kaomi Goetz

That article was prepared by students in a university Race & Ethnicity class. Here are some excerpts:

"Corey Dawkins, 31, an office manager at a brokerage firm on Wall Street, has light skin, a hint of his white maternal grandmother. Despite his light skin, he was considered black at his private, nearly all-white elementary school on the Upper West Side. He later transferred to a black Catholic school in Harlem, where he encountered problems because his skin was lighter than most of the other students'.

"I was called high-yellow, redbone, pale," Dawkins said. "I got into a lot of fights because I was looked at as a white kid." Dawkins said he had been singled out because he "didn't talk like other blacks" and was not interested in rap, basketball, slang and fashion. Instead, Dawkins was into tennis and skateboarding...

"My mother's family was from Alabama and Kentucky," Darden said, seated at a table in her restaurant, Spoonbread Too. "My father was from North Carolina. My mother's family did not accept my father at first because he was dark-skinned. But they finally agreed since he was a doctor, and because he made more money than all of them."

-snip-


I would like to emphasize that this article is presented as background to this discussion because it provides examples of what the article calles "colorism"- Black prejudice towards other Black people because of their and other's Black people's skin color. I want to be clear that I do not agree with all points made by those interviewed in this article- for example the comment by the man who said he only liked light skinned women, and the comment about the light skinned man tranferring from an all White school to an all Black schooland not being accepted by those students because all they were interested in was "rap, slang, fashion, and basketball".

I consider this to be a very simplistic statement. And I strongly reject it as being an inaccurate and patronizing and prejudiced reflection of all Black students in my [pre-rap but R&B might be a fitting substitute] generation and my children's [rap] generation.


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Subject: RE: Skin color in songs & singers' names
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 23 Apr 06 - 01:34 PM

The other factor might be not knowing how to apply terms like dark and light in that context - as Azizi said there's a very wide range of variation, most people on that range would be lighter than some and darker than others.

"She's darker than you" or "she's lighter than you" would be one way to solve that one, but I think some people might take that as over personal.

And I know I'm useless at matching shades of colours when I'm out with my wife shopping, and I doubt I'd be much better when it came to finer shades of skin differences.


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Subject: RE: Skin color in songs & singers' names
From: Big Mick
Date: 23 Apr 06 - 01:24 PM

It is refreshing to have this thread. The fact that it is started by a person "of color" makes it more so. There has been some discussion which centered around the question "what's the point?". I will give you my opinion.

Human curiosity being what it is, many times folks are curious about these things but don't ask the questions, out of concern for offending or being chastised. At other times, performers such as myself just want to make sure we have the context right out of respect for those we are singing about.

In other words, this is the thread to just have the discussion, gain understanding, help others understand, without the rancor. The issue isn't what Azizi, you, or I, am. The issue is the use of terms of color in descriptions within songs. It is fascinating stuff and I am enjoying following this thread.

Learn, come to understand, be a better person/performer for it.

All the best,

Mick


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Subject: RE: Skin color in songs & singers' names
From: GUEST,thurg
Date: 23 Apr 06 - 01:14 PM

Azizi - I'm sure there are many of us who find your observations worthwhile: keep'm coming!


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Subject: RE: Skin color in songs & singers' names
From: Azizi
Date: 23 Apr 06 - 12:17 PM

Excuse me, I should have written that "the point of my post was that-in my experience-making a reference to "dark skin" or "light skin" would not necessarily be considered offensive. Of course, time and place and who and how one makes such references is important.

But to assume that such references are always offensive is offensive to me.


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Subject: RE: Skin color in songs & singers' names
From: Azizi
Date: 23 Apr 06 - 12:13 PM

In my opinion, the reason why such skin color names were used and continue to be used as stage names for Black people is that such descriptors were and continue to be used in everyday life.

I don't know why that White student mentioned in my last post was embarrassed to describe Stephanie by her skin color. But if it was because she was taught that doing so might "offend" Black people, the point of my post was that-in my experience-making a reference to "dark skin" or "light skin" would not be considered offensive. References to Black people's skin color have in the past and are still are now used as descriptors without any postitive or negative value judgement.

