Sunday, December 9, 2012

CNN: Black in America: It's not just about the color of your skin

H/T John
On December 9, 2012 at 8:00 p.m. EST/PST, CNN will air its fifth installment of the annual documentary series Black in America. This year’s special – “Who is Black in America?” – was inspired by the scope of the (1)ne Drop Project and will tackle issues of colorism and racial identity.'




WHO IS BLACK IN AMERICA?
In the United States of America in 2012, what does Black look like? Who defines Black? And why is there an argument – or disagreement at all – about who counts as Black? Can someone choose to be Black? Isn’t race assigned at birth, just like gender? If race is a choice for some people, why pick Black? Why not?CNN’s Soledad O’Brien examines these important and provocative questions in an hour-long documentary, “Who is Black in America?”
She follows two 17-year-olds, Becca Khalil and Nayo Jones, on their journeys to find their racial identities. “I’m from Africa,” says Becca, whose parents were born in Egypt, “but the Black kids don’t seem to really want me, and the White kids don’t seem to really want me.” She says Egyptians are dismissed as Middle Eastern or Arab, but she is neither of those things.
Nayo Jones was raised by her White father, and doesn’t really know her Black mom. “I can say that I’m African-American, but I see being Black as being more of a cultural thing,” she says. “I was raised in a White environment, and a mostly White neighborhood.” She insists that makes her less Black. The man guiding Becca and Nayo is Perry “Vision” DiVirgilio, a spoken word poet who calls himself a “Biracial Black man.” He struggled with his own identity issues for years.
Where will Becca and Nayo end up? And why, in 2012, does it really matter? Soledad O’Brien reports Sunday, December 9th at 8pm and 11pm ET. (via CNN)
Also included in the doc are Danielle Ayers, (1)ne Drop contributor, and Kiara Lee, a young woman who conducts workshops on colorism with youth in Richmond, VA. I will be featured in the documentary as an expert of sorts, along with Michaela angela Davis, Dr. William Darity, and Tim Wise, among others.”Who is Black in America?” is an exciting milestone in the development of the (1)ne Drop project. (Source: http://yabablay.com)

It's really sad to see that the "black" community is so extremely hostile towards mixed race people and sometimes vice versa. But I know that the root cause is slavery and colonialism. The sad part is that the colonial poison is still in our veins and I sometimes wonder if  "we" will ever find the cure.

73 comments:

  1. This kind of article makes me really worry. One of the things that I really appreciate in the African American culture is the conciousness of being black, don't matter how light you are you are still black, but with this so many changes on their reality, I wonder if black people on the future won't suffer the same kind of issues that we suffered in Brazil now, where people is saying that there isn't racism because we are all mixed and black people still have difficulties to identify that they are black because of the myth of the racial democracy. It is really sad.

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  2. Daniela,

    I agree with your concerns. The skin lightness/darkness issue in the media is not a real one. People who are black know they're black in America, even if they try to deny it to themselves.

    This is more media hype. CNN is the same media channel that said that blacks wouldn't vote for Obama because Obama supports gay marriage and many blacks are religious. Over 93% of blacks voted for Obama! More than the 90% that voted for the him in 2008.

    The anchor on this is a black Cuban (with a white Australian father). Guess what she calls herself. A black Latina!

    This is a made up issue in terms of self-identity. Black families have dark and light skin brothers and sisters. Skin color means very little and most black people know this.

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    1. Even if it's true that "people who are black know they're black in America," there is still A LOT of intra-racial prejudice and colorism amongst black Americans. And I think that's an important piece of that poor girl's pain.

      Even though I have much more frequently witnessed lighter skinnned blacks with more European features ("good hair") denigrate darker, more sub-Saharan blacks, I have still seen and heard of the reverse...where darker skinned blacks pick on and abuse lighter skinned blacks. I have heard light skinned blacks be called "white boy/girl" or people say things like "Master was definitely up in your Mammy's bed."

      I know that especially, in America, darker skinned blacks have been the subject of much scorn and ridicule and that has reaped disastrous emotional and psychological scars in them. Take a look at the "Dark Girls" Documentary.(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pXG38QxXY-s) And as most of the women in that documentary speak to, their abuse usually came at the hands of other blacks>>intra-cultural racism; prejudice within an ethnic bubble. So then surely, it's quite possible for lighter skinned blacks to have developed emotional scars and "identity issues" at the hands of other black people.

      And also, you can't skip over the hugely important detail of the girl in that clip being raised by her WHITE father in the absence of her black mother. OF COURSE, she would ask "who am I, what am I?" How can one come from a white person and be black? I remember thinking something similar as a child when comparing myself to my white father.

      All I'm saying is that it's overly simplistic to say that "self identity" is a "made up issue" in America when it comes to black Americans. I actually believe those identity issues are far more common than you think.

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    2. Blk Viking,

      As a brown skinned African American who is approaching my 65th birthday, I want to go on record to indicate that I agree with EVERYTHING that you have written so well in this comment and in your December 10, 2012 4:33 AM.

      Since I was a child I have seen greater acceptance of slin color differences among African Americans, but we haven't reached the time when darker skinned Black people aren't treated badly AND/OR lighter skinned Black people (or Black people of whatever complexion who may or may talk or act "like White people" aren't treated badly by some other Black people.

      And it's not always a matter of differences in skin color. For example, I remember as a substitute elementary teacher redirecting two 10 year old Black students with basically the same skin color who were calling each other "blackie".

      Regardless-and sometimes even with- the different skin colors in our own families, Black Americans still haven't totally rid ourselves of the poison of colorism, and the mass media that still largely promotes Whiteness & light skin People of Color is only partly to blame for this.

      We have internal work and external work to do.

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    3. I meant to write "Black people who may not or may talk or act "like White people"...

      Of course, there are many ways that White people talk or act. I mean - and I think that many Black people- mean by that phrase "White people who are middle economic class or upper economic class as portrayed on television, movies, etc.

      Unfortuantely, there are still far too many Black people in the USA who think that "acting like you're White" is getting good grades in school and using Standard English in most formal settings.

      We've got to get past this way of thinking. I personally love the creativity and flava of many forms of African American English. But, to use an African American folk saying, there's a time and a place for everything.

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    4. @Azizi, "We have internal work and external work to do.". You took the words right out of mouth.

      And Happy Anniversary when you turn 65!

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    5. I co-sign your comments 100% Ms. Azizi Powell. I absolutely believe that we have MUCH "internal and external" work to do. I think that it makes black people uncomfortable to address the fact that even amongst ourselves, there is bigotry and prejudice based on skin color and phenotype. Perhaps, some feel that it makes us look like hypocrites or that it de-solidifies our supposedly "unified" stance to whites. But like all repressed and hush hush'd family secrets, eventually they become poisonous and cause even greater sickness than what initially existed. The only way we can combat that is by putting everything on Front street and having open dialogue.

