Redbones

Melungeons and “Redbones” are the same thing – “Creole” is the same thing too and they are by “racial policy definitions” Black Americans.

Being mixed according to old Catholic Colonial policy – lighter skin = higher in caste – so a “middle class” of neither black nor white identity is a byproduct of the trifurcated roots of old America – they are – TRUE Americans – mixed Indigenous, African, European, possibly Asian too – but ducking racial white or black bifurcation – they seek to create their own identity or to preserve it by marrying amongst themselves.

Traditionally in New Orleans – Creoles married other Creole – be they light or dark skin but a visible sign of admixture is nearly a requirement for “acceptance” unless embedded in the communities.

Pretending to be some shipwrecked Portuguese like Melungeons or some anomaly like “Redbones” – Black people calling other Blacks “Redbones” is all a part of our collective identity.

Some Euro-American/White ethnographer saying they aren’t either is NOT an truism because he wrote that they aren’t black or white – doesn’t mean they aren’t either or in reality – both!

A lot of confusion about “Redbone” is due to a misidentification of Indigenous Americans as “Black” or “African” due to darker skin. I’m seeing a distinct Indigenous Black American identity evident in DNA and oral histories and ethnographic and archeological studies. But there are a distinct overlapping – Biering Straight migrant Asiatic “American Indians” as well but over thousands of years the migrations populating and intermarrying and annihilating mound builder “Black Indigenous” groups by those arriving from Asia.

In short a lot of American Indians are in fact defined as “Black” or “African” and that is a source of confusion – because black indigenous people don’t fit the phenotype ascribed to American Indians and they thus end up being misclassified or appear to be anomalous – isolated geographic groups.

This area preserved their identity because of a history of violent resistance to Euro-American encroachment and resettlement. The Camino Real and the Horse people of Opelousas today are considered “Creoles” but in history and in fact are largely Chitimacha, Ishak, Choctaw or Coushatas originally from Alabama etc.

Its not as “complicated” or isolated or separated thus her video acknowledges they’re the same as Creoles but still tries to separate them based on the letter and geographic “isolation”.

The key to understanding Redbones just like Melungeons is to note that they are deemed “unique” because resisting “identification” allowed for them to remain!

Indian Removal Act meant if either groups identified as “American Indian” they’d have been forced to Indian Territory / Oklahoma.

by Ivan B. Watkins