One Drop Rule

In the United States, there was a time that the race of a man or woman was determined by what was called the “one drop rule”. If a child is born with “one drop” of African descent blood, that child was considered “black” and was held to follow laws set for the “black population”.

Hypodescent rules automatically sets a racial assignment to children of mixed unions to the less race thought of as inferior. Hyperdescent automatically sets a racial assignment of the race thought to be superior. Rules such as these developed to enforce distinctly different laws for different races of society. They are the product of thinking one race to be superior to another race.

Hypdescent rules in United States history begun with the Constitution. In the Constitution of the United States of America, people of African descent were originally said to be 3/5 human therefore could not be considered citizens. This of course was changed through the Fourteenth Amendment. Later some states created laws that measured and classified people of mixed heritage to continue and enforce racist laws.

Bob Marley wrote a song entitled One Drop. He said, “We feel it in the one drop . . . we don’t want no devil’s philosophy . . . we feel it in the one drop!”

Bob Marley was born of mixed heritage.

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