      And congrats on your upcoming 65th!

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  3. Also, when that black woman says she doesn't feel black, she's saying that because she doesn't share the stereotypical interest black Americans have (like sports, music, violence, etc.).

    She knows she's black every time she goes out in public. Every time she puts a comb in her hair.

    This story was also more for white people, to educate them. Some black people don't look like a stereotypical black person. This piece was to open their eyes. I can assure you, every light-skinned black person they featured would be considered black by black people in DC or Harlem.

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    1. I don't know. As a light skinned person (with asian like features) living in NYC and black people never thought I was black. I've had people ask me to do their laundry for them because I look "Mexican". People would talk really loudly and slowly as if I didn't understand English. This came from both blacks and whites, by the way. If they assumed I was black why would they talk to me this way? When I tell them that I am black they are in complete shock.

      Dealing with other brown/tan skinned immigrants like South Asians and South East Asians were pretty crazy too since they think that I must be "one of them." They also refuse to believe that I can be black as well and they keep insisting that I must have a larger % of whatever they are. I usually roll my eyes at this point. Like they know my ancestry more than I do. It's really offensive.

      SO yeah not every light skinned black person is going to be seen as black by other black people (or by anyone else).



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    2. If you look foreign, people will talk to you slowly. It has nothing to do with your race, but your perceived foreigness.

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    3. Perceived foreignness? Wth? I live in a multiracial city. No one should question my national identity because I look neither the ideal of "black" or "white" American.

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    4. Right. "Perceived foreigness." Whoever talked slowly to you felt you weren't born and raised here. I didn't make that judgement, the people you encountered have.

      You're not blaming me for how they treated you, are you?

      What's a "multi-racial city," by the way and where is there a single-racial city (if that word even exists)? Please explain that one to me.

      If you don't look like you belong there, for right or wrong, people will treat you different. Welcome to any country, city, and village in the world.

      There was a black Muslim woman on NBC with Brian Williams who said other Americans spoke to her differently just because she covered her hair. They thought she was from somewhere else, probably because she was a Muslim. Sorry! That's just the way it works. If you're perceived as "foreign," people will treat you differently. It's usually to try to help you, especially if they don't think English is your first language. People like you screw it up for others that don't know English and might need Americans to speak slower to them so they can understand.

      Why do I feel like I'm talking to a kindergartner?

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  4. Lastly, who would consider this woman, Nayo Jones, biracial or anything other than black? Seriously, to any black Americans here, who would look at her and think she's biracial?

    I wouldn't! She's my skin color. I have green eyes and she has brown. And both of my parents are black. Now why would I consider her any different from me?

    She needs to grow up if she's still scarred by what some kids said to her when she was small.

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    1. Who are you to tell who is biracial or not? I have a friend who is half French and Guinean. She's dark skinned (even darker than this girl you are talking about) and doesn't fit I guess your view of "bi-racial".



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    2. Why don't you focus. Black people aren't the only dark skinned people. A dark black person can be biracial too (Tiger Woods for example). Is this a serious response?

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  5. Truth2011, correct me if I'm wrong, but your tone seems to suggest that mixed race people who choose not to identify as black are somehow traitors, in denial, or self loathing and that is not always so.

    For one, we have to remember that the one drop rule in the United States was put in place to DISENFRANCHISE mixed race individuals by disavowing them of their white blood (which came with certain legal and social rights), in order for them to be classified as negro or black (which came with restricted rights or none at all). In this way, those labels were used as a means of oppression.

    However, people of African descent, no matter their admixture and complexion, decided to rally together under the "negro" and then "black" designation as a means of socio-political solidarity and pride. Also, multi-racial people tended to have greater "access" and were amongst the most successful civil rights leaders and people of color in the nation. By their being absorbed within the "negro" and "black" designation, the black base was strengthened and fortified. Therefore, being black became more of a social designation than it was a racial one, because not all black people were fully black...and some even had more white European DNA than black African DNA.

    Personally, I don't believe in imposing labels on people. We should all have the choice to self-identify. And the United States government took that away by lumping everyone together and worse, with the explicit intent to limit the rights of people of color. Technically, if someone has a black parent and a white parent, he or she is bi-racial and not solely black. That's just a fact. It does not matter what the child looks like. He/She could be more on the black side like me, Halle Berry, Boris Kodjoe and Barack Obama or more towards the white side like Wentworth Miller, Jennifer Beals and Mariah Carey. Moreover, if a person of African descent has ANY other admixture, than he/she is not black "technicially," as in a full Negro. That's just what it is.

    Why should bi-racial or multi-racial people HAVE TO choose to be black? They should have just as much of a choice to choose to be white seeing as how they have white ancestors as well. But once again, the American racial classification system was designed with racist, marginalizing, oppressive intent. Just because the white American collective mind sees me as a Black person, doesn't mean I should have to identify myself through their lens. Just like bi-sexuals or omni-sexuals shouldn't be forced into strictly gay or straight binaries. Just like those who come from interfaith unions should be forced to choose one religion over the other. SAME STUFF. Personally, I am mixed but I CHOOSE to self-identify as black because of my close ties and affinity to African-American culture.

    Now, having said that, I do think that it is wrong and seemingly self-loathing when mixed race people choose to be an "other" because they want to downplay their blackness...like what many people of color do in Latin America. It's one thing to identify as mixed or bi-racial in affirming BOTH of one's heritages, but it's another to do so because of not wanting to own one's blackness in an overt way.

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    1. My point is that this woman doesn't look biracial (and I personally doubt that she is). She looks like any black person's sister, aunt, cousin or mother. Because of this, I doubt her persecution that she's claiming since black Americans have relatives that look like her in one way or another.

      Like all black Americans, I have black relatives from the darkest to the lightest and I have NEVER heard of one of them having their "blackness" questioned, unless of course it might be related to their interests or hobbies.

      This woman in this interview is a very stupid, very troubled woman. She's still haunted by what these kids supposedly told her. She should have just told them that that white man (her alleged dad) adopted her, because that's just as likely of being the case.

      It has nothing to do about being biracial or claiming both parents. She, obviously, should acknowledge both parents. I just have issues with black people seeing her as being anything but black. Sorry! People walking down the street don't look at her and think biracial. NOPE! They see a black woman.

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    2. This entire comment and your comment about Americans looking foreign are new lows for you.

      For shame!

      You can respond to me if your wish, but I refuse to respond further to such ignorance.

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    3. Wow, you're doing A LOT of generalizing. For one, you can't speak for the perceptions of ALL black people in America. Two, maybe where YOU live, that bi-racial girl would only be considered black. Because the US is a huge place and from MY own personal experiences and those of others I have talked to, every region/state/city has it's own unique social and cultural constructs about what constitutes race.

