Top Story: The Half Series – When Black People Look White (3 of 3)


The Finale

Here are the final guesses on Katie Burrell’s ethnic background as of Sunday, June 13th, 2010:

  • White/Black 31.3%
  • Hispanic/Black 11.1%
  • Arabic/Black 10.1%
  • Asian/Black 8.1%
  • None of the Above 18.2%
  • I Don’t Know 21.2%

Katie and her father!

- Katie Burrell in Her Own Words -

Estimated reading time: 3  minutes, 7 seconds. Contains 624 words

I’m half Arab and half Black. I live in the desert southwest so it’s predominately Latino/Hispanic. When people find out I’m not Mexican but Black and Arab, they treat me differently instantly because they said I lied to them. Honestly, it’s whatever.

When you’re not accepted by the Black community because your hair isn’t apparently ‘nappy’ enough (my own grandmother says I got Puerto Rican hair) and the Arab community says you’re not full Arab, it’s like you’re in between. It’s hard to mix my life and friends because they are so different.

When I’m with my family I feel normal. I feel more at home with Black folks rather than White or Arab, just because I do. People say I act like I’m Black then when I tell them I am, um…they’re shocked to say the least.

I’d say it’s about finding your own identity. We cannot define ourselves by the stereotypes in our culture, that gets us nowhere. No one can act or talk Black or White or Green or Yellow, it’s just how we perceive it. Like half of my family thinks I’m being White because I have an education and an honest job. All that means is that they have set the bar low for themselves and they think success means they’ll lose who they are. It’s actually the opposite, success defines the path in which you’ll go and so does failure.

There you have it! Katie’s ethnic background is Black and Arabic. I would have never guessed correctly myself if I didn’t already know the answer. It just goes to show you that you definitely should not judge a book by its cover.

Black people are not literally black. I know a Black woman with blue eyes, I recently saw an image of a Haitian child with blonde hair, and actor Harold Perrineau (who is married to a White woman) has two daughters and the youngest looks more like him and the oldest looks a lot like the mom. I can also recall a time when many people had no idea that Mariah Carey was Black (Afro-Venezuelan) or that Halle Berry has a White mother! I also just learned that Tom Sizemore’s mother is Black; something that he kept hidden for many many years! Wow!!!

It’s a crap shoot people, and that’s the beauty of it. You never know what you’re gonna get, but you can rest assured that whatever you get it will be part of the human race.

Dangerous Lee and her daughter, Senia.

The Half Series – Part 1

The Half Series – Part2

Update – December 15, 2011

On this day, Paris Jackson appeared on the Ellen show as a guest to promote a book and film project that she will be appearing in titled, “Lundon’s Bridge: and The Three Keys”. She as well as her brothers are in the spotlight more than ever and tongues are also wagging more than ever about whether or not they are Michael Jackson’s biological children.

Look at these two images:

Still don’t think Michael fathered Paris and her siblings? That’s your problem, but here’s something else; Paris is an avid tweeter on Twitter and when someone tried to call her out as being White she promptly came back stating that she’s “mixed”. So, there ya have it folks, Paris and I’m sure Prince as well as Blanket are very aware of what they are and who their biological father is.

!!!CASE CLOSED!!!

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66 thoughts on “Top Story: The Half Series – When Black People Look White (3 of 3)

  1. Hi, I found your article pretty interesting. I have a question. Why aren’t people of mixed ancestry just called ‘mixed’? I mean if someone is part Spanish and part African why should you pick one part example calling this person ‘black’? What about his Spanish side. It’s the same with countries.I just think we should acknowledge where we come from and not drown one for the other.

  2. So glad I read this!! So intriguing, glad to see there are others that have the same point of view. I’m from UK, Im white/latin and my partner is from Jamaican and English decent. He has a very dark complexion and before the birth of our child, swore our child would follow suit like other children we knew with the same genetic make up. However our son has very fair skin, blue eyes and blonde hair. We both think he is beautiful and love him the way he is. As you say the stares that we get when we are together is unreal. People have actually asked if he really is my partners! The first thing people comment on is his skin tone in fact that is all they seem to talk about. There is a pre conceived idea of what he should look like and he just doesn’t fit the bill. As you can imagine when im not with them the looks my partner gets are even more intense, like he shouldn’t be with a “white” child. It really makes me upset that people just can’t seem to get past skin colour, that being said I have never experienced such looks or comments from a black person it’s actually white people that seem to have more rigid views. When he is older I’m sure he will identify himself as of mixed ethnicity, how could he consider himself white when his father obviously not white, and is rich in heritage. I hope that when he is older that people are more open minded to what it is to have parents with different heritage.

