zoe-saldana-cover-shoot-03-editedActress Zoe Saldana has been inserting the proverbial foot in her mouth in recent weeks. The “Colombiana” starlet has been media blitzing for the upcoming “Star Trek Into Darkness” film and leaving a trail of disrespect in her wake. A fellow Clutch editor, Yesha Callahan, thinks Saldana needs a dictionary and a clue. I concur and also think she needs to enroll in an Introduction to Critical Race Theory course ASAP.

During an interview with BET, Saldana candidly discussed how she views race, alleging “there’s no such as people of color.”

When asked how she racially-identifies, Saldana responded:

I find it uncomfortable to have to speak about my identity all of the time, when in reality it’s not something that drives me or wakes me up out of bed everyday. I didn’t grow up in a household where I was categorized by my mother. I was just Zoe and I could have and be anything that I ever wanted to do…and every human being is the same as you. So to all of a sudden leave your household and have people always ask you, “What are you, what are you” is the most uncomfortable question and it’s literally the most repetitive question. I can’t wait to be in a world where people are sized by their soul and how much they can contribute as individuals and not what they look like.

She wasn’t done retorting.

I literally run away from people that use words like ethnic. It’s preposterous! To me there is no such thing as people of color cause in reality people aren’t white. Paper is white. People are pink, it’s a bit ridiculous when I have to explain to a human being, that is an adult like I am, that looks intelligent but for some reason I have to question his intelligence and explain to him as if he was a two year old, my composition in order for him to say, “Oh I guess I can chill with you, I can work with you.” I will not underestimate a human being and I will not allow another human being to underestimate me. I feel like as a race, that’s a minute problem against the problems we face just as women versus men, in a world that’s more geared and designed to cater towards the male species.

That is a situation that, I spend time thinking about, and working towards ending that, I guess we could talk about that.

Saldana’s decision to accept the role of Nina Simone as a labor of “love” makes her view of race and racism all the more puzzling. It appears as if donning Blackface and depicting Simone has done little to connect the actress with the crooner’s spirit. You can’t portray Nina Simone without realizing how intricately race was intertwined with her life and career.

In fact, communities of color must contend with race and racism daily, from the school-to-prison pipeline to the slow siphoning of resources from our schools. But I guess for women like Saldana, we’re post-racial, Simone’s legacy be-damned.

Maybe the ultimate fixer, Olivia Pope Kerry Washington, can hip her fellow thespian to the truth about post-racial fantasies.

KW KW1

  • http://www.sarahdjarnie.com sarah

    she doesn’t want to attach herself to an identity I find that ridiculous… but i hate to see this she is Dominican what do you expect… I find that they are one of the first to hide being anything associated with African and rather call themselves descendants from Spain… just my opinion

  • http://travelbykimm.wordpress.com travelbykimm

    I enjoyed reading Yesha’s story on Zoey because it had some humor to it! And this is not a bad article, just feel like her words are being taken out of text! She’s RIGHT there are no white people, no black people, no green people, no orange people, etc! I suggest every reader in America check out the movie Hidden Colors, perhaps Zoey has seen it and KNOWS who she is! I do not check black, because I am not black! I’m a MOOR! Americans have been bamboozled into believing that they are white or black when in fact they are African and European! I too grew up not seeing color…but moving to the South *sigh* I quickly learned how “black” I allegedly was! So please cut the girl some slack, perhaps she knows the TRUTH!!!!! Something most American’s don’t know.

  • Come On

    The grand irony: She said this on a channel named BET.

    This chic has the IQ of a carrot

  • Right

    This is just one of those kumbaya speeches that people like to give.

    I find her comments weird though because before she was always going on and on about how she was proud to be black and Latina. She was always talking about how being black and Latina made her who she is. I used to like Zoe before this whole Nina Simone stuff, but now not so much. Celebrities really kill off fans when they do interviews these days. It’s like the age of over sharing and going too far. Celebrities of back in the day had a bit of mystery about them making themselves appear so different than non-celebrities. Now not so much.

    She says there is no such thing as people of color because white people are pink. I don’t get this. It is just a way to say non-white people. If white people were called pink, then the term would just be non-pink people. People who like to pretend people of different races are not perceived differently or treated differently are kind of silly, but it’s funny because they get a lot of support for their delusional kumbaya speeches.

    That being said, I think that all these Zoe articles and Zoe hate is a bit much.

  • Right

    Sub Saharan Africans are of the negroid race. Black is a term for negroid. There are people in Africa that are not negroid. There are Europeans that are not white.

  • http:tontonmichel.tumblr.com Tonton Michel

    Lol, no one is that clueless, unless of course your name is Zoe.

  • Nadell

    This girl….I am beginning to wonder. And darn, she’s making me lose interest in her!!!!
    SHE’S DELUSIONAL!
    Sorta reminds me of the black girl who starred in the short-lived (only 8 episodes & was cut) Charlie’s Angels remake on tv a couple of years ago. Annie Ilonzeh – she claimed that women of color no longer have a hard time finding roles on film….only to find herself out of a job not long after and is now doing commercials!

    I understand Zoe has been having much success as of late but don’t allow that success to cause you to become egotistic and to assume you are oblivious to the struggles.

  • http://www.lillian-mae.com Lillian Mae

    I actually think when Zoe or anyone opens their mouth to speak (even if they are speaking their truth) they open themselves to criticism. Zoe’s problem is that she identifies with whatever is convenient at the time. I think it’s crazy that when she was interviewed by BET that she was no longer the proud black woman latina, but a colorless woman of color.

  • jay cee

    If Zoe Saldana is actually cast in the role of Nina Simone, I will boycott the movie.

  • lexie

    read Zoe’s statement and i get what she is saying that she does not want to label herself and that she wants to be judged based on who she is, BUT i feel as though she somewhat contradicted herself, because in her previous interviews she states that she is proud to be a black latina. although she could changed her view at any given moment she is grown woman.

  • http://gravatar.com/jamesfrmphilly jamesfrmphilly

    zoe : please shut up.

  • http://www.lillian-mae.com Lillian Mae

    They’ve already begun filming

  • http://www.facebook.com/boycotttheninasimonemovie Naima
  • http://www.facebook.com/boycotttheninasimonemovie Naima

    I get exactly where you’re coming from, but I doubt very seriously that she’s a Moor or is down with the Moorish Science Temple. She just contradicted all of the things she’s said up until the point of accepting the role as Nina Simone.

  • donnadara

    Between her and the LL Cool J/Brad Paisley debacle, I’m thinking that some black actors spout this nonsense, hoping that white people will want to work with them more because the don’t “play the race card”: She should ask Forest Whitaker about how there are no people of color given the incident where he was frisked in a New York deli, because he was …?

  • Joan

    I am convinced that lack of food is causing her and Anne Hathaway to talk out of their heads. When Zoe was of a more normal weight (Drumline), she didn’t talk like this. LOL.

  • Sasha

    I’m just gonna prepare myself a nice big bucket of popcorn and wait for the comments to roll in.

  • Treece

    I feel sorry for Zoe. Why you ask? Because she lives in a world where she is trying to really fit in with White people in the entertainment industry and not be considered just the “ethnic Black chick”, and that’s never, ever going to happen. I pity Black people who think like her. One’s that try to play the “I don’t see color” card just like some White people do. Honey, denying your race and ethnicity is not going to make other people see you any differently. You will ALWAYS be Black to other races. I don’t care how many White men you screw, or how many parts you play as a blue alien (I loved that movie btw), or how many interviews you give saying how colorblind you are. People are always going to notice your race, and you should too and be PROUD. Like Kerry Washington said, people should see you as Black and still not discriminate against you because you are. Its about appreciating people for thier differences, not blending in to a “colorblind” society. That is crazy and delusion thinking.

  • http://twitter.com/Cognorati001 Colette Marcheline (@Cognorati001)

    Okay Clutch, I really think it’s time to let up. This is becoming abusive.:(

    I think the hostility Black Americans feel towards Zoe’s comments come from a lack of exposure to how Black people from other continents and cultures understand Blackness. Too much about Black experience is filtered through the context of North American (not Canadian culture). No, America is not the center of the universe and all Black people do not live there.

    I agree with her and understand her perspective, even though I also agree that she was miscast by callous Whites that weren’t concerned about the experiences of the Black American community and what Nina Simone’s color meant.

    I don’t think she’s saying that the world should be “colorblind” or that race is not relevant. Rather, she’s fumbling towards the reality that White Supremacy is what dictates who is “of color” and who is purely “White.” White is supposedly normative and pure, good, untarnished. People of color are supposedly not normative and defective. Who made these things up? In a White American context, White Americans did!

    Further, how can we be thought of as minorities when throughout the world there are more people “of color” than Whites? Why are we called “of color”? Of what color? Why are White people not called people who are “deficient of color”?

    ——————-
    In Latin America and the Caribbean racial identity does not have exactly the same significance as America. Americans truly believe that peoples’ attributes derive from a CLEAR, quasi-legal racial identity.

    I am Afro Latin and like most Latins I believe it is all BS and White Supremacist. No, I would rather people not become obsessed with the reality that I am Black and I do not believe my whole identity can be summed up in that. I don’t think that Americans (Black and White) really understand how pathological their race obsession is. Also, there’s truly no way to tell peoples’ “racial” lineage in Latin America — and please don’t tell me Black Americans are mixed as well. It’s not the same thing and to the same degree. In Latin America, because there is such pervasive variation in “race” it becomes harder and harder concept for us to define. Some would say it’s impossible when confronted with places like Trinidad and Venezuela.

    When we were in Africa we were not “Black.” We identified with whatever tribal, familial identity we had. We become “Black” when White Supremacy got in the mix.

    Last, I think what Black people like Kerry Washington are saying is that she wants people to know she is culturally and ethnically Black (American) and she wants them to understand historically and presently what that means — okay fine, I understand that.
    —————————-
    Sorry for the length, but I’m disappointed in finding this slew of posts on Clutch. I would just appreciate for people to be cognizant of what it’s like to be an immigrant, Black, maybe multiracial, female, linguistic minority, and even a religious minority (mostly Catholic) in a racist America.

    I think what’s really going on needs to be addressed because it’s starting to affect Afro Latin women.

  • Camryn

    “black people like kerry washington”…

    umm ok…

    But anyways…

    So you want me to believe that Afro-Latinos & non-afro Latinos…live in the kumbayah existence w/each other?

    Girl, bye to you too….

  • MommieDearest

    Bless her heart…

  • ….

    “….Whites that weren’t concerned about the experiences of the Black American community and what Nina Simone’s color meant.” & The same thing goes for Zoe.She didn’t care abt any of the things either. Also you basically said that many in Latin America are mixed (more mixed than black Americans).This means that their view on what it means to be black is irrelevant.

  • stef

    I’m blaming money and privilege more than saying “well she just Dominican that’s how they are”. we have seen this line repeated by numerous stars of color, who once they move into the 1%, have children that go to private schools. they are all of sudden a non color any more

  • MommieDearest

    “Further, how can we be thought of as minorities when throughout the world there are more people “of color” than Whites? Why are we called “of color”? Of what color? *WHY ARE WHITE PEOPLE NOT CALLED PEOPLE WHO ARE “DEFICENT OF COLOR”?”*

    (*emphasis mine)

    OMG, YES to this! White people, and the rest of the world, act as if everything begins and ends with THEM; like white is “the norm” or “default” and everyone else is “other.” What will it take for this backward thinking to cease?

  • Guest1234

    Yeah. She’s gon’ learn THAT lesson the hard way, too. These folks LOVE to have people of color TALKING about how racism isn’t real and blah, blah, blah, but as soon as they get comfy with the fact that she ain’t gon’ fight back against discrimination, they will straight up kick her in the face – and use her own “race isn’t real” talk to justify it.

    I’m amazed that as far as we’ve come, some people of color just don’t get it. You give these folks an INCH, and they’ll take 10 miles and shove yo’ brown ass to the back of the bus with a quickness and a smile.

    And these words are coming from a woman who is married to a white man. I love my husband. And he’s an extraordinary human being. But that don’t mean I get to ignore how racist the WORLD is, and what that means for me as a black woman. I’m not fool enough to go around acting like race and racism isn’t real just b/c I’ve got a white family, now. Uh! Uh! It doesn’t work that way. What happens when your life/family gets integrated is that THEY have to acknowledge how the world REALLY is. They don’t get to stick their heads in the sand anymore thinking that racism begins and ends with cross burnings. It’s every day. It’s constant. It’s insidious. And most importantly: it’s real. And, truth be told, most people are good enough to accept that and to make it a part of their lives when they can’t ignore it anymore. Most white people don’t need her “race isn’t real” garbage. And they won’t respect it either.

    Zoe Saldana is a damn fool. I don’t know why people of color play that “post-racial” card because it NEVER works out. The most successful African-Americans in EVERY industry are the ones who are open, honest, proud and genuine about racial matters. Not the ones who tell the white people whatever stupid garbage they want to hear so they can continue to stick their heads in the sand. Ask Cuba Gooding Jr. how that’s been working out for HIS career, while Denzel, Halle and others stay working. Why is there a movie being made about Nina Simone? Why is Barack Obama President of the United States while Michael Steele is an unemployed laughing stock? I’m just sayin’. People don’t respect that stuff. White people don’t even respect or reward it. Ever. It’s transparent, and stupid. And white folks step right over the black folks who push it, too. In the race discussion, honesty is always the best policy. She’ll learn.

  • IDefineMe

    I agree. Black Americans are so indoctrinated with a white American concept of racial identity that anyone who dares reject that artificial construct is attacked. Its like misery loves company. Really WTF ar5e people of color and why are blacks the only one using this term to identify any and all non “whites”. I don’t hear asians, and hispanics claiming to be people of color. Really what is “peoples of color” language, cultural development, language , religious traditions, culinary styles etc.? How do we define this vast monolithic group since obviously all its members must be of the same origin and experience since we are being identified by the same racial identity? This is absurd and it is caused primarily by Black Americans lack of true cultural and ethnic identity and ignorance of the way the majority of the world views people. Africans don’t view themselves not as one homgeneous group but as indiviual ethnic groups with distictive and unique traits. Maybe these so called afrocentrists should spend some time understanding this concept instead of always saying “the world sees you as black so thats what you have to be”.

  • Sandy

    How about not accepting roles meant for women of color. Let’s face it, it it were not for Uhura being portrayed by Nichelle Nichols would a woman of color have been considered for the reboot? As for her role as Nina Simone, why in the world wasn’t Jennifer Hudson cast in that movie?

  • LMO85

    I have to say that I agree that people who live are comfortable living a lifestyle with a lack of food causes them (more often than not white women) to be crazy as heyell.

  • Joan

    LOL.

  • Joan

    Well, I don’t feel sorry for Zoe; she’s getting work and a whole lot of media attention. I feel sorry for the black actresses who get passed over for black female roles because Hollywood insists on giving Zoe (and others like her) opportunity after opportunity. Zoe probably talks all of that “race doesn’t matter” crap because she campaigning for her next role. Hollywood probably pegs her as easy to work with.

  • Chip

    Some clarity, at last!

  • http://gravatar.com/nolakiss16 binks

    Basically! Zoe sounds like a diluted airhead. Furthermore, I find it funny that she is preaching this jargon but AT THE SAME TIME is using the very concept she is against to further herself along in Hollywood and get cast. Zoe gets a BIG…girl bye from me.

  • Nope

    People like to paint Americans as race obsessed but other countries are as well. Latin America has plenty of racial problems. No one is “obsessed” with Zoe being black. It is a fact, and it iis a fact that she will be treated differently. I highly doubt in Latin America everything is peachy keen for black folks. This is probably why black Latinos never get cast in roles as Latinos. Race is a BIG problem in Latin America from Mexico to Cuba to Brazil black folks have been mistreated for their racial identity.

    How is this affecting Afro Latin women? We’ve all seen your posts. You’re always posting about African Americans are not understanding, not cognizant, self centered, and less mixed (like its some competition). Zoe has been in America a long time. She is speaking to an American entertainment company. Is it wrong that we see her comments through an American racial lens?

    And she’s definitely talking about being colorblind. How are these comments abusive? I don’t think it’s very difficult to understand that with the history of this country, racial identity does play a big part. You yourself JUST mentioned in your closing statement that being Afro Latina can be a problem in a racist America, yet we are the ones being mean because we state that racial identity is a big deal in America. You accuse us of not being aware of how Latinos care less about race (which I find hard to believe) while she talks to an American company after living in America all these years. When Afro Latinos come to this country, they will be experiencing this. They will see how important race is. What is the point in talking about how things are in some other country when this is the country she lives in and experiences this life?

    I’m African American, and my parents weren’t constantly teaching me about race just like Zoe’s mother. If you’re in America long enough, it will happen. She was talking about her life here in America not a Latin American country.

    It’s very hard for me to believe that her comments came from a place of “Well back in Latin America” rather than her trying to be colorblind. And this was just another opportunity for you to try to call African Americans out for being less understanding of immigrants.

  • http://gravatar.com/cocovabarbie KemaVA

    Race is a social construct. Zoe seems to understand this.

    http://www.understandingrace.org/home.html

  • Guest1234

    Oh, grow up! Every black person on earth, (and a bunch of other folks too) owes every drop of their opportunities to African-Americans. Without OUR civil rights movement to change THE MOST POWERFUL COUNTRY IN HUMAN HISTORY they wouldn’t have JACK! Mmmm-kay! Now, they’re welcome ALL OVER the western world to take advantage of educational, economic, artistic, and social opportunities thanks to those very black Americans and courtesy of OUR highly successful, unified efforts to make the world a more inclusive place. You’re welcome!

    I’m so tired of all this hating on black Americans. What a bunch of ingrates? Sheesh! African-Americans are the ONLY group to see what time it is, and actually DO something about it. Other minority groups can say what they want, but they wouldn’t have JACK SHIT, if it wasn’t for our fight, either. So just SHUT IT! Black Americans wrote the BOOK on effectuating real global change based on solidarity and a firm understanding of how discrimination works against us AS A GROUP based on that “racial identity” that you’re so sickeningly derisive of. We didn’t make the rules, but we SURE know how to play the game. And a lot better than you, it seems. Read a book! Learn something! And grow, up, already.

    So on behalf of those black Americans, MY ANCESTORS, who fought and died so you and I could enjoy the opportunities we have today, YOU’RE WELCOME, you ungrateful little twit!

  • Rue

    Girl, bye!

  • Guest1234

    Jesus!

    Yes. Race is a social construct. But that makes RACISM no less real. YES! We’ve been lumped into groups based on nothing more than skin color. But the discrimination leveled against folks in that group is REAL.

    You’d have to be a damned fool to ignore that. Tell you what…. The next time the cops pull over your BLACK SON (or brother, or cousin, or whoever), why don’t you tell HIM that race is just a social construct, and he wasn’t racially profiled. Tell HIM that he needs to talk back to the cops just like the white folks do, you know, because race is just a social construct. Tell him that the cops don’t shoot unarmed black teens at a rate far higher than whites, you know, because race is just a social construct. Tell HIM that criminal punishment isn’t harsher for blacks than for whites, because, you know, race is just a social construct. Tell him that the incarceration rate for innocent black defendants isn’t much higher than for whites, because, you know, race is just a social construct. Do THAT!

    It is true that race is a social construct, but that doesn’t make RACISM a figment of our imagination. It’s the result of that construct. Read a book. Please.

