Incognegro Part I: Grady Sizemore

Because, in America, we have a special sort of racism (dubbed the “One-drop rule” by the racist geniuses who came up with it), we have a lot of people who are considered to be black people who don’t look like black people. Or they look like black people, but don’t want to labeled solely as “black people,” a la my favorite not-black-black-looking golfer, El Tigre.

I’m quite fascinated about these “racial rebels.” (As I’m fascinated by all things race related.) I had a great, great aunt who, along with her mother and siblings, basically looked white, but considered herself black and chose not to “pass” for white (even though, the way she looked, it really wouldn’t have been much of a stretch.) But, she didn’t go out of her way to correct people when they admitted her ailing mother to the “good” (re: white) hospital back in the ’50s.

That said, I’m glad the country has evolved enough to at least to pretend to tolerate the pleas of multiracial Americans to define themselves. (Behind your back, the blacks and the whites just argue over whether you’re a little black or a lot of black. But no one ever argues over the state of actual blackness, like, that you might not consider yourself to be black, per the cruel and bizarre one-drop-rule.)

Anyway. Here’s our first Incognegro Major League Baseball’s Grady Sizemore as part of a series of on the not-black-black-peoples of America!

Mmmm … Grady.

For those who just thought Grady was blessed with a healthy “Jew-fro” prepare to have your mind blown! The Jew-fro is just your average afro and while his mom is white, his dad is black. But who cares about that. Look at the hotness! And despite having a horrible, unsexy name that brings to mind Fred Sanford’s ever-ashy looking buddy, this Grady is so en fuego he has his own cadre of women, dubbed “Grady’s Ladies.” He was also dubbed the future of baseball by Sports Illustrated. Sure, he plays for a team whose mascot is a horrible and insulting racial stereotype — but, c’mon! Look at that face! And I bet he has two strong arms to hold you. Sigh!

5 thoughts on “Incognegro Part I: Grady Sizemore

  1. Dude so cannot tell….Grady is seriously incognito…He is cute I will give you that though! 🙂 There one person who will not blow my mind though…I am just surprised that he was not the FIRST one in your “Incognegro” Series since you LOVE him so much…!! Good stuff!

  2. I’m (of course) waiting on outing my most favorite secret half-negro imaginary boyfriend because I want to time it with the return of his TV show.Lord, that show can’t come back on the air soon enough. I needs me fix!

  3. Yeah. Golden Glove Grady. When I first became interested in him I thought he was of Hispanic/Latin origin…I’d supposed even Irish, Belgian, Italian, something…looking beyond his complexion and his hair at that physique and those features made me insatiably curious. Like you I determined his father is African American and his mother is White. I also discovered that Grady was raised in a predominantly White suburban setting and it is to be expected that because of those circumstances his exposure and experiences involving large numbers of African Americans were limited. In fact, he carries himself just as anyone in/from such a setting would. He is involved in a sport that has pitifully low numbers of African Americans, playing and attending. Yet he has not been known to deny that he is African American. As for his first name, it means “noble,” a name fitting for him in consideration of his reputation first as a top shelf athlete, and secondly as a person. Do the research. So, is Grady qualified to be Incognegro No. 1 because of the way he looks or because of the way acts?

  4. For the record, the title “Incognegro” is not in reference to how individuals define themselves but how the racial implications of life in the United States often defines your race for you. So the incognegro is just about how people make assumptions about Grady Sizemore’s race based on his appearance. But I was in no means implying that he was “passing.” Merely that in the USA you are what you look like. After all, he was among the few players that wore Jackie Robinson’s number during a tribute to Robinson in 2007.

  5. I’m definitely incognegro. What’s funny is that I didn’t know it for a long time. I was raised in a black neighborhood and I always felt black, so I never questioned how I was being categorized. It doesn’t come up too much in polite conversation either, at least at work. Folks in the business world don’t tend to bring up race a lot unless they’ve had too much to drink. The first time I noticed the confusion was on a traffic ticket. I was reviewing the ticket and noticed that the officer had checked the caucasian box. I laughed and shared the joke with a co-worker who said, “You’re black?” That was a conversation starter.That was a long time ago. I think now I fit into you’re “racial rebel” category: black, but not only black. Much of this shift has been caused by how people perceive me. It made me ask questions about what it means to be black. Is it just genes? Does Black-American culture count towards your blackness? If there was a score card that computed your blackness, what would the line items be: parentage, early environment, current environment, race of spouse, musical tastes?I don’t know. I really like your post though.

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