  3. If you are just going to harp on the title of this series and refuse to acknowledge its content, then I guess you would think it’s absurd. However, I think the real issue is that you disagree with what I have to say (although it’s probably more like you misunderstood what I am saying) and you wanted to let me know. That’s OK, but if we are to describe people accurately (as you stated) I don’t think we should bother with color at all. Putting people into categories like Black or White is limiting. And, BTW President Obama does not look White, so your White People That Look Black theory is not only ignorant, it doesn’t make sense.

    In this series I am talking about mixed people (Black or African-American & Caucasian). There are light skinned mixed people and dark skinned mixed people. Neither are White. They’re mixed; Black and White. You’re focused on skin color which is colorism. I am referring to ethnicity and heritage. Not Shades.

    The reason for writing this article is rooted in the fact that I have a “mixed” child that many people see and think that she is Mexican or Indian and the fact that Michael Jackson’s children are often thought not to be his biologically because they are so light. The point of this series is that (and I have said this more than a few times) “mixed” people often appear only White (Caucasian) just as there are some mixed people who appear to be only Black (African -American). But as I said, this topic has been discussed in this thread SEVERAL times. Answers to your questions have already been written in the past, so you couldn’t have read the comments or understood what you did read.

    Also, if you wanted to know why I was nominated for “best black blog or something of that sort” you should have asked. I don’t recall being asked that question in your first two comments. But, have a look around and you’ll find the answer. The obvious first answer is that I’m nominated because I am Black. I refuse to believe no malice was intended on your part. Your comments have a tone reeking with attitude. So yes, you’re irritating me. Please spare me the trouble.

    But before you go, please look at the full Half Series thread here – http://dangerouslee.biz/category/the-half-series/. It includes interviews with mixed/biracial people and much more!

  4. “White people that look Black? Really??? C’mon. ” Absurd, right? No more absurd than black people who look white, right? Glad to see that we are finally communicating! Rather than come up with such absurdities why not be consistent and describe people accurately. If you look white you are white, same thing for all other shades. I read all three posts and the comments, otherwise I wouldn’t have bothered to comment. I don’t see how your ambivalence about giving birth obviates my comment that you were fulfilling your desire to have a child. At some point during the pregnancy you decided to have the kid instead of aborting it. I detected a note of irritation in your last response, if you find my comments distressing let me know and I’ll trouble you no more. I only wanted to know why your blog was nominated for best black blog or something of that sort. No malice on my part was intended.

  5. Your response doesn’t make sense to me because if you read all three parts of this series and understood it there would be no reason to respond to me the way you did. Also, I don’t expect you to read every single comment I have ever left on this series, but take a look at a few; especially in part one. I’m sure your questions and debates have already been discussed and answered over and over and over and over again. Furthermore, White people that look Black? Really??? C’mon. Also, my giving birth to my daughter had absolutely nothing to do with fulfilling the personal desire I assume you speak of based on your tone. I mention in part one of this series that I was not happy when I learned I was having a child by a White man. Did you comprehend that? So, please, don’t come here and try to “read” me when you haven’t really READ me. Still surprised?

  6. I’m surprised by your response, Dangerous Lee, I thought I was pretty clear. Please tell me why you say I made no sense to you? White skinned people of bi-racial ancestry are labeled black People who look white, why can’t we call bi-racial people who look black but were raised by whites, such as our President, white people who look black? What’s so special about fair skinned bi-racials that the world needs to define them? Dark skinned bi-racials don’t get talked about endlessly, why? Could it be the working of that old adage known to many black kids about if you’re white you’re alright, if you’re black get back. I agree with you that you have the right to desire white men. We want what we want, nobody has the right to question the desires of another individual. I hope that you don’t feel that by giving birth to a bi-racial child you are doing anything more than gratifying a personal desire. Some black people are silly enough to think that they do the world a favor by that act. I’ll take leave of you on a musical note: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k0c1c0ZsTLA

  7. If they look white why are they black? Can you look black and be white? Why isn’t Obama a black looking white, since he was raised by white people and identifies as black only because nobody would take him seriously as a black looking white man? You claim to be above such racial pettiness and love everyone, I’ll believe that when you do an article on the black looking whites, until such time I’ll just think that black is defined here as the least common denominator of the human type and a good title for all those who aren’t accepted by society into the “higher” categories.

