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

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okay how come white people don't get the white polish the white german the white italian, white american? you know what i mean??
Originally Posted by turtles
I personally look at those as nations and/or cultures. I don't think Poles, Germans, Italians or Americans come in any particular race. I know plenty of people who are German and Italian who are not white but are also strongly culturally German or Italian. I think race and culture and nationality are being confused in this discussion - while they often go together, in terms of identity, they're separate things altogether. A person born in Germany with one parent who comes from, say, Jamaica and is of African descent and one who is from England and is considered to be white could be culturally German, with strong ethnic/cultural influences of England and Jamaica, and be of mixed race, but also be Black as well if they so choose.
Get used to me. Black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours; my religion, not yours; my goals, my own; get used to me. -Muhammad Ali











However, if they ONLY call themself biracial, I personally think they are just adding confusion and not unity.
Originally Posted by Amneris
But, Amneris, for the self-identified biracial person with 1 black parent, the bi-racial self-identification NECESSARILY INCLUDES the black parent. That's a no brainer, and I can't see it as being confusing. I also don't see why that person has to say, "I am black, but also [insert the other parents race]." I know that race prejudice is virulent against black people and there is a lot of ugliness and wounds. But I don't think the answer to that ugliness and those wounds is to make every bi-racial person with black ancestry have to proclaim their blackness over other heritage/background and culture.

But we can certainly agree to disagree.
"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 admit that I didn't yet read past page 2.

I agree with Uhura's comment that race is what other people see you as. IMO, how you define your race will be a mixture of how others around you view you and the dominant culture that you identify with.

Imo, multiracial defines someone who is predominantly of mixed race. A person who is 1/16th white, but everything else is black or the reverse is not predominantly multiracial. However, I do realize that there are people whose looks don't reflect all of their ancestry.

Personally, I identify as mixed race or multiracial. I always have, even though now many of my family members don't identify the same way as I do. My family has changed its racial identification throughout the years.

I identify that way because I grew up in a culture and family that accepted all of those parts of me, and also because I don't look like one thing or the other. Depending on the day and the people, I could be and look like many nationalities and mixtures. I don't identify as solely black because I am not and I don't look like I am. I've also never felt this urge to try hard to fit into the black community. There have been times when people have identified me as only black, but those times are infrequent. If I went by what I was solely perceived to be to others, I wouldn't be an African American.

Race is a social construct that does affect the way we perceive ourselves. And racial identification is also defined by the people we are around. I've noticed that my racial classification by many people depends on where they've lived and who they have been exposed to.

Also, W.E.B. DuBois would not be considered black today. He would be part black. I always thought it was odd that he was considered fully black, when he was so obviously not by his looks. And from what I've noticed in life, just because you have some black blood, most white people don't consider you solely black. It depends on what you physically look like and what they've been exposed to.

All of this is to say, your race will be defined by your physical features -- not just skin color -- and culture. (Dark skin or "black" skin is not solely owned by people of African descent. There's this continent called Asia that people often overlook, and also countries like Mexico and parts of southern Italy, among others.)
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However, if they ONLY call themself biracial, I personally think they are just adding confusion and not unity.
Originally Posted by Amneris
But, Amneris, for the self-identified biracial person with 1 black parent, the bi-racial self-identification NECESSARILY INCLUDES the black parent. That's a no brainer, and I can't see it as being confusing. I also don't see why that person has to say, "I am black, but also [insert the other parents race]." I know that race prejudice is virulent against black people and there is a lot of ugliness and wounds. But I don't think the answer to that ugliness and those wounds is to make every bi-racial person with black ancestry have to proclaim their blackness over other heritage/background and culture.

But we can certainly agree to disagree.
Originally Posted by love yourself first
I guess what I am saying is that there are people who will say "I (or my child) am/is biracial, I am NOT BLACK. I don't look Black, I don't fit in in the Black community, it doesn't accept me."

I agree - if you are biracial, then that includes the Black parent.... so why is it a problem to say you are Black or for someone else to say you are? You ARE... and you are also white, or Asian, or whatever other ancestry you have. And you can also say you are those things. However, unlike Black people, THOSE groups are unlikely to accept you as belonging to them unless you offer a qualifier. You can still try but likely won't have success.

If you live in Latin America and you are "biracial" but look white, you CAN say you are white and have people accept that. It's all about perspective and where you are.