If you already knew this-fine. My post was directed to those who may not have known this.


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Subject: RE: Skin color in songs & singers' names
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 23 Apr 06 - 11:55 AM

Only a passing reference from Guest_mg about Stephan Foster's "Nellie Was a Lady" --

"Nellie was a lady,
Last night she died,
Toll the bell for handsome Nell
My dark Virginny bride."

Fresh in my mind, of course, because Jennifer Wood sang it at NEFFA yesterday. Also sung by Helen Schneyer and recorded recently by Sara Grey.

First song expressing the (then) impossible belief that a black African-American could be a lady.

Linn


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Subject: RE: Skin color in songs & singers' names
From: katlaughing
Date: 23 Apr 06 - 11:24 AM

If she was embarrassed to describe Stephanie by colour it was probably because she'd been taught not to offend black people by doing so. Not all white people are that way; many have lived in a very diverse background and commonly refer to colour for description. In all ways, it is best not to generalise about any particular group of people.


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Subject: RE: Skin color in songs & singers' names
From: Azizi
Date: 23 Apr 06 - 07:36 AM

I appreciate the depth of feeling and sincerity that Bert reveals in his last post. Bert wrote "I was raised to love people whoever they were and color of skin didn't enter into it any more than did color of hair."

Paraphasing the lyrics of a calypso song, let me say that "It was curiosity and curiosity alone that caused me to start this thread.
I either wrote the name "Tampa Red" on another Mudcat thread or read the name there. Ironically, that thread was started by 'Catter
"Mr. Red". I have since found out that the "Red" in Tampa Red's name referred to his hair color. But I erroneously assumed that it referred to that African American's skin color. Be that as it may,
I wondered how many skin "color" names I could list from song lyrics and from singers'/musicians' names. I also wondered what names other members and guests could come up with from American and other sources.

It is true that skin color lyrics and skin color names may reveal prejudices against the person named. It's also true that Black people still have alot of work to do to rid ourselves of skin color preferences for light skinned [Black]people over dark skinned [Black people]. However, skin color references have been and still are used as descriptors without any intention whatsoever of insult or prejudice.   

There's no doubt in my mind that Black people are more alert to and use more skin color references than non-Black people. I believe that this is because there are so many gradations of skin color in our race. As the saying goes, Black people range in color from "light, bright and damn near White" to blacker than the darkest night.

We {Black people} regularly refer to the skin color of other Black people when we are describing them to others. Black people are "dark skinned" or "light skinned", or "kinda dark skin" or "real light skinned" or "regular" complexion-meaning a certain kind of brown complexion that most African Americans have. And as I indicated in other posts to this thread, some Black people are called "Red" or "Redbone" because they have a reddish tinge to their light brown complexion. These skin color references are often used as descriptors without any thought of insulting that person. TAnd these color names were used-and continue to be used-in singers' & musicians' names and in song lyrics because they are used in everyday life.

Here is an example: Years ago, I was employed at a local college as a "minority student" counselor. My office was right off of a large room where a number of students congregated to study or relax, and/or eat lunch or snacks. One day this White woman knocked on my door and asked me if I had seen "Stephanie" as she had arranged to meet her there but she [the White student]was late. "Stephanie" used to be a quite common name. I had seen and spoken to three Stephanies that day. I asked her "Which Stephanie?" The student said she didn't know Stephanie's last name. I then asked her "What does Stepahie look like?" The student then described Stephanie by height and by Stephanie's year in school. Since that didn't help me, I said "Is she light skinned or dark skinned". The White woman seemed very embarrassed by that question and mumbled that she didn't know. She then asked me if Stephanie came by looking for her, would I please tell her that she was sorry that she was late. I said I would do so.

What struck me about that incident was how different most Black person would have responded to my question about Stephanie's appearance. They would have gone right to Stephanie's skin color. And they would have described that woman's skin color without embarrassment by comparing skin colors {"She's about my color." or "She's just about your complexion." or "She's light skinned." etc. And Black people may have coupled their skin color description of they person with a decription of how that person wears their hair, or a description of that person's natural hair texture...
I believe that we [Black people] have alot of internal work to with regard to "good hair"/"bad hair" descriptors-since in Black venacular "good hair" means hair like White people. When people use these descriptors they may not even aware that they are knocking themselves. But skin color descriptors may be simply descriptors-nothing more and nothing less.

