“Is She Even Black?”

by Geneva S. Thomas

Zoe Saldana, Amber Rose, Sessilee Lopez. These are women who identify themselves as Black, but, for many of us, the question that follows them in the context of Black culture, fashion, and beauty is, “Is she even Black?” The tenor of an accent, and the textures of their hair, often propels questions regarding whether these women belong in the context of Black cultural commentary.

It is, moreover, because some of these women are not African American that we are moved to question the validity of their Blackness. Is there no room in Black conversation for Zoe Saldana from New York/Dominican Republic?

Why does the mention of Amber Rose or Rosario Dawson get under our skin? Why do these women fall short on our Black authenticity measuring stick?

We are quick to call a White person to task when they stereotype or make sweeping generalizations about Black people, but why does it seem to be okay for some Black people to impose rigid definitions of Blackness upon ourselves?

Last week, we featured Amber Rose as the “Look of the Day” on our new fashion and beauty site Coco and Crème. Let’s just say our recognition of Amber’s salmon colored sweater dress received more than its share of abomination. One reader said, “I don’t understand why she’s celebrated at all, especially by Black women.” Another reader agreed, commenting, “I just don’t understand why sites like this (Coco and Crème) are obsessed with a woman who doesn’t project anything positive and doesn’t have anything to do with Black culture other than sleeping with Black men.”

Whoa. I guess we didn’t get the memo that acknowledging someone’s style choices makes them the woman of the year. We liked her look, plain and simple.

Amber Rose has become one of the most contentious and ambiguous female bodies in America. Aside from her alleged gold-digging rise to the top thanks to Kanye West, there is an undercurrent (or not so below the surface) query around Amber’s racial makeup.

According to the model’s Wikipedia page, her father is from Barbados and is of Italian descent, and her mother is of Cape Verdean descent. Cape Verde is a formerly colonized island off the coast of West Africa whose population generally consists of creoles mixed with Black African, and European descent. Amber was born in America and reps her city hard. I think it’s safe to assume Amber Rose is a mixed American girl from Philly. If we’re not questioning Halle Berry’s Blackness, why question Amber Rose?

There’s something to be said about our racial placement of Zoe Saldana outside of her largely Black female film roles. Many of us get a kick out of keeping her in an exclusive, no exit, Latina territory. “Is she even Black?” one reader slammed, even though the rising actress has repeatedly laid claim to her Afro-Latina background. The “Avatar ” star has been vocal about the difficulties faced by actresses of color in Hollywood, and she was the cover of the April issue of Essence magazine. Yet somehow, there’s this odd expectation for Saldana to choose. “Does she want to be Latina or Black?” one reader wrote. Zoe Saldana was born to a Dominican father and a Puerto Rican mother. Her cocoa skin looks like yours and mine, why is that not enough?

La La Vazquez spoke out about America’s ignorance of dark-skin Latinos. La La wrote an essay for Latina magazine asking, “Since when does being Black and being Latina have to be mutually exclusive?” The popular VJ continued, “For me, not looking like some people’s idea of a typical Latina has been challenging and often painful. I constantly find myself trying to justify who I am, and why should I?”

Our rampant cultural categorizations can distance the very women we claim to embrace—while we can often exclude some of these women from “pure uninterrupted Blackness” just because we don’t agree with their behavior.

In a so-called “post-racial America,” why are we still caught up in the often insignificant nuances of Blackness?

  • janQUA

    Lol so b/c these women are too “black”/”dark” to be stars in their own cultures…they are the starts of our media now. The questions we need to be asking are who are casting these black films nowadays with non “black” leads? Not us, its the white who own the studios. This only further causes confusion for young black girls. Why can’t we even star in our own films?

    ***Waiting on Akia to hijack this thread with wiki links and page long rants….

  • secretaddy

    Is it fair that these women are being robbed of their complex racial identities by ignorant people unaware of the versatility in blackness?? — YES!!

    Is it annoying that representations of black femininity seem to be monolithic and are typically black women that fit into Eurocentric standards of beauty– HELL YES!!!

    Ok we get it Black Latinas are beautiful and sexy and some are light-skinned so they benefit from colorism, but the resentment you are sensing in some black women is a loss in the representation of women of our own hue. Even on websites such as these ! THe question isn’t “Is she Black” It’s “Why are they the only Black women we see represented as Beautiful ?”

  • http://www.boissuq.com/ Keli

    For me, it’s not Amber Rose’s lack of blackness, but her lack of class and “value” that turns me off.

    And when I look at this photo of Zoe Saldana I see a black woman.

    If these women identify as black, then who are we to take that from them? My grandmother is so fair her nickname growing up was snowball… yet in still, she’s a black woman.

  • Alexandra

    Has Amber ever stated she was Black? I think part of this problem is with some black people and this ‘one drop rule’ they choose to stick to. Stop trying to make everyone “black”.
    Zoe, Mariah, Halle, Lala are a different story. All of these women stated that they identify as Black. Some people say otherwise, but you cant argue with what people consider themselves. That is their right.

    If they all wanted to consider themselves something other than Black, same thing. I think it would still receive the same response, just the other way around.
    But I think the light/dark thing that affects some black people is probably a factor in the responses.

  • Akai ([email protected])

    ******************************************************************************************************************
    Article: “…get a kick out of keeping her in an exclusive, no exit Latina territory. …there’s this odd expectation for Saldana to choose.”
    ******************************************************************************************************************

    Overall, I doubt any of these women give a flip or are waiting for any group approval from AAs (if any such thing even exists). They’ve done just fine and become hugely successful without it and there is absolutely no gain or value in ‘choosing’, identifying to another individual’s liking to make them feel better, or appeasing their racial hang-ups and demands.

    A lot of people are too ignorant to understand the fact that Latino/Hispanic is an ethnicity (not a race) and can be mestizo, AmerInd, mixed, Asian, black etc. and I so dig this article. It was unexpected and one of the scant few times I’ve read any author at Clutch be truthful yet open about the subject and, for the longest, I’ve questioned exactly how it is that a member of a group of merely 40 million even remotely figures they’ve the right to define, dictate, include or exclude.

    ******************************************************************************************************************
    Article: “the mention of Amber Rose or Zoe Saldana…”
    ******************************************************************************************************************

    Amber, Zoë and Selissee are drop-dead gorgeous, successful and have their pick of men (of all ‘races) and that is why they get under *some* female’s skin. People can attempt to apply some psycho-babble about this, that or the other but it all boils down to plain ol’ garden variety bitterness, insecurity, anger and jealousy IMO.

    ******************************************************************************************************************
    Article: “…propels questions around whether these women belong in the context…”
    ******************************************************************************************************************

    Very true!!

    Something I’ve also noticed is a bit of flip-flopping and hypocrisy. For example, when individuals like those listed (as well as biracials like Obama, Halle Berry, Mariah Carey) do something spectacular and/or make history…many of the same individuals that had previously snubbed, hated on them, distanced, stuck that knife in the back or stated how they weren’t ‘authentic’ or X, Y or Z enough…suddenly jump up to claim them (and their accomplishments) as ‘black’ or as theirs.

  • Monie

    I don’t think that the issue with Amber is related to her race. It’s due to how her fame was achieved and how she maintains it. What she represents isn’t exactly proud womanhood, regardless of what race or ethnic group she identifies with.

    I agree that most people don’t realize the difference between race and ethnicty. Latina isn’t a race. It’s a culture and an ethnic group. Zoe and Sessilee are as black as Serena and Venus. So, one can be a proud black and a proud latina woman. The same way you can be a proud black and a proud American, African, Canadian, Brit or Hatian.

  • http://ranuisinuranus.tumblr.com Ranu

    I agree most with secretaddy.

    People like to pigeon-hole blacks into African or African-American boxes and deny the diversity within our Diasporic community as if it is impossible for someone to be of mixed heritage. It’s purely ignorance.

    It truly is the lack of diverse representations of Blackness displayed that gets under black women’s skin.

    Also, people have to understand how race is viewed in other countries. Most times it’s less about ethnicity and more about nationality. (i.e. Afro-cuban versus Cuban)

  • moongirl

    I think the more interesting questions here are “what really constitutes blackness?” and “how are labor practices influencing the changing definition of race?”.

    While ethnicity may be biologically determined, race is not. Race is a social construct defined by dominant social groups and imposed upon others to indicate a difference in status that either creates or disables power.

    Historically, definitions of race are directly connected to labor, immigration and class. At one point in American History Irish, Italian and Jewish populations in American were seen as people of color. It was only after new immigrant groups emerged to take their place in terms of labor that they are now they are seen as nearly fully acclimated into mainstream white culture.

    It seems the hostility demonstrated towards women like Zoe and Amber arises not from a need to define their heritage, but from frustrations with an industry that offers so little diversity and opportunity for women of color. janQUA got it right when she asked “who is casting these women”? Look at who is in power when it comes to labor and you’ll see who is actually defining race.

  • Dawn

    Kudos to Geneva Thomas for writing such a timely, insightful and authentic article. As a woman is of latin and african descent, I have been victimized by the ignorance of not just African Americans, but Latinos as well. I consider Zoe Saldana, Amber Rose, Roasario Dawson Sesilee Lopez sistahs and why should we not? Do you not think that these women of color have not faced some form of racism in their lives at one point of another because of their complexion by others? If you think not….you are erroneous in your thinking. Get the memo Clucthettes….we are living in a globally hybrid world, where “other” is going to be the rule rather than the exception. I do understand the pain and annoyance when you see the LaLa’s and Zoe’s get the props for the standard of beauty, but it’s really time for us to embrace ourselves and stop waiting for whoever the heck to see our beauty. See in yourself and for yourself. No one questions Paula Patton who has made it clear that she is a black woman nor Halle Berry for that matter. Why give these chocalate,caramel latina sisters a hard row to tow? Come on now…..give up the ghost on this one and move on!

  • db

    fyi sessilee lopez is dominican and portuguese not brazilian

    http://www.latina.com/fashion/celebrity/sessilee-lopez-fashions-next-it-girl

  • isolde

    And she was like born and raised in Philly.

    Lets keep it real, if Sessilee were from Brazil, she probably wouldn’t have gotten this far in the modeling game unless she was scouted while on vacation in New York. The only remotely black top model from Brazil that I can think of is Emanuela de Paula, oh, and Adrianna Lima ( I think you get the point).

  • MsDiannaT

    I don’t think it’s Amber Rose’s blackness that was call into question, I think it was he relevance. She adds no value to society and if you want to feature her I would like to submit a look of the day of myself and my friends. Thats about how relevant she is.

    On to Zoe Saldana. I have never heard anyone question her blackness and I don’t understand where this is coming from. I really like her and her style. She seems like a genuine person who doesn’t want to be famous for sleeping around, but for her craft.

  • opinionatedgal

    I am disgusted that Amber is getting this type of coverage and recognition, based on what?

    I love Zoe and Sessilee, I don’t care (and I’m not even aware) of how they self identify racially. They’re beautiful women with Mocha complexions. They should not be in the same category with the aforementioned for an article.

  • hazelUK

    why do people need to be a certain race because the colour of their skin?i know people that are half black and half white but look completely white with brown straight hair and blue eyes does this mean their white just because they look it?Zoe Saldana maybe classed as latin but does that mean she cant represent all people/women of colour?

  • chillchic

    Partially agree. I loved Zoe Saldana when she played the Latin “Eva” in Center Stage. But I don’t get why she repeatedly gets African-American roles. Are there no talented African American actresses? It’s the same with mixed actors. I get that there aren’t enough roles for biracial actresses but they are disproportionately featured in “black” roles. There are more blacks than biracials in this country, but not on screen? Doesn’t make sense.

  • Jocelyn

    I wish people would read or have paid attention in history class. There is a little something called the African Diaspora. The slave ships that brought our ancestors from Africa stopped in Central and South America as well. Thus there are people with African roots deeper and less watered down than most African Americans.

    I am wondering of all the hate toward Zoe Saldana and Amber Rose has something to do with people being jealous of their success. While I don’t know much about Amber Rose or pay much attention to her, I know that Zoe is a talented and successful actress – period.

    My people perish for a lack of knowledge.

  • chillchic

    I never heard anyone question Sessliee or Zoe’s blackness. Amber’s, yes. She is ambiguous so people don’t know where to put her. And she’s not like Mariah, who’s always pointing out her “blackness” (love you, Mimi), so folks question. I think it’s best to just let people speak for themselves. If she says she’s mixed, then she’s mixed. I know many blacks like to include mixed people in the “black” group (and mixed people seem to like it as well) so her presence here shouldn’t be a problem. Further more, I don’t get why it bothers people so much when a non-black is featured on a black site anyway. If you go to a “white” website, you got your token blacks (ie. Beyonce, Rihanna). Why can’t our sites do the same?

  • Miss Chalet

    Moon girl … THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for your intelligent and insightful comment. My family and I have had these discussions at length so often especially after we had DNA testing done by DNA Tribes to see just exactly what was in out blood line. I would love to see many of those who have such harsh commentary about the “blackness” of the women discussed to test their background and exactly what you find. The truth is many of us would not fit so well into this carefully crafted box of black that we hold in such esteem as to rip apart anyone who falls outside of the perimeter of said box. Just amongst my siblings we range in hues so drastically different and complex that we grew up with people questioning not only if we had the same parents but my mothers back ground as well. My family has found that instead of the Native American we were so sure was in our blood line there was actually a lot of European, Native Australian, and African. Does this make me less black or my Grandmother who had an astonishing low amount of African in her…? Where does culture come into play and how did we stop looking beyond the surface? I don’t have to prove who I am to anyone yet I think of my niece’s who will get the same questions and of my Mom and Aunts who grew up self conscious because they didn’t fit the mold and my heart hurts and tear well up because WE are doing this to each other not the “man” it’s us and it’s ignorant and It’s hurtful. I don’t think a lot of us Black and Latino embrace or fully understand what Afro Latino means. For me the bottom line of all of this is that we need to dig a lot deeper and stop questioning each others heritage, lineage or so called blackness. And as Moongirl & janQua both said take a look at who is casting for these roles on t.v and the big screen.

  • http://www.citizette.com Citizette.com

    Well said!

  • B

    One of the things I have learned is that there are other black experiences in America and all over the world besides the “African-American experience” and sometimes I believe a lot of African-Americans (and Americans in general) forget that. The African Diaspora brought Africans through out parts of the Caribbean, Latin-America, South America and Europe…not only America.

    I think this sort of rejection of the Zoe Saldana’s, Amber Roses and Siselee Lopez’s in the AA community comes from:

    1. How American culture and the media have conditioned all Americans (including AA’s) to believe that all black-American’s look, talk, speak, dress and act in a certain way. If they don’t adhere to certain stereotypes I have noticed that AA’s as well as Americans of all races question the “validity” of their “blackness” in subtle and not so subtle ways due to this conditioning.

    2. The “brown paper bag test” still exists among the AA community, however now it comes in the form of a “So, what are you?” question. As a light skinned AA I cannot tell you how many guys and some women have approached me with this question. It seems to be a sort of fetish among some black men in particular. If you appear to have some physical features (hair texture, skin tone, facial features etc.) that are not stereotypically “black” you are more desirable to some black men which is really, really sad. It seems like the Saldana’s, Lopez’s and Rose’s are often times put up on a pedestal by our own men (in music videos, movies, everyday experiences) that black women with identifiably black features are not.
    Demitiria @ the blog A Belle in Brooklyn recounted a very interesting experience she had with this recently here:

  • lisa

    Yes! I totally agree!!

  • golddiva

    I’m Black and Puetro Rican. As a child I always had to defend myself on both sides. I realize ignorant black and latina women, are hurt. Hurt people hurt people. Blackness doesn’t mean African American. My mother is African American and she has long reddish brown hair and light skinned. My aunties on my Puerto Rican side are dark skinned and beautiful.

    To the white society we are all BLACK! They would call all of us n*ggas.

    Some of us black women are bitter in every aspect of life, and find no good with the world. I don’t understand why African Americans and Latinoswon’t rise together to conquer the real problems with the majority.

  • no solidarity

    I fully accept these women within the sisterhood, but I guess the media needs more issues to create controversy so they choose this one and then try to represent their ideas across the broad spectrum of black womanhood. Please STOP!

  • Jason

    Black folks are a generous and accepting as well as diverse people. If you embrace the community the community will embrace you–if you don’t then the hell with you , who cares.

  • http://clutchmagazine Just Me

    Wow, I first started visiting Clutch because I thought it was a magazine that was uplifting and positive for Black women. However, as I’ve only been visiting here for about 4 months now, it seems the tone of the magazine is race bating i.e. IR dating/marriage, light skinned vs.dark skinned, other race women with big booties, Black men who don’t want Black women and so on and so on. Why put so much focus on these topics, really? I am on a journey for self improvement, to be all that the Almighty has called me to be and reading these types of articles and the blogs laced with anger, cynicism and hurt that follow will not contribute to my growth. I’m sorry Clutch, you just lost a reader.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Niecy-Cerise/100000013795662 Niecy Cerise

    You guys are confusing race with nationality. They United States is not the only country that has black people. Turn off the TV and do a little traveling.

  • jamesfrmphilly

    none of these women rock nappy hair…….

  • janQUA

    Latinos don’t identify with or want to black as a whole….so why should they be all over black media?/? hmmm sounds like our self hating culture allows them refuge from theirs…so they are too “black” for Telemundo but just “light enough” for BET. What a joke!!!

  • Reagan

    I don’t understand what that has to do with anything. A lot of African American women don’t “rock nappy hair” either.

  • Fatimah

    Honestly….black women need to focus more on themselves rather than which women are or are not black! Whose concern is it really? What’s going on in your own backyard? As a black-Caribbean-Canadian woman….I’m so over it!

  • Diane

    That is not true. What I will challenge though is you looking at Univision and seeing all the black people on the channel, there are few to none. Blacks in latino nations have a harder time in terms of representation within their society in comparison to Blacks in the United States, the same follows for acceptance of their black heritage. Brazil is over 50 percent black but their television stations have very few black roles. Open your eyes and see where the slave trade left off! Its also important to internalize that in the United States ( and people have argued only in the united states) we have the one drop rule vs other latino nations where its the opposite. Blacks around the world have got to get it together, but the first step is supporting one another against the white heterosexual male supremacist state that we are fighting, not tearing one another down because they are trying to survive within it.

  • Seriously

    Seriously!

  • mina

    Obviously we’re not living in a “post-racial America”, we never have. I think this is the problem of having “set in stone” racial categories that people must adhere to or we are denialing our heritage. However, I do notice the opposite with dealing with more racially ambiguous people in everyday life in that their quick to bring up the latin, cuban, indian, creole, irish, caribbean, etc. part of their identities and the black part is more of an afterthought.

    I always could run around and say that I’m an American born second-gen. half trini and half dominican, but does it really matter? I’m black, that’s exotic enough for me. I’m not that people who are made up of all sorts of identities to deny them or not bring them up, but sometimes it’s eyeroll inducing. Just like back in the day when white people in my high school would wax poetry about the gumbo pot of their racial make up to me.

    Also keep in mind that light-skinned black, latina, and indian women enjoy beauty privileges that their darker sisters do not. This is pretty evident in American media where I’ve always noticed that lighter or darker skinned black men will be in a number of different roles. However, lighted skinned black women are apparently more favored when it comes to TV and movie appearances, especially in terms of network TV and action movies for some reason.

    In speaking of Amber Rose, yes she is a “style icon” in a sense (I use that term loosely). I more don’t care for her because apparently she’s famous for mostly being with Kanye and having a big booty, I guess. The media keeps forcing her and many others down my mouth and I’m not sure why I should be interested.

  • Luvs

    I can understand where you are coming from, whereby you expected this online magazine to be more “positive”. However from what I can tell, Clutch magazine is that and much more. There are many messages out there that rather then talking about the issue in an open matter we put it under the rug. Clutch magazine is a place where we can release and express how we feel about different topics. In addition, it is a way for people to reconstruct a previous notion about whatever the topic is.

    Clutch is positive, by motiving it’s audience and it is also bringing out discussions that we should have. I loved the “booty” discussion. I was happy to know that I was not the only one with a small butt who felt they did not fit the “black criteria”.

  • http://20sinamerica.blogspot.com Nic

    I really want to know what black women are having all these conversations you like to feature on Clutch Magazine/Coco & Creme. Also, to the people who say Latinos don’t identify with Blacks- wrong! Now I agree that many don’t. But such a blanket statement is just silly and reaching. I know many Latinos from all different backgrounds who consider themselves black. Maybe you need to meet more Latinos before making such a generalization. Also, I know many blacks, myself included, who would be considered “African American” that struggle with this terminology. I think once we start getting caught up with terminology then we start putting ourselves against each other. Who are we to claim a race for another person? And who are we to judge what race they put themselves in? I think it only should be a problem if say a black girl says she is white because she hates what it is to be black. Then it is a problem.

  • Isis

    Um Amber Rose considers herself to be a white woman and thats fine her dad is white. People like Zoe are considered blatinas. lol Hispanics can be categorized as either black or white. She happens to be a black one. They still deny their black heritage though. I dont believe in claiming people that don’t want to claim us. Why?? it makes us look like we need lighter skinned people to claim us to give us validation. Same with mulattoes. A lot of them HATE black people yet we constantly argue them down when they don’t want to be called black. We should focus on people who embrace their African heritage, like Obama, and forget the rest. *sigh*

  • http://toxiceuphoria.com Lidia-Anain

    As an Afro-Latina, who struggled being, “oo “black” for Telemundo but just “light enough” for BET” as janQUA states in her comment…you can’t ever know how much it hurts to sit on the fence of “in between”. I can’t make anyone accept me as one thing or another; I battled too long as a child and young adult to even try to explain my situation to anyone; I love all of me and my roots.

    I don’t think acceptance of Afro-Latinos as Blacks is even a topic…we are black…just like African Americans we are the product of the African diaspora. Just like African Americans some of us are lighter than others and some of us have “nappier” hair than others. Black people come in all shapes, sizes, tones, with different hair textures and varied features.

    I am as much Black as I am Cuban and no article, comment will ever change my mind about that. If you want to discredit the blackness and heritage of Spanish speaking West Indians (Zoe Saldana) then I suggest you also start considering Haitians and Jamaicans also as not Black. I mean really what’s the difference?

    I think Niecy has the right idea…start traveling…if you can’t travel pick up the book, “More Than Black” by Susan D. Greenbaum, it is the story of Afro-Cubans in Tampa. In the first paragraph is one of the most powerful lines of the entire book:

    The judge’s retort: “Cuban? I didn’t know you were a Cuban. I always thought you were a nigger.”

  • http://selfra.blogspot.com dantresomi

    just a few things

    1. many of us afro latinos (i am one) claim our “black” side.
    2. Saldana has claimed in several interviews to be black (when dominicans have stepped to her about not claiming to be a latina). she has also been an advocate for getting better roles for women of color in hollywood.
    3. while many latinos refuse to claim their african ancestry, many of us do, and many of us now more than ever.

  • janQUA

    “I dont believe in claiming people that don’t want to claim us.”… I’m saaaaying though!! lol

  • omg

    1. if zoe considers herself black, it’s only because she’s in the u.s. and wants to get jobs “real” black women would get. i’ve never met a dominican who actually considered himself/herself black. so, nope, she’s not black to me. ha ha.

    2. i remember in college knowing this girl from cape verde. she was light-skinned and light-eyed with kinky hair (always the tell tale). anyway, she swore she was not black. so, i no longer consider cape verdeans black. lol.

    3. sesilee i don’t mind considering her “black.”

    see, i take my direction from them. many of these women we would regard as black, do not want to be considered black so why should black people view them as such. also, so-called black latinos can be real opportunists. they consider themselves black when it’s convenient for them. i’m sure zoe doesn’t go around the dominican republic saying she’s black. lmao.

    comparing with halle is not the same. she does not back away from blackness or being considered black.

    black americans have nothing to apologize for. they create the confusion, not us.

  • Jada

    here we go again having issues defining what’s ours. who cares?

    the commenters, maybe they should become writers. good job Geneva!

  • mina

    Ok I read the post that caused all the “controversy” on Amber Rose, and people were just saying that a sweater and heels really doesn’t qualify as a “look”. And no one even brought-up her racial background until the poster mentioned Amber Rose’s skin tone matched her mother’s. I’m sorry but bringing that up wasn’t very professional at all since no one was questioning Amber Rose’s or the poster’s mother’s racial identity.

    The only thing that was commented on was her outfit (or lack there of) and that she isn’t the best role model or icon in the world on that site for readers who I assume would prefer better representations of women in the media.

    Amber Rose is known for her clothing choices so the question of whether she’s a bad role model or not really had no place in a simple “Look of the Day” post anyway.

    I love you guys but I will say that constant bringing up of “Why women hate Amber Rose”, Kat Stacks, “Why women hate Beyonce”, “Why black women hate black men who date non-black women”, has been getting old and is not why I come to read Clutch. That article on our history of homosexuality, more of that please! ; )

  • Candiedtreat

    I do!! and its beautiful and liberating! but that doesn’t mean that women with a different hair texture are not black or that their hair isn’t beautiful too.

