His color? I'm thinking it's a taupe, maybe a dark beige?

Regarding race, until 2000 the U.S. government made him choose. That's the year that the census allowed for multiracial categories. So for the first 38 years of his life, a race had to be chosen. He chose the one into which society would likely place him. Think about it. Suppose he said - having been forced to choose - that he was white. Do you think he'd have trouble with ID cards? passports?