Though this thread was not meant to discuss race relations, I will take this opportunity to repeat what I have said on other Mudcat threads-I don't want a color blind world. I want a world where there are not positive or negative valuations associated with skin colors-or hair textures.

And I very much agree with Bert's statement that "I just wish that we could all love people whoever they are".


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Subject: RE: Skin color in songs & singers' names
From: Bert
Date: 23 Apr 06 - 12:22 AM

I've been following this thread with a certain amount of sadness. I was raised to love people whoever they were and color of skin didn't enter into it any more than did color of hair.

And I'm old enough to remember when the "N word" (I think that this euphemism is worse than the word itself) was in common use and more often than not carried no ill intent.

So we learned songs like

"I worked just like a nigger though I isn't over strong"

or poems like Kipling's "The Ladies"

"And then we was shifted to Neemuch
or I might a bin keeping her now
and I took with a shiny she devil
the wife of a nigger at Mhow.
She taught me the Gipsy Folks bolee
a kind of volcano she were
and she knifed me one night
'cos I wished she was white
and I learned about women from her"


Also, I posted this song that I learned as a kid
here


Aaaah! I just wish that we could all love people whoever they are.


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Subject: RE: Skin color in songs & singers' names
From: Pauline L
Date: 22 Apr 06 - 11:53 PM

I'm really enjoying this thread.

"Why Am I So Black and Blue" by Louis Armstrong says a lot about racism in the U.S.

My mother used to tell a story that I don't believe, but it's a good story, so I'll repeat it. She grew up in a tenement in Brooklyn during the Depression. (How's that for fashionable roots?) She said that a blue-eyed, African American peddlar used to roam the streets of her neighborhood singing "Am I Blue?"


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Subject: RE: Skin color in songs & singers' names
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 22 Apr 06 - 09:20 PM

"a cultural bombshell" - well, interesting enough, but not really a bombshell, because that would imply both that this was new and that it was shocking. I just picked a book about Browning off the shelf dated 1903 which mentions the possibility and clearly seeing it as nothing new - with a comment "There is nothing valid against any of these theories, just as there is nothing valid in their favour; they may, all or any of them, be true, but they are still irrelevant." (Robert Browning - GK Chesterton)

I suppose firm proof that Browning had some black ancestors would be one in the eye for any white racists who were Browning enthusiasts, but I doubt if there are many of those.


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Subject: RE: Skin color in songs & singers' names
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 22 Apr 06 - 05:26 PM

GUEST,mg asked, "What about wode?"

I have to assume that you meant "woad", a plant that yields a blue color. Legend has it that the natives of Britain at and before the time of Julius Caesar's invasion would go to war clad only in the skins their mothers gave them, colored blue with woad.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Skin color in songs & singers' names
From: Azizi
Date: 21 Apr 06 - 10:11 PM

Somewhat off-topic but not really, is the use of color names as last namesby non-singers/musicians...

Examples: Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Robert Browning.

See this excerpt from this May 1995 Ebony Magazine article
"Two of world's greatest lovers - Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning - were descendants of blacks - book sheds new light on couple - includes book excerpt and interview with author
Ebony, May, 1995 by Monique Burns

"How do I love thee?" Elizabeth Barrett wrote to Robert Browning in her immortal Sonnets From the Portuguese, "Let me count the ways ...."

The ways apparently were not affected by the mixed bloodline of either poet. For, in Dared And Done: The Marriage of Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning, an absorbing 382-page saga recently released by Alfred A. Knopf, the venerable New York publishing house, author Julia Markus offers convincing evidence that the two 19th-century English poets were part-Black descendants of wealthy Jamaican plantation owners.

This evidence comes This evidence comes from contemporary witnesses, frank acknowledgments by Barrett, and photographs that depict both as dark-skinned. In a letter to her beloved sister Arabel in 1860, Barrett enclosed a black-and-white photograph taken in Rome of herself and their 11-year-old son "Pen," which shows a clear contrast between the dark-skinned mother and fair-haired, blue-eyed child.