  • janQUA

    Anyone living in the northeast has met people like this…and I frankly feel bad for them. They didn’t have the Black Power Movement or Malcolm X or even good black history to tell them it is ok to be who you are and more that that, how we are descended from a noble race of ingenious people.

    One PR girl once told me that Latinos are mixed because when the Spaniards brought the blacks from Africa, they raped the Spanish women. REALLY?? That is how it happened? Some can’t even fathom how a white Spaniard could procreate with an African slave.

    I could give you a hundred more examples from other Latino groups I have encountered and frankly it made me feel like on the level of cultural intelligence and identity…I was dealing with some confused people.

    I am African myself and and many times confused for AA, Caribbean by Spanish speaking people.
    “You can’t be African, your note even that dark and your nostrils aren’t all spread out… etc”…really? Africans can’t be beautiful, I don’t think God got that memo when He created us.

    “Everybody wants to be Black but nobody wants to be black.”

  • Jaz

    My question to the commenters that always have something negative to say about what this site does and does not feature is LOOK around. This site does positive pieces all the time, but you know what you choose not to read them and some how forget to mention those in your comments. And the Beyonce article mentioned what actually a piece praising Beyonce (read the whole damn thing – especially the last paragraph) and out of the 5-8 articles mentioned Clutch has pushed out more that 200 positives ones to counter act them.

  • secretaddy

    btw it was meant to be is it UNFAIR* that they are robbed

  • Jaz
  • http://toxiceuphoria.com Lidia-Anain

    I agree a lot more from Arielle Loren on Clutch, please and thank you!

  • mina

    @Jaz Did I say that Clutch always puts out negative stuff? No! and please don’t curse at me either, you can argue with me like an adult.

    I said I mentioned one of the articles that up now that I enjoy. I’m just a little burned out when Clutch feels the need to mention one of the subjects I mentioned because it seems like a way to jack up page views. And there has been a number of Beyonce pieces about why people love or hate her. Just because I criticized one aspect of Clutch magazine does not mean I don’t love it, I want to make it better than it already is.

  • mina

    @Jaz I did not read the Zoe article I was only commenting on the “Look of the Day” post mentioning Amber Rose.

  • Clnmike

    Co sign Jason.

    Act like an outsider you will be one.

  • Brie

    as a black woman who has a heritage that stretches from ireland to africa and back again. i enjoyed this article but i think it should be looked at as a wake up call

    black women need to begin being comfortable with who they are and what they look like. this idea that if more women who have latina or caucasian features are looked at as “black” women it downgrades those of us who are more clearly black is bull**it.

    the beauty of black women is that we are soo different and we span from ebony to ivory. with all different hair textures in between.

    if you are a black woman and you feel threatened or choose to even question whether or not someone should be included in speech about african americans you are insecure and need to work on your self esteem and figure out why it bothers you.

    i am beautiful regardless if a gorgeous zoe or amber is in the same category as i am. and you should feel the same way.

  • binks

    I think this article is over simplifying the issue. First, I think people need to stop pretending that there isn’t any colorism issue in the Latin community which is why some African Americans tip toe around the are you black or latina/latino . There’re people that has black heritage with coco color skin or darker that will still argue you down and will curse you out if you speak upon their African heritage or refer to them as black so it is not like African Americans are just running with this bit out of thin air because that highway goes both ways. How can you embrace someone as black when a lot (not the case with Zoe and many others) deny it…blank stares… Like my father always said, just because someone LOOKS like you doesn’t mean they identify themselves like you. Secondly, it isn’t that people don’t like Amber Rose but the fact that she is relatively famous for just banging Kanye West and looking fly but blogs and black media was acting like she was the second coming where other talented women who been around longer rarely gets any shine and most people jumped on Amber‘s coattail mostly due to her look, point blank. Finally the article answer the question why most people questions these women because there is not enough African American women that is getting shine in Hollywood. Let’s not forget Hollywood is not ahead of the curve, where the unspoken rule of you can be black but a certain type of “black” or a black person from an ambiguous background to get roles that is not stereotypical. So let’s cut the bull. Yes, there is a vastness of what being black means and stands for but how come most of the time the black that is a more Eurocentric is plastered everywhere on black mediums…shrugs…

  • Leeneah

    AGREED! Well said.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ashleigh-Elle-Aye/507714421 Ashleigh Elle Aye

    Some of these comments are so damn ignorant. How can you complain about Afro-Latinos not claiming their “Blackness” when Black Americans barely claim it themselves. We bleach our skin, stitch Korean hair in our head and wear blue contacts yet whine about not being claimed? GTFO. They were and still are subjected to the same conditioning that we are. They are being fed the same “white is right” standard of beauty that we are. Instead of alienating them, we should welcome them with open arms. Also, race is a social construct anyway so why the hell are we so intent on policing who can and cannot be Black?

  • mina

    Thank You!

  • Bernie

    Especially in America, race is a very strictly defined with concrete categories. It’s not like that everywhere. Here, things are very black-and-white—literally. Reading the comments, I’m struck by some people totally agree with this and try–DEMAND–that people pick a category to be boxed in. YES, you can be black and latina at the SAME TIME. Wow, how is that even in dispute?

  • Leeneah

    It’s Latina vs non-Latina for me. “Black” is a color,
    i.e. something you can *see.* “Black” is a race, i.e.
    of African descent. “Black is NOT an ethnicity or
    a nationality. There are black Latinas, black
    Trinidadians, black British, etc.

    I’m first generation American, the daughter of an
    indigenous West African father and a
    mixed-heritage West African mother. Black
    Americans are always trying to tell me I’m not
    “black” when my skin is milk chocolate brown.
    NO other group of people has EVER told me I wasn’t
    black. Hmmm…

  • Ciderkiss

    Not only that but Zoe Saldana is mixed. So all I’m asking is why is every race allowed to have standards except for blacks? Mulattoes aren’t tragic y’know they can be both. I’m sick of hearing articles like this when it’s so hard to find black women who have looks that relate to the rest. Clutch, YOU FAIL!

  • Val

    “They were and still are subjected to the same conditioning that we are. They are being fed the same “white is right” standard of beauty that we are. Instead of alienating them, we should welcome them with open arms.”

    YES!! I’m finally embracing my curly afro, after years and years of being told all my life that you need to have “pelo bueno”, good hair. Can’t we all see that we’re all being told the same bs???

    I’m really proud of Zoe Saldana. As a Dominican myself, do you know how rare it is to see a Dominican embracing their African ancestry? Me and my sisters are so proud of her. She was the highlight for us in The Terminal. :) Now we’re ecstatic to see that she’s gone this far AND accepting herself for who she is.

    We should ALL embrace everyone with open arms, both African Americans and Latinos. I wish for the day where we join forces and just take over already lol. Seriously, we’d be unstoppable. But look what’s tearing us apart….*sigh*

  • Givemeabreak

    I’m sorry, but just what is the definition of ‘black’? If you’ve got black parent(s), grandparent(s), or great grandparent(s) are you not black? Does the tone of your skin make you black? This is a day and age where we should be embracing one another, whether you’re 1/16th black or 100% black. There are millions of black people on this planet, and millions of ways to be black. It’s a concept many should embrace.

  • http://ifeluvsu.blogspot.com Eboni Ife

    Seriously ladies??? You don’t get to tell someone what they can and can’t identify with. This is ESPECIALLY annoying when it comes to our Latino sisters because there are huge black populations in Latin America. I realize that “black” is generally an American term; however, there are “black” people, as in people of African descent all over the diaspora. Black Americans DO NOT own the rights to the “black” descriptor nor are we the only group of African descendants who have had a black experience. Shame on us for having the nerve to discriminate against others on the basis of race… are you kidding me? You’d think we’d be a little more sensitive to matters such as this. smh.

  • Roman James

    I think this is just an example of the rampant ignorance of African Americans of the African diaspora. More slaves were sent to South America than North America. There are more people of African Ancestry in Brazil than in America. The “Brazilian” models that American companies like to tout aren’t of the true Brazilian heritage. They come from European emigres (particularly German and Italian) who left Europe to escape their bigoted and racist (Nazi and facist) leanings and repudiation after WWII.

    Many African Americans, not unlike all Americans, think that “we be all that be” and that somehow they are more valid than blacks from other countries, which is such bs! What I love about Zoe, over Rosario Dawson, is that she lays claims to her African roots. You can see it all up and through the girl! Sessilee Lopez and Amber Rose are just as African as an “African American.” I’ve met two Cape Verdeans and they both are aesthetically beautiful people of color in two different hues.

    We are some of the worst critics of our own and it is all due to not being accepting of our own diversity. We don’t even know who we are, but we love to put each other into a box. I advise these folks to get out of their neighborhoods, their comfort zones and meet all kinds of people – be it black, brown or purple. We are widely varied and if we as African Americans stop believing what the media tells us about ourselves (current publication exempted) than we will understand that we are gloriously diverse!

  • omg

    i don’t think many of the people posting have denied the presence of “blacks” in other parts of the americas. i myself studied this in college, before it was en vogue. but we are merely doing as the “black” latinos tell us – which is not to regard them as black. what’s wrong with that? i consider it ignorant to continue identifying people with a certain descriptor just because we culturally consider them to be a certain way. nope, i’m being opened-minded by not including them in the black category. many don’t wanna be black anyway. just ask them. it’s not my fault i view them this way, it’s theirs. lol.

    and speaking of ignorant – german, jews, italians, spaniards, japanese, etc. are just as brazilian as the “blacks” are. nobody in the americas are true anything cept the indigenous populations. under our nation states, if you’ve got that passport, that birth certificate, etc. you are brazilian, argentenian, canadian, mexican, u.s. american, etc. period.

    so please read closely. we may resist them because THEY resist us. THEY have made it clear to us that they are not black. okay? please go read about so-called black latinos and their history in their respective countries. there is a reason why they are overlooked there. one is because they want little to do with proclaiming blackness. this is their dilemma not ours.

    so please stop saying black americans are ignorant. it is they who want no part of us, unless, like i’ve said, it’s convenient for them.

  • omg

    the funny thing about that more than 50% black population is that most of those people do not consider themselves but mixed or one of the multitude categories they have down there for saying they are not black.

    in studies and polls, i believe no more than 10% of the brazilian population considers themselves to be black. don’t tell me. that’s because black americans deny them their blackness.

    no. they don’t regard themselves as black.

  • Ashley

    I think the author of this article should look at the Lip Service interview and read where Amber Rose herself said she was a “white girl”.

    Now maybe her actual genetics may point to another answer, but I don’t think you can get much clearer than that- she didn’t even claim herself.

  • Brooke P.

    Are you serious? In that interview she never stated that she was a white girl. Please post the link where she says that. When Angela Yee interviewed her she implied she yelled like a white girl during sex. Amber said, “typical white girl sh*t.” Not that she was a white girl.

  • jac

    We could just focus on her acting…

  • Dski

    As a afro latino who has suffered ignorance from both the african american community and the latino community, reading this article brings up a lot of memories, of growing up in the suburbs and having other latinos who were of the caucasian persuasion look at me as if I were an alien because I didn’t look like them. For those of you who have a difficult time seeing Zoe, Sessilee, Rosario Dawson, Gena Ravera(Soul Food the movie, the one that slept with Vanessa Williams husband Miles), La La and a host of others as black women, I say to you……CHILE PLEASE!! Do you not think that these aforementioned sisters have not face racism because of their color? Do you not think that that these sisters have not had to go through the highs and lows that come with being a sister? Do you question Paula Patton, Halle Berry….oh I am about to commit blashepmy! ALICIA KEYS!! ALL of them have a non black parent, but you accept them with open arms no question…….why will you not do the same for the “original la razas” your afro-latina sister? If she didn’t open her mouth where you could her accent, you would ride or die with her! We should be celebrating them and congratulating them for not doing a Mariah Carey trying to play the culture card when convenient. They are us, I am you….just bilingual. Yes in latin countries, it is the opposite of the USA, where as if you have one drop white blood in you, you would considered yourself white or mixed…memo, we ARE ALL MIXED!! Yes in latin countries, patriotism and/or nationalism comes first before race, but look deeper in you will see that race is an issue by who has and who doesn’t. However, that doesn’t negate the african blood that runs through these womens vains, that they have chosen to accept and we as a collective entity need to stop the self analysis, self hatred and pettiness and embrace all that we are and that we will be. The world is becoming smaller and people are more and more starting to have romantic interludes with people of all race, cultures and nationalities…including us! So you better start redefining what black is because the world has already started to.

  • carla campbell

    I want to say that this issue is unique to African Americans but I would be less than honest if I did not acknowledge otherwise. I am from the Caribbean (Jamaica) and that culture is obsessed with skin hues. In that country there is a cultural hierarchy based solely on the shade of one’s skin. And while it may be provocative, it is certainly understandable.

    It is a historical fact that in societies where poverty and hopelessness are pervasive among certain groups identifiable features such as hair length, textures, skin shade are used to discern class. As such populations struggling to find self worth rely on these markers to further discriminate and subjugate women. For example while visiting Jamaica last summer, I had the opportunity to spent sometime with large size African American woman of mixed (Native,African) ancestry, she also noticed that there was an extreme focus on the colour of her skin. I mentioned her size to say that she thought it would be more of the focus for people she encountered in this new country as it normally is for her in America.

    We further went on to discuss the pervasiveness of the “browning” factor, where shades from mocha, to beige are hyper defined, valued, and used as a measure of a woman’s datability. Of course the fairer the completion the more appealing the woman. She observed that while such things are talked about in America they are far less subtle here.

    I have found that in my experience however, African American men are pathologically obsessed with trying to discern identifiable features such as hair texture, eye colour mixed ancestry in a woman, as if trying to find something racially that separates her from her African roots in order to qualify her as datable or not.

    When compared to Caribbean and other Black men I found that African American men are more likely to discriminate against a woman on the basis of her complexion, such as she is too dark. For example I was extremely offended recently when an African American male gave me what I define as a backhanded compliment when he commented that I was a “beautiful brown skinned woman” . Needless to say I immediately questioned his intelligence or lack thereof.

    So while I do agree that skin colour should not be held to such a defining standard in the “Black Community”, I think that it is. And it is not exclusive to African American and Latinos, just look at Asians; South and East (India & China) in those countries there is a quest for white skin to the tune of billions of dollars in bleaching creams.

    As long as there continue to be race and class oppression around the globe where success continue to evade the majority people of colour, the minority will continue to define all standards for the majority.

  • dm

    Really? I’m west indian and its no different from someone indentifying themself as lationo/latin-american. Its geographic. There are white, black, amerindian, asian west indians and latin americans. Ignorance does not have a race, same way some latinos ‘hate’. Blacckss it doesn’t give you a reason to decide whether or not some one is black enough . I don’t understand why anyone has to claim anything. Or prove if they have african descendents who cares they are all women of colour. And to the person who says that they should embrace ppl who embrace their african heritage like obama, cape verde is a part of africa and amber rose embraces it her cape verdean heritage. Clutch I think you should have a travel section for all these ppl who jus seem to not know any better. I sometimes wonder if clutch is only for african american women instead of women of colour . t icasection .

  • dm

    Sorry for errors I am on a mobile. I meant to say ALL women of colour

  • carla campbell

    My dear Faryn Hilel, please read a book, learn to write before and in general learn about the world before you begin to write nonsense on a Black website. Thank you.

  • Clnmike

    I think AA ill ease with Latinos goes beyond just self identification, when you compare historyies you see the civil rights struggle with AA, there struggle with racial identity. You see AfricaKs struggle with colonialism, you see non latino Caribbean people’s identification with Africa and race. But when it comes to hispanics you hear nothing about their struggle if there is one , no movements, no organizations. With some of them it feels like they just happy to be here and that’s all. And I am sure it is insulting to AA to see them benifit fronm there struggle while they are still treated like 2nd class citizens still. You can’t respect people like that.

  • JJ

    Amber Rose isn’t black,but Zoe and Sessilee definitely are.

  • Brasilia

    I have to co-sign on what La La Vasquez wrote,“For me, not looking like some people’s idea of a typical Latina has been challenging and often painful. I constantly find myself trying to justify who I am, and why should I?” I am of Afro-Latina descent, my father is from Brazil, his mother was Puerto Rican. I grew up with my mother who is of Louisiana Creole descent. I identify as Black because that is what my mother identified as. It wasn’t until I became an adult that I decided to embrace my Latin heritage. I can identify with La La because sometimes when I identify myself as Afro-Latina, I get looks of disbelief or people will say, “Well, you don’t look Brazilian or you don’t look Puerto Rican.” The funny thing is, many of these people have never met a Brazilian or a Puerto Rican, so how could they possibly know what one looks like. Or they have this pre-conceived notion of what they think one looks like (usually White European). I live in a city that has a predominant Hispanic community (Mexican-American) and there are times that people will assume that I am Mexican-American (go figure). I have also met people from Puerto Rico and Brazil who don’t even ask if I am Boriqua or Brazilian, they know and it makes me feel good. It’s nice when my people recognize me but it hurts when others dismiss me because I don’t look like what they think a Brazilian or Puerto Rican should look like.

  • http://www.reverbnation.com/kiamuze Kia Muze

    Why are we even talking about Amber Rose and Zoe Saldana in the same article?????? I am sorry Zoe is a serious actress and has worked hard to get where she is. To compare to some model and THEN accuse her of not being black or black enough is really an insult.

  • http://www.littleshopclothing.com darinmichelle

    well said. i applaud this article and coco and creme; my new fav blog :)

  • internationelle

    While I do understand the message behind this article, I feel that it is lost in trivial context. I believe that the comments about Amber Rose were made not because of the fact that she is not “black” enough to be black but rather she’s hypersexualized and makes it harder for black women to be taken seriously.

    Her dress and actions will keep us stuck in the same rut that we have been in. I believe the comments were made to say that maybe she should consider the repercussions of her actions not just for her but for the other black women and in particular black girls who idolize women like her who are constantly in the media spotlight.

    Further, the outfit girlfriend was rockin’ was not worthy of being in the spotlight as the “look of the day” unless it was to say, “hey, she does have some regular clothing.”

    As far as the actual message goes, I think its terrible to have to make someone identify as one race or another. If their black skin makes them want to identify as black fine, if the fact that their parent speaks Spanish as their first language makes them identify more closely with their Latina roots then so be it.

    Bottom line, we are ALL fighting the same fight

  • Akai ([email protected])

    It’s funny when someone in their 20′s, 30′s or 40′s yaps about other groups ‘benefiting’ from civil rights sacrifices when they – themselves – have never done a daggone thing in the way of fighting, let alone marched in one rally back in the 1950′s or 60′s. Back in the day many of these marches were peppered with whites and those of other races, and if people want to disregard all the money, support and assistance that came from non-black people, oh well!

    It is impossible for anyone to even recount the factual history of the NAACP without acknowledging the key role those of Jewish descent (i.e. Julius Rosenwald, Emil Hirsch, Lillian Wald, Stephen Wise, Joel Springarn [chairman of the NAACP in 1914], Jacob Schiff, Jacob Billikopf etc.) played in it’s founding, sustaining it ($$), legal assistance, arguing cases etc. And putting aside the fact that, currently, too many AAs are failing to take advantage (voting, education etc.) of the opportunities others put it on the line for — those crying about others ‘benefiting’ are also taking advantage of efforts not their own.

    It always comes back to this American arrogance of not knowing the history of others, yet foaming at the mouth in judgment when a puny population of 40 million having never left one’s proverbial ‘neighborhood’. Latinos were not sitting around waiting for AAs to make a move before they fought for their rights.

    The crap about there never being any ‘movements or organizations’ is nothing but bull as the history is diverse and extensive and – for the sake of beginning to dismantle the horrendous ignorance, self-centeredness and misconceptions – here is brief (starting point) information about LULAC which was formed in 1929 and the 2nd largest civil rights organization in America after the NAACP; also, the Mendez v. Westminster school desegregation case that won at the state level, set the legal precedent and preceded Brown v. Board by 6 years. As a matter of fact, Thurgood Marshall was involved in the Mendez case and used it to argue Brown v. Board. …I could go on and on recounting various liberation narratives from Cuba in the Caribbean to Brazil in South America, but the point remains!

  • EmpressDivine

    I’m glad you wrote this so I wouldn’t have to…lol Some folks are acting like they don’t have Uncle Ruckuses in their family and in their neighborhoods.

  • fraulein17

    you’re very right! in fact i just saw a fact somewhere saying that columbia has one of the largest black populations outside of nigeria.

    but the only columbians they show are the ones that look like shakira. same thing with brazil, they only show the olive toned “exotic looking (aka non black) looking brazilians as “the most beautiful women in the world” when the ones who are dark with kinky hair are just as beautiful. but when black men say they want a brazilian women or wanna go to brazil for the women they are expecting to see only olive toned women with african features *rolls eyes*

    this one guy said ” i love how brazilian girls look” i said ” um a lot look just like us!” he replied ” no no no the REAL brazilians” meaning the giselle bundchen and adriana lima looking types.

  • Akai ([email protected])

    Fraulein17 wrote: “…in fact i just saw a fact somewhere saying that columbia has one of the largest black populations outside of nigeria.”
    ******************************************************************************************************************

    Untrue!

    Columbia’s “black” population is around 4% (relatively small) and Brazil’s “black” population (not the same as “mulattos” i.e. Adriana Lima) is 6% — while Nigeria is at least 90% “black.”

  • MP

    Amen. Other comments touched these topics as well, but you summed it all up the best.

  • christina.jamila

    Whaaatttt??

  • Roman

    OMG, you just give validity to the article. Did you even read the article? The article was about people like you who make assumptions about who people are based on your own assumptions about the few experiences you have had. Not every Afro-Latino claims to be white! That is an asinine assumption you’ve made based on your experience. Now if you have LIVED overseas or in South America (which I know you haven’t based on your myopic view of a whole group of people.)

    Again, you just give validity to why the article was written in the first place.

  • http://dezinediva.blogspot.com/ DezineDiva

    I took a trip to Puerto Rico in 2006, and it was BEAUTIFUL. THe people, the culture, the weather, the beaches! I did say the people didnt I? Puerto Ricans, like many Latinas/Latinos come in various shades and heritage as far as being “black”, white, indian, etc. I am a brown skinned black woman, African/Jamaican American, and down there, everyone assumed I was Puerto Rican, which also happens here in the US alot too. I lived in Washington Heights, I think that’s where Zoe Saldana is from (NYC), and up there everyone assumed I was Dominican like them. I have constantly been asked if my heritage includes at least some mixing of Hispanic and African american, and yet when I say this to people, sometimes it’s damn near a fight. Somehow, we black americans decided you can’t be “black” and hispanic. You cant be brown and hispanic. But why do the hispanic people seem to think otherwise? In the Latina magazine that LaLa penned an article for, there is always a debate of why they typically showcase lighter skinned straighter haired latinas, and not the vast color scale of latinas that are out there. To be black you dont need to be the direct descendant of slaves, you need to have African blood in background AND you need to want to identify as black. If someone decides, that they are light enough, and their hair is either straight or silky enough (or they can flat iron the hell out of it) and decide they dont want to be black, that’s their own biz. For all the sistas, mamacitas, etc. out there who identify as black whether being hispanic, Carribean/West Indian, African, or African American (and all the places in between) that’s all that matters.

  • Vogue

    OMG, I believe you are solely looking at the broader aspects of this topic? Looking from the broader aspect, yes your nationality can be defined by your place of birth, or what your passport says. Though ethnicity and race are commonly grouped with each other they are separate entities. You may be of Brazilian ethnicity but you may be of black or west indian descent. There are people of many races in other countries, especially within the Caribbean. In Jamaica, you can find people of all races; black, indian, white, and chinese. Within in Central America, you can find the same thing, hence the coined term Afro-Latino, which many people identify with. Technically I am west indian and hispanic, but i identify as being black, however if you ask me my nationality I would tell you my parents were born and raised in Panama and Trinidad. Both of them are from different ethnicities, but they never overlooked the fact that they are both still Black.

  • Kish

    I just wish that the writer would have used “descent” rather than “decent” when describing Amber Rose’s parents’ backgrounds. It threw me off. Other than that, it was interesting.

  • Akai ([email protected])

    Thank you, Roman!

    Truer words have not been written but, you know how that goes; some people love to be victims then make judgments and suddenly become experts based on a college course, magazine article, or feature they saw on National Geographic. (I also so agree with you about a group that doesn’t even know who they are having the audacity to place others in their made-up boxes).

    The vibe of some of these comments are as if Latinos are asking African Americans for something — when they’re not asking them for a d@mn thing! Also, it’s like people are taking another’s/others’ self-identification as a personal rejection of them what that is egotistical as hell and hadn’t a daggone thing to do with them or their group.

    And to clarify another thing — terms like Afro-Latino or Afro-Cuban, Afro-Colombian etc. are not how most in these countries historically identified or identify now. These terms are historically fairly recent and primarily used by Americans, throughout academia, and with certain political and social movements.

  • Afrodandy

    Have you ever heard of Cesar Chavez ,Dolores Huerta I or the Brown Power movement ? You should google some things before you comment.

  • Akai ([email protected])

    Exactly, Afrodandy.