      For example, California is a state where there is A LOT of interracial relationships and bi-racial or multi-racial(and multi-cultural) children. Therefore, many light-skinned "black" people as you would probably perceive them, are actually bi-racial and identify as such. In San Diego, many times I was asked "what are you mixed with?" or "what are you exactly?" by OTHER people of African descent because there, when one looks "diluted," there are an infinite number of ethnicities and cultures one could embody. In the New York Metropolitan area, because of the huge Latin populations with African ancestry that don't identify as black, lighter skinned "black" people (as you would perceive them) with a certain phenotype are usually assumed to be Latin and not black or African-American. That happens to me ALL the time by OTHER people of African descent. However, throughout the South and especially in big cities like Houston or Atlanta, light-skinned "black" people are usually seen as black. And that has a lot to do with the South having been the foremost proponent of the 1 drop rule in trying to 1.) have more slaves that also weren't entitled to freedom and white privilege and 2.)disenfranchise blacks from political rights like voting and social rights like partaking in interracial marriage and relationships. So, my point is that if we were to take the bi-racial girl in that piece across the country to different regions and cities, she would probably receive a few different perceptions about her race and ethnicity.

      And another thing, you say that that bi-racial girl doesn't look bi-racial to you and that she looks black. The implication is that being bi-racial looks like something very specific? And what is that exactly?

      As far as the rest of the world is generally concerned, any ostensibly "diluted" person of African descent can be classified as something other than black or Negro. To me, that makes the most logical sense seeing as if one does have other admixtures, then technically he is not black in the strict sense of the word. MOST black Americans are technically "mixed" but once again, were denied that classification. Bi-racial (white and black) people, like I pointed out prior, come in a wide range of phenotypes. Some look more black, some look very ambiguous like they could be anything and some look more white. So who are you to say who is or isn't "bi-racial" and who is or isn't "black?"" It's unfair to box people into categories based off of YOUR own limited perspective. You're actually affirming the same racist ideologies and practices the US Government established in the first place by taking away someone's right to self-identify. And once again, not every black American shares your perspective about what constitutes race. I certainly don't.

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    4. Thank you for responding so eloquently to this troll.

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    5. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't remember this lady being anywhere near California.

      Ask President Obama, Halle Berry and countless of other black Americans that have a white parent whether or not they feel America sees themselves as black, white or black-and-white. I can assure you, it's black. The same with this woman.

      I'll repeat the most salient points: this is a woman still haunted by her youth (NUTTINESS when you consider she's holding feelings against elementary school-aged kids) and who feels different because she (supposedly) had a white father and whatever other paper-thin, flimsy reason she has an axe to grind in 2012.

      Look up any psychiatrist manual of personality disorders and about half list the inability to stop carrying grudges as a sign of mental illness. I'm shocked that CNN let this through.

      You can't change how I see this woman. She's a black woman. And I don't need a lecturing on blacks in California when about half of my family is in California with the rest being in "the South." And I can assure you she will be treated as black woman in society. So, lamenting about something happened twenty-something years ago verges on pathetic.

      She really needs to get over this childhood incident, because those kids (not adults) probably won't racially profile her off of her appearance. And I'm telling you right now, a racist won't cut her some slack if that racist thinks she has a white father.

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    6. Why don't you learn how to read Azizi Powell. I talked about how people, not me, see people and mark them off as "foreign."

      FOCUS.

      The intention of these people who talk slowly and in pidgin English isn't to be mean, but in fact helpful.

      Again: FOCUS.

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    7. @ Truth2011

      LOL Really, so we're beginning with a straw man argument? FIGURES. First of all, what I said is that if that girl were to be taken all around the US, because of the nuanced regional ideas of what constitutes race and ethnicity, that she would probably receive different perceptions about what her racial and ethnic background is. And I used California as one of a few different examples. So, in your words, let's FOCUS. I was very specific. I'm good at that.

      Secondly, I do think that a MAJORITY of Americans see anyone with black African ancestry as black. But my argument was that, not EVERYONE shares that limited perspective. I felt the need to take that stance because you seem to only speak in absolutes, as if you know the minds and hearts of all Americans and clearly you do not. Throughout the 2008 Presidential election, I heard many people--white, black, and multi-racial--in person and throughout social media, proclaim how they wished Obama would identify as bi-racial because that's how they perceived him. They saw him as neither fully black nor fully white. So, ONCE AGAIN, not all Americans share your perspective and you are not the arbiter of who is what. That was my point.

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    8. Oh, and more thing.

      The fact that you STILL can't or won't grasp the notion that child bullying and taunting can have everlasting affects on someone's esteem proves YOUR mental and emotional "limitations." It's not a matter of her holding grudges against children per se. It's a matter of being "othered">>rejected<< and made to feel insecure about who she is which in all likely hood, piggybacked off of the already present rejection-abandonment issues (and subsequent low self esteem) stemming from the absence of her mother. ALL VIABLE and quite COMMON emotional issues that often lead to instability in identity. The skin color issue is a secondary aggragavator as far as her identity issues are concerned.

      Honestly, I'm more interested in your particular brand of "nuttiness." From my perspective, you rally around the notion of being black American with a neurotic passion and fervor that fringes on the fanatic and irrational. You have this hard defined, IMMOVABLE image of what constitutes your idealized American blackness that denigrates and disallows other variants (bi-racial, Africans); you can't be reasoned with and are incapable of seeing gray; and you are hypersensitive in an extremely personalized way when it comes to other "blacks", as you perceive them, not self-identifying as black. Add to that, you lack empathy for another's pain and can not see another perspective outside of your own when it does not coincide with what you think is plausible. My diagnosis for you>>>

      NARCISSISM...in my humble yet informed opinion of course. And do you know the foundation behind the haughty veneer of every Narcissist? SHAME. And in my opinion, that is exactly why you attack others who don't identify with your self-aggrandized image of black American-ness. When someone "rejects" the notion of identifying as black, you take that as a rejection of who YOU are and that makes YOU feel insecure, self-conscious, and ashamed of YOUR truth.

      But don't cry, you're not alone. Many African-Americans suffer from deep-seated shame and pain (that we try to ignore and downplay by endorsing this larger than life, "unified"--yet very flimsy--BLACK PRIDE) because of our history in the United States. And we become puffed up, obstinate and downright hostile when we feel other "blacks" want to differentiate themselves from us, as if we are not good enough or that they are better. It hurts our ego, our collectively and understandably fragile ego. But all of that shame is based on a false and untrue premise. People of African descent, no matter the origin or shade--and complex reasons for those shades--ARE BEAUTIFUL. We are ancient; innovative; spirited; intelligent; rich in language, culture and history. We don't have to wear on our souls, the traumas and sins of the past. And furthermore, flimsy labels will not give us back our souls.

      So, sit with that for a while and let it simmer.