I don't think that mixed people should be "forced to proclaim their Blackness over every other culture." I don't believe that's what I said at all. All I said is that, while I respect peoples' rights to self-identification, I don't find the term "biracial" to have much meaning or accuracy as I see it. That is it. If you like the term, use it - no big deal! And I absolutely think people should acknowledge the full spectrum of who they are, but also acknowledge the realities of the society in which they live.
Get used to me. Black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours; my religion, not yours; my goals, my own; get used to me. -Muhammad Ali











I admit that I didn't yet read past page 2.

I agree with Uhura's comment that race is what other people see you as. IMO, how you define your race will be a mixture of how others around you view you and the dominant culture that you identify with.

Imo, multiracial defines someone who is predominantly of mixed race. A person who is 1/16th white, but everything else is black or the reverse is not predominantly multiracial. However, I do realize that there are people whose looks don't reflect all of their ancestry.

Personally, I identify as mixed race or multiracial. I always have, even though now many of my family members don't identify the same way as I do. My family has changed its racial identification throughout the years.

I identify that way because I grew up in a culture and family that accepted all of those parts of me, and also because I don't look like one thing or the other. Depending on the day and the people, I could be and look like many nationalities and mixtures. I don't identify as solely black because I am not and I don't look like I am. I've also never felt this urge to try hard to fit into the black community. There have been times when people have identified me as only black, but those times are infrequent. If I went by what I was solely perceived to be to others, I wouldn't be an African American.

Race is a social construct that does affect the way we perceive ourselves. And racial identification is also defined by the people we are around. I've noticed that my racial classification by many people depends on where they've lived and who they have been exposed to.

Also, W.E.B. DuBois would not be considered black today. He would be part black. I always thought it was odd that he was considered fully black, when he was so obviously not by his looks. And from what I've noticed in life, just because you have some black blood, most white people don't consider you solely black. It depends on what you physically look like and what they've been exposed to.

All of this is to say, your race will be defined by your physical features -- not just skin color -- and culture. (Dark skin or "black" skin is not solely owned by people of African descent. There's this continent called Asia that people often overlook, and also countries like Mexico and parts of southern Italy, among others.)
Originally Posted by multicultcurly
See, this is what I'm not getting. How do you know that? What if he wanted to be considered Black and that was what he called himself? What if he dedicated himself to working within the Black community to build it up? Some other people might decide to call him "part Black" based on his looks, but why do they get to determine another person's reality?
Get used to me. Black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours; my religion, not yours; my goals, my own; get used to me. -Muhammad Ali












I agree - if you are biracial, then that includes the Black parent.... so why is it a problem to say you are Black or for someone else to say you are? You ARE... and you are also white, or Asian, or whatever other ancestry you have. And you can also say you are those things. However, unlike Black people, THOSE groups are unlikely to accept you as belonging to them unless you offer a qualifier. You can still try but likely won't have success.

If you live in Latin America and you are "biracial" but look white, you CAN say you are white and have people accept that. It's all about perspective and where you are.
Originally Posted by Amneris
I agree that a lot of it depends on what you look like, where you live, and who you know as to when and where you are accepted.

As for "the qualifier" in non-black communities, that "qualifier" is the black parent in terms of explaining how you fit in (which is consistent with claiming both parents in a bi-racial and bi-cultural identity). In my experience, it is easier to have both sides of my background seen and recognized in non-black communities where there is less pressure to "just be black" or "be black first." Other groups don't impose that kind of thinking which is actually rather freeing and nice.
"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)
What if he wanted to be considered Black and that was what he called himself? What if he dedicated himself to working within the Black community to build it up?
Originally Posted by Amneris
That is a beautiful thing for someone like WEB Dubois, Malcolm X or even you, Amneris, to choose. But not every mixed race person with black ancestry wants to make that choice. And that should be ok 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)
What if he wanted to be considered Black and that was what he called himself? What if he dedicated himself to working within the Black community to build it up?
Originally Posted by Amneris
That is a beautiful thing for someone like WEB Dubois, Malcolm X or even you, Amneris, to choose. But not every mixed race person with black ancestry wants to make that choice. And that should be ok too.
Originally Posted by love yourself first
I agree, and so, if someone of a mixed ancestry chooses to do so, others should likewise give them the courtesy of not saying they are "part Black" or "biracial" if that is not what the person chooses.
Get used to me. Black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours; my religion, not yours; my goals, my own; get used to me. -Muhammad Ali












I agree - if you are biracial, then that includes the Black parent.... so why is it a problem to say you are Black or for someone else to say you are? You ARE... and you are also white, or Asian, or whatever other ancestry you have. And you can also say you are those things. However, unlike Black people, THOSE groups are unlikely to accept you as belonging to them unless you offer a qualifier. You can still try but likely won't have success.

