What is the color of Negro babies at birth?

February 2, 2017 | Author: | Posted in Babies

That the Negro enters the world with a skin as light as that of the Caucasian is a common notion. Frequently travelers refer to the faintly colored newly born children of the black race. In 1911 Eliezer Edwards, in Words, Facts and Phrases, quoted Sir R. Phillips as having written: “The children of the blackest Africans are born white. In a month they become pale yellow; in a year brown; at four years, dirty black, and at thirty, glossy black. The blood of blacks and whites is of the same colour, The colouring matter of blacks is supposed to be due to bilious secre­tions in the mucous membranes underneath the cuticle.” There used to be a common belief that Negro babies are born white with the exception of a black band around the body and that the rest of the skin turns black a short time after birth. As a matter of fact even the newly born infants of the white race are not really light in color. Generally Caucasian children are reddish or pinkish when born, although the exact hue varies widely. The children of the darker races are lighter at birth than their parents, and the colored child of very light parents may be indis­tinguishable from a white child so far as color is concerned; but, ordi­narily, colored children enter the world noticeably pigmented and many of them are quite dark from the beginning. One authority says Negro babies at birth are bluish white, while white babies at birth are pinkish white. The pigment in the skin is similar to that of freckles and develops only after the baby is exposed to light. As a rule the color of Negro babies deepens for several years, especially in the case of those born light. It seldom happens, however, that a newly born colored child has the deep black color of the typical full-blooded adult. Decided pigmentation first appears on the ears, breast and a belt across the lower part of the back. Often it is necessary to refer to these characteristic markings to distinguish the newly born children of Caucasians from those of the darker races.


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