When Is Black “Black?”

She needs to quit.”

That’s how the discussion got kicked off on One Drop Rule’s message board July 2nd. The person accused of needing to cease and desist was CNN reporter Soledad O’Brien who spent the past year working on a documentary for the cable news network entitled “Black In America” which airs this week. And the quitting in question was in regards to her black status.

“I have watched her with (African Americans) before and never once did she refer to (African Americans) in the first person, as in ‘I’ or ‘We’, or ‘we as a people’, etc. Maybe that’s just a journalism thing. But Tim Russert did identify as a Catholic when the Pope died, so?” wrote one commenter.

“Also, I have read at least one article … that says, rather Soledad says, that while her mother raised her/siblings to be just (African Americans), she sees herself as being bi-racial or mixed race. Now, she could just be saying that because she’s doing this show. Maybe on St. Paddy’s day, she said she was Irish.”

This attitude was sprinkled throughout many of the comments. At one point a few seemed to get an interview O’Brien gave to MyUrbanReport confused where she talked about her own upbringing as “black” and the story of a mixed couple she interviewed for the documentary who differed on whether to raise the children as biracial or black.

“Here you have a kid to me who is completely biracial,” O’Brien said in the interview. “They’re little children, but their dad doesn’t necessarily see that (they’re black.) … My mom and dad were like you’re black. That was just the way it was. The way they were very clear about it made me clear about it in my head.”

O’Brien has repeatedly in the past given accounts of her life as a black Latina. In a profile with the Irish Echo Online, she talks about her identity (her mother is Afro-Cuban and her father is Australian-Irish) and the struggles her parents went through as a mixed race couple back when it was still illegal in some places and some restaurants wouldn’t serve them.

O’Brien tends to treat her own ethnic mix with a light touch. She said that people laugh when they see her without makeup “because I have so many freckles that I look very Irish.” She also gently mocked the notion that her mixed-race background exposed her to unimaginable horrors.

“I have had people say, like, ‘Oh, so you were a tragic mulatto?’ Well, um, not exactly. I was just a middle-class girl growing up on Long Island.”

It isn’t possible, she contended, “to over-dramatize” what (her parents) went through … “They were doing stuff that for the time was very risky – socially risky and risky to their own physical safety. And they decided they were going to go ahead and get married and have six kids,” their daughter recalled.

While the board eventually clears up the confusion over what O’Brien said versus what the couple she interviewed said, there seemed to be a prevailing hostility towards the reporter for her alleged flip-flopping on her “black status.”

I’ve heard this on more than one occasion, but haven’t seen much from O’Brien to back this belief up considering she routinely plays up her black heritage over her Irish roots. After awhile I started to wonder if this hostility was over the fact that she was white enough to pass, but still ensconced herself in black issues and news stories (she’s a member of the National Association of Black Journalists). Were their “lying eyes” keeping them from recognizing her as a woman of color? Especially with her straight hair and nondescript accent, standard for any TV journalist?

Or was it because the belief that she was switching sides rang true in the subconscious of many blacks. That the though of her being a racial opportunist, trading places when convenient was too good and malicious a story to pass for those grappling with their own degrees of racial self-loathing and schadenfreude.

After decades of the “one drop rule,” where blackness was based on the slightest amount of African heritage, it seemed odd to argue over a woman who openly embraces both sides of her family and talks candidly about being raised black, but also being biracial. It seemed odd to determine that this was some form of betrayal if she used the term multi-ethnic in reference to herself when she is, in fact, multi-ethnic.

Presidential candidate Barack Obama describes himself as a black man of mixed heritage and no one questions it, but Soledad O’Brien does it and it’s somehow contradictory. I have come to believe this is only because she looks white enough to pass and is married to a white man. These signifiers are used to strip her of her right to call herself a person of color. They are a way to reject her for having the gall to be born not looking black in an age where half-black people who don’t look black often choose to declare themselves otherwise.

The whole debate over O’Brien (and the misdirected, but true frustration over a black mother with white looking children who saw them, and felt the world saw them, as black) made me wonder if the rules had changed for some people. Was black really black anymore? In St. Louis we have a city license collector who looks as white as any white man, but possesses a southern drawl and a demeanor that is everything of a black man. Is that O’Brien’s crime? She doesn’t ooze blackness? Because I’m black, visibly black, and I don’t “ooze” blackness. But my race is not questioned because of that high visibility.

Is the problem that O’Brien isn’t seen as a “real” black woman? That she couldn’t have had endured a “real” black woman struggle because she is so light? Is this another variation of the “spectrum” warfare, the colorism that happens amongst black people? In a form of pre-rejection, where some blacks withholding their embrace of O’Brien because some lighter blacks rejected the darker in the past and present? To even the field a reversal must take place?

And if your mother is “black” as O’Brien considers herself, what are her children, who are blond haired and blue-eyed? Where does this fit when historically all it took was one Afro-Cuban grandmother to make you black? Does the rule no longer apply? Are their different rules for those who can “pass” and who can’t? And is that rule based on how black you look, if you can pass and if you are perceived as benefiting from your “whiteness?”

And how much of this is about ego — hers and ours? When a black person who could pass choses “us” I tend to look favorably on them. But is their endorsement an old lie based on outdated and outmoded beliefs? Can you be something other than black in America when you no longer look black in America?

I had a Great Great Aunt Josephine, and she, like many members of my father’s mother’s family were light enough to pass for white. Yet my great great aunt and her sisters and her nieces were vehement about their blackness. They would curse you out in an instant if you doubted who and what they were. They married the blackest men they could find. As did my father’s mother, explaining why the light-bright-and-almost-white lineage ended with him and his brothers.

Yet at the same time, when it benefited them, they didn’t exactly correct white people. My father is fond of telling a story where his Aunt Dinky, the only dark one out of his mother’s sisters, drove my father and his brothers to Kansas to see their great-grandmother who was in the hospital and dying. Aunt Dinky told the taxi driver what house to take her to and the cabbie said no colored people lived in that neighborhood, but she insisted he take her anyway. Then when she told him what hospital to take her to, he said no colored people went to that hospital, she still insisted that was the right place to go.

Once inside the woman at the front desk repeated the same tired song. There were no colored people at this hospital, but Aunt Dinky looked down the hall and there was Aunt Josephine and her sisters. She told the attendant she saw her family and kept going. When Aunt Dinky told her aunts that they had the folks in the hospital thinking they were white, Aunt Josephine shot her down. Why would they think that, she said while her mother lied sick in a bed, whiter than any white woman.

