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.

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).

My Fotki