I have asked this question over and over again whenever a thread about racism appears on this forum, but no one has ever been able to answer my question. What race is Obama? Does he belong to the white race? Or does he belong to the black race?
In general, we follow the male lineage, so my father was English and my mother was French, however, we would be recorded as English because the line follows the father. We may in family history, or in our traditions and cultures and speech, be French and we consider ourselves both, but for reporting purposes, we are English.
My husbands lineage on the female side has it's roots in both slavery and American Indian, and in those cases, the children born of those women followed the female line - and in those instances, it would have been in direct relation to the circumstances surrounding the birth of their children, in part because a child born to a slave woman was itself considered a slave, even if the father was another race. It would not be until a marriage took place, which could only happen among 'freed' people, that the children would take the lineage of the father or, in the cases of many children who were abandoned or orphaned along the Trail of Tears, their adopted families became their parents and the name denoted lineage, so that a baby taken in by a German family, would never know their parental lineage, so would adopt the fathers name and lineage. This was attributed to the lack of understanding a the time of cultural differences and the inability of Europeans to accurately record or spell some of the names of the people. Sadly, for many people in these sort of circumstances, and I include children who were part of forced immigration from England and other places, orphans of war, white and/or religious slaves within all countries and so on, there is no complete lineage since children, women, poor people were usually chattels to be used, bought or sold without thought. Their heritage was not important so not recorded.
So in essence, culturally you can be many things, but in the Western world your family line follows the father. sammieswife