My Aunt Josephine would fight you if you told her she looked white. But she knew she did and she embraced blackness anyway. There were pluses to being that light, but she still dealt with racism and the wary looks of blacks who doubted her. What about today?

Can Soledad O’Brien embrace blackness while not looking black, not “sounding” black and not being married to a black man? Can she embrace it with blond, blue-eyed children? Have the rules of blackness changed, or are we still playing the same psychological mind games we’ve always played when it has come to race in America?

I often say in America you are what you look like? But if you look white but call yourself black, what are you?

60 thoughts on “When Is Black “Black?”

  1. It’s interesting that we as a people are so confused about our identity as a race, that we have to relegate ourselves to discussing whether one’s actions define them as black. Tiger Woods avoids being publically black at all costs, and we still claim the hell out of him.

  2. *SMH* I don’t understand we Negroes sometimes. We subscribe to White racist ideology and have the gall to proclaim ourselves as Black and proud in the same breath.There’s nothing wrong with Soledad embracing all of her ethnic makeup. I actually find it strange when multiracial ppl only claim their Blk lineage while having a White parent. I see that as a rejetion of your full heritage and your non-Blk parent.You know, a Blk coworker of mine subscribes to the one drop rule by saying “When the KKK comes looking for Blk ppl, they’re not gonna take the time out to spare any biracials. If you’re half-Black, then you’re Black.” That is a total crock of sh#t.Stuff like that tells me how mentally enslaved our ppl are. “When White ppl say so, it is so” — that’s our train of thought. God-forbid we think for ourselves. If that’s gonna be our train of thought, then we may as well view ourselves as “n#ggers” in the racist context.

  3. I do not believe in this crazy one drop rule. In fact, I think black people have used it to validate themselves. I am a Black American young woman with two parents that are clearly black, I do not need bi-racial, multi-racial people in the like to validate me and my blackness. I am proud to be black and look black. I think people with a little bit of black are closer to black than not but they are not black. I think we as black people need to stop running to embrace folks that aren’t really one of us and embrace are own black folks that look black. We don’t have to shun this people aware but we need to be aware that counting every person with black ancestry is unnecessary, it only makes use seem uncomfortable in our own black skin. I think that because white people said that if you have one drop of black blood you are black we thought that was true. We need to stop subscribing to everything the white man tells us and think for our selves. In other countries having a lit of black blood doesn’t make you black. Black people that are clearly black and should be proud to be what they are because we come from a strong line of proud people. We do not need “blackish” people or “sometimey” black people to make us feel good. True, I do have fair skin black people in my family. But they act,embrace, and try to let people know they are black (and they really are). Soledad,Obama, Tiger, Halle are not black, they are mixed raced people.I do love Soledad and i think she is a beautiful and great journalist. Not because she is mixed raced but because she is talented.

  4. Mama G has auburn hair, green eyes and freckles. Her father was African (Cape Verde) and her mother was Scottish. Of the 10 kids in that family she probably looked the most ‘white’. But if you tried to tell her that she was white she’d cut you. She didn’t just marry a black man, but an activist and they had me. Somehow I ended up with a Scottish name with a Gaelic spelling. I have never doubted the fact that I am a Black woman, or that my mother is, but I have also enjoyed exploring my Scottish roots and meeting my Scottish family. I don’t think that it’s a question of trying to be one thing or another, but of being allowed to be ALL that you are. Let me just say that as much as Black America has embraced Barack Obama, to biracial people (especially the older ones like Mama G) he is nothing short of a miracle. He has brought her hope and an amount of pride that she din’t have before. My mother’s siblings married both white and black people and my cousins range from blond haired and blue or green eyed to straight up black. We are proud of our roots, proud of the D’Andrade and the Dean parts of our family. We decide who we are and if you disagree you can kiss our collective a**es. But that’s just how we roll.It’s different for every person. There are two issues here: how the outside world sees you (which you cannot control) and how you see yourself(which you can control). I try not to pay too much attention to the first.

  5. Wow, other Black people still want to tell people like me we are not Black enough to be Black (which is what we are).Gee, when will I be Black enough? If I get a really, really dark tan, stop combing my hair, listening to rap and grabbing my crotch?Ridiculous, right? Exactly.But this shit never seems to die. I expect whites to be ignorant, but not my own folks. You know, the next time someone asks me “Are you Black or are you really mixed?” I am just going to say “Yeah, whatever. Yup. I’m not Black.” I am much lighter than Halle Berry and Tiger, because of the Celtic and Native American that is in me, but the rest of my background is Black African. I am 100% American Black, proud to be so. But if my own people want to keep disowning me, then hey, maybe I should embrace another world.

  6. anonymous 10:08 am: If it makes you feel any better there have been times I’ve become so frustrated with black Americans that I’ve threated to become either Filipino (because my mom looks like one) or Puerto Rican (which people have mistaken me for, which is weird since most Puerto Ricans look like black people. I guess you can’t be a “golden” brown and have long hair.)It’s a pain, I tell you. A pain. I love black anyway. It’s the only thing I know.

  7. Vixen, I’m a little confused by your statements and I’m pretty sure I don’t agree with them. Like WNG said, who you are and how people see you are two different things (when it comes to race). Biracial, multiracial, et al were not options for my parents or their parents etc. You either had to be black or be light enough to pass. And I think it only makes sense when you have a range of people in your close family from jet black to snow white that all of you call yourselves black. Most of us (black folks) don’t know if we are Yoruba or Fulani, Scotch Irish or French so our ethnicity is black American. We had to create our own identity as freedmen under the context of a racist society and we achieved a great deal in doing so. Plenty of damn near white black politicians got into office due to a combination of fair skin and hard work and determination and they used that to raise up the rest of us (Augustus F. Hawkins, fmr U.S. Rep from CA comes to mind). So just because Halle, Soledad, Barack, etc are the products of loving interracial relationships rather than the more oft master-slave rapes doesn’t change a thing. They are black and whatever else they want to include. Either way, they are trailblazers and history makers creating greater opportunities for black people and we should at least embrace them for that.

