speaking of halle berry

i tumbled upon this interesting thread today at black hair media.com.  i personally feel that, of course, they “should be able to” call themselves black women.  i am all about self-identifying as one sees fit.  i wonder what kind of run-ins the questioner has had with biracial women with white mothers that would instigate such an inquiry.  in my opinion, many (certainly not all, or even most) biracial women that i know who have white mothers (into which category fall most of the biracial people i know) not only identify themselves as black, but seem more steeped in black culture than… well… than… me.  i have some theories as to why that is… i’m reluctant to share them… i’m going to sleep on it and hopefully grow a pair overnight, then come back and update this post adding my speculations tomorrow or sometime this weekend.

Topic: biracial women with white mothers
Posted: Today at 11:21am
-Do you think that biracial women with white mothers and black fathers should be able to call themselves black women? I get frustrated with this because how can they be a black woman when they didn’t even come from one and really don’t know much about us. I don’t think they should get that title. I hate hearing Halle Berry (who has a white mother) be called “The most beautiful black woman). To me, that just seems unfair. Who else feels this way?
-I don’t think anyone who’s biracial (that is, black and white) regardless of which one of their parents is black or white should be calling themselves black. If the mother’s white and the father’s black, you are mulatto. If the mother’s black and the father’s white you are a mulatto. Case closed.
 -i use to feel this way..but honestly it all about how they are raise..if they want to identify themselves as white or black they have the right to..what would you say if it were you? AlSO, i rather someone tell me their either black or white.. rather than running around screamin “im mixed” all the time.
 -You know what I just realized??…why do people think of mutliracial people like they are slices of pizza???

Genetics dont work like that.
 -I think white people call every bi racial person black just because they are darker.
Ive only see people sometimes calling biracial white in Africa.
Plus, for me its hard to see biracial peeps with white mothers who raised them feeling they are black just because they have white culture. When you have a black mother and live with her, you feel black just because of what your mother taught you.
But some biracial with white moms, who know they are rejected by their white part, take advantage on the black community since they like them. I guess OP thats the Hally berry case.
-um it depends. i think mixed girls with white moms tend to be more whitewashed. i dont view some of them as true black people because they identified with their white mom more so of course they are gonna have that white influence.  vs. a mixed person with a black mom who was the main influence a lot of times u can just tell a difference. plus some of them like hauts said feel better than regular blacks and take advantage of the praise and attention. NOT ALL MIXED PEOPLE, BUT SOME
also if you are half nonblack and half black, you cannot be the prettiest black anything. how that work when half your genes come from a white woman? halle may be the prettiest mixed woman but her beauty cannot represent black women b/c she is not fully black.

77 thoughts on “speaking of halle berry

  1. Who is fully black in this country? There are few African-American women in this country who are “pure” black. The slave trade fixed that all up for us. This argument about you’re not really black unless both your parents are black is a little limiting. How many people in this country truly know their family history’s history of the past 100 years. How many white people have traced their black roots and how many whites have traced their white roots? Folks, don’t you see that this whole labeling thing about what we call ourselves is just another way we have chosen to divide and conquer our own well being? We are all people of color, white mama or not, and instead of trying to tear each other down, we need to come together and build each other up as women of color.

  2. no one represents me, but me, and i do not represent other black women. as i said before, as soon as this country can get away from this race and color thing, i think we will all be better off. you have blacks and whites telling biracial people how they can or cannot identify. it’s ridiculous. i hate to hear biracial (non-black with black) being hated on by black or white women, but black especially. it always comes off sounding like envy. and that is just another divisive tactic in my opinion. i don’t hear a lot of it in this blog, but on others it gets really nasty.

  3. What bothers me is that there are so many people who are still obsessed with race!

  4. I’m a mulatto with a black mother and white father and most people see me as black/hispanic (and yes both my parents are still together and I have 4 sisters from the same parents). I grew up not knowing color just knowing both my father’s and mother’s family. So I am an American biracial (no Caribbean in me). In fact, my family has traced our family tree back as far as we can right now. Try not to assume that I go towards my black side more. It’s hard to say because I grew up knowing both of my American cultures. But I was part of the educated blacks that went to boarding school and Ivy leagues so I don’t really fit in with the common blacks. I really only know about some black hair, how they talk sometimes, and the “black” music. Also, “black” in this country are heavily Caribbean and it’s even stranger when I’m not from there. Because then it would be okay for people to speak to me in Spanish b/c a lot of Caribbean ppl do. Point is that you can’t generalize.

    Also, most of the people with black father’s and white mothers look white. With blonde hair (various textures) and some act white some act mixed, some act black (and say they’re yellow). I remember people saying that one girl was white mixed with something else I had no idea it was black! Yes, there are people that look completely white that are half black.

    I just wish it didn’t matter to people. Before age 12 I knew no “race”. Then people started asking me “what are you?” and I say I’m biracial. They always want details. I never ask anyone else, but I always know when some is mixed.

  5. This is sooo complicated, which demonstrates how twisty and sinewy this thing called “race” is, and to see how slavery continues to slither through our lives. I am mixed: (grandma half black half chinese, grandpa half irish half black, other grandparents are black/white/indian (yes, actual indian–LOL–that’s an inside joke among black folk). Both sets of grandparents always identified strongly as black having experiences horrible racism from the Depression, through Jim Crow, etc. So I always identified as “black” because I am darker and because that is our experience, and because THAT IS WHAT WHITE PEOPLE CALLED ME. I would agree that it is a different experience to be mixed and have a black mom versus a white mom. Although my mom is chinese/irish/black, she didn’t have “black” hair, and I have more complicated curly hair, and she didn’t know what to do with it. I always feel like the black experience starts with our hair, and I see so many mixed kids with hair that is clearly indicative that their white mother (as mine) did not know what to do with it. I also have my theories I am reluctant to share about why some overcompensate in their immersion into black culture, but it would start a firestorm. Appreciate that your posts keep me thinking.

  6. Margie-I share a similar “black” experience growing up in terms of education. You should read “Sag Harbour” by Colson Whitehead (? i think that’s his last name), truth-based fiction about a black middle-class enclave in Southampton, Long Island, where I actually spent my summers growing up in my grandparents house there. The writer nails the experience of kind of straddling both socioeconomic worlds of black culture.

  7. I have always wondered how one can “feel” white? How can you “feel” black? What does that “feel” like…? When I hear or read about someone saying this in an attempt to explain why they choose to identify one way or the other, I’ve always wanted to just come out and ask this. I am black and grew up heavily within the (“common”?…hmmm. @ Margie: As in, “Po’ black folk?”) black culture. Black music/white music? I don’t believe in that, I listen to a variety of musical genres. In whatever I do, I try not to limit myself. I still can’t say that I “feel” a certain race. I feel like….Me!! Seriously! Does feeling black means experiencing oppression? Everyone has experienced this at one point or the other especially if you’re my age and older. Does feeling white mean experiencing being privileged? There are a lot of poor white people out here. Ha! How did the discussion of black hair turn into this? This is very complicated and I can’t wait to read your thoughts on this, Tiff 🙂

  8. I think people maynot be able to call her the prettiest african in the world, but she surely can be called the prettiest african american, because all of us african americans are mixed with a lot of everything. Thats what makes us african americans, there is no hiding that. 😉

  9. I didn’t mean there are Black or white music. I listen to everything, I just like music with rhythm and people just assume that I’m Caribbean (black people) and white people just think I’m black. And I didn’t really include in my first post that I have equal relations with both my white and black sides of the family and there was never any “mulatto problems”. ( The only thing I have in common with blacks is I like music with Rhythm, but I don’t like grind dancing. And My hair issues are most similar to theirs besides that I’m an outsider) We were just people. What I’m trying to get at is that Tiff said that mulattoes with a white mother look black and are considered so. I was just trying to tell her that that’s not always the case, me as an example. Most the people I know have black father’s and look white or very light skinned with loose kinky hair.

    And if all Black americans are “mixed” then why do they ask me “what are you?”

    And I havete. But I hat the “big” curly kinky hair that black people call “Good hair” and then get mad at me when I repeat them. I’m just discovering the fact that a lot of black women get perms and wigs to try and look like their mulatto counterparts. (ex: Halle Berry. Black Women get weaves to look like Halle Berry and then the media just labels them all black. “This is how to do black women’s hair- no it’s not. That’s mulatto/white hair. Real black women have afros- whether people want to admit it or not. And there’s nothing wrong with afros, they’re cue when people say no I’m just Black b/c Iook like that girl over there with the weave. Insulting.)

    Sorry, this was a rant. I know it probably offended some people but this is how I feel. I know it shouldn’t really matter but it annoys me. I’m in the process of trying to let it go and just go back to living as a human not consumed by race. So stop asking me what I am. I’m an American.