If you live in Latin America and you are "biracial" but look white, you CAN say you are white and have people accept that. It's all about perspective and where you are.
Originally Posted by Amneris
I agree that a lot of it depends on what you look like, where you live, and who you know as to when and where you are accepted.

As for "the qualifier" in non-black communities, that "qualifier" is the black parent in terms of explaining how you fit in (which is consistent with claiming both parents in a bi-racial and bi-cultural identity). In my experience, it is easier to have both sides of my background seen and recognized in non-black communities where there is less pressure to "just be black" or "be black first." Other groups don't impose that kind of thinking which is actually rather freeing and nice.
Originally Posted by love yourself first
I agree that they don't... which to me shows why they don't fully accept me as "one of them."
Get used to me. Black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours; my religion, not yours; my goals, my own; get used to me. -Muhammad Ali











I had a very heated discussion in a thread on another site about if dark skinned black woman should be jealous of biracial, multiracial or non black women. I stated that there is no reason for them to be jealous since we all have unique standpoints to ourselves. After I made my statements some guy from Africa told me, along with a couple of others, that I have no right to speak on this because I am a "mutt". It really bothered me since I consider myself black first and foremost. They also informed me that majority of black people are dark skinned. I agreed with that statement but also tried to make it known that there are other tones when it comes to black people, that dark skinned people are not the only people that make up the black community. They came back to me saying that "those" people have no right to speak since they may be biracial or multiracial. I informed them that "the last time I checked if you had black in you then in you are considered black first an foremost before anything else". I mean there are only like a couple of different classifications of races.( I can't say how many with confidence since the numbers have been disputed for a long time) I do know that they reside in the following:
Asians
Blacks
Whites

I am aware that there are others but I will not speak on what i am not sure of. To make a long story short, the same person who told me that I could not speak for black women (the African guy), well turns out that he isn't even black. It really hit a nerve that somebody else came at me like I was saying something wrong. I swear I try to refrain from snapping on people when it comes to situations like this but they make it so hard for me not to. Especially when it comes to other black people telling me that I'm not "black enough" to speak for the black community. Ugh!!!!
Originally Posted by Hela

Here are my thoughts, sorry if this is repeating anything anybody else has said, I haven't yet read the thread, just wanted to reply to the OP. Clearly the African guy doesn't know what he was talking about. Even IF he couldn't see that many Black/White biracial people in America have lived as Blacks, been treated as Blacks and think of ourselves as Black, especially if we have evident African admixture, you were most definitely entitled to speak on that question becuase I believe it required two point of views. That of the darker Black woman and that of biracial, multiracial, and non-Black women. Now I personally would have listened especially closely to the opinion of the darker Black woman, just becuase I have found the people who experience the prejudice or feel the jealousy may know more about it than the people who they are supposed to be jealous of. It's human nature. It's kind of what has been happening on this board, we have had some racial topics recently pertaining to how discriminated against Black people are in our society and it's not that White members opinions aren't valid but they aren't the ones who would know the most about it usually.

There was a similiar question on a mixed race forum I belong to that asked "Do Black Men prefer Lighter skinned or Mixed race women over darker skinned Black women?" I felt completely entitled to answer but I fully admitted all I could add was inconclusive becuase it was from the point of view of the supposed preferred group. I haven't really ever had a problem getting a Black boyfriend but that's inconclusive becuase it doesn't mean Black men prefer me to darker skinned Black women. It did add some weight to "Yes Black men prefer lighter skinned women" if only becuase I haven't had hardly any experiences where a Black boy dissed me (and when they did it was usually for someone yet lighter than me or he preferred White women), and even less where they have dissed me for someone darker than me. The group that could really answer that question of yours and the question I answered would be darker Black women. They would be the ones most likely to notice any prejudice against them.

And the term mutt indicates this guy had some prejudice towards mixed race people. Some mixed people use it endearingly about themselves (President Obama has) but when outsiders use it (like Kanye West referring to the preponderance of light and bright dancers in music videos and how he uses them to sell his music despite thinking of them as animals) it usually means whatever is going to come out of their mouths next is not flattering for Multiracial people. Yes, people we have officially reached that point where Mixed Race is becoming legitimately a group/race, you can tell when people start to insult us. You know you have arrived when you have haters.