  8. I realllllly realllly get heated about the whole ‘Black Title’ issue. Black people, because of the monikers SLAVERY put out there – the ONE DROP RULES, the mulatto theories – have subscribed to the RACIST notion that if you have that DROP of blackness, you are black… which wake the hell up people JUST ISNT TRUE. These stupid notions have followed us around like the chains we thought we broke. If Tiger Woods wants to call himself coblerasian, who am I to tell him he cannot? His mommma was ASIAN. If Soledad wanted to soley identify herself as Latina, who the hell am I to tell her she cannot. The ‘White Title’ police aren’t tracking her ass down to claim them! I vexes me to no end that people don’t want people to claim the TRUE elements of themselves, and any attempt to do otherwise is actually an out right lie. Soledad is a good journalist who devoted a year to an issue that interested her, despite her ‘passing’ looks or marriage to a white man. If you are whatever you are and have a drop of blackness, its like you must shrug off the rest of you to cling to that sole element. Im rambling, but my point is that I am happy when people acknowledge all parts of themselves. The problem is that if you seem to shrug off your blackness, black people get angry. And who wants the wrath of ‘the blacks’? I will admit that it can be troubling to face the reality that many people of mixed heritage ‘look’ black and have difficulities walking the line and are judged, but WHHHHHY???? Life if hard enough.

  9. This is interesting, but sorry Soledad does not look white. She could not pass for white. Everyone who sees her,certainly when she first started in the biz with kinkier hair ( her hair is OBVIOUSLY RELAXED people!)knows she is black and SOMETHING. NO white person I know has ever thought Soledad was white and black folks are kidding themselves if they think the standards for passing are that simplistic…not being dark brown with an Afro. Get real.

  10. “Schadenfreude.”That is the word of the day. Thanks!In response to your commentary. Truthfully. My feelings are split because as a brown woman I sometimes wish I had the “option” of veering in and out of my blackness like some light-skin folks seem to have the option of doing. There is an edge of power in being able to have that choice and I think brown folks resent it. In today’s climate being racially ambigous has its benefits. I think the Halle’s, Alicia Keys, Tiger Woods, and Soledad Brian’s of the world know this…man! It’s akin to a person who grew up in a home learning how to speak two languages. They have choices cause their bi-lingual.Race is a political existence; and can be very limiting if we allow it to solely define us. This conversation is so splitting; so I choose to take the spiritual route as a splendid solution. I have love for all my brothers and sisters of any hue and of any class. Cause you are who you are; born to be who you were meant to be. I used to be black; but now I’m just a spirit.

  11. The one drop rule works if that’s what that other person wants to be seen as. O’brien has always claimed she was black and I went with it. Sometimes there is no place for people to go so they go to the people who will accept them. I doubt any whites will allow Obama to say he is white and be treated as such, so he came to Chicago wondering where he belonged and we said right here with us. O’Brien probably had the same experience and even though people may say she is mixed, most of us look past that and say to ourselves Black has a lot of colors and a lot of people and we welcome them all. We are what America is supposed to be welcoming of all who want to share in our experience.

  12. Thank you for writing this piece. I, like Soledad, am of a multi-ethnic background (Japanese and African-American) and while growing into my adulthood, I struggled only slightly with my identity. However, after that slight adolescent storm, I realized that no matter who tells me about a “one drop rule” there was no way that I could deny my mother’s blood. I am bi-racial, multi-ethnic, mixed, Blasian, Blackanese…whatever you choose to call it. I am that. I can not say that “I am Black.” or “I am Japanese.” My parents created me out of love and I shall return the love back.One comment made in your blog about Soledad claiming a particular ethnicity out of convenience..(you mentioned that someone else made such a claim). I can completely see why they may think that, particularly if they are not of mixed heritage. I have also been accused of such a thing before. Only once. However, what people must understand is that a person of mixed race has the luxury (although some don’t) to be exposed to both cultures at the same time (if parenting is done correctly) and therefore when they are around a crowd of (let’s use my background for instance) Japanese people they will talk about subjects that those people will identify with. Don’t get me wrong, I will always be the Brooklyn girl that I am, no matter who I’m with, but it’s hard to talk about hair products that I use with my Asian friends. Since I know about Asian culture and have experienced it at home, I can identify with them. However, when I’m around African-American friends, the topic of discussion is what we identify with as well. I grew up in Brooklyn, NY during the 70’s and 80’s, there were hardly any Asian’s around, except for the one’s working the take-out counter. So, therefore, I was entrenched deeply into the Black experience.I have a blessing…and I’m damn proud of it. That I get to have two wonderful parents from two wonderful backgrounds and two wonderful cultures within me.

  13. Get Togetha: I am in 100% agreement with all that you said. I would say a better metaphor might be the child of divorced parents, where he lives in the “burbs” one weekend and in the inner-city the next, essentially living dual lives completely independent of one another.As a white male of English and German ancestry I would be considered wholly “white”, but I do identify more with my English side. This is probably because my last name is English and my Father is on the English side (or maybe because we beat Germany’s butt twice, ha). Most people assume their Father’s lineage more than their Mother’s. This might be one possibility for claiming race. I’m not sure on numbers but I do seem to see more mixed race couples with the Father being black.Most of all, from an outsiders standpoint, mix raced people seem to feel extreme pressure from their darker peers to choose sides, and we all know which. It’s a gamble for them. If say a new kid in a new school approaches the white clique first, they would then immediately find themselves in an uphill battle with their darker friends. The opposite effect would happen if the situation was reversed, though I do believe the white clique would be the more forgiving of the two, simply because we are not so much in a place to (publicly) judge a person’s “blackness”. Some comments I read make it clear why this “are you black enough?” label exists. When you refer to the Caucasian race as “the man” or “the White man” you are forcing your people to be held to such a judgment, not to mention giving White’s more power. The rule that a drop makes you black is on the books, but American society seems to subscribe to it anyway. In closing, I believe this label must be put down in the same way the N word must be put down, from inside the Black community. After this happens these labels will quickly become things of the past. I mean Barack clearly has a strong white vote, if he didn’t he wouldn’t stand a chance. As a white guy I do not use the N word and obviously cannot judge one’s “blackness”, so unfortunately I do not know how I can contribute, at least at this point in time.