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  6. And lastly, calling someone who has very viable emotional issues because of her identity "stupid" and "troubled" makes YOU look like the one who is "stupid" and "troubled." And even worse, an embittered, mean person who lacks empathy. Clearly, you know nothing about psychology because if you did, you'd know how traumatic bullying can be on the psyches of young children. Usually, those demons do haunt people for the rest of their lives. Furthermore, bi-racial people, more than any other group in America, tend to have the most emotional issues when it comes to their identity. There's only been HUNDREDS of talk shows about it over the years, dozens of books written on the matter and even famous people like Mariah Carey, have chronicled extensively about their identity issues through their crafts. And what that girl looks like doesn't matter. For all you know, she lives in an area where most of the black people are very dark (WHICH IS QUITE POSSIBLE IN AMERICA--I have seen it) and so even if she doesn't look "typically" bi-racial according to your judgments, was still different ENOUGH to warrant some abuse and be ostracized. Oftentimes, kids will single out ANY difference, big or small, and pick at it when they sense vulnerability. They're feral and animalistic like that. It's just particularly sad when supposed adults act that way towards another vulnerable person.

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    1. I DVR'd this special last night. Brother, a medical doctor/psychiatrist first commented about "nutty" this woman is. When pushed to elaborate he mentioned her unusual facial expressions he says all the hallmarks of someone who seems to have "mental deficiencies."

      You don't need to be an MD to know that it's NOT normal to carry grudges from childhood until adult against elementary school students.

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    2. And calling her "nutty" means a lot. Psychiatrist (MD's) don't like to use words like nutty, loco, and crazy, but if the shoe fits...

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    3. Yep, the shoe does fit. He's a FOOL. Any respectable psychiatrist, psychologist, therapist, etc... would NEVER, in any professional capacity, refer to someone who has en emotional disturbance as "nutty." After that, I wouldn't care to hear anything he had to say.

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    4. That's what he hears a lot from people that doubt psychiatry is real. They're in the same boat as people who think the Earth is flat.

      The woman isn't normal. She needs help with her issues since it's clear that her problem isn't her race, but mommy issues.

      Thank GOD Obama's father's absence didn't have bitter and angry about it. He sucked it up and went to Harvard.

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    5. It must be interesting living in your world: a land unrestrained by gravity, clouds made of bubble gum and gummy bears, friendly hobbits and stately Lions walking side by side, a place where insanity is sanity, truth is a lie and sh** spews from the mouth while one talks out of side of his a**.

      Somewhere, not too far away, in the mystical realm of the Apothecaries, lies a magical little oval shaped "candy" that just might free you from the Matrix for good! Transverse all of Narnia, Oz and Middle-Earth until you find it. I implore you.

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  7. I'm in the segment of black people who still find it uncomfortable that we're talking about this openly. It was understood in my family that we had non-African ancestors but it was only really openly discussed in the family and in a limited fashion. There's nothing wrong with discussing it openly, but it still makes me feel uneasy. I was raised with awareness that I'm black. I may not identify with or gravitate towards all things that are stereotypically "black," but I'm black. To paraphrase Cicely Tyson's character from The Women of Brewster's Place- 'Black isn't ugly or beautiful. It just is'

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  8. Since the days of slavery there has never been one way of looking black. In America, black people come in all shades from the lightest to the darkest but they identify with their African American heritage not only because of race but by culture and heritage political consciousness and a shared history.

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    1. That's exactly right. Her appearance doesn't separate her from any other black person in America. She seems to have failed to realize that since she's carrying a grudge for (allegedly) being biracial.

      GROW UP! America doesn't see you as biracial. Your problems are a black woman in America, not a biracial woman in America.

      Get real! Grow up! Let go of grudges!

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  9. Powerful! Fiery! Poignant! Visceral! (And the CNN program was good, too. Snicker). But really, the comments made on this thread were fantastic! In my opinion, there's room for agreement with all of them. When it comes to self-identification, there is NO ONE WAY to look at "Who is Black in America?"(I'm speaking of SELF-identification here).

    In the program white American writer and racial politics commentator, Tim Wise, made a very, very important point, however, that kind of seals the deal, so to speak, about how we "Black" people see ourselves. Wise wisely says in response to Soledad Obrien's question to him about Becca, the Egyptian-American student who identified herself as white on the college entrance application: Says Wise: "She can call herself that (white) but in the minds, actions and treatment from greater society---white America---she will not be accorded that perception of herself. She will be seen as a person of color at the very least". (Paraphrase).

    In other words, Tim Wise is gently affirming to us that, we can self-identify in whichever way we see fit, but whites still hold the passes in their hands as to who is or who is not going to be admitted into their presumed "Wonderful World of Whiteness". And most North Africans, like Becca, and biracial Americans, if showing any traces of "black" features, will not either.

    In a less than one hour program I think that Soledad Obrien did a nice job in opening the discussion on a national level about the different nuances of "blackness" in this country. Overall, what I understood from the special was, white America still, at the cusp of 2013, overtly or covertly, holds a strong control over people of any discernible sub-Saharan descent's self-identity---and even self-esteem. "Whiteness" and all the privileges that go with it, is still considered the "best of America", and all diametrically-opposed variations of "blackness", lesser. (Notice how in the program even African-American elementary school children had already begun to denigrate dark skin. At 5, 6, 7 years old they're already saying "they don't want to be dark". Just imagine how they will be, if not "corrected", by the time they're in high school?! Same goes for the little ones who call light-skinned Blacks and biracial kids, "casper" or "high yella." One of my biracial family members was even called "zebra" and "skunk" by other children in elementary and middle school by Black students! Those wounds are REAL! Make no mistake. For a 7 year old boy with a white mom and a black dad to be taunted with names of animals for 3 or 4 years straight can cause much damage. It's hard in later life to just "get over it". So colorism goes both ways. It's all uber-destructive!

    There are Great Thoughts and Great Thinkers at this blog, bar none, and I'm HONORED to sit in my seat and be educated by all of them!

    And may I wish a Happy Milestone 65th Birthday to one of these Greats, Ms. Azizi Powell! Ashe!

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    1. Hey John, as always, I appreciate your wisdom, insight and perspective. I just want to add something.

      When I look in the mirror, I see MYSELF as a black man first and foremost. I love black people and black culture. I have actively embraced blackness by CHOICE. My mother raised me to be proud of my blackness, while also obviously acknowledging my whiteness, but she emphasized to me that in America particularly, I am a black man. That, I came to understand, was not MY choice but the choice of the white hegemonic power structure in seeking to disenfranchise people of African descent. THAT is what I reject and resist, being labeled by oppressors with the intent to wound and impair.

      That being said, I certainly see and understand how subsequently, the one drop rule served to socially and politically enrich and enfranchise people of African descent, and like you said, thereby making us the wealthiest, most powerful and influential "blacks" on the planet. But it's the soul of blackness in an American context as it stands today, that truly gives me pause as far as the veracity of self-identifying and labeling as black beyond a socio-political means.

