Biracial and Multiracial black people: Are those considered a race?

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KinkyKeeper, the problem is writing race on a birth certificate in the first place. How is adding more options to write in solving that basic problem?

I think the point of the in law analogy was not to say that all Blacks accept all other Blacks as their in-laws, but to say that there is little chance of having community and unity between people just because they claim they are multiracial. SOME may, but for some, the differences will be just as great as with others of "one race" regardless of whether or not society accepts people labelling as mixed-race.

I think there is no such thing as a "simple, proven definition" and even "has parents of different races" gets muddy very quickly.

I find many of the websites you listed to be either offensive or living in fantasy land or both.
Originally Posted by Amneris

Any racial definition can become complicated or muddy, Who is Black certainly has (as evidenced by this thread). I just meant to point out that Who is Black? is complicated, so Who is Multiracial? being complicated shouldn't be a reason why people should only call themselves Black.

And I suppose your view of the websites I posted being fantasy is a common thing we can't agree on. Again and again it's become evident the main argument is what you see as fantasy is mine (and others) reality. And I am sorry that any of the websites I posted offended you, all of them are only websites/forums/organizations that support a racially mixed identity and fight for the protection of rights of racially Mixed people.

So, rather than upholding Malcolm X as some "gold standard" for how the mixed race, part or half black person should live their life and self-identify, I think he should be seen in this context of his own personal family history.
Originally Posted by love yourself first
You do understand that if people like Malcolm X and Martin Luther King had centered their message more on, "Well, I'm not really black, but stop treating black people so bad, mkay" we would not have the rights we have now.

The strength of the Civil Rights movement and then the Black Power movement after it was that people became PROUD to be black - white society had succeeding in shaming black americans into thinking their was something wrong with blackness. When all kinds of people, white, black, yellow, and brown stood up to say, "I'm black and I'm proud" things changed because blackness was less stigmatized.

You can't have "partially" black people claim they would like to move away from being called black because it doesn't define them and still convince society that there is nothing wrong with being black. It just doesn't work that way. People will look at your actions and not the protestations of "But I love my black side too though" that is half-heartedly coming out of your mouth.

This does not negate anyone's right to say and label as they feel though. I feel very strongly that if the black community can't embrace all people of it's own race first, there's no way we will ever filter cohesively into societies' majority.
Originally Posted by Xyz
Exactly. Most of what has been said about the reasons for identifying as biracial or multiracial is about the personal and people wanting to show love for their family, etc. No one is saying not to do that. But when it comes to politics, why do your personal feelings about your roots prevent you from standing up as a Black person for Black people to honour that part of yourself that is Black?

IF I saw all these people so busy with their multiracial blogs and surveys and history months doing that, I might buy that it was just about self-identification.

Also, for those who say it's a "unique" experience to have parents of two races: couldn't you say that it would be a similar experience to have, say, a Black Muslim father born in Nigeria and a Black Catholic mother born in Guyana? Or a white Protestant mother born in Ireland and a white Jewish father born in Israel? You might as well go and build community with them, too.
Originally Posted by Amneris
I don't think MLK and Malcolm had to "center" their message around being mixed. That is something we have to disagree on.

Just like we will have to disagree that when people embrace a mixed identity they are moving further from being Black and can't also fight for Black rights and be just as effective. I see them saying they are not just Black as just reality, people knew Malcolm X was not full Black by uh..looking at him. I don't think if he had accepted that openly it would have been an affirmation that something is wrong with being Black. It was just who he was, and our racial backgrounds should not have assumptions attached. "If you specify or even acknowledge you are not unmixed Black, if you aren't, you are saying there is something wrong with being Black." I don't think it helped the Black cuase denying that Whiteness by only calling himself Black. I'm sure there are plenty of Multiracial activists today who also fight for Black rights and are effective.

