[Ads-l] blue serge

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Wed Dec 28 11:05:16 UTC 2016

On Tue, Dec 27, 2016 at 10:34 AM, MULLINS, WILLIAM D (Bill) CIV USARMY
RDECOM AMRDEC (US) <william.d.mullins18.civ at mail.mil> wrote:

> The Diane Rehm show reran an interview with Albert Racehoss Sample, a
> mixed-race man who was born in 1930 in Longview TX.  He said something like
> "My momma was married to a man named Alan Sample, but everybody called him
> Blue.  Blue was from his complexion.  He was blue serge -- that's blacker
> than black."

Longview, Texas, was my mother's birthplace.

"Blue[-Black]"/"[Blue-]Black" are common nicknames for a dark-complexioned
person. They can also be used as greetings/terms of address for any random
person. "Blacker-Than-Me" can be used - only in The Lou? - as a
greeting/term of address, if it's a fact, then, when you call someone that,
you chuckle. A smile is insufficient.

As for blue serge being blacker than black, that's not true, is it? Not
IMO, anyway.

There's no correlation between complexion and so-called "blue gums." A
person who has an unusually-dark complexion may have gums as pink as those
of an albino. Or not. And an octoroon may have blue gums. Or not.


What was his mother's race, I wonder, if she wasn't black and a black man
was *married* to her in Longview or in any place else in Texas and the
South in 1930? Not to mention that no one with one black parent could be
anything other than *absolutely* a black person anywhere in the United
States and her territories in 1930. Few people accept the term "mixed-race"
with respect to  black people at this very nanosecond. Interestingly, not
only bleeding-heart liberals, but also some staunchly-racist conservatives
accept the designation, "mixed-race," for the obvious political reasons.

If the political reasons are not obvious, a couple of the more obvious are
the splitting-apart of black political unity with the concomitant
dissolution of black political power and the distortion of black history by
subtracting figures ranging from Frederick Douglass through Barack Obama
from the "black" designation and adding them into the new, "mixed-race"
designation, twin of the former "Colored" designation used in the old Union
of South Africa.

All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"---a strange complaint to
come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
-Mark Twain

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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