See also brown bag test
A group of African Americans which limits its membership to "blue veins" or light skinned black people. During the turn of the century there were self-proclaimed Blue Vein Societies in dozens of US cities representing the miniscule Black upper and upper-middle classes. The societies aped partician white "Blue Blood Socieities" (satirzed by Edith Wharton) and their cheif purpose seems to have been to sponsor balls as meeting places for elgible "blue veined" youth.

The African American write Charles W. Chestnutt describes the origin of the term in the quote below when talking about the Cleveland Blue Vein Society.
"Some envious outsider made the suggestion that no one was eligible for membership who was not white enough to show blue veins. The suggestion was readily adopted by those who were not of the favored few, and since that time the society, though possessing a longer and more pretentious name, had been known far and wide as the "Blue Vein Society," and its members as the "Blue Veins." "
-- Charles W. Chesnutt, "The Wife of His Youth", 1898
by Bill Peters August 20, 2006
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