  14. Well, Snob, you already know where I stand when it comes the “new” realms of black self-identity in today’s (unchanged) American racial climate.But white-looking black people have always had their own complex, compelling stories. Adam Clayton Powell, Jr’s story was fascinating. As is “Ace of Spades”, the story of David Matthews, a Baltimore-bred son of an African American journalist father and a crazed Isreali-Jew woman (who abandonded him when he was young). In the book, he talks about the struggles of being black yet looking white as a youngster. He was not (usually) always assumed to be white and he has talks about the struggle of choosing to expose and embrace his black identity and face the negative social consqeuences that come with that. Or choosing to “pass” and ‘enjoy’ the degree of privilege that comes with that.Danzy Senna, another author, has a similar story as published her semi-autobiographical novel “Caucasia”. For prespective, both Senna and Matthews “identity” as black people.I think, Snob, to answer one of your questions, why some blacks can be hostile and dismissive of some “white looking”/”ambigious”-appearing black people is because of the whole notion of a more-white-appearing black person having it “better” than someone, like you and I, who are CLEARLY black. Of course, the stories of Powell,Jr., Matthews, Senna, and my own pale-faced black grandmother, and many others completely counter this but it is a notion that many blacks have. (Not without some historically justification.)I agree with a previous poster, when I see Soledad O’Brien, I see a lighter-complected black woman with relaxed hair. Very few white people would take her as “one of them” at first (upfront) glance. They sure didn’t before she became famous, she went through lots of racism in the beginning of her broadcast career as she’s candidily spoken about before.Also, to another poster, celebs like Alicia Keys, Obama, and Halle Berry really had no (phyically) choice but to embrace their blackness. Obama and Berry are explicity black looking. Who would take them for white or even, “racially ambigious”? Plus, it’s important to note that Obama, Berry (and Keys) have always said they were black from day one. It didn’t seem like a “struggle” for them to reach that (obvious) conclusion. It’s like once they reached a certain level of fame, people found about their mothers and jumped to all conclusions based on their own PERSONAL feelings on interracial relationships and the offsprings that come from them.On that note, I have to say that it’s almost pointless to bring up celebrities or noted personalities when talking about social issues. A celebrity is not a typical person. They will get the luxury and consideration that the vast majority of the population will not be granted. Of course, people will throw up Obama’s white momma in discussion after finding out about it. He’s famous. He reached a level of acceptabality with white America so of course, they can use that to “validate” him. If he weren’t famous, no one would care or even wonder. And those same people wouldn’t be using that in an attempt to neutralize his blackness, that’s for sure.It’s much more effective to use broad, widespread knowledge/facts/statistics when exploring social issues than personal ancidotes (which only are valuable, individually)or celebrity examples (which are extremely specious and unrealistic.)

  15. i’m really not concerned about how black someone is or isn’t. debating this means that we have stereotypical views on how a black person should be. (to the commenter mentioning the black drawling, black demeanored, but white-looking, tax collector: what is a black demeanor?) ppl will act however they want, regardless of race, and others will see ppl thru whatever lens they choose to do so. how you see yourself is the rub. what irks me, though, what really gets under my skin, is when a person either tries to hide his/her black ancestry, or does not acknowledge it or denies it when, obviously, that person is of black heritage. Tiger Woods immediately comes to mind. To me, his denial of 50% of his ancestry equates to a denial of his father. Did Tiger not love his father? I’m sure he did, but if so, how could he deny/not acknowledge his father’s heritage? I wonder if Tiger has any contact with his black relatives or if doing so would remind him of his blackness. In an offering of an explanation to Tiger’s denial, I will offer that maybe his life experiences have been completely as a non-black, which could contribute to him forgetting that part of him. as i mentioned before, it’s how we see ourselves that dictates how we act.

  16. Great site! The subject we’re discussing goes even deeper than what has been brought up. I’ve found that all my friends and family denote themselves with references to ancestory. My cousins who are Scotch-Irish credit whichever lineage fits best for the occasion. My siblings and I are Irish-German. When one of us blows up, it’s that German temper. When friends get overwhelmed with the chaos at our family get-togethers, it’s that partying Irish heritage. My Guatemalen-Mexican friends, my Haitian-Cuban friends, my Hawaiian-Japanese friends, and my Filipino-African friends specify which lineage fits which occasion best also. We ALL do this. The world is very mixed today. There will probably always be people who “appear” or who “are” full-blooded somthing..whether that be Irish, African, Dominican, Mexican, Puerto Rican, English, Swedish, Jamaican, Hawaiian, or Chinese. Some of these folks may be a little “prouder” than others. I’ve even heard people use the term full-blooded Texan, or Californian. Now what is that? My rambling point is that the beautiful differences that make up the human factor on Earth will always be a source of definition, pride, similarity, bigotry, warmth, hatred, humor, curiosity, friendship, injustice, and love…and more. So simple, so complicated, so exciting! We can all surely work toward accentuating the positive. When someone crows about being full-blood, or pure, race or culture, I think I’ll come back with, “Oh yeah? Well I’m a hybrid! Nanny nanny booboo!” heehee! May the road rise up to greet you and keep your journey safe…(that was the Irish talking!) Peace and love to all y’all!

  17. It’s not so much that White people won’t accept a really dark skinned Black person, it’s the fact that these people tend to act like their darker following is more important, which is upsetting to many whites.

  18. anonymous 12:34: OT: I think Tiger’s situation is complicated. He admits to being part black, that’s obvious, but as for how steeped he is in black identity politics and culture is questionable. While Earl Woods had other children from a previous marriage, Tiger was his “golden child” and was treated thusly. I don’t think he has much of a relationship with his black family and that was Earl Woods’ fault for treating Tiger separate and differently from his older siblings.As an adult, Tiger could make the effort to get to know the family he was only tangentially involved with, but he doesn’t even seem to do that with his Thai-Chinese family. You rarely hear about any other family. I think Tiger is just the classic spoiled only child. It was never instilled in him that it was important to have close relationships with his extended family. This is similar to my father who knows tons about his mother’s family but very little about his father’s. My father also has had little interest in my sisters and I being close to anyone in his family other than his father, younger brother and those white looking elderly aunts who have long since passed.You have to be taught to care. I don’t think Tiger cares all that much because he’s never had to.

