When the United States Supreme Court struck down Virginia’s law prohibiting interracial marriage in Loving v. Virginia (1967), it also declared Plecker’s Virginia Racial Integrity Act and the one-drop rule unconstitutional.

The United States Does Not Recognize the One Drop Rule.

Professor J.B. Bird has said that Latin America is not alone in rejecting the historical US notion that any visible African ancestry is enough to make one black:

In most countries of the Caribbean, Colin Powell would be described as a Creole, reflecting his mixed heritage. In Belize, he might further be described as a “High Creole”, because of his extremely light complexion.

During this period, Puerto Rico had laws such as the Regla del Sacar or Gracias al Sacar, by which a person of black ancestry could be considered legally white so long as the individual could prove that at least one person per generation in the last four generations had also been legally white. Thus persons of black ancestry with known white lineage were classified as white, the opposite of the “one-drop rule” in the United States.

  • 1 percent of African Americans have at least 50% European ancestry (equivalent of one parent) (Gates is one of these, he discovered, having a total of 51% European ancestry among various distant ancestors); and

Why are mulattoes being counted as African-American?