So, rather than upholding Malcolm X as some "gold standard" for how the mixed race, part or half black person should live their life and self-identify, I think he should be seen in this context of his own personal family history.
Originally Posted by love yourself first
Originally Posted by Xyz
AND... there would not be these opportunities for people to be in loving, mutual, non-coerced interracial marriages supported by their families if it were not for the efforts of civil rights activists and Black Power to de-criminalize and normalize interracial relationships and to take away the stigma of Blackness and integrate public places so more diverse people had the chance to meet. So if you are the product of an interracial relationship or are in one in the US, or other countries as well, you can thank historical figures who identified as BLACK for the privilege.
Originally Posted by Amneris
And I do thank them, I just don't think having to stay in the mindsets of racism that they themselves fought against is the best way to honor them.

Yes, I recognize all of that because I know american history including the abolitionist and civil rights movements. I am also aware of the importance of sufragettes and people who fought against anti-asian property laws in CA, biased immigration policy, operation wet.back, internment of the japanese, etc.. The more that all of us acknowledge and know this history, the better. Howard Zinn is an excellent place to start.

But, we are no longer being snuck through the underground railroad or conducting major protest marches. Even black people with two african-american or two west-indian or two african parents are not doing this. So, why is the burden and expectation placed on the mixed, part or half black person to hail back to the olden days and old methods when the rest of the community is hardly doing the same. Is it because it doesn't seem fair that some of us have a non-black heritage and culture and mixed or blended/ambiguous appearance? Is it because of a fear or resentment that we will be or are treated better than other black people without the mixed parentage (not great great great grand relatives, but a biological parent who raised you and stamped you). If those are the concerns, then you (gy) need to get over it. The reality reflects a post-slavery, post-civil rights movement and more liberated era. We could all stand to adjust to this new era instead of imposing tactics and expectactions (selectively) that no longer fit our culture and society, not to mention the diversity within and among the diaspora of african-descended people.
Originally Posted by love yourself first

Excellent post.


My Fotki


AND... there would not be these opportunities for people to be in loving, mutual, non-coerced interracial marriages supported by their families if it were not for the efforts of civil rights activists and Black Power to de-criminalize and normalize interracial relationships and to take away the stigma of Blackness and integrate public places so more diverse people had the chance to meet. So if you are the product of an interracial relationship or are in one in the US, or other countries as well, you can thank historical figures who identified as BLACK for the privilege.
Originally Posted by Amneris
And I do thank them, I just don't think having to stay in the mindsets of racism that they themselves fought against is the best way to honor them.
Originally Posted by KinkyKeeper
Yes, this.
"Great minds discuss ideas; Average minds discuss events; Small minds discuss people."

"I think that somehow, we learn who we really are and then we live with that decision."
- Eleanor Roosevelt (both quotes)

(taking a break from posting starting late august 2009)

I really don't believe us yet to be in a liberated era, either...
Originally Posted by Amneris
I said "more liberated" in reference to the days of Malcolm X. This can't be denied with blacks in national office and in the judiciary in major positions of power in the US (setting aside world figures like Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu).

And all those images of american black people and black people in other countries weeping at the sight of President Barack Obama being sworn in to lead this country? (after it had been run into the ground for 8 incredibly long years). I beg to differ that we are not in a "more liberated" time and place than when Malcolm X was alive. It's just not true.

That President Obama has biological parents who are white and black ties him in a sense to this thread. Yet, he is black-identified with an african-american spouse and mostly black children by way of genetics. Those are his choices, which I respect. But not everyone of his background would make the same choices of self-identification and spouse (I think his own extended family may demonstrate this). And that diversity of choice is and should be fine too.
"Great minds discuss ideas; Average minds discuss events; Small minds discuss people."

