The black elite in the South of the United States started forming before the American Civil War among free blacks who managed to acquire property. Of the free people of color in North Carolina in the censuses from 1790 to 1810, 80% can be traced to African Americans free in Virginia during the colonial period. Free blacks migrated from Virginia to other states as did their neighbors. Extensive research into colonial court records, wills and deeds has demonstrated that most of those free families came from relationships or marriages between white women, servant or free, and black men, servant, free or slave. Such relationships were part of the more fluid relationships among the working class before the boundaries of slavery hardened.Catering services and other skilled employment were important because they had the white contacts needed to remain within the “status quo”. The black elite also enjoyed the benefits of living within the white neighborhoods which further isolated them from the darker-skinned negro which caused them to blame them for the downward shifts in life-style choices. They felt that by “emulating” the white man could social standing and class be achieved. Wikipedia
"If you, as an African American, have ever wondered why some "brothers" seem to ignore your existence, even if you have the same education, this book will fill in a lot of holes for you. As I read it, I continually said to myself "So THAT'S why so and so treated me like I was the invisible woman!" I feel more sad than angry for the blacks described in the book. They are caught in a no man's land partly of their own making. They believe they are above other blacks without the family bloodlines, wealth, and education they have. Yet the Caucasians who should be their peers reject them as social inferiors because of their skin color--even if it is lighter than most other African Americans. It's a tragedy; their skills and talents are needed by us all, yet they are lost because of their own snobbery and the racism of others. Read this book, then live your life differently from these black "elite." Amazon reviewer quote.
Here are some simple facts. We have a vocal vanguard within the ranks of the so called Black Elite who are still out there inflicting pain on some people. They often quoted in the media and they run around making outlandish statements about class, color, and ‘pedigree.’ They are a small but loud minority who had to claw their way to the manor and are somewhat vicious in their treatment of others......They are NOT representative of the majority of the so called Black Elite. Most of the people featured on this blog go to work each day, volunteer tons of hours for community service, and leverage their resources for causes that matter to them.