  8. I too am half middle eastern and no one can tell or guess what my race actually is. I covered Katie’s lower half of face and made my guess based on her eyes. Im “exotic” looking so I’ve been told. Lol. Like Im going to be extinct soon. Lol. Im half Black and half Iranian.

  9. I meant * There is NO set way on what DNA may look like *

    Sorry my auto correct messed that line up.

  10. Thank you DangerousLee for writing this great article/blog! I relate to everything you mentioned here. I’m Biracial, half Black and half (east) Indian and what really gets me is when people automatically assume that I’m “only” Indian this frustrates me to the utmost degree. Because my Father was of mixed background heritage he was African American with Native American & White. I wish people wouldn’t automatically assume that I’m “only” Indian it bugs me so much. I believe it’s because my hair isn’t “nappy” enough or because my skin is too “yellow”..just because they think I don’t relate with the black community which is false!

    Honestly I don’t really relate to my Mother’s e Indian family – I’ve never really fit with them. I relate to being black more. People only need to look at my features more to see I’m Black & there is set way on what DNA may look like.

  11. Thanks for reading and enjoying the piece, Jeff. I also appreciate you sharing your story. It’s a damn shame that you’ve been through all that heartbreak because of who you are. It’s their loss and their problem, honey.

  12. Ok, so I’m a little late to the party, but I just stumbled across this and wanted to thank you for a well written piece. The fact that race is still an issue today continues to shock and sadden me. Being of mixed heritage, but not looking like it, puts me in an awkward spot a lot of times, so I definitely feel like I can relate to your friend Katie’s situation.
    I am black, Native American, Hispanic, Irish and German (my biological father is black, native and Hispanic). But despite my mixed heritage, all anyone sees when they look at me is a white guy. So I get caught up in racial debates, and my black friends think I have some racial superiority complex because I’m “white.” Meanwhile, my white friends are always making fun of how “stereotypically black” I am. It feels like nobody fully accepts me. I’ve even had three relationships fail due to race … Once because her grandma freaked when she learned I was part black, and twice because apparently Mexicans don’t want their daughters dating a white guy (ironic since I’m part Hispanic …)
    I wish people would stop judging me based on the color of my skin. I couldn’t agree more with your point … I’m black, I’m white, I’m Hispanic, I’m Native American … But above all, damn it, I’m human!

  13. It’s not about what I consider White, and you still don’t get the point…..race is not real! We’re all 99.9% alike! We have different ethnicities, but we’re all the same “race”, human! Anyway, no, your example of Wentworth, Mariah, and Jennifer being White and considering themselves Black culturally is wrong. They are Black, because they have African heritage…one of their parents is of African heritage. They know it and understand it. Culture, “race”, and ethnicity are not the same.

  14. What I meant about white people considering themselves black culturally was my examples of Wentworth Miller. Jennifer Beals, Mariah Carey. The reason why these people have all been able to play white roles is because the majority of the world sees them as white people, not black. For them to identify with being black is for cultural reasons (what they feel comfortable with, relate to etc.) not racial reasons because racially, they can, and usually are, portrayed as white.

    Ok, so if by your definition Italians and Spaniards are not white, who exactly do you consider white?

  15. You’re confused, not me. Many of the people you’re using as examples are either very light or very dark. That’s the whole point of this series, skin color is not always an indication of a persons ethnicity. Italians and Spaniards are not White, I’m sure that they may consider themselves White because a racist history has dictated that they do so, but they have mixed ancestory that includes African heritage. Some are very dark! The one drop rule was created by “White” people for racist reasons, but that’s not what we’re talking about here. This series is not about people who have Black ancestory that goes back many generations, I am talking about someone that has one Black parent and one White parent. Again, race is a made up social construct, IT’S NOT REAL! You need to study up on this fact. Your continuing use of “race” does not prove any points with me. I know quite a bit about so called race, color, and ethnicity as well (especially since I am Black!) so you saying that anthropologists and sociologists have proved this or that about race is a weak argument. And, what White people consider themselves Black culturally??? That also makes no sense…and culture is very different from race. Look it up! Let’s just agree to disagree, but I do suggest that you learn more factual information on this topic.