  19. mynameismyname: You’re spot on about the misperception that lighter skinned blacks have it easier. I think some blacks forget that any perceived favoritism dissipates under the reality that we’re just as despised. My lighter tone has not protected me from racial slurs, mistreatment and discrimination. Other than the ability to attract black men with long-hair fetishes, I don’t feel I’ve received many benefits. I’ve been told under no certain terms that “Negroes need not apply, not even the yellow/red-bone ones” many times, from my advanced placement classes in high school to my jobs.Too many times I have been haunted by the letters of recommendation that plagued the protagonist in “Invisible Man” — “Keep that nigger boy running.” This rattled around in my head as I struggled for promotions and better jobs in journalism, as I fought the fact that with my talents, if I’d been a white man, I potentially could be vastly more successful. I try not to fixate on that. I don’t know how successful I would have been, but I think it definitely would have changed their perception of trying to use me for all they could get and rather cultivate me into a star as they’d done with far less charismatic and much more marginal reporters/columnists. I had the most popular column in the paper, yet I was the last to get an in-house ad and by the time they finally finished it, two years after they started, I was no longer entertainment reporter or a columnist and there was nothing to promote. I had to “prove” myself over and over while others were plucked from obscurity and launched to the heavens.Light skin my ass. Like Soledad, I was just another black girl. With her talent, Soledad should be as big as Katie Couric or as accomplished as Diane Sawyer. Instead she’s stuck in limbo at CNN where they don’t know what to do with her.It’s a myth. Especially when on the flip side some black people constantly question your dedication to the race. Never mind some of the crazy resentment I’ve had to deal with that had little to do with me, but of a life of rejection but lighter blacks, so I was a convenient way to exact revenge on those who tormented them … even if the same ones who tormented them, plagued me. I was light enough to be judged as “light” by Midwestern standards, but to the truly light skinned I wasn’t good enough to hang in their cliques.I basically think this is all moronic, but that’s why I wrote the piece. I couldn’t believe that people were accusing her of rejecting her black heritage just because she called herself both black and mixed when both statements are true. I knew that if she was my color or Amy Holmes’ color there would be less judgment.

  20. You just summed up the reason why I was at first so hostile to Soledad. Well that’s going to slowly stop as I refer to everyone.

  21. The whole idea giving others the power to define who we are is so irritating. The one- drop rule is an antiquated rule that quite frankly doesn’t make any sense. Most African-Americans today are not 100% Black anyway. Because of slavery and racial mixing, many of us if not most of us have at least one drop or more of White blood in us. Should we now go around identifying ourselves as White? Why does an antiquated law imposed on us by White society still even imply. My father was Black Panamanian with a Moroccan Jewish mother and grandmother. My mother came from a racially mixed Bajan family, her father was “bi-racial (a stupid term in itself)” so my family is very racially mixed. I consider myself Black but I also consider myself Latina as that is a big part of my upbringing and my heritage. Who decides what I am? Society can impose its labels on me but I know my heritage and I know from whence I came. It is my right, just as it is Soledad’s right, to challenge people’s conceptions and misconceptions whenever necessary. It sounds to me that people are upset at the very fact that Soledad is able to embrace both sides of her culture. Why is it necessary for her to choose one side just because others feel that they cannot? On a side-note, to the Black Snob, the reason people think you might be Puerto Rican is because most people of Puerto Rican ancestry also have Black in them. Puerto Ricans are a mixture of Spanish, African and Indian (although many of them don’t like to admit it). So according to the one-drop rule, they are Black too!

  22. blatina: I’m aware of PR’s African heritage. I just thought it was super weird for people to ask me that when we lived in the middle of the Midwest where the number of Puerto Ricans was, like, -10. I knew it was because and ONLY because of my hair. Some black people have a hard time grasping the fact that a black person who isn’t near white can grow long hair.But people also thought I looked Polynesian, which I can understand, with the fake Filipina mom and all.

  23. Danielle, I’m feeling you on the journalism thing. It is so disheartening. I have a master’s degree and have seen a white woman without a bachelor’s (and who frequently makes mistakes) scale the ladder at my paper. Moreover, I started off relatively on the same level as a white Jewish boy from Manhattan. He now works for the New York Times. I work at an obscure business journal. The thing that also bothers me is that many publications say they really want to employ blacks but can’t seem to find any. To boot, I’ve shown up to job interviews where people have been openly hostile to me upon meeting me. I’ll never forget one woman, who, within minutes of meeting me, declared during the interview that I wasn’t qualified. I told her that my resume had not changed between the time she called me for the interview and the time that I showed up for the interview. Then, I have to deal with the fact that I won’t be called for interviews at all because I have a “scary” Arabic name, due to my father’s Nigerian Muslim background. Still, some interviewers are clearly more okay with having an Arab on staff than a black person.

  24. What a fascinating post, what brilliant comments and what a great site.Alas, the question ‘When is black ‘black’ is still to massively complex to answer.I can only chip in with my experience. I am half English half Barbadian. I am light-skinned with the standard kinky-curly hair. I don’t look white. I was raised by my black mother and my white father. And while it may seem nonsensical to be both black, white and mixed race I am all of those things and I feel all of those things.I am a black woman – I am mixed race. If blacks choose to diss me, well I am of them and I love them as I love myself. and when whites try to exclude me, well, I am of them too so I ‘kick’ their asses and force them to stop being racist. I try anyway.I don’t/won’t choose, that would deny my parents; it is more that others have the power to choose me.Maybe the trouble with Soledad is that people can sense who she has chosen. I don’t know enough about her.My family is black, white and brown; the world is black white and brown and we must embrace each other. Trite? Maybe.True? yes.

  25. I think those that subscribe to the “one drop rule” are anachronistic and I expect we’ll be busting out brown paper bags again any day now.Even though I wrote about this in my blog and assumed the traditional reactionary tone in my approach to the situation, I think it’s because it stems from that which encompasses being black–and that’s experience.I’m quite sure that out there somewhere are some pure-D, Anglo-Saxon blooded white folk out there that understand black culture and the black experience as much as the next one. That is to say, what of the black experience has Soledad truly experienced.Grew up on the North Shore of Long Island…well, that’s not inherently black.Harvard, well, okay, not some bastion of blackness.I mean, as far as I can tell, her extent into black America didn’t come until they sent her ass to cover Hurricane Katrina and she found her ass on a boat on the I-610 overpass and all she saw were black people around her!Having the white husband just proves that her experience doesn’t jive well with that of millions of other blacks. Look, the reason she married a white man is because most the men she was around were probably white–aint nun wrong with that. Same reason my cousin married a farm girl from Iowa, he went to Iowa State on a football scholarship. Till this day, I don’t know why my family was trippin’ over that.So, it’s not even a fact, for me, that’s she’s wrong in her assumptions, but it is keeping in mind that we are the sum total of our experiences: so what experiences are that which Soledad has had that makes many other black people agree or even disagree with her.JLL