    As ignorance of the law is no excuse, just because an individual doesn’t know the liberation struggles/histories of others, or ever heard about them, certainly does not mean they don’t exist and never happened!

    …nothing to do but giggle and shake a head at such colossal ignorance!

  • http://www.girlsbestfriendandco.com/ TheFashionistaChic

    I really hate post such as this, it feeds into the insecurity of Black women. As a Black women I believe there are so many other issues that we can be addressing. I actually think its somewhat racist.

  • copelli21

    I didn’t know Amber Roses’ racial heritage and my dislike of her is not about her color.

    I just don’t see why people are hailing this woman like she’s done something when in fact, she’s done nothing. Is being on Kanye’s arm her claim to fame? WTF. I put her in the same category as Kim Kardashian….. much ado about absolutely NOTHING.

    I think LaLa nailed it in regards to black vs. latina……she and others shouldn’t have to choose.

    Hell, the majority of black folks are mixed with something…..there aren’t a whole helluva lot (if any) of “PURE” black people….whatever that means.

    The bottom line for me is just to see some damn color on the screen (be it tv, movies or whatever). Hell, I get just as happy when I see a Latina, asian or indian woman out there. Some color is better than nothing. We need to stop nitpicking over nonsense like this…..because like it or not, white folks tend to put us all in the same boat anyway.

    Short of Zoe or Sofia V. (Modern family)….there aren’t many latinas getting acting roles out there either. And forget about Asian or other women of color.

    I accept Zoe, LaLa, Sesilee, even freakin Amber….as my african-latina-carribbean-sistas.

    Now onto more important matters.

  • edrina

    @Akai

    Población de Colombia según pertenencia étnica
    Grupo étnico Población
    Indígena 1.392.623 (3.43%)
    Rom 4.858 (.01%)
    Afrocolombiano 4.311.757 (10.62%)
    Sin pertenencia étnica 34.898.170 (85.94%)
    Población Nacional 41.468.384 34. (Represents total country’s popluation, 2005).

    Not comparing which country has the largest black pop but based on Census 2005 Columbia’s Afrocolombiano is above 4% the stats indicate 10.62%. Doubt there has been any significant change to drop the pop to 4% w/i 5 years.

    National Admin Dept of Statistics
    Fuente: DANE, Censo General 2005. Población censada. As of 2005 Census Afrocolombiano represented 10.62% of Columbia’s population.
    http://www.census.gov/aboutus/stat_int.html

  • http://sartorialme.blogspot.com/ serenissima

    this comment hit the nail on the head in its entirety, but especially with this paragraph:

    ‘As far as the actual message goes, I think its terrible to have to make someone identify as one race or another. If their black skin makes them want to identify as black fine, if the fact that their parent speaks Spanish as their first language makes them identify more closely with their Latina roots then so be it.’

    i also found it interesting that, while throwing stones at Black chicks for making race an exclusive thing, nowhere did the article mention that people of other nationalities who are CLEARLY Black will deny to their dying breath that they are (‘no, im not Black, im Dominican, Ethiopian, Haitian…’). ESPECIALLY Hispanics/Latinas/etc, many of whom have extreme color/hair complexes and a screwed up European aesthetic. Dominican blowout, anyone?

    PS this whole article as well as C&C’s comments on their website just sound like sour grapes over the fact that their readers didn’t like that Amber Rose post. She’s lame, her outfit was lame, and so was the post. Get over it, Clutch

    Just sayin

  • T-boz

    um sweetie, Brazil’s Black and Brown population (no Adriana Lima’s) is over 50% making it the largest Black nation in the Western Hemisphere and Afro-Colombians make up over 20%. *get your facts straight*

  • Culturally Aware

    The title of this article really reflects ignorance among some African-Americans. Is she really black? That is the dumbest question I ever heard. I have had that question directed towards me, and clearly, I am a black. Although I am child of black immigrants via South America, I was born in the United States, lived here my whole life, and identify with some aspects of the African-American culture. The person who asked me that question said I am not ‘really black’ because my parents are immigrants from another country. What an ignorant comment! I may not identify/understand somethings or be aware of some uniquely African American customs, but that does not make me less African American.

    Culturally, there is a divide among African Americans and the rest of the black people in this world. If blacks outside the U.S. refuse to acknowledge their ‘black ancenstry’…that is their problem. No one can force them to identify themselves as black, if they don’t want to. African Americans need to stop trying to claim every black person on this planet as their own. The one drop rule is a uniquely American concept, it does not always apply outside the United States, but most African Americans have a hard time accepting that fact. The common denominator among us may be ‘black’, but culturally, we are different in more ways than one.

  • Clnmike

    What’s the matter afroandy? Reading comprehension is a skill you don’t have? The post was about what AA perceive not what Latinos have actually done, if they don’t sdee it then they question it. And while your at it get a leash for your pet monkey.

  • Akai ([email protected])

    Hi Edrina!

    I see you but I think perhaps you might be using the “one drop rule” which, again, is an American concept — and lumping mulattos and other mixed people with “blacks” when the two are not the same.

    I tend to rely more on CIA data (for various reasons) but I was responding to Fraulein17′s specific statement about Colombia’s “black population.” The following were updated in August of 2010.

    Click on the right to expand the People category for Colombia and scroll down to Ethnic Groups:

    58% – Mestizo
    20% – White
    14% – Mulatto
    4% – Black
    3% – Mixed Black-AmerIndian
    1% – AmerIndian

    For Brazil:

    53.7% – White
    38.5% – Mulatto
    6.2% – Black
    1.6% – Other (Japanese, Arab, AmerIndian, Unspecified)

  • Clnmike

    @serrenissima,

    I don’t believe Haitians deny being black, unless they are not actually black as in mixed, white or Arab.

  • Brasilia

    You make some very valid points. The one drop rule is unique to America, it’s funny to me how some Afro-Latin people in Latin American countries define race. A friend of mine who is also Brazilian once told me that in Brazil, neither she nor I would be considered Black simply based on skin tone. Black in Brazil is more of socio-economic term than racial she told me. I was quite taken aback, I grew up in the U.S. and was so unfamiliar with this concept of race.

  • Alexandra

    Great! I liked your comment & you’re probably the only person that saw it the same way I did.
    Some Black people really love sticking to this “one drop rule” thing & that in my opinion it is racist.
    Some people are forgetting why and who created the ‘drop rule’?

    “The one drop rule is a uniquely American concept, it does not always apply outside the United States, but most African Americans have a hard time accepting that fact. The common denominator among us may be ‘black’, but culturally, we are different in more ways than one.”

    Exactly. Say that again!
    Just because America may consider a half-black or black-looking person as “Black”, that doesnt mean that they are. Why do people insist on using this “oh if you look black, you are” thing.That’s why Dominicans and others can get riled up in topics like these. Stop trying to tell people who they are.

    Barack Obama, Halle Berry, Dania Ramirez, Christina Milian, wouldn’t even be called ‘black’ if they went to some places like South America and Caribbean. Culture/Region plays a big role.

  • Akai ([email protected])

    Internationelle wrote: “Amber Rose…makes it harder for black women to be taken seriously. Her dress and actions will keep us stuck in the same rut that we have been in. …maybe she should consider the repercussions of her actions not just for her but for the other black women and in particular black girls…”
    ******************************************************************************************************************

    I agree wholeheartedly with your opinion that trying to force individuals to identify to some stranger’s liking is wrong and ridiculous, however, could you clarify something?

    If an individual who happens to share my race/ethnicity does something nasty, stupid or wack…that’s them and totally on them! I’ve never felt it even remotely a reflection on, or representative of, me or mine in the least and don’t quite understand why anyone would. So, respectfully, why should the burden for women being taken seriously, removing them out of a rut etc. be Amber’s responsibility? She’s not “black” but, even if she were, why w/should responsibility for those things fall on her (or any one individual’s) shoulders?

    I share your desire for more positive females worthy of young girls looking up to, but self-expression (re: fashion) is all part of personal choice and freedoms we all enjoy. Making a choice then publicly assuming a burden/responsibility is one thing, but a person can’t be forced to sign on as representative for their entire ethnic, racial, gender, political etc. group.

    There are plenty of chicks of all races that walk around totally hooched out; more power to ‘em in this free country but I’ve never heard these things expected of the Lil Kim’s, Coco’s etc. of the world. *shrug*

    ******************************************************************************************************************
    Copelli21 wrote: “…there aren’t many latinas getting acting roles out there either. And forget about Asian or other women of color.”
    ******************************************************************************************************************

    You are absolutely right! They (and Native Americans) are also underrepresented in other visual areas i.e. modeling, journalism, as newscasters etc. Although doing so is liberating — failing to take the time or effort to learn these truths and realize/acknowledge the realities of others seems almost a threat to those who rest comfortably in the erroneous role of only, worst and most victimized, mistreated, oppressed or underrepresented ever.

  • Culturally Aware

    @Brasilia

    I don’t know much about the rest of Latin America but in Brazil, black is very much a racial term. The black people there that I know define themselves as black because its very obvious. Being black means your poor in Brazil, which is the truth 98% of the time, unfortunately. Race mixing, most prevelant among the poor is very common, but most times even the result of that mixing does not exempt you from the prejudice fitting into mainstream society. The ‘exotic looking girls’ that rappers hype up in their videos are not all the rage in Brazil….the rage is the blond hair, blue eyed girl. Those ‘exotic looking girls’ to the hip hop community are ‘ghetto’ to the Brazilian people in general.

  • FauxBLAsian

    The ‘One Drop Rule’ was created by Caucasians as was Quadroon, Octaroon and the like.

  • meokuok

    “Some Black people really love sticking to this “one drop rule” thing & that in my opinion it is racist.
    Some people are forgetting why and who created the ‘drop rule’?”

    The same people who created the “Caucasian” label and place ancient Egyptian, Hamites, Somalis, Ethiopians, Moors and others under it. And we haven’t forgotten the racist white supremacist reason for doing it!

  • meokuok

    If you notice most of these complaints are from black american women (probably dark skin, probably overweight) whose self-esteem is very low at this time. They’re having a hard time with white women and black men and now pretty, curvy, exotic black women from other cultures are seen as a threat too. Therefore, by calling them “non-black” too, they can feel free to criticize black men for being attracted to them too. It’s sad but true. They’re already criticizing light-skin African-American women for attracting more African-American men! Dark skin sisters, theres nothing wrong with you, just cut down on the food a little.

  • b

    posts like these are pointless and disrespectful and just fuels these frankly pathatic views on skin colour. the thing is if zoe or amber (who look black to me whatever that means) were walking around denouncing their colour all these bitter haters would have something to say about that too “look at her acting all white!” please!!! stop the nonsense there are floods in pakistan click the donate button instead of the comment button on these nothing filler posts! you can do better clutch mag!

  • hehe

    wtf are you taking about! your clearly dumb and need to shut the fuck up!

  • Rebelle

    This is a beautiful answer which sums up everything perfectly. African Americans have all sorts of ways to divide themselves within themselves, one drop rule, class system, paper bag tests, hair tests. for goodness sake just eat live and pray.

  • YummyGummy

    Well a lot of you make some exellent points but guess what we are in america and unfortunately that is the way things are here. Is it going to change I doubt it so you have to get used to it. You know what boogles my mind about a lot of people, everytime something is negative they always just associate it with black americans when clearly americans (black and white) think this way. To me black is black and I did indeed think that amber rose was white or a non black woman until I went to wikipedia and looked it up. I feel like bi racial people are free to choose which race they want to associate with or if they dont want to choose that is there choice but here in america a lot of biracial people have to choose sides and most of the time they choose black. Oh and to meokuok how are you any different from the women mentioned in this article making negative assumptions about who made what comments and apparently you have a prejudice against black american women making an ignorant comment scuh as the one that you made. FYI there is a difference between racism and prejudice blacks cannot be racist against other blacks no matter what country you are from thanks.

  • Bbelle

    They live their lives as black women, they defend themselves as black women, they are treated as black women. Who is questioning their ethnicity? Definitely not me, or anyone in my group of friends, because we are all black and our looks run the gauntlet. This entire article was just…

  • DLC

    Who cares if there black or not? Get a life! Why is this even an article? Black women kill me sometimes!

  • Kassie

    This article was wonderful and refreshing.
    I often feel like I am being judged for not “being black” enough. This is a really important issue.

  • Kim

    Some African Americans may be ignorant about race and culture, but we all are not. I understand “the one drop rule”. OK. I get it, but if you are not us, then why bother us? That is what I don’t get. If someone does not see themselves as black, then why interject themselves into the lives of the people they claim not to be.
    See, your problem is that you(as well as some AA people) believe that all AAs are uneducated and living in the ghetto. We all don’t. I have been a physician for the last 17 years and recently earned my JD. I am far from stupid AND I know my history and I know you are not part of it. I know my sisters who honor themselves, their families, their ancestors and their community even though you may not.
    If someone does not consider themselves Black, then why are they here on this site and why do they have the need to interject themselves into black folks lives? Are they so special that they feel they need to share it with others? This whole issue would be mute if folk just simply went on and took care of what it is they claim to be and removed themselves out of the conversations of those they claim not to be. VERY EASY. But Hey, I thought this conversation was about black women.

  • Kim

    So if black women kill you some times, it makes you look like a fool being on a web site geared toward black women. What is your issue? Maybe you need to seek professional help? Just a suggestion. I don’t frequent sites that cater to people I have a problem with.

  • Arabena

    I’m on that La La tip. Being Black and Hispanic are not mutually exclusive. Black Latinos suffer the some discriminations in their countries as Blacks in the United Sates. Black Cubans, Dominicans, etc, endured segregation, they went through having to fight to sit at the same lunch counters as lighter skinned Cubans. Furthermore these women Zaldana, Rose, et al. don’t automatically get the EZ pass among Whites. Yes their fame puts them in a group that is privileged but, “White privilege” is not part of that package. And now having to deal with not being Black enough??? What does that even mean anyway? We as Black people especially women are alienating a group that is ultimately sharing our experience, and frankly it’s BS and it just makes you look like a hater. There are no levels of Blackness. We all share this struggle.

  • Arabena

    I so agree with this statement. Black is not homogenous and we need to embrace our diversity.

  • http://tiffanybbrown.com/ tiffany

    Stating the obvious, but race, nationality, ethnicity and culture, are not the same thing. It’s problematic in America because we’re still working with 18th century definitions of race (so is everyone who lives in a multi-racial society, really) and racial supremacy. People like Amber Rose who is mixed-race, of American nationality, Cape Verdean-Italian ethnicity, and American culture, mess up everybody’s boxes. And those items are all problematic in their own ways.

    But when most people say “Is she even black?” I doubt they mean “Is she African-descended?” They mean “Were her peoples held in chattel slavery in what was American soil at any time before 1861?” (And yeah, I realize there were a few free Negroes back then too.)

  • Kim

    No. We have not forgotten who started the one drop rule. We are just trying to understand why those that don’t believe in it and it applies to keep interjecting into our lives. Since you are so well aquainted with the whole idea, maybe you can ask them why they bother our lives or why the are even on this site.

  • Kim

    Once again, sorry you are wrong. Most educated, “in the forefront black women” are African American. Sorry sweety, you lost this one. It’s the “other” women who keep trying to INTERJECT themselves into our lives, whether it be in college, graduate school, the work place or entertainment. Don’t hate the player hate the game. The more people like you continue to spew your hate, the harder it will be for those”other” black women to become a part of anything other than a white mans bed. Black American women are actually outdoing many groups as a whole and we remember. We always remember.

  • Adriii

    Yessssss!!!! Thank you!

    I find this article hilarious, because I’m sure that if these women didn’t proudly claim to be black, they’d be slammed for denying their blackness. Lose-lose.

    I’ve been a huge Zoe fan since I saw her on that show “6 degrees” and it’s so awesome to see how she has risen and arrived! If you’re so confused as to what she is, just call her beautiful!

  • Nina

    *applause*

  • Linda

    I wasn’t going to post anything but after a while felt compelled to add a comment. I consider myself an Afro-latina (born and bred in the US) and I’m just frustrated that this is such an issue. I don’t see Zoe being casted in certain roles as a problem either. If you have an issue with it take it up with the casting directors. The latino community didn’t protest when Jeffrey Wright played a Dominican in Shaft. In fact, they helped him with his research when he went to Washington Heights. There is an AA featured as a latina in Brooklyn’s Finest as well. I didn’t hear a peep about that either. There are plenty of other roles but you can find that out just by googling. I’m just happy to see anyone of color casted in tv/films.

    People really need to do some research. The African slave trade affected so many countries not only America. There are a lot of Latinos that claim their African heritage. Just because you spoke to a few that denied it is not representative of everyone. I have been blessed with friends and family members consisting of Jamaicans, Haitians and African Americans. We all have something in common whether it is in the food we eat, the way it’s prepared, dances etc.

    All this topic does is create divisiveness. I’m so tired of the ignorance.

  • Juanita

    Why is it so important for us to feel the need to have to put ourselves and everyone around us into boxes? Why is it so important to know if she is black? Because once we define her blackness or lack there of, then we fall into the conversation of is black enough. All of this is an endless and pointless conversation. I for one am a huge fan of Zoe Saldana, her body of work and how she represents herself as a women of color.

  • Afrika

    This just shows how we have come so far, and yet have so far to go.
    In the US I’m Black/African-American. Being from Florida, because I have “curly” hair, sometimes I’m mistaken for Black/Dominican or Black/Brazilian. But in South Africa, I would be considered “colored” because I have a white great-grandfather.
    People classify others differently everywhere.
    I believe that the misunderstanding lies in the question, “what is being black?” Is it a skin tone? A socio-economic class? Is it where you are from?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kanika-/100000531851239 Kanika أميرة

    I don’t have much to say about the article…Just that the black American bashing going on in the comments is not cool nor the move. Not all black Americans spend our time hating on folks, contemplating who’s black and who’s not, nor embrace the one-drop rule.

    Some of y’all need to get out of the ‘hood (or better yet, turn off the computer) and see what’s going on in the real world because your scope on life is super limited.

  • VAL

    I really appreciated this article.
    I’m hatian american , and for the most part it’s accepted that Haitians are black, but i have run upon a few african americans who have told me that i am not black because my parents arent from the U.S.
    It’s almost like black americans think they hold the contract on black. I’ve often have to go into history , and remind many that the US was not the only country that transported africans from their homes to foreign countries. That being said black to some is the color of your skin and to others the way in which you were raised.
    I have friends from many latin american countries, some consider themselves black some mixed and some white. america is not the only country with racial issues.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Yazzy-Asha-Kala/1317451940 Yazzy Asha Kala

    I go to an all chics college, I am half black and half indian so I have long thick and nappy hair, and I am light skinned. I do not have a hindi accent, I sound like your average black chic. However, ever since I’ve been here it’s taken awhile for other of the black women on campus to acknowledge me, but they have outwardly acknowledge my other “blacker” looking friends making it very awkward. Do I not have a lower tone of voice as well, talk about the same topics, or go through the same things? Our race already has enough problems dealing with the ever still existing racism, why is it that there must also be racism within the race. I have always been taught to be proud of who I am and where I come from, and I am; now why is it that they can’t? The catiness is not necessary.

  • Believe That

    I don’t consider them black…IMO..*shrugs*. I don’t know when the black community started giving out black passes, or when it became cool. In the 60′s half these women wouldn’t date a black man and would everything to cement their place as ‘non-black’ and claim that part of their heritage. Today though – it’s cool. We have a black president and first lady, ad hip-hop is popular—oh, well i guess i’ll just claim my blackness. Sorry. Never in my circles boo….
    Oh, and i’m not African American – so clearly, other people from the diaspora feel the same way (i’m Caribbean and have seen and felt the effects of the color/race complex in my own country). Thank God for the black power movement in america and for the 60s, because without Black American and some Caribbean leaders fighting for black equality, black people worldwide would have no sense of self, esp. Latinos who are the most self hating group of women i’ve ever met. I don’t consider them Black. P-E-R-I-O-D. They don’t want to be considered black. I have Latino friends who say their parents don’t want them to date black men. Not that they don’t want them to not date out their race, but black men. Whatev. I’m sick of people feeling like Black people are the bottom of anybody’s totem pole. I reject it with all my heart. you’re not the only ones who have noses who can look down on others – i’ll look down at you too. Amber Rose is NOT black; Zoe, i’ll give a pass. don’t know who the other chick is.

  • binks

    AGREED! I found that odd as well that most of the comments defending and talking about acceptance are turning around and stereotyping black Americans as a whole and making it seem like this problem stems solely from black Americans when this problem is a two way street. How do you want to accept one but bash another, very hypocritical indeed

  • KC

    It’s a shame when people don’t know who they are!

    Just because a black person of color speaks a different lanuage and comes from South or Central America or an island country does not mean that they are not of African decent (i.e. DNA, folks) – do you think that the ‘slave trade’ only stopped in North America???!!! Come on! They may be of a different ethnicity and culture, but the people you are speaking of are still “black”; I don’t care what the ‘percent rule’ may be.

    Yes, African Americans are unique in our culture as opposed to other black peoples of the world, but then again so are most white tribes of people in the world. You don’t hear caucasian americans calling other people of European decent non ‘whites.”

    I think those who are clearly of African orgin in their racial make-up, but speak other lanuages and come from different ethnic lines, who want to pretend they are not “black” have true issues of self-esteem. It has always been popular for other “blacks” not born in this country to deny their African roots and try to separate themselves from American blacks because that is the easy thing to do.

    It’s always easier to take the least difficult path by indentifying with the dominant cuture (oppressor) thereby not having to do any real soul-searching, fighting the good fight, and living an authentic life (just look at any uncle-tom).

    The term “hispanic” denotes a basis in a culture and language; not a racial or genetic make-up. Although it does mostly include peoples of Spanish (caucasian) and Indian (Asian) decent, it also includes peoples of black (African) genetics. After all Purto Ricans, Domicans, Cubans are all a mix of Africans, Europeans and differing indian tribes. Other Central and South American peoples have mostly African or Indian blood lines; and some have caucasian (such as French, Dutch, English, etc) bloodlines thrown in there.

    My own family blood-line includes what people term as “creole” ancestory, which for me is nothing more than a cultural thing made up of lanuage, cooking and other tradictions passed on through the generations – I’m am still “black” and and African American.

    Remember, there are only three origional races – negroid, caucasoid, asiatic; all other races are an off-shoot from these.

    And, the black woman was the first person of this earth – think what you like, but before us there was none, and after us there shall be no more!

  • http://www.christielover.blogspot.com Rebekah

    Why is it important to define them, seriously who cares. At the end of the day we should go by what their claiming. If Zoe Saldana says shes Dominican then what is all the fuss about if she’s black is her word isn’t enough? I believe as long as she respects “us” then shes fine. We can’t control who casts her as a black women that is out of our hands. But as far as what they are and where their from thats already covered. This women against women bash is so old, give it a rest please.

  • Disappointed

    I have to say I find this article and the discussion disappointing. I had hoped that a site for black people would be somewhere positive for black people to have a voice and celebrate culture and the acheivements of indiciduals. I can’t say I find this to be the case, instead people are debating ways of labelling themselves and more particularly others. This is really disheartening as I don’t feel as though I should have to consider whether or not others consider me to be black. I came here out of personal interest not to question my identity. Perhaps when people decide to be more positive I might consider revisiting.

  • Linda

    What does your Latino friends parents have to do with it? That doesn’t mean your “friends” have the same views. Your entitled to your opinion but I’m glad I’m not in your circle.

  • http://voyajer79.wordpress.com dalilou

    I, for one, am not disappointed or upset about the article or even any of the comments. People are being asked to challenge preconceived notions and that’s not always a pretty struggle. Being American born, Haitian and Congolese descended, I’ve often felt “not enough” of one heritage or another. But my upbringing in a pan-africanist family has shielded me a lot. I’ve seen how black Africans were inspired by the black civil rights movement and vice versa. Through listening to both Haitian and Congolese music and hearing the Cuban influence which, in turn, mirrors the West and Central African influences of the slaves brought to Cuba long ago. And they all have been influenced by jazz and the blues. Someone above mentioned what is “black” anyway? I’m not sure, but I know that I love being of African descent- it is something in your spirit that just can’t be explained and doesn’t require a particular skin tone or shade to participate. It roots itself into your very soul.

    As for Zoe, I don’t think people’s real problem is with her. It’s with the fact that we live in a racist society. So yes, she gets a lot of African-American roles but I’m sure it’s painful for her to never be cast or seen as a Latina. On the other hand, almost every role for Africans in a movie has been filled by an African-American. Yet Forrest Whitaker and Kerry Washington were both brilliant in “The Last King of Scotland” and it’s hard to begrudge them.

    We should blame Hollywood, racism, and limited imaginations and not each other. Whatever they might label themselves, I’m sure there are a lot of young Afro-Latina girls who take sustenance in reading a mag like Essence or Clutch, and seeing black singers and actors despite differences in culture. To know there is somewhere you can go for your hair care needs, or to see images of people who look like you not playing a maid or just invisible. That is powerful indeed. If people are denying blackness, it’s because we live in a society that has placed being African at the bottom all the while exploiting the culture, land, and bodies of its people.

