The Pocahontas Exception

This essay tackled the legality of the the “Pocahontas rule” and the treatment of Native American Lineage as and its potential to taint the white bloodline. Virginias Marriage laws planned to eradicate the entrance of tainted blood into the White Bloodline. However, there were some exceptions in terms of Native American Ancestry. Marriage laws at he time were in place to prevent the intrusion of tainted blood because it was threatened by “quagmire of mongrelization”. One act that allowed this to happen was the Racial Integrity Act of 1924, which basically exempt the fault of having a percentage of Indian blood and instead accepting it as part of the white racial bloodline. The article mentions that the “amount” of whiteness varies through the times. To this point we can further explain the RIA, because the law was so limited it only pertained to those with Native American ancestry. if a person was 1/16 Indian and 15/16 White they would still be classified as white. However, one drop of Black blood no matter how little would classify that person as Black also known as Hypodescent. To the point stated earlier about Whiteness Haney Lopez described it as “Whiteness, or the state of being White, thus turns on where one is … ” this is important because only in some states were those considered with Black blood to be black. In places like South Carolina even with a small percentage of Black ancestry they were considered white because they were considered white in the community.

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