  • Wolfie

    This is a really obnoxiously written article. I understand what Zoe Saldana is saying. Further, she has an experience from another country where her understanding of herself and her identity may be different from what the author of anyone from another place may be perceive. Thinking of oneself only as a race is limiting and reductionist after a while. I think it would be better to respect the different perspectives and places on the spectrum people fall into rather than attacking a successful actress. Stop being closed-minded and trying to put everyone in a box.

  • victoria

    Sarah, I have to respond to your comment because what you just stated is my current situation. My husband’s friend (who is white) is married to a Dominican woman. We had children a few weeks apart. My husband is also white. Therefore, both of our children are biracial. Im dark skinned. She is brown skinned. Both our children were extremely white. For a long time, people thought I was my daughter nanny because she looked completely white not mixed. To make a long story short. Now, it’s obvious my daughter is mixed. And this women always comments about how her daughter has blond hair, blue eyes, and white skin. It’s a constant thing. She only speaks Spanish; therefore, it’s difficult for me to understand her, but I understand. She is obsessed with it. Her first born daughter (from a previous relationship) is dark like me and treated like the stepchild, indeed.

  • http://gravatar.com/ciscosyndrome ciscosyndromeLuis

    And Zoe keeps disappointing me. I don’t understand, in previous interviews she has stated that she considers herself “a black woman” which started a controversy in the Latin@ community and people saying that she was a “vendida”, because obviously there is no such thing as Afro-Latinos (sarcasm). I just don’t understand how she went from saying something like that to something so sad as “there is such thing as POC”.

  • WhatIThink

    The issue with her comments and those like it are that they mean nothing. Why is she speaking from a third person perspective as if “everybody” somehow created the world of racism. Last I checked only one group of people on earth has ever promoted and lived by the concept and we all know who that is. It is this idea that somehow all people are all involved in this racism that irks me. No we ALL aren’t racists. The point is pontificating about a colorblind society doesn’t make it so, especially when YOU aren’t part of the primary group practicing it or benefiting from it. To that point, blacks have always been colorblind to a fault, which is why they continue to identify with anyone and everyone no matter what is done to them….

  • Steve47

    Why should very good actors like Zoe and Halle Berry’s be denied roles because they have ‘in between’ skin color?

  • lexxie

    I concur IDEFINEME. It’s ridiculous. Zoe comes from a very blended family. When you come from a society where being multi-generational racially blended is the norm (where you have members of difference races and blends entering your bloodline at all points in the tree – and no I am not talking about an isolated event because of slave rape – then concept of race does not follow American normative social construct of race. For those talking about Zoe’s so-called “black parents”, how about you take a peep at her parents, pictured here:

    http://i.huffpost.com/gen/649197/thumbs/s-ZOE-SALDANA-large640.jpg

    http://www.exposay.com/zoe-saldana-with-mother-women-in-film-los-angeles-presents-the-2010-crystal–lucy-awards—arrivals/p/38038/2/?f=Zoe%20Saldana%20with%20mother

    I bet you neither identifies as black, and why should they when their majority ancestry is not black. As far as I am concerned, Zoe Saldana sold herself out the moment she called herself black, or afro-latina. I know why she did. Those were the roles she was given in the U.S. in the past. People with her background in latino culture rarely identify as black, and there is nothing wrong with that. Now, it’s biting her in the ass and so she is stepping back from all that – having to legitimize her “blackness” when I have NO DOUBT she NEVER thought of herself as black in the first place, but accepted the fact that she is looked upon as black by non-latino americans.

  • Non

    Please read your history. Jim Crow ended only so America can save face during the early stages of the Cold War. The Russians were using Jim Crow policies to make America look bad to the world. Truman also needed the black vote in order to win especially in major northern voting areas. The government gave black America a bone only because it benefited the government, your “unified efforts” notwithstanding.

  • Ephraim

    what did she say here thats remotely offensive in any way? Talk about a non-story

  • http://gravatar.com/chanela17 chanela17

    There was a hispanic makeup artist that was talking to her class and she used “women of color” to refer to black people. i wanted to tell her ” um.. don’t you know that you’re a woman of color too?”

  • http://gravatar.com/chanela17 chanela17

    because they will always be picked over darker women in our society.they are “acceptable” looking blacks

  • Guest1234

    @Non

    Reread what you just wrote. Would any of those “bones” be necessary if blacks hadn’t demanded it? Would there be any “face” to save in the cold war if blacks weren’t DEMANDING equality? What, you think the Europeans were worried about our equality at home? How could the US look bad if nobody AT HOME was complaining? Would it have worked if the community wasn’t making a strong, collective, embarassing-to-the-administration front?

    If African-Americans didn’t band together and vote as a block would there have been a “black vote” for Truman to court? Would there have been a “black vote” for Truman to need? NOOOOOO!!!!! That’s how political pressure works. And the African-Americans back in the day were VERY savvy. They understood domestic and global politics and worked it and forced the hand of the government to make changes for political reasons, for economic reasons, for geopolitical reasons, etc…

    None of those reasons you cited would have ever been at issue without the civil disobedience from the black community.

    For cryin’ out loud! Everything you mentioned was an issue/cause/concern because of those UNIFIED EFFORTS I mentioned above! Take everything you just mentioned and ask yourself, WHY was that even an issue? The Answer is: African-Americans. Stop hatin’. The efforts of blacks AS A GROUP to fundamentally shift the direction of this country is indisputable fact. Lame attempts to deny that fact just makes you look like a hateful idiot. It’s not a good look. Just accept it, already.

  • Anthony

    Saldana is just flapping her gums to drum up interest in the new Star Trek movie.

    I do have a problem with calling a 34 year old woman who has has had major roles in movies for eleven years a “starlet.” She is a movie star full stop, whether or not you like what she says or does. Starlet is like calling a grown woman a girl in my opinion.

  • Gina Wild

    I don’t like the term “people of color” either.

  • http://tontonmichel.tumblr.com/ Tonton Michel

    I am Haitian and I approve of this message.

    In addition Haitians do not refer to themselves as latino.

  • Ads

    No i dont think that’s her point. In brazil, where i used to live and my husband is from, race isnt hereditary. My husband’s mom is ‘black’, though not all of her siblings are. My husband is ‘light brown’, though he’s the only one of 5 siblings. The rest are ‘brown’ and ‘black.’ There are 161 legally recognized races/ colors in brazil. So you can have two ‘white’ parents but be ‘black’ or vice versa. Race and racism are real in latin america. But the way people understand and identify are much more fluid.

  • SouthernDarling

    It’s not offensive. It’s just stupid. You’re not white, you’re pink? Dumbest thing I’ve heard come out of an adults mouth, possibly ever.

  • Stephanie Wright

    You have to understand where Zoe was raised to understand her concept of race. She was bought up in a country were they refuse to count color as a factor in any shape or form. Thereby denying the existence of race this allows the powers that be, the ability to acknowledge that there is a entire group of people [the darker} who do not have the same opportunities as their lighter skin native speakers. She was indeed confused and hoodwinked by this form of begin neglect by the government. The majority of her darker brothers and sisters live in extreme object poverty. Her family may have been the exception to the rule.

    I wish we lived in a Star Trek world were color let alone race did not determine so much for us. I need not go into detail, we all know. But I hope that one day we will be able to look pass our skin color to the content of who we are as individuals. Until that day Zoe just needs to take some classes in diversity to help her see the world as it truly exist. My daughter did and it helped her to grow up and acknowledge what racism and sexism in our society.

  • Lynne

    I think the real issue is that too much is expected of Hollywood celebrities. Why on earth anyone would expect Zoe to drop lots of serious knowledge on the subject of race confuses me.

    Think back to LL Cool J on that silly race song with that country singer. Excuse me, but LL Cool J?

    Or consider how Queen Latifah was supposed to be a beacon of light for black LGBT people everywhere. Then she refused to say she was gay.

    Many whites think every black person has all the wisdom and insight in the universe when it comes to race and ethnicity issues.

    I don’t find Zoe Saldana’s comments troubling at all. I just find her to be naive, which makes the fact she is asked for insight on race and ethnicity, well, troubling.

  • Mademoiselle

    I don’t remember which commenter said this months ago, but isn’t “people of color” the same as “colored people”? To this day, I’m not sure why we’ve signed on for that major step back and made it a modern day buzzword. I can understand this desire to stop labeling everything from the white vantage point (white is a color too, yet they aren’t POC?), but it really doesn’t matter whose vantage point we’re labeled from. The point is we are placed at disadvantages often because they put up lots of barriers, traps, double standards, etc to keep people like us begging for their approval so they can feel superior, and it keeps working.

  • a

    The truth is her selective embracing of blackness has more to do with getting hollywood roles than actually having any affinity for black history or culture.

  • I mean

    She was born in jersey and raised in new york

  • The Artist

    Lawd…Zoe, girl…bye….

  • http://www.facebook.com/Mwatuanghi Levon DeMarquis Valle

    There’s “no such thing as people of color” because it’s a concept that exists solely from the White Gaze. Of course, some people have no problems letting Dwight folk name and label them, but I certainly do.

    As a Black Latino who grew up here in America, I have to say I’m always trying to explain to people clueless about LA racial customs that notions of race are based primarily on class and physical appearance rather than ancestry in our community, as the innumerable terms you can find – from negra (a woman of African descent, which Zoe identifies as) to rubio and trigueno. You can have two dark-skinned parents, but if you’re as white as chalk they’re gonna call you blanco because that’s what you look like. Race being seen in purely ancestral terms is still a new concept for many parts of LA and those who hail from those regions due to the fact that we’re essentially a multiracial population in varying degrees, although there are plenty who do identify on ancestral terms despite the race deniers or “coconuts”. Stigma and denial of one’s heritage usually stem from how those of that group are treated in their society, although that is beginning to change.

    It’s especially ironic that you’d cite her quote regarding her stance on the term “ethnic” but neglect to point out other times where she clarified her reasoning in an interview:

    “GLAMOUR: In past interviews, you’ve bristled on the topic of race. Why?

    ZOË SALDANA: Because ethnic is a word that doesn’t exist in my vocabulary. In Hollywood, you hear things like, “Oh, they loved you but they want to go more traditional.” That’s the new N word.”

    It’s clearly a response to the tokenism and racialization Hollyweird is known to promote in their films, although I do question her failure to take a stronger stance against it.

    Ultimately, it’s easy for people who don’t have to live under the microscope of a society obsessed with a concept that was inherently racist when it was first conceived to throw stones. I think, however lazy it might seem, she’s simply tired of the myopia and chooses to live on her own terms rather than those of others. I nonetheless still question her faltering stance – especially given her choices in regards to the latest role – but beyond that and her attitude I don’t have much of a problem with her. She’s far better than Sammy Sosa.

  • Non

    Blacks “demanded” it? Sure they “demanded” it for nearly a CENTURY and it didn’t happen until 1961 and it primarily because of Truman’s desire for votes and for America to save face in the Cold War. See it for what it is. African-Americans contributed A LOT to American culture but you only gained Civil Rights when it was beneficial to the U.S. government, period.

  • marie

    it must be so hard to have had a careful bubble created around you by your family or privilege and the rest of the world require that you “identify yourself”. i would love to live where zoe lives except there are many i care about, whose lives and opportunities are denied because of the color of their skin. it is very hard to develop a self as light and carefree as zoe when that’s your daily reality. she will learn pretty quickly when she has a child. she may find out as she tries on this or that dude that the common denominator in things not working is her willful “blindness”. the thing about blindness is that you can’t pick what you can’t see. makes a person blind to most everything in life that matters.

  • Shelly

    The issue is that Saldana does not want to admit to the fact that she wants to categorize herself as latina, all the while continuously playing the role of African American women on film. If she admitted to that, than this article might titled “Saldana, who is playing Nina Simone, claimed to be latina, not black.” Her honesty would open a can of worms that she can’t afford, so that is why she’s tired of being asked (in my opinion). I love Kerry Washington’s comments.

  • Rose

    the term “people of color” was created by people of color as a retaliation against the term “colored people”

  • RJ

    Umm…she is latina, because she is from a latin american country. why is that concept so hard for people to grasp?

  • http://www.retaildj.com Wendi

    bc she is a black latina. the two identities are not at odds. it’s like saying i am a black american. people in the US (and in latin america quite frankly) have a problem grasping the concept of racial diversity WITHIN ethnicity.

  • Eschatonia

    What is wrong with what she said?

    If you read what she’s saying she’s right. ‘Race’ is something that “came” into existence – there is only 1 race, the categorization of races are constructs used to categorize people. In the World – color is usually secondary to class – because the majority of the world is colored. And strictly speaking, everything comes from black.

    Her points of view reflect a non-American racial consciousness. Outside of the US color is secondary to class.

    This just seems like a call to pick apart her words because she has the “audacity” to play a woman who had no choice but to claim her blackness.

    Next.

  • ACam

    As an black immigrant kid I appreciate the nuances presented about blackness outside of the US. Though I would submit that Latin America has its own struggles with race and the marginalization of African-descended Latin Americans.

    I’m a gringa, but even so, seeing folks suggest that Zoe’s Latina heritage might disqualify her for in her role of playing Nina was uncomfortable.

    Personally I don’t see any difference btw black americans, africans, afro-latinos, afro-Europeans, afro-caribbeans, afro-arabs, afro-desis, etc.

    As Shawn Carter said “It’s all black, I love us…”

    Our struggles, histories and cultures aren’t identical but they also converge in alot of ways.

    History shows us that Nina Simone was a global nomad who spent time in Liberia, Paris and the Caribbean. I think her work was about advancing the black race, that is all people of African descent from Khartoum, to Birmingham to Rio de Janeiro.

    That said I must agree that Zoe has been miscast as Nina Simone if for no other reason than that she simply looks absolutely ridiculous her “Nina Simone” get-up.

    Before I could even think about the implications of colorism & blackface…I couldn’t get past the fact that Zoe looked like she was dressed for a Halloween party or an ABC Family TV movie not decked out for an emotive performance in a high-caliber feature film.

    And the thing is, that’s distracting to me as a viewer. Film is a visual medium and aesthetics play a big role.

    Cynthia Mort & Zoe Saldana are asking an audience to suspend reality for 2 hours & get lost in their storytelling.

    How can an audience do that if they are staring at badly caked on makeup or a lopsided afro. A top lip painted dark brown to ape the two-tone coloration that some black folks (me included) often have on our lips.

    Aesthetics matter and there is absolutely nothing about Zoe Saldana’s appearance, who is a very beautiful woman in my view, that suggests or event hits at the person of Nina Simone.

    Now Zoe Saldana as Lorraine Hansberry, who apparently was a feisty, cigarette-smoking woman who actually helped Nina discover her radical black politics, that is something I would like to see and a role I think Zoe would do well in.

    At this point don’t even understand how Zoe is going to be able to imitate Nina’s speaking voice which was so distinctively rich & deep.

    That said I would be interested to learn more about the impact of the black american voices objection to Zoe playing Nina on Afro-Latinas.

    Is it creating a divide? Do Afro-Latinas feel like they are being resented for something they didn’t do?

    Thank you Clutch for the dope article & thank you Clutch Comment Land for the intriguing discussion.

    -ACam

  • http://twitter.com/Cognorati001 Colette Marcheline (@Cognorati001)

    @Camryn

    When I said “black people like kerry washington” I was referring to Black people from her ethnic heritage (Black Americans). If I say “Black people like Idris Elba (sp?) I mean UK subjects/citizens of African descent (not from the Caribbean). If I say “Black people like me” I might be speaking of Afro Latins, or Franco Haitians, or Haitians.

    I don’t like that it becomes truly impossible to have a conversation without literally every word becoming distorted. You were insinuating that I saw her as Black but not others and myself — that was not fair. I don’t know wher you saw any kumbayah references.

  • http://twitter.com/Cognorati001 Colette Marcheline (@Cognorati001)

    Yes, it’s possible that she may be oblivious to what her casting means and ignorant of the experience of Black Americans — she would have to do soul-searching on that.

    The other problem that I think people should try to empathize with is that she has to work. Could she afford to turn down a role that would lead to more exposure and other roles? I don’t think so.

    I truly hated the making and release of “The Help.” Viola Davis, imo, is one of the best, most intelligent actresses out there. But she needs to work and is contending with the discrimination all of are who are non-White. It’s even more difficult for her because of colorism, so I’m guessing she had to take the role.

    There are some unearned privileges that come from being fair-skinned, mixed race, or Afro Latin. But people need to understand that we’re put in positions where we have to survive.

  • Scoop

    This entire rant basically sums up the “I acknowledge racism exist but I’m going to ignore why and how because racism is clearly the fault of those damn darkies bringing it up all the time.” mindset.

    Once again… girl, bye.

  • http://twitter.com/Cognorati001 Colette Marcheline (@Cognorati001)

    “And she’s definitely talking about being colorblind”

    No, that was not my understanding. I understand that there’s a possibility that she does not fully comprehend the lived experiences of American Blacks and what implications her casting as Nina Simone has caused. Yes, she may also be benefiting from unearned privilege.

    On the other hand, I don’t think you’re willing to consider that Black people of different ethnicities will understand the implications of race on completely terms and they’re just as valid.

    The difference, imo, is this:

    1). Black Americans have been in a country where race, in and of itself, dictated what ethnic and social groups they belonged to. Also, Americans believe racial identity is definite and determinant. Basically, Blackness is the primary way Black Americans understand culture and their community in America.

    2)The rest of us are coming from communities where we are either the dominant group and race is fluid and does not exclusively dictate community. It becomes impossible in the rest of the world to determine one’s culture and identity using race, even in West Africa. Blackness is just a matter of fact but is not the primary way we understand culture and community.

    With the different perspectives these communities are at an impasse and I don’t think we’re making headway.

    The comments were abusive because saying like “Girl, bye” doesn’t even allow for dialogue or mutual respect or understanding. It just ends things and actually opens the way to dog pile hostility. With Saldana, people are no longer criticizing her casting or White Supremacy but are attacking her personally — they’re using her as a stand in for their resentment of other Black ethnic groups.

  • http://twitter.com/Cognorati001 Colette Marcheline (@Cognorati001)

    @Tonton Michel

    Haitians don’t refer to ourselves as “Latino,” but we are technically Afro Latin. Any countries that were colonized by Latin countries (France, Spain, Portugal) are part of Latin American. Guadeloupeans, Martiniquans, and French Guyanese don’t call themselves Latino but they’re Afro Latin to.

    Note: I may be mixing French and English in my spellings. It happens spontaneously and I have no idea why.

  • http://twitter.com/Cognorati001 Colette Marcheline (@Cognorati001)

    “Every black person on earth, (and a bunch of other folks too) owes every drop of their opportunities to African-Americans. Without OUR civil rights movement to change THE MOST POWERFUL COUNTRY IN HUMAN HISTORY they wouldn’t have JACK!”

    Sorry, but that was a chauvinistic and bigoted comment. Many, many countries had resistance movements before American Blacks were even able to organize. We have had slave and native revolts throughout the Caribbean, Latin America, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East that had NOTHING to do with your country.

    BTW: you should thank India and the Mohandis Ghandi for your Civil Rights movement as well as Black South Africans. You might also want to thank Henry David Thoreau.

    Again, your country is not the world.