  16. Again, American blacks confusing race with ethnicity. Please, read up on anthropology and tell me that Mariah Carey and Jennifer Beals have the same racial characteristics as Wesley Snipes and Whoopie Goldberg. Why have races then? I guess anthropologists and sociologists are the misinformed ones. Sorry both Mariah and Jennifer have more racially in common with say, Gwyneth Palttow then say Tracy Chapman. I studied race and ethnicity and if you have 75% of the characteristics of a race you ARE that race therefore straight hair, fair skin, light eyes equals white. Coarse hair, dark skin, dark eyes equals non white. I did not make this up. You can have a crossover feature, for example, curly hair or a wide nose but it doesn’t make you of that race. Curly hair on a white no less makes then black than a slimmer nose on a black person makes them white. I understand alot of white people consider themselves black culturally but they are not in the anthropological matter of race. Funny but even some of my black friends get annoyed that some blacks claim white looking people. Blacks are the only group that are even divided on whose black!

  17. Oh please, Mariah and Jennifer would be called light skinned Black women. They would not get found if the police were told to look for White women either. And please, if you haven’t already, read all three parts of this series because race is a made up social construct, so they would not be RACIALLY White. That makes no sense anyway, you can’t be half Black, half White and be “racially” White. It seems like you’ve missed the point, but thanks for reading.

  18. @Kelly and Dangerous Lee. I am not saying to deny anything. If you are part black then say so and be proud, but admit that you could be RACIALLY white. Some people that are part black look white therefore they are white RACIALLY. Ethinically they can be mixed. One thing has nothing to do with the other. If Jennifer Beals or Mariah Carey were not famous and were missing and you told the police to look for a BLACK woman you would be sadly mistaken and they would not be found! LOL

  19. Wow! GREAT article honey! I’m a “white” woman. That’s what society sees or labels me as anyway. In “reality”, I’m a bit of everything, the true American Melting Pot of a “Mutt”, and so are they, if they think about it. Most Americans with a long American familial line are anything but a “pure” ethnicity. It’s such a joke! Labels. Yuck.

    I found your article while looking for info to help my son, who is also “bi-racial” (I agree, we need a new word, the existing ones are just plain dumb). I married my husband, a black man (gasp!) some 10 years ago. My husband has a Dutch Islander white great great Grandaddy, and he must have been one reaaallly WHITE dude. We had a son later, now 8, and he was born WHITE. And I mean white like Irish pale skin WHITE. He was “whiter” than me (“white”, another misnomer, ain’t it? Maybe the kids from Flowers in the Attic were “white”, but I am 42 and have to see a truly “white” person, but pink, yellowy, orangey, whatevs!). When he was born and my husbands family came to visit in the hospital, you woulda laughed with me at their utter shock. They said for a moment, they thought “there is NO friggin’ way this is HIS kid”, then the baby woke up and looked at them. He is the spitting image of his father, even in his newborn squishy state. Then they all joked that well, now my husband knew what he’d look like if he’d been “born white”. It was odd to me too, being that they are proud of their “black heritage”, to hear them essentially bragging that we’d had the baby, and omg how “light & totally white” the baby was. Another family member married a white woman and had a baby, and they’re always trying to compare them! Their kid is much darker, and they actually act jealous of our son, and say things like “your son will darken up soon! just you wait and see!”. Uhhh, yeah, SO WHAT if he does?!! I’m very close to my SIL’s, and asked one privately what that “really” meant. She said they were relieved in a sense, because in a “white dominated” society, being light, or outright white and could “pass”, would make his life easier and have more opportunity. I felt sorta stupid having to have it drawn out for me :( as I consider myself mostly socially conscious.