My Fotki

I agree - if you are biracial, then that includes the Black parent.... so why is it a problem to say you are Black or for someone else to say you are? You ARE... and you are also white, or Asian, or whatever other ancestry you have. And you can also say you are those things. However, unlike Black people, THOSE groups are unlikely to accept you as belonging to them unless you offer a qualifier. You can still try but likely won't have success.

If you live in Latin America and you are "biracial" but look white, you CAN say you are white and have people accept that. It's all about perspective and where you are.
Originally Posted by Amneris
I agree that a lot of it depends on what you look like, where you live, and who you know as to when and where you are accepted.

As for "the qualifier" in non-black communities, that "qualifier" is the black parent in terms of explaining how you fit in (which is consistent with claiming both parents in a bi-racial and bi-cultural identity). In my experience, it is easier to have both sides of my background seen and recognized in non-black communities where there is less pressure to "just be black" or "be black first." Other groups don't impose that kind of thinking which is actually rather freeing and nice.
Originally Posted by love yourself first
I agree that they don't... which to me shows why they don't fully accept me as "one of them."
Originally Posted by Amneris
I guess. The reality is that many mixed race people aren't fully "one of them" based on the mono-racial or mono-cultural communities of their parents. That's the beauty of being mixed and also the special bond that many mixed people (of many different backgrounds) have with each other. There is a hybridity and unique quality and life experiences that are best shared/related to by (1) siblings or (2) other mixed race people.

Also, not everyone who has black ancestry feels steeped in or even comfortable with black culture. Looking black and adopting black cultural norms are two different things - sometimes they coincide as in someone who "looks black" and "embraces black culture" or different mismatches of "looks mixed/embraces black culture" or "looks black/doesnt embrace black culture." Then, there is the option of "looks mixed/doesn't embrace black culture/ but recognizes both parents." Those variations and choices are real 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)

Last edited by love yourself first; 08-06-2009 at 11:47 PM.

You know you have arrived when you have haters.
Originally Posted by KinkyKeeper
HA! I have relatives who express these views... Relatives of all different backgrounds actually. Love it!
"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 had a very heated discussion in a thread on another site about if dark skinned black woman should be jealous of biracial, multiracial or non black women. I stated that there is no reason for them to be jealous since we all have unique standpoints to ourselves. After I made my statements some guy from Africa told me, along with a couple of others, that I have no right to speak on this because I am a "mutt". It really bothered me since I consider myself black first and foremost. They also informed me that majority of black people are dark skinned. I agreed with that statement but also tried to make it known that there are other tones when it comes to black people, that dark skinned people are not the only people that make up the black community. They came back to me saying that "those" people have no right to speak since they may be biracial or multiracial. I informed them that "the last time I checked if you had black in you then in you are considered black first an foremost before anything else". I mean there are only like a couple of different classifications of races.( I can't say how many with confidence since the numbers have been disputed for a long time) I do know that they reside in the following:
Asians
Blacks
Whites

I am aware that there are others but I will not speak on what i am not sure of. To make a long story short, the same person who told me that I could not speak for black women (the African guy), well turns out that he isn't even black. It really hit a nerve that somebody else came at me like I was saying something wrong. I swear I try to refrain from snapping on people when it comes to situations like this but they make it so hard for me not to. Especially when it comes to other black people telling me that I'm not "black enough" to speak for the black community. Ugh!!!!
Originally Posted by Hela

Here are my thoughts, sorry if this is repeating anything anybody else has said, I haven't yet read the thread, just wanted to reply to the OP. Clearly the African guy doesn't know what he was talking about. Even IF he couldn't see that many Black/White biracial people in America have lived as Blacks, been treated as Blacks and think of ourselves as Black, especially if we have evident African admixture, you were most definitely entitled to speak on that question becuase I believe it required two point of views. That of the darker Black woman and that of biracial, multiracial, and non-Black women. Now I personally would have listened especially closely to the opinion of the darker Black woman, just becuase I have found the people who experience the prejudice or feel the jealousy may know more about it than the people who they are supposed to be jealous of. It's human nature. It's kind of what has been happening on this board, we have had some racial topics recently pertaining to how discriminated against Black people are in our society and it's not that White members opinions aren't valid but they aren't the ones who would know the most about it usually.