  10. Reading that conversation was really annoying to me…which surprised me. I don’t usually take those kinds of comments personally. I’m white and my husband is black…I get so sad when I think about how my children are going to have to hear and deal with conversations like that. Like they’re a science experiment or a food that needs to be labeled. I wish people would get a life. I wish it didn’t have to be a debate. I’m sorry Tiff, I’m just so sad right now for my children. I hope I can raise them to be above all the superficial and negative energy people give out on the topic.

  11. I am no where near offended by your comment. Can’t speak for anyone else. I just don’t recall Tiffany saying that biracial people with white mothers tend to look more black. I totally missed that! The question I was asking was “how does one ‘feel’ a certain race?” That was mentioned in the discussion/comments from black hair media.com. I’ve noticed a lot of biracial (black & white/Asian) people say this when explaining why they chose one race over the other. You did mention “the black” music and although you claim that you didn’t want to do this, it sounded a bit generalizing to me. You also mentioned “common blacks” and how you don’t fit in well with them. And trust me, I’m not jumping on you, but I needed clarification because although I am not offended, I know so many people who would be. Common as in…? Black people portrayed in the media, news, rap videos, etc.? It’s ok to not know many black people, but just as there are diff. classes of white people, there are diff. classes of black people as well. Some of us “common” black people are educated (highly) and some of us are not. But, hmm…common? Your comment (s) drove me to just come out and ask my question about “the feeling.” You feel, therefore, you are? Based on ideas one may “think” they “know” about being black? Does Halle feel Black? Is this why she supports the one drop rule because she thinks black people do? I’m black and I think it’s foolishness. Genetics tell me that I’m black and genetics plays a big factor in your being biracial. Not some feeling, environment, intellectual/educational/socioeconomic status, music, etc. That is what I meant when I say that I don’t limit myself because someone says this is what black people do and this is how white people talk. I don’t perm my hair…and I’ve grown to hate weaves…I also don’t grind which makes me want to just laugh out loud at how anything sexual or having to do with rhythm is attached to blackness. Freedom of speech, tho, because we all are just learning from each other. It’s all a part of growth–that’s all…

  12. I also read this thread earlier but I wasn’t enraged. I’ve come to the realization that people fear what they do not understand and when I answer ‘biracial’ to the inevitable, they are afraid. You cannot speak for someone else, unlsess you have walked in their shoes and even then your experiences are not theirs. I was birthed by a White mother but reared by a Black one. Should I not have the right to be Black when I was never afforded the opportunity to identify with my white family. I look at threads like this and just hope they got out of their ‘box’ and realize that the world is black and white (and everything in between) not either or.

  13. Tammy- I know black people and white people and Asians and everyone else! I have mostly black relatives. I just don’t have the same experiences as the “blacks” around me. Mulattoes that consider themselves black are usually have something in common with blacks in order to relate to them. Most people around me have the single parent issue and get their hair permed like a religion. I’ve never had my hair chemically anything or worn weave. A lot of people (like the girl above) are like “I’m Mulatto but I’m black because I never had a chance to identify with my white family”.

    Well, that’s how many people assume the story goes. I’ve had both my white and black family and identify as American biracial, except ignorant people will say- well that girl looks just like you and is black. So, I don’t know what you’re talking about, you’re black to me. People don’t realize that there are many “blacks” that are really mulattoes but have been trained to call themselves black.

    And sorry Bethany you should have walked into a black hair salon before you tried to have a biracial baby- he/she could (you never know you could get lucky) have very kinky hair. And I don’t appreciate mulatto children walking around with crazy undid hair. Black hair is not like in the picture above it’s very tough to deal with.

    I just think people rely too much on the media and can’t just be themselves. Black girls please stop killing your hair and instead love it.

  14. Okay…you made it a lot clearer this time. What I was reading before seemed a bit foggy, but I get what you’re saying now. I’m no longer against people identifying however they feel they need to (i.e. Palmer Bennett), I just question their reasonings behind doing so. This site is a good place to get these things out in the “open” and become educated about things not (yet) taught in schools.

  15. @Tami

    I’m glad Margie was able to clear it up for you a bit. I can only speak for me in answering your question as to why but..

    When you look at a person, it’s human nature to identify with them on some level. Like if I see someone driving the exact same car or wearing the exact same shirt or another really busty female (I immediately think, girl I know how you feel). Race is like that. When you don’t really identify with Black or White, you look for people to identify with and when you don’t find them, you just identify with whatever is close. I grew up in Tuskegee, Alabama with two Black parents and I only saw White people during election season. As I got older, people always asked was I Puerto Rican (out of their own ignorance) so I began to identify as Puerto Rican. It just made it easier to fit somewhere than nowhere at all.

    I hope that adds another piece to the puzzle…

  16. Actually, I totally get that. I understood quite well, your reasoning from your initial comment when you explained that you did not identify with your white side because you didn’t know them. I was a little baffled by Margie’s comment only because the tone was (IMO) a bit on the side of generalizing all black people as the same. It sounded as if she was putting them into one class. I’m glad she cleared that up! Prior to running into the Mulatto Diaries (years ago), I used to judge (harshly) biracial people who chose one race over the other. I was against that…YEARS AGO and I’m sorry for not making that too clear. Now, it only matters to me if I know that THEY don’t understand why they’re doing it. And there are a variety of reasons as to why I care, so I hope I don’t have to go there 🙂 We all should. Sometimes I’ll ask why, because I know I’m giving them something to think about even when they pretend as if they don’t care. Race is a lot more complicated than the same colored shirts and (sometimes) being of the same body type as another woman. Thanks for breaking it down even further though 😉

  17. Oh, but wait! Bethany, you might get lucky enough for them TO have kinky hair. Just get educated on it as I did for my kinky hair. It is quite the journey well worth experiencing.

  18. Ladies,
    lol, thank you for your comments. I was not going to let some high maintenance hair issues stop me from marrying “The One.” At the same time, I knew what I was getting myself into. I know it will take some time and practice. I will definitely be keeping my children’s hair natural, and I don’t intend on letting them go out looking unkempt. I’m lucky to live in a big city and there is so much help and products for sale on the internet specifically for mixed race hair. I’m a very determined woman and I ain’t scared of hair.

  19. My mother is white and father black. I have pale skin and blue eyes. Usually black people know I’m part black, but white people usually do not. I refer to myself as mixed, multi-ethnic (I will not use the term biracial) or black, but rarely will I call myself white. Not because I’m denying my white mother, but because the black and mixed-with-black experiences in America have always been open and diverse enough to include and embrace a variety of shades of itself. The white collective in America rejects anything that isn’t white, so there is no place for a mixed person to really identify with being white because they will never measure to the standard of whiteness if they have any black features. I have no problem at all with Halle and and other “mixed” women with white mothers calling themselves black, because they have experienced their own “black experience,” though it isn’t the same experience a darker skinned woman will have., The author of the post said that having a white mother means they don’t get an authentic experience of what it means to be a black woman, and that is often true (although I was co-raised by many black women as I was growing up and they forever impacted my view of myself and the world) The author of the post should note however that being raised by a white woman does give you an intimate understanding of what it means to be white–and you learn from a very close proximity to whiteness how white you are NOT. On my blog there is a post http://kathleencross.com/SkinDeep/2011/04/09/the-darker-the-berry-the-more-invisible about how white people will pat themselves on the back for recognizing “black beauty” in Halle Berry, Beyonce or other lighter black women, not realizing that they have no ability to recognize beauty in darker skinned black women. From that perspective, I understand what the post author was getting at. If Halle gets to represent black beauty–Angela Bassett and Diana Ross are always invisible, because they don’t reflect the Euro-standard of beauty people are looking for.

  20. Pingback: Don’t Play the Game With Biracial Women « Tragicmulattoes's Blog

  21. I make it easy. I am of mixed ethnicities. When somone asks me what am I? I either say mixed or I say multiracial. I have not had too much of a problem because many people in NYC are mixed. Most people here in NYC just want to know if I am latino or Hispanic,or Indian. I feel that there shouldn’t be a category here in America given what racism is. I feel that we, here in America, are Americans and that is it. Why ask someone to fill out a form and ask there race, as if there is more than one.

  22. I feel that education is the key to open the door for enlightenment. People use race to keep a certain group in power and the other group without power. The words minority and majority are obsolete they have no power over you. If you are a human then you are part of the majority which are human beings. People are so accepting of titles given to them by others. Define yourself for yourself, but keep in mind never to put somone else down for their choice of how they define themselves.

  23. @Margie— you actually sound very disparaging and classist towards what you consider “common blacks” with kinky hair that is “tough to deal with”.

    The only thing you have in common with blacks is that you like music with rhythm? You don’t talk like the common blacks? Gee, thanks for those stereotypes, you sound so enlightened. People seem to think that mixed race folks are some kind of bridge between the races, but I see as much ignorance from some mixed race people as from whites.

