May 6, 2010

How white are American blacks?

Razib features a nice graph from a new paper comparing a sample of 128 African Americans to some Africans and to some European Americans


Each vertical bar represent one of the 128 African Americans. Blue represents the estimated European admixture, which averages 22%. All but one of the 128 African Americans appear to have some European ancestry, but about nine out of ten African Americans are at least half African by ancestry. President Obama falls at about the 90th percentile of whiteness, although I'm not sure if he would even qualify to be in the study due to his atypical ancestry.

In other words, when it comes to handing out affirmative action goodies, self-identification appears to be good enough for government work.

Most of the African ancestry is Yoruban (red), with only marginal amounts being pgym (Mbuti) or Bushman (San).

Most of the small number of Europeans in the study cluster together (i.e., probably have no recent African ancestry), while two appear to have small amounts.

All this is pretty similar to what I heard from Penn State geneticist Mark Shriver eight years ago. He came up with about 18% white admixture in African Americans. The technology was more primitive then, but his sample size was about 20 times bigger. So, one-fifth appears to be a good rough estimate.

45 comments:

dfasdfasf said...

Which European? Mostly Anglo and Irish, I bet. Probably not much Afro-Pole blood.

afasdfasfsaf said...

One drop rule is the stupidest thing America came up with. If US had allowed legal categories such as quadroons, semiroons, and other roons, there would be no united black political front.
And since light-skinned blacks tend to be more intelligent than black-blacks, the smartest elements of the 'black community' may not have served the interests of the black-blacks.

But because of the one-drop rule, even blacks who are 90% white were considered black. Thus, those light skinned blacks--most intelligent among blacks--came to side with black-blacks and fought for blacks causes than siding with whites or creating a separate racial identity between whites and blacks.

Generally abstaining from interracism was a good thing for whites, but to the extent that it did happen, the octaroons, quadroons, and the lesser roons should NOT have been bunched together with black-blacks.
With several racial categories among blacks, whites could have played divide-and-rule.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes people think any milk in the pure pitch black African coffee came from whites, and one doesn't wish to understate centuries of atrocity. But not everyone in Africa is coal black. If you came from a high dry part of the motherland, you'd be caramel coffee-colored.

Then, just to confuse things, if you lived in a hot wet part of the US, you'd be selecting for more melanin to keep your skin tight (or whatever Carleton Coon said was the reason).

Anonymous said...

One drop rule is the stupidest thing America came up with. If US had allowed legal categories such as quadroons, semiroons, and other roons, there would be no united black political front.

There's be no white race either.

BamaGirl said...

"Sometimes people think any milk in the pure pitch black African coffee came from whites, and one doesn't wish to understate centuries of atrocity. But not everyone in Africa is coal black. If you came from a high dry part of the motherland, you'd be caramel coffee-colored."

That is true, but the majority of American blacks are descended from West Africans who are darker than other Africans typically. But you're right that lighter skin doesn't always indicate only white admixture. In the southeast (where most blacks lived 120 years ago) a fair amount of the blacks (and whites) may have small amounts of Native American blood since many members of the "Five Civilized Tribes" integrated into the mainstream so they wouldn't be shipped off to Oklahoma, and had a history of intermarriage with whites and blacks prior to that.

n/a said...

"One drop rule is the stupidest thing America came up with."

Absolutely. Look how much more successful Brazil has been.

"Thus, those light skinned blacks--most intelligent among blacks--came to side with black-blacks and fought for blacks causes"

A tiny minority within a minority of intelligent, light-skinned blacks present zero challenge to white dominance. The only thing that has presented a challenge to white dominance in America is whites (+ Jews).

Truth said...

This is boring. Breaking news about Barry though! Turns out he was the prototype for Jason Bourne

ben tillman said...

"One drop rule is the stupidest thing America came up with."

Absolutely. Look how much more successful Brazil has been.


See Carl Degler's "Neither Black nor White: Slavery and Race Relations in Brazil and the United States".

Anonymous said...

For Steve (Not a comment)

Truth mentioned "Barry", and it reminded me of something I just read in the paper about Human Growth Hormone increasing bicycle sprinting by 4% in a recent study, as opposed to a 8% increase in bicycle sprinting for testosterone injections for two subject groups.

http://www.cbssports.com/general/story/13341561/study-shows-human-growth-hormone-can-aid-performance/cbsnews

The HGH didn't increase strength or stamina, but should have increased quickness.

If Barry Bonds was using both, and there was at least some synergy in their effect.....its possible that he definitely had a quicker bat (or should I say hips in regards to his skater-twirl swing). 8% and 4% might sound trifling, but Bonds stats suggest they are not.