  • Oki

    Wow. Zoe has said many times she is a BLACK woman and even in this interview she said that she was hurt that the people she most IDENTIFIED WITH were upset over her portrayal of Nina Simone. Reas her first cover of Latina magazine she clearly said that she is a Latina but regardless she is a Black woman! All of thesis just bs.

  • ….

    Oh please.She did NOT have to take the role.Shes not desperate for roles bcuz she has a new movie coming out this week.& when it comes to viola I think it’s funny that the same thing that makes it hard for her to get roles is the same thing that afforded Zoe the opportunity to play Nina and other “black” roles in the first place…& that thing is colorism

  • ….

    & another thing I find it sickening how Zoe had the Nerve to say that she was playing the role of Nina FOR black people..as if her playing this role somehow benefits us…yeah the statement shows me that she’s just plain ignorant and/or living in her own world

  • http://twitter.com/Apacalisp Cory Montgomery (@Apacalisp)

    Ever hear of this thing called, “afro-latina?”

  • http://twitter.com/Apacalisp Cory Montgomery (@Apacalisp)

    And so what does that mean? She’s not allowed to tell her opinion in front of other black people? She’s only allowed to have the opinion the majority of black people will co-sign with?

  • bitch please

    The Haitian revolution is, as much significant to black struggle as the civil right movement.The entire prelude of the book and the first 100 years or so, was written with Haitian blood. We don’t owe you shit. in fact,YOU are fucking welcome, you typical close-minded ethnocentric bastard.

  • Maliciosa

    I see nothing wrong with what she said. It’s her own opinion and view on race. I’ve encountered far worse. Perhaps, my own interpretation is that she meant everyone is “colored”. And I see nothing wrong with the word ethnic. But in the entertainment industry, I believe that is a “politically correct” way of saying non-white. I’ve heard this used in day-to-day life, incorrectly. Everyone has an ethnicity. I think it’s odd that people refer to whites as colorless and culture-less.

  • Maliciosa

    It is quite typical for many Puerto Ricans who don’t fit neatly into any box to avoid the race issue. I would say that most develop their own identity in their own time. They find other ways of defining themselves. Just like you don’t understand her, many have issues understanding our system of classification as well. I think this is much more common with “brown/ambiguous” latinos coming to the U.S.

    As far as her playing African Americans….Are you serious? Did you ever wonder what ethnicity any of the other black actors were? Many are West Indian like Zoe. I don’t think I’ve ever heard a complaint about white actors playing various European nationalities/ethnicities. Or even about English/French/Creole/Patois speaking Black west Indians playing African Americans.

    I think the issue at hand here, is not that some people don’t understand Zoe, but they don’t understand the African Diaspora.

    The word Latina is so over broad and vague. It has nothing to do with race. Only about 90% of African slaves ended up south of the U.S. border. The top 3 languages spoken by blacks are all Latin. Some of your family may have been “Latin” at one point, either in Spanish/French territory in North America or they lived south of the border and were sent up north.

    Basically, she has her own personal philosophy. None of us have to understand it because it’s not about us. It may change but that’s her choice.

  • maliciosa

    Being Latina has nothing to do with race. It isn’t a race or even an ethnicity. Only in the U.S. is Latino an ethnicity, but that is often forced. Most people associate with their nationality or race first.

  • Maliciosa

    I agree with virtually everything you said. However, I disagree with one little point. And that is that you said outside of America color is secondary to class. Well that depends on the location. But often times, they are closely entwined. And if it’s not color, it may be ethnicity, religion, or some other classification.

  • Ads

    I may be beating a dead horse – but i think it’s worth saying. Racism is baaaaaaaad and pervasive in latin america. And because there isn’t (in most countries) a mass of people who see themselves as black, and share a collective political identity rooted in that, there hasn’t been a powerful movement for racial equality on the scale of the US civil rights movement – there are smaller scale, more recent struggles in brasil, colombia, but not the same. A major reason for this is that race is not a binary like in the us – black OR white. In latin america it’s a continuum – black (like the crayon color), black (like the race), brown, light brown, coffee colored, walnut colored, black mixed with indigenous, black mixed with white, mostly black but a little white, dark skin with indigenous features, dark skin with european features, light skin with afro-descendant features, wheat colored, honey- colored. Exactly because of the history of slavery and continued racism, people in latin america are taught by society to always identify in the way the recognjzes the most of your whiteness.

  • Ads

    Contd… So i dont think it’s fair for one individual to be responsible for the failure of a historic, powerful civil rights / racial equality movement to take root in their society. Peole are trying – notably the land rights’ movement fof afro-colombians and the mobilization of social equality by afro-brazilians. But it should be understood this is very much a political identity. People darker than halle berry would not necessarily be considered black in brasil, but someone with political consciousness could self identify as afro brasilian. But its not a given, its a decision to reject centuries old and still powerful social dictates that tell you to highlight ur whiteness however you come by it.

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  • cheryl

    People get over yourselves. I too grew up like Zoe in a household where color meant nothing really. My dad was born in the US his dad in Trinidad and his grandmother in Calcutta India. My mother was born In PR where we are mixed with the Taino Indian Spaniards and Africano
    So I Sit while all you people attempt to stick a label on me. Bless my parents for raising us to be ourselves and not a color.

  • Nope

    @Colette

    No. Most of the comments saying Zoe is not fit for the role have been about her being a light skinned black woman playing the part of a woman who was well know for not looking like Dorothy Dandridge or Billy Holiday, and I think you know it. I have definitely seen comments from people complaining about a black Latino playing the part of an African American, but they are very few. And I think you know this as well. As I said before, you just like to find any reason to complain about African Americans not liking immigrant groups. That is your opinion of what she meant. I have mine. I don’t care that it s colored by my African American racial lens. I understand that in a country like Haiti where blacks are the majority, your are not constantly thinking about being black, but Zoe grew up in America didnt she? She lived in the Dominican Republic for a while didn’t she? And Dominicans are more mixed than Haitians on average.

    If this were a woman born and raised in Brazil or the Dominican Republic, maybe I would agree with you, but she was born in America, and I think she has lived the overwhelming majority of her life in America. I don’t buy that she’s coming from a place of race being fluid or a community where she is the majority. She is from the good ole USA. She knows exactly of what we speak.

    As for casting to me and most people, the uproar has nothing to do with her being Latina! She has played African Americans plenty of times before. African Americans have played non-African Americans plenty of times before. Most of us don’t care. It is mostly about how dark skinned actresses never get good parts and how she used Hollywood finding her a more acceptable looking black woman to get the role. But you know what I can’t really say that Beyonce or Thandy Newton or Halle Berry would have done differently.

    In short, most complaints are about her denying her light skin privilege and wearing blackface to play a role that should have been played by a dark skinned woman. You chose to take the few comments from people complaining about her ethnicity and make this about African Americans being mean and abusive for saying that an Afro Latina that grew up in America knows all about how things are.

    And the abusiveness is probably coming because she has made people angry for doing this role as a light skinned woman in blackface rather than because these complainers hate other immigrant groups. Most of what you wrote was a stretch.

  • http:tontonmichel.tumblr.com Tonton Michel

    @Colette

    Your use of the term afro latin is correct by definition is correct but again Haitians do not use it because that would mean being lumped up in the same category with every one else. Just like black is used as a catch all word to describe people of African decent or dark skinned people to emphasize that they are not white. We are not the same, we all do not have the same or monolithic in thought as you alluded to. The word is popularly used to address Spanish speakers. Why would Haitians or any French speaking black want to be grouped together like that knowing we do not share the same beliefs,vlues, culture, or views/issues with race. Hell I can not imagine Spanish speaking blacks being too fond of it either. That’s why Haitians do not use it, it is a matter of cultural pride.

    As for.poor old Zoe here the dislike she is getting is not coming from her being latino as some commentators have been either misguided into thinking or intentionally saying to derail from the real issue at hand. That she comes off as disingenuousor opportunisticatest best. She blatently dismisses the concerns of black Americans, and dark skin black woman by getting up in BLACKFACE to play one of their heroes, while intentionally ignoring the irony and offense in that, she does not get a pass for that because she is black. Than for her to wave a black flag to champion her role in the movie and turn around and say she doesn’t see color? She is uncomfortable with it? Never mind the whole androgyny fiasco the woman is a hustler trying to get everyones money just like a crack dealer. Thats the real beef with her she keeps selling people BS and telling them it’s pudding.

  • shlbshl

    Critical Race Theory 101, indeed.

    Yes, Zoe, race and ethnicity are fuzzy, mutable, arbitrarily defined constructs. Nevertheless, they are fuzzy, mutable, arbitrarily defined constructs that assert observable, existential meaning and consequences.

    Anyhow, between this and her “turn” as Nina Simone, I am now thoroughly convinced that Saldana is fucking with black folks.

    So after submitting this, I’m going to hit the “nignore” button on Saldana and her trolling.

  • Come On

    Poor child. Do you comprehend the meaning of irony? Black Entertainment Television. As in, Entertainment Television for a People of Color.

    You should get back to NSYNC.

  • Shamime

    I wish people would stop giving Zoe Saldana such a hard time.

    We can’t expect her to be something she’s not especially when people barely let her be what she is

    She has said in countless interviews she takes “black” and African American roles but she is LATINA (which falls under people from places like brazil, Mexico, panama etc)…

    so when people are up in arms about her comments or inability to speak as a “woman of color” (and they mean black only because that’s what she appears) we forget that politically throughout history Asian, Latina, Indian have all fallen into that blanket term as well and use it when it helps them get ahead in life. One difference however is all of these groups except blacks have made attempts to align themselves with something that is “not of color” as well on census applications.

    So in America she is black because she looks black but her background, culture and quite possibly her own families issues (of not embracing her Afro latin roots and just acknweding that she is Latina and has “no” color is a her family and cultural biases).

    So her comments on black/race are from a person who has a completely different culture and perspective as it applies to HER personal race and ethnicity of a Latina.

    Think of the same questions being asked to Selma, Shikria or Penelope… How do they answer? Usually with pride about their roots and heritage but in the same rich Latina culture that they come from there is also overt racism toward people that look like Zoe Salanda….i think the girls just tired of getting it from both ends.

    I’ve been told “u will only be seen as black” (but I’m half asian Indian and do enjoy learning and being that half as well)
    Zoe took an extreme approach recently. She wants to be human I don’t blame her but I do think she just needs a bit of counseling to endure the questions and embrace her reflection knowing that she can feel one way but needs to understand how the world will see her and represent both strongly….but she has to want to. If she was raised to be Latina only with no clue or CARE about the black American experience or history then we can’t expect her to be a spokes woman for black women of color issues EVEN if she looks the part and is cast the part.

    Just think how Halle would be if she tried to embrace her white half only…. she would not have become halle berry. the industry would have deemed her confused for trying to apply for Caucasian roles as insane. Zoe is doing something that no one in the media has before (but something that many women say and do amongst their friends daily) and THAT is admirable even though she could be a little bit more intellectual about it.

    For example, I have a couple man friends that say “Latinas are the most beautiful women in the world” and they usually treat these women like a side piece of hotness until she demands marriage…and they look at someone like Zoe and say “huh?” Because “She’s not a hot Latina (or (even Latina at all in their eyes)???? They say ” whatttttt? No she’s a black person that doesn’t value education” which is another topic of discussion.

    So perhaps she’s just tired of it all. And in a world so hung up on colors that have nothing to do with her heritage…I don’t blame her.

  • http://Simplyshamime.blogspot.com Shamime

    Love your insight. I posted something simulate but my background and insight is only from school and having latina friends and being half Indian and coming into criticism when I want to be “both” in America!

    We also can’t forget though how many cultures once in America may adopt the ways of the people that oppressed them back home. Meaning however dark her family may be and how they may have been treated there….well here in America her family had a chance to let go of the color stigma and just be “Dominican” and NOT black or African American because they are indeed not. Regardless of what Hollywood makes us. I’ve been told I “need to choose” all the time. We get tired I understand what she’s trying to say. She needs me or u to help her articulate a Stronger stance on being a multicultural woman!

  • Yb

    When I read the responses from these black immigrants it really make me think the superiority complex they have is really a front to mask their feelings of inferiority. And I’ve noticed that Black Americans hardly ever care enough about black immigrants to go on websites geared toward THEM and interject ourselves into their convos.

  • http://gravatar.com/chanela17 chanela17

    omg.. sweetheart did you just say nignore? LMAOOO i thought i was the only one who knew of that word!!

    you are officially my new friend!

  • http://gravatar.com/ubermotion Eduardo

    As a Puerto Rican, I sort of get where she’s coming from. I’m “blanco” in PR but here in Austria I can easily pass for a Spaniard or Italian because -compared to many folks here- I’m a bit darker and my features are different as well. Sometimes when speaking German with strangers I get asked if I’m Italian (many Italians from the North speak German). So being “coloured” has different consequences depending on where you live. But I also get why her apparent indifference to the daily realities of others can get people upset.

  • SayWhat

    Guessing by the comments that the answer unfortunately is ‘NO’.

  • SayWhat

    I’m guessing the woman is tired. On the one hand you have some in the latino community who are surprised that she identifies herself as black since she is light enough to pass (if you know the history of African slaves in latin American countries, especially the Dominican republic, then you know what I mean), and now you have a gang of black women, 10,000 deep who signed a petition saying she wasn’t black enough?! I think she’s done…..and I can’t say I blame her at this point, this anti-Zoe backlash is seriously getting out of control.

  • VSR

    I think Ms. Saladana is a gorgeous Afro-Latina and hugely talented actress who is entitled to her opinion, however misguided. I do find it curious that she accepted the Nina Simone role. In the 60s Ms. Simone, a beautiful & talented woman, was insulted and denied work because of her Afrocentric style of dress and African features by both blacks and whites.That treatment caused her a severe life long depression and the chief reason she relocated to France where her artistry was appreciated. In America Ms. Simone’s constant references to the lack of racial equality here made folks uneasy. I get that Zoe is a bankable actress now but I think Nina would be unhappy with the choice because of her views. I guess that’s why Ms. Simone’s daughter, an excellent actress as well, is pissed about the choice. There are so many better & bankable choices of actresses whose views would allow for far a more believable performance. The makeup job done to Saladana for the role is utterly ridiculous.& cheapens Ms. Simone’s memory. Running from people that use the word ‘ethnic’ is ignorant; its the richness of cultural and ethnic differences that makes the world fascinating but she’s young and has time to learn

  • http://salonography.wordpress.com SalonOgraphy

    LET HER LIVE; SHE’S AN ACTOR NOT AN ACTIVIST

  • Lola gold

    Zoe is AWARE who she is an Afro-Latin point blank. But to have to point that out ALL the time is a bit much for anyone!!!! she wants her body of work to be reviewed not what color she is… I TOTAL GET IT.

  • Pseudonym

    Yes! I’m so confused at the problem. I totally get what she’s talking about. It applies not only to her as an Afro-Latina, but to biracial people, Asian/Indian/Latinos who can pass for Latino/Asian/Indian, Chinese and Indian people who don’t have Chinese or Indian accents but rather speak Caribbean patois, etc. Everyday, they have to deal with people asking “What are you?” “What are you?” “What are you?”

    That ish gets TIRED!!!!! (I’m not any of the above, but I can imagine.)

    and “people of color” IS a problematic term b/c it implies that white is the “norm” and everyone else is “other.” and- like she said- which people aren’t even white and can sometimes be as brown as “people of color” so it’s complete BS. Can someone PLEASE explain what is so horrible about what she said?

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  • The Other Jess

    I get what she’s saying! She wants people to stop focusing on her race. She’s happily Black and Latina and she’s said it many times, and she shouldn’t have to always talk about one or the other to be acceptable in some people’s eyes. Some whites will see her as better if she only claims “Latina”, some Blacks will prefer she claim Black and not mention Latina, some Latinos will not want her to mention being Black and pretend to only be a “swarthy” Latina. But she is happy in her own skin without having to be pigeonholed by anyone. I can see it getting annoying being bugged about the obvious all the time.

    And “people of color” was a term started by white people anyway, who are more colorful than everybody (blue eyes, yellow/red/brown hair, etc). Not prejudiced, just saying.So I’m all for dropping it.

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  • Buenaventura

    Right on Zoe! I agree with her. This country is so obsessed with race it’s ridiculous. No she does no want to identify with just black or white. And why should she have to! She obviously mixed so leave it at that. She not black. Dominicans don’t have to say they’re black if they don’t want to. Stop forcing the one drop rule on us. That’s a racist American institution that we don’t use in the Dominican Republic or care for. We just don’t identify with the black culture, so stop trying to categorize us!

  • ajayrads

    Back in her Drumline days when asked about her ethnicity she said “I’m a sista!” Now a couple of blockbusters and a few white lovers later she’s on some new ish? Her “non-ethnic” behind had no problem cashing the checks for playin Nina (who loved her blackness). Eff up outta here w/that bs.

  • The Comment

    Drats!!!! comments missing.

    Sad story is that black don’t realize that they have bought what ever the white man sells. Top to bottom. If the white man says it is a one drop rule…then dammit that what the hell it is. How dare she go against the racist establishment and say it ain’t so. Like…how totally dare she!

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  • SAgirl

    But if we (blacks) are constantly reffered to as “People of Colour”, what does that make white people? Are we saying that white people are the standard race of people and anything that does not resemble them in shade is “people of colour”? So white is pure and everything else is a deviatioin and is thus colour? What BS!

    I get that maybe in the states POC is another way of saying minority, but here in Africa, black people are the majority therefore, white people should be the ones deemed “People of colour”.

    POC is a silly term that elevates white people to that of standard and purest races and makes the rest of us “muddied” so to speak and thus a POC. In that way, maybe Zoe was right to say she doesn’t recognise POC.

    So black people, we are just black or of african descent – not POC! And she is of African descent and so are black Dominicans whether they like it or not.

  • Carioca

    My, my, my, Zoe like Buenaventura who commented and almost any other Dominican that I’ve met, es do not identify with their blackness. As a mated of fact, they don’t even consider themselves black. Although, just like their Haitian neighbors, almost ever one o them has African blood running through their skin. No, the legacy of Trujillo who’s campaign to “whiten the race” permeates through the minds and souls of man Dominicans. Trujillo hated the little blackness that he had and terrorized his countrymen and women to lighten up. Therefore most black Dominican’s wil tell you that they are Indio. They are ashamed of their blackness. They want no part of it. And Zoe Saldana is product of that. And, she’s bought into this post-blackness B.S. that Toure and others like him are espousing. I find her, him and any other person that denies, doesn’t feel the need, and is obviously ashamed of being a “person of color” disgusting. Its like i the 30′s 40′s 50′s here in the U.S., when man black Americans tried to pass, hated their blackness, etc. Then in the 60′s many of them woke up! Zoe Saldana needs a reality check. It doesn’t matter how many white boys you date, how much of this nonsense that you spew, you wait, there will be a wake-up call and you’re going to get hit smack dab in the face, with the fact that you are black. Be proud of it my sister. Its a beautiful thing. Embrace your Afro Dominican and Cuban American culture. Its OK. If the white people, who you are obviously begging for and needy of their acceptance realize that you’ve woken up and reject you, as we always do, we will accept another wayward “person of color” who tried to pass for something “post” and found out the truth in an awaking moment of clarity.