There was a similiar question on a mixed race forum I belong to that asked "Do Black Men prefer Lighter skinned or Mixed race women over darker skinned Black women?" I felt completely entitled to answer but I fully admitted all I could add was inconclusive becuase it was from the point of view of the supposed preferred group. I haven't really ever had a problem getting a Black boyfriend but that's inconclusive becuase it doesn't mean Black men prefer me to darker skinned Black women. It did add some weight to "Yes Black men prefer lighter skinned women" if only becuase I haven't had hardly any experiences where a Black boy dissed me (and when they did it was usually for someone yet lighter than me or he preferred White women), and even less where they have dissed me for someone darker than me. The group that could really answer that question of yours and the question I answered would be darker Black women. They would be the ones most likely to notice any prejudice against them.

And the term mutt indicates this guy had some prejudice towards mixed race people. Some mixed people use it endearingly about themselves (President Obama has) but when outsiders use it (like Kanye West referring to the preponderance of light and bright dancers in music videos and how he uses them to sell his music despite thinking of them as animals) it usually means whatever is going to come out of their mouths next is not flattering for Multiracial people. Yes, people we have officially reached that point where Mixed Race is becoming legitimately a group/race, you can tell when people start to insult us. You know you have arrived when you have haters.
Originally Posted by KinkyKeeper

I agree with most of this. I'm light-skinned but I KNOW that light-skinned Black women are generally (not always, but mostly always) preferred to dark-skinned Black women by Black men, for various complex reasons.

Should they be jealous? - well, no one SHOULD be jealous of anyone - it's a negative emotion - but I have no doubt that some are and that's understandable, while others are not and are confident in themselves and what they have to offer.

Light or dark-skinned, we're all Black women and therefore all have to struggle and it works better if we come together to do it.
Get used to me. Black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours; my religion, not yours; my goals, my own; get used to me. -Muhammad Ali












I agree with most of this. I'm light-skinned but I KNOW that light-skinned Black women are generally (not always, but mostly always) preferred to dark-skinned Black women by Black men, for various complex reasons.

Should they be jealous? - well, no one SHOULD be jealous of anyone - it's a negative emotion - but I have no doubt that some are and that's understandable, while others are not and are confident in themselves and what they have to offer.

Light or dark-skinned, we're all Black women and therefore all have to struggle and it works better if we come together to do it.
Originally Posted by Amneris
I find this dynamic very unpleasant. Mostly, I opt out of it.
"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 agree with most of this. I'm light-skinned but I KNOW that light-skinned Black women are generally (not always, but mostly always) preferred to dark-skinned Black women by Black men, for various complex reasons.

Should they be jealous? - well, no one SHOULD be jealous of anyone - it's a negative emotion - but I have no doubt that some are and that's understandable, while others are not and are confident in themselves and what they have to offer.

Light or dark-skinned, we're all Black women and therefore all have to struggle and it works better if we come together to do it.
Originally Posted by Amneris
I find this dynamic very unpleasant. Mostly, I opt out of it.
Originally Posted by love yourself first
What do you mean? You opt out of dealing with dark-skinned women... or Black men... or Black people in general? Or you opt out mentally?

I find the dynamics of racism very unpleasant, but I still interact with white people... I don't have much choice about it, plus I want to.
Get used to me. Black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours; my religion, not yours; my goals, my own; get used to me. -Muhammad Ali












I agree with most of this. I'm light-skinned but I KNOW that light-skinned Black women are generally (not always, but mostly always) preferred to dark-skinned Black women by Black men, for various complex reasons.

Should they be jealous? - well, no one SHOULD be jealous of anyone - it's a negative emotion - but I have no doubt that some are and that's understandable, while others are not and are confident in themselves and what they have to offer.

Light or dark-skinned, we're all Black women and therefore all have to struggle and it works better if we come together to do it.
Originally Posted by Amneris
I find this dynamic very unpleasant. Mostly, I opt out of it.
Originally Posted by love yourself first
What do you mean? You opt out of dealing with dark-skinned women... or Black men... or Black people in general? Or you opt out mentally?

