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The Melungeons Black-White People Who Live In Appalachia, What!

Updated on October 21, 2014


Black Whites?

Copyright 2012 VVeasey Publishing


People who make a big issue about race, about being pure this or that race have been brainwashed as children growing up in racially polarized mental environments, to think there are sharp divisions that separate people into nice neat racial categories.

Geneticists and those of us who can see beyond those racially-tinged lenses know that, that's an illusion.

Some people use race like it means species and think there are different species of people. This is not true. If it were true that we are of different species we wouldn't be able to create babies with one another which we all know we can do.

Tainted Racial Lens

These tainted racial lens we view each other through, started when various European countries started participating in the Trans-Atlantic slave trade. For various reasons they preferred the people they enslaved to come from West African countries.This lead to origin of the racial concept that whites are superior to blacks and their descendants, that we've had to deal with since then down to today. But I digress.

The point is that many people who think they are “pure” white actually have a mixed racial heritage but don't know it. Many have the dreaded African ancestor in the up line that they descend from, but wouldn't want to know it. And I can see why. There's been so much negative propaganda written about African people and their descendants to justify enslaving them for 400 years. Who would want to be black or descended from blacks. At one point in history Even Americn blacks didn't want to be black.

During 1920s right up to the black is beautiful movement of 1960s many blacks when talking about their racial heritage would be quick to point out that they had Native American Indians in their racial background or some other non black ethnic groups. They wanted to be anything but pure black. The so-called “One drop rule” created by slave traders, said anyone who could be proven to have or even thought to have “one drop” of African blood in them, was black no-matter how white they looked.

Many people who had “black” blood but were light enough to pass for white, passed for white. They would claim to have “Mediterranean” or Portuguese blood to account for any brown or dark tint in their skin color.

It's really a shame that because of the falsities created by the slave traders about blacks to justify enslaving them, caused those who had the dreaded “black” blood to hide it and deny that heritage to ovoid being deprived of their liberty and forced into slavery.

The Point of The Hub

This leads me to the point of this hub.

There are families of dark-skinned "white" people called Melungeons living in Appalachia, whose origins has been somewhat of a mystery. Some thought they were of Portuguese, Turkish , or Gypsies heritage. But a DNA study in the Journal of Genetic Genealogy has finally brought the truth to light. The evidence says the Melungeons are the descendants of Black African men and white women of northern or central European origin. And of course those who consider themselves Melungeon don't like the sound or the taste of that soda.

G. Reginald Daniel, a sociologist at the University of California-Santa Barbara who has spent more than 30 years tracing the history of multiracial groups in the U.S. said the study is more evidence that race-mixing in the U.S. isn't a new phenomenon. "All of us are multiracial," "It is recapturing a more authentic U.S. History."

And that's a good point and my point. We should celebrate the real racial heritage of America. But for 400 years all of us and people around the world have been so affected by racist propaganda, the doctrine of “white supremacy” and the “inferiority' of Blacks, to justify slavery, that we're racially polarized and only identify with our own little racial sector.

People Were Upset By The Study

Roberta Estes, the lead researcher for DNA study said "There were a whole lot of people upset by this study," "They just knew they were Portuguese, or Native American." (Just like those blacks who tried to claim native American heritage)

But we're all of mixed racial heritage and that's wouldn't be seen as such a bad thing if it wasn't for the negative racial attitudes that are still being perpetrated on us and our children, to this day.

Researchers think that the Melungeons were probably the result of intermarriages between black and white indentured servants living in Virginia during the mid-1600s, before the introduction of the slave trade.

They think that when laws were passed to prevent blacks and whites from intermixing, the various families intermarried and eventually migrated to the mountains of East Tennessee. They passed themselves off as being Portuguese so they could retain their freedom and all the privileges that go along with being white (just as many blacks did).