The evidence of mixed race in two of the greatest poets in the English language has been a cultural bombshell, sending shock waves through literary circles on two continents. Vincent Petronella, president of Boston's Browning Society, one of the country's largest, and an English professor at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, says: "From this time onward, no biographer can ever reject this scholarship. Something was coming to light in her [Elizabeth Barrett's] father's mind. The issue of mixed blood is as good an explanation as any. Even if you don't accept it as fact, you have to bear it in mind.

According to Markus, a respected Browning scholar and award-winning novelist, there are strong indications that the adamant opposition of Elizabeth's father, Edward Barrett Moulton Barrett, to the marriage of any of his 11 surviving children -- was not merely the dictum of a domestic tyrant but, rather, a deliberate attempt to extinguish the family's mixed bloodline.

The most common reaction to this cultural whodunit, which starts in Colonial Jamaica and segues to England and Italy, has been a kind of shocked silence. Although the book has been hailed by The New York Times and the Boston Globe, other major newspapers and major electronic media have not reviewed it or even mentioned it."

-snip-

For the entire article, click http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1077/is_n7_v50/ai_16878140


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Subject: RE: Skin color in songs & singers' names
From: katlaughing
Date: 21 Apr 06 - 08:56 PM

Has anyone mentioned Black is the colour of my true love's hair?

McGrath, I thought you meant "of course he passed himself off that way in order to get past the ban against intergrated bands."


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Subject: RE: Skin color in songs & singers' names
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 21 Apr 06 - 08:10 PM

back to hair color..

how about Eric the Red?

The Star of Logy Bay..had the curling of her yellow locks

Rody McCorley had above the hemp rope on his neck the golden ringlets hung

Beautiful brown eyes

Did I say about Annie Laurie..hair like the raven.. mg


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Subject: RE: Skin color in songs & singers' names
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 21 Apr 06 - 07:56 PM

My full post was actually something like Of course "white" people can be albinos as well. But somewhere along the one my post lost its tail (which has happened on at least one other thread).

In fact albinos are the only genuinely "white" people around.


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Subject: RE: Skin color in songs & singers' names
From: Azizi
Date: 21 Apr 06 - 06:52 PM

Well McGrath of Harlow, "we" might have gotten off course with that Snow-White/Rose-Red & Cinderella posts, but the Albino Red/Red Rodney/Robert Roland Chudnick posts are definitely on topic.

Or did you mean to say something else?

:o)


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Subject: RE: Skin color in songs & singers' names
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 21 Apr 06 - 06:14 PM

Of course


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Subject: RE: Skin color in songs & singers' names
From: Peace
Date: 21 Apr 06 - 03:52 PM

His birth name was Robert Roland Chudnick. It's all I could find for the moment.


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Subject: RE: Skin color in songs & singers' names
From: Azizi
Date: 21 Apr 06 - 03:51 PM

Thanks for that information, Peace.

Interesting, so "Albino Red" wasn't an albino at all. So, I suppose he had red hair, right?


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Subject: RE: Skin color in songs & singers' names
From: Peace
Date: 21 Apr 06 - 03:47 PM

"Jazz trumpeter. He was one of the first white musicians to play with Charlie Parker.

When touring with Charlie Parker in the American South he went by the stage name of "Albino Red", because many municipalities had regulations against mixed-race performance ensembles."

The above is in reference to Red Rodney.


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Subject: RE: Skin color in songs & singers' names
From: Azizi
Date: 21 Apr 06 - 03:34 PM

I don't know, thurg.

From my reading and my experience , "Red" is/was not used as much among African Americans as "Yellow" or White [as in "Whiteboy" or "Whitey" or "Casper"-the name of the cartoon "friendly ghost"] to describe a describe a Black person who is very light skinned or is an albino. However, a Black person [and I guess a person of any race/ethnicity] who is an albino can have red hair, so they might be called "Red" for pejorative, or friendly, descriptive reasons.