      When I look at the depth and pervasiveness of colorism, intra-cultural/intra-racial prejudice and self-loathing by many black Americans, however overt or covert, it dismantles and tarnishes this notion of "no matter the shade, we are ALL one, loved and unified!" that people like truth2011 like to falsely claim as irrefutable truth (HA, the sad sad irony!). That has NEVER been true about African-Americans. During and since slavery, we have valued and privileged ourselves based off of our individual relativity to lightness/whiteness in our skin tones and phenotypes...ever highlighting our white lineage (so long as there was no mention of miscegenation by way of slavery), Native American lineage, etc... while denigrating and debasing those that didn't have such a lineage. And like you pointed out, colorism has worked both ways. So, even when I look at the positive aforementioned attributes of identifying as black, which in most cases, has essentially come down to solidifying how we self-represent to OTHERS and White America in forming a cohesive machine, I still question to what extent are we all "black" only in socio-political metaphor and not in how we TRULY see and experience each other.

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    2. Hey Griot! I'm certainly glad that you've decided to take time from your mighty Viking battles on other cyber seas and sail over here and add force to the fray! (You were MIA awhile back and I thought maybe you'd been kidnapped by pirates or something). :-)

      So anyway, Muse, you asked the $100,000.00 question: "How do we TRULY see and experience each other?" Now THAT'S a dynamic question! Short but potentially explosive. (You know dynamite comes in a small package). Beyond all the declarations of "We tight!", "We see each other as ONE Black people," and other rhetoric and prating that we are a self-loving African-American community, your question stopped me in my tracks. Made me put on the brakes, dude!

      Food for thought. On the CNN documentary the African-American female professor who is writing a book on color issues among Afr. Ams. told Soledad Obrien that, "I always looked at light skinned Black females as thinking they were 'better' than dark skinned females." Now this kind of "projection" is coming from the mind and mouth of a higher degreed "educated" Black woman.

      And then, what do we make of that persistent, racist, self-deprecating verbiage that is heard in Black k-12 schools throughout America: "He think' he' white; he likes to read, study and talk white?" And it even gets worse, Blk Viking: "Man, he' a straight up PUNK! The nigga's in 9th grade and all he does is study. Aint never tapped no kinda p....y"

      THOSE statements are not isolated or aberrant in their presumed uniqueness. Uh, uh. Common. I come from a household where both parents were urban high school department heads, so I've heard every "urban" school statement, saying, cliche in the book. And MANY of them point back to our (Black Ams.) self-perceived inadequacies and inabilities to be successful in this society.

      And who in the Black American community is unquestionably "othered" in 2012? We know that there is a general mistrust for foreign Blacks, be they Caribbean, continental African, or Afro-Latino, and the intraracial discord is, very sadly, mutual. <-----Black people in America, as a conglomerate, are not very nice to each other.

      What about gender variance in the Black communities in the United States? "Don't bring that 'sin' in my house!" LOL! Being a same-gender loving Black male will get that proverbial red letter engraved on your forehead, and a quick ouster and exile from the heart of the race faster than you can recite the title of James Baldwin's classic, "Tell Me How Long the Train's Been Gone!"

      B.Vkg, you've caused me to "go there". You've caused me to look at our community(ies) in the United States and become frightened by what I see. You did this earlier, when you told another poster at this blog that he was suffering from deep soul woundedness, a fear of rejection, and other pathologies that only a Black man (or woman) who has seen these demons that greatly haunt and even bully us, faced them, and lived to tell about it. Oof!

      "How do we TRULY see and experience each other...?" (As Aretha Franklin emotionally wails in her remake of Otis Redding's classic, "I've Been Loving You Too Long": "Don't Ask Me That No More! I Can't Do It!") Ha, ha, ha! This is the type of question that would be asked in a weekend sealed Black men's healing retreat. The kind of retreat where you come in Friday evening at 5:00 PM, there is no contact with anyone in the outside world for three days, and you leave Sunday afternoon with all that heavy burdensome baggage left on the conference room floor---next to Black men's tears.

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    3. Haha **nodding my head in agreement** You are too much fun while speaking so much truth. LOVE all the brilliant teachers here. And YES, I agree with everything you said. That's what I'm talking about--echoing again what Ms. Azizi Powell said, we have much internal and external work to do because there are too many glaring holes in this "we all are ONE" narrative that black folks insist on propagating. I truly yearn for the day when we embody that principle whole-souled--socially, politically, mentally and emotionally.

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  10. Thanks to all who wish me a happy 65 birthday.

    I really appreciate it!

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  11. I'm a really light skin person as you can see on the pic that was published here some days ago with a link to my blog. On my country a majority consider myself as white, because it, although I have been declaring myself as a black woman has been almost 20 years. I have several African American friends, none of them, never said I was white, all them consider me as a black woman and they really can't understand why in Brazil people could consider myself as white. And even if when I was in the US, people never treated me as less black, because I was foreing. For this reason I was so worry about this kind of video, because the one drop rule in the US for me is a blessing, a thing that can stop with a lot of complex that affect people on my country and most of our people here constructed their black identity inspired on this American concept.

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    1. That's exactly right Daniela!

      You're no less or more black than me or my uncles that are as black as charcoal! Black people are all the same in America (with a few exceptions)!

      The problems with self-identification among blacks comes from blacks from Latin America (like Sammy Sosa) who might have some admixture and then claim that admixture (usually Spanish) over being black!

      Daniela, your experiences in America aren't unique at ALL! This woman in this video is black too! The only one making an issue about her race is herself and she needs help getting over it!

      These black Americans writing in asking about being biracial are lying to you and non-black Americans. If you have any kinky hair, a wise nose, dark skin: you're BLACK! No questions asked.

      For some reason people here are trying to make this woman "biracial." I'll tell you this: just like you weren't treated as white or biracial (as you would have in Brazil), this lady in this video isn't being treated as anything BUT black. She's as black as Wesley Snipes here in America.

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    2. And you're right! The one-drop rule is a blessing! It makes all black people, regardless of color, one people. No mullatos. No biracials. No mixed races. Only black!

      BLKViking and a few others aren't being truthful! This lady has severe mental problems in my opinion. She is black! No questions!

      Don't let these people fool you. We have the one-drop rule from east to west and from north to south. This talk about being biracial is fantasy! She'll be treated like any other black person.

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    3. @Deluded2012

      What exactly am I not being truthful about? As I noted above, the girl in that piece isn't the only one with "severe mental problems."

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    4. I hate to break it but the one drop rule does nothing to relieve the income and social inequalities of black people in South America or the Caribbean. Haiti also has a one drop rule (if you are born there you are basically considered black) yet mulatto & light-skinned blacks still had political and economic privilege over the majority for most of the country's history.
      Colonialism will have to be eradicated before anyone can be proclaiming that all blacks are the same when it's prevalent to see that some blacks (obviously those with a different complexion and features) have it a somewhat easier than the rest.