Don't Want Tainted Blood

There was a Tennessee court case in 1874 against, Martha Simmerman, a Melungeon woman whose right to her inheritance was being contested because she was believed to have Negro blood. Her attorney, argued that Simmerman's family was really descended from ancient Phoenicians who had migrated to Portugal and then North America.

Years later Simmerman's attorney Wrote about the case stating, "Our Southern high-bred people will never tolerate on equal terms any person who is even remotely tainted with negro blood, but they do not make the same objection to other brown or dark-skinned people, like the Spanish, the Cubans, the Italians, etc." (Read my hub "Are Blacks the Cursed Descendants of Ham for an explanation of this "tainted" blood)

Jack Goins another researcher who identifies himself as Melungeon, had relatives who were listed as Portuguese on an 1880 census. He had a DNA test done and was “unpleasantly” surprised when the test showed he had African ancestry. He was so "surprised" that he had his DNA tested three times and every time they confirmed he was of African descent.

No one knows how the name Melungeon originated but it's known that it was used as a racial slur by white Appalachia families who suspected the Melungions were possibly of mixed race.

Wayne Winkler, past president of the Melungeon Heritage Association. Says, "It's sometimes embarrassing to see the lengths your ancestors went to hide their African heritage, but look at the consequences" "They suffered anyway because of the suspicion."

He's right. It is a shame that the Melungeons had to hide their racial heritage and deny their ancestors to avoid racial hatred and bigotry, They hid it so well that their descendants don't even know their true ancestral history.

This is the ugly legacy of racism and white supremacy that many whites don't want to see or look at. Because they're white they feel they have to defend themselves and their “race” against how this ugly racial history makes them look and feel.

But they shouldn't feel guilty. If they don't share those ugly racial views and feelings in the present. They have nothing to feel guilty about or to be ashamed about.

Just because you're white doesn't mean that you're guilty of what other white people did in the past or currently, if you don't currently share their views.

So if you're one of those people, let go of the guilt and identification with the legacy of racist whites, because you happen to be white.

And you will feel much better and see much clearer. And you and the world will be a better place for it.

Words Of Wisdom From Paleoanthropologist Richard Leaky

I'll end with the words of paleoanthropologist Richard Leaky, "If you get to the stage where you can persuade people on the evidence, that it's solid, that we are all African, that color is superficial, that stages of development of culture are all interactive, "then I think we have a chance of a world that will respond better to global challenges."

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    • profile image

      Diana DeCristo 

      2 months ago

      Actually, my best friend is olive-complected with dark brown eyes--she is a Melungeon from Appalachia, a Kennedy. Both her parents were old-time Appalachians. Her DNA showed NO African blood. Instead, she tested as two-thirds British Isles and one-third PORTUGUESE, just as the Melungeons have claimed. Researchers and writers like yourself have not believed their claims to be of Portuguese descent (probably arriving in the 16th century) and instead argued that they were mixed white and African and "hiding it," as you also say. I think a people might know, even generations down the line, who they are. It's not a matter of being "embarrassed" to be black. They simply are not black.

    • profile image

      Michele Godfrey 

      13 months ago

      People need to realize we are all of different races of blood that runs through our body! We are all mixed ! Why can’t we all get along ?

    • profile image

      Jazmin Matheson 

      20 months ago

      This was a very informative and interresting read.

    • Anita Hasch profile image

      Anita Hasch 

      2 years ago from Port Elizabeth

      Very interesting and informative hub. Hitler was so ridiculous with his Aryan race, with blond hair and blue eyes, when he himself was dark skinned, had dark hair and eyes. We should judge people by their actions and not by their skin color.

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      Doris James MizBejabbers 

      3 years ago from Beautiful South

      I don't understand why black or African-American people are getting so upset over this hub. The author is just stating facts as studies have stated. As far as I could see, and I am a legal editor, he isn't making any racial accusations or arguments. I think this is a very good hub, although it certainly has brought out the racists in the audience. Caucasian comes from the word "Caucasus" as in Caucasus Mountains on the Northeastern Shore of the Black Sea. It is where the lightest skin race originated, so it isn't any more made up than the word "African" for a person whose ancestry originated in Africa.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      All I see is a lot of ignorance from both sides.