Not that I have known very many Black people {or people of any race} who are albinos. But I did know one. A long time ago when I was in elementary school, I ws walking home with my sisters and some older girls and we passed by a house and noticed a Black girl about my age on the porch. The girl's skin was very pale, and her hair was a reddish color. Though the red haired girl was about my age, she didn't go to my neighborhood school. Maybe she was Catholic and went to the city's Catholic school. Anyway, as a bunch of other kids walked past that girl's house, I heard a couple of them shout out "Hey, burnt rice!" The girl quickly put her head down and ran into her house.

I remember asking one of the "older" girls I was walking home with "Why did those kids called that girl "burnt rice"?. She said it was because of the color of that girl's hair. Since we lived in an all Black neighborhood, just about all the kids we knew had black or dark brown hair so a Black girl with red hair was different. I remember asking that older girl "Why is her hair that color?" And that older girl said something like "That was the way she was born".

I seldom saw that girl again, but when I did I made a point of waving and saying "Hi" to her. Years would pass before I figured out that that red haired girl was an albino. I never forgot her, and I never forgot the second hand lesson that words could hurt. In all the years that have come and gone, I still remember that little red haired girl. I wish her well where ever she is.


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Subject: RE: Skin color in songs & singers' names
From: GUEST,thurg
Date: 21 Apr 06 - 02:48 PM

How 'bout the character "Albino Red" from Clint Eastwood's movie about Charlie Parker ("Bird"?) ... Was there such a person, or was this a bit of delightful whimsy made up for the movie?


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Subject: RE: Skin color in songs & singers' names
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 21 Apr 06 - 01:23 PM

has anyone mentioned Wode? mg


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Subject: RE: Skin color in songs & singers' names
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 20 Apr 06 - 08:25 PM

Here's an Irish song that definitely refers to skin color not hair color: "The Banks of Ponchartrain"

"The Banks of Ponchartrain" - or The Lakes of Pontchartrain as it more commonly is called, isn't an Irish song exceopt in the sense that, like a lot of somgs, it has been taken up and naturalised.

In fact there's nothing definite about whether "dark girl" refer to skin colour or hair colour or both - "creole" is a term that leaves it wide open. The crucial element isn't colour but hospitality to a stranger, combined with fidelity to an absent lover.


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Subject: RE: Skin color in songs & singers' names
From: GUEST,ClaireBear
Date: 20 Apr 06 - 07:55 PM

More thread creep...

Kat, you're right about the Snow White and Rose Red fairy tale. Thanks for looking it up; I've beem slammed at work today and haven't had time to go prowling for source.

As I recall, the version of Snow White I read as a child (which I think was a watered-down Perrault) had the child's natural mother pricking her finger on an embroidery needle while working on pure white fabric in an ebony embroidery frame. The sight of her scarlet blood on the snowy cloth in the stark black frame caused her to utter a wish for a child with skin as white as snow, lips as red as blood, and hair as black as ebony. The wish was granted, at the cost of her life (she died in childbirth). So the black hair wasn't just Disneyvision, Kat m'dear. Back in the day, Disney actually paid attention to its sources sometimes!


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Subject: RE: Skin color in songs & singers' names
From: katlaughing
Date: 20 Apr 06 - 07:11 PM

I never thought of Rose Red having red hair, probably because her sister, Snow White, was portrayed with black hair by Disney.:-) In the original, it does not really say, just that the girls were of different temperments, not that one was better than the other:

THERE was once a poor widow who lived in a lonely cottage. In front of the cottage was a garden wherein stood two rose-trees, one of which bore white and the other red roses. She had two children who were like the two rose-trees, and one was called Snow-white and the other Rose-red. They were as good and happy, as busy and cheerful, as ever two children in the world were, only Snow-white was more quiet and gentle than Rose-red. Rose-red liked better to run about in the meadows and fields seeking flowers and catching butterflies; but Snow-white sat at home with her mother, and helped her with her house-work, or read to her when there was nothing to do.

from HERE

kat


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Subject: RE: Skin color in songs & singers' names
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 20 Apr 06 - 06:15 PM

I have only skimmed through the threads..