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    5. The few Haitians that I know don't consider light skin people as black, the same in Caribe and Latin America.

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    6. Haiti does not abide by the one drop rule. Far from it! The racist hatred against the dark-skinned Haitian masses from the wealthy business mulatto, Middle Eastern (primarily Syrian and Lebanese), and white French elites is like Apartheid era South Africa.

      Until the 1960s, with the rule of Francois "Papa Doc" Duvalier," a Black Haitian my complexion (I'm the same color as the actor, Denzel Washington,) was not even seen in exclusive mulatto social clubs like the Bellevue, the Port-au-Prince Country Club, or any of the wealthy clubs in Petionville, just outside Port-au-Prince.

      In Haiti it goes like this:
      The elite: Blanc (white), mulatre (mulatto,) and post Duvalier several dark-skinned Blacks have joined this class, but mulattoes still hold economic power.

      Blanc: The word means white, literally, but there are many dark-skinned Haitian-Americans, Haitian-Canadians and Haitian-Europeans who return to Haiti with wealth and education acquired abroad, and paradoxically they are often referred to as "Blancs". Blanc also refers to white foreign wives and husbands of Haitians who have moved to Haiti. Dominicans living in Haiti of any complexion are usually called Dominicain.


      Griffe: A light skinned mulatto, usually with green or hazel eyes. Hair can be wavy or curly.

      Marabout: A very dark brown "black" person with European features and naturally straight hair. They are NOT considered to be the same as a "black".

      Negre: A Black person. They comprise the masses of Haitians. It is practically unheard of for a "negre", a "noir," to marry a mulatre or a griffe UNLESS that negre has lots of money and comes from a Black elite family.

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    7. Greetings, John.

      Thank you for sharing this information. And thanks to the Afro-Europe blog for providing a forum to share & discuss this type of information from & with people of African descent from throughout the world.

      I'm interested in knowing the home nation of those commenters on this subject thus far who've shared their names. And I think that this information may be of interest to others. If it is appropriate, would someone or those people named please fill in this list? Thanks in advance.

      I believe that Afro-Europe is from Holland. Is that right?

      Daniela Gomes is from Brazil.

      Truth2011 is from the USA.

      BlkViking is from Europe? Is this right? If so which nation?

      Azizi Powell is from the USA.

      John is from ?

      Chico-Rei is from ?

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    8. Greetings Ms. Azizi Powell! I'm black American and Swedish, a dual citizen of both countries and also raised in both countries. However, I'm primarily based in the USA.

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    9. Greetings Ms. Azizi Powell! I'm a black American living in the greatest city in America not quite 14 months: San Francisco, California!

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    10. @ John

      Yes I understand that it doesn't. Initially in the Constitution of 1804 it was decreed that all Haitian citizens were declared "black." This was implemented to get rid of the racial hierarchy.

      This was basically a one drop rule and for obvious reasons did not work out in a majority black country.

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    11. Azizi, yes I am from Holland, but I am of Surinamese-Dutch Caribbean origin.

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    12. @ Anonymous: You're so right. Dessalines, Toussaint, Boyer, et al DID apply the One Drop Rule---RIGIDLY!---when the Constitution was written. Sorry. I misunderstood you.

      What they did not take fully into account, however, was the fact that not all the "mulatres" (mulattoes) were killed or immigrated along with the white French colonizers. The city of Jeremie, for example, even up to today, was a stronghold of these biracial Haitians who escaped genocide, and there was a tacit agreement that if they would not try and re-enslave or economically crush the African-Haitian masses, their lives would be spared and they would be left alone.

      Fffffast forward to the 1915, 1916 invasion of Haiti by United States Marines and high-ranking members of the U.S. government, who dominated Haiti for over fifteen years, and you will see how, step by step, Americans helped re-instate the mulatres and even the lighter-skinned octoroon and quadroon Haitians as the commercial and educated elite of the country.

      I hope I don't sound "treasonous" for saying what I am going to say, but I can only read the pages of history as they are written: The United States is to blame, in a large part, for the rigid, unfair, racist class structure that we still see in Haiti today.

      From the time of the 1804 Haitian Constitution up until the Nineteen Teens, there was actually a dark-skinned AFRICAN-Haitian upper class, and there was even strong business and commerce in Haiti. But, the United States and other European Powers refused to administer aid or even recognize this new independent Black country as even being "legal", so they were on their own. Nevertheless, Haiti survived.

      If this sounds incredible, please read the old book written during the time of the United States Occupation, (by a white American racist of the time), "The Magic Island", and you will see how it was the intent of the American invaders to disempower Black Haitians and to SUPEREMPOWER mulatto, quadroon and octoroon Haitians as the rulers of the country.

      "The evil things that men do".....

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    13. @ John

      Thanks for the recommendation. I'll look it up on amazon.

      You do not sound treasonous at all. I know that the US had meddled (and still is) in affairs of other countries(Latin America and the Middle East). They have propped up dictators and destroyed many economies. How else could the US be #1 without crushing other nations.

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    14. John and Anonymous, thanks for discussing this, I've added your comments to the post Video: Black in the Caribbean - Race and class in Haiti and Jamaica

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  12. John, thanks for tip! As for colorism, I hate that word. People go to law school to fight racism, but when it comes to discrimination within the black community the only response seems to be: we need to talk to each other. Colorism = racisme, and it needs to be tackled the same way as the "normal" racism.

    And @Blviking, personally I don't see bi-racial as category between "Black" and White. I think it's more a subcategory of both. But as a category it remains problematic. Some of my family members have already moved to tri-racial, so technically they won't fit in the bi-racial box anymore.

    As for the word Black", I’ve never perceived it as just a 100 percent race “Negro” category. Doesn't it also have a cultural meaning? Black music, black food, black consciousness.

    Let me clear I understand the need of biracial people to show their colors, so to speak. But I am afraid we will move to the Brazilian situation [as Daniella pointed out], where every form of skin tone is graded labelled. I understand your historical argument, that the society in past has used the one drop rule to strip biracial people from their privileges. But you can also use the present situation as way of looking at it, which is that black has many shades and white just one. Yes, it’s unfair, but if you want a new biracial category, you will also need a tri-racial category. I think my tri-racial family members will need that category, because they are still seen as not entirely Dutch, one of them was even called a “Negro”.

    As a mentioned earlier, the present situation is black has many shades and white just one. I think that within this frame we should battle the poison of colorism as if were white racism. But again, I completely understand your point of view of being biracial. I haven’t met one mixed race person who didn’t say: “ I am black and white”. Therefore agree when Barack Obama said: “I am black person of mixed race heritage.”