    Fast forward a few years. My son has “darkened up” a little, but still appears predominantly “white”, maybe with a bit of a nice “tan” (what I would kill to have his skin tone!! Golden beauty!!) in summer. In the winter, he “lightens” back up, and is again, even “whiter” than me. I have naturally curly hair, but it’s of the “soft frizz” variety, and as long as I use product and help form my large ringlet type curls, I’m good. My Dad has a George Jefferson Afro, and is hilariously the “white version” of Mr. Jefferson himself, lol (Side note: I LOVE the confidence displayed by black women who go au-natural & have a giant poofy, crazy, huge ass afro!! That’s the shit!!!!). Our son somehow got MY hair too. I keep teasing my hubby that my genes “dominated the shit” outta his, LOL (we are quite competitive with one another, it’s healthy & keeps marriage interesting! Lol!), much to his chagrin. But one look at this kid and all you SEE is my hubby! It’s the oddest thing tho, looking at school pics of me and my dad at the same age, he looks just like us! But, my baby photos and my moms are so exact that the only way to tell us apart is hers are black & white while mine are in color!! My husband ALSO looks EXACTLY like BOTH his mother AND father! Isn’t that weird?? He’s the spitting image of BOTH of us?! HOW?!?! Lol.

    So here we are now and our son is in 3rd grade. He has been at the same school since kindergarten, and has made many friends over the years, became little Mr. Popularity. At 8, these kids are all about “black & white” thinking, people are either good or bad, no in between (you shoulda heard my boys rants about Romney!! WOW. Would do any liberal Momma proud!!). Precursor: usually only black folks can tell right off the bat that he’s mixed, while whites are pretty slow on the uptake, LOL. A month ago, during the election, a few of his classmates were arguing politics (in THIRD grade, hello?! lol) and one boy, my son’s “best friend” announced his family was not voting for Obama because they didn’t think a “black person should be POTUS”. Wow. This led to a discussion of their ethnicities, and when it was my son’s turn he was happy to report that he was both white and black, with Cherokee, Irish, German, English, and god only knows what else (I even have A+ blood type which is predom Asian!). His “BFF” announced they could “no longer be friends” because “he didn’t know my son was black”. I thought I’d be dealing with sadness over the “loss” of a supposed friend. Oh no. Not MY kid! He got even. LOL. He made sure every “ethnically diverse” kid in 3rd grade knew that this kid, and a few other kids, “didn’t like black people”. These kids are now left to play alone on the playground, heh. But, I told him that those kids probably don’t really feel that way, and are only repeating what their idiot parents say. I told him to continue to be nice & civil to these kids, just be himself, that the best “revenge” of all is to not let them or their ignorance get to you, to smile in the face of adversity and laugh at their ignorance. Let them see you are STILL the same kid they liked to begin with when they assumed he was “white”, and if they come around? Great! If not? You’re not really missing out on anything, but they sure are: knowing you; a GREAT friend & person, it truly IS their loss.

    I searched for articles for issues relating to mixed folks who appear all white, and any special challenges facing them so I’d know how to handle them when and if they arise. Your comment in the first article really hit home. My hubby too would get stares when out in public alone with our son, like “I wonder what that BLACK man is doing with that little WHITE boy”. That’s his FATHER you dolts! People naturally assumed it must be his girlfriends kid or something.

    People say & DO really DUMB shit without thinking; white or black, no diff. I’ve been accused of “stalking black men so I could steal a brother” though I’ve only seriously dated two men in my entire life, one white, one black; so I’m not a serial black man, white she devil stalker, LOL. My hubby has been accused of seeking a “white trophy wife”. It’s so stupid, beyond insulting, to think that two people of different ethnicities can’t truly “love” each other, but are only together to…. what? Why else would we be together??? The only people who’ve ever made these statements were either black women around my age, or older white men around my Dad’s age. I dunno what that implies??? But by and large everyone else pays us no mind.

    I guess I was just a little shocked that in today’s “modern era” where interracial marriage isn’t the “taboo” it used to be, with mixed kids being in record numbers, that little kids are still spouting racist hate speech they’re learning at home. I mean, duh, yeah, I KNOW there’s still idiot racists out there, but they usually have the “sense” to keep it closeted, lol, and aren’t telling their kids the same garbage to repeat at school because they know, in a way, it’s wrong. Dumb, I know.