I find the dynamics of racism very unpleasant, but I still interact with white people... I don't have much choice about it, plus I want to.
Originally Posted by Amneris
I opt out of being some black man's trophy, and having black women judge me over my choices in life.
"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)

Last edited by love yourself first; 08-07-2009 at 12:17 AM.
Oh yes, of course there are people who don't have any Black (or white) roots who call themselves mixed. But the OP was talking about being mixed with Black, so that's what I was addressing. And truly, this is made out as FAR more of an issue in the Black community than elsewhere. And incidentally, I've yet to hear white people discussing whether a person who is "half white" is white or not - it's a given that they're not. This is much more an issue for people of colour and Blacks in particular.

I don't find a discussion of other countries to be hair-splitting, since the OP mentioned discussions with people from Africa and I myself have roots in the Caribbean.

And yeah, we're all speaking for ourselves, which is totally cool...
Originally Posted by Amneris
My daughter is certainly "half white". She has a white mother...she has to be "half white".
Originally Posted by FieryCurls

my SO would respond the exact same way. he'll fight you if you call her black. and we've had some arguments/discussions/conversations on whether or not she should just be called white. his "argument" is that she is half white, she has white skin, and white hair, and that society will not see her as only black, so why not call her white? basically the same argument that people have for calling biracial people only black. it seems totally irrational once the shoe is on the other foot....
Originally Posted by subbrock
I don't think she should be called just white or black because she isn't just white or black. It took 2 of us to make her.


Well, we agree that the real world isn't pretty when it comes to race. And being in the skin I'm in, I've certainly had my share of demeaning treatment. But, I also know that the people who treated me that way are the ones with the problem, with the small-minds. Yes, I acknowledge that some of them were also in the power position, and that makes for this very major issue. But, things don't change by themselves. So, as a person responsible for teaching a member of the next generation, I will alert her to the dangers of the world, but also constantly remind her that that is not how it should be. That said, my wanting her to identify as biracial (if going for the "short version") is not an attempt to give her distance from being Black. She is Black, but she is also just as much Polish. I could ask why no one wonders why I may not be trying to give her distance from Polish.

My not identifying as biracial if an ancestor 5 generations removed was White seems to buy right into the one drop rule, as far as I'm concerned. In my mind, that would be like saying I am at high risk of cancer, if that same ancestor died of it, when no other had. It would also look suspiciously like what you and others who hold similar opinions think, that they are trying to be NOT Black. So, no, I would not claim biracial if I found my 4th great granddaddy was White. And, yes, I'll admit that I might look sideways at someone who did...Then I'd go on about my business, because that wouldn't be mine anyway.
Originally Posted by CocoaCoily
Exactly. I should have just quoted you instead of posting on my own.


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
Yes people with two races within them can technically call themselves Biracial (though it's commonly come to mean two races in equal proportion and each parent is of a different race) and before that the term Biracial meant a place where two races could legally gather. http://mulattodiaries.wordpress.com/...3/31/biracial/ 50/50 Black/White people were Mulatto. So I agree the terminology is problematic and not really of import. What is of import is confusing terminology does not change the fact that there are people who are "biracial" through first generation mixing or parents who look significantly different and people who are "biracial" through admixture (most of the Black people who America as you say) and there are differences in experiences they will have.

And so I will have to strongly disagree with you that there is no difference and as you have stated several times that "we are all mixed". I dislike this mentality, like many other Mulattos (and yes I am fully aware of the possible negative origin of this word and I choose to take it back for many reasons, one of which is just using the term Biracial gives One Droppist the opening to go on about how everyone is Biracial so nobody is, which they can not do with more specific terminology) and Mixed Race people becuase it diminishes our life experiences. Whether you or anyone else choose to acknowledge it there are specific life experiences and obstacles multiracial people will experience. As some blogger said to a Black American (and White Americans) who perhaps in trying to bond and make her feel more comfortable, wrongly said "Aren't we all mixed?" Even IF this were true, as she said "Does your White heritage claim you and come to pick you up from school? Becuase mine did." And as I talked about in a previous post there are people (Black and White) who have prejudices solely for mixed people. Not becuase we are Black but becuase we are "impure" or "mutts". Tragic Mulatto stereotyping is one. And these stereotypes existed long before Biracial was a word on a census. It's entirely possible to have racism without racial categories being legally recognized (also evident in the racism towards people of the African diaspora in many Hispanic countries that do not legally acknowledge race like Cuba), so I don't agree with you that we create more issues by creating more categories. These categories exist whether we acknowledge them or not. Yes most Black Americans have White admixture but their White ancestory didn't live with them, didn't kiss them good night. And that does make a difference. People of first generation and recent mixture go through things in a social setting that people of long ago admixture from a rapist slave master do not and vice versa.