  • josh gibson

    Google Rubirosa,

    the international playboy from the Dominican Republic. He was famous for marrying the two richest women in the world. When he was having an affair with one the Gabor sisters while she was married the scandal was discussed in the New York Times as Zsa Zsa is dating a Negro.

    Race is imposed on you in America. Love who you are. That being said I’m cool with her attitude. Being black ought to be an exclusive club, not one where just anybody can get in. And black is much more than just a color, it is a state of mind.

  • dagreat

    I dont know man. I am caught in two minds here. If you went back 3000 years and spoke to africans for consensus would they describe themselves as black would they hold onto that as there identity. As a jamaican I identify myself as Jamaican first of african descent. My skin color dark complexion is the least on my totem pole of self image. I kind of understand what she saying that people should be judged by there soul not by skin. The skin division seems to be a remnant of slavery from the european slave master did it really exist before. The fact that I am of dark complexion does not make me a good or bad person same as white. In america they strive to put everybody in a category and its like they want to say is all you will ever be in life is that category. If you are a democrat you cannot like any idea from a republican. Division. I think black americans have low mental power because they do not define themselves from the land they came cause they do not truly feel american. So they hold onto the blackness because somehow that is better than being an African Descendant. Do chinese or turkish or iranian or indians or italians define themselves by skin color. No only when trying to make themselves above the BLACKS in the totem pole of societal bullshit. otherwise they are proud descendants of a certain land. I dont think she should be put on the stake and burnt in witch fire. Truth is I dont really find anything wrong with her statement. She is not denying her skin color. She is saying she is more than just that.

  • http://www.facebook.com/boycotttheninasimonemovie Naima

    For anyone who thinks her playing Nina Simone is some bull come on over and join us at http://www.facebook.com/BoycottTheNinaSimoneMovie

  • MissFabulous

    Why is everybody so concerned with what she thinks? If there’s no “people of color in her world” then there are no people of color in her world. That’s it. That’s her POV and she’s entitled to that. The End.

  • VSR

    Bravo and well said! I would respectfully ask you to have empathy for others because they are products of a culture whose dictator, Rafael Trujillo in the mid-50s outlawed Haitians from entering the DR for work because he detested dark skin and ordered the execution of over 50,000 dark-skinned Dominicans because he wanted a fair-skinned nation. Despicably, he ,made his personal contribution to the ”lightening’ of his culture by having his soldiers scout the countryside for fair-skinned, blonde teenage girls who would be taken from their homes, impregnated and never seen by their families again. The shame and pain of slavery and European colonialism still affect us all negatively to this day and I am no exception. Because our language, customs and culture was ripped from us & taught to be a source of shame, some of us stand fiercely and proudly in defense of our African roots while others exhibit the same shame that was forced upon us and handed down from 16th & 17th centuries. As frustrating as it is, we have to allow the misguided to come into their realization of our mighty culture in their own time. As you age and learn, none of us thinks the same we did 10 years ago. You are blessed and fortunate that you know the correct version of history now. Just pray they’ll get there too. While the racial designations that we call ourselves or are assigned to us will never ever be as important as how we represent our cultures, keep in mind that if we are ‘people of color’, Europeans are actually in the minority yet still have the financial power which is something we must change.

  • Watch out for Karma

    The author sure got her web-clicks worth didn’t she?

    Framed it JUST right.

    I get the very good feeling that she knows exactly what Zoe is saying, but hey, don’t let that get in the way of a juicy article, right?

    The funny thing is, the Kerry Washington clip that she uses as an exclamation point to show contrast, is actually saying the same thing.

    Funny.

  • Roland Sanchez

    She looks Mulata to me…half white half black…just like President Obama.

  • http://twitter.com/mrkah3 Kenny Hudson (@mrkah3)

    She’s a Latina. Puerto Rican and Dominican.

  • http://twitter.com/mrkah3 Kenny Hudson (@mrkah3)

    She’s Hot! That’s all I care about!

  • http://andreascene.com Andrea

    OK I find this article quite ridiculous. Race is not even a biological reality; it is a social construction so just because Zoe does not want to adhere to categories that don’t even exist biologically and that were created to justify racism…she needs to get a clue? On top of that she is constantly questioned on “what she is”…she is a PERSON point blank and if she wants to be judged on her her ability and not her “race” I don’t see anything wrong with that. Lastly, speaking to the people of “color” … more discussion does need to happen about how we label one another and ourselves. Society for some reason is mighty comfortable with the terms black and white to describe African and European descendants but red and yellow are offensive to describe American Indian and Asian descendants. It is completely ludicrous to categorize people based on the color of their skin and then label it a “race” yet it is accepted to a degree.

  • Nope

    Latina, Puerto Rican, and Dominican are not races! She can be half black and Latina at the same time.

    She’s AFRO Latina which means she has black ancestry. And she is not half black half white like the president. She is not biracial.

  • Shawn

    Who is the writer to police Zoe Saldana about her perceptions about race? The frustration with constantly being asked the question was obvious in her voice. Anyone who has ever been asked that question a lot knows the feeling. I don’t think she is saying her race is irrelevant but it’s not something she feels needs to be discussed all the time. She can play Nina Simone without being a radical like Nina Simone, who came up in an entirely different period with different experiences. Black people need to stop trying to tell other people who’s black and who’s not. If she’s not with it, who cares?! She’s an actress. She’s not setting public policy or passing laws.

  • BlackBeauty

    I see nothing wrong or any reason to write that Ms. Saldana “put her foot in her mouth”. What did she say that was so wrong? This is how she sees herself and coming from her background (as she stated) I can see why she feels that way about herself and race!

    Black folk (some) are so quick to want to scream that someone does not want to identify as being black (a good example is how they did Tiger who NEVER said he was not black), and that old crap is dead.

    Leave people alone. We all had different backgrounds and different experiences!
    Because yours was not like hers is no reason to indicate that she is somehow saying she is not black.
    Some of you folks need to stop that old not wanting to be black crap. It actually shows your disapproval with yourself and makes you appear extremely inferior.

    Be who you are and leave others alon!

  • http://gravatar.com/warrior11209 warrior11209gail jones

    Part of the problem relates to how black has been defined in the past. African Americans were the “dumping grounds” for all people who had any melanin in their skin , regardless to how little or how much. It is only in the last 20 yrs poeple are self-identifying as multi-racial. I think that old-schoolers see multi-racial as a betrayal by not seeing yourself as African American.

    It would be lovely if there were more people who did not base how they treat people on color BUT the United States and the world is NOT at that point…. yet. I wish Zoe all the luck with her perceptive.
    I for one, self-identify as an African American woman, to do otherwise would be to delude myself.

  • http://googlechrome slayer

    I agree with your statement. In my home, growing up, my parents were the same way. We knew who and what we were. We were never ashamed of being black, heck that was who we were, but in my family, we were much more than a color, we were people with ideas, dreams, and desires. Just like whites, they don’t have to identify themselves as being white, it is who they are. Yes, we have a tragic history, but at the same time, it has made us strong and yes we identify with being black, but if that is all we are, we will never succeed beyond the color.

  • http://gravatar.com/nanazowadi nanazowadi

    The term “person of color” was a polite respectful term for African American in the early ’60′s when I was growing up. as was the word “negro”. It is a fact of human nature that people will notice your appearance and speculate. If you are comfortable in your skin you don’t allow other people’s behavior to define you. However people are going to speculate.

  • New Yorker

    I am constantly being asked “What are you?” by people of all races. It’s very annoying. What difference does it make?

  • http://na Guillermo Sandovlal

    Ah! Shallow people will discriminate you by the pigmentation of your skin! Miss Saldana is right. She talks to and see “human beings” not superficial shallow weak minds. Perhaps Miss Saldana is speaking the new language that is getting around the world this days…. the language of the heart…•° °•.¸¸.••° °´¯`•♥

  • D

    I completely agree with both comments posted above, very well said. A lot of black folks are still perpetuating this stuff and acting insulted when someone who is “colored” doesn’t want to get all into discussions about defining themselves or identifying themselves in ways we have historically felt was acceptable and necessary. I think it is actually time for us to evolve on this and understand that not everybody who is brown or yellow or black, or even white, has had the same experiences, or has the same racial, social, or cultural upbringing as someone else their
    “own color”. This kind of stuff plays into what prejudice or racist people want anyway … that us people of color can be divided and thus conquered, because we are allowing these kinds of stereotypes to marginalize us and define us. Don’t get me wrong, not for one second am i saying that we don’t still need to have a collective conscious, but public displays of calling out a Zoe Saldana need to really stop. I think she was totally within her right, and appropriately refused to get into “that old tired ass discussion” every time a person of color comes into the public eye and has to “qualify” so we can feel comfortable with them. Maybe somebody else needs a “dictionary and a clue” and stop being a little closet hater !

  • Billie G.

    She does not want to be ‘limited’ by identifying strongly as only a Black person or by a label being placed on her based on her looks or skin color. Think about it, what is a Haitian or a Dominican – or even a Brazilian? Immigrants, either through slave trade or normal immigration. Are slaves or servants REALLY an inferior people? Blacks are no more inferior than any other race, and if you really watch any of those old 192x-199x movies you’ll see Black actresses and actors held at the same respect and level as any other race (although, this was not the group majority). Stop letting the ignorance of the past keep blinding the hopes of the future.

  • http://www.facebook.com/AudraMi Audra M. Akins

    I agree with her on the statement on “People of Color” it doesn’t make sense, I don’t like it, and that is all.No one can live in a world that doesn’t see difference and/or similarities. Nor a world in that Race, Racism/White Supremacy, Colonization, and a colonized mind do not exist.

    Yes, you are human Zoe and you also have ancestry, ethnicity, and race. Why are you attempting to not identify Zoe? Is it because your family has practiced Adelantar la Raza (Bettering the Race/Improving the race) by marrying light skin to light skin or European? Is it because in your Dominican heritage many of your ancestors have followed the mythology of being Indio and not Black or African? This a sad commentary and yet another reason why I will not see the Nina Simone movie. SMH Zoe SMH!!!

  • bitch please

    Exactly, you folks don’t care about black immigrants, never advocate for immigration, don’t know anything about black history OUTSIDE the US, but still expect every dark skinned person in the US to follow your lead. Think again

  • http://gravatar.com/catf1shc8jun catf1shc8jun

    So in reality, all of you (which are black no doubt) who have responded negatively about this woman Zoe just PROVE to the world that it is YOU who are the real racists out there. Quite frankly as a Caucasian, I have grown to despise the black race because of your constant hang-up with “color” and constant bashing & blaming Whites / Caucasians for every calamity that has happened on this planet! You don’t want to progress forward in a positive way with your “fellow non-black people”; you just want to B*tch and Complain about how bad “the man” has ruined your pathetic lives. If you all disappeared off the face of the earth today you truly wouldn’t be missed by many Asians, Caucasians and Countries where they have to suffer the presence of the black race; whatever percentage “black” you may be! Want to blame somebody? Do a group view of yourselves in a mirror!!!

  • http://tontonmichel.tumblr.com/ Tonton Michel

    U mad? Stay mad.

  • http://gravatar.com/catf1shc8jun catf1shc8jun

    I see your little icon picture depicts why many non-blacks can’t stand being around you.

  • http://twitter.com/eshowoman Friday Foster-ABWW (@eshowoman)

    She is Dominican, a country that has made denying their African ancestry a part of their national policy. This is her sad way of dealing with that sick neurosis.

  • http://twitter.com/eshowoman Friday Foster-ABWW (@eshowoman)

    Indians had a caste system for millenniums that divided people by occupation and color. Darker Southern Italians are look down on by Northern Italians. Iranian blacks are segregated from the larger, lighter ethnic groups in the country. You are really not making this sad denial of her heritage any better.

  • Nope

    No one cares. I bet you say the same thing over and over the web. You despise us? Boo hoo. The only time people like you like black people is when they’re saying slavery was so long ago, blacks are treated kindly, everything is post racial, blah blah blah.

  • http://twitter.com/eshowoman Friday Foster-ABWW (@eshowoman)

    This woman knows that if she still lived in the DR, her dark skin would mark her as ugly. She is delusional

  • http://gravatar.com/peanutsalive peanutsalive

    Sorry, but Zoe is right! It’s people who try to hold on to the concept of “color mattering” and color making you different that doesn’t allow racism to disappear. These people are continously trying to differentiate themselves with their “color” and prove things about other people who have that “color,” so much so that they, in their effort to do good, fail. Let people be defined by who they are and what they achieve and everyone will slowly see that good, bad, evil, kindness, love and every other thing exists in every single solitary person, regardless of their skin color.

  • http://twitter.com/eshowoman Friday Foster-ABWW (@eshowoman)

    Dominicans have are ugly, history around their African descent. Even when DNA indicates the Dominicans have a much higher African genetic contribution that Indian, they whole country denies it. It is a sick neurosis, stop trying to make it sound progressive

  • http://twitter.com/eshowoman Friday Foster-ABWW (@eshowoman)

    People of Color refers to everyone who is not white, not just black people.

  • http:tontonmichel.tumblr.com Tonton Michel

    You think thats an insult?

  • http://twitter.com/eshowoman Friday Foster-ABWW (@eshowoman)

    If she has no race then she should stop taking roles as black women. If she is going to talk this idiotic talk, she should walk the walk/

  • http://twitter.com/eshowoman Friday Foster-ABWW (@eshowoman)

    I am of Carribean ancestry, born in England and raised in London, Toronto and New York City. This routine about race and skin color do not matter outside of this country is absolute bull.

  • http://twitter.com/eshowoman Friday Foster-ABWW (@eshowoman)

    It is how they are. Denying blackness in the DR is a national policy.

  • slice

    For real—I think she’s just sick and tired of the fact that people keep questioning her blackness, simply because she’s also ID’s herself as a Latina, as if you can’t be boht—I always suggest folks watch the 2011 documentary series by Henry Louis Gates
    called BLACK IN LATIN AMERICA, a four-part series about the history of black people in Cuba,Peru,the Dominican Republic, and Haiti. I mean, I don’t know why people can’t seem to get that you can be black AND Latina/o. I mean, how long does she have to keep proving that she’s black, when it’s pretty damn obvious that she is, and she has made clear more than once that she’s proud of being a black Latina? It just shows how obsessed we are to death with race, which is no surprise consdering how it’s been literaaly banged into our heads since this country began. And honestly I don’t hear too many white folks claiming that Saldana’s better or more unique simply because she’s also Latina—those accusations seem to be coming mainly from black folks online. It’s easy forher to say that there are no “people of color” when you live in Hollywood la la land, but I seriously doubt she’s immune or blind to the realities of being a black actress in Hollywood, or just being a black woman living in this world–she’s just tired of getting that same s*** thrown at her over and over again about how she’s not black or only gets roles meant for black women–I read BS like that, and I’m like, “Uh, she IS a black woman–so how can you claim she’s taking roles from “real” black women? What kind of stupid BS is that? Seriously, I mean, what the hell?” Talk about beating a subject to death and beyond. I think some people just want to hate on her because she claims both sides of her heritage,and because she’s successful. I don’t see her as mixed anything, even though she is, she’s just a beautiful talented black women I’d like to see succeed in show biz—and she finally is, after a decade of getting there.

    Another thing—she’s not even light-skinned–I that’s another thing–I really don’t know where the hell people are getting THAT from,either—I mean,if you’re seen her in pictures,there’s NO way she could pass for anything BUT black. So some need to get out of here with that nonsense.

  • Sandra Muniz

    I totally agree I was raised the same way my best friend since kindergarten is Haitian yet to me she was my friend my sister not different . I use to work in a tourist spot in NYC and was asked constantly where I was from when I would say the upper west side they would look at me and say no really where were you born. So I Would respond Roosevelt hospital on 59th st. Most would get it . others didn’t. The point is what difference does it make I know who I am ! ENOUGH WITH THE CATEGORIES. I am proud of my ethnicity and heritage but I don’t need a tag on my chest to identify myself to everyone .

  • Rae.

    @b!tch please…
    Honey Whether or not you follow the lead of African Americans , you are in AMERICA.. AMERICA , Which was built on the backs of MY ancestors and the freedoms you so enjoy, because as an immigrant your people chose to leave their oh so “progressive” country, those freedoms you are in this country enjoying at this very second?? those freedoms were bought with the blood and bone of MY ancestors, not a haitian or an “afro-latino” or any of those groups you arrogantly prop on a pedestal, And regardless of how removed you feel you are from the mindset of an African American ..To the rest of America you are black my dear and now that you are here honey our struggle is now yours regardless of if you want it or not. so no you don’t have to “follow our lead” but you’re going to walk our path any way. welcome to your “nigga” wake up call

  • Rae.

    @saywhat
    I think the ‘backlash’ was caused by Zoe herself, if she was strong enough to stand behind how she really feels regardless of how any one felt , no one would think she was a big flip flopper! That to me is part of the issue, don’t talk out of both sides of your mouth and expect people to choke your BS down with a smile. Also we both know this is not about her being “not black enough” this is about hollywood wanting to whitewash everything and thinking we are too stupid to see the darn paint brush! Its like if Mariah Carey was cast as Assata Shakur or hell that’s almost like India Arie wanting to play Teena Marie in a movie…. Come On!!! the ish doesn’t make sense and goes against what the person being portrayed would want!!! There are sooo many beautiful dark skinned sisters that could have played this role…and it’s a shame! What’s really getting out of control is how Hollywood/White america/Zoe saldana wants to continue to piss on us and tell us its raining! IT’S NOT RAINING WAKE UP!

  • Nope

    Alrighty buddy. I’ll move back to my “native Africa” when you go back to Europe. As someone mentioned above, you’re the one mad and obsessed with us. Do you a favor? No. Get a life and bye.

  • Rae.

    “No choice but to claim her blackness..”
    There are so many things wrong with that statement.. but the most glaring failure is that it’s an assumption …an assumption that makes it sound as though she could not have actually been PROUD of her blackness, that it is not possible that she found beauty in her skin tone!. I am saddened by you and the 7 people who liked your comment furthermore, I am saddened that many don’t find it audacious and downright offensive that hollywood over looked the many talented actresses of the same hue as Nina Simone, that would have actually been able to embody the pride she had in her skin tone and the struggles she must have suffered to get to that pride, and instead chose to try and force feed us this same song and dance… this “Eliazbeth Taylor as Cleopatra” BS and try to call it progressive. Offended and saddened a little that Zoe Saldana wants to say she’s color blind in one breath and in the next that she identifies most with the black community in the same interview as though we can’t tell she is only “black” when it suits her. SMH

  • http://na Guillermo Sandoval

    When you are conscious of how incredibly beautiful you are, when you realize every morning you wake-up, that life, that this breath is coming to you for no reason, that this breath is a gift to you then judgment will stop and truly begin to understand and see the world with the eyes of gratitude…there’s a salutation I like because it clearly describes what your “experience” is when you are conscious. The salutation is ‘Namaste” If you don’t know what it means look in the dictionary or wikipedia. (Nothing to do with religion. It’s just a salutation) Anyway, the language of the heart is getting around, better learn it or you will be left behind, because the “unconscious politically correct” will be seeing as archaic, the zombie’s language… :)

  • Ivor Trewth, (pale pink).

    You odd individuals. Are you so desperate to hold on to your definition by colour that what many fight for: to *not* be defined as a colour, you will hold on to at any price?
    “We don’t want to be defined by our colour!” I hear you bleat, and yet when someone tries to achieve exactly that you must drag her down? Embrace the change, people!

