Like Sarah Jane, McCain Denies His Black Family.

Well, not exactly like Sarah Jane. I mean, Sarah Jane was an impetuous, self-involved brat who was taken in and cleaned up by a rich blonde before eventually being ruined by petty, self-defeating grudges as she got older. So you see, there are absolutely no parallels.

In the rural Teoc community of Carroll County, Miss., where the ancestors of Sen. John McCain owned enslaved Africans on a plantation, black, white and mixed-race family members unite every two years for their Coming Home Reunion, on the land where the plantation operated.

Some of McCain’s black family members say they are not sure exactly where they fall on the family tree, but they do know this: They are either descendants of the McCain family slaves, or of children the McCains fathered with their slaves.

White and black members of the McCain family have met on the plantation several times over the last 15 years, but one invited guest has been conspicuously absent: Sen. John Sidney McCain.

“Why he hasn’t come is anybody’s guess,” said Charles McCain Jr., 60, a distant cousin of John McCain who is black. “I think the best I can come up with, is that he doesn’t have time, or he has just distanced himself, or it doesn’t mean that much to him.”

Other relatives are not as generous.

Lillie McCain, 56, another distant cousin of John McCain who is black, said the Republican presidential nominee is trying to hide his past, and refuses to accept the family’s history.

“After hearing him in 2000 claim his family never owned slaves, I sent him an email,” she recalled. “I told him no matter how much he denies it, it will not make it untrue, and he should accept this and embrace it.”

She said the senator never responded to her email.

Keep it up, Jonny Mac! One day you’ll be chasing a limousine in Harlem, wishing you woulda done right when you had the chance!


Some of McCain’s Black Relatives Support Obama [So. Florida Times.]



Gene "G.D." Demby is the founder and editor of PostBourgie. In his day job, he blogs and reports on race and ethnicity for NPR's Code Switch team.
  • Whoa. John McCain IS Sarah Jane. (Why is it that just *thinking* about the end of Imitation of Life makes me tear up?)

    Hmm. Maybe McCain isn’t as connected to his family because he was an Army brat who moved around a lot? (Though, his cousin who e-mailed him about being in denial is my new hero.)

    Shout-out to the black press, btw.

  • shani: what is it with black women and that movie and the tears?

  • G.D. Is your heard made of equal parts granite and steel? Imitation of Life makes me a little foggy but not as much as The Colour Purple – I cry *every* time I watch it.

  • G.D. Now I have a lump in my throat. Poor Sarah Jane. I dunno why it makes me cry. I think it’s how sorry and desperate she is. Plus, the whole appreciate your long-suffering mama before it’s too late thing is always a killer.

    UE- When I was younger, I thought the ending of the Color Purple was corny as hell. Now that I’m older, it gets to me.

  • ladyfresshh

    G.D. dude even i cried at IOL

  • Shani: When Adam and Olivia are there just crying and calling Celie “Mamma” I can’t help myself. I wasn’t like that when I was younger either. It crept up on me with age!

  • rakia

    G.D. — I think you just need to accept that everybody in the universe but you gets choked up at the end of Imitation of Life. Everybody. Except you.

    When Mahalia Jackson starts singing and then they show the poor lil’ milkman that Annie had sent money to all those years and the white horses are pulling Annie’s casket and then Sarah Jane erratically bursts through the crowd hollering “Mama, Mama!” *Rakia taking a moment* Lawd Jesus. Dude, your heart is made of stone. Stone, I tell ya!

  • ladyfresshh

    *tears up now*
    That was a great description rakia…

    G.D. I think you have a medical condition called D.E.S.(dry eye syndrome). I’m pretty sure of it, late night tv has told me all about it. Now, if you’ll just pay 12 monthly installments of 19.99…

  • universeexpanding – you hit the nail on the head with adam and olivia saying mamma. i can’t get through that without crying. imitation of life – same feeling. my new tearjerker is the secret life of bees.