    I’ve told my son that he’s the future. One day we will all be mixed to the golden skin variety, it’s inevitable. He likes feeling special in that sense, that he’s “ahead of the game” and part of the global futuristic society. Thanks for offering your perspective, was a good read and I agree wholeheartedly with everything you stated. People need to get a damn clue, and yesterday! Xoxo

  20. @kathy, i kind of get what you’re trying to say. But im a little confused? Take my sister and i, for example; she has yellow/light brown skin, thick hair with loose curls, and slanted monolid eyes. She gets mistaken for polynesian/south asian all the time (were half white and part black and first nations). And i have white skin, light brown/blonde tight curls and green eyes and i get asked if im jewish all the time. So, are you saying that instead of calling ourselves irish, french canadian, seneca, and black that she should call herself samoan/hawaiian/filippino…whatever instead of identifying as black/white/native?

  21. I totally get the point that you’re trying to make, but being Black is not just about being dark. If you have one parent that is White and another parent that is Black; you’re Black. It’s really simple. I agree, African Americans are some of the most racially confused people and a lot of that has to do with racism and slavery. Black women with blonde hair on the covers of Ebony and Essence is not ludicrous. Black women dye their hair just like anyone else. What does that have to do with anything? Seems like you’re someone else that doesn’t quite get it, but thanks for reading and commenting. This is a topic that will be debated and discussed until the end of time.

  22. I have to disagree completely with the notion of “passing”. I am a “white” hispanic and the difference between blacks and hispanics is that we understand race versus ethnicity. Unfortunately, most blacks do not which is why blacks will classify white looking people as black because of the antiquated one drop rule. As hispanics, we identify each other as black hispanics and white hispanics based on race. Only in America! The opposite of black is white. There is no such thing as PASSING for white. You are white enough to look white or you are not. You can’t be both. There is a difference between RACE and Ethnicity. I am shocked at how people confuse the two. Do you realize this insane phenomenon only happens in America because of the (racist and antiquated) one drop rule. Try telling someone in Europe that Jennifer Beals is a black woman. She is ETHNICALLY half black but RACIALLY white. She has more in common RACIALLY with Gwyneth Paltrow than Whoopie Goldberg. By putting someone who is biracial and looks white (like Jennifer Beals, Wentworth Miller, Rashida Jones etc) in the same RACIAL category as say, Wesley Snipes is not only incorrect but insane! I had a Race and Ethnicity teacher in college (a black man from London) who said the most confused group of people in the world when it came to race were American blacks. His words not mine. I have read where black people call women like Carol Channing and Carly Simon “black” because they admitted to African lineage. Seriously??? They are WHITE women with African lineage. Honestly, I even know black people that are sick of this concept. I have a black friend with Irish blood, she has said numerous times that she has relatives that live as white and they rightfully should because of the fact that they are. I don’t get it. The black community seems to be so divided. I have another black friend (Jamaican) whos is very dark skinned who says she hates when white looking women (ie Mariah Carey, Jennifer Beals) claim to be black. Her words, not mine. In a world that so glorifies European beauty, it shocks her that black women would even WANT to accept blond haired women gracing the covers of Essence and Ebony magazine. A bit ludicrous no? I’m waiting for the black communitgy to start claiming Claire Danes.

  23. I just read into this, and yeah I can relate, I have been called many names myself and many that are annoying, plus I have been misjudged as a fucking mexican or hispanic, and I am really NOT mexican!!! or hispanic!!! im really half arab (lebanese), half italian, and half spaniard.

  24. I just found this series (thank you google!) and I’m glad to have read it. I am a weird “mix” myself (Irish-Asian mother, Cherokee-African American father) so I really identify with this blog series. I’m beyond-pale with long, red, knappy-kinky hair, slanted green eyes, a broad, hooked nose, big lips, and extremely broad hips, and I am constantly getting asked if I’m mixed, or if my parents are really my parents. I’ve always responded uneasily, but now I think I’m just going to tell people to come look at this blog. Thanks for writing!

  25. I think all three kids have his features. And before all the surgeries he was a handsome man i think people forget what he looked like. I have a son who is dark skinned with almost sandy blonde hair and a past white daughter with black curly hair and dark eyes. I am light to med skinned and black hair but i have a blonde sister and a jet black haird sister . We are mixed . Add my mexican husband with african lineage and it is a grab bag and such a beautiful one! I care about my lineage because it makes me who i am but it does not define me or limit me nor should it be used to gain things i am who i am and happy thats that

  26. Yea, it’s obvious that Michael had issues with his physical appearance. I don’t dispute that. However, I don’t think that he had an issue being Black.