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    1. Afro-Europe & Daniela Gomes

      I consider “Black” to be a cultural descriptor. However, “Black culture” is far more diverse than most people think. For instance, contrary to generally held beliefs, there are multiple African American ethnic groups. Among them are Louisiana Creoles [who may or may not consider themselves as “Black” but who most White people and most Black people would consider Black]. There are also people who have Gullah ancestry [from the George & South Carolina Sea Isle], and there are African Americans like me who have Black [and non-Black] ancestors from one or more Caribbean nations. There are also African Americans who have Black/Native American ancestry, and/or Black/Asian ancestry, and/or Black/White ancestry and then you have to also factor in the ethnicities of all those backgrounds.

      There are also African Americans who have one or two birth parents from an African nation or nations where ethnicity is sometimes more important or at least equally as important as the nation itself.

      And that’s only some of the people who make up the category African Americans.

      Also, all light skinned African Americans don't have a biological parent who is non-Black. A number of light skinned African Americans I know have had two Black birth parents. But, yes, at least one of those parents had some or considerable racial
      mixture in their background.

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    2. Also, as a reminder, up to at least the early 19th century if not later, the "degree of black blood" terms "mulatto", "quadroon", and "octoroon} were used in the United States South and probably in other regions of this nation to refer to people of African descent. But those terms gave way to "mulatto" as a referent for any person who was Black/non-Black. By about the 1960s, the term "mulatto" was disgarded to be replaced by the terms "mixed" and later "biracial" [around the 1980s]. Most African Americans still use the term "mixed" but a person who is mixed is usually considered to still be "Black" if he or she has any Black ancestry. In that sense "mixed" is one type of Black person.

      And the reason why this is so is that light skin color isn't a protection against White racism.

      The one drop of black blood rule saw and still sees all people with any Black ancestry as basically the same when it came to White privileges. This forced/forces people with any noticeable Black African descent to become one population group.

      The only way that a person with any Black descent could be assured that he or she wasn't victimized by the racist system was to "pass for White" if he or she was light enough to do so. And a lot of people "with Black blood" have indeed changed their identity to a White person. I know of one man in his forties who did so in his twenties.

      The one drop of Black blood rule is racist because it considers even the smallest amount of Black ancestry to be a pollutant. However, that rule resulted in/results in African Americans being -relatively-unified regardless of skin color, at least as a political group.

      For that reason, Daniela Gomes, as per your comment, I can see why Brazilians might consider "one drop" as a positive way of unifying people of some African descent. But regardless of that positive consequence, I think that many African Americans would agree with me that one drop of Black blood"'s history is a racist rule.

      And if that one drop of Black blood rule is racist, then the logical consequence would be that people who are of mixed racial ancestry should have the right to choose which race they want to belong to-or they should be able to be members of multiple races if those races are part of their ancestry - regardless of what those people look like.

      Would this play havoc with Black political power? Yes.

      Is it realistic to think that this will happen soon? No.

      But in completing the Census, United States citixens have the right to self-identify their ancestry. So I think that the one drop of Black blood rule will become weaker over time.

      However, what is even stronger than the one drop rule is determining a person's racial identity by using physical clues such as skin color and hair texture. That practice has to also be disgarded. But I don't think that will happen any time soon.

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    3. Again, I must give a hearty THANKS to "Afro-Europe" for providing us this international forum for so many different ethnicities of the African Diaspora to come here and voice our opinions!

      As always, Ms. Azizi Powell, you give a detailed historical picture of our collective experiences of being African-American. Now, regarding the pros and cons of the One Drop Rule, piggy backing on what our activist scholar Daniela Gomes has said, in spite of its racist origins it has been the decisive factor in placing the African-American group of "Africans" as the wealthiest, most educated, most politically-powerful Blacks on the globe.

      Brazil, and by extension, the Spanish-speaking nations, are some of the most racially diverse places anywhere. Mixtures of Africans and Europerans, Native Americans with Europeans,Africans and Indigenous have gone on since Europeans first colonized these countries. And yet, in ALL Spanish-speaking countries the Black Hispanic is on the lowest rung of their society culturally, econonomically and socially. Even in a majority-Black country as the Dominican Republic the WORST insult, the lowest degree of degradation, is to be labeled as "Black".

      In the United States, because the lightest of Blacks have shared the insults, the physical and mental slaps right along with the darkest, with no separation, we've inherited in our day a coalition that is unmatched in Brazil and ANYWHERE in Latin America. And for this, due to to the One Drop Rule, I am grateful.

      I'm curious, what would happen to our collective power if we decided to go "the Latin American way" and start calling ourselves "dark Indian", "light Indian" (black Dominicans refer to themselves as "Indian"; only Haitian-Dominicans are referred to as Black), mulatto, wheat colored, coffee with milk, washed Black, (a "black" person with pale/even white skin with nappy hair and negroid features), zambo (mixture of Indigenous and Black),or any of the other endless descriptors to keep "Black" Latinos from embracing their African racial backgrounds and forming a unified "Black Force?"

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    4. Thanks John, But wasn't this posting your idea? :) And what would happen to our collective power if we ...? great rhetorical question!

      And Azizi, thanks again for providing the detailed descriptions. I wrote too hasty, so I made many errors. One of them was tri-racial, while I actually meant an "octoroon", someone who is one quarter black.

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    5. Dear Azizi, thanks for share this history, I already knew about all these details, but is always useful to learn a little bit more.
      What I wanted to say was right what JOhn said up here, how the one drop rule was a racist theory, but became a blessing because made African Americans more united.
      In my opinion this speech "if you are biracial you can choose what you are", is only a way to share our people. I know that because this is the speech on my country.
      When I was a kid for example, most of people, used to laugh about my hair, my lips, all my black featurings, saying that I had "a feet on the slave house", it is a racist Brazilian expression to say that a "white person" has black ancestors,I suffered with the racism, but I didn't know that was because I was black, after I realized that I was black and started to say that loud, the same people look at me and say, you know, you aren't black, because if you straight your hair you can pass as white, but when I used to straight my hair, they never let me "pass" as white. Do you understand me?
      I know all of this is a new thing for the US, specially with the immigration, because most of latinos and people from Caribe are starting to bring their concepts of blackness to the US and it is totally different from the American concept, and now you have kids born in America, who are black, but don't feel themselves in this way, because their parents culture teach a different thing.
      About to be biracial, triracial or whetever, I have three black grand parents, and one indigenous grand parents, all of them of course have european heritage, because our history, if we consider the American concept they are all black, my parents are light skin like me, my brothers are brown skin, in Brazil my parents can pass as white (even if they are going to suffer with the bad hair complex) but in America they are black, so I don't know how could you define me, but for me, I'm black, because myself, and my ancestors, I never felt comfortable as white, because I wasn't, but if I didn't have this concious and I was allienated life could be easier for me in my country.

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    6. Hello, Daniela!

      Thanks for your comments. Yes, I understand you.

      I have come to accept the position that idealistically a person of mixed racial ancestry who has White ancestry should be able to declare himself or herself White and be accepted by other people-including White people, regardless of how he or she looks (particularly skin color & hair texture.)