    Oh, and the “one-drop” rule has been toxic in many ways, but is no better or worse than the tangled labeling systems that exist in the Caribbean, S. America, or the continent. They are all designed to see black/Africans on the bottom and until that changes we won’t be healed.

  • Vee

    Funny how this “blackness” thang works in the U.S. One can be judged “not black” for any number of reasons: physical appearance, academic attainment, economic standing, etc.

    This really points to a sad state of affairs within the community and only further serves to fracture groups that have been disenfranchised and disadvantaged for years. The entire argument is silly especially when one considers that prior to slavery and colonization people would have been recognized by their ethnic affiliation. Black was simply an easy way to classify what had once been a diverse group of people (many of whom were stripped of their cultural identifiers).

    I think we should embrace that broader definition of blackness. Does that mean that we all will have the same set of life experiences? Absolutely not. However, it does mean that we will have a diverse group of people who can aid in the growth and development of the whole.

  • janice

    Didn’t read the whole thing. But I’m sure it consist of African Americans are stupid and boy oh MY culture is soo much smarter. This debate isn’t about what AA believe or “claim” it is about how black immigrants appear to “white” people. You are also categorized by the majority white American population as black and sometimes as African American. There is a reason Keanu reeves or enrique iglesias don’t spend they whole life in pain because they are mistaken as white.

  • http://lovesgumbo.com Love’s Gumbo

    I think that questioning someone else’s level of blackness speaks to feelings of inadequacy. It’s sorta like “my black can’t beautiful, if she is black too.” We need to go ahead and give ourselves permission to feel lovely and attractive. If another woman identifies as Martian, and we are Martian too, it should have no bearing on how we feel about ourselves. We don’t have to diminish the status of each other’s identity to feel better about ourselves.

  • Nix

    You invalidated your entire comment by posting that you had not actually read the article. By the way, your ‘summary’ is entirely inaccurate.

  • Nimo

    I totally agree with LaLa’s quote. A lot of people don’t know that there a lot of Afro-Latin people around. Growing up, I always had to feel like I had to explain or justify why my family ate certain foods or attended certain celebrations for Latinos, even listen to certain music. My problem was never being asked whether I was black enough. My problem was always trying to “prove” that I have the right to embrace my Honduran roots. “Why you listening to/eating/doing that?”You not Spanish.” I heard it all the time. Trust me, I’m proud to be a black woman, and I am just as proud to claim my Honduran roots. All the taunting and riducle for “claiming to be something [I'm] not” really took a toll on me growing up. I got to the point where I was literally ashamed to bring “friends” around my family or speak Spanish. Anyhow, I’m glad there a people like Zoe, Lala, and Rosario to have the masses scratching their heads wondering what category to file them under.

    Believe it or not, there are many shades of black, and one doesn’t have to have an North American background to be black enough.

  • Justine

    “Is She Even Black?” is a question–I assume–that is posed about Zoe Saldana, Seselee Lopez,…by both African American and Latina women. Why is it that African and Latin Americans are so obsessed with racial/color distinction? Why is it that Latinos refer to themselves as “Brown”? African Americans refer to themselves as “Black”?, but I have yet to hear an Asian refer to him/herself as “Yellow” or an Indian refer to him/herself as “Red”. So a valid response to “Is She Even Black?” would be: No! Zoe is Afro-Latina, just as I am Caribbean, African American. We are not colors! We are people of color, with different cultures, nationalities and heritages.

  • Taylor

    Great article. I agree 100%. It is hard for Afro-Latinas and people who don’t look like they are immediate decedents from Africa. Wonderful article-thank you.

  • http://www.3-dolls.com 3 D.O.L.L.S.

    Why does it matter what color any of these women are? They are women of color no matter what their background is. We feel that as women we should embrace each other regardless of our skin color. These are all beautiful women no matter what they are famous for. It is sad that people are still even asking the question “is she even black?” It is one thing to be curious about a person’s racial make up, but it is a totally different thing to not accept them because you don’t feel that are 100% one race. The truth is that there is rarely anyone that exists that is African American that is not mixed with another race somewhere down the line. People should really give it up and move on.

  • au napptural

    In my opinion the resentment comes from the fact the majority of these women are not 100% black, in heritage or phenotype, yet they are often held up as the ideal for the black beauty standards. That’s bullshit. I’m a pan-africanist but the real question is why there’s so much pressure to uphold standards that don’t apply to the majority of the diaspora.

  • http://www.facebook.com/l.php?uwww.anacaonacollections.web.officelive.com Orquidea

    I can´t even be upset at the article rather glad of the opinion as I well respect the weekly voice of Clutch… as a Latina of Dominican ancestry and with firm knowledge of our African ancestry spawned after the discovery of the island of Hispaniola what today comprehends DR and Haiti of over 500 years ago, there is no question about how black Zoe Saldaña is… factfully way before any Africans were forced as slaves into North America, they were first brought as slaves to the caribbean hence, Dominican Republic…

  • Blik-i-tie-black

    Oh Brother!

    So much ignorance w/n our community. Ok, so if you look like Kelly,Keyshia or Brandy your certified black (by who I still don’t know) but Amber and everyone else of her ilk—what are they? This is why every black person who does not know their history should, at the least, view the hard earned work of Prof. Gates who traced Oprah’s roots. Look people—-we are not 100% African. Therefore to say who is black and who is not black is pure ignorance. Instead we judge each other on hair style, how we move and talk–all attributes any white person from Oklahoma can emulate.

    And who really gives two chits anyway. I’m more concerned about the lack of political power we have in this country than if some igmo wondering what I’m mixed with.

  • rhetorical

    My issue with women like Amber Rose and Halle Berry is not about whether these women are “black enough” but the privilege that comes with mixed heritage. How one self-identifies does not always change how others may perceive them or even how they are treated. My anger is not with lighter skin or curly hair but with the beauty card these women are given and how “racially ambiguity” is continually privileged over “regular” non mixed Black women–you know with darker skin, a kinky grade of hair, and more pronounced features. Being a woman on the browner side of life in our society and within our own community is often time seen as a detriment instead of a delight and we are continually treated like our looks don’t match up to the likes of mixed raced women like Ms. Rose. Every rap song or artist on the radio talks about wanting to bag the “yellow bone long haired star” (soulja boy), is looking for the “pretty light skin models…” (drake) or the “long haired thick redbones”( lil wayne). Please, let’s not act like beauty discrimination and racial privilege is not given to black women who look less “black” as silly as this sounds especially since we know there is a broad spectrum of black.
    Though I appreciate the points made in the article on the issues of racial identity, I believe at the heart of the issue is the privilege of racial ambiguity. Amber, Halle, and Zoe are beautiful women, but we cannot ignore that their lighter skin, hair texture, and physical features give them status and privilege over browner skinned women.

  • Blik-i-tie-black

    I understand your pain but you really have to get over it. Again, a sistah can be black as tar and have wool hair but she is just as mixed as Amber, difference is you don’t think she is mixed. But you show me a black whose ancestors were slaves in American, and who is not mixed, and I’ll sell you some fat free pork rinds.

    Rappers: Really sweetie? You are not aware that black men sold out a loooooong time ago???? You didn’t get the memo with OJ, Quincy Jones, Dave Chappelle????? Get hip to the fact that they don’t want you? It hurts but dammit life goes on. Have you even thought about dating another ethnicity??? If not, then I guess you’ll just be another ‘I only date black men, lonely chick. And I’ hope your not going to let some ignorant/self-hating half-men shape your self-esteem.

    So we are considered ugly (an acute case found only in America so I suggest you get a passport and see for yourself) so now what??? Are you going to jump off a bridge cause a brotha would rather jump over you to marry a white girl or mixed chick? Again…get over it. Stack those degrees, travel and break out of that limited mold that will eventually kill you. Focus on attracting the owners and not the players and maybe you won’t feel so hurt in the end.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jessica-Mercedes-Evelyn/100000081211233 Jessica Mercedes Evelyn

    I understand and respect your points, but I must disagree. You cant focus on the men that are attracted to light skinned or white women. What about all the black men who like dark women? Kim Ks and Amber Roses are featured in black media, but so are Serena Williams, Kelly Rowlands, Ciaras, etc etc. So why does it make you bitter when you see the latter? You dont sound very confident in your own looks.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jessica-Mercedes-Evelyn/100000081211233 Jessica Mercedes Evelyn

    Having Bajan or African roots doesnt neccessarily make you black. Just like black and white people are born in America, black and white people are born in “black” countries too. But if somebody says they’re black, why not take it for what it is?
    My dad is a black Bajan and my mom is a black Panamanian. Im privlaged enough to be part of west indian, hispanic, and african american cultures. I happen to have high yellow skin. In pictures of family gatherings I stick out like a night light in a dark room. When I meet new people, it never fails, as soon as they feel comfortable enough they always ask….”what are you?” I usually answer black. But of course thats not enough for most people. When i tell them my culture, they say something like, “Oh, so your not BLACK black.” Im used to it now, but it used to really piss me off.

  • http://www.lushesbrownthoughts.blogspot.com/ SoFrolushes

    The problem comes from the words used to describe African people in the Diaspora. If all were simply called African and not black than maybe there would be less confusion. I am an African – Caribbean lady by way of Jamaica. Have many cousins who are mixed Jamaican Indian yet they never have no identity problems they call themselves black no one questions that.

    Africans did not just end up in the usa. We are all over the world

    some good points in the article

  • http://voyajer79.wordpress.com dalilou

    I understand where you’re coming from but there is a big difference between the way women like Alicia Keys, Leona Lewis, and Beyonce are perceived vs. Serena Williams, Kelly Rowlands, etc. First off, Serena is an athlete and while she may be considered a sex symbol, she is certainly not considered a beauty symbol. There is a difference. Kelly Rowlands and Jazmin Sullivan don’t get the same gasps of, “My god, she’s beautiful” as the other lovely ladies do. To me, they’re all beautiful but if you get your cues from the major media and you’re dark-skinned, you might doubt yourself. I don’t think it’s fair to be dismissive of those concerns.

    My father is light-skinned but he always used to point out this prejudice. For example, we would be watching BET back in the early 90′s and he pointed out that all the female newscasters and veejays were very fair. There’s nothing wrong with them, but it just goes to show even on a supposed black channel, this issue rears its head.

    I’m a teacher. My children call each other black simply as an insult. They missed the “Black is beautiful” memo that was going around in the 70′s. If you ask them, being black (i.e dark-skinned, not the culture) is the worst thing you can be. In order to cure the illness, we do need to question how black artists and media weigh in on that issue. And we need to be able to do it without attacking each other personally or taking instant offense when someone brings it up.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Janell-Godwin/1269170679 Janell Godwin

    Well i know for sure that amber rose is black and she is from philly . not just any oldp art but south philly . she’s black alright and dont ever doubt that. My teacher told me she used to be stripper in south philly too.

  • Mirabella Tells the Truth

    I think THIS point hit it on the head!

    This topic draws up feelings of resentment, powerlessness (who can control what they were born with?), and that’s why I love your comment. It makes no sense to be mad at the Halle’s, Beyonce’s, Amber’s and Rihanna’s of the world because of what they were born with but it is a bitter pill to swallow that these women (our sisters) are pitted against us in a bloody colorism war that seems to never end.

    It’s the feeling of the privilege that comes with their preferred looks that divides us as women of color. In an ideal world, all shades and ethnicities of black should be held up as equally beautiful but the reality of it all is that its not and that’s sad.

  • Netta

    I absolutely adore every sistah that you mentioned…(well Amber more for the entertainment value of it). Then again, I am in the exact same category as La La so maybe my opinion doesn’t weigh in as much here.

    Being black and Latina sometimes puts you in a place that you KNOW you are black, so who are the rest of the people to come and dispute your reality? How dare them! I get the same discrimination as other black people and I am glad that there is a place for these African mixed women in the entertainment field and that they have found their place.

    Once an African mixed person hit the soils of this country they are legally black, Check the applications. Some application even want to know if you are black and hispanic/latin. There are no checks for Bahamian, Haitian, Dominican, Granadian, Brazilian or any of that- JUST PLAIN OLD BLACK.

    I grew up in an era of “get in where you fit in” and my black Cuban dad fit in well with the other “Black” musicians and we lived a Black reality but kept Cuban culture alive at home.

    I am glad this article was written, it may bring a little more awareness that “black” sistahs of other “ilk” feel that they are very, very black. As we see, no big Latin movie makers are trying to sign Zoe for major roles, that kinda says to me that she is seen as being “very black” in her other culture.

  • Jolie

    Not identifying yourself as an African American and speaking another language does not mean that you are not a black person. As for La La Vasquez, before she would always correct people and say: “I’m not black, I’m Puerto Rican”. I guess she has now changed her mind

  • JAZZ

    I had a passing thought about Zoe’s blackness when I saw her in a Black mag, i think it was Esecene ( we have so many to choose from :-) , But if she identifies herself as being Black then that is enough for me.

  • JAZZ

    Who is La La Vasquez?…hahaha Are we talking about people that don’t really matter? Who knows these people? I don’t. Haile I know, Zoe i know…but La La Vas…what is that?

  • Akai (Akai.Santiago@Yahoo)

    At the end of the day, beauty is in the eye of the beholder!

    That’s the most important thing (in regards to interpersonal relationships) but some people are playing the uber-victim and acting as if every single white or light-skinned woman is considered beautiful when this is certainly not true.

    There are beautiful women that men (and chicks) lust after who appear on ‘most beautiful’ lists and magazine covers, those who are attractive or average but not considered glamour queens, and females that are ugly or not all that beautiful. It’s not about skin color or hair texture and more about facial symmetry; that’s just the way it is and it’s ridiculous to expect everyone to deem someone ‘beautiful’ simply because they have dark skin, blonde hair or whatever.

    There are WW considered beautiful like Angelina Jolie, Heidi Klum, Charlize Theron etc.
    There are attractive WW like Sandra Bullock, Jennifer Anniston etc.
    There are WW seen as ugly or not all that pretty i.e. Kathy Griffin, Sarah Jessica Parker etc.

    There are gorgeous Latinas i.e. Eva Longoria, Zoë Saldaña, Rosario Dawson, Eva Mendez, Adriana Lima etc.
    There are attractive Latinas like America Ferrara, Michelle Rodriguez, Gloria Estefan etc.
    There are Latinas that are not exactly supermodels or considered attractive i.e. Lupe Ontiveros, Jackie Guerra etc.

    There are beautiful AA women often featured on covers and ‘most beautiful’ lists like Gabrielle Union, Beyoncé, Alicia Keys, Halle Berry, Naomi Campbell etc.
    There are attractive ones i.e. Kelly Rowland, Serena Williams, Leona Lewis etc.
    There are those most simply do not find pretty such as Jazmine Sullivan, Tracy Ellis-Ross, Mo’Nique, India Arie, Sidibe etc

  • Akai (Akai.Santiago@Yahoo)

    Correction: “There are beautiful AA black women…”

  • Tiffany

    It’s so funny to see how Black Americans are so obsessed with the skin color issue. I’ve lived in Europe and haven’t noticed White Europeans being so focused on defining Whiteness to the same proportion American Blacks do.

    Anyway, since y’all wanna make this “Blackness” issue so scientific, well I’ll have to say that since Zoe Saldana and Rosario have African features they de facto are Black. Black Latinas/Afro-Latinas how ever you wanna say it.

    Just like most African-Americans have some non-Black blood in their lineage so do Afro-Latinas and Black people from different other parts of the world. There are even Blacks in Iran, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, etc.

    Questioning Zoe and Rosario’s “Blackness” would mean we should also question President Barack Hussein Obama’s, who’s not a descandant of African slaves that were brought to America. See, that’d be ridiculous. He’s Black, and so are many others even if we just “got” here. Wait, President Obama is actually literally a real African-American, his father is from Kenya which is an African country.

    Anyways, I sometimes wish American who happen to be Black were less skin color-obsessed. Well, i guess that’s just he way it is. T

  • Netta

    Maybe, just maybe, knowing that her and Carmelo’s children will be “black” has helped. I like her though, and the rest of the ladies mentioned. Oh BTW, I totally agree with your comment.
    Enjoy the weekend.

  • new insight

    Hahaha yea I know, you do look a little stupid.

  • Akai (Akai.Santiago@Yahoo)

    “…no big Latin movie makers are trying to sign Zoe for major roles, that kinda says to me that she is seen as being “very black” in her other culture.”
    ******************************************************************************************************************

    Are you in contact with Zoë’s agent to emphatically state how many and which roles or movies (including the ethnicity of the producers, directors etc.) she’s been offered, turned down etc.???

    Another participant made a comment along the lines of ‘Haha, Zoë’s @ss is too dark to be a star in her own culture so she ran to star in ours!’ with a lot of glee.

    The chick was born in America (New Jersey) and I don’t understand the type of jealousy so intense that it reeks of wanting to see someone fail!

    Additionally, the comment was nonsensical since Zoë Saldaña and Rosario Dawson have made their mark in American films (where the bigger money and profile exists in relation to other countries) same as Jennifer Lopez, Salma Hayek and Eva Mendez. However, I know I won’t read anyone insinuating such nonsense about the latter who are a bit lighter.

  • Pingback: Get + Togetha » throw it away: inadequacy + wasted time.

  • newinsight

    I’m a 100% Ghanaian and my hair will never grow down to my back even if I try (not saying its because I’m Ghanaian, its just a fact).

    My friend has one black parent and one native american parent and has hair all the way down to her back.

    My other friend has one white and one black parent. And has curly hair for days.

    And my other friend is 100% Haitian and has a natual afro, and her hair grows a mile a minute.

    And for some reason, even though we are from different parts of the world we all have the EXACT same skin tone.

    What I’m trying to say is that it doesnt matter whether you’re from Brazil, Haiti, Senegal, DR, Morroco, PR, etc. or if you’re lighter or darker, you are what you consider yourself to be.

    And really who cares? At the end of the day, we are all beautiful and its awesome that we all look different.

  • Jason

    Zoe is the essence of the average to me. She has blah looks, blah talent and blah charisma. A part from being Hollywood’s token WoC de jour, she can’t out one butt cheek in a theater seat. She little audience if any.

  • Kay

    While I definitely understand the necessity of acknowledging the multiple hues of blackness, I honestly believe that the reluctance to accept such women as “black” goes hand in hand with mainstream America’s overt willingness to accept those who fall within their eurocentric dictates most easily. Amber Rose, Zoe Saldana, and even Halle Berry- to the contrary of your claims- all represent a mixture of black identity that is more salient than most African American females and therefore more acceptable in white america. Reluctance for these women’s acceptance might most readily be attributed to the continued lack disregard for black women with less evident eurocentric features to be shown in mainstream media. I don’t really see it as a matter of negating their blackness, but truly readressing the vast disparities in what America deems as an acceptable form of blackness to put on constant display.

  • Isis

    Exactly Kay!!! Exactly. If Zoe, Amber and Halle are black than what the hell am I?? Tar. lol The more black they are the less you will see of the true black woman ( person with 2 black parents and 4 black grandparents). You really hit the nail on the head.

  • Alexandra

    Yes!! Blik-i-tie-black I’m so in agreement with you.
    I dont know why ‘some’ Black women care so much about what black men like? It makes no sense. I mean geez, if your preference doesnt like you, well you know what that means. Change it, die alone or STFU. Damn!

    And Mirabella you also made some good points. I liked both of your comments

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/TheBlack-BoxOffice/1485474273 TheBlack BoxOffice

    I consider myself pretty lucky, growing up among an array of African cultures.
    Watching Black men date Latino women, Black women date Latino men.
    Latino women dating Jamaican men.
    Everybody getting pulled over by cops because of their skin, nobody working,
    and drug dealers from all cultures.
    Yeah, the Brooklyn projects! Taught me a lot.
    Now that I’m far from that life, when I see Zoe, LaLa or anyone else minority I don’t
    think twice about it. I am them and they are me. I am proud.

  • http://www.twitter.com/michaboa michaboa

    as a fellow ghanaian by way of england i approve this message. though i only started growing my natural hair, i have hope that it will grow long since my mother had hair all the way donwn her back.

  • GEELA

    Amen! Hallelujah! As a Somali-American I know exactly what it feels like to constantly justify my “blackness” to other Blacks. I’m African for goodness sakes, is that not enough??? Never mind my hair texture, features and skin tone. I AM BLACK! I just wish people would except the fact Black is beautiful. We as a race come in all different shapes, sizes, skin tones etc… Just because someone else’ blackness doesn’t fulfill your requirements of being black, doesn’t make them any less black.

  • Interested

    I really do not think this question was being asked of anyone like Zoe Saldana, Rosario Dawson, or similar looking females.

  • Caribbeana

    Why do you assume that Zoe finds it painful not to be considered a Latina? I really wish people would stop projecting their preconceptions on others. Zoe has always identified herself as a black woman. Do some research please, rather than make blanket erroneous statements.
    Since you didn’t see it fit to do the research, here it is:

    http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0757855/bio

    Personal Quotes

    When I go to the D.R., the press in Santo Domingo always asks, “¿Qué te consideras, dominicana o americana?” (What do you consider yourself, Dominican or American?) I don’t understand it, and it’s the same people asking the same question. So I say, time and time again, “Yo soy una mujer negra.” (“I am a black woman.”) [They go,] “Oh, no, tú eres trigueñita.” (“Oh no, you are ‘dark skinned’”) I’m like, “No! Let’s get it straight, yo soy una mujer negra.” (“I am a black woman.”)

  • Caribbeana

    Most blacks in the diaspora are not 100% black. Instead of hating on women who aren’t as dark, take on the structure – and the blacks that cosign with it – and support darker actresses. I’m a medium toned black woman with latina roots as well, and d*mn anybody who says I am not black. People need to realise that Latina/Hispanic refers more to ethnicity and culture, and not race. One can be white and latina, or ine can also be black and latina.

  • Caribbeana

    @ Blik-i-tie-black

    Girl, I cosign 1000% ! I mean, some people really need to get the memo – like yesterday. And giving validity to some ignorant rappers and their faithful following? Please! You need to get with the programme or die alone. That’s all I’m saying. People can be so myopic at times. Also, it’s true that you could be as dark as Wesley Snipes and be mixed so I don’t know what is the big hoopla. Black people are too obsessed over colouring and it’s black folk who elevate light coloured blacks over darker ones, and then whine about yada yadda yadda.

  • missmartin

    @Isis, can you understand why it is confusing to those of us who are of mixed descent, being told by some that if you have a black parent or “look” black, you’re black, no matter what you want to call yourself, and being told by others, like you, that if you don’t have two black parents, and going so far as to say four black grandparents, you’re not “true” black? i mean, wtf are we supposed to do? just ignore all of ya’ll, i guess.

  • Maria

    Zoe IS black, she’s just not African American. There are black people in other countries, not just America and Africa. If she was identifying herself as only Dominican I bet people would be mad. Either way she loses.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jasmine-Harris-Trotter/11103767 Jasmine Harris-Trotter

    You know what is funny I thought you were going to say something like Adam’s Morgan, Miami or Cali forgot all about my multi-cultural neighbor above the Mason Dixon line, BK lol.
    I honestly see these women as black, and most of them come from backgrounds with a closer African connections than we do. Hello Amber’s mother is a creole African (not going by the colonization definition of a creole either)! How many of us can actually say that we direct link to Africa besides going to a genealogist? I actually envy women like Zoe and Amber because they have links to a culture that was not diluted by slave owners to make us feel inadequate.

  • Blair

    First let me start off by saying she IS black AND her ethnicity is Dominican. I have always thought that people who use the term “African American” to generalize all blacks are IGNORANT–both black and white. I have been all over the world, Asia, Australia, Europe etc and in every country their are black people. Their black but their ethnicity varies. Not every black person in America is African American. My parents are from Trinidad, and I classify myself as Caribbean American. The foods I eat, the holidays we celebrate, our culture are NOT African, it’s Trinidadian. My best friend whose black and my dark shade of brown, has a mother that’s Filipino. So no, she’s not African American, she Filipino American. So people please learn the difference between RACE AND ETHNICITY!

  • Miss Rae

    I was about to agree with the last comment, yes Dominican is an ethnicity, but the last time I recall Africa is a continent, not a country. African is not an ethnicity, Nigerian or Egyptian are ethnicities and/or nationalities.

  • Miss Rae

    Althrough African and Black are used as to describe a race, I think the term Black should be used instead.

  • Akai (Akai.Santiago@Yahoo)

    Missmartin wrote: “…it is confusing to those of us who are of mixed descent, being told by some that if you have a black parent or “look” black, you’re black, no matter what you want to call yourself, and being told by others, like you, that if you don’t have two black parents, and going so far as to say four black grandparents, you’re not “true” black? i mean, wtf are we supposed to do? just ignore all of ya’ll, i guess.”
    ******************************************************************************************************************

    I think some would prefer you didn’t exist! (*giggle* – just keeping things light)

    Personally I don’t find the whole thing “confusing” as I see it for what it is, but it’s you that hit the nail on the proverbial head and I do (“ignore” and disregard)! Acknowledge having some African ancestry and it’s ‘You’re too [X] looking!’ or not [Y] enough — yet some of the very same individuals will turn around and indict someone they think is denying their African ancestry as “trying to distance from black.” Off and on-topic, but this is why accurate classifications (biracial, multiracial) are necessary for those with parents of 2 different races and I’m glad Census laws were changed and now recognizes this.