      I come from a city that had barely no blacks or not many foreign whites 25 years or so ago.

      Over the past 10 years and more recently, We have seen a big influence Asians, blacks Chinese and other nationalities, yet I consider the majority of whites in my city are very tolerant of them.

      Not many places in the world would be as tolerant if the boot was on the other foot.

      I believe when you go or live in another country you should be willing to live their way of life, you are accepted into the community better, rather than being an outcast like some that choose not to.

      The human species is 99. 9% related some way, that is a scientific fact.

      It is of my opinion that we come from three or four ancestral beings that were closely related coming out of Africa, there's some evidence of that today from that continent, archeological finds and a tribe of people with lighter skin.

      Take the animal kingdom and dogs for instance.

      All dogs are said to come off tomartcus, forgive the spelling.

      Then wolves came from him. Wolf that gave rise to the shepherding breeds, a wolf that gave rise to the Mastiff breeds, the sighthound breeds and the small breeds. Evolution can accelerate quicker than some think, man has proven this by experiments with animals and we humans are no different, its happening now right under our very noses, we are changing from our ancestry past. What will the human species look like around the globe 20,000 years from now? That's if there's a human species left by then.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      @Ruthanne you are ignorant...reading and writing were already invented when whites were still in caves. Greeks called the whits Barbarians because of your destructive nature Lack of living in cities and your barbled sounded language..What you finally obtained when black Moors bought you out of the dark ages you obtained from them. Greeks nor Romans claimed any of the Germanic tribes which you descended from.

    • vveasey profile imageAUTHOR

      VC L Veasey 

      5 years ago from Detroit,MI

      thanks shanty sweets!

    • profile image

      shanty sweets 

      5 years ago

      Excellent hub! There were many moments when you 'took the words right out of my mouth' ...Loved it!

    • vveasey profile imageAUTHOR

      VC L Veasey 

      6 years ago from Detroit,MI


      You say "you're not a negro, but a mulatto and any brains you have(by the fact you can read and write and make comments on this forum) are from your white genes."

      This statement is rediculous.

      All humans have brains, (intelligence) not just whites and can learn to read, write and speak a language.

      White is also not a race

      I'm not a negro or mulatto.

      These are old worn out racist concepts and terms.

      Negro is not a race nor is mulatto.

      I will think according to what I know and you can think according what you know.

      I'm not trying to convince you to see things my way.

      So don't try to convince me to see things your way.

      Because thus far you haven't shown me facts or science to support what you're saying

      Read this

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Look vveasey, you're not a negro, but a mulatto and any brains you have(by the fact you can read and write and make comments on this forum) are from your white genes. Lets face it if Whites had never entered darkest africa, your negro ancestors would still be in the stone age. So if you want to think they are the same as Whites, go right on ahead, despite the facts staring you and everyone else in the face.

    • vveasey profile imageAUTHOR

      VC L Veasey 

      6 years ago from Detroit,MI

      Also Negro is not the name of a specie.

      It's just the Spanish word for black.

      White is not the name of a specie

    • vveasey profile imageAUTHOR

      VC L Veasey 

      6 years ago from Detroit,MI

      Jimmy Joe

      thank for your comments

      If different species branch of from a common ancestor how can they be different species?

      The classification of what a species is and who or what belongs to it can change over time by those who decide thoses thing for us.

      Click this link and read "Why Lions And Tigers Should Be The Same Species "

      Also this about humans

    • profile image

      Jimmy Joe 

      6 years ago

      Negros and whites are definitely different species. In evolution, when different species first branch off from a common ancestor, they can still mate successfully for a while longer. I believe the different races were just about to be reproductively isolated before Europeans "invented" mass travel. It might have only been another few thousand years and the races (species) would have been reproductively incompatable. There are many species that can interbreed and have viable offspring. Examples are lion/tiger=liger, some species of whales, and the wolf/dog hybrids.

