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why is mother's race brown on her birth record?

she was born in Missisippi in the 1930's

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In Mississippi, in the 1930's, they didn't show much respect for people of color. The white supremacy was still prevalent and there wasn't much that a minority could do about something that showed them disrespect. It is possible that the hospital bureaucrat that made up the certificate was attempting to use a less caustic term for an African- American woman, and just failed miserably.

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The brown race was used to describe people from Malay division of Austronesian and Polynesians. It was also used for people of mixed races such as African-American and Caucasian.

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I think it used to be listed by counties as part of the US census.

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