"The exploitation of Black women continues," according to an article recently published on the website of the U.S. newspaper The Washington Post.
The writer, Eddie Neal, noted in a letter to the newspaper's editors that "the spectrum of African American skin color results from the rape of Black women during and following the slave era."
"As an amateur genealogist tracking my Black ancestors in North Carolina, I find instances in which females were selectively groomed by enslavers as children and then gave birth to multiple offspring by these men before they reached adulthood," Neal wrote, adding that "enslavers often fathered children when they were fathering children in their marriages."
"My research shows that the practice of rape of Black women by White men who wielded legal and economic control of their lives continued into the mid-20th century" and "mothers of mixed-race children played a pivotal and heroic role in documenting fatherhood by informing their children who their fathers were and entering the names of biological fathers on official documents, especially birth, marriage and death certificates," the writer pointed out.
"Genetic analysis using DNA samples provides a quantitative method of tracking fatherhood to the actual father or close relatives," wrote the writer, adding that "data sharing between Black and White descendants of enslavers and their researchers can facilitate the process.