    • vveasey profile imageAUTHOR

      VC L Veasey 

      6 years ago from Detroit,MI


      Although you tried to insult my intelligence

      Thanks for your comments

      You say "Most people don't understand the vast genetic differences between the human sub-species(races), which have up to 25% genetic variance"

      This sounds like some "science" or "truth telling" of your own making

      What genetic science can you show to support that statement?

      You say "Contrary to the author's tainted belief, there are many examples around the world of humans with genetic purity, that have not crossed with other sub-species." Show the science that backs up this statement

      You say "It is humorus when some attempt to dismiss the reality of the caucasoid(white), mongloid(asian), and negroid/africanoid(black) sub-species"

      Your mind seems stuck in the past and you're using outdated dispproven racial concepts and terms

      Click this link, read and get educated about one of your so-called subspecies mongloid(asian). I assume you include the Chinese in this group

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Most people don't understand the vast genetic differences between the human sub-species(races), which have up to 25% genetic variance. The only reason that the different human groups are not referred to as species, is because when you cross 2 different species, the hybrid offspring are sterile; but when you cross two sub-species, the hybrid offspring are normally fertile. Contrary to the author's tainted belief, there are many examples around the world of humans with genetic purity, that have not crossed with other sub-species. This is because many people do not approve of bestiality between the human sub-species that resulted in hybrid offspring. Most normal people are against bestiality between the human sub-species and are not okay with knowingly creating hybrid humans. There are certain genetic traits that each subspecies possesses. It is humorus when some attempt to dismiss the reality of the caucasoid(white), mongloid(asian), and negroid/africanoid(black) sub-species and try to replace it with the fantasy of skin pigmentation being the only difference between the humans. Take a picture of a human from any of the three subspecies and change the skin pigmentation to match another sub-species, and see if you can see through the lie of the pigmentation argument. Humans exist as three separate sub-species or creatures. No one sub-species is better than any other one. Some people approve of bestiality between the human sub-species, others do not. That is their preference.

    • vveasey profile imageAUTHOR

      VC L Veasey 

      6 years ago from Detroit,MI



    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I came across your hub while browsing Hub Pages.

      I became interested in human evolution 35 years ago, and over the years since, I have learned that there is no such thing as a "pure race".

      1. If you are religious and believe in Adam and Eve, then you will not be interested in evolutionary theories. If you prefer to believe the scientific evidence, as I do, then all humans are descended from African ancestors who gradually spread over hundreds of thousands of years to occupy the Earth.

      2. During the 5,000 years of recorded history, humans have been constantly moving, as invaders, immigrants, settlers, refugees, slaves, captives, fortune seekers and lone adventurers. One of the consequences of that is that humans of different cultures/ethnic origins have constantly mixed, had sexual relations and intermarried. Just a couple of examples: Black Africans from Nubia went to Britain with the Roman Army 2,000 years ago and some of them married Ancient British Celtic women and had children with them; the English Royal Family has African ancestry through Russian writer Alexandr Pushkin, whose Grandfather was an Ethiopian. Many Spaniards, particularly in the south of Spain, are of Arab descent, because North African Arabs invaded and conquered southern Span in the 8th century and ruled it for 700 years.

      Ideas of racial purity are simply the result of ignorance, and the way history is taught in many parts of the world. No one can be 100% sure of their ancestry.

    • vveasey profile imageAUTHOR

      VC L Veasey 

      7 years ago from Detroit,MI


      Thanks for your comments. You say " There is a superiority complex that Caucasians have (I'm not saying all Caucasians) and they impose this superiority on others."