  26. Hello there!This issue keeps being raised on one blog and then another and then another…I’ll say this once more… EVERY person decides on his/her own self-identification.The ONE DROP RULE was created by white slave owners in order to ensure that the children they fathered had no inheritance. It was created in order to deny black people the legal right to have what the other white family members received.Therefore, black people should NEVER embrace this “rule” and attempt to apply it to all black people.There are NO blacks here (who are descendants from slavs who are 100% black. Not one.All blacks here have other bloodlines in their ancestry REGARDLESS of whether they ‘look’ like it.Your DNA is what reveals your true ancestry… not how kinky your hair is or is not…or how many verbs you misconjugate…or how many phonics you haven’t mastered when speaking…or how many half-siblings that you have from parental decisions of creating children out of wedlock…. these are NOT black “identifiers” people.It seems that black people want to decide for other blacks what is in someone ELSE’S gene pool…. bogus…bogus…bogus!Can I repeat this for ANYONE who missed it???How you “look” has LITTLE TO DO WITH what is in your gene pool. Using “looks” to decide what is in your family line is the method blacks relied upon who could not read or write and therefore COULD NOT research their ancestry properly… so when blacks start speaking about their ancestry in terms of what they LOOK LIKE on the outside… it is just more and more of the mentality that was communicated by blacks who were denied education and were UNABLE to know their full ancestry….Thanks for letting me blow my trumpet!Lisa

  27. @ JarrettYour statement about Tiger Woods is not entirely accurate…Tiger said he was black AND Filipino AND Caucasian. His father is black and Caucasian and his mother is Filipino. That is why he made that statement. He was NOT renouncing his blackness but he was CLARIFYING his entire ancestry. There is nothing wrong with answering the question he was posed with accuracy and with including the ancestry of BOTH parents…. He was not born out of wedlock not knowing his parents’ ancestry. Therefore it is perfectly fine for him to speak on his ancestry by including ALL of it.This is not a renunciation of his black heritage.Just wanted to clarify since black people don’t seem to understand that he is intelligent enough to know the ancestry of both of his parents and when ASKED ABOUT it can speak about it from an informed standpoint!{thumbs up to Tiger}Lisa

  28. OK, I have to respond. I’m a very light-skinned black woman, with blue eyes and blondish-brown, nappy hair. I am not biracial, nor am I the descendant of free blacks or house negroes. My slave-descendant great-grandfather on my mother’s side married an Irish woman, and my slave-descendant great-grandmother on my father’s side married a German man, putting genes into the family gene-pool that keep turning up, no matter how dark the partners we marry. (And from what I remember from high school biology, that is evidence that our spouses, like most African-Americans, also have white ancestry, since the lighter traits are recessive and would only show up in kids if the partners also carry the genes).I have never in my lifetime had any white relatives (except for the wife of a cousin, married only a few years now), and have always lived and worked in communities of color. Yet I have had quite a few black people in my life question my blackness (far fewer than those that just accept me for who I am, however). By the same token, I have never had a single black person NOT know immediately upon meeting me that I was black, light skin, blue eyes and blond hair not withstanding. (Whereas white people, unless they’ve been around a lot of black people, often don’t know). Which makes no sense. You know I’m black, but question whether I’m black enough – so would you prefer that I (or Soledad or whomever) denied being black and called ourselves white?The other reason why this is personal is because I know Soledad. She and I, as well as Suzanne Malveaux, were classmates at Harvard. And yes, we were in the minority, but there were still about 500 of us (and most were much darker than Soledad, Suzanne and me). I remember all the discussions my classmates and I had about “what does it mean to be black?” We could never come to a consensus. In fact, I laugh when I hear criticisms of Michelle Obama’s thesis as being radical and separatist, since I know the topic was similar to the discussions we had at Harvard all the time. In fact, Suzanne wrote a similar thesis about black students at Harvard.So yes, Suzanne and Soledad know they’re black and have all their lives, not just to promote their careers.

  29. I d0on’t see what the problem is. When referring to Blacks, I don’t say “we”. I don’t claim my racial identity every time I leave my house.It’s funny – I never think twice about being snubbed by whites, but I can feel the racism against me from Blacks. I will never be Black enough for some people, but then again, I couldn’t give a whit what they think about me.Seems like an awful lot of effort over nothing.

  30. lackness is more than just looks it is about culture, real culture not the misappropriation of “culture” that we are fed on the television. blackness is a diverse field, we all like to think of it as narrow but remember it’s not just africa, america, the english/ french and spanish speaking carribbean and south america, each of those places has a dispora that is global. while i tend to think that soledad is biracial by definition, cultrally she is probably white.

  31. @uppity:”Having the white husband just proves that her experience doesn’t jive well with that of millions of other blacks. Look, the reason she married a white man is because most the men she was around were probably white–aint nun wrong with that. “Wow. How would you know what her experiences are or why she married her husband? She didn’t have a black experience because of where she grew up or went to school? She didn’t have a black experience until Katrina? You just reduced a woman’s life, love, marriage and her feelings about her race and family into some kind of bad joke. I sincerely hope that isn’t what you meant to do.

  32. Love this discussion!Daughter, I agree with your comments wholeheartedly as you can see by my original post I identify myself as a Black Latina and I am married to a white male of mostly Irish descent. We have two children. My daughter is fair with beautiful kinky-curly ringlets and with brown eyes (one of which is blue on the top) and she looks like a slightly darker version of her father. My son has browner skin and looks like me but has soft wavy brown hair. I mention this because before we married my husband and I would joke about what our children might look like. We thought are they going to have freckles and wild red hair (my brother has reddish brown hair and I did as a child resulting from the predominant red head gene of our Scottish great-grandfather). We honestly didn’t know what would happen since we both have celtic backgrounds. We also talked about how our children should identify themselves and then we eventually concluded that the decision really should be theirs. I of course would like them to identify with all of who they are. I want them to identify with their Black-Panamanian, West Indian, Moroccan ancestry as well as their Irish-Germany ancestry (regardless of what labels others might choose). Historically speaking the pain associated with slavery and the “diluting” of the race has led many African-Americans to understandably downplay/deny their white ancestry. I on the other hand feel that my relationship with my husband is not a “slave relationship” it is one that is built on love and equality so I feel that my children should be proud of all of who they are.