  • floacist

    Wearing darker make up than your brown complexion is NOT blackface.

  • RelentlessD

    It’s sad how this blogpost’s intend is to twist an honest account of someone’s experience when being negatively questioned about the color of her skin. I guess controversy sells more, the downfall is that this gets perceived as fact and shaped as opinion. Kudos to Zoe.

  • Gina Wild

    Zoe Saldana is Black, she cannot pass for anything but Black. She has African blood in her. So do Laz Alonzo and Rosario Dawson. By the way, Rosario has travelled to Sierra Leone (an African country) advancing women’s rights in health and sexual matters.
    How many “Black” journalists that are obsessed with other people’s Blackness actually do go to Africa and visit or invest there. Some of them talk the talk but don’t walk the walk.

    We all can see it that the Afro-Latinos/as have African ancestry. It’s no rocket science. So I don’t know why these journalists keep asking her about her racial and ethnic identity. She’s always saying in Spanish Yo Soy Una Mujer Negra which means I’m a Black Woman. So, what do these “journalists” want from Zoe??? It seems as though some American journalist/pundits who happen to be Black want every Black person to follow one definiton of Black identity. Not all Black people have the same backgrounds (food, language, music, etc.). AA born to Black immigrants have some cultural aspects that are different than the average AA and they need to celebrate them. And that doesn’t mean they hate themselves or hate full-flooded AA.

    She knows she’s Black, and she’s said it several times. People should stop obsessing about race and colorism that much. She just doesn’t want race to limit the core of who/what she truly is. Damn, can we let her breath?

    What really irks me is that the same people that are critizing Zoe about her Blackness will turn around and make stupid jokes about Africans. GTFOH.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jewellthief Farringtonsmyname Jewellthief

    its apparent from her comments that Ms. Saldana has no idea of Nina Simone’s place in black history….sad….and frankly, her OPINION is neither right nor wrong, its her opinion….and for the record, Tigger Woo ceased to refer to himself as ‘african american’ when he won his first Masters green jacket….

    after that, its been all cablinasian all the time….LOL

  • northernlights

    What are you on?? I feel so sorry for you that life, as it is, makes you so unhappy. You misconstrued race with ethnicity. The color of one’s skin does not, and I repeat DOES NOT identify with one’s ethnicity. Who your ancestors were is history, and as it develops, it becomes a part of your past. If you want to carry on decimation, start with naive, narrow-minded “folks” like yourself. To somewhat quote you, “I have grown to despise the [any] race because of [their] constant hang-up with “color” and constant bashing & blaming [of people based on prejudice notions]. Xiexie ni. Gracias para su tiempo in el Internet. Merci infiniment et je te salut, madame ou monsieur, mon inconnue.

    I am fluent in 4 languages. Go figure. What would you call me?

    Oh, and I am “white”, in your eyes and I am defending everyone, because people like you are mind boggling.

  • Honey

    I agree with her 100% I hate when someone ask me where are I am from? from planet earth!

  • Astrid

    Why don’t you go back to your RACIST “destee” site? Stay THERE where there is “no hate” unless you are not black. You, STFU, dude. Old racists like you will soon drop off. 13% and GOING DOWN. So argue all you like

  • VelaS

    RAE – Pathetic and delusional. Clearly you are trapped in the 1800′s. So sorry. Latinos and other mixed race individuals (tens of millions of people strong and soon to be the OVERWHELMING MAJORITY) will decide what they will consider themselves/identify as. NOT YOU, NOT ALL OF THE AFRICAN AMERICAN COMMUNITY or ANYONE ELSE.

    Also, politically, do you honestly think white people will shove the BIGGEST EMERGING VOTING BLOCK to the black community? Unlikely. The overwhelming majority of latinos and mixed race individuals have African ancestry, if even in the smallest amounts (Eva Longoria, George Lopez, Eva Mendes, Jennifer Lopez, Juan Luis Guerra, Michelle Rodriguez, Naya Rivera, Wilmer Valderrama to name A FEW).

    How about you concern yourself with your community and stop being so bitter and resentful.

  • Melissa Ogundameji

    Exactly. I am African American, NOT Black. Those who embrace slavery will never rise. No one will care about you in your little cocoon of hate and VICTIMIZATION. This blog is silly and told from a messed up perspective. She deleted my comment which was quite long. Go ahead Zoe. I feel you. It’s freaking trite already and these haters are the reason many hate being around us.

    Zoe said: “I am a sista” because some of these haters tried to bully her into admission, as if ALL that matters is her damn skin. I’m Panamanian and of African descent. I won’t ever be “black”. It just doesn’t interest me to live like a SLAVE. Kanye West type people on one side call their friends niggas and their “beards”, bitches. On the other side you got the angry “I’m Black” crowd who profess Africa, but hate Africans. They’ll beat up an African with a brick, bat down an Ecuadorian for walking down the street with his brother, murder a Mexican in a mob-style Juneteenth brigade because they don’t know how to get a life when it comes to controlling their emotions. If Shabazz got offed in Mexico, don’t ask why. I read that guy’s tweets and noticed his stance. He was an IGNORANT “nigga”, unlike his grandparents who lived by seeking righteousness and WERE NOT AFRAID to EVOLVE.

    This thing about Zoe being black or not black was the same BS dropped on Obama and many other people who happen to be AMERICAN…… or of a mixed heritage. There is no such thing as a “race” except in your SMALL minds. If you want people to continue to disrespect you, keep using stupid terms to identify yourselves.

    I live for the day when the African Americans can be SEPARATE from the NIGGAS and ANGRY COONS who don’t know how to let their anger go.

    Bringing up Kerry Washington is just a seethingness that some of these women have for not being given the role of Nina. Mind you, AA’s WERE offered the role and they turned it down. India Arie in all her BLEACHED insecurity decided to moan and groan. So, what it means is that she and those of non U.S. African descent will NEVER be down with “blackness” unless they enslave themselves to the OLD African American way of hating/victimizing.

    I am more than my skin and the more I hear you haters hate………. the MORE I refuse to be “black”. There are some stupid Latinos who go along with the madness thinking it is giving them some “points”. But, that is silly. Latinos have a beautiful culture that predates even African Americans. You can always tell an angry AA type. They are the ones claiming other people’s cultures in a BULLYING manner (like the Olmecs who were NATIVE and NOT African). It makes them feel superior in their ignorance to make these preposterous claims. They think Latinos are just gonna fall all over it. Um, get a clue. Those folks will toss you off a building and charge you $1200 for “working so hard and playing so hard”.

    Idiots like Akon and NeYo can insult Mexican culture all they want. The pollitos are coming back to roost. Respect people or get dissed. It’s THAT simple.

  • Melissa Ogundameji

    She doesn’t want to attach herself to what YOU want her to be. she’s herself. As am I.

  • Black Beauty

    Why did he have to identify himself as African American??? The whole world knows that Tiger has black blood because he upheld his father for the world to see in everything he did when his father was alive! No son could have had more respect and showcased/praised his father than Tiger!

  • Lanie B

    Zoe is continually miscast as an unequivocally black character time after time. First as Bernie Mac’s daughter in “Guess Who,” then as Uhura, now Simone. It’s ridiculous. She can’t keep milking the roles tailor-made for black actresses, and turn around and talk about how unimportant her race is. I actually like (maybe this is turning to “liked”) her as an actress, but if she can’t be proud of her African heritage and be thankful that it allows her certain roles, she needs to just go an seek out “raceless” roles–oh wait, Hollywood? Not gonna happen…

  • Foxy

    Islam, the religion that enslaves “Negroes”. Have fun!!

  • Kimmy

    Black people are genetically/mentally inferior. Most of whaty they say is either HEARSAY (like in gossip blogs) or follow a WHITE man, like Alex Jones, in order to get the latest “conspiracy”. Your ancestors were the cream of the stupid ones caught following the bling into slave ships from West Africa.

    You don’t even have any major civilizations. I know you would LIKE to think so and, if you say otherwise, you will get mad and pull a Kanye “nigga” move, probably call your wife a “bitch”. Or maybe even scream and yell and make incredibly stupid public statements.

    Maybe you are right, my dear Dr. Watson. Your DNA is not up to date. I see why you are so mad and always stealing other people’s cultures while being so incredibly bullish. You just can’t help yourself.

  • Mel

    Whatever Zoe, for someone who never dated anyone other than White, it doesn’t surprise me…a female tom. Go ahead and get your money, I know what game you’re playing. When Star Trek and Avatar run out of sequels, and you’re of little more use to Hollywood, you’ll change your statement…maybe. It always happens that way. People renouncing race in order to appease your White audience; only to get table scraps. Kerry Washington is suspect too, waiting for her to say something stupid…maybe she’s just smarter than Zoe.

    Black and White are political terms anyway, so for her to deny it exists is to also the deny the power and origins that they carry. The term “White” was created for socioeconomic and political gain, so to say it doesn’t exist, means she voluntarily cloaks the power it has over other people.

    The fact that she did Columbiana, and it flopped, is sign of that power. Had that movie had Charlize Theron instead of her, it would’ve made 70 million.

    I know what she’s trying to get at, but America isn’t there yet, maybe in 100 years, when White people start showing up to the diversity conferences.

  • Jay

    If she means no people of color exist in Star Trek, then yes, I agree with her completely.

  • Di

    I get what Zoe is trying to say. As people, we get so hung up on race and ethnicity, that at the end of the day we forget that we are all humans.

  • http://www.facebook.com/pMFingC SilentRage Paul Cager

    crazy broad doesn’t have a clue what she is talking about !!! besides how can a dumbass like her play the great nina simone ????

  • http://www.1latham.com dennisclatham

    IF THE MOST HIGH GOD doesn’t see color – how could, when should, why would HIS CHILDREN see color ? I tell you why – because it is of satan to concentrate and focus on color. Whilst one race has made an issue of race – and of what race is inferior and what race is superior – satan has side tracked the minds of to day to concentrate more on color of skin than GOOD and evil.

    CLING TO WHAT IS GOOD and REBUKE, REFUSE and REJECT what is evil.
    PLAIN AND SIMPLE. That way you won’t get entrapped in trying so hard to help and serve those who are evil and of satan – while ignoring those who are GOOD and of GOD.

  • http://www.1latham.com dennisclatham

    EXACTLY !!! POW !!!

  • Keals

    I didn’t see anything wrong with what she said matter of fact I understand it very clearly!

  • http://gravatar.com/respondgreen respondgreen

    How can you say God doesn’t see color when he created us in different colors. He obviously sees color and enjoys it. If not we would be all the same race.

  • http://gravatar.com/mbm1ame mbm1ame

    Why are you so hung up on who she date’s?, I’ve seen this comment several time’s on several articles and most of the time its black men but yours is one of the silliest comments I’ve seen so far. Its like a spoilt child sulking and stamping his or her feet because a toy they never wanted is taken away. You see the same pattern of behaviour whenever other black women date out of their race . She’s not your property, I’m not a fan and I get the gripe about Nina Simone, and her above comment . but for goodness sake she’s a grown woman she can date whomever she likes.

  • http://gravatar.com/isobelayres isobelayres

    I don’t understand the issue with what Zoe is saying. Surely, the ideal is to be post-racial. For the whole damn thing not to matter any more. So, why are we bashing a person who sees things this way? Surely we should be encouraging this viewpoint, so that everyone, finally, gets it?

  • bitch please

    @Rae.
    it’s funny that you mention freedom, yours\ancestor and all this stuff because the battle of Savannah was won with the help of free slave from Haiti.Also,Napoleon would not have sold Louisiana if it wasn’t for the Haitian revolution.

    Having said that, I give your president

    “We’ve got no time for excuses — not because the bitter legacies of slavery and segregation have vanished entirely; they haven’t. Not because racism and discrimination no longer exist; that’s still out there. It’s just that in today’s hyper-connected, hyper-competitive world, with a billion young people from China and India and Brazil entering the global workforce alongside you, nobody is going to give you anything you haven’t earned. And whatever hardships you may experience because of your race, they pale in comparison to the hardships previous generations endured — and overcame.”

  • http://naturalabyot.wordpress.com Tricee Peacee

    I understand what she said too and it now makes perfect since about her decision to do Nina Simone in Blackface. Of course she can live with mocking the essence of what made Simone so iconic. Everything from her beautiful, natural deep tone to even her ideologies that fueled her work. How can you convince her not to do Simone in blackface if you first have to teach her about race? That’s a tough one. All you can do is hopefully watch her burn herself and learn from the backlash at the box office. And that’s based on the success of a good-ol’ boycott.

  • http://twitter.com/AmenRa1978 BlackGod (@AmenRa1978)

    she talks like a black woman raised by a white parent(s)…LOST…

  • Pingback: The Nerdpocalypse Podcast – Ep 86: Ernie Hudson the Time Traveling Assassin • The Nerdpocalypse

  • Jojo

    She sounds like she comes from a family and culture that place higher value on a persons internal characteristics over the color of her skin. I teach my son the same, but at the same time I am raising him to be knowledgeable of the history and current race relations.
    For her role as Nina Simone, she should, if not already, dig into race relations in the US.

  • Watch out for Karma

    Of the people on here trashing Zoe….

    I wonder how many at one point (probably many points) had something they said misunderstood (at best), and/or skewed/distorted (at worst) based on reader’s preconceived notions or biases?

    Oh, no of you??

    Yeah, OK.

    “Judge not lest ye be judged.”

    “People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.”

    “You will go much further in life with an ounce of grace than a truckload of judgement.”

    “Before You Assume, Learn. Before You Judge, Understand. Before You Hurt, Feel. Before You Say, Think.”

    Of all you commenters practically claiming ‘Afrocentric Excellence’…….

    I wonder what shining a bright light on your words and deeds would reveal?

    Be very careful, Karma is real. Whether you believe it or not.

  • sarah

    I don’t know who wrote this but I am assured it was written by someone of color. We are one is the only take away for me. I too am tired of being asked what I am instead of who I am.

  • Come On

    You can’t possibly be that obtuse.

    No one is telling her whom to date. Context matters, and her dating history is highly relevant to the topic. It makes perfect sense why a person that desperately avoids anyone of her color would want to deny the existence of color.

    If Zoe was truly color-agnostic, her personal life would reflect that. It doesn’t.

  • http://ogamusings.com/ OGA

    Amen Kerry! I don’t want a world of post color, I want a world of FREE color.

  • Medusa777

    I overstand what she is talking about! Too many of us are caught up on race issues! That is Not her drive and glad to hear her speak out about it! Obviously, this lady has been doing her homework on Metaphysics. If you are living in this world and caught up in the things that weigh you down such as race you are not a where that you are living in this Matrix! Race is an illusion! It is an old lie, plain and simple. Go Miss Lady! Ascend!

  • Mrs.Truth

    I started not to comment on this article. I already know I’m one of the few left.

    I respect and understand Zoe’s logic. I can see how one would become tired of being asked, “what are you”. It takes away from getting to know a person. Consciously or subconsciously, we will start judging people based on their racial identity.

    But..”People of Color” still exist. We cannot avoid it. Your identity is always seen before your talent, education, or your personality is. Society just hasn’t arrived to that level of acceptance yet. Notice when an individual is humiliated which racial heritage is aimed for (lands right on the bullseye – it never misses). Personally, I don’t think racial identity will ever be pushed to the side.

    While I don’t have the color of my skin define me – I am sincerely proud of being an AA and being a black woman. I say AA because I even like my African heritage. I say “black” woman because regardless of the negative stereotypes, I’m still proud. With saying that, I oftentimes wonder why black people just can’t say they are black and proud. It is as if that feeling should be shunned. Shamefulness is attached to it. A hush-hush rises in people’s spirit. A lack of diversity doesn’t exist in you – you just love who you are.

    I’m one that will never say “people of color” don’t exist, I just think we should all be treated the same.

    On the other hand, I can relate to this aspect of it. Just like Zoe has grown tired of being asked what she is. I’ve grown tired of people (incld our own) assuming a black person STILL can’t get the job done. This is why I say we shouldn’t allow our race define us bc it doesn’t. But we still can embrace who we are.

    Last thought: Society does allow race to define people, but I still think “The Tiger Woods of The World” are somewhat delusional when it comes to racial identity.

  • Charletta Coleman

    Hell I look like I’m white, people ask me what I’m mixed with ALL the time, it’s crazy when I tell them I’m black, both my parents are black. I can see her viewpoint in that case, but honey you are black embrace it, love it I know I do!!!

  • Anon

    Lexxie…that’s not Zoe’s father. Her biological father died when she was 9 and is a dark skin man of African descent. Try again.

  • wendy

    I don’t think she ever said that she is ashamed of her race or her blackness. But i hate when people want to impose that idea of self categorization that has come about because of slavery. Why should she have to let the colour of her skin define her, Americans are obsessed with race and placing people in a category.Growing u in my country people do not do that. WE have indians, whites and blacks and mixed kids, never do people heckle and ask what are you. It is ridiculous how that seem to be the main concern in American society. People just see others as people and that is all to it. There is no doubt that there are others who would see your skin colour first, but if many people had that type of mentality that she has, race would not be the key determinant as to the prejudgment of others of their capabilities.

  • Rahkim

    In the proverbial “Perfect World” race or ethnicity would not exist we would be merely human beings. But alas we don’t live in that Utopian universe, I understand what Ms. Saldana was attempting to convey but what she does not understand is that unfortunately race does matter even in her selection to play an the iconic character of Nyoto Uhura a woman of African origin. The fact that she does not recognize that race and racism is interwoven into the very fabric of this society bespeaks both her youth and naivete. Eventually she will experience that moment of total clarity where Hollywood, society or the prevailing power structure will snap her out of “wishful thinking world” and into the cold harsh reality of the world as it presently exists, until then sleep peacefully Zoe.

  • Rae.

    @velas
    I am neither bitter nor resentful I just find it offensive the lengths that other people of AFRICAN DESCENT will go to to separate themselves from african americans yet and still enjoy the fruits of those same slaves sacrifices …..I don’t care what Afro-latin people “consider” themselves it makes no difference to me at all however to sit here and say african americans don’t care/know about the afro-latin immigrant struggle so they shouldn’t be expected to “follow our lead” that’s ridiculous and that’s what i mean by our struggle is theirs as well! People love to sit on their high horses and count the percentage of african blood they have or how many languages they speak but perception is reality sweetie…so you can “consider” yourself a martian but when people in AMERICA see your BLACK face they will treat you accordingly that’s just what it is. and as for living in the past i would rather live in the past than be blinded by a present that only exists in your own mind…To be aware of my past is to be aware of my future…peace.

  • Rae.

    @b!tch please.
    I am soooo confused at your long and unneeded quote from the president.. I don’t use race as an excuse for anything it simply is not in me.. however to be blind is another thing entirely a struggle is a struggle no matter how insurmountable (or not) it may be I refuse to let people feed me this colorblind america crap because I have lived prejudice! I have been followed around in stores , and told by white people how articulate I am with the surprise face..or when I mention my father and white people are like I’m glad you know him! and that is why I responded to your post because the civil war was a sight bigger than one battle lead by a Haitian person and it is a battle that continues to this very day! I do not care how removed you feel from African Americans you will NOT mitigate their sacrifices while you benefit from them… that is unacceptable. Another thing is that Regardless of your background you have one thing in common with me (i assume) that has the power to make any member of the ruling majority overlook any intelligent thing you may say…your african-ness… we are african and whether thats african-american, african-latina, african-moonman we are related to me in the eyes of this country so like i said whether or not you want to be associated with the african american struggle you’re here now hon.