"I think that somehow, we learn who we really are and then we live with that decision."
- Eleanor Roosevelt (both quotes)

(taking a break from posting starting late august 2009)
And how I see this is there are a lot of things Black and part Black people couldn't do 50 years ago, and we have moved past most of them. So I find it so bewildering how now that we can have the opportunity to accept our non-Black heritages (something they were told they couldn't just as much as they were told they couldn't sit at that counter) it is seen as a betrayal or something to the people who fought for our rights (which to me seems obvious one of which was the right to consider yourself Non-Black if you want) when almost nothing is. Are you still picking cotton, sitting on the back of the bus, coming in through the back of buildings? Unless you are still doing things, how is it more honoring to those heros to accept some of the rights they fought for and not others?
Originally Posted by KinkyKeeper
I understand that because of their struggle, I have more liberties to call myself whatever I want. But it is because of their struggle that I use that right to call myself black. They set an example for me that progress is made by facing the things that people tell you are ugly about you and embracing them.
Originally Posted by Xyz
I do agree with this. This is why I choose to continue to embrace the word nappy (and Mulatto) as well as my nappy texture. It's never the label or phenotype which many people get confused about and try to hide from their blackness by other labels or skin bleaching/hair straightening (which is apparently common in some countries). As Dumbledore would say "Fear of a word only increases fear of the thing itself".

I certainly didn't mean to imply that
calling myself Multiracial is about "not facing my Blackness" and I think that's another crux of our disagreement. I think of it as accepting who I am, just like the people who choose the label Black, if accepting who I am does have societal repercussions that shouldn't be mine or anybody's responsiblity.

And FOR ME, accepting Multiracial, once I evaluated and added up my life experiences, IS accepting the thing about myself people have told me is ugliest (or my Mixedness worsened the blow for whatever reason if they were hating on my Blackness). And I imagine it's the same for others.

That stereotypically black female image that people have in their mind, I love when people destroy that image by looking every which way a human being can possibly look. Because "black" comes in all shapes, sizes, and colors and I want the world to recognize that so that they can get that the concept of race is outdated and nonsensical, not just the labeling.
Originally Posted by Xyx
I do hear what you are saying. "If someone sees the person they have been talking to is that angry Black woman but they didn't know it and they were interacting with that person this whole time" they might have to rethink their racism. I disagree becuase I don't think that "The Angry Black Woman" stereotype is about looks/labels, it's about the racism. And racism exists beyond phenotypes. I have known people who just mentally attributed Mixed people's (or Black people for that matter) "goodness" to their Whiteness. I once heard someone trying to estimate how much White blood Michelle Obama had in her and ending up the result that it must be a lot becuase of how educated she is and she in no way identifies as Multiracial or Non-Black or looks "non-Black". But of course the instant she acts up (if she does so) she is back to being an "Angry Black woman". People have all kind of crazy ideas and stereotypes associated with what being Black or part Black means (in some countries it's about being poor, not skin color) I can't allow it to stop me from being who I am and calling myself so. It's certainly tempting to be able to say "I'm Black" when people attribute my hair growth to my mixedness and see their jaw drop but that's their ignorance and I shouldn't have to pander to it. And that's where I am coming from.

Again I don't think the burden should be put on people's identity to erase racism, just like there are people who expect Biracials are going to bridge the gap between Whites and Blacks. I don't put that burden on them, they are just who they are. If people choose to see them and realize it's possible to be Black AND White simultaneously than that's cool and thus realize race doesn't exist, if they choose to dedicate their lives to using their duality to mediate between Blacks and Whites, that's their choice. But it shouldn't be what their identity is for, their identity is who they are.

Just like in the "Intimidating black people" thread, some people will accept the concept of white privilege and some people will insist that because a black man banged on their car window and scared them, there is significant racist against white people and white privilege can't be their main focus. In a similar way in this thread, even if we talk until we are blue in the face about the plight of black people and how disunity amongst the race hurts our attempts to lessen our plight, individuals are still going to insist on their own individual problems or the problems of a smaller group. It is of course, everyone's right to see the world how they want, I just think if we spend a little more time looking at who really suffers in the world, it's usually the poorest, darkest, most marginalized and to pretend that we don't see that shows a lack of social awareness.
Originally Posted by Xyz
I can see how that would be your take on what Multiracial people are trying to do seeing as how you are coming from the view of what a Multiracial identity will affect Blacks or the Black community.


My Fotki
Biracial means you have two races. Multiracial means you have two or more. It doesn't mean black and white only. I don't know why this is so confusing for people.