  33. Ultimately I read this and it saddens me, especially as a brown skinned Black woman with 2 biracial kids. My eldest child is living with his Dad while he finishes school and for the first time after spending most of school career in white New England schools is attending a predominantly Black school. He has had to endure all the BS that we still in our kids when it comes to race. As far as other kids questioning his Blackness. My son at 16 calls himself a Halfrican, he realizes and knows both his Black and white side but chooses to identify as a young Black male. Yet unlike Soledad and the feedback she is getting he is constantly challenged because he is light/has “good-hair” etc. I think as a people we need to move beyond this line of thinking, yet until we see equal opportunities presented to Black folks of all hues, I suspect we will consider to have these asinine divisions. Honestly, I am not sure how we can move beyond these divisions that divide us.

  34. I think the person in the body should get to define who they are.I had to take some people to task about Obama identifying as a Black man. The argument that he has a White mother means he can’t identify as a Black man. He’s never made an effort to hide his White mother, Kenyan father nor half White half Asian sister.Why shouldn’t he indetify the way HE wants to?/rant overI can only tell you that in the neighborhoods I grew up in, the biracial kids almost always had White mothers; more often than not, the kids identified as Black. Not mixed, not biracial, just plain old Black.Looking back, it was probably just easier to do so to fit in. And Black people I think just kinda take half Black kids as our own.

  35. I’ve heard Soledad on the Steve Harvey Morning show as a guest host. She is ensconced in Black Life, in Black issues. She doesn’t need to be Angela Davis but if she was sans the dreads or Afro, they are almost the same shade. Is Angela Davis Black enough for ya? Then so is Soledad for me! JayceePS. Heath Ledger as the Joker! Yeah! Have you read Batman the Killing Joke?

  36. …This might be a long one …Wow, Snob, you laid it all out on the line. It’s crazy the bullshit you went and continue to go through even in the supposedly “liberal” world of journalism. I often hear other black journalists complain about the same thing. A bunch of lesser white peers receive a whole lot more for doing a whole lot less. And yes, I thank you so much, as a black person who was percieved as “light” for setting the record straight about the whole “light skin advantage” bullshit that sadly, a lot of black folks actually believe. Listen, I have two uncles, born to my pale-faced, hazel-eyed grandmother and my browner grandfather (who was from the backwoods of Georgia with strongly suspected Native ancestry). One of my uncles is actually about the same deep-brown shade as say, Kevin Garnett. The other (my oldest) is as pale as my grandmother. In fact, imagine if Jason Kidd and K.G. were brothers and you’d have a mental picture, complexion-wise, of my two uncles.They both went through eeirly identical experiences as black men living in white America. Their strikingly different shades didn’t alter that. Even among some of the more colorstruck blacks, they both got “teased” when they were younger for their shades. This brings the point home (as I also said in the Young Berg/colorism posts’ comments) that in AA colorism, lighter blacks and darker blacks both share an equal “stigma”.Well, as I’ve stated on previous topics, I actually am one of those people who believes that the whole concept of “biracial” doesn’t truly exist with black people, at least not in an American context. I mean, as it’s been stated several times, the AA “race” (as well as the entire western “black” race) is HEAVILY ‘diluted’. You’re not going to find any true full-blooded Africans (most black folks are lucky if their African DNA is 80% or higher,that’s high for the average western black). Being “mixed race” (in the context that the social construct of race exist) is consciously or unconsciouly part of the “black” experience. (Colorism among us is one of the most obvious result of this).So, in the U.S., if a child born to a “black” person and a “white” person, is born, sure genetically they as “mixed” as the next black person (maybe slightly more Euro than many) and therefore, “biracial” or “multi-racial” as many call it. Yet, other than being from an interracial marriage, what really seperates you from other blacks? On the other hand, you’re a clear minority so you’ll never be accepted as white and can never demostrate your “whitness” in a real, meaningful way. (No white privilege for you.) Why? There is no “white” culture. To be “white” is to be raceless. You don’t have to think about being white, it has no real conscious bearing on your life. There is no “white pride”. Most white Americans are completely assimiliated and have no true distinct cultural bearers (outside of the European immigrants). So, if you’re clearly a minority, what is the point of emphasizing that you’re “half white”? Now, if you say you’re black, you’re abosolutely correct. No black person is truly pure, anyway, so gentically you fit in. And of course, you face the same social reality. You’re share the same exact minority status. So, really, in the grand scheme of things, you’re a black person. No?I hate giving anecdotal evidence when it comes to social issues because it doesn’t say too much about the world around us as a whole …just what we’ve individually seen but…I’ve known many black folks who came from interracial parentages. Most had white mothers, a few had East Asian mothers. Nearly all of these people would tell you they were black. Period. For prespective, some, like one of my good buddies, could’ve went in another direction racially in terms of appearance (he has tannish, olivish skin; slick hair; very narrow face- could pass for some ambigious Med type) but no, they would proudly tell you they were black.They acknowledged (well, some didn’t) that they came from an interracial parentage, but they would tell you they were black, for the same exact reason I explained before.It just makes sense. And I too, wonder why some (as evidenced on the internet) blacks, from interracial parentages or not, seem to isolate and play the “role” of “other” rather than actually embrace their heritage and come together with everyone else. It just seems like a way to escape mentally from the “great big disadvantage of being black”.Maybe, that’s the type that those posters on those sites mistook Soledad for?Race is a social construct, not a personal choice. In the best possible world, the whole created concept of “race” wouldn’t exist. We would all just be people. But sadly, in this world especially in this country, it’s going to take a long, long time for everyone in this country to figure that out.

  37. Also, Snob, you’re absolutely right about how some unfairly hate on Soledad when the sister always embraced and enriched herself in her black culture.A lot of black folks hated Lena Horne back in the day.Just the way many hate Mariah Carey, for the same reasons.Why?They don’t “look” the part. The “stigma” of being a lighter-skinned black. That’s part of it.

  38. As a complete outsider, (not even American, never mind African American), although I haved lived here many years, I hope you don’ mind me posing this.. Perhaps part of the issue some have with Soledad O’Brien is that racial discrimination is part of the Black experience in America. And if you are not dark-skinned you do not experience it the same way? Perhaps there will be a time in the future when the terms African American and Black split? If I am Nigerian, I am black, but I am not African American.- Is Soledad O’Brien fully ‘African American’, but only partly ‘Black’?People *can* say I am African-American *and* Irish-American or Italian American *and* Chinese American. – But can you say in the same way say ‘I am Black and White’?Starting another thought- I think that the US will be a better place when you have people who are totally light skinned can claim their African heritage in the same way that people can claim their Irish or Italian heritage even when they’re not from an Irish or Italian neighbourhood.All the Best,K

  39. It’s about power. To be white means to be in power, and when you can pass, it angers those who can’t because it means the passer can take part in the power and privilege of being white. I don’t think this issue will ever disappear unless the entire power institution constructed around being white and looking white is dismantled.