  • KTiy

    I know I am late, but I think she is trying to have this post-racial ideal, because she is of Hispanic descent and happens to look “black”. I live in a largely Dominican neighborhood in NYC and many hispanic women that are darker complicated really dislike being represented as black- I am not generalizing all, but I will say “many”… I believe this is the overarching theme of this “no people of color” statement.

  • Jayne pitchford

    She seems to think she’s pink?! I mean is she a zink that eats pink ink or did I miss something…and it’s great she so philosohical about race but isn’t she supposedly playing Nina Simone….Did she grow up under a rock, because she’s not even articulate. I assume a rather priviledged rock, a floating rock that has no cultural roots nor understanding. Shame on Hollywood for once again hiring a dimwit to protray a goddess.

  • Xuli

    Zoe, tu eres Dominicana! You are a Dominican girl who drank a little too much Hollywood kool aide. Race / ethnicity is not a weight. It is simply part of who we are. I am puzzled as to how someone like Zoe can take on of all people, the great Nina Simone. I can think of at least 10 people more qualified both in spirit and talent.

  • DeNial: The World’s Deepest River

    Right?!?! And we all know Jamaicans have absolutely, positively, NO problems with skin color, WHATSOEVER, right? Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight….

  • http://www.1latham.com dennisclatham

    so are you saying “”Race / ethnicity is not a weight”” to anyone ?

  • Rudi Mwongozi

    she might decide to raise her kids with a woman….well…so much for people who pursue homosexual practice and lifestyle being born that way

  • Dominicana!!

    Unfortunately, as a Dominican woman born and raised in this country, I learned that ALL Dominicans have an issue with race weather they are dark skinned or fair skinned… That is just something that has been inbred into our DNA (not sure how else to explain it)….It’s sad when I go there on vacation and I have family telling me that I’m ‘India’ and not morena…..WTF? Come to NY and you will find out just how black you are!!

  • http://sweetofstyle.wordpress.com sweetofstyle

    ummmm…I totally get what she is saying…How are people thinking she thinks she’s white? Perhaps the bigger argument may be after being told by your parents that ‘you can be anything you want to be’ is it that easy when you get into the real world.

    Anyway, nothing wrong with what she’s saying. Morgan Freeman said what to me seems like the same thing, albeit in different words…He says the only way to end racism is to stop talking about it, and he notes that there is no white history month. Freeman once said on an interview with 60 Minutes’ Mike Wallace, “I am going to stop calling you a white man and I’m going to ask you to stop calling me a black man.” However, he supported the defeated proposal to change the Mississippi state flag, which contains the Confederate battle flag.

    So being tired of the race debate doesn’t mean you don’t consider yourself to be black or love yourself. I doubt race issues will ever die, but we can start by thinking about it…voicing our opinions… etc

    I’m so puzzled as to how people are misinterpreting this…

  • I mean

    I’m so serious right now. If I see Zoe’s dry ugly smoker face one more time in the clutch newsfeed I will vomit. I am done talking about this bath salts zombie.

  • Mona

    For the record, the meaning of androgyny is: (Definition) Androgyny means….
    1: having the characteristics or nature of both male and female
    2a : neither specifically feminine nor masculine
    b : suitable to or for either sex
    Zoe Saldana is an awesome actress and played her character in the film Colombiana extremely well.
    Maybe Zoe is attaching herself to definition two because she may represent the nature of a male in some aspects of her life that people may or may not see. Remember, a perspective is subjective and is the true experience and reality of the individual, and qualitative research supports this theory. She may also consider herself neither feminine nor masculine and suitable for definition ‘b” because she may be able to wear androgynous attire during her down time. I think Zoe should continue to be who she is as long as she is not harming others or bringing an injustice to society that impacts the productive living of others in a negative manner.
    If we all could all access and utilize that compartment in the brain that allows one to feel the heart of another human being and know what is in the heart of a man or woman, we would not have certain politicians, senators, governors, mayors, policy makers, television executives, elected officials, and other people in high positions who make selfish decisions and crooked policies that impact negatively the lives of the middle class, minorities, poor, and people that are vulnerable. Why do many people with positions, wealth, power, and titles try to manipulate the public by diverting the attention away from the real issues that hurt people? Zoe is not the phenomenon that is causing America to deteriorate and suffer. I believe that Zoe and many citizens who live in America want to live to see America stand on the principles that ‘all men/women are created equally and should be afforded the same inalienable rights to obtain –though hard work– the American dream—education, good paying jobs, affordable housing, justice in our legal system, affordable healthcare, equality, and liberty in order to live in peace and harmony.
    I think also, that Zoe can be Nina and perform that role with merit; after all, who you are in life is what you choose to be. We all make mistakes, and casting a stone is not something that 100% of Americans can do as well as all people on planet Earth.

  • Ashley W

    But who created the social construct. Not Black people!!!!

  • david

    She said nothing wrong, race is not a factor to me being from the caribean, because most of us come from many different ethnic backgrounds, in fact I would have to claim a few different races if I were to have to choose one it would be impossible. I am who I am because of the decisions I have made in life not because of race. I agree with her.

  • http://gravatar.com/thevirtualnationofafricanamericans Ken Kojei

    She is absolutely right. It doesn’t matter even that you have her wonderful complexion. You can be as dark as I am and that idiotic question still pops out of heads that seems to carry a functioning brain. Only in my case it’s because what you see, a tall dark skinned African American, or so you presume, is not what your experience is when you engage a conversation. Of course it is and isn’t, since like most people I have multiple “ethnicities to account for being the physical me, yet, no version of the “black man” YOU know presents itself to the encounter. Nor is any one of the typical postures expected of that “black man” presented for engagement. The fun part is, with a blink, I could present multiple versions for your edification, none which are anything but what you expected and certainly not me. This trips people up. The real question is why have you not become what we expect from you people? How do you dare to bright, talented and wonderful, masterful and accomplished outside the ethnic options we typically expect? Why didn’t the system break YOU down, make you surly, servile, bitter, greedy, violent, bombastic and otherwise sub-standard, meaning imminently manageable to simple minds? Well, dig!!!! The answer to that question is: You don’t have that kind of power!!!!!!

  • http://gravatar.com/thevirtualnationofafricanamericans Ken Kojei

    Black people have to leave the past behind to stop living the past. This is true of all people. We cannot create a wonderful new world where race and color have no bearing on who we are inside, if we keep holding on to the history. What is happening here is that entire culture has been derived, not from personal experiences of enslavement, which no modern African Americans have experienced, at least not the abject, down in the hold slavery our ancestors experienced but from the stories told about it. That’s like going out in the street and killing somebody because your mother had a bad dream about them. These useless acts of powerlessness rob us of power where we need it the most. Thoughts are things. Talk is energy. It’s time to change the conversation. We live in a society where a good 50% of us can barely speak the one language we do know well enough to get any job other than Burger King, where-especially in heavily black populated towns like ATL the dropout rate among young black males is 50% and sometimes more.

    We have had these same inane conversations regarding the color of somebody’s skin, the same idiotic reactions over and over and over again, yet when we have NO meaningful conversations and most definitely no action about establishing sexual responsibility in our communities as the key to stopping AIDS and one parent households, both of which are destroying us as a people. Zoe has an effective and obviously successful method for dealing with the reality. She dismisses not the reality, but the idea that it should cause her to adopt the behaviors most people do, confronted with that reality. She refuses to let it determine who SHE is. Every single successful ANYBODY, whether from the white slums or London or South Africa or the black slums of Rio will tell you, you have to make the same choice. Refuse To Let Race Be An Issue!!!! Like most cowardly ideas or persons the matter slinks away into oblivion and you live happily.

  • Jalili.

    Great point!

  • http://www.facebook.com/bruce.bellamy Bruce Bellamy

    Dear Ken,
    I truly wish it was so easy for African Americans to just “get over slavery”. The stains of 300 years of psychological sabatage won’t dissapear overnight. The legacy of hoplessness, lack of a family structure still lingers in our community. That these black people are not “quite human” and less than a whole person has been drummed into our community from outside and from within. Try getting a group of Black people to work as hard for a black business owner or supervisor as they will for a white one. These mentalities cannot be defeated unitl we first acknowledge them.

    I still hear African American mocking each other for being too articulate or ambitious and when they lead a sucesful life they are accused of” tryna be white”. There are also factors outside of our cummunity that have influence on our progress. No one can dictate anothers prejudices and there are still people that have a preconcieved notion about you based upon what they think they know about others in your ethnic group. So not only should Blacks “Get over Slavery” everyone else has to release thier prejudices also.

    We will make progress when we make education a priority:

    “The true purpose of education is to make minds, not careers” Chris Hedges.

  • http://gravatar.com/thevirtualnationofafricanamericans Ken Kojei

    @Bruce: Here is the method that delivers you right to your freedom. Young Zoe knows this. 1. It takes two to make a slave. 2. Slave in body is captivity, slave in mind and body is true slavery. If you absolutely refuse to relinquish your right to freedom, to who you are, until your dying day, you have not been a slave even though you may have been a captive for a time. 3. When we refuse, despite all evidence to the contrary, to accept that we are free to be whatever we choose to be and dig into life with powerful definitions of ourselves based, not on imitating what our parents imitated of language, behavior, collective wisdom from ages long gone, how can we not be slaves in mind if not in flesh? And if the mind is enslaved, the flesh also is enslaved, long after the chains are gone. 4. Accepting and perpetuating your captor’s idea of who you are is mental illness as much as his is mental illness for criminally insane acts. The story matters. So what happens if we change the story. Easy enough. Let’s try it.

    White people from Europe went to Africa and directly kidnapped or caused to be kidnapped millions of Africans. These Africans were held captive and forced to work until they died.

    If you accept the captor’s story, yep-you were a slave. But if you tell your own story, unless you accepted and agreed to be a slave you were no such thing. You were a kidnap victim and the person or persons who did this to you and/or your family were and are criminals.

    Based on their own law they are criminals and anybody perpetuating what they did are aiding and abetting multiplicities of crimes. Which makes their court system, based on and sustaining criminal acts by multiple parties, invalid and of no jurisdiction over you, a free human being who never agreed to participate in his own enslavement. It also makes the name they gave you, of no consequence. It’s not your name. Until you consciously select one for yourself, you are in fact still buying into and perpetuating that story. The story of you as a slave.

    Here is the kicker, until you change the story, [doesn't matter if the criminal does or not], you are exactly what he says you are, in YOUR mind. Anybody looking from the outside may know it doesn’t have to be that way, but to you two crazy people, that is the way it is. So YOU have to

    a. Recognize the insanity of both of you in this mess
    b. Immediately stop telling his story about who you are [Say he's dragging you by the chain where he wants you to go. A person comes up and asks you what's going on. He says you are his slave. Do you agree? Or do you say "help, this crazy man kidnapped me and is holding me captive?"]
    c. Start telling your own story about who you are. The same with your kids. Stop telling them their ancestors were slaves. Tell them they were victims of kidnap and a host of other crimes, including, theft of services, rape, torture, false imprisonment, and much more. Just changing the narrative, the story frees your mind so your arse will follow.

  • Ash

    I don’t think what she said is so shocking or ignorant. I love Clutch but all these articles about Zoe seem to be extremely nit-picky with everything that comes out her mouth. It feels like yall will always be mad about the Nina Simone casting.

  • http://gravatar.com/thevirtualnationofafricanamericans Ken Kojei

    Yeah Yawl!!! Leave Zoe Alone!!!! Haters!!!!

  • Fheryl

    Love It Love It Love It!! THANK YOU!

  • http://gravatar.com/thevirtualnationofafricanamericans Ken Kojei

    @Mrs. Truth: It’s not the Tiger Woods or Zoe Saldanas or Ken Kojeis of the world who are delusional. First of all it is this warped, corrupt society built on the blood and bones of millions of murder victims that is delusional. Second it is the people who buy into the lies and live according to the lies who are delusional. Why are Tiger and Zoe, because one of their parents of African descent, burdened not with that wonderful ancestry but with the attitudes of society, so much so that every moment they must fend off the putrid attitudes of people whose intellects, despite what seems to be even brilliance sometimes, is truly in arrested states of development?

    Why is it that despite the fact that millions of Japanese were also enslaved and sent to Brazil and other parts of South America, Tiger derives no stigma from his Japanese ancestry but does from his African ancestry? My answer to that is simple. As long as Africans of the American diaspora ACCEPT and ASSIST the perpetuation of the lies told about us by the CRIMINALS who tell those lies, our African ancestry will continue to take the hit. It is we who must challenge “His-Story” and tell Our-Story !!! Not once in a while but every time. We have to strip HIS narrative of all euphemisms, all sugar-coating, all verbal spin and show it in the brightest light possible of truth. That along with every single attitude derived from that false narrative. All of it.

  • http://livefromthematrix.wordpress.com TAE

    Even though I take deep issue with her representing Nina Simone, which goes far deeper than her having no resemblance to Nina whatsoever, I can feel what she’s saying here. I am an “African-American” woman currently in graduate school for Visual and Critical Studies. This program requires that we read a lot of critical race theory. I say this because the author of this article seems to think that if one were to enroll in an academic course and study critical race theory, one would come out of it with an opinion that would be opposite to what Saldana says here. I too take issue with the term “people of color” and I live in the Bay area so that word flies frequently.

    “People of Color” are essentially anyone who is black, brown, yellow, red, or has any of the characteristics besides complexion of skin that would mark them as “ethnic”. So someone who is the opposite of a “person of color” i.e. white people is a person of no color. As Saldana says “To me there is no such thing as people of color, cause in reality people aren’t white. Paper is white. People are pink…..” That’s real talk all day and you may not agree with her stance but that’s critical race theory all day too. Perhaps she wasn’t as eloquent as she could’ve been but the idea behind what she’s saying is truly profound.

    “People of Color” as a group, the way is is popularly theorized, is faulty because we are all people of color, white folks included. As she stated nobody is “white”. Nobody is “black” either for that matter, we are brown, beige, sienna, peach and so on and so forth. The term “People of Color”, the way it is currently used, is exclusionary and if we keep going that route, a racial tensions will definitely increase. I thought that’s what we were trying to avoid?

  • http://gravatar.com/thevirtualnationofafricanamericans Ken Kojei

    Well, I’m curious as to what this “critical race theory” course would have to offer anybody even reasonably sane or thoughtful. It’s smacks of redundancy to me. Once again, who is dictating THE NARRATIVE about race? That is the ALL IMPORTANT question. Who writes that course material? What is the basis of their presumed authority? Have they BEEN African of any regional flavor? Have they been Latino of their many flavors? One of the thousand varieties of Asian? What makes them the go-to person or persons when most likely they have a life experience that precludes them being an authority on anybody’s race except their own and probably not even that. Where does RACE begin? Where does it end? Why is it that only humans have races within their species? Is race anything except a figment of somebody’s narrative when it’s necessary to cover up the truth? That all men are of ONE species and that there truly ARE no races? Only shades of difference that don’t apply? Just between you and me it has all the trappings of that other ugly word…Eugenics!!!!

  • Shell

    Thank you thank you THANK YOU!!!! I was reading through the comments waiting for someone who gets it! America America America…smh at you. I am black. Born and raised in the Caribbean. Being black in the Caribbean has a totally different meaning than being black in America. I knew I was black but that wasn’t my identity. I was/am Trinidadian/West Indian. I hate checking off “black” on applications. What does that mean? What does that entail? Am I denying my race or don’t want to identify with black people? No. I just prefer not to identify with America’s meaning of black. She probably was just as frustrated with the topic as I am. When people (usually black) ask me “what am I” or what am I mixed with. Its easy to become frustrated and say “you know what, I’m just a person. I am a college graduate, a child of God, a Trinidadian, a sister, a daughter, a friend…” Because when I identify myself with the American version of blackness, it puts me in this prison and gives me a load that I don’t have to carry…bitterness, hatred, victim, dependency, criminal etc You don’t check off race in Trinidad and there are many races in Trinidad. Its not the highlight of a person as it is here in America. I know it was a shock for me when I came here. As a matter of fact, my first encounters with racism came from black people…the self hatred and anger was so shocking! White people never teased me for my skin complexion. It was black people. White people never had an issue with my natural hair. It was black people. I understand that white people at some point created these ideas but honestly, black Americans just continue to run with it and I feel like there is always a NEED to celebrate being black and highlight a black successful person or a television channel specifically for black people but self hatred still lurks beneath the surface of it all. That’s the thing I can’t get with…

  • p.s

    She was born in the U.S, and moved to Dominican republic when she was ten. Came back to the states when she was17.

  • http://www.facebook.com/shenisemcknight Shenise J. McKnight

    B.S. Zoe defines her race and ethnicity when convenient to promoting a particular movie. She defines and acknowledges it when Latina Magazine offers her the cover story and 10 page spread. I get she is tired of the criticism and backlash she is receiving from the Nina Simone story however to ignore the racial barriers that Nina had to overcome and to also ignore the barriers that women of color in the industry have to overcome is preposterous! Kudos to her for kicking down a lot of those barriers herself and it’s a nice sentiment that she was raised on that ” color doesn’t exist instead people do” however, that’s not reality.

  • http://gravatar.com/thevirtualnationofafricanamericans Ken Kojei

    @Shenise: You are still missing her message, which I agree with and practice entirely. It’s all in your head. If you have a race problem, it originates in your own mind. There is something magical that happens when you completely eradicate those thoughts from your mindset. People stop treating you as if your race matters, because YOU stop treating you as if your race matters. This allows you to focus on your own excellence at whatever it is you do. When that happens you become a Tiger Wood or a LeBron James or a Zoe Saldana or an Oprah Winfrey. You excel.

    Does that mean that racism doesn’t exist? Of course not. But it exists in the minds of those people to whom race matters. What’s powerful about it is this: As many redneck white boys as would love string up a brother because they hate him for his race, when Monday night football comes on, those same rednecks love black men. Will fight you about them. What is that???? As many of those same folks as would beat a brother down because he is black, the very instant he ignores that BS and stands as a man, without fear and offers them their own humanity because he is claiming his, a significant number of those same men will accord him respect and even deep and lasting friendship. It’s all in the mind. When it stops being a factor in YOUR mind, it stops being a factor in many other minds. It stop being a factor, a negative factor affecting your success.

  • frenchie

    I just watched the interview (which subject was the new Star Trek movie btw) and the 1st question asked to Zoe was:

    ****being black and latina do you ever feel that you have to explain or codeswitch–depending on whoever you’re speaking with–in between the 2 different cultures?***

    And then Zoe answered ” no, if anything I find it uncomfortable…”

    And honestly I don’t see anything wrong with her answer as an answer to THAT question.

    Then the interviewer asked her:

    ***you’re sort of as the forefront now especially in hollywood where there is more and more diversity especially you see it in star trek. Do you think that you’re questionned or boxed more along that necklines now?***

    She answered ” no, no let me tell you something I literally run away…”

    Once again I don’t see what’s wrong with her answer. What she says, is basically what a lot of black actors/actresses have said: they don’t wanna play black roles, they just wanna have colorblind roles.

