I've been working on this post for a week. Each time I would go away and come back, my bullshit detector would go off and I would have to start over again. I hate when I'm trying so hard to be profound and everything that comes out is profoundly stupid.
The thing is, there's some people planning a meeting of my Redbone people this summer in Alexandria, Louisiana. They've even formed an organization they're calling Redbone Heritage Foundation.
I'm not entirely comfortable with this development. I think that much good could come of it, but I distrust the motives of some of the people involved, and fear that they have come with a predetermined agenda. I am a Redbone and we are naturally suspicious of outsiders, and that just about sums up how I feel about the Redbone Heritage Foundation. It's mostly made of people whom I do not know and who aren't closely related to me, and they're all White. I don't think there's a dark one in the bunch.
Despite the unanimous enthusiasm among the organizers for the term "Redbone," not all of my cousins embrace the term. I don't have any problem with it, but then, I'm not very dark and I don't live near the area where Redbones face the most discrimination. In those areas, the organizers might be surprised to find that most people are still struggling to be White and live without discrimination. It's easy to romanticize our history and culture if you don't live in its midst.
Despite my suspicions, I wish them well this summer, and I'm encouraging all of my cousins to participate. We can determine later whether or not they're all just a bunch of Wannabes, as one of my darker cousins called them.
(*A new book by Patricia Ann Waak. Great title, huh?)
This is also being posted on my family history blog, My Mother's People.