Forgive me if you've seen that info, but I thought it was really interesting evidence concerning performance-enhancement with chemicals.

adfasdfsaf said...

"One drop rule is the stupidest thing America came up with."

Absolutely. Look how much more successful Brazil has been.

See Carl Degler's "Neither Black nor White: Slavery and Race Relations in Brazil and the United States".

-------------

Don't be a smartass. The problem of Brazil was extensive race-mixing plus the fact that Brazil failed to attract as many whites as the US did.

Even so, the policy of racial gradations was good for white Brazilians; without it, everyone with a drop of black blood might have been united against whites. Instead, even though 'blacks'--as defined in the US way--make up more than 50% of the population, they are divided among quadroons, octaroons, and other roons. They are not a unified political or social force.

It was good that US didn't promote nor practice as much race-mixing as Brazil. My point was, TO THE EXTENT THAT IT DID, Americans should have created separate categories and privileges among gradations of blacks so as to prevent the brightest blacks--light skinned ones--to identify with and lead the black-blacks.

I didn't argue for Brazilian-style race-mixing; I argued for limiting race mixing PLUS creating racial gradations among those who did get mixed up.

Truth said...

"I thought it was really interesting evidence concerning performance-enhancement with chemicals."

Do you really need "evidence?" All you need to do is look at 70-year old Sylvester Stallone with his shirt off.

Anonymous said...

Because some have so much admxiture is the 2 SD higher than 115?

Captain Jack Aubrey said...

And since light-skinned blacks tend to be more intelligent than black-blacks, the smartest elements of the 'black community' may not have served the interests of the black-blacks.

Maybe, but given that the average intelligence of mixed-races falls between that of whites and pure(r) blacks, they have a better chance of being a big-shot in the black community than in the white one.

Instead, even though 'blacks'--as defined in the US way--make up more than 50% of the population

If blacks in Brazil as defiend the US way comprise >50% of the population then that explains Brazil's problems, and provides no help to our own. Blacks are only 13% of the American population. To the extent that they have political power much of it is derived from white guilt, not from their numbers of from our failure to absorb the mixed-race elements.

Anonymous said...

The degrees of "Blackness" within the geographical dispersion of Blacks would be of keen interest.
There has been a hugely tragic impact upon ghettos by the "brain drain" of abler Blacks into mixed neighborhoods and into suburbia. Also, apparently the residue Black poulation of the Dixie Black Belt has been likewise depleted. Obviously, mental ability as a practical allocation is partly a function of the resourcefulness of the immediate social networks of Black persons. And procreant sexual intercourse , likewise, is biologically impoverished by any "brain drain". Opportunity "cuts both ways".

keypusher said...

Systems of racial classification do not arise in a vacuum. The Dominican Republic has a very complicated color scheme because, as in Brazil, the population is very mixed racially. In the United States, until the coming of large-scale Hispanic immigration, nearly 90% of the population had no African ancestry whatsoever. It's not much different today.

Also, I have heard of the one-drop rule, of course, but I also recall seeing terms like quadroon and octaroon thrown around pretty freely in the 19th century. Homer Plessy argued was that he was, in fact, white.

dearieme said...

"Which European?" Neanderthalish.

SF said...

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100507/ap_on_re_af/af_africa_albino_killings

A little OT. Albinos do not fare well in Africa but their body parts are valuable. This link was originally AP. May be a problem.

Anonymous said...

What about North-American AmerInds? The Cherokee and Creek, for instance, have been absorbing Whites since the 1700s.

Also, how does this affect the often stated claim that West Africans are the most genetically diffrent from NW Europeans of all people groups in the world. Wouldn't a 20% White admixture make the typical Black American genetically closer to the typical old-stock White American than either is to a typical Korean, for instance?

This is not idle curiousity on my part. When White Americans become a minority in the US, the Sailer Strategy will come to a dead-end: even if 100% of White Americans vote Republican, it still won't be enough. This raises the question, who are the natural allies of White Americans, after we become a just another minority? I would argue that Black Americans and AmerInds indigenous to the territory of the US (ie Cherokee but not Mayans) are our natural allies for the following reasons:

1. Like White Americans, they are part of a unique ethnic group which exists within the territory of the US and nowhere else, because they came into being here. Black Americans are a unique ethnic group which was formed from the mixture of various enslaved African ethnicities, just as White Americans are a unique ethnic group formed from the mixture of various European ethnicities, and of course AmerInds have been living in what is now the US for thousands of years. For all 3 groups, the USA is our one and only home - our place of ethnogenesis. Jews and post-1965 immigrants, on the other hand, have US citizenship but foreign spiritual homelands. At a very deep and profound level, the 3 old ethnic groups have a vested interest in the USA remaining a distinctive nation state with a distinctive, non-globalized culture.
2. At a more practical level, the 3 old ethnic groups have an economic interest in nativism and isolationism. Nativism results in higher wages and lower rents than open boarders. Isolationism results in lower taxes. The costs are paid by potential immigrants shut out, foreign countries no longer benfiting from the free-ride security of Pax-Americana, and lower profits for the very rich.