I wish people would stop confusing race and/or religon with nationality.

I am Swedish, thus European but I am not caucasian, which is a common mistake made by Americans.
But if one goes back a couple of hundred years I sure that the vast majority of middle and northern Eurpeans were infact caucasian, but at the same time a hundred years before that the vast majority of Americans were American Indians...

I am biracial.
The word biracial bugs me however, as it does when people say they are "half white and half Black." You cannot divide yourself into halves - it makes no sense to me
I am not dividing myself, I am explaining my race.
I will not deny either my mother nor my fathers heritage (and I am probably one of the few that respects Tiger Woods for doing the same).
I pray to God my children, though looking white, would ever deny me or my race(s) either.

As biracial I do feel closer to my black heritage (because of my background in California) but that doesn't take away my white heritage, of which I am very proud of also.

It is up to every individual to define themselves (my sister defines herself as black).

Me, I'm pretty happy with being the wonderful mix of heritage, history and races that I am.
Originally Posted by ninadef
Good for you Nina. People who have a problem with the "half and half" phrasing are imposing their own prejudice on the phrasing. This is a good youtube short movie on my views on being able to be half and half but this not meaning your blood divides evenly in your veins or you aren't whole. We are sugar water: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rUb4qqv0Fxo
not salt water.

Just becuase THEY can not concieve that someone can be Black and White simultaneously and these two things mixed peacably inside you does not mean it isn't so. Saying half and half is just convenient for some people, especially if asked about proportions, which is sometimes relevant. Though if I have a choice I describe my ancestory using a melded word like Mulatto or Eurafrican.

[quote=Amneris;1054337][quote=BekkaPoo;1054277]

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
Well though I have already talked about how I disagree with the idea that being multiracial is meaningless and cettainly that calling yourself first generation biracial is meaningless, I will say I agree with the second part of this about accepting people will see you as Black is a social factor. I accept that people will see me as Black becuase Black people are mixed admixture wise so can look just like me and in American society the ODR is very much alive (you have Black in your features you are Black). While I don't fault anybody for saying they are solely Biracial I find it easier to accept the coping mechanism of multiple identities. Not in a schizophrenic way (becuase most of us have multiple identities according to who we are talking to at any given moment or in different situations whether we realize it or not, you don't talk to your grandmother the same way you talk to a husband or stranger) but in a practical way the world has forced us to develop multiple racial identities. I am Mulatto, I am Black, and I am getting better at calling myself White as well. I don't often use this identity but it's within me as it should be. It's about time we also realized being a Biracial is not mutually exclusive with being European American anymore than it's mutually exclusive to being African American.


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Last edited by KinkyKeeper; 08-07-2009 at 01:09 AM.
zoe kravitz, daughter of lenny kravitz and lisa bonet is...? can someone choose her identity? (don't cop out by saying she chooses, i'm trying to make a point that the whole claiming to be biracial is in itself is heavily buying into the racial construct)

nevermind, don't answer. there is nothing in this culture that allows you to be just who you are so just forget it.

continue...
Originally Posted by frau
Well it's been asked so I will answer. I don't think it's a cop out to say she chooses. I have worked long and hard to get to a place where I don't impose my racial views on someone else's identity. They should always have that right to decide their own racial identity (though I may continue to have opinions on WHY they chose that identity). What I would consider her until I hear from her what she wants to be called is a double Mulatto or second generation Mulatto/Biracial. Another less specific term is Multigenerational Mulatto (or MGM) whic is less specific becuase it would include almost anyone with Black/White admixture.

Oh yes, of course there are people who don't have any Black (or white) roots who call themselves mixed. But the OP was talking about being mixed with Black, so that's what I was addressing. And truly, this is made out as FAR more of an issue in the Black community than elsewhere. And incidentally, I've yet to hear white people discussing whether a person who is "half white" is white or not - it's a given that they're not. This is much more an issue for people of colour and Blacks in particular.

I don't find a discussion of other countries to be hair-splitting, since the OP mentioned discussions with people from Africa and I myself have roots in the Caribbean.

