Goin’ Dark

July 10, 2007 at 10:13 pm (Family)

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.

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16 Comments

  1. KtP said,

    Excellent post, Nanner pie.

  2. kenju said,

    Nanner, I read another blogger who is Melungeon. Check her out here:

    http://hiddenmahala.blogspot.com/

    I went gray this year and it was the best thing I’ve done in a long time. I’m FREE! Whee. It saves time and money and aggravation! I bet you’ll love it eventually.

  3. Juan Morales said,

    Look around. I’ll bet you can find hints as to what your actual hair color might be.

  4. Jammie J said,

    You’re gonna look hot! πŸ™‚

  5. Vince said,

    How terribly interesting! I may have to look into that book, being of Italian and (according to my dad) Spanish heritage.

  6. Beth said,

    I disagree with Jammie J. I think you’re gonna look hotter! πŸ˜‰

  7. kama said,

    I never realized you dyed your hair. You have always been a blond, I never gave it a second thought!!. Interesting about the melungeon, I’ll have to check out that book. Think we can claim to be a minority?

  8. Tina said,

    Kickass, gf!

    Nowadays I just try to cover up the grays!

    I think you will look good no matter what you do with your hair. It’s great to experiment!

  9. Old Horsetail Snake said,

    How about starting with nothing and see what happens? You might be (probably are) beautiful under all that dye.

  10. Inanna said,

    Thanks, Katey.

    Kenju, I’ve always wanted to go emo, or goth, whatever they call it these days, but nothing too extreme to start with.

    Juan, I looked high and low, and you’re right πŸ˜‰

    Jammie and Beth, no fussing, I’m hot and I’m gonna look hotter!

    Vince, it’s just a very interesting book, regardless.

    Kama, I never realized that you didn’t realize that I dyed my hair. Actually, according to the book, over 600 people wrote in “Melungeon” as their ethnicity on the last census. Pretty interesting.

    Tina, yeah, it’s just a hair color.

    Hoss, well, I’m not walking around with two inch roots!

  11. Pand0ra Wilde said,

    I’m contemplating going blonde for next year’s anime con–the character’s blonde, my hair’s the right length and wigs suck, so I might do it.

  12. Mahala said,

    I’ve loved reading your blog! I do beadwork too, or rather I used to. It’s been a while.

  13. restless angel said,

    I have to write that title down sometime and look for it my next book store trip!!

  14. Catt said,

    The Melungeon story is indeed a fascinating one. I had not read this book, however so I guess it’s off to Amazon for me after I finish this comment! Two other brief observations/comments:

    Why is it that having a baby screws with one’s hair? ALl of my life my hair was STICK straight. I spent oodles of money on perms for years. After 3 kids, I have this body and curl that I can’t for the life of me figure out.

    And – we’re going to get pictures of the new color, right?

  15. Inanna said,

    Pandora, you must! Life is different as a blonde!

    Mahala, you just kick ass!

    RA, I’m not sure the book is available in regular bookstores or if my mom ordered them.

    Catt, having babies screws with your hair because of hormones and lots of ’em!!!!

  16. V.E.G. said,

    David Wayne Gilcrease and Hobert Aley Franklin is possibly of Melungeon origin.
    They are the Frick and Frack of Colorado Heroes.

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