West Indian solution to the “negro problem”

by kathleenljackson

According to W. E. B. Du Bois (1923), the West Indian experience was vastly different to the African American experience.

The mulattoes are virtually regarded and treated as whites, with the assumption that they will, by continued white intermarriage, bleach out their color as soon as possible. There survive, therefore, few white colonials, save new‐comers, who are not of negro descent in some more or less remote ancestor. Mulattoes intermarry, then, largely with the whites, and the so‐called disappearance of the color‐line is the disappearance of the line between the whites and mulattoes, and not between the whites and the blacks or even between the mulattoes and the blacks.

The process described above reads more like the experience of the Indigenous people of Australia than the African American people (the group they have been more closely associated with; because of emigration, no doubt). I became interested in the topic because different approaches to ‘race problems’ led to the same outcome. It makes me think about deeper structural issues… Do you see the theme here dear readers?

(Source: Du Bois, William Edward Burghardt, 1868‐1963, Back to Africa In Century Magazine 150 no. 4:539‐548 (February 1923). (New York, NY: Century Co., 1923). pp. 539‐548)

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