  40. Black Snob this was a really deep post. I’m dark but have several relatives and friends who have parents from difference races. My friends live in America. They had to deal with all the racist crap I dealt with AND black folks who didn’t know them questioning their blackness. My relatives live in the Caribbean and Europe. Didn’t have the same issues. We need to let folks be who they are. Some of the most progressive and socially conscious black folks I know look like Soledad. On the other hand you folks have Clarence Thomas. Let’s look at people’s actions and not complexions.

  41. @ Black SnobGreat PostI think you hit the nail on the head when you mentioned that she is married to a white man (on top of being racially ambiguous)Had Obama married a non-black woman, in spite of not being racially ambiguous, I don’t think would not have the cred in the black community that he gets. Sometimes I wonder if he’d have gotten the cred if he’d married someone as light skinned as SoledadIn my opinion, those that hate on people like Soledad need to look within themselves and ask themselves why they are seeking validation from people like her?I like Soledad, respect her work and say to her and everyone else: “do your thang”

  42. As long as you have love in your heart for the race you claim, it doesn’t matter how many races you are claiming, or what percentage you are of one or the other. THERE ARE NO PURE PEOPLE ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD.Love for your race (and I don’t mean creepy supremacist “love for your race”), that’s the important thing. It’s no one else’s business to tell you what that’s supposed to look like or how you’re supposed to dress or that you’re not allowed to claim anything else. How can anyone else speak for your full experience, even if they hail from the same group?PS @ Snob: If you’re going to go claiming Filipino in your background, I hope you can wield a karaoke mike and eat 5 times a day. 😉 Just kidding, you’re welcome anytime you want to claim Pinoy blood.

  43. Breukelyne: I’ve had a fondness for Filipinos ever since I looked at a 40 year old Filipino woman’s face and saw my 5′, freckle-faced mom. And I had a drill team pal who was a Hapa (Filipina/white), who was freckled faced, foul mouthed and hilarious. Plus, in Cali I had a many bitch rant sessions with borderline militant Filipinos and I didn’t know anyone could be more angry than black people about racism. It was refreshing.So, among cultures I’d defect to if black folks drove me to drink, Filipino ranks pretty high. Puerto Rican has always been my number two because they are beautiful people, I already like the food and I’d have the easiest time passing. I’d still be a black person, but I’d be a black person messed up by a Spaniard as opposed to a black person messed up by an Englishman.Of course, as Pinoy, you can claim both those things, ironically and unfortunately. Hence those bitch rants.

  44. These sorts of conversations are funny to me at this point in my life because I can’t do anything anymore but laugh. When I think about how enslaved people of color, particularly Black people of all hues, shades and heritages are by old perceptions of race imposed by the dominant (white) culture, I just laugh my crazy lady laugh.I so cannot be mad at Ms. O’Brien because she “chose” to identify with a racial group that for the history of the civilized world has been hated, raped, enslaved, abused, incarcerated…etc. I can see if she was denying her Blackness (whatever you care to make that mean), but she is openly, positively and honestly embracing her African ancestry, so what is the problem?Like others have said, the whole downplaying of one’s Black heritage is what gets me fired up. I could be nothing but Black, but I like when people are more fascinated by my Puerto Rican (straight off the island) father than they are with my Black American mother. I don’t care how much rice you feed me, I’m going to Black period; not bi-racial, not mixed, not “other”. And just to reiterate some other points made about colorism: Puerto Ricans are notorious for trying to ignore the STRONG African roots that compose the rich tapestry of our culture. It’s almost funny how some Ricans (my own familia included) will call themselves everything BUT. Some of the most racist people I have encountered in my life have been other Ricans. Again: hilarious.(If you look at the Spanish language and its myriad dialects you will see a kajillion words to describe someone’s skin color, appearance and hair texture. Thus creating this caste system that has existed since the dawn of colonialism.)This whole discourse, while so necessary and therapuetic, can be hilarious and sad all at the same time because we are arguing about a social construct that has been dictated for centuries by people who have enslaved us and oppressed us. When I try to explain complex discussions like these to close white friends and associates they look at me like I am crazy. White people (white Americans)do not have conversations about what is white and who is whiter and what constitutes whiteness. They assimilated and moved on. They break out the “Well, my mom is Irish-Polish, and my dad’s cousin was a quarter German” and such every once in a while, but Black people sound assinine at times pulling out the family tree to point to every factor that contributed to their “good hair” and “high cheekbones”. Pathetic. We as a collective have so many issues to be concerned about that wasting our time hating/criticising a woman who willingly and openly labels herself Black is counterproductive.I can’t remember who said it, another commenter or The Snob, but there is who you think you are and what others see you as. As long as all people of color (whatever shade, texture or hue) are engaged in an uphill battle for equity and justice based on what the Other thinks we are, it doesn’t matter which one of your greatgrandmothers is a quarter Native American and which one married a man who was a third German. You still oppressed.Really.

  45. I really enoy the banter here from my perspective as a Black Orinocle( Black Slave/South American Indian) from my vantage point in the USA it is White or Non-White, clearly the colorblind mantra is outdated given I care about the diverse racial composition but white folks do not .Whites created the racial pathologies on this soil from the one drop rule to colorism issues in the hood so they should deal with the fallout not meThat is by baseline either White or Non-White on this soil..I give less than a yoyo about White folks insanities and their collateral damages of thier racist culture..

  46. I think the variations in phenotype can affect an individual’s outlook. Also living in this country with it’s twisted and unresolved issues with race will drive anyone crazy. Looking Black and having consciousness and pride in oneself do not go hand in hand. Also people forget that we had the full spectrum of phenotypes in Africa from the beginning – no ‘mixing’ was necessary. If a person who would not be identified as Black embraces Black heritage then so be it. It would be very helpful if we could bring the price down for genetic and dna testing to help more people trace their history. It’s the lack of rootedness that drives much of this quest for ‘Blackness’ in my opinion. You know people in Sri Lanka, Fiji, India and other countries are browner than a large swath of people who may be identified as Black but they’re not – at least technically lol. People need to start investing in the Black Superiority meme instead of the Inferiority complex so many of us are suffering from.

  47. great post…great comments…all i have to say is that i’m black and i’m just fine about that…

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