After years of being a blonde, whether genetically or artificially, Nanner will be going back to her roots.
It goes as thus, before birthing Nate, I was as blonde as I am now, just naturally. After having Nate, within hours, my hair darkened four or five shades. It lightened again but never again achieved the blonde I had been before. For several years I let it be and then around 2001, I started coloring it. Being dark after being blonde just felt and looked unnatural.
Even though I had been blonde into my mid-twenties, my eyebrows had darkened considerably earlier, enough that an old beau commented that it was that contrast which had drawn him to me.
Two things have happened recently that have encouraged me to “return to my roots.” One is the fact that my hair continues to darken as I age. Keeping the darkness under wraps is beginning to look heinous. The contrast is becoming too distinct to ignore any longer.
The second reason is a book called, “The Melungeons – The Resurrection of a Proud People: An Untold Story of Ethnic Cleansing of America” by N. Brent Kennedy. Mr. Kennedy and I are cousins more than a few times over and he specifically mentions my branch of the Mullins family in his book.
After a recent genealogical find, Melungeon history has become even more prevalent in my ethnic melting pot. Based on this new and exciting genealogical find, I can now lay claim to 17 different Melungeon surnames in my family tree, right along with the claims of “Indian princesses,” Cherokee blood, and ancestors with dark hair, dark eyes or striking blue/green eyes, and olive skin who moved more than U-Haul.
The stories that Mr. Kennedy related in his book resonated with me. Genetic testing showed “an undeniable link between the Melungeon people and the Mediterranean.” And “among those populations showing no significant differences from the Melungeons were population groups in the Galician area of Spain and Portugal, the Canary Islands, Italy, North Africa, Malta, Turkey, and Cyprus.” Mr. Kennedy related in his book about his trip to Turkey and how similar he found their culture, from textiles to the foods they eat, even grits ya’ll.
It is a fascinating study of American history between the 1400’s, the settlement at Jamestown, and beyond, of the influx of a different type of immigrant, and how many could have came to our shores with English and French surnames but were not “white.” Even if you don’t have Melungeon blood, it tells another story of America that has been conveniently left out of textbooks and may even assist you in your own genealogical research.
I honestly have no idea what my natural hair color is, but I’ll start with a light brown and see what happens. After all my ancestors endured, the least I can do is go back to my roots, and go dark.