    I’m that ambiguous type where most don’t know what I am until they ask and I tell them, and I learned the painful and tough lesson as a little girl that you can’t please everyone or abide by their puny and arbitrary litmus tests and it’s best to always stay true to exactly who/what you are. Some will say this, others will say that, and the next something different altogether so you should never try (or care) to appease anyone else’s demands, psychosis and insecurities.

    Not all African Americans (with 2 B parents and 4 B grandparents) are like this so nothing to do but vibe with those secure in themselves to accept you for what you are and deal with individuals (of whatever race) that are not tripping or insecure.

    On another note…there’s Oprah (most powerful woman in the media), Whoopi (daily on The View), Wanda Sykes, Chandra Wilson (Grey’s Anatomy), Alfre Woodard (Memphis Beat) and others so I find this claim of certain features “not shown in mainstream media” or deemed ‘not acceptable in white America’ to be pure hyperbole. Listening to that, one would think every single actress, singer or model working is ‘light, bright and damn near’ when that is not true and this is the usual case of seeing what one chooses to see (and disregarding the obvious) to bolster a complaint and be a victim.

  • Zion

    Sooo this convo is long winded but i still want to give my two cents.. This whole issue speaks to the dynamics of colorism. It ultimately relates to the enslavement of Africans in various parts of the world. everyone knows about the way europeans slave masters divided africans by giving special priviledges to those of lighter skin… this is clearly demonstrated in the way in which fair skin women are glorified in the media.. while oprah and alfre woodardd are figures in hollywood they have never portrayed positive/celebrated roles Woodard has played crackheads and single mothers and winfrey has been seen as a former slave.. etc.. Point being light skin women receive back lash because dark skin is rarely celebrated. However i am happy that zoe and amber rose are acknowledging their blackness. I do agree with what the young woman who wrote about it being confusing for mixed women and/or hispanic women esp those with darker complexions. I have a friend who insists on being called bi racial when her father is Black and from Guyana and her mother is a Panamanian. While Panamanians consider themselves hispanic(ethnicity) many of them are Black…. I guess we’re all people of color… too bad colored isnt a race.. j/k The common thread between African Americans, Dominicans, Panamanians etc is our African Ancestry.. Whether or not we can identify with a country or tribe on the continent is irrelevant.. When we can acknowledge our Blackness or Africanness (not a word) w/o getting upset or offended is when we have truly made progress and began to free ourselves of the systematic oppression inflicted upon by europeans… That was a mouthful but we just need to love our skin our race our ppl no matter the skin tone, hair texture or language. This is why I dont mind being called Black and African-African or even being mistaken for cuban/brazilian when i was in italy.. When my parents are really Jamaican and I have a lineage full of Africans, taino indians, chinese, irish, scottish and real Indians from India..

  • jay

    The thing most beautiful about black/african american/afro-american/afro-cuban/even east indian beauty is the fact that Africa has touched every continent and there is no denying its power within the world. We are amazing and beautiful people whether we speak english, spanish, chinese, french, tagalong, sanskrit, etc. The fact and matter is that WE ARE HERE!!! So when I see articles like this questioning if someone is blacker than this or does this make them black if they do that? It breaks my heart because at the end of the day with our brown tones of all shades radiating through the pores of our skin WE ARE ALL BEAUTIFUL. LOVE AND APPRECIATE, DON’T HATE. HALLE BERRY IS BEAUTIFUL, SO IS NICOLE ARRIE PARKER, GABRIEL UNION IS BEAUTIFUL, SO IS INDIA ARIE, ROSARIO DAWSON IS BEAUTIFUL SO IS ROSIE PEREZ. LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE. STOP THIS AND LOVE PEOPLE.

  • Isis

    @missmartin you can call yourself what you want. That is NOT what I said. I said that the authentic 100% black woman gets no representation because the mixed race woman is the representation for us. I don’t think its right or its fair. If they want to present articles on black women and show black women on covers they should be women that are undeniably black. No question! If they are doing articles on mixed race women thats when the women I named should be presented. Its not about being black enough or not being black women enough. Its about the black woman having true representation. Take that anyway you want but don’t twist my words. thanks :)

  • Interested

    To elaborate on my earlier comment, I meant to say that I don’t think any African-American women would have a problem if an Afro-Latina who looks like what the majority of African-American women look like (Dark or Brown skin, kinky hair, full lips and broad nose) was being called Black or was given Black acting roles even if she spoke only Spanish, and/or talked English with a thick accent. I haven’t seen or heard any AA women upset with Zoe because number one she looks African-American, and number two she considers herself Black. Also, I have never heard or seen any AA women/girls upset when foriegn Black women from Africa and the English or French-speaking Caribbean who look like what the majority of AA women/girls look like, get called Black or are given Black acting roles. I think that as long as the foriegn Black women look like what the majority of AA women/girls look like, then most AA women/girls are fine with those women being considered/called Black and getting jobs in AA media or in mainstream media as Black women.

    I think the problem is with women like Amber Rose. I do not consider her Black, and I think it is wrong to have someone who looks like her representing Black women, because again, the majority of Black women African, American, Caribbean or otherwise do not look like her. I think many AA women and girls do not feel that women like Rose, and others like her from countries with partial Black ancestry should be used to represent Black women, because again they are the extreme minority. Most Black women worldwide simply do not look like that. Seriously, what AA women/girls complain about Alex Wek, Garcelle-Beauvais, Rihanna, Gina Torres, or Mica Paris being represented in AA media or American media as Black women? What AA women/girls ask “Is she even Black?” about any of those women, none of whom are AA?

    Finally, there is a problem with mixed/Amber Rose type women getting put over darker skinned Black women in the Black community. To simply dismiss that fact is not right at all.

  • Monica

    People should really learn the difference between race, ethnicity and nationality. Also, just my observation….Black people LOVE to claim people as black, but the moment that person acknowledges other things in their background, black people are…offended..? Halle Berry, for instance, is biracial and we all know this. Blacks consider her black, but at the same time, she is not “Black enough” because she doesn’t have 2 black parents. Very ignorant. Get over this stupid “one drop” rule, black people! You cannot claim everyone!

    And yes, I’m a Black American woman…not African American.

  • Buttahp

    I actually think that the Black community tries to usurp Latinos who have a stronger African line, but then often scoff at the Latinos that fall in the middle which is quite frustrating.

  • Interested

    Well, when it comes to Latina women who have that in-between look you speak of (ie Lopez, Rosie Perez) certain people in the Black community (Non-female) have no problem usurping them.

    Someone made a comment about Zoe not exactly getting her door beat down with offers for work from Latino film/tv bosses. I tend to agree. Would one of the telenovelas producers hire Zoe? Would they pick her for the lead in a big time Spanish-language movie? I do not think so, and I think it is because she is Black.

    I have heard or seen no Black women/girls saying Halle is not Black enough. They generally love Halle because she unabashedly identifies herself as a Black woman. I think if anyone has issues with her, it is with her dating choices as of late. And once again, most of those anyones are not female.

  • Aries

    I consider Zoe to be black. She’s a black latina. *Dominican is not a race. I’m not familiar with the other women, only Amber, and she clearly has black ancestry but you can tell there are other things too. The same thing with Halle. You can tell she’s part black. Prior to her nose job, one would assume (at least I did) that she was only black.

    But I feel I must comment on the issue of “Being Black Enough.”

    What about black girls who have two black parents and black grandparents but older relatives that aren’t black? The last time any relative in my family had relations with a white person was well around the mid-1800s. Yet the white gene has proved to be extremely dominant generations later with the children (myself included) being born looking mixed/light/white with two black parents.

    I’m asking this because too many times I’ve been accused by black girls of not being black enough. To the ones I’ve encountered, they only see part black, not fully black. I have two black parents, so why am I not considered to be black enough? I can’t identify as biracial or multiracial because I don’t have any direct/recent family members of a different race. The only term I feel a little comfortable with is “mixed” but even that’s a stretch to me because the mixing happened so far down the line.

    I realize that white ancestry is in me, and always will be, but it’s difficult to accept when all I know is black.

  • http://doodiepants.com Doodie

    Black don’t you mean some shade of brown?

    Barrak Obama isn’t even Black. Black is society’s creation.
    http://doodiepants.com/2010/01/13/barack-obama-is-not-black/

  • SSay

    Um, no, these women are not black. Afro-latinos and mixed background people have been quite vocal over their right to self-identify as everything other than black, while at the same time expecting to be accepted and promoted by the same black people they reject. Just as they have the right to self-identify, we non-mixed African American women also have the right to identify for ourselves who we consider to be “one of us”. We really need to quit it with the preoccupation of being fair to everyone except ourselves.

    I am not impressed by Ms. Saldana’s embracing her “afro-latina background”. What career would she have if not for all the roles she has had portraying African American women. Has she ever been cast as a Latina? How many hispanic magazine covers has she graced compared to black ones?They do not embrace their brown-skinned kinky- haired members at all. Read this article about hatred and utter rejection of black heritage common amongst Dominicans: http://www.miamiherald.com/multimedia/news/afrolatin/part2/index.html. It’s a real eye-opener.

    I am also quite tired of publications and websites supposedly dedicated to the beauty of black women consistently featuring women who can only marginally be considered black. Let their “other” cultures celebrate them.

  • SSay

    I think it is ignorant of you to erase the ethnicity of black Americans descended from slaves held in the United States, which is what you do when you demand that everyone be referred to as black. When I, and others use the term ‘African American’ that is not intended to refer to you or the other people you described. You may call yourself whatever you wish. I, as the descendant of African slaves who were brought to this continent, am African American.

  • MsK

    I agree with Blair, you have to understand the difference between an ethnic group, race, and nationality. No, Nigerian is not technically an ethnic group, it’s a nationality, Fulani, Hausa and Igbo are Nigerian ethnic groups. It’s similar for Ms. Saldana, she’s black by race, American by nationality, from Dominican heritage. @SSay, I dont know who pissed in your cheerios but no one is erasing African American culture. Black and African American are NOT synonymous! Like Blair said; there are “black” people all over the world and the people who actually make it out the U.S. can see that for themselves. It doesn’t matter what you think of Zoe Saldana embracing her Afro-Latina heritage…It’s HERS and you cant take that away from her! There may be some individuals who waffle on their race and ethinicity but that’s their prerogative to do so. There’s no collective African American/Black authority that gets to choose how other people get to identify themselves. You should educate yourself on the difference between race, ethnicity, and nationality before deciding that you get to judge what category someone else identifies with, either way, it’s not for you to decide.

  • Susan Morgan

    I found this article and the following comments to be most interesting and thought provoking. Being now what would be considered to be a white woman, I would like to bring up the interesting point that not long ago (pre-1950s US) I would have been considered “mixed” in a politically correct description.

    My father was of Hungarian decent and my mother Polish/German decent, which makes me a darker skinned white person. The point I got from this article is that the image of a women needs to be broadened a bit more, until we can look at the beautiful rainbow of women on the world and see just her individual beauty, we do all women an in justice.

    Women of all shapes, sizes, colors, races and mixtures have struggled to push the women’s movement forward. Agreed at times some more easier than others, but the majority of us are now free and independent women.

    I am thankful for those women, who came before me, who have done great things so I can be the beautiful woman I am today.

    Thank you for the though-provoking article and comments.

  • SSay

    MsK, UM who pissed in YOUR cheerios for you to have such a snarling response? It is unfortunate that you were entirely too po’d to comprehend my statements but nothing I said implied that black and African American were synonymous. It was actually quite the contrary. Black is a race, no? Dominican, Ghanian, etc are ethnicities, no? As a black American woman who is directly descended from black African people brought to this country during the slavery era, black is MY RACE and AFRICAN AMERICAN is MY ETHNICITY. If you are a Dominican, Ghanian, or whatever else than the term African American does NOT apply to you. Comprende? It seems like African Americans are the only ones who get flack for identifying themselves as a distinct ethnic group within the black race.

    I also never disputed that Ms. Saldana was Afro-latina. Do I embrace her and other barely black/arguably black celebrities as black in the sense that I support her portraying African American characters and being promoted in AA publications over fully black AA women? No. And. I. Don’t. Have. To.

  • Akai (Akai.Santiago@Yahoo)

    SSay wrote: “Afro-latinos and mixed background people have been quite vocal over their right to self-identify as everything other than black, while at the same time expecting to be accepted and promoted by the same black people they reject.”
    ******************************************************************************************************************

    Where do you get the idea that Zoë, or anyone, is asking to be “accepted” by you/your group?

    That is either wishful thinking or something made up in your mind because it did not happen and is not happening.

    All you can do is whine and complain about whatever role she plays, since you can’t stop it.

    ******************************************************************************************************************
    SSay wrote: “What career would she have if not for all the roles she has had portraying African American women. Has she ever been cast as a Latina? How many hispanic magazine covers has she graced compared to black ones?”
    ******************************************************************************************************************

    Zoë has played Latinas i.e. Eva Rodriguez in Center Stage, Dolores Torres in The Terminal, Flor in La Maldición Del Padre Cardona, Gabrielle Vega on L&O as well as ‘no race’ characters like Anamaria in Pirates of the Caribbean or Neytiri in Avatar. She has also appeared on the cover of Latino magazines i.e. Siempre Mujer, Latina etc.

    Best to know about someone before allowing insecurities to send you criticizing but, once again, a person’s self-identification has nothing to do with you/your group. Taking another individual’s actual and factual self-identification as a personal rejection of you/your group is totally on you and egotistical as hell since, sorry but, the whole world does not revolve around you/your group nor is everything about you/your group.

    ******************************************************************************************************************
    SSay wrote: “I am also quite tired of publications and websites supposedly dedicated to the beauty of black women consistently featuring women who can only marginally be considered black. Let their “other” cultures celebrate them.”
    ******************************************************************************************************************

    Don’t fault this website for your failure to either read or comprehend as it’s About page clearly describes Clutch as an “online magazine for women of color.” Maybe people should get that and quit putting their own selfish desire or spin on who the magazine is geared towards.

  • Akai (Akai.Santiago@Yahoo)

    SSay wrote: “Afro-latinos and mixed background people have been quite vocal over their right to self-identify as everything other than black, while at the same time expecting to be accepted and promoted by the same black people they reject.”
    ******************************************************************************************************************

    Where do you get the idea that Zoë, or anyone, is asking to be “accepted” by you/your group?

    That’s either wishful thinking or something made up in your mind because it did not happen and is not happening.

    All you can do is whine and complain about whatever role she plays, since you can’t stop it.

    ******************************************************************************************************************
    SSay wrote: “What career would she have if not for all the roles she has had portraying African American women. Has she ever been cast as a Latina? How many hispanic magazine covers has she graced compared to black ones?”
    ******************************************************************************************************************

    Zoë has played Latinas i.e. Eva Rodriguez in Center Stage, Dolores Torres in The Terminal, Flor in La Maldición Del Padre Cardona, Gabrielle Vega on L&O as well as ‘no race’ characters like Anamaria in Pirates of the Caribbean or Neytiri in Avatar. She has also appeared on the cover of Latino magazines i.e. Siempre Mujer, Latina etc.

    Best to know about someone before allowing insecurities to send you criticizing but, once again, a person’s self-identification has nothing to do with you/your group. Taking another individual’s actual and factual self-identification as a personal rejection of you/your group is totally on you and egotistical as hell since, sorry but, the whole world does not revolve around you/your group nor is everything about you/your group.

    ******************************************************************************************************************
    SSay wrote: “I am also quite tired of publications and websites supposedly dedicated to the beauty of black women consistently featuring women who can only marginally be considered black. Let their “other” cultures celebrate them.”
    ******************************************************************************************************************

    Don’t fault this website for your failure to either read or comprehend as it’s About page clearly describes itself as an “online magazine for women of color.” Maybe people should get that and quit putting their own selfish desire or spin on who the magazine is geared towards.

  • JustAThought

    Shoot, I’m a few shades lighter than Zoe Saldana, and I get my blackness challenged regurlarly by other black american (and black Caribbean, and [white or mixed race Latinos]. I’m black american, with traditionally black features, but that isn’t enough. for some people. If it isn’t your looks, it’s your way of speaking, or where you grew up, or how you act. And the sad things is the people who are doing this policing want blackness to adhere to the smallest (and most negatively stereotyped) demoninator.

  • Akai (Akai.Santiago@Yahoo)

    ******************************************************************************************************************
    SSay said: “Afro-latinos and mixed background people have been quite vocal over their right to self-identify as everything other than black, while at the same time expecting to be accepted and promoted by the same black people they reject.”
    ******************************************************************************************************************

    Where’s your proof that Zoë, or anyone, is asking to be “accepted” by you/your group? That’s either wishful thinking or something made up in your mind because it did not happen and is not happening. All you can do is whine and complain about whatever role she plays, since you can’t stop it.

    ******************************************************************************************************************
    SSay wrote: “What career would she have if not for all the roles she has had portraying African American women. Has she ever been cast as a Latina? How many hispanic magazine covers has she graced compared to black ones?”
    ******************************************************************************************************************

    Zoë has played Latinas i.e. Eva Rodriguez in Center Stage, Dolores Torres in The Terminal, Flor in La Maldición Del Padre Cardona, Gabrielle Vega on L&O as well as ‘no race’ characters like Anamaria in Pirates of the Caribbean or Neytiri in Avatar. She has also appeared on the cover of Latino magazines i.e. Siempre Mujer, Latina etc.

    Best to know about someone before allowing insecurities to send you criticizing but, once again, a person’s self-identification has nothing to do with you/your group. Taking another individual’s actual and factual self-identification as a personal rejection of you/your group is totally on you and egotistical as hell since, sorry but, the whole world does not revolve around you/your group nor is everything about you/your group.

    ******************************************************************************************************************
    SSay wrote: “I am also quite tired of publications and websites supposedly dedicated to the beauty of black women consistently featuring women who can only marginally be considered black. Let their “other” cultures celebrate them.”
    ******************************************************************************************************************

    Why fault this website for your failure to either read or comprehend when it’s About page clearly describes it as an “online magazine for women of color.” Maybe people should get that and quit putting their own selfish desire or spin on who the magazine is geared towards.

  • It’s a Beauty Fight

    It’s more that Black women are contentious with each other, it’s a beauty fight. I call it Hateration.

    It’s not only obvious that women like Zoe Saldana and Amber Rose (yes Amber Rose too!!!) is of african descent, but the issue I think is that there are some women who resent their pretty. I think the same is done to Beyonce (who ‘s Black American, but maybe too light skinned for some’s taste) and in terms of Halle Berry I think she’s accepted now because she dated Gabriel Aubry and is representin’ for sistas who want to point out that even Black women can date a fine White Man to spite the Brothas datin’ Becky. Before that she was scorned as well, remember her Oscar win. . .

    A real Black girl looks like Nivea, Ashanti, Fantasea (all beautifiul women in my book btw), anything outside of that is considered not Black enough. Also your personality and perspective can’t be too far outside of mainstream blackness and Zoe Saldana, is too blipster cool to represent what is considered mainstream Black girl.

  • It’s a Beauty Fight

    Amber Rose isn’t accepted by mainstream White society so cut it out. Most White people don’t know who in the hell Amber Rose is. . .

    Zoe Saldana isn’t mixed!!! She’s Afro-Latina. An Afro-Latina blipster, to be more exact, lol. It’s not her Afro Latinaness that makes her more acceptable by mainstream white society, but her blipster stance, which I don’t have an extreme problem with. I like her.

    Black women have to realize that we come not only in different shades but different personality. It’s not like Highlander ladies, there can be more than one . . .

  • It’s a Beauty Fight

    Amber Rose is a black woman, and she might not look like you but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t represent me, or other Black women who can identify with the rainbow.

    Amber Rose is like all other groupies behind her, Bianca Jaguar, Yoko Ono, etc. all who had relationships with musican icons and shine in the limelight because of it. I have no issue with her. . .

    I’m sick of people trying to put Black women in a tight box. . .

  • It’s a Beauty Fight

    Should Serena Williams be considered a beauty symbol? I don’t consider her one. She’s an amazing athlete though.

    Tons of women in the spotlight of other ethnicities aren’t considered beauty symbols either, for example, Martina Navortolova (I butchered that, LOL).

    I think Black women need to get over the fact that some Black women are considered not that attractive. . .

  • It’s a Beauty Fight

    This conversation isn’t about the “one drop rule”. All these women, Amber, Zoe, La La, identify as Black.

    The issue is that Black Americans have a problem with diversity in terms of cultural identity. There’s a very fine line as far as the way a person can act to be seen as black and if someone has certain types of features that don’t represent what some Blacks have decided are mainstream then we won’t consider them Black enough ever!

    This is the old school yard fight about being an “oreo” if you’re Black and listen to certain types of music, or talk a certain way, or the fight between light skinned vs. dark skinned.

  • Interested

    I really do not think it is about any hateration. I think what Black women/girls want to see are pretty women who look like them, that is what the majority of Black/women girls look like. Where are the pretty girls with dark/dark brown skin, kinky hair, wide noses, and full lips? When you never show such Black women, you are default saying that the only pretty Black women are the more mixed/ambigous types.

    Akai, I stand corrected about Latino directors giving Zoe work. But I have to disagree with the rest of your post. The phrase “Women of color” is often used to mean “Black women”. From what I understand about Clutch, it is supposed to be a Black women’s site (Ie it appears in search engines when you look for “Black female sites”. If it is not, then I would like Clutch to specify such. Also, I agree with the woman who stated this: “I am also quite tired of publications and websites supposedly dedicated to the beauty of black women consistently featuring women who can only marginally be considered black. Let their “other” cultures celebrate them.”

    She is quite correct. Media outlets dedicated to celebrating the beauty of Black women are sorely needed for obvious reasons. It is hardly selfish for Black women and girls to have what every other race of females has. I do not understand why when Black women/girls want the same as them, it has to be considered selfish, wrong, or petty.

  • Ashley

    I agree with Interested and SSay. Black women are not represented in mainstream society. And when I say black, I mean women with African features. Ex: dark skin, kinky hair, big lips, wide noses, hour glass figures.

    We are just not represented. So it would be nice to see women who look like us on screen. Not saying biracial women are not black, but often times you are black and something else, whether it be white, hispanic, or whatever. I am talking about straight up black women, who can’t claim anything other than black.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Chinyelu-Margaret-Miller/30812877 Chinyelu Margaret Miller

    I completely agree.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Chinyelu-Margaret-Miller/30812877 Chinyelu Margaret Miller

    I don’t think you understand black women’s complains about these things. It’s not about “expanding the definition of beauty”, it’s wondering why these girls who look more white that most other black women are promoted more, even by the black community. And the fact that you mentioned your hungarian and german/polish heritage screams “white liberal alert.” Rainbow? Susan… I think you should observe instead of adding your two sense just yet.

  • Tamara

    The exclusion of these women from Black culture is the result of ignorance, plain and simple. LANGUAGE does not indicate RACIAL BACKGROUND! I am African-American, therefore English is my first language because I was born and raised in a nation that was born from English colonization. But no one would ever question my race because of language. My racial background, like most African-Americans, is a MIXTURE of African, European and Native American. We know that white men fathered children with Native American and African women and that’s part of the reason Black people have such a variety of skin, eye and hair colors and hair textures. Unfortunately too many people are ignorant of the fact that THE SAME THING HAPPENED IN CENTRAL AND SOUTH AMERICA! White colonists who spoke Spanish and Portuguese fathered children with the Native American and imported African women. The people there have the same racial mix that Black people in the U.S. have. The only difference is the LANGUAGE of the colonizers/slave-holders. That’s it. The mixed children mixed with each other and non-mixed people for generations, creating the beautiful diversity of hues that we have today. I applaud Latina’s who recognize that they are Black because many are stuck on the fact that they speak Spanish and think that has something to do with their ethnicity. People who exclude them are continuing in the divide and conquer strategy that colonizers have used for centuries and it’s simply a stupid thing to do.

  • isolde

    @It’s a beauty fight

    “It’s not her Afro Latinaness that makes her more acceptable by mainstream white society, but her blipster stance”

    please explain Zoe’s “blipster stance” and how it makes her more acceptable to mainstream white society.

  • Isis

    Exactly!!!!

  • Isis

    @ Interested Exactly!!!

  • Isis

    I agree as well. I’m tired of people hating and rejecting black people and their black lineage, but then wanting support from us when those they choose to identify with reject the hell out them. Thats straight BS!

  • shawn taylor

    I think that it goes beyond skin color, in many ways. Look at film role choices. How many times has Zoe had a three-dimensional loving relationship with a black man on screen? She’s dated this white cat for 10 years, and now they are married. While I do believe in the validity of interracial relationships, I do believe that Zoe is black when it is convenient. She’s got herself some white friends, a white man, and has firmed her spot as that exotic sister that the regular mainstream can’t out their fingers on, and thusly, feel comfortable because she is not “too black”.