  24. For the sake of ending a back & forth, I’ve decided to give Margie the benefit of the doubt. Hopefully, she’s young enough to still experience life and meet/get to know others from different backgrounds. When you think about it; who doesn’t like rhythm? Who is to say that the above person(I’m assuming you’re referring to Tiff) does not have the same difficulty as me when it comes to hair? I’ve grown up hearing so many horror stories about whites and the way that they treat black people that I USED TO think all white people were racist. I have grown up to realize that there are no white or black monolithic groups. We are all individuals with our own experiences and unique ideas. Back to Halle! She can call herself whatever she wants. The problem is that so many people have fought, suffered and died for us to move forward. Her support of the one drop rule (which coincides with the theory of the “Willie Lynch Letters” and the “brown paper bag rule/test”) is viewed internationally. It causes us to go backwards in history.

  25. I agree, I am often perplexed at the notion that a mulatto woman like Halle is considered the most beautiful BLACK woman in America….I wonder if full-blooded African Americans really agree with that statement.

    It seems as though society is saying that the only attractive black people are those that are mixed.

    You see it in the media every day….I often laugh when I’m watching a movie or a show on TV and the portrayal of a black family will look all mulatto or will have CLEARLY VISIBLE mulatto children….As if it’s a usual occurrence that 2 black people will produce a light-skinned, mulatto-looking child….Come on now!

    If I were a full-blooded black person, I would be angry and insulted by that. There are very beautiful black women who are not mixed–I wish the media would portray that instead and leave the mulattoes to just portray themselves…and leave it at that.

    Next thing you know, it will be a white-looking mulatto portraying blacks in the media–as I’m sure there are already those in existence today who are simply saying that they are “just black” despite the illegalization of the ‘one drop rule’ because it apparently lives in the minds of many ignorant people today.

  26. I am a biracial woman who was raised by a black woman and who identifies solely with black culture. I am much more fair than most “mixed” kids and have sandy mostly straight hair. My identity has never been correlated to my complexion. My “blackness” has nothing to do with my appearance. I consider myself a black woman proudly and it is mostly because there is no where i could go and be considered a “real” white woman in the world. One drop rule is dated and archaic without a doubt but the reality i face living down south is that I was born black, live life as an african american, and will leave earth that way. So to attempt to down play that or negate that fact is pointless. When i walk in the mall with my white father beside me I’m definitely black and when i hear derogatory statements about black people my heart dropping to my stomach lets me know I am black. But to direct my comment towards this I will simply state that beauty comes in all ethnic groups and is not exclusive to light mulatto people… besides it is ignorant to coin someone the most beautiful of any race because it only perpetuates the divide among people. Whether your mother is black or white you will never be completely either. As much as people might like to hear that a poor relationship with my white father led me towards an identity with black people it is not the case. He was very active in my upbringing and I’m very informed of his white anglo-saxon heritage and truly respect and appreciate it. But he and I both know I am a black woman in my mentality, life experiences, biases, and attitude toward non black people. I love people, all people and have friends from many different backgrounds. I think it is terrible that media depicts african american beauty as light or darn near white black women. It has always bothered me that straight hair is the ideal and that features closer to european are the most desirable. It is all part of the trickle down effect of a slave menatlity. We were taught light is right and black is bad and implemented it in our culture. It is punishment to me. Punishment every time a white person says “oh, you’re lucky you have our kind of hair and you’re so light”. Punishment every time I hear a black man born from a black woman say “girl me and you would make some pretty light babies”. Punishment because appeal is not exclusive to fair complected people yet we ourselves have continued to believe it and fair skin makes me wear the stereotypes. Halle Berry is undeniably a beautiful woman. Thats enough said no box on her beauty no “black” in front of it… just let it be beauty. Lol. One day we may get to that point i hope 😉

  27. Interesting post Del88. I agree with what you are saying–Halle is most definitely a beautiful woman….I can think of beautiful black women that don’t get enough attention for their beauty, which is why it is strange to me that Halle is always the poster child for ‘black beauty’.

    With regard to how you identify…I can understand where you’re coming from. I also think that how we identify ourselves has much to do with our upbringing and the environment that we grew up in. It probably also has a lot to do with your appearance, i.e., phenotype—how light or dark you are, etc. The way you describe yourself, sounds similar to me as I am very pale in complexion and I’m told I have that “good hur” by blacks whenever I’d go into an African American beauty salon (which I can probably count on one hand, how many times I’ve been to one in my lifetime—I’m now 46 yoa! lol) 🙂

    …But none-the-less, speaking for myself, as a mulatto, the ‘blackness’ concept was missed by me, probably because I was born in a Latin country, raised in a Latin/Caribbean culture and I also have a Latin surname–to most people, I am simply a Latina or Hispanic….this is mainly what people see when they meet me…. Perception is everything, I suppose. But I still identify as a minority–In America, you’re still a minority if you are non-white, regardless of your complexion or culture.

    So even though I may not have a strong connection to the African American experience, I know that I’m part black and my family, despite being from a Latin country, mostly sees themselves as black as well….but not African American…There’s a difference–culturally.

    The only reason I raise this issue is because this is the one that has always been a sticky point between me, my family and many African Americans–You see, the consensus among many African Americans that I’ve crossed paths with, is that they expect me and my family to assimilate to the African American way of life, simply because we appear to be black, when we hold strong ties to our Catholic Latin/Caribbean roots.

    For some reason, this equates to us not being “black enough” or the ever popular notion that we are “ashamed of our blackness”….These are common terms that I’ve heard for years from many African Americans through the years and it’s commonly heard about when there is a reference to Latinos or Hispanics from Latin America or the Caribbean region (with any amount of African ancestry, like myself).

    The common phrase I hear is that we [Hispanics or Latinos] (with any amount of African ancestry) run from our blackness and if we’re asked if we are black, we try to deny it and say we’re not—I believe that this comes from a misunderstanding of the concept of culture. We don’t mean that we’re not black…we know that we are (or partly)….What we mean is that we don’t identify with the African American culture which is simply known as ‘black’ in American society….

    In Latin America, people aren’t categorized by race–probably because there is so much racial mixing–but people just go by the region that you are from…as in my case, I am from Guatemala so I would simply be referred to as “Guatemalan”…and that would be it…If you were to go into further detail of who I am by description, then you would proceed by describing my skin color (I would be fair or ‘guetta’ like a white person—I would be considered white in some regions–Crazy I know! 🙂 lol….Or if I was darker, I would be “morena”, etc.)

    …in Latin America…people come in various shades–practically all shades of the rainbow…so I will agree that to a certain extent there is colorism, rather than racism…and this is actually more common around the world than anything else. Essentially it’s the same around the world = Light, European features are always the more admired–It’s prevalent in Asia, Africa, Europe, America, etc.

    If only this was something that can be conveyed to African Americans without the backlash of rudeness and the accusation of conspiracy which ensues thereafter.

  28. I completely get the cultural identity exotiq. For people to expect you to assimilate and lose the traditions and beliefs of your culture to fit our mold is obsurd. I had a close friend who was a black cuban and they were cuban before anything else 🙂 there’s no shame in that… it is comparable to a black american person going to France, they would still identify themself first as an english speaking american before anything else. In America it is still a color thing. If you look a certain way people expect you to be a certain type of person. So to appear “black” in skin tone but not be african american in your mind set is not tangible in most of our minds. The automatic assumption is you’re ashamed or trying to pass. Crazy but true in many instance. I’m only 22 but I lived in different places across the country and experienced many cultures and perspectives but one that holds true from coast to coast is that people feel most comfortable when they can label you and put you in a box. When they cant it disturbs them and frustrates them. From the time I was a little girl my mama told me “baby you’re black” and she would explain that in the eyes of society I was black so I assumed that role quite naturally in my completely black home. On weekends with my white father I then became half white and experienced things differently. Still never white but I was expected to acknowlege my white ancestry unlike with my mom. So at a very young age it was clear to me I can be black and accepted completetly but in white society I was always partial. So that is where it ties into you and your culture because you will always be Guatemalan and accepted as such in your country and black at the same time but in America we don’t have the luxury of clinging to both cultures or identities because we are trained to choose. From the time we start school we are forced to choose one. And to try and be both is to be inadequate in both and fake to some degree. Very strange stuff. My prediction is that as more mixing takes place and more tan and yellow and light brown babies surface we will begin to be more like latin america in our tolerance for diversity.

  29. I would also love to hear your theories if you’re still considering sharing them. I just happened upon your blog today and I love it! Have a great weekend! 🙂

  30. Tiff, I loved your video on Chuck Mangione…just wanted to tell you that. 😉

    BTW, there is a very hateful blog on the Internet bashing you and other mixed people in general.