Did anyone mention Nelly was a lady..by Stephen Foster...a man sing of his dark Virginny bride.

Star of the County Down is a brown colleen

Nut-brown maiden

well..her lips were like the cherries when red and she a winsome one to see

I'll think some more... mg


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Subject: RE: Skin color in songs & singers' names
From: Jon W.
Date: 20 Apr 06 - 06:05 PM

Here's an Irish song that definitely refers to skin color not hair color: "The Banks of Ponchartrain"

All strangers there, no friends to me

'Til a dark girl towards me came

And I fell in love with a creole girl

On the banks of Ponchartrain.


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Subject: RE: Skin color in songs & singers' names
From: Azizi
Date: 20 Apr 06 - 03:33 PM

Not that the fairy tale Cinderella or the name Cinderella has anything to do with skin color in songs and singer's names except that wasn't it traditionally for European Chimney sweeps to sometimes be called black for the same reasons-all those cinders.

[as you can see I have a difficult time staying on-topic but this is kinda on topic as there's alot of songs about chimney sweeps-like um...and um... that Mary Poppins song and...you know.


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Subject: RE: Skin color in songs & singers' names
From: Azizi
Date: 20 Apr 06 - 12:44 PM

Warning-another thread drift again-sorta

;0)

ClaireBear, I think you're right. And doesn't the Grimm's fairy tale, Snow-white and Rose-Red refer to hair color and not complexion? Though people with blond hair and people with red hair may have different complexions, is this not so?

Also, the title of another Grimm's fairy tale "Cinderella"
{Cinder-Ella} is a nickname for a girl name Ella who becomes dirty from all the house work she does, including cleaning up the cinders.


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Subject: RE: Skin color in songs & singers' names
From: GUEST,ClaireBear
Date: 20 Apr 06 - 12:38 PM

Oh, and don't forget Kermit the Frog's "It's Not Easy Being Green."


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Subject: RE: Skin color in songs & singers' names
From: GUEST,ClaireBear
Date: 20 Apr 06 - 12:36 PM

I was just thinking of that one (Lord Thomas and Lady Ellender). I think "the brown girl" in that one is brown-haired rather than brown-skinned -- in contrast to the "fair" Ellender, but I could be wrong. Much the same sort of description applies to the "dark girl" who is the villain in many versions of "The Two Sisters." Her sister is also clearly a blonde, judging by her golden hair that is used to string the harp.


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Subject: RE: Skin color in songs & singers' names
From: Wolfgang
Date: 20 Apr 06 - 12:24 PM

A German singer and songwriter, Knut Kiesewetter, has a whole song about skin colours and prejudices:

Sie sind grün (They are green)

Well, that's the title I recollect though on that site I'm linking to they have another title.

It's a song about green people who don't like the colour of their skin and paint themselves yellow, red, black, and white, respectively to realise in the end that they like the original green best and now are proud about that colour.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Skin color in songs & singers' names
From: Azizi
Date: 20 Apr 06 - 11:55 AM

I don't know this song, but when I would see the phrase "fair maiden" I used to think that "fair" meant that the woman was impartial.


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Subject: RE: Skin color in songs & singers' names
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 20 Apr 06 - 11:00 AM

It may be here and I missed it, but I don't recall anyone citing "Fair Ellinore and the Brown Girl".

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Skin color in songs & singers' names
From: GUEST,Greyboy
Date: 20 Apr 06 - 03:16 AM

You know, I didn't see anyone grimly leveling the "thesis requirement" b.s. on, say, the "Miskin at Easter" thread (and didn't THAT thread ramble...) or on any of a number of Mudcat threads which start in the interrogative and proceed through opinions toward an indistinct end.

Granted it doesn't seem to be "going" somewhere, if you look at it with some sort of linear expectation. But Azizi's opening was asking for a Mudcat-wide net-cast toward bringing forth some very interesting information.

Blunt demands for some academically oriented standard suggest to me some "unreliable narration" is asserting itself...

Mr Bridge, the concept you may be seeking here is that of "process". Relax and enjoy the ride. It's a thread on the freakin' internet!

Jeez...


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