    As a Jamaican/Puerto Rican mixed man, I know that (ultimately) blackness is my foundation. While I ma proudly (and demonstrably) multi-racial, my global blackness comes first.

  • Akai (Akai.Santiago@Yahoo)

    Interested wrote: “The phrase “Women of color” is often used to mean “Black women”. From what I understand…it is supposed to be…”
    ******************************************************************************************************************

    Oh so AAs think they can dictate who is/is not “black” aaaand jank the term “woman of color” as solely referring to “black women?” …amazing! …not.happening!

    I read the site’s page and think I also recall the owner stating it is for “women of color” a couple of times. Point blank!

    I’m not going to recount her roles but the individual that reduced the Emmy Award winner Alfre Woodard’s career to playing “crackheads and single mothers” is another on a list of those talking nonsense. And, again, this claim/insinuation that most women represented in the media are ‘light, bright and damn near’ – and there is no dark skin representation – is pure bullsh!t.

    And when Halle Berry won an Oscar, there most definitely were AA females similarly criticizing and whining along the lines of “Oh they would give it to a biracial woman.”

  • http://doodiepants.com Doodie

    How long will it take you guys to realize that this is all in your head.

  • AConcernedBrother

    @Chinyelu Margaret Miller I wasn’t aware that the replies to this article were limited to 100% full blooded negros. Perhaps YOU should observe and and hold off on your two cents for a moment. Yes, this issue is within the black and latin community, however, clearly “Susan” felt led to respond. Don’t condemn someone for sharing their experience. She IS entitled to an opinion and an interpretation like any other reader. Hate is hate…you’re just adding to it. How’d you feel if you commented on something and everyone said, “we don’t need the black opinion…perhaps you should just observe.” Exactly. So slow your roll…use that passion to change the hate not fuel it.

    It is ridiculous that this is even something that still has to be addressed in 2010. People attack Zoe. She is about the same complexion as Jennifer Hudson or Sharon Leal and darker than Sanaa Lathan, but no one doubts Hudson. The black community all runs to claim her. I think the issue has much less to do with the media and outside races and more with the struggle within our OWN community. While yes, people might accept them as “beautiful”, many of these “lighter, straight haired, small nosed, etc” women DO face constant struggles in entertainment solely BECAUSE the media surely calls them BEAUTIFUL but doesn’t know where to put them. Why? because they’re not “black” enough or “latin” enough. As if it’s not already ignorant to have to deal with bigotry within your industry…it makes it worse that you turn to your community and they have the knives ready to stab you in the back as well. Yes bi and multiracial people DO tend to identify with all of their heritages…and should they not? Society already gives them the “one drop of black” label…but truth be told, they ARE bi or multiracial and SHOULD embrace their full heritage. Sadly reading comments with such a bitter hateful tone towards these women makes me not feel bad for them but for you…Do you believe you’re beautiful in the skin you’re in? Isn’t that really ALL that matters? Because I can list Viola Davis, Vanessa Bell Calloway, Janet Hubert for starters that are all quite beautiful and darker skinned…More specifically, Zoe spoke about being a woman of color..she didn’t say, “as a black woman”…so really, stop the hating. It doesn’t make anyone think you’re any more attractive…try showing some love for a change, it’s always more attractive. -a concerned brother.

  • SSay

    @ Akai Santiago

    Wishful thinking? The semi-black others constantly accuse AA’s and/or fully black people of trying to enforce the 1 drop rule like we are the ones who created it. Until very recently no whites, Latinos, or Asians were willing to accept people who were part-black as legitimate members of their groups, and most of them are still not accepting them. The only place they found acceptance was in black communities where not only were they accepted, they were exalted b/c AAs love us some “exotic” wimmins! Now that SOME groups are beginning to accept the “exotics”, it’s all “don’t call me black! Unless I can get a scholarship, or a movie role, or a record deal or a magazine cover….that I am not getting from the whites/Latinos/Asians I identify with”.

    Thanks for answering the questions (as opposed to statements- signified by the ‘?’) about Ms. Saldana’s roles/magazine covers. I know understand that she has only made a career out of playing AA or at least black/non-Latina characters for the past 6 solid years…and been on one or two Latina magazine covers.

    “Why fault this website for your failure to either read or comprehend when it’s About page clearly describes it as an “online magazine for women of color.” Maybe people should get that and quit putting their own selfish desire or spin on who the magazine is geared towards”

    Really, Akai? I checked out the about page also…and maybe you should read and comprehend past the first line next time before you fault others for spinning this magazine’s target audience exactly as its creators have:

    “Clutch proves that there is a market for Black women that hasn’t been filled before.”

    “Clutch is the only online magazine for Black women that is updated numerous times daily and releases a full issue every Monday.”

    “Clutch is a wonderful online magazine that fills a great void for Black women, particularly younger Black women, in America and globally.”

  • SSay

    This is the whole point. And some of the comments have been quite telling:

    “Darker black women are hating on semi-black “exotic” women because they are pretty”

    So medium and dark-skinned fully black women are not pretty? WOW.

    “Non-exotic black women are mad and bitter because black men want light, bright, and white women. They need to get some self esteem and get over it.”

    This is said as though black girl’s self esteem develops in a vacuum, with no need to see any positive representation of women who look like them in terms of skin, hair, and features. If that’s true why are any of us reading this site, Essence, or any other publication specifically for black women? As a light-skinned long-haired black woman, I know for a fact that my sense of self esteem was bolstered by seeing so many images of women who looked like me and by having black men tell me these traits were what attracted them to me. I can imagine how it would feel to not see positive representations where women who look like you are valued and thought beautiful. These “poor defenseless light-skinned, semi-black, Latina, and other” women are being picked on and aren’t being included arguments are beyond bogus.

    Remarks like the above are also made as though the loss of available mates in one’s own community is a non-issue. Plenty of us are dating the rainbow, myself included, but it’s pretty jacked up black men have such naked disdain for the very women who look most like them.

    What’s more jacked up is that *black women* turn around and do the same thing! The majority of black women in real life are not biracial, Latina, or “exotic” semi-black-looking women. So why is that the majority of what is projected as the image of black women? And why is it a problem when women who represent the majority of what black women look like, recognize and speak out against the fact that they have been marginalized?

  • http://doodiepants.com Doodie

    You know what hate. I hate how all these magazines are portraying men with these perfect pecs and 6 pack that are 80 genetic. Not to mention their good looks and slender faces. It’s just not right. Most of the population doesn’t even look like that!

    It complete bullshit that they put these guys in magazine just because 90% of the population think they’re attractive.

    oh wait…..no it’s not. They put what sells. If it doesn’t sell, they don’t put it on the cover. Quit whining.

  • Akai (Akai.Santiago@Yahoo)

    SSay wrote: “Wishful thinking? The semi-black others constantly accuse AA’s and/or fully black people of trying to enforce the 1 drop rule like we are the ones who created it.”
    ******************************************************************************************************************

    Oh so now it’s “semi-black?” *snick* That’s rich but do you not see the arrogance of someone from a population of 40 million daring to say whom is/isn’t “black” or question the self-identity of others?? If it ain’t you, I still don’t see what it has to do with you but, heck, if you were born on the continent (population: 1 billion) of two black African parents you might have a little more authority from which to dictate and judge.

    Anyway, my statement about “wishful thinking” was in regard to the claim that people were “expecting to be accepted and promoted by” black people. When did Zoë, Amber or any mixed chick fall on their knees and beg “Please, African Americans, accept me?” That’s right…they didn’t and won’t!!

    Some AAs get accused of enforcing the “one drop rule” because they live by it and any biracial or multiracial that does not identify “black” or to their stupid liking is deemed a “sell out,” “self-hating,” “trying to distance from black” and other judgmental nonsense. We all know “who created it” but it is those that judge others by it who are holding on to massa’s rules when the truth is…if an individual with one black and one white parent can call themselves “black,” they can also call themselves “white.” People need to remove themselves and their noses from another individual’s factual self-identification and quit taking it personally as a rejection of them when it hadn’t a thing to do with a stranger.

    ******************************************************************************************************************
    SSay wrote: “Until very recently no whites, Latinos, or Asians were willing to accept people who were part-black as legitimate members of their groups, and most of them are still not accepting them. The only place they found acceptance was in black communities…”
    ******************************************************************************************************************

    Historically in America? True! Now or in the last 20-30 years? I’d say, negative!

    You are not biracial so why are you speaking about shoes you don’t walk in? If you choose to sit there, be honest, and act as if it’s all been lovey-dovey and no AAs have never been cruel, unwilling to accept, abusive (verbally and, sometimes, physically) and/or mean to those of mixed race, there’s no need for us to try to talk this through and understand each other because I can’t begin from a base of dishonesty. And…simply reading many of the comments here (yours included) more than proves the point that there is not always this kumbaya comfy ‘acceptance’ in the AA community. I can’t speak of Asians (I’ve no Asian family or intimate experience), and neither can you, but quit trying to speak of other’s experiences as it’s blazingly obvious you are speaking 2nd hand from a limited American perspective and hadn’t a clue how “part-black” individuals have been treated and accepted outside the US.

    A couple of commenters have gleefully insinuated that mixed people come running to the black community due to being rejected by the, I suppose, white members of their families and communities and I’m here to tell you that is, again, wishful thinking. I’m a member of several biracial groups (one of which meets regularly) and this has not been the experience of most. I’m simply being honest (so take it or leave it) but this rejection and lack of acceptance some people seem to wait in anticipation for mixed individuals to receive from whites does not occur that often. Some even find more acceptance there and, if anything, the negative spoken of is the hurt, rejection, hell and name-calling they’ve caught from *some* members of the AA community.

    ******************************************************************************************************************
    SSay wrote: “Unless I can get a scholarship, or a movie role, or a record deal or a magazine cover….that I am not getting from the whites/Latinos/Asians I identify with.
    ******************************************************************************************************************

    You seem to have a loooot of anger towards those of mixed race simply because we exist. I wish you peace and resolution on this but, respectfully, none of these things (scholarship, movie roles, record deals, magazine covers etc.) are yours/your group’s to award or give. It’s almost as if you feel others are taking something of yours, or from you.

    Again, Zoë has played a Latina in several movie roles but, anyway, other Latinas like Jennifer Lopez, Salma Hayek, Eva Mendez, America Ferrara, Eva Longoria etc. have also made their mark in Hollywood or American TV and movies where the money is bigger and roles more plentiful (as opposed to other countries) same as Rosario Dawson and Zoë Saldaña. With the exception of Hayek, the missed point is all of them are American born but, see, the argument doesn’t hold up and nobody can use the tired line that Lopez et al’s ran to America film because their skin tones prevented them from making it in Latin America — as has been stated (and meanly hoped) regarding Dawson and Saldaña. …maybe some people need to sit down, ponder and accept what is solely about themselves and quit putting it off on other people!!

    Finally, I appreciate the website’s goal of “ushering in the new era for young contemporary women of color” and it’s manifesto that “diversity is what makes the world go round.” When/if they delete or change those words, I’ll be out. But, as long as it states those things, I see it open to exactly what it says…”women of color”…and that includes biracial, multiracial, Indian, Mexican or the diverse 100+ million of African descent outside the US.

  • Akai (Akai.Santiago@Yahoo)

    Correction: “If you choose to sit there, be honest dishonest…”

  • Akai (Akai.Santiago@Yahoo)

    Doodie wrote: “You know what hate. I hate how all these magazines are portraying men with these perfect pecs and 6 pack that are 80 genetic. Not to mention their good looks…”
    ******************************************************************************************************************

    Oh quit being a buster! *smile*

    I’m a sucker for beautiful bodies and don’t mind staring at those things on my hubby or looking at ripped dudes in magazines.

  • Akai (Akai.Santiago@Yahoo)

    I so dug your input, AConcernedBrother, and agree about some of the jealous, hateful and bitter tones as well as the usual exaggeration that goes on.

    I listed several darker females in entertainment (only to have an Emmy winner’s [Woodard's] career erroneously reduced to playing “crackheads” and Oprah merely to playing “slaves”) and you listed others (Davis, Calloway etc.).

    There are more but were anyone to point blank ask those complaining to list all these ‘light, bright and damn near’ women who are supposedly the only ones featured in the media (let them tell it), they won’t…because they can’t. For every light one they may come up with, one or two darker actresses can be pointed out.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tamara-Prosper/1409199706 Tamara Prosper

    This really is one of the most ridiculous, heart-breaking set of comments I’ve read in a long time. I am African American, born and raised in the suburbs of Philly. My parents, grandparents and ancestors as far back as we can research were born in the U.S. Both sides of my family have a few Native American and European ancestors but most of them are descendants of enslaved Africans. I’m lighter than Zoe Saldana but my hair is much curlier/kinkier. My lips and nose aren’t especially large but my hips and butt are. I have freckles and so does my mom, who is a few shades browner than I am. No one would call me mixed because both my parents are black, as were their parents. No one in my family identifies themselves as anything but Black/African-American, yet we vary in shades from onyx to pearl. We know why we look this way. White men raped our ancestors. For the people whose outer appearance does not reflect the fact that the women before us were FORCED into inter-racial relationships to continue to buy into what the OPPRESSORS created (division in the community) is worse than what the masters did. You are continuing their old divide and conquer legacy. Quit it! No one can help what genes they have. No one can do anything about their ancestry. But we can control how we behave toward each other. To the person who feels like one must have a specific amount of melanin in their skin and kinkiness in their hair to have the right to really call themselves black…QUIT IT! Who are you to say anyone else isn’t black enough? That’s as bad as the brown bag test to determine who is light enough. It’s all divisive. I’m sorry if some lighter-skinned black person belittled you or a group excluded you. I’m really very sorry when that happens. But doing the same thing will not change anything. You’re just feeding the self-hatred that was taught to us during slavery. It’s sad to say but as a people, regardless of whether we’re shackled and forced to work against our will, we will never be truly free until we clear our minds of the insignificant things that separate us.

  • Y

    I think I understand. It is only by perpetuating the system that privileges those who are or appear to be less Black over those who are more visibly Black that we can ever be free of it. Right.

    I’d like to point those Black women who see the problem with this to the following blog post.

    Self-Determination, Part 1: My Dark-Skinned Sisters, STOP Letting Biracial/Bicultural/Multicultural/Light-Skinned Women Wear YOUR Stolen Crown

    …This is quite different from self-proclaimed “biracial,” etc. persons who want to make sure that you know that they are NOT Black like you. From so-called mulattoes within ancient African societies to apartheid-era South African “Coloreds,” to the “biracials” here and now among us, these type of “I don’t want to be Black, and Whites won’t let me be White” people have done great harm to Black people’s interests.

    Throughout out our history, Black people have allowed these “biracial” types to form a wedge, and a disloyal fifth column among the Black collective….

    …..In the crown context, STOP celebrating these self-proclaimed biracial/multicultural/bicultural women wearing YOUR stolen crown! STOP lifting them up. STOP claiming them as part of our collective, and worrying about them. Purge them and their problems from your list of concerns. These self-proclaimed biracial/multicultural/bicultural/whatever women don’t need your help. They have plenty of worshipful Negro slaves [like Ne-Yo, Yung Berg, the NFL, etc.] to attend to their needs.

    Don’t fall for the lie that says, “They’re part of us.” Didn’t these self-proclaimed biracial, bicultural, multicultural, etc. people already TELL you that they are something other than part of us? That they are anything but Black? Why are some of you so eager to claim them when they are not claiming you? Especially when they are wearing your stolen crown?

  • Kim

    LOL! It’s just absolutely amazing that folks just can’t seem to resist interjecting themselves into the lives of African American women. It is truly amazing. Instead of said folk finding fault with us, maybe they need therapy to help them understand why they just can’t seem to leave us alone.

  • LoSim

    Our culture is rich and varied. I get mistaken for mixed all the time despite the fact that mom and dad are black, each of their parents are black and another generation up … still black. I’ll be damned if I let anyone tell me I’m something I’m not.

    If a mixed race person wants to strongly rep their black heritage … let them! Why would you reject someone who doesn’t want to be rejected? That makes no sense.

    I don’t believe Rosario has ever cited herself as being black — so I would never refer to her as a black woman — but I love that Zoe does, so I’ll happily welcome her to the fold. I wish more Afro-latinas would embrace that part of their heritage. Unfortunately, the trend is in the other direction.

  • Jumpin

    “Is she even black?”

    Does it really matter????

  • April

    Completely co-sign this. You’ve stated things perfectly.

  • Interested

    Yes it matters, and very much so, because their are serious problems when it comes to female beauty standards in the Black community, as well as serious problems when it comes to Black female representation in that community and out of it.

  • http://jihanisunemployed.wordpress.com j

    I think it’s a little (a lotta) ridiculous that some people refuse to acknowledge that THERE ARE BLAK LATIN@S. Just because you happen to speak spanish, does not make you not black!

    I see Dominicans all the time and they are darker than me and their hair is much coarser and thicker than mine! How come they don’t get to be black, and I do as a West Indian female?

  • Interested

    J, once again I must say that I do not see any AA women or girls telling Spanish-speaking Black girls who look just like what the majority of Black women American and otherwise look like that they’re not Black.

    I stand by my assertion that the “Is she even Black?” question is reserved for Amber Rose types who are constantly being held up as proper representatives for the Black female population American or otherwise. And it is a legitimate question. If you want to show/represent Black women, why are you choosing women whose features are so ambigous that one would even have to ask if they are Black?

  • Isis

    Wow! You say it as being black is like having HIV. Why do I get to be black but she doesn’t?? A mess. Black is beautiful and I won’t force anyone who doesn’t want to acknowledge their “blackness” to be black. lawd

  • http://doodiepants.com Doodie

    Isn’t brown or dark tan a more accurate term. The only actually Black people I’ve seen are straight outta West Africa. And they’re still kind brownish.

    I guess some folks love drawing stupid lines though. Black\White……..haha what joke.

  • LegalMatters

    Until we embrace others of color as our brothers and sisters, and vice versa, we will never get anywhere as a people. This is exactly the kind of divisive thinking that keeps “minorities” behind, despite the fact that our numbers clearly place us in the majority. Free your minds of mental slavery, my people.

    Peace.

  • Tenisha Mercer

    Wow, I really can’t believe we are debating this topic, “Is she even black?” I know the headline was written to encourage discussion, but racism cuts across all lines — even Afro Latinos, many of whom deny their African heritage and shun anything black, as evidenced by many of the commenters here. Many Dominicans, Puerto Ricans or other dark-skinned Latinos are not checking for black folks.

    News flash: Zoe Saldana isn’t catering to black folks by being on the cover of Essence or any other black mag; she’s just paying homage to her Afro Latino roots. Why is that bad? If anything, it’s not necessarily a “plus” to be labeled a “Black” actress, considering the few roles Black actresses get these days.

    Why not uplift, instead of hate? Kinda reminds me of the lightskin/darkskin mentality and the paper bag test. I hate the whole, who’s black enough question, because it lends itself to so many stereotypes. I swear, we are so “educated” that we are dumb. Really, how many Latino actresses even acknowledge their Afro heritage …. yeah, not many at all.

    We come in so many different colors — and that’s our beauty. Zoe looks nothing like me, but I respect her because, somewhere down the line, her ancestors are from the diaspora, just like mine.

    I don’t care if you are from Africa, we aren’t all the same color — just look at the Mandelas in South Africa or the Ethiopians or the beautiful chocolate hued skin of people in Ghana. We aren’t myopic — and there isn’t one standard “shade” or hair texture that quantifies anyone as black.

    We get so hung up on things that really don’t matter, and, as we debate which actress is Black enough, Hollywood still continues to give Black actors breadcrumb roles. That’s what we need to fight about, not this.

    Zoe or Amber Rose don’t represent all black, Afro Latina (name your adjective) women. They’re just two of the millions of kinds of black women in this country. I guess many of these posters would have also challenged the so-called blackness of Lena Horne, who, to my knowledge, was very radical for her time and could have passed.

    And … women of color isn’t meant to refer to only Black women. It’s a term that’s inclusive of all “ethnic” minorities, i.e., women of color.

  • Love

    I think the problem lies in the fact that black women, particularly dark skinned women, are too often ignored in mainstream media. It goes back to the notion that the mainstream chooses “black girls” who look like white girls dipped in toffee. Like how so many people got excited when Vogue chose a black woman for their Sept. cover…but that woman happens to be Halle Berry, who is half white. So within our own circles, we begin to question who’s black enough. I’ll be honest in saying that I question how Hispanic women are allowed to play roles meant for black actresses, not because I have anything against Hispanic women, but more so because black women with dark skin are hardly recognized. But at the same time, there are Hispanic women, like Zoe who are indeed black. But for many of us, it’s become, “well how black IS she?” It’s sad, but that’s what happens when a group is so oppressed and disregarded.

  • it’s a beauty fight

    Zoe Saladana seems like she can easily be cast with a white counterpart and it be believable. She’s easy to cast because of that. I think being that she’s not Black American per say, she’s a Black person but doesn’t fit in clearly with Black American culture, kind of like how Black Brits are Thandie Newton, Naomi Harris, etc.

    As well, she’s kind of part of that hipster set, that likes skinny black girls, who listens to atl rock, etc. She doesn’t really fit into the mainstream of most Black people, for that reason she’s not considered black.

  • Kesha

    I consider all of the mentioned women to be black. However, I do see a problem when these women with more European standards of beauty (smaller lips and noses, silkier/straighter hair) are often used as token black women.

  • it’s a beauty fight

    You are seriously kidding me aren’t you?

    Really?

    Where to begin. What the hell is “Semi-Black”? Are you “Semi-Black because, as you said, you are “light skinned with long hair”?

    You obviously have a lot of color issues to even make up such a term. . .

    Zoe Saldana is a brown skinned Black girl. She’s not light skinned at all so stop. She’s not culturally the same as most Black Americans, but racially she definitely is.

    La La Vasquez is a black girl too.

    Amber Rose is a mixed girl, who has the right to date Black men and be accepted because she’s part Black!! Who else is she gonna date, and that being said, her celebrity is because she’s a glorified groupie, who cares. She’s beautiful though, and has an amazing figure with roots directly from AFRICA!!! I have no issue with her.

    There are tons of other Black women out there who one could choose to identify with, if yo dont’ want to identify with Amber Rose, don’t. However, that doesn’t make her any less gorgeous. . . And I don’t hear anyone telling me that I should find her to be the ideal either. She’s Kanye’s ex-groupie girlfriend. The woman Kanye was engaged to, ENGAGED!!! looked like a mainstream Black woman who most Black woman would readily identify with so what’s the beef.

    In this day in age there are a variety of women that we can identify with, so again, what’s the drama?

    And it is a beauty fight. . . Look, not all dark skin women feel like they can’t identify with Amber Rose, not everyone identifies with a woman based on skin tone. I identified a lot with Lauryn Hill, we aren’t the same skin tone, but I found her to be one of the most beautiful Black women out there in her hay day.

  • Taniqua

    That’s it. I want all of you to send in skin color samples to verify your blackness. The fact that this conversation is even going on shows a chunk of ignorance.

    30 years from you’ll look back and say, “I can’t believe we used to label people like that”
    I’m from the future, I know. And in the future, while we don’t ignore skin tones; the only label we apply is “human”.

    Pride is a bitch. And the need to take pride in “blackness” and defend it from others is your stumbling block.

  • Interested

    Love, you hit the nail right on the head. The problem is too many people want to dismiss it as if it were just in the imaginations of dark-skinned Black women/girls, and that is simply not true. It is not about hating our half-Black sistas like Halle, who like I said is embraced by sistas because she embraces her Black roots and her identity as a Black woman (Just like Lena, RIP). It is about acknowledging that dark-skinned Black women/girls have not been treated right or had proper representation in the entertainment arena. I will also say again that I do not think most AA women/girls have an issue with Black Latinas who look like Zoe and darker being reconized as Black women.

    Kesha, I agree with you about the European features problem. It needs to be addressed, not dismissed or glossed over.

    Taniqua, once again, please listen to what sistas are saying, this is not about denying anyone’s Blackness. This is an issue of representation for what the majority of Black women/girls in the world look like.

  • Miyazaki

    Same way I feel with Ethnic Fijians. How come they’re darker than me, have coarse hair texture, African features but are known as Polynesians/Melansians and not necessarily black? Same way with Australian Aboriginees, Negritos, Papua New Guineans…technically, they look like Africans but they’re not considered Black for some reason.

  • Miyazaki

    I also think East/West/North/South Indians and Arab people in Africa and Asia are black. Egyptians look like me, a light skinned black person, although I came from two dark skin parents! And people are always excited to claim Egyptian people as black people, although most look Arab and don’t really claim to be black. Eritreans and Ethiopians don’t necessarily claim themselves as Black either but we lump them into the black category. How come we don’t include Arab/Middle Eastern people? There’s people who look like me out there and who are darker skinned than me! If it’s b/c of the Equator, well that should apply for black people too. Whoever is effected by the equator and who’s skin is darker, how come they’re not black? I wish I could claim some Moroccan, Armenian or Lebanese people as my own kind and say yes I feel so proud to be black lol. I would say that for Ethiopian women, I love their hair but they don’t want to say their black so I feel sad. I just wish we all weren’t divided.