    I think you can figure it out from one of the comments. As a biracial woman, I just want to say that your work is brilliant. Keep fighting the good fight and don’t let the haters bring you down!

  31. HI- I haven’t been on here in a while. But I agree with Exoqi. American blacks always want you to act like them (ghetto or intelligent but black). If you act another way or question why they NEED to straighten their hair or why grinding and booty shaking is dancing you’re not black enough. Also, I know there are all kinds of people in this world. Berbers from Morrocco,Austrailan Aborigines, Ethiopians, Brazilians etc. that are mixed too and don’t have a problem with it. That’s because they come from smaller countries that identify with the country not the “race”.

    The problem in America was slavery and the laws against identifying with anything but black if you had the slightest amount of african blood in you. Today, there are many “black” that are “light skinned” and have two dark skinned parents with non-afro hair or they are just really light. I have one dark black parent with kinky kiny hair, and one white parent with black hair. When I’m with them I looked clearly mixed. But since there’s so many “blacks” that have been mixed over time with no “white” relatives that how the hell is anyone (outside the Black community) supposed to know the difference?

    Heck- Kimora lee simmons’ girls look more mixed than me and they’re only 1/4 asian (non-black)!

    It’s just ashame that I can’t call myself mulatto or biracial without seeming like I hate being black. It would be different in other countries. I wouldn’t mind being called colored or tan. Just my skin color. That’s fine.

  32. Margaret…

    I know your comment was for Tiff, but I would like to respond, if you don’t mind.

    I take it that you’re not American, right? If you are proud of being biracial and/or black, then be who you are. It doesn’t matter what other people think.

    You can be both biracial AND black. The one-drop rule was a concept created by racist whites. Sadly, some people continue to hold on to it. You can be proud of your blackness without feeling the need to downplay your mixed heritage. I used to feel like I had to prove my “blackness” to black people and I wanted to be accepted, so I was ashamed of having light skin and looking like a white girl (in their words).

    Also, it doesn’t matter if a person is a half or 1/4 of something…they are still mixed, biracial or multiracial.

    Anyway, hold your head high and love ALL of who you are. 😉

  33. Kathleen that was an excellent post. “The author of the post should note however that being raised by a white woman does give you an intimate understanding of what it means to be white–and you learn from a very close proximity to whiteness how white you are NOT.” This sentence stood out to me most because whether you have a White Mother or not you cant excape the looks people give you or the way they make you feel. Also, its funny but I can always spot a mixed person no matter how invisible that want to be. Correct me if im wrong but isnt the real issue that people in general just dont want to be treated the way people of African Descent have been treated in America? I saw this documentary on PBS that was talking about Mexicans and how at that time in this Country there was only Blacks or Whites and that the Mexican didnt want to be identified as Black because they saw how the blacks were treated so many of them chose to try to be White.

  34. @ Exotiq I am not part Hispanic or Latina to my knowledge but in both there are significant racial issues that are similar to that of American. Take for example Samy Sosa, I am not a baseball fan. I heard is name before but i never saw his face until He resurfaced pale with blue eyes. When i saw the before and after photos even though he seemed happy, I felt so sorry for him (That he was that dissatisfied with the skin he was in.) Im still perplexed as to how his eyes became blue, Michael Jacksons eyes never changed colors anyhow I saw a documentary by Henry Louis Gates about Blacks in South America where the Spanish have a phrase that translates to “The Black Grandmother in the Closet.” If you can shed some light on this for us.

  35. I don’t think that I have ever heard this arguement before. I am a Black Woman with a white mom. When I walk into a bank I’m a Black Woman walking into a bank, when I get my hair done I’m a black woman getting my hair done, I am a Black business owner, I live in a Black community. I have been influenced by many people in my life who are black, white, jewish, mexican, persian, Christian and so forth and those influences shaped my personality my life. The above basically says one black person can be “blacker” than another. Stupid opinion. Thats my opinion.

  36. @ kathleen–I agree whole-heartedly!

    Secondly, I hate the word “Mulatto” it is a derogatory word created by the Spanish to describe how multiracial people are hybrids akin to MULES and how just as the mule will never produce fertile offspring, multiracial people will never be fully one race nor will they ever produce a child that is of “pure” blood. Let’s stop using such a denigrating word, please.
    Thirdly, I am Black, Native American, and half Puerto Rican and i recognize ALL of my ethnicities. i have NEVER been despised for doing so, because I can relate to all three. You will always have the ocassion ignorant people of all races question you, just educate them, duh.

    And @Margaret, not ALL American Black people feel that way, so keep your generalizations to yourself. however, many US Blacks see color as a common ground and tend to draw commonalities from it which is very understandable given the history in America as well as the current treatment of people of color by white society. It is 2011 amd I have been told several times in the capital of Wisconsin (Madison), where there is a SIGNIFICANT population of people of color, that in certain salons “we don’t do BLACK hair, you might want to try…” and so-forth. i can easily identify with Black culture and struggle (no it is not all rap music, hypersexualization through stereotypes, and violence).

    We, as African Americans (and i DO believe in the “one-drop rule” or, its academic name, “hypodescent”-whereby people of mixed black blood are delegated inferior or the more color to your blood, the lower you are socially), are more than tropes and stereotypes perpetrated by white society, white media, and our own ignorance.

    Sometimes, i do believe that some multiracial people want to play the “tragic mulatto” and fall into the cycle of believing that they fit in NOWHERE…the US has ALWAYS been using a binary code when it comes to race…you can always have ethnic pride, just don’t feel as though you are better than one side. carve your own place instead of trying to “fit” in. I have.


  38. I’m happy to have found this blog- and hopeTiffany will continue to post? I’m also a little nervous about posting anything…no matter what you say, someone’s bound to take offence. I’m mostly white, with a black heritage on my Mother’s side. I was raised white, but knew that I was *something* other than white even as a young girl. My coloring was different,…my Grandfather was very dark, but told me he was *cajun*.. I found out that he had passed himself off as white to get a job with American Airlines. I did our geneology, and his found black, colored, negro all over our records. Mystery solved! I also found my GGG Grandmothers emancipation records! I was the only one in the family who was thrilled. (imaginethat?)So, I do not think of myself as traditionally white, but neither black… I feel like a bit of a unique creation. I only wish my family shared a bit of my enthusiasm?

  39. To whomever wrote the main topic: honestly, your opinions on biracial girls/women with white mothers sound frankly,very silly, immature, and ridiculous to me. First of all, who died and gave you the right to decide who’s black enough to be black, and who’s not black enough for you? Also, Halle Berry identifies as a black woman simply because THAT’S what she obviously is—she dosen’t LOOK white, and sure as hell would NEVER be mistaken by anyone as a white woman. How does her being half-white lessen her beauty, anyway? It dosen’t in ANY way diminish it whatsoever. And,yes she IS fully black in the sense that that is what she has always related to culturally, period, and that is clearly how she has always seen herself—-in fact, it was her white mother who taught her to identify with and to be proud of her blackness. Also, how can you say that mixed girls with white mothers just naturally turn out relating to being white—that really depends on a whole lot of factors–where they are raised, who they are taught to identify with, and the environment they’re raised. Also, I think the word “mulatto” should be retired because it’s out of date, it means “half-mule”–I mean, c’mon, why the hell are you still using a word that was invented by slavemasters to define someone mixed as half a human being as a HALF-ANIMAL–think about it. That word has long outlived its usefulness and needs to be kicked to the dang curb with the quickness!


  41. Biracial means of two races, not black and white or white and black. Two, like bicycle-because bi means two, it isn’t a definition of black and white, etc. I’ve heard a lot of African American people say that Tiger Woods is not biracial, that he is black, but he is biracial, his mother is Chinese, his dad is African American, two races. It doesn’t matter what two races. Having said that, I should say I am “mostly” white, but that shouldn’t impact being able to have an opinion on something anymore than a black person (or whatever word you like to use, it’s just easiest for me, as white is instead of caucasian (who thought that word up anyway?) or English-Irish-German-Dutch, Mulatto, Native American mix that I am, etc.- American that I would be if you wrote my ancestry all out. I have a mulatto ancestor…however, according to the record keeping of the 1800’s mulatto is an open definition, that can mean white mixed with Native American, or African American or Chinese, etc. so I really don’t know what I am, and it doesn’t matter too much, I know I have a colorful background, lol…. I took a sociology class that basically said there is no such thing as race, and as a Christian, I believe we all have common ancestors anyway, so trying to overly define yourself as this or that isn’t of much point. I think over time we will revert to what we probably were in the beginning, shades of browns and dark beige and black and no one will care anymore;)

  42. I find this to be an interesting topic since I’m also a product of an inter-racial union–white dad and black mixed mother….That might explain why I appear ambiguous–apparently there must be more European/Eastern Asian genes within me despite my recent ancestry dna test result which indicates that I’m actually 49% Sub-Saharan African and yet that African gene is not so strong as some may believe.