      After all, some ideas about racial identity and who is or who isn't White have changed in the USA since I was a young adult. For instance, I've read articles or blog comments online in which people say that they are White and that they have an ancestor who is Indian (Native American). I've always read about people in the USA who identify as a White person and are identified as White and that person says that they have an Asian ancestor. But I don't know common this is or how that person would be accepted if they didn't "look White".

      Daniela, I also understand what you are saying that such a position is used or could be used by people who despise their Black African ancestry. I also believe that this idealistic position could result in less unity and less political power for Black people were in accepted without racism being eradicated.

      I think that in the USA a person of Black/White ancestry could say that they were White and not dislike his or her Black ancestry. But unless that person "looked White", other people are very unlikely to accept him or her as White.

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  13. I think they are over exaggerating the case, when people want to bully someone they look for anything, they even have the saying kids are cruel, and especially teenage girls on other girls, how many girls do you hear about who were bullied when they were younger because they were fat, or had big ears, talked different, or had big teeth, this girl is different to her classmates so she was picked on it doesn't make it right but it happens, because of the media's love with light skin or mixed raced girls, I expect darker skined girls who were jealous picked on her, to me the worse is the abuse that dark skin black girls get because it's not just in school it's through their whole life. Also the abuse that white people with ginger hair get from other white people.

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    1. Except this woman is still haunted by what some 8-year-olds said about her 15 or 20 years ago. That's NOT normal! It's nutty.

      And, her problem, now, as an adult, isn't of being biracial. It's of being black and a woman.

      This woman has mommy-and-daddy issues not racial ones. People here really don't think 8-year-olds scarred her life more than her absent black mother?

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  14. I just saw the last part of this CNN special. I have trouble believing that black people in America make an issue out of light and dark skin. I have never, ever heard a black person, outside of joking, ridicule someone for being too light or too dark.

    This is CNN making stuff up like they always do. Remember black people weren't going to vote for Obama because President Obama support gay marriage?

    Please. This is just divide and conquer. Every person in this video, from the very dark women to the yellow-skinned spoken word mentor, could be a relative of mine or any black person in America. Why would I make fun of someone for being too dark when that person could be in my family? My great-aunt is as dark as that one woman professor. Why would I make fun of dark-skinned people then?

    CNN needs to get a new topic.

    Not buying this propaganda from CNN at all. Everyone in this documentary is BLACK, no matter what their admixture is. End of story.

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    1. Hmmm...so because someone hasn't personally experienced or witnessed something, it must not exist! It MUST be a lie and a conspiracy theory...even when there is AMPLE proof to the contrary (I suppose most of the posters on this thread who have firsthand witnessed and experienced intra-racial prejudice and colorism must be fellow conspirators working for the CNN think-tank). And while we're at it, the Holocaust was a lie too! Interesting. A person who is INCAPABLE of seeing or at the very least, acknowledging other perspectives and experiences outside of their own...hmmm, I know there must be a name for that...

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  15. In the December 13, 2012 issue of the the online African American-centered website, The Root, there was an informative article suggesting that colorism even plays a part in how Americans (of all races) choose elected officials.

    According to the article, the majority of Black elected officials, and this is especially true for New York, over the generations, have been lighter skinned. Now to me, this does not point a finger, necessarily, to a Black community seething in supposed anti-Blackness. We must take into account variables such as: The traditional African-American elite, particularly in New York, has been light-complexioned, in generations past the numbers of dark-skinned Blacks in college have been inferior to the numbers of lighter-complected Blacks, and, removing the blame from Black folks, it has been proven that WHITE AMERICA AS A WHOLE tends to place most of its racist neurotic projections on darker skinned African Americans.

    In White America's obsession and paranoia maladies of being violated by a Black male--be it sexual violation, home invasion, or robbery, it is usually the dark-skinned black man who fits their idea of the brute-criminal. Somehow, in America's psychosis of negrophobia, the farther the Black male's appearance distances from dark black skin, the less "dangerous" he is believed to be for the white body. Of course, this can be traced back to the days of the stereotypical "safe and trustworthy" mulatto house slave as opposed to the "untamed and wild" dark field slave, but we (Americans) never equate this complex past to the hows and whys we are still so adversarial toward each other today. (Oh, that's right! We're post-racial now. Racism no longer exists! I forgot.). SHM.

    Anyway, here's the URL for the article: http://www.theroot.com December 13, 2012 Article: "Is There Colorism on the Campaign Trail?"

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  16. To restore the discussion as it was in the beginning, I have removed all the comments which were mainly based on personal attacks. So Gentlemen, Truth and BlkViking, please behave as Gentlemen.

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    1. Thank you Afro-Europe and apologies for my contribution to the foolishness that overtook this very poignant thread. I think this website is an invaluable and respectable resource and I wouldn't want to ever take away from that. So, I will certainly do better.

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    2. BlkViking, thanks for the apology.

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  17. Truth, thanks for the apology. I have deleted your apology comment because of a statement I am about to criticise.

    You have crossed the line by bringing in "online dating profiles" and other childish arguments in this discussion to try to discredit the person you were discussing with. Although I can’t imagine that anyone would take that seriously.

    Do yourself a favour and take a step back to look at your comments, because I think you are not exposing anyone, you are just damaging and discrediting yourself by commenting in this way.

    And lastly, I warned you once about your offensive comments about "Africans", the next time you cross the line of decency I will delete your comments, regardless the content.

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  18. Afro-Europe, I never said anything about [all] Africans. Please re-read the thread and see who started what with personal attacks. The online dating profiles was to show character (or lack thereof). But, I'm past that. Let's move on.

    Three people made personal attacks on me. One, I just looked up info in Google and laid it out for everyone to see.

    Let's all go back to swapping... stories about our experiences.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. DELETE! "Swapping," huh? You think you're so slick. You're still taking petty jabs. You are incorrigible.

      Afro-Europe, just ban her and let's be done with her. She hardly ever contributes anything substantial anyway save for rhetoric and vitriol.

      Delete
  19. Oh boy. Arguing among yourselves keeps people "in their place". It is very sad to read. There is no right or wrong way for a person to identify culturally, ethnically, socially, based on their colour alone or by their heritage. Imposing our method of categorizing people(s worth) is abhorent. Asking things like "what mix are you" smacks more of dog breeding than being a person of worth and individuality and is beneath us to respond to such questions. The more that folks are sub-divided into categories, the weaker they become. Morgan Freeman said something recently, paraphrasing, that to get past racism we have to stop talking about it and just get on with life, live the life we want and then it will stop being an issue. When someone asks about how we classify ourselves based on our colour, we should answer with something which unites, such as "American", or "English" etc rather than what sets us aside. Stand up, dust yourself off, chin up, get out there and conquer the world. Act like you deserve respect, and respect will be yours. Good luck, folks, x

    ReplyDelete

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