  • Miyazaki

    I just wish everyone, mixed, black, brown, red, white, cream, yellow, olive could all be lumped into the same category. Why wasn’t everyone lumped together back in the slave days anyways? Why couldn’t Native people, pacific islanders, asians, australians, middle easterns, africans, black people and whoever wasn’t considered superior to whoever made the whole white aryan race bullshit anyway lumped into the same category and just called colored so we can be all one big happy family? Why couldn’t we all just be colored since we were all inferior to the white settlers anyway? I’m just mad we were all divided against each other. I’d be so much happier if blonde haired people blue eyed people, everyone was the same race and not divided b/c of culture or ethnicity. I just wish we were all the same race and not have to question who’s black or what b/c we’d be the same.

  • Interested

    Yes it would be nice if that is how things were amongst people of color, but sadly they are not. Unfortunately some people of color have proven to be just as racist as some Whites when it comes to Black women/girls. Sad, but true.

  • Ciderkiss

    I second both of Interested’s notions.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Cleo-Hines/1130483506 Cleo Hines

    This is such bullshit! I hate when people act like mixed women had a choice in their ethnic makeup, have a choice in how that genetic endowment is expressed, and how they are viewed by this society. They had no hand in these cards being dealt to them, yet some people insist that they should be appropriately apologetic and/or ashamed that they don’t “look black enough”. Well who the hell died and appointed you the “Official steering committee of Blackness and what it should look like”? Like the girl who asked me what I was and when I told her Black, proceeded to inform me that I wasn’t “just black” or when people say to me I don’t look Jamaican (WTF?!), if I say I’m black, then I’m black, if I tell you I’m Jamaican, then I’m Jamaican (born and raised not just someone with a parent from Jamaica) who the hell are you to dispute that? Because I don’t fit your definition of what REAL Black looks like? Or what a Jamaican looks like? Which by the way is what again?

    Quite honestly, it’s really starting to sound like sour grapes at this point, take out your inferiority complex on the mixed girl, I’m sorry, but I’ve over it, really and truly over that shit. You are not going to make me feel bad about the way that I look, I’m not gonna apologise for looking the way that I do, because I had nothing to do with it, check with my parents, grandparents and great grandparents one that one.These women who insist on assaulting mixed women with their insecurities make me quite afraid for my three very obviously mixed raced nieces that they have to grow up in this society, it’s like ok, someone made me feel inadequate as a Black woman, so let me pay it forward. Great and thanks.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tamara-Prosper/1409199706 Tamara Prosper

    I couldn’t agree with you more Tenisha! Thanks for saying something that makes sense when so many others are being ridiculous.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tamara-Prosper/1409199706 Tamara Prosper

    No, it really doesn’t. It’s a shame we as can’t just accept each other as we are, in all shades, textures, languages and cultures. We’re all in the same boat and we’ll never get anywhere if we keep trying to paddle in different directions.

  • S.

    If they had kinky hair this wouldn’t even be a discussion!

  • Akai (Akai.Santiago@Yahoo)

    Cleo Hines wrote: “This is such bullshit! I hate when people act like mixed women had a choice in their ethnic makeup, have a choice in how that genetic endowment is expressed…

    …some people insist that they should be appropriately apologetic and/or ashamed

    …it’s really starting to sound like sour grapes at this point to take out your inferiority complex on the mixed girl…

    You are not going to make me feel bad about the way that I look, I’m not gonna apologise for looking the way that I do…”
    ******************************************************************************************************************

    “Tell ‘em why you mad, son!” (smile) …I see you!

    Anyway, a page or two back someone quoted/linked an angry screed about “crowns”) and all I could say was “Lord, Jeebus!” *snick* That chick is one of the biggest and angriest hypocrites in the blogosphere and nothing but pure dee comedy!

  • Arielle

    Nope if all 3 of them had kinky hair, people would still think they weren’t black enough b/c of skin and ethnicity and heritage. I considered all 3 of them black but maybe some people say maybe she isn’t even black is b/c they say that they aren’t, they say they’re mixed. Rosario says she’s Native, Irish, and Latina. Zoe says she’s Latina, and Amber says she’s Italian and African. So one drop of white or hispanic blood, people say oh she’s not black enough b/c maybe perhaps she doesn’t consider herself all black. If she wanted to be all black, she would just say she was 100% black, some people would say. Even that’s still not enough but hey, Mariah Carey is considered black although she’s mixed and says she’s both mixed and black. So how come she’s black, but they aren’t?

    Maybe it’s b/c they don’t represent black women but represent mixed women instead so it would seem so maybe people think mixed race people are another race, which it seems like they think that way today, even the mixed people do, which I think is ridiculous. I used to say that I was 100% black but I got tired of lying to myself and feeling guilty. I know I’m not and I can’t deny my other heritages b/c that’s what makes me me, but I still say I’m black. People assume that they don’t want to be called black (like that movie I’m not black, I’m biracial damn it) I would be considered mix b/c my dad’s side of the family is like the debarge’s except everyone is mixed with native, white, asian and black. Some don’t see me as black b/c I’ve got slanted eyes and don’t look like a typical light skin black person. But even light skin blacks are lumped in the mixed category sometimes and people won’t let them be black until they prove how black they are by being real and acting like stereotypical black women, loud and hood. Tisha Campbell looks mixed too but she’s never said she was mixed, she always said she was 100% black so people welcomed her in with open arms. Halle Berry is brown and always looked black, although she’s mixed, she’s been involved with the black community. Same with Tia and Tamara. They’re mixed but they never bragged about it to the world, thinking they’re better b/c they’re mixed, or swayed away from the black crowd or tell people they weren’t black. Zoe and Rosario in past interviews have had that tone that they don’t want to be just black, they don’t want to belong to just the black community but to every other race/ethnicity their mixed with. Maybe people see these two just foreign people trying to be both black and whatever their mixed with. Back in the day, I used to say yeah Zoe is black and latina like me, nothing wrong with that. But she seemed to not want to be apart of the black culture but leaned more towards the latina culture like she was discarding the black side. Now she wants people to know she’s acknowledging her black side and people might not think she’s being real and just flip flopping. Idk, I used to think she was black when I saw drumline. I don’t think she’s black now b/c of the way she acts. It’s like I want her to be black and latina but she doesn’t, she wants to be her own little race.

    Today, it seems like people who are mixed don’t want to be known as black or be around black people but around other races and mixed people like themselves and divide even more. But maybe they think b/c Zoe and Rosario don’t act like the typical black girl or represent black women, but might seem more white that they aren’t black enough. Like the Oreo syndrome. Amber doesn’t act like an Oreo but she looks like a Uh-Oh Oreo, a white girl trying to be black. B/c you know, that can be confusing when a white girl claims she’s black as well as her family but they aren’t so maybe people just think she’s just another one of those girls. Like Coco, she’s an Uh Oh oreo but she’s an honorary black woman b/c she’s got a fake booty and big boobs and is shaped like a black woman. I don’t see her as a black woman. She could scream to the top of her lungs that she was black and I wouldn’t believe her but I would with Amber b/c I could just tell she was half black.

    Like Creoles and Carribean people. But b/c ppl don’t see me as just plain black although I don’t know the percentage of how much mixed blood runs on my dad’s family, I can’t say I’m just black b/c they’ll argue with me. So if they don’t think I am, I just say I’m mixed with everything b/c I’m tired of fighting back but honestly all I know is black. I can’t connect with other mixed race people who are proud to be biracial or lumped into a mixed race category. I don’t see myself like that. I see myself as black. I hang out with black people and mixed people but I can’t see myself as some different ethnic or racial group b/c I’m a mix of everyone but I think of myself as black as well as mixed. I embrace it all and I don’t turn my back on either or my people. I represent black as well as mixed not just one, but I don’t act like I’m turning my nose up to people either and that’s what people think mixed people do. Some of them do, I’m not going to lie but I’m not. I’m not going to seperate myself from what I am and that’s me being black as well as everything else. I grew up black, my heritage is mostly black, my features are black, so that makes me black.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Cleo-Hines/1130483506 Cleo Hines

    You+Me= Peas in a pod!

    For real, when did the term Women of Colour only start to refer to black women? And how come nobody told everyone else about it?!

  • Belle

    Free your minds, people! Get a passport! Travel! Read a book! Black people exist out side the U.S. and Africa. There are black people who speak French, Portuguese, and Spanish, English and Igbo. There are black Dominicans and Brazilians and white Haitians and Jamaicans. Stop the ignorance! You must learn!

  • http://souledoutthreads.com phillysouledout

    This is exactly why folks need to LIVE LEARN & LOVE their HISTORY. Doing so would make salient the fact that black people come from everywhere. Ever heard of the African Diaspora? Hello!!!!

    Unfortunately, most folks in gen. pop still confuse race with ethnicity. Race is purely a social categorization/designation, meaning that it is a concept that members of society have created. Ethnicity is culture and a truer reflection of a persons identity. So, to ask if these women are black would require us to define what blackness is.

    It seems to me that what we are talking about here are aesthetics and not culture. So aesthetically speaking, if these women were walking down the street with their mouths closed one would assume that they were black. Plain and simple, and isn’t that what really matters. So what if they open their mouth and French, Spanish, or Portuguese comes out (that doesn’t make them not black). Geez, do the same folks asking these questions not know that there are aesthetically black people from Cuba, Honduras, Costa Rica etc.

    Ya’ll can nit pic if you wanna, but none of these chicks *save for amber with a good chi iron* would be able to pass for a white woman during the Antebellum period or now for that matter.

    But if you want to question their blackness as a function of ethnicity or culture, I believe a more fruitful discussion would ensue. There are plenty of aesthetically black people who are W.A.S.P’ier and whiter than Nantucket, MA (do we not question their blackness as long as they are dark skinned and have nappy kitchens?). Lord knows folks have tried to revoke my black card on numerous occasions because I’ve been the consummate token more often than not in my young adult life.

    Let’s get it together and pick up a history book folks…..might I suggest “From Superman to Man”

  • http://doodiepants.com Doodie

    Hasn’t modern anthropology determined that we’re all from Africa? I don’t see the issue.

    Are some people are trying to be more ‘from Africa’?

  • Sheila

    The Majority of The Women That Have Been Mentioned Are Mixed. Why Do You Have To Be Either WHITE or BLACK? I Don’t Get It. Someone? Anybody

  • Sasha

    I don’t think the readers critisizing the Amber Rose article were getting at the fact that she’s a mixed black women- it was probably more so the fact that she’s done nothing really to have attained the “celebrity” she’s got. As far as attacking our sisters for their mixed heritage, I don’t see many of us yelling because President Obama’s mixed. Anyone who questions the “blackness” of a black-latino should probably do a bit more reading as history will tell we are one and the same.

  • Ciderkiss

    Tamara it does matter because this also the reason why we never see any black/dark skinned women on T.V.

    By the way here is a link showing her mother and grandmother. She is mixed for all of you who love to slap the “black” label on anyone.

    http://i11.tinypic.com/2prcy2u.jpg

  • Eurocentrism

    Now with this you’ve hit the nail on the head, but I do have to say her attitude toward her blackness doesn’t make her any less black.

    There was a question once posted on Clutch asking whether or not Afrocentrism was dead, and some answered, yes and that Eurocentrism was alive and well. Zoe and her blipster wannabe self is the most perfect representation of that, IMO.

    However, sadly, that attitude can be found in tons of Black people.

  • Black is black

    Chillchic, are you serious?

    Zoe Saladana is a Black girl from Brooklyn that’s why she gets cast as an African American.

    My goodness.

  • Black is black

    @Val,

    Thank you!

    What you said is lovely and amazing.

  • Ciderkiss

    I agree love, but Zoe’s mother is “white” so to answer Clutch’s question she is “mixed” and should not have to disregard her white heritage.

  • Ciderkiss

    That has to do with genetic typing and Haplo groups. Good GOD! *rolls eyes*

  • Ciderkiss

    Dark skinned girls didn’t choose to be “black” either, but I don’t hear you defending them when they get constantly dragged through the mud? I don’t hear you defending the fact that they are last to be wined, dined, married, or put in a publicly desirable role? I don;t see you speaking out against this rampant form of discrimination. We act as if being black women is soo easy if you are relatively unmixed. Bull-shyt! By the way Cleo you and almost everyone on here is mixing ethnicity with race. Those are 2 different things. Jamaican does not equal black. I’m Haitian and I know that there is a tiny population of whites and mulattoes who are Haitian. It’s sad that blacks have such low standards that we call anyone “black”. We act as is we don’t know what “black” is. Get outta here!

  • Soraya

    Since when did “women of color” mean black women?!?!?! So in your opinion, does the term “people of color” also only mean black people?

    I’m not black but just as brown as my black best friend. I AM a woman of color.

  • Soraya

    Thanks Akai & Cleo! I thought I was damn near losing my mind reading that shit and thought how come I didn’t know, how come no one told me all this time!

  • http://doodiepants.com Doodie

    “Dark skinned girls don’t choose to be black either”

    Yes they do. They are merely someone with a darker skin tone. Black is a BS label. If they want it they can have it an perpetuate it.

    Just like a person with lighter skin could be called White. It’s just a BS label.

  • S.

    Ciderkiss

    There is no way on God’s Green EARF that her mother and grandmother are White! There African features are clearly evident and Zoe Saldana might be “mixed” but she is not biracial (as u insinuated somewhere else on this board)

    And I have a hard time believing that ANYONE would have a problem labeling her non-famous sisters as Black

    http://bp2.blogger.com/_1wNy1tOvx7w/R0vhq-l-T1I/AAAAAAAAA3o/NoaYwnE5BzM/s1600-h/Zoe+Saldana+and+her+sisters,+Cisley+%26+Mariel+%28The+Sweater+Hoodie,+%2449.50%29.JPG

    If we are gonna debate whether or not Zoe Saldana is Black we might as well throw Jada Pinkett-Smith, Beyonce & Solange, and a whole slew of other “African American” celebrities as well!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Cleo-Hines/1130483506 Cleo Hines

    @ CIderkiss,

    I’m not mixing anything up, you seem to be confusing yourself. I never spoke to race as ethnicity in my comment, I spoke to being mixed and being Jamaican and my identification as a Black woman and being challenged on that constantly. I spoke to being sick of being made to feel that as a mixed woman my existence is some kind of affront to “pure” black women, like yourself it seems. And I love love love the way that you assume that I’m light, is that perhaps because you assume that one of my parents is non POC? Stop making assumptions and start asking questions.

    I’m an Anthropologist, therefore would never conflate ethnicity with nationality so fall back, and I would never use the term race because it’s an irrelevant, insidious, poisonous social construct, particularly in the U.S. The people who accuse me of not looking like “a Jamaican” are the ones that are confusing ethnicity and nationality, because they expect everyone that comes out of the island to look 100% black, whatever the hell that means.

    You don’t know me to say that I don’t defend dark skinned girls when they get dragged the hell through the mud, I damn sure do, the only thing you should be reading into my comment is defense of myself and other mixed race women, but best believe that if a darker skinned or non mixed sister needed defending on this board or anywhere else, I’d be there too!

    Please don’t get it twisted, I get just as sick of seeing mostly mixed, curly haired women being held up as either the ideal or representative of black womanhood, because even though they may look more like me than not, I KNOW that they are but a tiny minority of black womanhood and to represent them as what black women look like is dangerous for ALL black women. However, I’m not going to flog either myself, or these women for being put in the position that they have been, because believe me, this is a purely manufactured phenomenon we’ve been experiencing. I’d rather fight to have accurate representation of all flavours of black womanhood than tear down another sister to ease my own pain, wouldn’t you? Perhaps not.

    Finally, I’ve been involved in anti-racist work for almost a decade, so please DO NOT presume to lecture me on the plight of darker hued sisters, I’m the one that gets the crazy looks from my friends when I say that a certain no talent having, how the hell did she EVER get a record deal singer (yeah I’m looking at you Amerie) would never have made it if she wasn’t mixed. And so that you’re no longer confused, I’m not light, I’m a medium brown because both my parents are brown, one just happens to be of South Asian decent. As to my comment? I was merely pointing out that it’s stupid to hold against someone, something that they have no control over and act like they should be ashamed of it. I was basically saying, who the f**k are you (to the people that want to classify who’s black or not) to reject my blackness because not all of my grandparents/parents happen to be black the way you think they should be? If I say I’m black, then I’m black and how bout you leave it at that?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Cleo-Hines/1130483506 Cleo Hines

    Oh, and just to f**k your head up a lil bit more. My BLACK (as you define it) grandmother is CUBAN.

  • Afiah A

    Okay, I really think that the author of this article is missing the point, and I strongly agree with the first commentor. These women are MIXED and have the opportunity to flirt with either side of what they are mixed with. Whether we ourselves painted the picture of what a black woman looks like, or society has architectured it for us, the average black woman is not a Zoe or an Amber. Just stop the nonsense. And these women also didn’t make their rise to fame on the pedistal that they were black. I dont have any contention or abundance of fondness for any of the women that you mentioned. Shucks, had it not been for the media idolizing them for everything they are ASIDE FROM BEING BLACK, i wouldn’t even know them. They are mixed. End of discussion…

  • Ciderkiss

    Because black won’t let the one-drop rule die. Whites let them claim both and will say so in their news media. Not blacks, because if we can’t find and excuse to call them black then we wont have an excuse to ride off of their coattails anymore. Zoe is clearly bi-racial and Amber and Kat Stacks aren’t even black. We can’t use the culture excuse on Zoe because she is clearly Dominican-American by culture, and blood not “African-American”.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Erika-Ayala/622317229 Erika Ayala

    As an Afro Puerto Rican, I am Black. I will always be Black. Why? Because God made me this way. Many of my family members (who most look just like me) consider themselves Latino/Hispanic or Afro Latino. Even among us Latin folks there is a division of opinion.

    Blackness can’t be measured. Its a part of who you are. Enough said. <3

  • http://doodiepants.com Doodie

    “As an Afro Puerto Rican, I am Black.”

    This statement makes no sense. You act as if there’s some line. You’re probably light brown. Do you really need to label yourself?

    Ok ok, let me try.

    As a German, Ukrainian US mix, I’m Black.
    Ooohhh that’s fun.

  • Cindy D

    http://clutchmagonline.com/newsgossipinfo/zoe-saldana-is-the-new-face-of-calvin-klein/

    I *may* have started this dialouge on the Zoe posing for Calvin Klein article. And for what it’s worth I’m glad I did. Even if its only purpose was to highlight the EXISTENCE of the Afro-Latino. It’s beyond my understanding why we haven’t taken people of mixed race to help us bridge the gap. Why must we decide to pick one Black or Latino or White. Why must institutionalized segregationism still influence how we view race and culture today? My hope is one day, some day, well beyond my lifetime the world will cross-pollinate to the degree that there will be only once race…us. For now I hope people who stand in the middle continue to speak up and challenge everyone’s thinking. Eventually (I hope) we all will realize its no big deal and we are much more alike than we are different but we should never denigrated or ignore each differences. But we HAVE TO talk about it if we will ever get there. I’ll even offer my bio to keep the dialouge going. Do with it what you will….

    I’m a first gen Dominican-American. I choose to identify and Afro-Latino. The majority of my friends are Afro-Caribbean/West Indian. My long time boyfriend is an African-American HBCU and Ivy League educated doctor. I went to NYU and I work in an Investment Bank in NYC. I pledged a historically African-American Sorority (that’s right, not a Latino one). I speak Spanish fluently. I wear my natural (kinky-fro). I have tan colored skin. I’m a member of both the Black and Latino Networks at work. I’m from the Bronx. I read Clutch & Jet magazine more than I read Latina magazine. I’m a Democrat. I’m pro-immigration and I think African & European travel should be encouraged to American students. I consider myself a woman of color. I don’t claim the term, read carefully the TERM, Black because neither I nor my family was in America to witness or took part in American Civil Rights movements (they were still in DR) and the TERM Black is one the last iterations of PC terms to identify African-Americans especially in the media. However, I am proud of my blackness! I appreciate both my African and European ancestry and staunch promoter and lover of all things Dominican. If I marry and have babies with my BF, my kids will African-Dominican-American. They will speak Spanish & English and Martin Luther King Jr, Barak Obama, Junot Diaz, & Leonel Fernandez will be their heroes.

    Clutch if you want to continue this dialouge in person, recorded and shared online. I will be there with bells on. Thanks everyone for commenting and keeping this alive.

  • ap

    this is soooo dumb, zoe s is black and… there’s only three options, black like from Africa, white from like europe and asian everywhere else. whether she chooses to acknowlege her roots or not changes not the fact. unless you look like a yoruba, ibo or east or central African you r mixed, and africans would tell you so so stop trippin. most ppl want to get ahead, and shes aware that in America an other you dont being blk.

  • http://doodiepants.com Doodie

    “there’s only three options, black like from Africa, white from like europe and asian everywhere else”

    This might be the most ignorant comment yest on the board. Line drawers like you are these reason we have so many issues. There’s an infinite spectrum colors and looks.

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  • http://theamericanscreams.blogspot.com Jaz

    @Doodie: Let me clarify what I believe Erika was trying to get at…

    She’s Black & Puerto Rican & I’m Black & Italian aka Black & White. Being mixed was never as trendy, popular or clarified as it is now.

    The fact of the matter is, when we had to identify our Race growing up in school, nobody had EVER confused me with a White girl & I damn sure wasn’t simply an “Other”, like an alien. So I chose Black & have identified myself as such. I have embraced my Italian side, absolutely…but with a Black Militant Father, I knew I was Black before I was anything else.

    Unless you yourself are mixed (which, since I don’t know, I won’t attempt to guess), it’s hard for you to really understand why we may identify more with our “dominant” race, which, for most of us, is Black. And I feel that, in some ways, I’m “Blacker” than my darkskinned colleagues just because of my beliefs & how hard I defend the Black community, which I primarily identify with. I will never shame the other side of me, but nobody will EVER tell me that I’m NOT Black.

  • Ciderkiss

    @Jaz

    You are not identifying with your “dominant” race, you are identifying with your SUBORDINATE RACE. There is no such thing as “black” bi-racials. Please stop acting like the black folks ice is colder. It is not, and you are not helping by keeping up this racist legacy by calling yourself “black”. Why disrespect on of your parents by acting as if their blood does not run through your veins? This is the disgusting mentality that the hypo-descendant rule has left in the American society. Most bi-racial women identify as black because they are a big fish a in a little pond instead of the other way around in white society. Socially speaking black women are no competition for you, and blacks fawn all over you. So why be a part of white society where you will be at the bottom? That is why you, and any person with even a drop of black blood choose to be “black”. Not to mention there have been a few books written on the subject of how people of mixed race will always have more opportunity than their subordinate race. It’s sickening. We should be remedying the problem. I don’t need you to be “black” for me. I don’t need you to represent me. I can do that myself, and I have been trying to do that. People like you get in the way, and take the spotlight while whites are so happy to see their bi-racial spawn come out on top of blacks. That is not progress especially for black women. It’s just another racist reminder from you that whiter is better. We need to start addressing this bull-ish instead of acting like we are all “black”. Stop acting like we should be kumbaya-ing when “black women” have never been part of that media or social, or marriage equation to begin with. They don’t exist….Because of you taking a spot that isn’t yours. Why would you want another woman’s stolen crown? Lena Horne, Mariah Carey, Paula Patton, and Jennifer Beals types never helped our situation, but made it worse nor have I ever seen them address the issue of why most “black” women in the media look like them instead of the dark-skinned majority. If they did they wouldn’t have a job. They have shown time and time again that their careers are more important. No one is brave enough to say that because they don’t want to cause dissent due to “groupthink”.

    http://muslimbushido.blogspot.com/2008/12/self-determination-part-1-my-dark.html

    Be what God made you. Bi-racial. White people don’t deserve a pedestal stop putting them on one.

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  • http://enjphoto.viewbook.com ENJ

    Well said, Lidia!

  • Akai (Akai.Santiago@Yahoo)

    Waaahaahaaha. “Stolen crown?” That mess again? I always laugh my @ss off when people link to Khadija, Halima or Evia’s spots and Jam Donaldson said it best with: “The bitter black women wing of the blogosphere is so tired. They all just need to get laid. Outrage-obsessed black women are sooooo 20th century.”

    There’s a reason bird’s chirp at those echo chambers and there is little participation; in addition to being angry, bitter, jealous and, often, flat out racist…those females are psychotic and like Kola Boof’s crackhead-acting behind.

    But I do suggest reading if in need of a few good laughs as Khadija (Muslim Bushido), especially, has gone on endless rants foaming at the mouth over BM who date or marry light and/or biracial chicks, Elijah Muhammad’s light conquests, his son Ishmael having a Mexican wife, or tossing shade about the relationships some other “black nationalist,” athlete, rapper or white male celebrity has/d with biracial, light or white females — yet she and her ignorant sycophants have the nerve to act like their love/relationship with a white or non-black male was entered into for the ‘right reasons’ and more pure, honest and untainted than the love of any BM/WW couple. …anyone that concerned with the relationships of others has major issues, back issues and subscriptions.