    I find it also interesting that many African Americans become annoyed when a biracial person, like myself, claim themselves to be just what they are factually–which is mixed, biracial, etc. Why is it so difficult for them to understand and why do they get annoyed with the facts and would rather I state that I’m only black??? …Clearly you can look at me and see that I’m not…if you look hard enough you might be able to get a clue of the African genes in me, but since I wasn’t born in this country, I guess that gives me a pass from the absurdity of claiming myself to be simply African American, when I have Latin culture, upbringing and appearance in my corner!

    Most white people (as well as other races) see that I’m Latin/Hispanic and don’t question my lineage, but occasionally I will encounter an African American with some apparent agenda in which they question why I’m not ‘black’, because to them, they claim that I “Look Black” and yet other races don’t seem to ‘spy’ it out as some blacks claim they can. But even so, why should it matter to a virtual stranger how I identify myself, when clearly the perceived “dominant race” [white] doesn’t seem to notice or single me out to be some type of ‘fallacy’ in trying to claim ‘white-ness’???? …Like I am??? …I’m not treated like a “nigga” or an African American by whites or other races, so to those AAs who claim that all whites treat us biracials as simply a “nigga” or a black person, that is simply not true and hearing that comes off as they seem a bit resentful–Like we get to choose our race or something! lol 🙂 It could be based on appearances at the end of the day and since I don’t have dark skin or typical African features, I don’t fit into the category they may be thinking of…but that’s my point–all biracials/multiracials don’t come out looking the same–they don’t all look like Africans–I can think of many celebrity biracials/multiracials who don’t fit that ‘look’–i.e., Rashida Jones, Kris Humphries, Derek Jeeter, Mariah Carey, etc. …–I can guarantee you that there will always be an African American who will say “I always knew they were black!” lol 🙂

    However, let it be known that I don’t present myself to be neither white nor black either, just simply Latin or Hispanic because that is the culture that I most identify with and Yes, I realize that Hispanic or Latin is not a specific race, but if you spot a typical Hispanic or Latin person in the street, you know what they look like, so just think of me as well! lol 🙂

    …Oh, I bet right about now some of you are saying stuff like…”Oh she must be ashamed of her black side” or “…Yeah, she wanna be anything but black!” …It’s certainly easy to say such things without any comprehension of what it feels like to be someone who is of different races and is a walking reminder of that everyday of their lives. When you are trying to be understood and accepted for being who you are, you have the need to speak up and let people know what’s up. You can’t fault someone for that basic human right.

    If it were easy for me to fake act like I’m from ‘the hood’ or that I grew up in a typical African American family, then I’d try to do it for kicks, but not to be someone’s puppet. Living as a typical African American is not natural for me–whatever that means! …probably because I didn’t grow up around many African Americans for one thing! …That’s like pretending to be a Filipino when I’ve also been told that I look like one as well!

    …For the record, I always here phrases like “Walk a mile in someone’s shoes…to learn their path or journey, etc.” …This is something that those of you who continue to shoot us down by your ignorance should take heed and try to remember that. You certainly don’t hesitate to inform the world about your plight in history and possibly even today….Biracials/Multiracials have their own plight and it isn’t fair to simply discredit our concerns simply because you don’t personally understand them from personal experience, but they are indeed valid, just as yours are as well. It’s about mutual respect at the end of the day–If any of you were raised with an ounce of decency, you were taught to respect other people, weren’t you?

    …One final note…In spite of all that I’ve said, I’m sure there will be someone that will be offended by my truth–which is indeed what it is….But I can’t worry about that…I won’t lose any sleep over it, because at the end of the day, I’ll still be me and there’s nothing anyone can do about that either! 🙂 lol


  44. I dislike the word African-American, other than Obama I know of no person (personally) that has a black parent FROM AFRICA! And if they do then these people and ONLY these people have a right to say African-American!

    Black Americans are either mixed with Native, Asian or white, East Indian or Oriental!! That they are decedents from Africa, the world knows that….

    Other than Multiracial or biracial people when you see a so called “light skinned black” there is something not kosher in their blood stream….lol

    And for all you uneducated blacks, there is also a such thing called “dark skinned whites” travel to Italy, Spain, Yugoslavia, Romania, Greece just to name a few country’s (that don’t have or believe in he one drop rule)!!

  45. Disclaimer: I have lived in Los Angeles for 8 years now, was born and raised in California suburbs with a very diverse population. Most of my family members and friends are some sort of mixed ethnic background. French, Spanish, Vietnamese, African American, Japanese, Fijian, Indonesian, Nigerian, East Indian, Mexican, Panamanian, Dutch, Italian, Armenian, Cherokee, Korean, Israeli, German…. the list goes on and on. I was raised with all of those cultures influencing my life to some degree or another. So my paradigm and experiences may or may not be relative to the reader.

    First of all; its common knowledge that RACE is just a social construct. It was created to be a divisive technique… and evidently its worked quite well. Whether or not one chooses to follow the masses and perpetuate those beliefs; its up to them. Ethnic heritage is quite different but for some reason far too many people in this country continue to uphold expired and irrelevant belief systems. This type of thinking simply hinders progress, equality and dims our focus on more important issues like healthcare and the environment.

    I myself have had quite a mixed bag (pardon the pun) of experiences when it comes to the identification of my ethnic background by others. People either loop me into the group of the people I’m with, or what they themselves are or I just get some off the wall responses. People have said that I look like the most random assortment of celebs… from a young Prince to Enrique Eglesias, to a young Pauly Shore (I think I look more like Adam Rodriguez or wouldn’t mind to be compared to a young Shemar Moore. But I’ll take any Hollywood comparison). In example; whenever I get a ticket for traffic violations… I never get the same letter in the race box. I’ve gotten, “L”, “A’, “M”, “H”, “B”, “W” and “O”. (I tend to curb traffic rules often.)

    I personally identify most with my Latino heritage, yet I do recognize my African-American, European and Native American backgrounds also. Its actually ironic because language and accent seem to be the only reason why anyone questions, “what I am”. If I spoke Spanish or had a Spanish accent; I would automatically be labeled, “Mexican/Cuban/Puerto Rican” and dealing with (more of) the type of discrimination issues that Latinos are dealt.

    Since I’m “part-black”, I also contend with and understand the type of issues that African-Americans deal with on a daily basis. I used to identify simply as “black” for a time in my life (pre-college) but many African-Americans flat out told me that I wasn’t and shouldn’t say that for whatever reason. Its frustrating but I’ve actually been overtly discriminated against by more African-Americans than I have by people of any other ethnic group in my short lifetime. I normally have to relate/create some form of mutual interest or experience before I’m accepted. Believe me, I’m not trying to lay the European/Caucasian population off the hook. In all honesty everyone knows that their (and some of my own) ancestors are the reason that racism itself is institutionalized in America. They are the reason this is even an issue in the first place.

    Skin color itself is such a funny issue to me. I don’t judge people based on their skin color or heritage. And I’m starting to feel that less people are as our familes and friends become more diverse. I’m the first to say that I DO base them on their non-genetic aesthetics, though. I might be, “Looksist”. For me I don’t care what your background is. Just have a good look going for yourself (nice clothes, cool hairstyle, skin texture and be fit) I guarantee you things will be 90% better than if you don’t. As they say, “If you’re hot. You’re hot”.

    To be honest, I don’t like simply being called, “Black”. And I HATE being referred to as being, “White/Half White” or any kind of “White”. But in reality you can call me whatever the hell you want to; I know what I am. I’m a man, I’m a person, I’m an American. I have a diverse genealogical background. I’m more of a golden bronze tone and have the perpetually perfect tan. So call me, “Gold”, “Caramel” or “Maple” if you want to identify me with a color in the crayon box.

    *Feel free to email me or check out my page at http://www.myspace.com/dannylinear if you want to discuss this further.

  46. I agree with you 100% in this point > “I’ve been discriminated against by more (ONLY) African-Americans than any other ethnic group”!!

    I don’t know why in America people keep saying Europeans!? They are white Americans and do not live up to their culture as Europeans! Europeans are not half as prejudice or discriminating like in White American!! I live in Europe and travel Europe!
    In Europe its more the nationality thing IF there is discrimination.

    The same for this African-American saying! They are Black-Americans! That they once originated from Africa, the world knows that. Here in Europe Africans LAUGH at black America…. for using this saying! They don’t know what it means to be AFRICAN and two just about every third black American has either Asian, native American, white or oriental in their genes!!!

    Not many like Obama can call them selfs African-American, his father is straight up African and his mom white American!!!

