Dean Haskins says we spent a very long (and hot) day talking with many people on the island (Hawaii) and filming several scenes with the “big check” that will be compiled into a video once we get home. There was one conversation, however, that I want to share with you tonight. We spent at least a couple hours at the Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children today. I got a call this morning from a reporter with the Honolulu Civil Beat who wanted to interview us, so he met us at the Medical Center. His story should run tomorrow.
After that interview, we went into the records office, and Miki asked to file a form to get her son’s birth records. While she was filling out the form, I happened to overhear a woman who was sitting at a desk say something about the “race” field on a birth certificate she was preparing. I asked her if this was the office that responsible for filling out the birth certificate information for babies born there, and she said that it was.
Because she had just asked something about the “race” field on the birth certificate she was working on, I asked, “Back in 1961, would anyone have ever entered ‘African’ as the race of a parent?” She said, “No, back then they probably would have listed a black person’s race as ‘negro.'” I asked, “So, the word ‘African’ wouldn’t have been used, because that is a nationality and not a race, right?” And she responded, “Right. Nowadays we can use ‘African American’ though.” To which I added, “But, the word ‘African’ by itself has never been used as an entry for race?” And she simply said, “No. Never.”
And there you have it . . . from the folks at Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children.
There were federal regulations in place in 1961 that provided the requirements to the states for birth certificates, including the acceptable values for “Race” — enter “227” in the “Page” text box and hit “Enter.”
As this blog has repoted prior to this admission
2. Race of Father, this is an official US document and again refering back to the US Natality doumentation, on what legal entries were exceptable. African was NOT an acceptable entry. http://www.nber.org/vital-statistics/historical/ and the 1961 Guideline http://www.nber.org/vital-statistics/historical/nat61_1.CV.pdf Refere to Section 5 for the Technical Appendix and look under Race