Archive for November, 2008

The One-Drop Rule

November 28th, 2008

The one-drop rule is the U.S. tradition that someone of utterly European appearance who rejects an African-American self-identity is “really Black,” like it or not, due to having “one drop” of known African ancestry, no matter how ancient. The notion labels such people as merely “passing for White.” Recent examples are New York Times critic Anatole Broyard (a real person) and Anthony Hopkins’s character in the film “The Human Stain” (a fictional character). Such people are involuntarily classified as members of the U.S. Black endogamous group by press and public despite their European appearance and their freely chosen non-Black self-identity.