  47. It’s offensive to hear that we are not considered black. To me, I’m half black and half white and I don’t favor one side another. It’s racist to me if you believe that I’m not a beautiful black woman. Because I am. and I’m also a beautiful white woman. To say anything else displays lots of ignorance on being mixed. Its simple. And besides, in reality, race is non-existent, but rather a way the brain can categorize people–that’s psychology. Acting “white” or “black” is all in your heads. But personally, I prefer neutrality, that way I get to enjoy every individual that I can, it’s a waste to choose.

  48. I truly believe that people should identify with what ever they feel comfortable with, afterall they have to live with that not me. However I feel that its a pride thing and that maybe being mixed race is not something they fully embrace. I learned to embrace my race(s) and I’m inspiring more people to build pride as well. Yes, even so called white people can be Halfbreed…lets be honest, Irish/Italian mix is still a mixed race. So check out my FB fanpage at http://www.facebook.com/iammybrand or my online store at http://www.halfbreedclothingco.com wear a brand that really represents you “I Am, My Brand….RepYoSelf” Halfbreed Clothing Co.
    Rudy Tee the Halfbreed

  49. If some has a parent who is black and one who is white they are both black and white. They are two races that is what science says. There is no mulatto race because there is no mulatto gene with allelles specific to being bi-racial. Halle Berry is a beautiful bi-racial woman who identifies as black.

    I refer to myself as a multi-racial black. I’m mostly black but also have white, Native American and Asian. Oriental is not a race, but a region like America.

    My younger sisters mom is white. I consider them multi-racial like myself since our father is black and asian. My mom is black, white and Native American.

    I agree it is rude to go around telling people they cannot claim black. It is also rude for some black people to go around splitting hairs over who is blacker, those with no racial mixing or those who do. People are people at the end of the day.

    Black multi-racials come in all skin colors. Scientist have not figure out how the genes pick a color especially in multi-racial people. Everyone in my family is a different color and has their own distinct look and different textures of hair. The greater the racial diversity in a gene pool the greater the variety.

    Black people who chose to hold onto outdated and frankly misinformed thinking about skin color and hair do not help ease race tensions. At this point, we all know why some black people have a certain look or their hair has a certain look. Get over it and enjoy life and let them enjoy their lives.

    One last thing. Black people who insist on shopping for their hair care products in the ethnic section. Get a clue, you’ve been had by big business advertising. Many black people can use the same products as non-blacks.

  50. Race in America is a social construct, in most the U.S., mulattoes were classified as black : most children of mixed heritage (1 black and 1 white parent) until quite recently were born of black mothers. These people did and still consider themselves as black. If they and more recent people who have 1 parent who is not black wish to identify as black, they get no fight from me. In my thinking people of African ancestry in the Americas are part of the great diaspora and are welcome to claim their heritage. However, since, race is a social construct; choices have consequences for the individual and the race.

  51. I have to disagree on some of your statements…first being, I know A LOT of biracial women with white FATHERS who are more familiar with their white side. Secondly, just because somebody has a white mother rather then a black mother, does not mean they are more of one race or that they are “true white” or “true black”. What I mean is, just because a girl has a black mom does NOT mean she’s more black or that she is technically “allowed” to claim being just black. It doesn’t matter which parent is black and which one is white…as long as they are two different races…they ARE biracial! It’s similar when people say you are a “true Jew” if your mom is Jewish…which means they are technically “born Jewish”…that’s all BS. That’s just what it reminds me of. I agree with some things you said…but others, I kind of just thought to myself, “Oh gosh, not this bs again…”.

  52. @ Multi-racial, As a dark-skin black woman with two black parents, I choose the term African-American because that is where the majority of my ancestors originated from and I am proud of that. The fact that “true” Africans from Africa laugh at this notion is preposterous just as it is preposterous for black Americans to deny the authenticity of a bi-racial or multi-ethnic persons “blackness”. I do not care how you look, the genes do not lie. I don’t have to know a darn thing about being African to make my Africaness more genuine. Bottom line is that African-Americans and Africans do have common ancestors. Period.

    @ Danny, the idea you make about being referred to by your color seems divisive at best. Let me help clarify and breakdown this logic. As I mentioned before, I am a dark-skin African or black American woman. The father of my child is a very light complected African or black American man with natural green colored eyes. He has two black parents and appears to be what many people describe as Puerto Rican or bi-racial in appearance. My son is his spit image taking very little from my physical gene pool; thus, many people think my son is also “mixed” with something. It is common knowledge that the African-American/black race (if you believe in race) is fundamentally a mixed race considering the history. In all honesty, my son looks more “mixed” than some bi-racial people that I have met and I would be deeply offended if my child chose to highlight some dominant white gene he inherited from an unknown great-great grandfather way down the line just because of the way he looks. That would put a divide between me and the baby that I love so much based on color. If he ran around saying, “I’m tan mommie and you’re black” that would create a divide based on color. But it doesn’t, because we don’t sit around and focus on things as trivial as color. Light black or deep black, we do share similar experiences albiet different in some respects. Quite honestly, just the fact that we have to have a conversation about color, skin tone and hair texture actually PROVES the blackness of any and all bi-racial/multi-ethnic person because guess what? White people certainly don’t have conversations like this. And do you know why? It’s because to them, if you’re not “pure” white, then you are not like them. Case closed. Kathleen articulated this fact so eloquently earlier in this post.

    @ those of you who cannot seem to understand why the initiator of this post has an issue with Halle Berry being deemed the most beautiful black woman, I will try to break it down without being offensive while attempting to shed light to this issue. First, NO ONE is challenging the fact that Halle Berry is a beautiful woman. And I for one don’t see how she can identify with anything other than black because she appears more black than anything else. However, as a beautiful dark-skin black woman with nice features (and no, that does not mean non-black features) and velvet-like skin, I know what it feels like to become “invisible” in the presence of someone who is equally beautiful with non-black features. Mind you, I have been told that I look like a dark-skin version of Beyonce or compared to Naomi Campbell at times. Please believe me when I tell you that there are MANY who simply CANNOT appreciate black beauty unless it is diluted with something else. This reality was instigated by white people and is continuously perpetuated by black people; hence the terminology “good hair” (meaning curly hair w/out the kink or a silky texture), “pretty eyes” (meaning light-colored eyes) and “nice features” (meaning non-negroid features). And, I dare say most of you bi-racial/multi-ethnic women know EXACTLY what I’m talking about. And to your credit, I am sure many of you despise this intra-racial favoritism as I can imagine you get tired of black men salivating over your light skin, light colored eyes and “good hair” often not recognizing you for the person that you are. It would sicken me if I were in your shoes. That being said, you all cannot deny that the media prefers the bi-racial/multi-ethnic look particularly in portraying black women 9 times out of 10. Basically, what that trend is saying is that a black person cannot be beautiful in their own right, but must take on the slave master’s features in order to be acceptable. Please don’t shout me down, but really there is really no other logic behind this because beauty truly does exist in the black race in the deepest of hues and the kinkiest of hair textures. And, it really isn’t that rare as some will have you think that dark beauty is some strange, rare commodity. It is truly pathetic that black people are buying into these notions as well as is demonstrated by the phrase “you are pretty for a dark skinned girl”. That is truth.

  53. @ Mixed Chick Who REALLY Is Mixed “Not Just Black” and to those of you who insist that acting black is somehow related to soulful music, gyration in the form of dancing, growing up in the hood and a lack of a formal education, you are WOEFULLY mistaken.

    Source: Dark-skin, socially aware black woman working toward Master’s degree currently. Comes from a single-parent household where BOTH parents held multiple Master’s degrees and one PhD. Even though my skin is undeniably BLACK, I have no idea of this “black lifestyle” that some of you keep referring to as the “common or typical black experience”. Furthermore, there are MANY more like me. Please do yourself a favor and don’t buy into stereotypes as I’m sure you’d find over-generalized stereotypes about yourself highly offensive as well.

    My final thought on this subject is to the bi-racials/multi-ethnics who have a problem with the black part of themselves (whether you admit it or not). Please remember that you would not exist without that plain ‘ole “just black” parent or grandparent that played a MAJOR part in your creation. Kind of reminds me of the movie “Imitation of Life”, a story about a tragic-mulatto who despised her black Aunt Jemima-ish mother. How sad and pathetic. You should see it if you haven’t already done so.

  54. @ Danny I could not transmit your statement better! We have a lot of similarities and I feel the same way, much truth in your statements!

    @ Onyx you seem to have some serious issues? Like you stated “Genes do not lie” point blank! It must really bother you that your son inherited from an unknown great-great grandfather or grandmother his extraordinary looks!?

    Guess what? White people certainly do have conversations like this at least in Europe. And do you know why? Like your son there are whites with black features (either they have nappy (real kinky) hair etc… GENES DO NOT LIE!