      I agree with you, but hopefully as more people like you and I and others who've commented on this hub increase in number,

      More "Caucasians" (which is a made up name) will start let go of this superiorty complex and realize that they've been brainwashed to think that they are superior. Not because of accomplishment or merit but by birth. Like the children of a king.

      The children of the king are superior and better than regular people by "blood", no matter how inept or stupid they may be, just because they're the kings offspring.

      Racism and racist ideology descend from this concept and was applied to whole groups of people.

    • pagesvoice profile image

      Dennis L. Page 

      7 years ago from New York/Pennsylvania border

      Voted up, awesome, useful and interesting. nailed it with this article. I have no idea how old you are or your ethnic background, but you related a subject matter with objectivity and knowledge that was easy to read and understand. There is a superiority complex that Caucasians have (I'm not saying all Caucasians) and they impose this superiority on others. I especially like your quote from Richard Leaky.

      Then we have the practice of eugenics that went on for decades in North Carolina and even though it was morally and ethically wrong, North Carolina still doesn't want to compensate victims. How sick is that?

    • vveasey profile imageAUTHOR

      VC L Veasey 

      7 years ago from Detroit,MI


      thanks for your comments

      You are a beautiful soul

    • Amethystraven profile image


      7 years ago from California

      I love this hub. Interracial coupling is evolution of the human race. My mom found out a lot about our family history on both her side and my father's side. Altogether she found out our family history includes, Bantu, Cherokee, Catawba, Scotch/Irish, Dutch, and Jewish. This leads me to wonder if these relationships blossomed out of love or out of necessity. No matter what, I am proud to be a human being. I love this Earth and the positive things offered. I'm not ashamed of who I am, and no one else should be tricked into being ashamed because of another person's hatred or greed. Thank you for this hub! Voted up, useful, awesome, beautiful and interesting. Take care.

    • vveasey profile imageAUTHOR

      VC L Veasey 

      7 years ago from Detroit,MI


      I appreciate your sentiments

      You said "in my face alone is history" I think that's a beautiful sentiment and it's true. And hopefully more people will start seeing things that way. And it wouldn't be that hard for more Americans to share that sentiment if wasn't for the long history of racist, white supremacist propaganda indoctrinating and conditioning Americans minds over all these years.

      But obviously things have slowing gotten better.

    • vveasey profile imageAUTHOR

      VC L Veasey 

      7 years ago from Detroit,MI


      thanks for your comments

      but this hub is not about who held slaves or the most slaves.

      It's about how Americans of mixed race in this country had to hide the fact that they the had "the dreaded tainted black blood" because of white supremacist views and the derogatory attitudes many whites held toward blacks (or other non-whites for that matter).

      Of course, throughout history, many people have held others of their "so-called race" as slaves for one reason or another, including Africans.

      But as I said that's not the issue I'm addressing in this hub.

    • michememe profile image

      Miche Wro 

      7 years ago

      WOW!!! I am so appreciative that you wrote this hub. I love history, and the new things it unveils. I agree no one is pure anything. I am reminded of this when asked; do you have Asian ancestors? This question is posed because of my almond shaped eyes. My sister and I have pointed noses, which draws the question is there white in your blood line? We also have high cheekbones where the Native American question derives. We know for sure Native American is in our blood line, my Grandfather's, Grandfather was a Cherokee Indian. However, I have full lips which we all know is associated with African's. When I look at my features, I know that many races contributed to it, and I am appreciative of my keen features. My side profile resembles that of Queen Nefertiti. As a young girl, I didn’t quite get my look. As I matured and learned the true beauty of all races and people, I fell in love with my own look, because in my face alone is history. Great Hub, again!

    • dmop profile image


      7 years ago from Cambridge City, IN

      I think it is sad that at any point in history men could hold other men as slaves. I have never understood how one race could feel like they were superior to another. I would like to point out that for thousands of years African people held people as slaves including white Europeans, and also others of their own race. Of course, anyone with power had salves at that time, but the majority of slave owners were of African descent. Nice article, voted up and interesting.


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