    As for the “no people of color” comment it’s her point of view. I personally use the “white/black” code but to each their own.

    I just wished the so called “author” of this article would have been more professional and would have given us the ENTIRE TRANSCRIPT of the interview and not what SHE found interesting.

    Now I do agree with her when she says: “You can’t portray Nina Simone without realizing how intricately race was intertwined with her life and career.”

    Yet this interview had NOTHING to do with the biopic and nobody said that Zoe did not understand “how intricately race was intertwined with [Nina's] life and career.”

    The questions were personal and she answered from her personal point of view. Similarly, Keri Washington’s comment is personal. That’s her point of view.

    Finallly just a comment about her “race”. She’s bi-racial (black Dominican dad, white puerto rican mother) with an hispanic background, hence the “latina”. Latino/a has nothing to do with your “race”.

    There are black/white/asian “latinos”.

  • frenchie

    She doesn’t deny anything, she’s just saying that she can’t wait for these barriers to disappear.

    “I literally run away from people that use words like ethnic.”

    She is “latina” because she has an hispanic background. Being latina has NOTHING to do with your skin color.

    She is black or biracial because her dad is black and her mom is white.

    Therefore she can be on the cover of “Latina Magazine” AND “Jet Magazine” if she wants to.

    If you actuallly WATCH the interview, they asked her if she thought she was basically in the “minority actors” box/category ans she said that she doesn’t wanna be seen as black/latina but as a competent actress as much as Charlize Theron is called for roles because she is an actress and not because of her skin color UNLESS they’re making a biopic of a famous white person and of course they’ll call her rather than Zoe or Keri for example.

  • http://ideasjamaican.wordpress.com ideasjamaican

    I think I understand what Zoe Saldana was trying to say in this article. I do not criticize Black Americans for feeling the way they do about race but they need to understand that black persons who were born in other countries and had different experiences are not likely to feel exactly the same way. This is not to say that blacks born outside of the US have escaped the vagaries of racism but how we have dealt with it will differ greatly. If President Obama had carried the “baggage” of those who went before him in the Civil Rights movement, he would never have been able to win the Presidency. That is not to diminish the work of those who went before but to acknowledge that they made progress and that those who are around now must take the baton at the point that it was handed to them and not keep looking for the baton at the starting point.

  • http://www.change.org/petitions/boycott-the-nina-simone-movie chocolateoptions

    for those who are fed up with hollywood’s demeaning portrayal of Nina Simone, meet us in here. our dollars = our power!
    http://www.change.org/petitions/boycott-the-nina-simone-movie

  • EqualOpportunity

    Well said. I completely agree with you.. I understood exactly where she was coming from and am also the same way. Racism exists, but dwelling and looking for it does nothing but hurt you in the end. It stops you from accomplishing more than you believe you can. You have a destiny other than what you think society believes you have.

  • http://gravatar.com/thevirtualnationofafricanamericans Ken Kojei

    @whatIthink: Man that is sooooo untrue it scares me to think you’re walking around so mentally vulnerable it’s like brain damage. White slavers may have started the system of color grading during slavery but I promise you it was heartily embraced by the people affected by it, even if they couldn’t help it. The social and work status of mulattoes and mulattas were markedly different than those of dark skinned captives, viewed as slaves by the criminals who perpetrated this crime. The fact that skin color would determine whether your work load was heavy or light, inside domestic or outside field caused envy, jealousy and hatred among the captive population, guaranteeing they would never successfully unite. Think the problem ended with slavery? Hell no!!!. The very fact that 10,000 people here have that same disease and are expressing it with a boycott speaks volumes does it not??? Yet nobody would think they are being black racists. Well, YOU ARE JUST THAT!!! BLACK RACISTS!!! And considering that lots of people died to end the madness, people I knew personally, you all shame your ancestors. Zoe Saldana had nothing to do with the lot cast for her life, so that she is both Latina and black by definitions of a sick society. The abuse being heaped on her caused many people in earlier times to take their own lives. Fortunately for her, she is much stronger than that. Maybe some of the social bullying will stop once you all see it for what it is.

  • http://gravatar.com/thevirtualnationofafricanamericans Ken Kojei

    @”BlackGod” So what’s that supposed to mean? Being articulate in your primary-and for most AAs-only language is somehow something negative? Because she doesn’t talk like a “black person” in your opinion? And the way lots of black people talk is somehow alright because you are to mentally lazy to do anything but imitate what you here in the hood? That’s entirely bass ackward twisted. I am blacker than you by far in skin tone. I wasn’t raised by white parents, nor are most people in my family articulate in speech. I am!!! That is because it matters to me to be exact in what I do. Does that make ME lost? Does that nullify the years I spent working in public advocacy for issues like homelessness, advocacy law, family law for battered women? How does being articulate make her less and you more??? Just what ARE you saying!!! Check the negativity in that statement!!! If you can’t or WON’T speak the ONLY language you were born into with articulation, just WTF good are you? And you’d wonder why you can’t get a job in corporate America???Please!!!! That statement is shameful. You should disown it!!! Take it back!!! If not then just write yourself off. You REALLY don’t get it!!! Never will!!!! Sad!!!

  • http://gravatar.com/thevirtualnationofafricanamericans Ken Kojei

    @Audra: Saldana never attempted not to identify. She identifies as both and rightfully should. What you ask of her is the psychology of people, never born into slavery who have nevertheless taken up a false reality as theirs, using it as an excuse for their failings. And what you offer her is so textbook African American loser it’s comical. African American winners understand EXACTLY what she’s saying and what she means. Explaining it a million times won’t help you and others who think like this because you have already had your minds compromised by exactly what the racists wanted to accomplish. YOU!!! Holding yourself in sooooo little esteem that you’ve created a whole culture around that sadness, that depression, from which you can never escape. It’s a very subtle but extremely powerful negative paradigm.

  • http://gravatar.com/thevirtualnationofafricanamericans Ken Kojei

    @FF-ABWW: You are right about the caste system of India, however, this system was imposed by outsiders. As usual, the Greeks, the Romans, the Portuguese, The Mughals, Muslims, then the British all contributed to putting the dark skinned people who originally built those great civilizations under their heels via conquest. But you’re wrong about Saldana denying her heritage. So read again. She claims both Latin and African heritage. The problem here is as somebody said in another response, that “black is more than a color”. That is true but not in a good way. What the writer meant was that black defined a culture, the culture of African Americans. All these politically correct descriptions, black, African American, People of Color are attempts to deal with the
    stripped identities the descendants of slaves experience on a day to day basis. Black is not a culture!!! It’s a reaction. It is cultured anger, resentment and helplessness in the face of the fact that what was taken from the descendants of slaves were their true culture, their family names, their ancestral lands, their genealogy. The cure for this is available. But first the anger and resentment must be discarded. That is what first destroys African Americans.

  • http://www.facebook.com/angela.engram Angela Jackson Engram

    I respect Zoe’s opinion but to say there is no such thing as people of color is ludicrous and I am not going to demean myself or all the other people of color by tying to rationalize it. What I know for sure is that one day we all have to face the truth and she will too.

  • http://gravatar.com/thevirtualnationofafricanamericans Ken Kojei

    African Americans, People of color and other “descriptions, are the politically correct phrases we use to avoid the ugly words applied to us by people who hate. They are no more valid than the use of the negative, stereotypical words but I noticed something over time: Even those black bourgeoisie, policitically balanced phrases were, by and large, evidence that ex-captive Africans in America allowed the “master” criminals to dictate reality for them. They became what those idiots said they were instead of claiming themselves. You are caught in that paradigm and will be as long as you don’t get what she meant when she said it. I know, and so do others here. Zoe Saldana claims herself. Owns herself. She is not bound by anybody’s definition of who she is. From that basis she can be, do and have whatever she pleases while people who think they’re slaves because their great-grandparents were called slaves are simply stick on stupid. You are not bound by anybody’s definition of who you are. If you allow them to define you, you will forever be emotional, mental and spiritual slaves. Time to wake up!!!

  • http://www.contentmarketinggeek.com Kiesha Joseph

    It’s amazing how many people think the term refers to African Americans. The term “people of color” came about because there are now way more non-whites in the US than whites. In other words, the non-whites are no longer the “minority.” So, the term is not limited to African Americans. It includes any and all races that were once referred to in the US as minorities.

  • http://www.facebook.com/angela.engram Angela Jackson Engram

    Well wake up and look around and let’s deal with the reality of the situation. First, let me espouse that I totally understand what Zoe was trying to articulate. Also It is quite obvious that she is not bound by anybody’s definition of who she is; that fact came across loud and clear. However, the problem for me is that we ARE people of color and that’s how GOD made us. When I look around this world I see people of all different shades and hues and I am NOT hating or allowing some “master” to dictate my reality; it is what it is. I agree to get caught up with descriptions and “politically correct” phrases is trivial and petty but it’s the reality of the world we live in. If the problem is the “descriptions” as you put it; such as African
    Americans, People of Color, etc; then accurately state the problem and deal with that. I can’t take Zoe or you seriously if you agree that there are not people of color. I understand that you despise “descriptions” or labels given to black people, however the truth of the matter is that this world is made of all shades and hues (colors) of beautiful people who as you stated can be, can do and have whatever they please. I know for sure I am not caught up in some slave mentality. I refuse to let you as well define me. I also know I am not bound by anybody’s definition of who I am as a result of my skin color, but I do realize it’s brown. There are many who came before you and I such as Fredrick Douglas, Martin Luther King, Malcom X, etc. who fought and laid down their lives to try to bring education,tolerance and acceptance to our differences and now you want to say they don’t exist….Wow. For the record, I will never agree that excepting the TRUTH will ever make me or anyone else emotional, mental and a spiritual slave. Rather empowered to go forth in his world armed with the knowledge to bring about change. I respect your opinion and respectfully dsiagree with it. Check my blog out on colorism if you are interested in continuing this conversation about color. skindeep2.com

  • http://www.facebook.com/angela.engram Angela Jackson Engram

    Exactly…It is not reality!

  • http://gravatar.com/thevirtualnationofafricanamericans Ken Kojei

    I promise you. I lived it, I was there. There was absolutely no thought of anybody but African Americans involved with the concept of people of color. That’s just it. All of this talk has its roots in a certain reverse narcissism black people have about being black. As if there was some problem for they themselves about it. If being black is not a problem for you what do you care if somebody else has a problem with your race. If their problem with your race keeps you from playing in their game, create your own. Put simply, there are millions of excuses…I’ll say it again…excuses for failure no matter what your race but when African Americans use slavery hundreds of years ago as the constant moan and race as the reason we should be shown special attention it is all wrong headed. It’s using that big black chip on your shoulder to bully people into that sad state of consciousness. Personally, I don’t buy it. Never will!

  • http://gravatar.com/thevirtualnationofafricanamericans Ken Kojei

    @angela: As quickly as you say color is not important in defining who you are, you turn right around and tell me you have a blog about color. Please! I call that a serious hang up. Considering their are literally hundreds of thousands of topics to apply your intellect to, you chose color???? Now is it starting to dawn on you what a mndfck has been done to you? Do you perhaps see why people like me brush that crap aside and just do exactly as we please in life, irrespective of other peoples’ psychoses? Black racists and white racists need each other because neither wants to take responsibility for living and being who they are. Kill the dynamic by changing the narrative. The story you keep telling is what is keeping your world exactly the same way you DON’T want it. I have fabulous relationships with people of ALL races. Warm, lovely and loving relations. Across language barriers. In my world, race just never comes up. “People of color don’t exist.”

  • cheeky

    @sweetofstyle

    Sorry, but racism has NEVER gone away by just “talking” about it–that is just the most naive and ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard, because that’s not how the world works. I wish that were the case. Let’s be real—-we can make race less of an issue for our- selves as black people, but the reality is, as long as white people feel the need to make race an issue FOR us, like they always have since this country started with them bringing us here in chains–it will ALWAYS be made an issue for us, regardless of how we feel about it. Also, you have to remember that celebrities/actors live in a different world than the rest of us,so it’s all to easy for them to say “get over this or that” when it comes to race, Hell,this whole country has NEVER gotten over race to begin with—look at all the hate Obama was getting after he merely SAID he was going to run for President–and that’s BEFORE he was even President! And he’s STILL getting the hate!

    BTW, White History is pretty much ALL year around, since history has ALWAYS been dominated by a white viewpoint until recently. That’s the only reason there is not only a Black History month, there’s a Hispanic History Month, an Asian-American History month, a Women’s History month, and a Black Music month (June.) White folks got the rest of the whole damn year to themselves, so it ain’t taking jack from them at all. Read up on the history of Black History Month. and that will help you understand why it’s so important to keep. Check out the documentary “More Than A Month” which is about BHM too.

  • cheeky

    @Kojai

    Thank you! But the onus shouldn’t be on just US to change the dialogue and attitudes around race–white folks have to step up and start doing that too (a good number of them already have in the form of anti-racism.)

  • cheeky

    @Silent Rage

    Why is she dumb simply because she said she’s tired of the whole race issue? She’s sick and damn tired of being asked about it, as if that’s the only thing she is—as if she has nothing to offer beyond that. And she’s playing Simone because’s she’s a big name, nothing else. Now can people just wait and see what the movie in like WHEN it comes, and stop whining and complaining because she got the role? She got it, end of story–now let’s see what she does with it.

  • http://sweetofstyle.wordpress.com sweetofstyle

    If you read carefully, you would see where even though Freeman made that statement he went ahead and ‘supported the defeated proposal to change the Mississippi state flag, which contains the Confederate battle flag’. So it’s not just about talking or not talking.

    So just like Whites celebrate their lives, history and achievements daily throughout the year, what’s stopping us from doing that?! Do you pay more attention to your heritage during BHM? If you do, whose fault is that?!!

    Like I said, I don’t see anything wrong with what she said. Searching back for this post, I came across two good responses from ‘ideasjamaican’ and another close to the end which also mentions Obama.

    You should read those for more perspective. However, I suppose you won’t change your mind in which case, we’ll have to agree to disagree.

  • cheeky

    I did read that part in your post where you mentioned Freeman voting to get rid of the flag—I should have said I’d seen that already. I celebrate my blackness all year around–Black History month is just icing on the cake for me. The reality is,though, it was was barely just over 40 years ago that black history as a whole was even allowed into schools and colleges as a part of history worth studying (that was only because white folks never thought it was worth studying, because it wasn’t about them.) Plus,let’s face it—most of the time in the media you only hear about the negative things black folks do, as opposed to the positive things we do. We need Black History Month to remind this country that without us, America would NOT be the great country it is today—period. White folks need to be reminded of that, because they’re always hogging all the damn credit for all that, as if they were the only people who made America into what it is.

  • Amina king

    I completely understand where Zoe Saldana is coming from because when someone acts a certain way or does something a certain way then people judge you or come up with an assumption bringing your race into the subject . For example if I fail tremendously in school and I have a bad attitude people view me as a black person,so they think oh he’s black or she’s black most of them do that.But then they don’t really focus into their true background,because they can be 25% white and so your telling me that 75% of him or her acts this way because they’re black.While it is a chance that he or she will graduate at the top of his or her class because they’re 25% white.

  • Jean Pierre

    Wait Zoe says there is not White and that Paper is White and says People are Pink but it seems like she only dates & has relationships with White men so she obviously loves white. You never see her dating or in a relationship with a Pink Black man.

    Also there was a rumor about her love interest in moves were to be only White men. If you look at her history most were white. Ashton Kusher, Bradley Cooper, Star TreK, and Pirates of the Caribbean Johnny Deep.

  • Ken Kojei

    So why is it you are “projecting” yourself into who she chooses to date? It’s her life. This is a poison in our global society that needs to be flushed out. People walking down the street happy together, in love and feeling good and whether secretly or overtly some asinine busybody, or dozens of them at a time must spew evil thought AND emotional energy in their direction because they think they have a right to force their ideas of what and or whom is appropriate for others when it comes to who they love or date. It doesn’t matter whether it is a parent or peer, friend or employer, IT’S WRONG!!! IT’S ALWAYS WRONG!!! Do you understand this? Now! Either you accept that living in a free society means exactly that or you not a bit better than the heartless criminal who kills his daughter and has the nerve to call it an “honor killing” because she married outside of her race or religion. Funny how those people never kill their sons for “honor”.

  • http://www.contentmarketinggeek.com Kiesha Joseph

    I agree with @Ken. I don’t think who she chooses to date is in anyway related to this article. There are numerous Women of Color who are very proud to be African American, but feel for a non-black, so to speak. Do NOT judge this woman based on the color of the skin of the men she dates. @Jean, I hope you truly understand that what you’ve written here is 100% prejudice. If you try to say it’s not, then that makes you a 100% bigot.

  • Hunter.

    Wow. Ultimately, I disagree with Zoe.

    And although, yes we are all human and yes it is hard to be labeled and a lot of people do not like being labeled by race.

    HOWEVER, it is not something that can be ignored, nor is it something that should be erased. We are people of color and yes it is just a term, but it is a term to encompass those of us who fit into the diaspora of non-european ideals and who are oppressed by the white privileged Western culture. Saying there is not a problem does not get rid of the problem. You don’t say “I don’t have cancer” because you don’t want to recognize its place in your life and hope it goes away. You can not deny that people of color (non white people) are treated differently BECAUSE of their color. It was not us who came up with this separation in the first place, and although yes, it is hurtful it is silly, it is rude and ugly…there is still institutions in which non whites are treated specific ways that white are not. Just like there are ways that women are discriminated against because we are not men.

    Calling it a ‘free society’ a ‘post racial’ society is getting rid of all the work that individuals did for equality and it is also erasing all the culture and history of those people. Yes we are all, ultimately, human, but there is NO denying that there is separation due to racial ethics in Western culture.

    To quote you Ken “All of this talk has its roots in a certain reverse narcissism black people have about being black. As if there was some problem for they themselves about it. If being black is not a problem for you what do you care if somebody else has a problem with your race. If their problem with your race keeps you from playing in their game, create your own. Put simply, there are millions of excuses…I’ll say it again…excuses for failure no matter what your race but when African Americans use slavery hundreds of years ago as the constant moan and race as the reason we should be shown special attention it is all wrong headed. It’s using that big black chip on your shoulder to bully people into that sad state of consciousness.”

    Yes there is an anti-blackness agenda that reaches into every sector of racial discrimination. I do not have a problem with being black, just as I do not have a problem with being latina. The problem comes in is when someone else has a problem with my race and identifies and treats me differently because I AM part of those cultures because my skin is brown and because my hair is curly. A person of color, can not simply “create” their own game with the game has been rigged to only allow a certain type of person to “win” (ie: whites). Slavery was an issue yes, and no it should not be used as a crutch but it is also a valid part of our history and a huge starter to the anti-black system that is in place right now. No one is bullying anyone into a “sad state of consciousness” by bringing up slavery, and bringing up discriminations, and ultimately, there is discrimination of all people of color not just blacks. So, to single out black’s in this conversation is problematic because it is non inclusive of all the other people of color who have their own histories that affect them in similar respects. It is also problematic of you to attempt erasure of a MAJORITY of Minority lives by making that statement.