    One more thing Onyx, I find these women are true black beauty’s and represent
    BLACKNESS: beverly peele, lek wek, Iman, Naomi Sims, Roshumba Williams, just to name a few AND not wash down women like Halle Berry, Vanessa Williams, Alicia Keys, Salli Richardson <<< these are beautiful mixed women SORRY but IF it weren't for their one white or black parent they would not have the beauty they have cased closed!

  55. @Onyx …It boils down to stereotypes….that’s for certain….We are all guilty of it…you and I both, as well as others, possibly everyone….at one time or another….

    Because I wasn’t born or raised in the African American community, there wouldn’t be any other point of reference for me to draw from when considering what it means to be black in America, as I’m sure it would be the case for you and others in your views of mulatto people …or women (i.e., they are stuck up; they think they’re better than regular black folks, etc.) ….You see? …It works both ways….

    This should be a reminder for all concerned that we should take the time to learn who the other person is all about before jumping to the first negative conclusion….

    So when I say that I am only aware of my Latin/Caribbean culture–this is not to be perceived as though “I’m running from my ‘blackness'” or that “I’m ashamed to be ‘black'” …These are the sort of comments that I get from clueless African Americans…so at the end of the day, What do you expect a person in my position to conclude?

    No…I’m certainly not ashamed of my so-called ‘blackness’ (whatever that means)…. I’m happy to tell anyone who wants to sincerely know….I’m happy to elaborate that I am mixed….I’m proud of my multiracial heritage….That shouldn’t be misconstrued that ‘I’m ashamed of being black’….Just because I don’t call myself ‘just black only’….Just because some mulattos call themselves black exclusively, doesn’t mean that all of us do and we shouldn’t be ridiculed by other blacks because of it….

    By that mentality, if everyone jumped off of a cliff to their deaths, does that mean there’s something wrong with me because I don’t choose to follow the crowd? I’m proud to be unique and to be my own person…if that makes me ‘better than others’….so be it! I won’t compromise who I am for no one…no one owns me….I own myself and my family loves me–all the multiracial people in my family (white, black, asian, etc.), which is all that matters at the end of the day!

  56. @ Mixed Chick Who Is REALLY Mixed–Not “Just Black!” wonderfully put I agree with you 100%…..

    @ Onyx you say you choose: the term African-American because that is where the majority of your ancestors originated from……Africa is a continent not a race! Why don’t you start by tracing your roots back to which country in Africa you ancestors came from then you can be more specific then just saying African, Egyptians are also from Africa…. I personally don’t know any African that runs around saying I’m African. They will tell you exactly where in this continent they are from be it Nigerian, Swahili, Ghana, Angola, Namibia!

    Again you say: we would not exist without that plain ‘ole “just black” parent or grandparent you know something if it weren’t for my white parent and the Native in my black parent I damn sure would not look the way I do :))

  57. hey there and thank you on your info ? I have definitely picked up anything new from proper here. I did on the other hand experience several technical points the use of this site, as I experienced to reload the website lots of occasions prior to I could get it to load properly. I had been puzzling over in case your web hosting is OK? Not that I’m complaining, but slow loading instances instances will very frequently affect your placement in google and could injury your high quality rating if ads and marketing with Adwords. Well I am adding this RSS to my e-mail and can glance out for a lot more of your respective intriguing content. Make sure you update this once more soon..

  58. I feel very sorry for you growing up in a culture where you become obsessed with other people’s colour and their interior motives for identifying with whatever culture they want.
    That is every person’s choice
    You cannot further label and oppress people simply becuase it makes you feel uneasy.
    You can’t say, oh your mother is white so you’re not black. Neither can you say, she is not white.
    That is someone’s child.
    Who someone has loved and brought into this world.

    Shame on you.

    I don’t care if you call yourself 100% black or green.

    You will have to look deep in your heart and find where your anger truly comes from instead of attacking other groups of people.

    If you’re a Christian or someone of faith I sincerely hope you pray on this and for yourself.

    God made everyone, you will waste many years of your life if you don’t realise this.
    Years you could’ve been enjoying your life with friends of all colours.

    All woman are beautiful, it’s what’s in the mind that counts.

    Clear your mind and your heart.

  59. I just came across your blog and this topic. It reminded me of a story I heard from a wise man. There were some tourists traveling along a countryside in Italy..they were on a bus and each person was arguing about who the smartest person on the bus was. They were so busy arguing that they completely missed the best part of the scenic journey in Italy. Bottom line we are focused on the wrong thing. What does it matter what race we choose identify with? Enjoy the journey the trip is very short.

  60. chopped off at the chin — such a dumb mistake to What could have been a very lovely photo of Haley Berry

  61. There isn’t even a word for how offensives this is. It just goes to show how ignorant and racist the black community can be. No one is allowed to tell me who or what I am, regardless of what color my mother is. I wonder if its ever occcured to any of these posters that THEY might be the reason that “not-black-enough” women with white mothers can’t be part of the black community.

  62. This artcle is silly! everyone in the world is mixed with various DNA, color is not a race!!! there is no such thing as race! only ethnicity. Biological we are all a bowl of stew!!

  63. I have a white mother and a black father and i call myself black sometimes. I think its perfectly fine to call myself black. Im not saying in all black but i do have some black in me so i think i deserve the right to call myself black.(I also call myself white to) I find theres nothing wrong with it,

  64. Honestly , Right now I have little respect for you just because your so called full “black” you have the right to say this ? No , you don’t know how we feel at all your not mullato and yeah some of us haft to deal with the fact that we’re not accepted by our white side of the family . I myself don’t like the tiltle black , just simply because i’m not yeah we don’t “deserve” to be called that but have you ever thought about if we like to be called that ? Well i don’t and yeah I go around when people ask me what I am I say i’m mixed because I am I honestely don’t think that it’s necessary for me to haft to sit their and name out the 6 different things i’m mixed with every time . So if America wants to say that she’s the prettiest black woman than she deserves it don’t hate grow up lets be serious if you don’t like it than take it up with someone else because unlike you us mullato’s don’t like being called black it’s offensive .

  65. Hey aliyah1029, I agree with you 100% Im multi racial my self German/white mom, Black/Native American dad! We are 4 siblings and all look like latino/a or Native American (you cant see the blackness in us)! I personally was never accepted in the black community and dont want to belong. We were brought up more German and thats where I live now……

  66. It’s been a while since I’ve commented, but I’ve read some recent comments that made me think about why I, myself, don’t like the label of simply ‘black’ or ‘African American’ for myself.

    I have an ambiguous look, which almost always leaves people guessing/wondering. Because I was raised Latin, with a Latin surname, most people don’t bother asking. Every now and then I’ll meet someone who is curious and will ask “What are you?”, which is a question I can’t stand–it just seems so offensive to ask someone WHAT are you? like if you’re not human or something…After getting that question, it already changes my mood and makes me look at that person differently. I realize they could just be curious and it could be perfectly normal to be curious and they may not mean anything by it, but if they phrased the question differently, that would make all the difference in the world…Showing that you have manners certainly makes a difference! ….Just think before opening your mouth.

    I recall one time I met a black girl at my job, who was a new intern and one of the first things she says to me is “Are you black? …Cause you look it!” …Not, “Hi” or “My name is ____ and your name is?” or something with some damn manners! …Just …”Are you Black?….Cause you look it!” ….I can’t stand rudeness. And clearly my appearance is subjective to different people. I’ve met people who thought I was Filipino, Italian, Indonesian, Hawaiian, mostly Latin, and of course mixed black, because you certainly won’t assume that I’m full black, so it’s usually “What are you mixed with?” after the black question & answer. Sometimes it just feels like you’re put on the spot with 20 questions and it gets to be annoying….Thank goodness most people I meet know how to be cordial and polite, with an education and don’t come off like they just came out of the hood or ghetto!

    Being Latin with African ancestry, we certainly acknowledge our African ancestry, it’s just not something that we put FIRST in who we are like typical black Americans, because our culture and lifestyle doesn’t revolve around the typical ‘black experience’…being partly black is just that PART…not the whole enchilada! When I wake up every morning I don’t think of myself as a ‘black woman’. When I look in the mirror, I don’t see an “African American or black” woman. Heck, I’m lighter than many of the so-called ‘white’ people I work with and meet daily! I have cousins who are even ‘whiter’ than me, with blonde hair and green eyes, etc. My whole family is multi-racial because we came from the Latin Caribbean. We’re not native to this country, which is another reason why we don’t follow the out-dated one drop rule–it doesn’t apply to us. It shouldn’t apply to anyone since it is not a law anymore!

    My existence doesn’t revolve around the black or African American experience. I don’t listen to R&B or watch black shows or buy black products, per say. This is not a deliberate thing, it just doesn’t cross my mind. When I first heard of hair relaxer, it was introduced to me by a fellow Mexican American (Chicana) friend I went to school with! They sell them for other people besides blacks, you know. The box, I remember has a white lady on the front with long hair. I think it’s called CURL FREE or something like that, it comes with a pink comb in the box. I don’t even know if they still sell it anymore…I don’t even do that to my hair anymore. My cousins used to tell me “Why do you relax your hair? …You don’t need it!” …And besides, it damages your hair, which is why I don’t do it anymore!