And yeah, we're all speaking for ourselves, which is totally cool...
Originally Posted by Amneris
My daughter is certainly "half white". She has a white mother...she has to be "half white".
Originally Posted by FieryCurls

my SO would respond the exact same way. he'll fight you if you call her black. and we've had some arguments/discussions/conversations on whether or not she should just be called white. his "argument" is that she is half white, she has white skin, and white hair, and that society will not see her as only black, so why not call her white? basically the same argument that people have for calling biracial people only black. it seems totally irrational once the shoe is on the other foot....
Originally Posted by subbrock
I feel for mixed people with a Whiter phenotype like Rashida Jones, they will face their own idenification battles and people who will still want to call them Black or malign them if they choose a White identity and accuse them of passing.


Yes.... this is where I have issues.


...I'm not a huge fan of the term Black either, but it's a recognizable term that has social implications and therefore has some use - but why create more meaningless terms?
Originally Posted by Amneris
This is clearly where we have a difference of opinion. I believe being Biracial has just as many social implications as being Black (if not more for the duality of it, you are fighting the battles of being a Black person and the battles of being something else and then the battle to be considered both simultaneously). So if it's meaningless than so is calling someone Black. Both don't really exist of course becuase race doesnt' exist. But neither are the meaningingless becuase society has given them meaning in it's prejudices and discrimination.

But I notice that so often people who are highly attached to the "biracial" label are also highly attached to being Not Black, and will claim they or their kids "look white", which is often untrue, get upset and "correct" people who think they are Black, etc. I don't find that threatening, but I find it sad, and I don't think any of it moves us closer to ending racism or improving the state of affairs for people of colour. But, people have their reasons for doing what they want.
Originally Posted by Amneris
I can't speak to any of the unbolded part because I don't have kids, etc.. But I will speak to the bolded part because I see truth in it and some may characterize me in that way.

I've posted before and I will post again that the segment of the black community that insists that someone with two or more cultures AND races must call themselves black or else (1) be denying blackness, (2) be an uncle or aunt tom, (3) must be self hating, etc.. pretty much makes me want to run far and wide from that community. It's almost like a form of emotional blackmail that you can't be part or half black and claim the other side because it is "denying blackness." Every other group gets to be mixed and proud of it - asian/white, latino/asian, latino or native american/white, jewish/asian, etc.. etc... But if one of your parents is black, then that's the end of any recognition of a mixed background, including a mixed cultural heritage. And I do see it as enforcing the antebellum, slave era, one drop rule. And I reject it.

The issue of what a mixed person looks like (as an adult or child) raises a lot of separate issues as to how they will self-identify, which self-identification may change over time. I don't really feel like going into that. But I felt strongly enough about the above to post on this thread, which I also rated (1 star).
Originally Posted by love yourself first
Oh my gosh Love Yourself First, excellent post. I was even going to use the term emotional blackmail. Becuase it really is to say someone acknowledging who they are and come from and both parents is going to weaken the Black community, is turning their back on Black people, is trying to pass or hold themselves above Black people, they think they're better than Black people by calling themselves Biracial. All I have heard before. Even IF there are people who use their multiraciality to escape their Blackness or think of themselves as better then other Black people and hate their Blackness that doesn't mean everyone who wants to be called Biracial is hating on the Black in them. And yet it often gets aplied to all of us or a reason why we should not acknowlege being Biracial. I'm sure they get tired of the things SOME Black people do being extended on all Black persons.

And, I'm just gonna say it, frankly usually when people say something like this I have found SOME of them have issues with being Black themselves and are so inwardly bitter becuase they feel they are fighting some terrible battle being Black so they feel anytime someone is acknowledging being Hispanic (and they are clearly of some African heritage) or Mixed it is always an affront to them and their community. Becuase secretly they wish they could poof and escape the shackles of being Black. So in us just being ourselves, they see it as us trying to pass for priveleges to acknowledge being non-Black or partially non-Black, which is not always true. Oh and God forbid you say you have multiple racial identities, then you are trying to be greedy and have the privileges of being Non-Black and then Black when it suits you.

And it's all ridiculous. Becuase who is to say that the fight of Biracial people is easier than the fight of a Black person? In many ways, in my opinion, it's harder. So I think we need to move past this idea that a Biracial person claiming their Biraciality is doing so for an easier time. Becuase the reality is there is nothing easy in fighting the oppressive and still quite alive ODR to go against the majority and claim your dual heritage. And on top of it have to put up with people who will lay a guilt trip on you are for hurting "the Black community". And then still putting it up with any discrimination Blacks do in social settings, if you have a Blacker phenotype (and any added discrimination against Mixed people).


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