Ask The Snob

It’s time to crack open last week’s mail and take a peak at what’s going on in the worlds of my fellow snobs! If you have questions I have answers. (Maybe. If I don’t I’ll be honest about it.) Also, don’t forget St. Louisans, I’ll be on KWMU 90.7 radio at 11 a.m. CST talkin’ bout race! For those who want to listen, here is a link to the live feed from KWMU’s Web site. I’ll be on the WHOLE HOUR … for some crazy reason. Check it out!

THE MAIL

Incognegro actor Wentworth Miller with an alleged “woman” (Source: Just Jared

First of all, I am so glad that I found your site. You are so talented and insightful. SCAN is hilarious and I love the piece on Zahara’s hair.

Second–Wentworth Miller. Is he really gay? Do you have proof to back this up (or is it just the fact that we NEVER see him with a woman). I am just asking because a friend of mine and I are always arguing over it and if there is proof I would LOVE to forward it to her.

Third–Why do the ladies on The View keep letting Sherrie speak?

Fourth–TJ Holmes IS so cute–and although there is a rumored daughter around I don’t see any rings. Does that mean he is single? Not sure. (some married men don’t wear them–I hate that)

OK that is it for now.

Keep up the great work.

T

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Dear T,

Thank you in regards to my blogs. They’re both a lot of fun for me (although The Snob blog takes up so much of my time I don’t do enough posts at SCAN).

Per your questions —

1) I have noooo idea what Wentworth’s sexual orientation is. He’s been photographed with a few women in the past as his date at events. But people also linked him to actor Luke McFarlane.

He’s intensely private. Despite being famous he’s not a fame whore. He could probably be much bigger and more popular than he is now if he were more extroverted, dated another celebrity and got his face out there more. But he doesn’t do that. That tells me that his sexual orientation is “Leave Me Alone.” Straight or gay. The man doesn’t want us in his business.

2) I don’t know what’s up with Sherrie. No clue.

3) TJ is not married … anymore. He left his wife for Rozonda “Chili” Thomas of TLC more than a year ago. Then he and Chili broke up a few months back. I’ve heard rumors he’s with his wife again, but as far as I know he’s single.

Keep hope alive!

Yours in blackness,

The Snob

My Great Great Aunt Josephine, though proudly a black person, did not appear to be pure African. I’m going to go out on a limb and say some white folks explicitly wandered into our bloodline.


Snob:

Thanks so very much for inviting questions. I am African American and I am in a precarious position as family historian. When I started researching the family roots we all naively assumed that we were 100% from Africa.

What I discovered from various documents is that during slavery and after, our bloodlines became mixed with European. My family has greeted this news with COMPLETE horror.

As it turns out my paternal grandfather was part Irish, my great grandmother was Scottish, French, Indian and African. This has caused a GREAT deal of stress to my family who was hoping my research would lead us “back to Africa.” Outside of dealing with my family’s reluctance to embrace our European as well as our African heritage, I have a very practical problem.

How do I map out the family tree? Should I include the documented European relatives or just leave them out and make everyone happy?

D.P.

—————

Dear D.P.,

First off, do not be alarmed. You are not the first black person to discover this fact. Truth be told, the vast majority of African Americans not matter how dark are not pure African. We’re all most commonly mixed with European and native ancestry.

That includes me. And just about everyone who reads this blog. And just about every black person in North and South America and even some white people who don’t realize they’ve got a few incognegroes running around in the bloodline.

Image how they feel when they find out Great Grandpa Millhouse was light, bright and passed for white.

That said, this is a reality you and your family will have to reluctantly accept. It’s simply part of our history, whether it happened out of love or rape. It happened. Not much you can do about it.

Per putting together your family tree, I would suggest that you not kick the white folks out, if only because their lineage might help you trace your relatives back to Africa. This is especially true if these white individuals once owned your family. I have a rare (but common sounding) English last name. Relying on the name, it was a lot easier to trace my father’s side of the family back to the original plantation where nearly every black person in America with the last name “Belton” originated from.

So for that reason alone, accepting the white heritage in order to use it to find the origins of your family is both practical and realistic. There’s a host of white and Indian blood running through both sides of my family. Even though some of that blood came from unspeakable situations, we can’t exactly pretend like it’s not there. For better or worse, it was that blood that created us and created you. Including your white forefathers and foremothers in the family tree isn’t an endorsement of the actions of your historical tormentors.

It’s just fact. Treat it only as su
ch.

Yours truly in blackness,

The Snob

Do you have questions? The Snob’s Inbox is always open to you! Just email me at blacksnob@gmail.com.

6 thoughts on “Ask The Snob

  1. Wow Chilli is doing her thing I guess, lol and people give Tameka so much flack. P.S. I thought it was given that we pretty much all “mixed”….

  2. How could a Black person in America believe they were pure African? We are all bi-racial or tri-racial.

  3. I love these letters Snob. Not only are they fun, but informative. You know how I feel about Wentoworth, so I won’t even go into that first email.Yes, us American Negroes are not “Pure Africans”. We never have been despite our attempts to believe otherwise. As a Black Woman w/many light bright & passed for white folks in own family, I can bear witness. 🙂

  4. anonymous: I think there’s the sort of myopic vision develops with some black people in the US who identify with their blackness so strongly it’s upsetting when they are confronted with the reality of our multi-racial heritage. This hasn’t been something that’s been embraced (or accepted) by most black people. It’s barely discussed. And I think that’s largely because of American’s strict view of blackness which is anyone with black blood and some of the shame surrounding the rape of black women by white men.So a lot of black people just see themselves as black, even if we are obviously not purely African. But yeah, I’m often surprised at the balking considering almost all black Americans are the decedents of slaves and we know of the history of placage, race mixing and rape that surrounded that arrangement. Not to mention the continued relationships between blacks and whites post-slavery, particularly the Irish who were regulated to living in the same areas free blacks lived in up north.

  5. I wonder if Wentworth’s reps encourage him to be private. Most white americans have no idea he is black. He’s a pretty active Scientologist. I have never heard him linked to any specific dude but it’s not a secret in Hollywood what his orientation is. I actually think it’s good that he doesn’t run around with beards. He’s just living his life, doing his thing.

  6. NYC: I think Went is already a painfully shy person. Have you seen him during interviews? I half expect him to start talking in hand signals like Prince used to do in the late 70s/early 80s.As per the part black thing, Wentworth is pretty honest about it in interviews when asked, but his reps are pushing to get in Ebony Magazine either. I think both he and his people know that if he wants a varied career it would be best not to push the black and Lebanese part of his background and focus on the European part, or market himself as a “multiracial” person, which he is.But he seems very in touch with his black roots as about a year ago he attended a family reunion for black people and incognegroes who could trace them back to a specific freed slave ancestor. He was there with his sister and aunt and cousin and they went up and down the sliding scale of blackness, so this is a family hiding nothing.I don’t think he’s hiding anything, to tell the truth, I think it’s just the industry’s reluctance to deal with the race issue since he does look white, and if he is gay, well, that’s a whole other shebang.Per the Scientology, as a full-fledge Miller aficionado I have never heard that he was a Scientologist and couldn’t find anything online about it as various celebrity Web sites are obsessed with tallying who is a Scientologist.I’m not saying he couldn’t be, because a lot of Hollywood actors at all levels are, but I haven’t heard anything and he hardly goes around promoting or talking to anyone about anything.Honestly, I’ve never seen him courting the press except when he was needed to promote Prison Break or a movie he is in. And I wouldn’t really call that courtship. He seriously is a man who wants to be left alone.

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