Anonymous said...

Steve, please comment on Charles Murray's new article on school choice.


Why Charter Schools Fail the Test
By Charles Murray
New York Times
Wednesday, May 5, 2010

http://www.aei.org/article/102021

haha said...

Wow, I was expecting troof on this thread, and he even had news bout Barry!

Anonymous said...

Also, how does this affect the often stated claim that West Africans are the most genetically diffrent from NW Europeans of all people groups in the world.

Any source for this?

sdfasdfasdf said...

If blacks in Brazil as defiend the US way comprise >50% of the population then that explains Brazil's problems, and provides no help to our own. Blacks are only 13% of the American population. To the extent that they have political power much of it is derived from white guilt, not from their numbers of from our failure to absorb the mixed-race elements.

Blacks are huge in numbers in many big cities which control and define American politics and life. Also, blacks are big in sports, music, and movies, and thus define American culture.

dfasdfsdfasdf said...

"Maybe, but given that the average intelligence of mixed-races falls between that of whites and pure(r) blacks, they have a better chance of being a big-shot in the black community than in the white one."

They don't have to choose the white community but rather create their own apart from both white and the black.
In fact, there was something like this among light-skinned blacks before the rise of BLACK IS BEAUTIFUL ideology. Many light-skinned blacks either preferred to 'pass' or create a world of their own--neither white nor black.
But, the ONE DROP RULE ideology prevailed just the same.

Initially, the one-drop rule had been advantageous to whites since it favored white 'purity' and solidarity. It even disadvantaged blacks who were more white than black.

But with the rise of black consciousness and then affirmative action in the 60s, one drop rule became advantageous to blacks. Even light-skinned blacks could play NOBLE VICTIM and benefit from affirmative blacktion.

Anonymous said...

Regarding the population makeup of Brazil, per the CIA World Factbook

white 53.7%, mulatto (mixed white and black) 38.5%, black 6.2%, other (includes Japanese, Arab, Amerindian) 0.9%, unspecified 0.7% (2000 census)

dsfasdfasdf said...

Regarding the population makeup of Brazil, per the CIA World Factbook

white 53.7%

What goes by 'white' in Brazil is kinda funny.

fasdfsdfsaf said...

It's too bad whites didn't buy pygmy slaves. It'd be better to have 40 million Gary Colemans than 40 million Lawrence Taylors.

Anonymous said...

What goes by 'white' in Brazil is kinda funny.

Either that or else they slaughtered their aboriginals.

[Or had a really bad smallpox plague...]

Anonymous said...

Partly relevant to the thread at hand: The NYT has found a playmate for Barack Obama. They are bruiting far and wide a new discovery: The first post-Hispanic Hispanic politician. I wonder how that's going to pan out.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/09/magazine/09Mayor-t.html

TH said...

Also, how does this affect the often stated claim that West Africans are the most genetically diffrent from NW Europeans of all people groups in the world.

This is the first time I've heard anyone claim that.

lans said...

A lot of guesswork is involved here. Tishkoff's study claimed that the European admixture with U.S. blacks is 13%, a bit smaller than Sailer's 20%. I guess it all depends on how representative the sample is.

What's interesting is that the 13-20% is not evenly spread in the black population. According to Kittles some 27% of U.S. blacks carry bulk of that 13-20% admixture. The rest have no genetic connection with Europe. Furthermore the Native American contribution is negligible(Tishkoff).

The the black U.S. population is much like the South African black/coloured population.

Add them together and you get the African American population: an African base (3/4) and a "coloured"(1/4).

Furthermore, the black population of the U.S. climbs to some 15% once migrant blacks from Haiti, Hispanic blacks and Africans are factored in.

Anonymous said...

What most people who have not been to Africa do not grasp is that color and facial traits vary quite a bit in Africa.

Consider the case of Jacob Zuma, president of South Africa. The man is Zulu and is as fair as Governor Patterson of New York. Yet Zuma is African.

Take too the case of Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda. The man's nose is thinner and higher than the vast majority of U.S. blacks--but he is undoubtedly African and carries haplotype E3a(the West African haplotype).

keypusher said...

Our ancestors took the Lawrence Taylors because they could extract more (unrecompensed) labor from them.