    These chicks have a need to cut other groups down in order to try to elevate themselves and pretend to be so confident, self-loving and blah blah but their insecurity is so thick it’s ridiculous — in particular their delusional statements insinuating all WM open to IRR primarily prefer nappy, dark skin chicks with wide noses and big lips (a cursory look around and even the pictures of BW/WM couples on Evia’s own site reveals this to be untrue).

    All of them advocate for BW to date and/or marry WM when they should consider sterilization and never coming within 10 feet of birthing a biracial child. Why? Because – heaven forbid – any of them give birth to the light-skinned, ambiguous-looking, light-eyed, curly and straight haired types they love to vilify and excoriate on the regular and God help those babies. They’re angry at BM, light and mixed women, white women, you name it and — unless and until these harpies clear their hearts, address their issues, and quit playing the never-ending victim blaming innocent individuals who’ve done nothing to them — these Mommie Dearests will verbally and physically abuse or take out all their jealousy and anger on their mixed children; this is clear in the very words they write which reveal intense issues and anger at “straighter, finer-featured, lighter, brighter” (their words) females.

    How does one harbor such disdain for “hair flinging” (yep, their words again) light and biracial chicks then purposely enter relationships with WM (over their disappointment with life and BM) when it ups the likelihood of birthing a “hair flinging” light and biracial child — the very type of female all of them blame for everything, hate, speak so recklessly about, harbor such disdain for and appear jealous of?

    What are these troubled BW going to tell their mixed-looking biracial daughters? That it is wrong for a black or any man to ask them out or call them pretty? That they should be self-effacing, take a back seat to dark BW and coddle and excuse any of their anger and bad behavior? Are they gonna guilt-trip the little girls – though they’re the ones that chose to conceive a child who’d no control over their features – if they happen to come out looking more like their white fathers? …pure insanity!

    A biracial child is both and neither solely one or the other; when raised by both parents we usually accurately identify “biracial,” so will these BW try to work out their own racial issues at the expense of their child’s psyche and peace of mind or bully them into identifying as “black” for their own selfish satisfaction? …nah…their shtick is pure craziness and there is no ‘sanity’ or ‘serenity’ in their rhetoric!

    My advice to biracial children is…eschew the crap of ignorant haters like Halima et al; never be self-effacing, live in honesty and be compassionate but stand your ground, take no one’s bullsh!t, and never position yourself behind anyone!!!

  • Akai (Akai.Santiago@Yahoo)

    Jaz wrote: “…it’s hard for you to really understand why we may identify more with our “dominant” race, which, for most of us, is Black.”
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    I don’t know if you’ve any experience around a lot of – or with groups for those of – mixed-race, but this is simply not what I’ve observed. Respectfully, I think speaking only for yourself and being a little more careful when generalizing about the identity-leanings of “most” is in order.

    Maybe your perspective is limited to America/ns but, even there, this has not been my take and I know for a fact this is not the case throughout Latin America. This is not 1950 or 1970 and, even in America, more and more children of mixed race are being raised by both parents (and both sides of our parents’ families) and neither the identity or socialization is as simple or clear-cut as you are proposing…additionally it leaves out the reality of the hordes of those who look so ambiguous others don’t know they’ve African blood unless/until we tell you!

  • Ciderkiss

    @Akai

    If they were soo wrong they wouldn’t have soo many followers. So keep ignoring the NUMBERS, and act as if we are all honky-dory. Keep doing that. Keep ignoring the numerous black women who have grown a backbone and spoken out. Denial is such an incredibly stupefying thing. By they way all bloggers have previously clarified how they are raising their children. Apparently you never read their blogs, and are just going by hearsay. Doh!

  • http://None Bette Porter

    Jennifer Beals is biracial, Mom is Irish American and Dad was African-American, died was she was 9yo, AND she identifies as biracial, not black or white. This is as it should be, however, she has always been vilified by the African-American community. Why is that? Because she wouldn’t call herself soley BLACK?

    I’m not African-American, but African-Caribbean, and have never been able to understand America’s obsession with color. Where I grew up, mixed children are everywhere and a normal part of the landscape. Well, actually, most every black person is mixed in someway, at least in the Caribbean, not so much Haiti. Yes, I guess I can speak this way because I’m descended from a mixed heritage in recent times, but that has no bearing on what the world sees me as. Regardless of who my grandparents were, my skin falls in the brown spectrum and I am black.

    In American, if you look black, then you are. If you identify as black, then you are. It’s only in recent times has the label “biracial” come into vogue and is now being accepted as another racial designation. I say allow those who ARE biracial and WANT to identify as such to do so. It’s what they feel most comfortable as. At least these people aren’t trying to “pass” and are giving both sides of their racial heritage due respect.

    Therefore, why doesn’t the black community get over these color hang-ups and just accept people for who they identify as, black or biracial. Jennifer Beals never tried to “pass”, though she was accused of it because she wasn’t raising the “black power” flag either, but claiming biraciality.

    I think black people forget that being “black” can run a spectrum from ivory to ebony due to genetics and our history of mixing, whether freely or forced. Whereas a Caucasian is designated white….unless s(he) has a “drop of black blood” and then s(he) is not (based on archaic, racist rules). Maybe our perceptions of what designates “black” or “white” needs to change or just get rid of these labels altogether. Just a thought…..

  • http://None Bette Porter

    So you’re basically saying that people like Jennifer Beals whose mother is white and father was African-American, he died when she was 9 yo, cannot identify herself as “black” if she was so inclined to do? Just because, due to genetics, her physical make-up falls on the ambiguous side of white? That’s what you’re saying?!

    Regardless of the fact that she is 50/50 in recent direct descent. Her father was a dark-skinned black man and it was just a crap shoot of genetics. She has 2 brothers also from the same parents According to her, one looks “Hispanic” and the other more typically “biracial” and she came out looking “Italian”. Obviously the genetic expression in her family is not her fault and yet she is vilified for how she looks while having an African-American father.

    Oh, but her saving grace, at least in the eyes of someone like yourself, is that she identifies as “Biracial” so she’s not stealing that “black” designation from someone rightfully and unambiguously deserving. (are you serious?!!?)

  • http://None Bette Porter

    Open dialogue leads to understanding, process, and hopefully change. Shutting someone down because you don’t agree with their comment OR their race is ignorant and only leads to stagnation and continual division.

    Let’s encourage the discussion and keep the open dialogue going. Ignorance is NOT bliss!

  • http://None Bette Porter

    I agree with mostly everything you said, however, your last comment I disagree with. Blacks CAN be racist against other blacks if they discriminate against other blacks based on their skin color which can stem from self-hatred. Such black people might not associate with other black people and even though they themselves are black they might tend to say negative things about black people as a whole. So racism can be against one’s own “people” regardless.

  • http://None Bette Porter

    One of your last comments clearly illustrates that you are educated about which you speak, which goes to say that many of these other comments are being made by ignorant people.

    Case in point, there ARE only three original races, indeed: Negroid, Caucasoid, and Asiatic. Henry Louis Gates, Jr who wrote the book, “FACES OF AMERICA” as well as hosted the series on PBS, states the above and goes into the history of race and genetics. I think a large portion of the people on this board need to research race and genetics before they speak of that which they know not.

    Subsequently, Middle-Easterners, Jews, Native Americans, Indians, Egyptians, and other subgroups ARE simply off-shoots of the original races. Hence, if one is being scientifically accurate, a Lebanese person with no African genetic composite, would be considered Caucasoid or European. As a matter of fact, most Middle-Easterners, scientifically, are Caucasoid/European in genetic makeup (unless they also have some African genetics as well).

    This all goes back to the origins of the true original races: Negroid, Asiatic, Caucasoid. So people get with the proper designation if one is going to be petty and “break it down”. For example, most “black” people are a mix of negroid and caucasoid. What percentages (can be elucidated with a genetic admixture test) depends on familial history of mixing, whether freely or forced (slavery).

  • http://None Bette Porter

    There ARE only three original races, indeed: Negroid, Caucasoid, and Asiatic. Henry Louis Gates, Jr who wrote the book, “FACES OF AMERICA” as well as hosted the series on PBS, states the above and goes into the history of race and genetics. I think a large portion of the people on this board need to research race and genetics before they speak of that which they know not.

    Subsequently, Middle-Easterners, Jews, Native Americans, Indians, Egyptians, and other subgroups ARE simply off-shoots of the original races. Hence, if one is being scientifically accurate, a Lebanese person with no African genetic composite, would be considered Caucasoid or European. As a matter of fact, most Middle-Easterners, scientifically, are Caucasoid/European in genetic makeup (unless they also have some African genetics as well).

    This all goes back to the origins of the true original races: Negroid, Asiatic, Caucasoid. So people get with the proper designation if one is going to be petty and “break it down”. For example, most “black” people are a mix of negroid and caucasoid. What percentages (can be elucidated with a genetic admixture test) depends on familial history of mixing, whether freely or forced (slavery).

    This obsession with “labeling” people only perpetuates prejudice, discrimination, and division. Can’t we just accept people for who they are and not WHAT they are? However, I am intelligent enough to realize, in this day and age, this is not likely to happen. People today are STILL just not evolved enough. Maybe 100 years from now the different races won’t even exist and we’ll all just be human (wishful thinking).

  • PSU2013

    I am biracial — my mother is Caucasian, my father is African-American. I feel very passionate about this issue. I get so angry when other biracial people call themselves *just* one race or another. Hallie Berry is NOT black, Barack Obama is NOT black, Mariah Carey is NOT black. They are biracial, regardless of how they present themselves to society.

    To present yourself as exclusively black, if you are biracial, is disrespectful to half of your heritage. I’m not particularly close to my father, and I was raised by my white family. Despite those facts, to say that I was *just* black would be a lie.

    I have never felt the pressure to “choose” between my races. You are what you are. If telling yourself you’re black makes you feel better, that’s a psychological issue. But not amount of words is going to change your genetic make-up.

  • Jess

    @S – thank you! leave Zoe alone! she is black, period. black and latina are NOT mutually exclusive. i agree, she maybe mixed, but not biracial – just as the overwhelming majority of Black Americans/African Americans are mixed, but not biracial.

    people REALLY do not undersatnd the difference between race and ethnicity on this blog.

  • Jess

    OMG, Belle. THANK YOU. Is this not the most ignorant commentary you’ve ever seen? People, get off your block, out of your little American bubble, travel the world, read a book, talk to your neighbors, get rid of your racist notions about biracial-being-better, and your brainwashed racists notions about what some label as “pretty” as being racially different from Black (just because white people says she’s cute doesn’t change her race and Black/African heritage), and then you’ll come to understand that BLACK PEOPLE EXIST ALL THROUGHOUT THE AMERICAS – like La La, like Alphonso Ribiero (“Carlton” from the Fresh Prince) , like Zoe, like Celia Cruz, like Sammy Sosa (no matter how much skin lighteners and hair straighteners he uses), and like so many others.

    And also stop being hypocrites – we straighten our hair, some of us lighten our skin, wear colored contacts, and range naturally from extremely light to extremely dark with kinky to straight hair textures, and it DOES NOT CHANGE THE FACT THAT WE ARE BLACK/AFRICAN DESCENDED.

    So please get off of zoe’s back – OMG Americans are daft! I know understand why this country lags behind most others in education.

  • Jess

    OMG,Belle. THANK YOU. Is this not the most ignorant commentary you’ve ever seen? People, get off your block, out of your little American bubble, travel the world, read a book, talk to your neighbors, get rid of your racist notions about biracial-being-better, and your brainwashed racists notions about what some label as “pretty” as being racially different from Black (just because white people says she’s cute doesn’t change her race and Black/African heritage), and then you’ll come to understand that BLACK PEOPLE EXIST ALL THROUGHOUT THE AMERICAS – like La La, like Alphonso Ribiero (“Carlton” from the Fresh Prince) , like Zoe, like Celia Cruz, like Sammy Sosa (no matter how much skin lighteners and hair straighteners he uses), and like so many others.

    And also stop being hypocrites – we straighten our hair, some of us lighten our skin, wear colored contacts, and range naturally from extremely light to extremely dark with kinky to straight hair textures, and it DOES NOT CHANGE THE FACT THAT WE ARE BLACK/AFRICAN DESCENDED.

    So please get off of zoe’s back – OMG Americans are daft! I know understand why this country lags behind most others in education.

  • Jess

    ok, if we are going to be hypocritical, please tell me how many Black Americans completely DENY any connectio to Africa,or grudgingly admit it only because we’ve been force-fed the name “African American”.? The answer would probably be the majority.

    And if you want to pull up media that argues that all Latinos want to deny their blackness, how about watching Gates’ “Black in Latin America” and see how many are proudly Black? Or better yet, how about visiting some South American and Caribbean countries and seeing how many are closer to Africa, culturally and politically, than any Black American? I think you’d be surprised.

  • http://twitter.com/bevyboo628 Beverly

    here’s the thing. Latina is NOT a race. When we fill anything out we can only say that is our ethnicity. Therefore we have to identify with black or white as our race. Clearly for some of us we have more African features and would therefore identify as black. Those with more European features would identify as white. I don’t understand why we have to be so divisive, we are all people of color. If someone saw me walking down the street first guess is that I’m black. We get crap for denying black heritage (which makes sense to me) and now we are getting crap for embracing it as well?? What type of ridiculousness is that?? We (Latinas, Black women, and other women of color) all have enough white people that dislike us so I don’t think we need to really be discussing what makes someone black or not. How do you even have those kinds of cut offs? “O your hair curls just a tiny bit more than mine so your not black.” Man get all that crazy stuff out of here and embrace each other!

  • kay

    I think a lot of people don’t know the meaning of Latina. it’s actually not a race of ethic group.

    The term “Latino” was officially adopted in 1997 by the United States Government in the ethnonym “Hispanic or Latino”, which replaced the single term “Hispanic”: “Because regional usage of the terms differs – Hispanic is commonly used in the eastern portion of the United States, whereas Latino is commonly used in the western portion.

    U.S. official use of the term “Hispanic” has its origins in the 1970 census. The Census Bureau attempted to identify all Hispanics by use of the following criteria in sampled sets:

    Spanish speakers and persons belonging to a household where Spanish was spoken
    Persons with Spanish heritage by birth location
    Persons who self-identify with Spanish ancestry or descent

    Neither “Hispanic” nor “Latino” refers to a race, as a person of Latino/Hispanic ethnicity can be of any race.[6][9] Like non-Latinos, a Latino can be of any race or combination of races: White/Caucasian, Black/African American, Asian, Native American, Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander American, or Two or more races.

    Although as officially defined in the United States, “Latino” does not include Brazilian Americans,and specifically refers to “Spanish culture or origin”, some of the dictionary definitions may include Brazilian Americans and/or Brazilian people in general. Also, since Hispanic or Latino origin is, like race, a matter of self-identification, any Brazilian American wishing to do can presumably report as being Hispanic or Latino. However, the Brazilian American group is not included with Hispanics and Latinos in the government’s population reports.

    Some authorities of American English maintain a distinction between the terms “Hispanic” and “Latino”:

  • Shannon

    People please learn your history! Simply, because somebody is latino/a doesn’t mean they can’t be black too hence the phrase “Black Latino/a or Afro Latino/a” the “afro” in “afro-latino” is the same as the “African” in “African- American” or “Afro-American”. We all are of African descent, our ancestors just got dropped off in different places during the slave trade. Some were brought to America, others to South America and the Caribbean. So no matter it be a Latina woman in Colombia or an American woman living in New Jersey, they are both black, they both derived from Africa just as every other person on this planet. Hail to the motherland! :)

  • Bren82

    I’m sorry but I don’t consider the women mentioned in the article to be black. Plain and simple. Just because you have dark skin doesn’t mean you’re black just as having white skin doesn’t mean you’re white. I DEFINITELY don’t consider Amber Rose to be black. Maybe multi-ethnic, but not black.

  • Orquidea

    Forget rose, Sounds to me like a reverse racism there in your words, but certainly the color of skin counted when the “jim crow” laws where in effect or anytime a kkk clan member wants to exercise their civil rights… shall I go on? is in a gene/blood and yes skin too! or when an Emmett Till was murdered or a 6 year old was raped but the guy was white and he couldn’t have done it, even though he had a record of molesting and sexually assaulting minors… cause the kid was a ” nappy headed black spik”

  • Tiffany B

    Sorry to say, but this is a DUMB article. Please google the term “African Diaspora”.

    African American’s do not own the term “black”, I am almost beginning to despise that term anyway; there is no jury or judge on who is and who ain’t black. Black does not only encompass skin color, but heritage, upbringing, culture, ethnicity, and so on. We all know that Halle considers herself a black woman, and has openly professed that she will teach her daughter that she is black as well. Technically, her daughter is only 1/4 african american…but again it’s all about up bringing. Even if Amber Rose is 1/8 black, if she was raised as a black woman, identifies with the culture and heritage, and has ethnic composition that includes some African ancestry then the girl is black — who are you to say she isn’t. And furthermore why do you care? For people with a multi-ethnic heritage about 70% of being black is upbringing. She’s probably more black/African than any of us, at least she knows which part of Africa her people come from. Everyone should know that Cape Verdians, Dominicans, and many other nationalities usually have an extremely diverse racial heritage, but at the end of the day they have to right to consider themselves “black”.

  • Tiffany B

    Let me clarify – I am beginning to despise the term “black” due to the drama surrounding it whether perpetuated by society or within the black community…it’s always something an I’m frankly tired of it

  • Ms. Information

    Why don’t people understand that you can be black and Puerto Rican, Black and Dominican? In many cases, slaves were brought to areas where Spanish and French were the languages….African Americans just happen to speak English because of our history with the English settlers….we all just got dropped off in different countries…doesn’t make anyone more or less black than we are.

  • destiny

    You do understand that a black person is someone whp can trace their ancestry to the dark skinned people of south sahara Africa right? Last time I checked, during colonialism black African slaves were brought to both NORTH AND SOUTH AMERICA as well as the islands surrounding them. African Americans are not the only people descending from the African Dispora. Plenty of latinos, including Saldana and Rosario, have a large amount of black African ancestry so it makes sense for them to call themselves black when their DNA will show CLEAR and SIGNIFICANT black african lineage. Latina is not a race but an ethnic group connected by a certain CULTURE. Just like Nigerians and Ghanians have a completely different culture and ethnic background AND look than most African Americans, Afro Latinas are BLACK PEOPLE with a different culutral background. They suffer the same discrimination from white latinos as we do from white Americans (who are BOTH of European descent). How are you going to tell someone who is of predominate black African descent like you that they are not black? I am aware that not all dark skinned people are of black African descent (East Indians, aboriginals, south east asians, samoans, eskimos, etc.) But Saldana and Rosario ARE!

  • y

    The proble The problem is that people confuse race with nationality. Your nationality is just simply where you or your parents were born. There are black people all over the world. Just like there are white people all over the world. We somehow seperate orselves and this is why we aren’t doing better as a people. I think the term “African American” has ruined us because every black person isn’t from America. The difference between a black American and a black person from the carribean is simply where they were born. We have to stop the seperation. A bi-racial person is one born of two different races not nationalities. Zoe Saldana’s parents are both black but of other nationalities. She’s not African American which I totally agree but her race is black.

  • M.L.

    Zoe Saldana is obviously not all black. She’s got a lot of white (Spanish) and probably some Indian ancestry also. Her parents are probably mulatto also. Dominicans are usually mostly black and Puerto Ricans are usually mostly white (i.e. Spanish) so she could very well be more or less half black and half white even if both parents are mixed.

    Blacks in the US are usually mostly black.

  • sotolove

    Everyone in this world is mixed, there is not one pure person alive today. People just need to get over it. I’m 1/4 black 1/4 Apache Native and 1/2 Mexican and was brought up embracing every bit of who I am. At the end of the day we’re all children of God each and every black, brown, white, Orange ,purple person, we all have a heart beating inside of us…

  • The Other Jess

    oh boy……* facepalm * same ol same ol from clutch…

  • kamala

    Akai….you need to get laid!

  • Honeyhawk

    Culture defines who you are, not color. Two women, one black and one white, both raised in NYC, will likely have more in common than that same black New York woman and a black woman from Zimbabwe or that same white New York woman and a white woman from Lichtenstein. Why? Because language and culture are the ties that bind. Period. Latino/a and Hispano/a are perfect examples. People want so badly to limit these terms to ethnicity, but after 500+ years of intertwining African, European, and indigenous/Native American blood–newsflash–we have a new race of people. Yes, race. We need to start recognizing this. Still, culture rules. In the Hispanic Caribbean, e.g, you have the fairest of white to the darkest of black, but most fall somewhere in between. My experience has been that, regardless of skin color, they share a language, traditions, music, foods, etc., that deeply connect them (in most cases). However, when it comes time to fill out that census, why do you have to choose either white or black as your race? Most are neither. Most are both. We want to categorize people, force them to choose sides. It’s a travesty. It breeds division. Some people don’t “look” white, but don’t “look” black either. What do we do with that? Why do we have to do anything with that? For many, race is easily identifiable. For many others, it isn’t that simple. I say let people label themselves however they want. Unless you walk in their shoes, you won’t ever truly experience their reality—and it’s theirs to live, not yours.

  • Dre

    visit Isupk they can help and its among many standards Black people are suppose to examine and as the article says Black authenticity measuring stick it is what it is and Zoe is nice looking she should love her own Halle is a white woman with beige skin and not to attractive as one ha

  • Ameena

    I think what makes some Black people question someone’s race is that for SOME bi-racial celebs-they’re picking and choosing when to claim what side-which ever is more advantageous to them at the time.

  • biscuit

    if i question someone’s blackness it’s only because i feel that those who do not embody blackness as i know it when i see it around me day after day in the streets, on my job, etc. are constantly selected for representation of me and those who claim the black identity like myself. To me it’s unfair and inaccurate portrayal of what your average black person looks like when media is all about promoting only the usual images of black people as mixed-looking, ethnically ambiguous persons, when the reality is that the vast majority of us are not racially ambiguous in the least. i’m sure white people would get tired of always constantly being represented in their media as being blonde-haired and blue-eyed, considering the vast majority of them do not fit that stereotype. so how come it’s called “hate” (puh-leaze) when black women demand accurate reflection of ourselves in all of our hues (including dark brown to ebony-skinned, which even black productions love to act like doesn’t exist for women even while they go over and beyond and outta their way to select men of these richer brown/black hues. double standard, much?) and features (so, closer to what we associate with black features. is that too much to ask? yet the women who look “black” are seldom selected for prominent roles even within our own community. it’s very depressing). no one’s hating on the mixed crowd but it’s not hating to point out the OBVIOUS that they over-represent black people in the united states, at least and are picked more often than not to play leading/desirable roles whereas when a dark-skinned, more “ethnic”-featured black woman gets a role at all, its some subordinate or undesirable role. this includes commercials, especially where girl children are concerned. mixed race seems to be the default.

  • biscuit

    wow thank you for telling the truth! i agreed with everything you said. i feel as though there should be no comparing of biracial women to black women. it makes no sense. that’s like comparing asian women to white women, or white women to black women. it’s an exercise in futility. a white person will pick a biracial woman every time, and a black person just about will do the exact same. it truly is no contest. black people need to have some pride and dignity, and quit being so damn all-inclusive. the reality is that not everyone is black. it’s alright, world. breathe. i know it angers some people to hear it because it seems the prevailing thought is “well anyone can be black if they just WANT to be really really badly!!” it doesn’t work that way, and anyone who insists thus is deluding themselves. black means shared identity- which extends to the physical as well. many factors go into determining blackness. there is no matter of “degrees” to it, either. if you say you’re black but you don’t look something like me, i’m gonna call bull. there are plenty of white women who will say “i’m part black!” and YES i would be irate about them being chosen over me to represent blackness when they’re sporting natural red silky tresses, green eyes, pale white skin and freckles. how white people guard white blood so closely because they “realize” the “value” of it? that’s how blacks should uphold blackness, as our own standard and sacred element that can not be “tainted”. it might be extreme to some people, but my thing is until white supremacy is gone, we as blacks will always have to defend our place in this country- and it only serves to divide ourselves when we still aren’t even solid on how to recognize one of our own. at least white people don’t have that problem, because “one drop” ensures that you will virtually never have to question that someone is at least 80 percent white.

  • Mister Goddess

    Latino/a isn’t a race. You can be black, white, green, red and STILL be latino. I will never under the misconception (the same with being called African-American when one isn’t unless they are literally an emigrant from Africa; i.e. Charlize Theron or Lupita Nyong’O; one white, the other black, both African).

    I’m ethnically Middle Eastern Afro-Latino, but racially I’m black. Black, or people of negroid descent, don’t come in one shade or one form.

    If white people can come out with different types of hair (curly, straight, etc.), different eyes (blue, green, brown, etc.), different hair colors (red, blonde, black, brown, etc.), then the same applies to black people.

  • killer

    These women are not black and where does this leave true dark skin sisters in the equation black people always trying to claim people that hate them Dominicans hate us but you never picked up a book to know anybody cane be black so let’s adopt a few million mullotoes and change what it means to be african american shameful I’m ure another ethnic group for success while I’m a latino as soon as I leave the set and get favorite actresses are white women I wish Malcolm x was here today uncle Tom trying to help latino women take jobs from african american women

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