People can ID as they want, but if you want to follow the slave era one drop rule so be it. But don't force that view on people who don't. I will never follow one droppism.
Originally Posted by BekkaPoo
I think that this is problematic for me because most Blacks living in North America have white blood and are therefore "biracial" and probably also have aboriginal blood, therefore "multiracial." Many Mediterranean people have African and Arab blood. Most so-called Hispanics are "multiracial." I think everyone is multiracial and practically no one is simply biracial, but the terms are applied to people whose parents or grandparents look significantly different.

(I agree, if people want to call themselves that, feel free, but to me, one-dropism is still very much a social factor whether we like it or not, and SOME people think by labelling themselves a certain way, they can escape the worst of racism. Barack Obama is still the first Black president - Tiger Woods is still treated as a Black golfer - Malcolm X, Bob Marley, Langston Hughes, W. E. B. duBois, Frederick Douglass etc. were all great Black persons and did not see themselves or were not seen as biracial or multiracial for the most part. Also, I forgot to mention that identity is fluid - people may self-identify one way one time and another way another time. I myself consider myself Black but also recognize I'm multiracial, and don't see the two as mutually exclusive.)
Originally Posted by Amneris
HALLELUJAH!!!!!!!!!
I am usually expected to have to say 'Biracial' because no one initially views me as an African american woman. So it's just easier. Even if it wasn't, I'm proud to be biracial, I refuse to identify as anything else, or accept anyone else's identification. To address the OP though, that guy was rude.
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Last edited by MysticSpiral; 05-22-2010 at 06:42 PM.
Lady Fand of the Joy Filled Summer Skys in the Order of the Curly Crusaders!
KNEEL BEFORE ZOD!
I was like.......

WHO THE **** RESURRECTED THIS THREAD?!
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"
AllPeople.. you're trolling. I appreciate what you're trying to do, but you post the same message everywhere (on multiple forums) and it's only ever about this one subject of "light-skinned black people". I don't think you're going to recruit many people to your "cause" this way. It certainly doesn't make me want to see anything else you have to say on your yahoo group.
Amneris, teejay, *Marah* and 1 others like this.
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Though I do get annoyed when people who aren't fully something will simply say that they are. If you are a mix, say so, its pretty simple. I guess people like being associated with something.

I don't usually post in these kinds of threads because I think they can become hurtful. I can't see your opinions on YouTube on my phone but I'm one of these people who is mixed but just says I'm black.

People ask my ethnic background all the time and I just say I'm black because I don't have time to explain my mix. My mother is of mixed race but its not easy to explain, as people then ask what she's mixed with. There are no 'black' people on my mothers side of the family for centuries but she is a 'Cape Coloured South African' so she is mixed, but with what?! Its hard to specify. They are mixed race people who are not 'half' of anything. Some of them look 'black' and others, like my mum, don't. They are still all of the same 'race'. Hard to explain; the labelling does come to down to the apartheid and segregation.

I just find it easier to say I'm black. If I have time to explain my family tree, then I will. But I rarely have time. It doesn't mean I do not identify with both sides (or the multitudes of sides) that make me.

Also, I often get people rolling their eyes if I try to explain my mix. It's as if they think I'm clutching at straws to try and be 'less black', which I would never do. (I have come across many people, especially in my younger years, who feel the less 'black' you are, the more attractive you are and I never want people to think that I feel this way) So to avoid confrontation, debate or confusion, I say I'm black.
Sorry guys, the first paragraph of my post was a quote. Sorry of I've confused anyone!

Using curl talk on my phone isn't always easy!
HAHAHA I almost read through and responded to this thread...then realized it was hella old and a troll was a work. Nice attempt though, it's certainly a firestarter.
race exists in the united states but it is based in racism not biology.
i'd like to see any discussion about race always in the direction to get rid of racial categories and classifications not toward adding even more.

love the zombie thread pic!

Last edited by frau; 11-26-2011 at 12:47 PM.

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