Just because this isn't a PC place doesn't mean you get to be a total idiot.

Anonymous said...

"One drop rule is the stupidest thing America came up with."

It's what kept us from ending up like Brazil or the Dominican Republic.

Anonymous said...

There was a study of self-identified "white" Brazilians from the whiter southern part of the country that revealed their ancestry averaged something like 99% white on the paternal line but roughly equal portions white, black and indian on the maternal line.

headache said...

Partly relevant to the thread at hand: The NYT has found a playmate for Barack Obama.

So maybe the NYT is even more religious about race than we are. Xcept they are in the business of creating new races whereas we would like to conserve the old ones.

Cordelia said...

OT - Sorry, men ARE more brainy than woman (and more stupid too!) It's a simple scientific fact, says one of Britain's top dons [article in the UK's Daily Mail by Prof. Lynn]

The Human Stain said...

I wonder about the inverse question: How black are American whites?

Before the 60s/70s, the incentive for mixed offspring would've been to "pass for white". Also, various native American tribes and hispanics probably carry a drop or more of unidentified black genes of their offspring when they mix with whites.

Now that the incentives are reversed, how many passing whites are there today who could reclaim their blackness?

Svigor said...

One drop rule is the stupidest thing America came up with.

Everything you describe sounds more to me like feature than bug.

Anonymous said...

Sailer's thinking: "It turns out whites have Neanderthal ancestry. This could possibly go towards explaining black-white differe--oh wait, American blacks have white genes! But just how much?"

Victoria said...

... the octaroons, quadroons, and the lesser roons should NOT have been bunched together with black-blacks. With several racial categories among blacks, whites could have played divide-and-rule.

Boy, are you naive. You actually believe that blacks unified as a single group because of a common cause. If those color categories you mention had become conventional, the cleverer blacks still would have made claim to their "blackness," simply because of the way the civil rights movement played itself out.

Thanks to the direction the movement took, these octoroons were able to go to the head of the line as the race's leaders. Cashing in on the race stuff is what mattered and still matters to the brighter, lighter blacks. The affluent blacks never identified with the darker masses, a story that has been well told by Thomas Sowell, who describes how the formerly snobbish light-skinned blacks, who wouldn't walk on the same side of the street with the darker underlings, discovered in the 1960s the benefits of acknowledging their connection to Mother Africa, as they pushed aside the darker blacks and took over the claim to being "blacker than thou."

Those "roon" categories did prevail among blacks, but were dropped for public reasons when all that poverty money started rolling in. There would have been nothing in it for those black elites to side with whites, as you suggest. But there were millions to be made and careers to be invented as "administrators" of the zillions of programs that were being dreamed up every day. In fact, it is this financial windfall that resulted from the civil rights movement that created the current black "middle class."

David said...

>Sailer's thinking<

Your thinking?: A thing can not be other than one thing and can not be seen in other than one way. If someone says that he sees a thing two or more ways, he is foolishly contradicting himself. These are a priori principles and no facts have a bearing in this matter. End program.

Truth said

>All you need to do is look at 70-year old Sylvester Stallone with his shirt off.<

Some of us don't swing your way, sport.

Truth said...

"Some of us don't swing your way, sport."

Good one, David!

OhioStater said...

Use your eyes...Obama is half pure white (his mom was English ancestry) and half pure black. If a black person is lighter than Obama (Deron Williams) he is more than 50% white; if a black person is darker than Obama (Sidney Poitier) he is less than 50% white.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous poster above mentioned the cream-coloured skin of some black South Africans. Zuma and Mandela definitely do have lighter skin than typical African blacks, but I always chalked this up to mixture with the Khoisan people (Bushmen). The Khoisan were the original inhabitants of Southern Africa, until they were largely displaced by the darker Bantus who arrived (invaded) from northwest Africa several thousand years ago.

Anonymous said...

A little off-topic, but the folks up in Harlem are so dadgum incompetent that they can't even get their act together long enough to organize the distribution of their very own racial spoils:


Harlem group's chaos endangers $76M gift
By ISABEL VINCENT and MELISSA KLEIN
May 9, 2010
nypost.com

A $76 million windfall intended to help Harlem residents is in limbo -- and may never be paid -- because the politician-backed nonprofit in charge of distributing the money is in disarray, The Post has learned...

The nonprofit was formed in March 2006 to negotiate a community benefits agreement with Columbia -- money the university would give to local groups as part of its controversial $6.3 billion expansion into the Manhattanville neighborhood...


Wasting away again in Bob Mugabe-ville,
Searching for my lost shaker of salt,
Some people claim that there's a cracker to blame,
But I know it's nobody's fault.