Speaking My Mind

Supporting The Right To Be White, Multiracial White or Multiracial & Against The Improper Public Posting Of Personal Genealogy Information & Family Trees By Others

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Michael Tabler & A Woman Of Color

Posted by loud&clear on February 10, 2011 at 4:05 PM

Race is here whether we like it or not. That's a fact, so... this is one of my editorials, now turned blog, that was prompted by a comment on a family genealogy website: 

Site member said: These newspaper articles that want to make the Tablers ALL about BLACK people need to study and listen to the ancestors of the Tablers and get the facts straight. I've considered myself black/colored all my life, but I'm old, almost 70, and that's the old thinking, look at the kids now. Its a different story. My 2 cents worth...


My comment: This is directed at the controversy surrounding Hannah the Tabler slave, so that is my main and only focus here, although I realize that many Tablers married into all the other shades of mixed families, by the family names, Mayle, Harris etc. These family names have their own beginning stories. I am caring about our very first Tabler ancestors. Anyone who came down the line from one or many a Tabler could end up being racially anything or everything. That said, it does not make it alright for the people, and organizations behind, often published, articles regarding Tabler history to make each and every person of Tabler descend all about being Black. Where is the rest of their heritage? Why do they not have the right to choose what they want to be?


They've always been told they were of mixed heritage, colored...ok.  Back in their ancestors times and in their rural area that meant mulatto to them, but in the city, or mainstream, colored has always meant Black, not multiracial or multicultural, not anything like that. In a real sense the earlier Tablers and their associates have helped to label themselves, accepting this, not understanding that colored is Black in the mainstream of things. Many people from this ancestry are still living by the "one drop" rule...a rule the government made...a rule the white man said that they had to adhere to... a rule the "powerful men in the area" made sure was applied to all Tablers no matter how white they appeared. This is a new day these rules no longer apply. Why would anyone allow this to continue? Why in this day and age would anyone condone the "one drop" rule?


It's ok if someone wants to be of a unique people, but why would anyone look at a light skinned person, or an obvious American Indian ancestor or their descendant and say that they were/are just Black? Hannah may have been part Black, but she could have easily been part American Indian. More than likely, from research, she probaby was much more genetically European. The early articles never describe Hannah as Black. Slaves come in many different colors. Our ancestors tried to stress their other heritages. Hannah or whoever the other first mothers of Michael's children (if they were all his children) were are not the only ancestors the Tablers have. My goodness some of these freed slaves (alledged children of Michael) married whites; married Quakers. Why do we never here about them. Some of these white mothers were labeled Black just because of their married name. I studied the American Indians and they were in Virginia, they were in Berkeley county, they were everywhere the Tabler's were, many were bound into slavery or were indentured servants, although they didn't make good slaves proving too wiley for their slave holders. Most of them were forced to leave the area, but many simulated into the white population. Yes, if you have a lot of Black Africian heritage and it's genetically dominant, of course, one would say they were Black. Sure, be what you want to be, but it seems more like people from this heritage are being what they were told to be...first by the men in power, then by their own families who grew use to something that many knew wasn't true. They've made it a tradition to be held in slavery and pass that message on to their children or let other family members,or other people of the area do it for them.


It's not that I can't understand other people's perceptions, or why they have them; I can. As for the younger generations, some still think about race I know. As a result of all the generations who where taught to accept and ignore we now have older generations of Tablers who resent being called Black, never wanted to be called Black, and younger generations calling themselves Black even tho their DNA would prove them to be dominant in other areas. I'm not saying it's bad to be Black, and I can't say why the elders don't want to be Black, but surely one reason is because it's not what they all are, it's not how they look...the American Indian and European is dominant for many, but it's briefed over, or sometimes denied, while the Black takes front and center...all Tablers were/are Black, really? The people need to stand up for themselves and all the things that they are, or for whatever it is that they want to be. They don't know what to call themselves, they feel torn....we have DNA, it's ok to know who you are and what you are, and it's ok to say it...


There is so much info out there to be found if one just looks, it's all over the Internet. The elder's have so much knowledge of who their ancestors were if they would just speak up before they are all gone. They want me to do it....I've been listening to them and their confusions, prejudices and resentments all my life, not just my lines; all the lines. I know so many Tablers. These feelings may not be there for some who may descend of Tabler ancestry due to other family names or feelings, but it is there for many Tablers who still reside in the area...I know. They tell me.

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6:03 PM on February 11, 2011 
Very nicely written Susie ! Like you said it's always been confusing for Tabler's when it comes to being ask what your race is. Folks around here especially the older generations say they are colored but then if you ask some of the younger ones or folks from the city they say that you better not tell them they are colored they are black ! My children say they are Black because that's the way it's always been told to them. I have never talked to them about what they would like to be white or black.
Reply loud&clear
11:30 AM on February 27, 2011 
Thank you Donna. You've heard my rants before. This is an old one from the Walker site, that was transferred to the Damn site, and I now have it on a Myfamily 2.0 blog: http://www.myfamily.com/blog/2541433. You can facebook 'like' it on the 2.0 blog, as well as here. I'll be posting most of my blogs from the 2.0 blog here as well. You already know about the facebook page: http://facebook.com/speakinmymind. Enjoy the reading.