  • Ken Kojei

    It takes complicity of both “master” and “slave” to create the relationship. If you have the staunch resolve not to be a slave you will find a way not to be even if it is simply [and most importantly by the way] just to deny the master criminal’s story and tell it like it is. You were kidnapped and this criminal is holding you against your will. To accept that you are a slave is the most cowardly thing you could do and actually makes you an enabler. Likewise, there are hundreds of thousands of known examples of black people who get that they create their own reality, who create successful lives within and without the system. What people think of you and how they treat you begins in spirit long before any overt action takes place. Case in point: On the night George Zimmerman was acquitted of murdering Trayvon Martin, I was accosted by the police for no reason except I was black and walking across the street. The cop lied and said they had a report of someone matching my description prowling in the alley, which was pure BS. He searched me, ran a check on me and finding no felonies and no warrants, had to let me go. I was well dressed, dignified, cordial and conducted a conversation with him while he did his thing. A pleasant conversation that ultimately did something very important to that encounter. It changed the balance of power. The power was mine. I was in control of the encounter by my attitude about it. I knew and he knew who worked for whom. Why because I claimed my personhood. Because I refused to become his victim. That is what is required of all of us. Refusing to be a victim changes the narrative entirely. It didn’t then and doesn’t now matter what he did. It only mattered what I thought, did and was as a person. Quite profoundly, it is impossible to enslave a man or woman who is your equal. Get it?

  • http://www.contentmarketinggeek.com Kiesha Joseph

    I am a true woman of color with a lot of pride and dignity. Why? Simply because I know who I am, what I stand for, and how to conduct myself so that others have no choice but to respect me as well. However, @Ken, I would like to point out that your deep, meaningful speech should be relatable to just about anyone who wants to be the master of his/her own destiny.

    I love that these profound words came from a “brother.” But, as a woman, I would like to see all women, no matter what color, take heed to your words. I may be “black”, and I’m definitely a woman. But, first and foremost, I’m a human being who refuses to be anyone’s victim under any circumstances. This world would be a much better place if we’d all teach our children to think as people who have power over themselves. Thx so much for sharing, @Ken.

  • Ken Kojei

    @Kiesha: Thanks for your kind words. They will have had their intended effect when you introduce yourself simply and proudly as a woman. With no reference to your color or sex. That you do reference color still sends a message you really don’t have any use for when you have truly liberated yourself. Neither your color or your sex should be or actually is the true definition of who you are. Who you are is a facet of supreme being experiencing human life as a choice. That simple fact lifts you above and beyond the fray and is exactly what being Christ is about. Christ is the state of being. The state of knowing who you are at the core of your being and that you are every star, every planet, every life form that exists and that all exists to allow you experience every idea your mind produces. To your infinite mind space exists for no other reason than to allow each idea its place to play out. Knowing that also informs you of how irrelevant your physical form is to who you are. Knowing that eliminates fear, self-hate AND hatred for others, even when they blindly interpret these individuations of the cosmic self to be the “other” an other that is black, an other that is white, male or female, upper class or lower class. These distinctions become irrelevant. Then love becomes possible. True love. When the “other” is understood as your self, whether sleep walking or wide awake, then it IS possible to love.

  • Addy K.

    Oooh, whatever, leave her alone. All she’s trying to say is, ‘Stop asking me about my race.’ Which I imagine she gets asked all the time and that would annoy anyone. I haven’t seen any articles where she hasn’t identified herself as a black woman, so she’s all good in my books.

  • Mane

    Was she born and raised in America? Some folk are raised this way and it takes a rude awakening to have the perspective of race that black Americans have. Happy she was raised to view the world the way she does. The world is way bigger than America. I want her perspective so I don’t look for race when I go see a movie and count how many other than white ethnicities are in it, makes it so I can’t enjoy a movie or watch the news with out stereotyping the skin color of who committed what type of crime.

  • Elle

    I actually would like to learn a little bit more about your train of thought, and where did you learn not taking on a victim mentality; also, is your family line from the American slave trade, the Caribbean or South America, or is it totally rooted in Africa? In other words, if your ancestry is in America, what happened to cause you to realize that it was an issue of perspective and what steps did you take to unlearn this? What did the process look like for you to unlearn this mindset as this is what was intentionally done to the slaves through the black codes?

  • Rex Texas

    So according to Saldana, “people of color don’t exist.” Well, that must be true because she REFUSES acknowledge the fact that black people even exist by INSISTING on ALWAYS being paired with a white man! Seriously! Even in all black casts she’s insisted on being with white men! She had 2 in Death At a Funeral. Even as an alien on another planet she had to find the only white man on the plant that she could screw, yes I’m talking about Avatar! Even in Colombiana when her male counterpart literally served no purpose in the film I’m sure she had to insist that he be a white man, which he was by the way.

    Bottom line, Zoe Saldana is a racist. She hates black people. I’m sure that if she could, she’d make her parents white in every movie by explaining that she was either adopted or suffered from re-vitiligo(the opposite of what Michael Jackson has, lucky bastard). I understand personal preference, she is allowed to like white men in her personal life(which she does) but it’s NOT ok to have a CAREER that refuses to accept the fact that in real life, black people go out with black people! And if you can’t do the math on that, then I can’t help you. FUCK Zoe Saldana.

  • Ken Kojei

    @Elle: My ancestry has nothing whatsoever to do with how I use my mind to navigate the world. This is the first mistake people make in creating identity. Identity is created either FOR you or BY you. Being here, NOW, means you are intensely sensitive and aware of what is happening around you in the present. The past does not exist!!! It is gone!!! Nothing about it should be a factor having impact on what you are today except as your experiences are used to develop your responses to what is. Your true identity is much grander than the trivial issues of color, culture, ethnicity, age or sex or sexual orientation or even your past experiences. And as long as we are bound by these factors, we remain androids, imitating everything, being original at nothing, reacting vs. responding to events and other stimuli instead of empowered creators bringing new and exciting options to reality. Of course we are taught the view of reality we embrace, yet the moment comes when it becomes apparent that the old rules don’t work with a new game. That is when people who know HOW to think, dismiss those rules and work, not with what is past but what is NOW!!! To the extent that we do, we are freed of old stale culture and can create meaningful new cultures. This is true of all culture.

    As far as myself, I have always had a multi-cultural upbringing. My peers were of all nations. There was no issue of race among us despite the matter of our parents. What happened to force me to develop a victimless mentality? Working with people who were professional victims, the homeless, those on welfare, single moms, black nationalists, black politicians and others who had found ways to milk the system of cash using the same tired victim excuses as well as the millions of others who routinely failed to create themselves outside of the contexts they knew. I analyzed the root causes of the problems we have and arrived at the master criminal’s lyin’ ast narrative. I realized how easily and uncontested that narrative slipped into the minds of its targets and how helpless they/we/I were/was to escape it until that narrative was challenged, de-euphemized and shown in natural light for exactly what it was. That, by the way, had to happen not only with the racial narrative, the economic narrative, the political narrative and the cultural narrative, it had to happen with the religious narrative as well, since those stories, taken as fact went unchallenged or when challenged were either glossed over, ignored or the questioner shamed out of a meaningful answer to paradoxes that were too, too obvious to be accepted at face value. For me, the fact that Christian and Muslim missionaries were the vanguard of every assault on the freedom, wealth and self-determination of Africans spoke volumes about where the most important enslavement had to occur. It had to occur in the minds of their victims. Teaching a doctrine of a spiritual man sacrificed and glorified because he accepted such a fate without resistance, turning the other cheek in the face of a ruthless, monstrously greedy invader-as per Christian doctrine-was the very first disarmament of a people who should have been preparing for a war of self salvation. Instead, the salvation lies of priests and Imams mesmerized target populations to be blind to the fatal blow hidden behind the proffered hand of friendship, to abandon all desire or expectation of a good life here on Earth in favor of something better once worked, raped, robbed and killed to make the conqueror rich became the operating system of too many minds and not just black minds but minds of every nationality, every ethnicity where human labor, ingenuity and natural resources were desired by a small group of superbly devious and brutally inhumane master criminals.

    So the answer to your questions begin with a mind that accepts nothing as fact until proven as fact. A mind that recognizes the difference between cliche and thoughtful answer. A mind that analyzes an enemy as carefully as if its life were at stake. A mind that realizes and accepts the discomfort of stepping outside the given context to apprehend and comprehend context stripped of rosy colored glasses, because for a truth we are none at all comfortable with a lie for very long and sooner or later the glamour [as in a spell] fails and something dreadful and horrifying replaces the makeup, the glitter. the euphemistic blah…blah…blah and the cold deception becomes apparent.

  • simplyme

    She is so…yuck. This the epitome of naivety. Its like purposefully going through life with your blinders on. Just ignorant.

  • Ken Kojei

    @ Rex: Is the real problem here one, once again, of a negative projection? Sour grapes because for you, she will never be available for you to F…? As if she would be even if she did date black men? In her real life, she goes out with whomever she chooses and black or white is not an issue. It doesn’t haven’t to be for her anymore than it has to be for you. Yet, since you choose to limit yourself to black women to date, look around and find one. I’m sure you would have no problem dating outside your race if it were suddenly available to you. So there is a level of hypocrisy here as well. You can limit your dating to black women but she can’t limit her dating to white men because….what?!!! You say so? Who are you to even have an opinion??? Because society says so? And because she does, you take that personally, erroneously enough to respond with the accusation that she, who is black, hates black people? I would venture a guess here and say that it’s not black people she hates. It’s black negative exceptionalism she hates. The negative exceptionalism that DOESN’T do the math, that wallows in blackness like it’s a disease because they bought the master criminal’s narrative that it is and hate themselves and each other too much to ever progress beyond a pseudo-culture where our beautiful sisters are maligned as b….thes and hoes for having a determination to live well and be accomplished in this world, where far too many brothers fall in with a dark and deadly culture of such disconnectedness they have no more heart for their supposedly only expected ally, other black men, than to use a weapon not one African nation under God manufactures, to kill each other wholesale while making their enemies rich, use drugs no black nation under God manufactures to poison others for a meager profit that will never lead anywhere but jail and several generations who, having ancestors who created the greatest civilizations, the greatest, sciences, the greatest music ever on the face of this Earth, can only muster hiphop/gangsta rap as their offering of a credible contribution to world society? Then confronted with a sistah who won’t stand for such a low standard in a world of very high standards the best you can do is say F… Zoe Saldana? Very sad. If you showed up to date my daughter, you’d be lucky to leave with your head.

  • https://www.facebook.com/jeffy.volkov Jefferson Slater

    zoe was dead on. i feel this especially as a mixed person because it’s really irksome to explain to almost everyone i meet about my race. what other inherent physical features are considered appropriate or polite to inquire about to someone you’ve just met…?

  • Ken Kojei

    It’s called creating YOUR OWN REALITY. She does a good job of it obviously. So what reality have YOU created for yourself?

  • cheeky

    You’re stretching it—how do you figure that she “hates” black people because she’s always paired with white men in the movies? That’s silly and stupid, for one thing—most actors have NO say over who they’re paired with in movies, unless they’re made it to Denzel, Will or Tom Cruise status. I can’t believe that this discussion is still even going the hell on after damn near six months. Basically all the women said (and I don’t think she meant that comment about pink and blue people literally, she was just using an example) was that she wished people would stop being so damn hung up on race (which we all are) when it comes to practically everything in this country. I wish folks would get off her back,seriously.

  • cheeky

    Africa IS a major civilization, dear. Just STFU with your ignorant racist behind.

  • cheeky

    @Melissa:

    FYI, being black and African-American are the same thing. Also, India Arie didn’t bleached herself—that was just a stupid rumor some idiot started online after seeing a recent video she did which had extreme lightning in it—Arie herself discussed the rumor on the Tavis Smiley show a few months back—it was pretty obvious that she had not done any such thing. And sorry, but it’s usually WHITE people who have traditionally stolen and tried to claim other people’s cultures for their own benefit—they always have, and STILL do. Black people didn’t start that mess. And African culture is the oldest culture in the world,period. Don’t start with this “we’re better then black people because we’re not black” nonsense. I agree with you about black people getting out of a certain mindset, but at the same time, I’m sick of black people being stigmatized as if we’re the only damn people in the world with problems–as if we’re so much worse then anybody on earth, which is soe BS. . When you look at our history in this country, that’s why we’re so damn messed up about race to begin with.

  • Open YO Eyes

    Zoe, hmmm…don’t know much about her but, let me guess.

    1) She has self-hate—its glaringly obvious that she has black in her but, according to her, she’s a million and six other ethnicities, all mixed together like a margarita…BUT NONE OF THEM ARE “BLACK.” Right.

    2) she dates/sleep WHITE. Check.

    3) all these horror things, yet she’ll run to be “a person of color” in a movie…for money.

    No need to read the piece. Typical remarks of someone marinating in self-hate. How dare she try to play the character of Nina Symone. A travesty—I swear I am boycotting. You will not get my money, ignorant one.

  • cheeky

    yeah, but how do we know she only dates white boys? She’s never actually said that herself—a black person dating interracially does not always mean they hate themselves—there’s a number of interracial marriages in my family—my sister,nieces and nephews being the results of those–and not al of them were to white folks.

    FYI she has already said in the past that she’s a proud black Latina,flat-out–I don’t understand why people keep flogging that to death. It’s always seemed to me that people are projecting their own issues about race onto her rather than anything she’s actually done. And if you don’t read the article, how do you know what she was really trying to say. She simply expressed her frustrations with ALWAYS being asked about race, simply because she’s a black Latina—last time I looked,you can be and black and Latina/o at the same time.

  • Ken Kojei

    When you discover just how NOT open your eyes are, you will probably die from embarrassment. Let’s start with where you got the idea that Africans of the Hamitic branch are “black”. Did you or any other African ever, in history, describe our skin tone as “black” independently of the influence of the master criminal? Take you best, darkest chocolate. Put in front of any person on this planet and they will never call that chocolate black, no matter HOW dark it is. So there it is, the first sign that you are sleep walking.

    So where did YOU get the idea that Africans in America are “black”…”negro” [Spanish for black]? You got it from the master criminals who kidnapped your ancestors and enslaved them. You bought their narrative about who you are so completely that you use that narrative to refer to any and all matters pertaining to you to describe yourself. Worse, you trash anybody who dares to ignore that narrative and become who they are. Why? Because you can’t do it to save your own life? Worse than that…it’s obvious that with all that time you have to forcibly maintain the master criminal’s lie about you and the rest of us, you never devoted any of it to just researching who you really are. Had you done so, this comment would not exist. Secondly, see that slant of mind so blatant in your comment? That is the second symptom of eyes wide closed. To make presumptions about any person without a shred of fact to back it up is ludicrous and nearly criminal no matter who does it. Yet you apply a negative slant to the activities, behaviors and prospects of somebody you really know nothing about. Does that make sense? As for Nina Simone, she worked all her life so nobody would reference race to determine the character and capabilities of a person applying to do, be or have whatever their aspiration is. And yet, you and the other androids bouncing around with a fake black culture, a negative culture far too often, seem to forget that and continue to perpetrate hatred against a person who had no say about what color her skin was going to be and determined that it doesn’t matter. To open your eyes for real, drop the habit of being “black”. Replace it with the habit of being YOU. Just YOU!!! You before any label to identify who YOU are was ever accepted by YOU!!! Before your parents, your friends, your enemies ever applied a description to YOU, who is that person? Whoooaaa!!!! Deep!!! Soooo? Go there? Scared aren’t you???

  • http://gravatar.com/subzero05 subzero05

    Actually….her point is completely valid. America is one of the most racially obsessed nations on earth. And you’re questioning her view of race based on your view of race…not from a worldly perspective. Because if the writer of this article actually read a book, she’d know that countries all over the world, from Brazil amongst others define race differently..if at all. We define race biologically while nations like Brazil define by phenotype. Saldana’s point of view is actually very intelligent, I’m actually quite surprised and if she only dates one particular kind of person…it’s probably because it’s hard to find someone who isn’t that racially conscious. Race is a social construct. Yes racism is a part of life…but I have nothing against her for looking past it in terms of her own self love

  • https://plus.google.com/108047488526202920876 Crmy Coco

    Thank you, Subzero! Now I don’t have to point how ignorant Zoe’s detractors really are. Even Malcolm X radically changed his one dimensional view on race after spending time in Mecca. I think ALL black Americans need to spend some time abroad. It would do them some good.

  • BlackBeauty

    Education is the key to freedom!
    I like your post.

  • TheArtist

    I get the author’s point of view. It’s obvious Zoe lives and works in a bubble and is disconnected from the realities of life outside of Hollywood. I don’t mind her being in touch with her inner self which she defines. However, it is beyond naive to think that your plights as a woman exceeds the plights of people of color. See History. See Current events. Anyone who fails to relate to the author is either not a person of color or just as clueless.

  • K.Kojei

    She’s right. Africans descended from slaves are still drowning as if adrift in the Atlantic, trying to find a way to identify themselves, yet everything they come up with must borrow the very language of the oppressor to do so when-if it really mattered THAT much every one of their children would speak their native tongue-even if it was only a guesstimate of said-[instead of some creole or patois or ebonics mess that stands only for a failure to stand up against the worst slavery of all, mental slavery]-and their definitions and description of themselves would be reflected in their true African names. Not the laughable and often derided no-names beautiful little African princesses born of American descendents of African slaves must endure.

    Those who do [I most certainly don't]settle for the descriptions of the master criminals who stole their very bloodlines will never dig deep enough to find the truth and make it a living part of their reality. Race is an artificial tool of divisiveness and you play right into the hands of the master criminal every time you allow your mind or your heart to lather up the same old bar soap and the same dull razor to shave with. It’s not effective, nor efficient and that is the overwhelming reason for the condition of our communities. The federal dollars thrown at poverty, crime and education in our communities are far too many to have had such a sadly limited result. Ignorance as a culture, negative exceptionalism as a model of logic, mis-directed emotions of jealousy and envy all contribute to stagnation while we grasp at and struggle to find something that represents culture. What stands for it now is doomed to fail. Americans African descended from slaves must face this reality and come together in some real dialogue, seek real world solutions that don’t involve the master criminals’ narrative, their story and speak our own story. We absolutely must cut that horrible umbilical cord to the past and live in the realities of now as if we really intend to survive with some sense of dignity not derived from being victims. Sooner or later nobody wants to hear it.

  • http://gmail Angela

    Hello, I am black,deaf and woman. I am 47 years old. I read that Zoe’s comment. Yeah I was agree her part of comments I told you I am truth in my life about black disabled or racial of skin. I am black as black culture and deaf culture in my life. I have deaf socializes in racial( deaf culture) community, but I am not interest in black power in culture.I am not hearing ! I am deaf ! Deaf is not bother me. I am accept to be Deaf.God created deaf,blind, etc. They have famous “Deaf Life” B “Hearing” racial( different color of races)or genders make me discriminated or forsake!!than Zoe.I am suffering from all of racial,hearing and genders Because I am black, Deaf and woman. I am against your ( humankind) behavioral. Doesn’t matter that Zoe needs to be accept her dark skin or chocolate,but we need to be accept Zoe’s will Bible said, Mark 12:29- 31. “Two Commandments” That is enough.

  • Patwho

    I see nothing wrong with her comment. A lot of PoC have a problem with ‘people of color’ for the same reasons (because it wrongly implies that ‘white’ is the norm)
    There is one race that is human. If you’d read and travel outside of the USA more and spend less time on the internet hating on actors that have opinions, you’d know that her views are shared my many and that in the end of the day we all are pro equality and against racism.

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