    Mexicans don’t think of themselves as White either! Growing up around Mexican Americans, I never identified with Whites either. I never wanted to be White….nor did I have the desire to assimilate to blacks, per say. Being a Latin is all I know all of my life and it’s the only designation that I can relate to. This is why I don’t like being called black or African American….And I don’t like being called white or ‘white girl’ either. I find that equally offensive. I’ve been called both. I prefer mixed, mulatto or simply Hispanic, or Latina….those are the truest and most authentic labels that I can associate myself with.

    For those who don’t accept that, don’t have to live my life or walk in my shoes, so it shouldn’t matter to them anyway, so why do some people get concerned? This is what makes me curious. Why do you care? It’s MY LIFE, not yours! It’s funny how certain Americans concerned themselves over this topic. …Funny, I don’t give a crap about anyone else’s heritage! You can call yourself purple & green from the planet Mars…So What! I don’t care! lol 🙂 I’m not responsible to you or anyone else on how I live my life. It’s not my responsibility to represent for the blacks of America…I don’t even think of the whites! …Why would I want that burden or pressure!? I don’t care if I’m not ‘black enough’ or ‘white enough’…So what! It doesn’t matter in my life and it will never concern me or cause me to lose any sleep! …If I represent anything at all, I represent myself, my family and those of mixed race who come from the Latin Caribbean….that’s it!

    if this offends you, you are the one with the problem. Not me, I’m fine, just the way that I am and I can only hope that you find something else to worry about, because there are far more important things in the world to worry about, I can assure you of this! 🙂

  67. Race Reality

    As black people, it’s time to move on from this issue. Real black people shouldn’t have to put up with half-black individuals using our race as a meal ticket. The ODR was created by whitemen, It’s Anti-Black! I see biracials as tools of white supremacy. Non-Blacks will always use half-breeds to pollute the black race, which is the crux of the issue. Anglos and Asians see biracials as a means to embed themselves in the black race. No accident that Chinese nationals are marrying Nigerian women. The blasian offspring of such unions will embed their footprint in Africa. Black people should not support mixing with non-blacks, we’re punking ourselves for other races…Bottomline!


  68. Clearly, we aren’t going to solve this issue or get a consensus this side of Heaven. We are shaped by our experiences…..that seems to be the bottom line in all these comments posted here. My husband and I are White, our sons are Black. I should qualify that by saying they are AMERICAN Black, and there are several bloodlines represented in their ethnicity.

    When I am amongst White people I have often heard racist remarks directed toward people of color. The assumption (until I correct them) is that ‘we’ Whites still see Blacks as inferior, ‘less than’, other. This is the harsh truth, and I hate it! We are shaped by where we grew up, who our parents were, what our faith is, etc.

    That being said, I use a bottom-line litmus test when dealing with topics like racism, classism, etc.Being a follower of Jesus, it all boils down to the fact that we were created in the image of God. God makes no distinction between ethnicities, nor does He prefer one skin tone over another. I therefore believe it is arrogant and blind of us to do so. God never forbids His people to marry someone whose skin tone isn’t the same as theirs. His one criteria is that His people are not to marry non-believers. It’s not a ‘hate’ thing……rather, He knows the battleground that will exist in a home where hearts and loyalties are divided over faith.

    In a perfect world there would be no hatred, because that’s exactly what racism is. It’s hating people who are created in the image of God and feeling superior to them based on man made ideas. History has proven that the only way to change a person’s hard heart is to kill them with kindness. The most venomous bigot can no longer spout their hatred once they have a friend from the group they hated. God is right! Love is stronger than sin! We disarm people when we meet their vitriol with love. They WANT us to fight them and be ugly, which then justifies them escalating the problem and feeling justified for their bigotry. I am called to lay down my life for my Jesus. This means emptying myself of self and letting Him live in me. When we do this, our hearts hurt when we see people behaving hatefully toward others. It’s impossible NOT to love everyone we come into contact with.

    Our little family works as ambassadors in a world where some people have never actually had a friend from a different ethnicity. This disarms them and forces them to look at their former beliefs and realize the error of their ways. Look at Ghandi and Martin Luther King, Jr. They didn’t get into shouting matches with their opponents. Rather, they used NON-VIOLENCE as their weapon against the haters in this world. They knew the power in it!!! We can learn a lesson from those of noble character who’ve gone before us. We have to WANT to change if we hide bigotry in our hearts

    As a closing note, I want to point out that the term ‘race’ is something Darwin promoted. It allowed him to ‘grade’ people based on ethnicity and skin color (supposedly, the darker your skin color, the closer you are to the apes).. It actually perpetuates division among humans. We are of ONE RACE…..the Human Race. We have a rich diversity within our race, but we are one! There’s a very intelligent, funny man named Ken Hamm who has a theory as to WHY we even have different skin tones in humans. It’s worth watching on YouTube…..It’s worth listening to! For my part, it seems absolute common sense the way he puts it. Basically, early in Man’s history there was a dispersal of humans to different lands. The traits of the husband and wife in a certain locale would dominate and perpetuate, leading to those differences. I can’t begin to express it as eloquently as Ken Hamm, so look into 1 Corinthians 13

    New International Version (NIV)

    13 If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.

    4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

    8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

    13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

  69. wow! thank you so much for sharing all of this. for being willing to tell us what goes on behind closed (white) doors. for breaking down the darwinian bullshit for us! all of it. thank you!!

  70. Why would being darker mean being close to apes, when apes have white skin? Apes have thin lips, light brown eyes, straight hair, and white skin under that hair. The only thing they have in common with blacks is the shape of the nose.

  71. It’s been a long time since I commented on this, but I wanted to add that some Black people need to ask themselves why they resent mixed folks so much.
    I hear a lot of talk about “colorism” lately. What’s interesting to me is that it’s not mixed people who promote this in general…we are not the ones saying we are better than others.

    But a lot of Black people seem to hold this opinion that we feel we are better, and they mistreat us based on that assumption.
    I know my comment is rather late (almost 7 years late!) But I feel compelled to talk about it because it’s still an issue.
    To the people above who left nasty comments…I feel sorry for you. There was a time when I might have been mad at you, but now I just find it sad.
    It’s sad because y’all have so much hate towards those of us with a bit more white ancestry or lighter skin than you.

    Again, I ask you to look deep within and learn to love yourselves. Because if you loved yourselves, you wouldn’t have a problem with mixed people.
    I am a VERY light-skinned mixed woman who doesn’t have a problem with anyone. Yet I often meet people who dislike me simply at first sight.
    I can’t help it if my skin is light. I can’t help it if I look different. Nor should anyone expect me to feel guilty or apologize for what I look like, who I am, or anything else.

    As to Halle Berry…she is both black AND white. If she wants to call herself a Black woman, that’s her business.
    What trips me out is that if she didn’t identify with that part of herself, most Black people would then accuse her of “denying” who she is.
    But if she identifies with being Black, the same folks want to complain that “oh, her mom is white, she’s not really one of us”.
    It seems like we can’t win with y’all. It was the same deal with Vanessa Williams back in the 80’s.
    She has two parents that identify as Black, but she herself is very light with blond hair and blue eyes.
    Back then, you had Black people who complained that she wasn’t a REAL Black woman. Never mind that she has always been proud of who she is…smart, talented, attractive.

    Nope…you guys reject us based on our white ancestry and what we look like. You mock us, bully us, call us horrible names like a white supremacist would (except that some Black people are also the ones doing this).
    And then if a mixed person decides to identify as anything but black, or not ONLY as black, you hate us for that too.

    To the woman who stated above that she feels “invisible” when a light-skinned/mixed woman walks into the room…I’m sorry you feel that way.
    Believe it or not, I have felt that way too, and I am light-skinned. I also understand your point about how darker women are sometimes overlooked in terms of beauty.
    But you know what? There have also been times in my life where people couldn’t see my beauty either.
    I was called ugly, considered too “white” for black people, too “black” for white people. When you feel resentment towards a woman lighter than you, please consider that she may have her own struggles and her life may be just as hard as yours.

    I grew up in a family that treated me as an oddity because I didn’t look like my brown-skinned cousins.
    I was the “white girl” and they tormented me because of it. I had an aunt who (although I loved her) could be cruel at times…same with my abusive stepfather.
    My light/white skin and white features were a reminder to some people that I’m not fully black (despite them trying to constantly push me into that box). I say this not for sympathy, but to help people understand what many of us “mulattos” deal with, and not just from whites but from those in the Black community.

    This is why I still respect Tiffany’s brave work on this subject all these years later.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s