  27. Like others, I also feel that this is a good article. While one could initially perceive you as reinforcing the one-drop rule, that isn’t what you’re doing at all.

    I have to state, though, that even if we give Michael Jackson the benefit of the doubt and say that he didn’t bleach his skin (although there are reports that he bleached his skin to even out the color due to the effects of vitiligo), or even that he didn’t have an issue with being black, I would still have to state he had an issue with his physical appearance. It’s quite apparent that he had multiple plastic surgeries on his face, and every expert plastic surgeon asked to give their opinion on the matter has confirmed that he did. And when you hear/read about Michael saying that his father made fun of his nose and made him feel ugly, and that he felt ugly for a long time because of that, it’s understandable to see how plastic surgery came into play.

  28. Iam danish lrish black and spanish with gray eyes and pale skin only some black people think iam mixed no white people do

  29. Loved reading your article. I am white but everyday someone will ask me, “what are you mixed with” or “are you mixed with black?” I consider it a wonderful compliment but I don’t see anything but little lips, pointy nose and no booty when I look in mirror. On the same token, some people of both black and white races, will accuse me of “acting black” or wishing I were black. I just try to be ME. Thank you for a great read.

  30. Thanks for reading and enjoying, Nikita! Please share this blog with everyone you know. Of course we can keep in touch. Sign up for the newsletter :) *HUGS*

  31. Hello,
    I honestly could off cried when I read this blog. I have a black mom and a White father. I’m very light skinned but have always considered myself black, naturally because I just feel that way, I connect with it more. My mother is black, were very close and she raised me. I’ve had racial abuse from both sides for my colour, which is heart breaking because you feel you belong to both cultures. I love who I am I just wish more people would be open about the colour off
    skin, and see the love I have inside for them and the different cultures off the world, even if Im not apart off them. Why should I be robbed off my heritage or made to feel ashamed?
    Thank you so much for your lovely blog. I’d love to stay In contact

    Kind regards nikita
    Nikita.t.wall@gmail.com

  32. Thank you for this article! A bi-racial child myself (I’m invariably mistaken for being either Mexican or Arab), I was born just as the term “colored” stopped being used in favor of “black.” I never found “colored” offensive as I thought it was a more honest term – because black people ARE different shades. I thought dismissing “colored” took away a more truthful definition of a people’s variety.

  33. I want to thank you for this posts. My mom is white, and my brother as well and I have had the most horrible moments in my life trying to explain that all of us are from the same family. My brother suffered jokes at school and I was bullied.
    Everyone should be conscious about this as it’s a real problem.

  34. I doubt that there will ever truly be a time when color is not an issue, but I hope we can evolve as well. Thanks for reading and leaving a comment.

  35. Amazing blog. Race is something that shouldn’t matter but unfortunately mankind has made it so it does :/ . Hopefully in the far future we’ll evolve to the point where its no longer relevant.

  36. My children are gonna be biracial… I’m pretty sure of that. I do think times are changing in the Netherlands, there are so many mixed children already and in a few years time when I hope to have children that won’t be any different.

    I understand that as a parent you don’t always have the influence on the life of your children you want or the way they feel. But feelings of not belonging to a certain group can take place regardless of your etnicity or the colour of your skin. It’s part of the general human condition. Culturally I differ from other “white” Dutch people which brings with a sense of not belonging, but I’ll see if it’s different for biracial children in the future if the future holds for me to be a father.

  37. Just found this site. Love this series.

    There is one race – human. Everything else is just some man-made idiocy.

    I’ve always said God must either laugh or weep over our sectarian differences. I believe he feels the same way about our “racial” prejudices.

  38. I’m so sorry to hear that your daughter is going through this with the father of her child’s family. Thats’ sick! Thanks for reading and sharing this article.

  39. Loved the article, I found some comfort in it and am excited to show it to my daughter. She is white and four months ago gave birth to a beautiful daughter. The baby’s father is black and medium skinned. The child is very fair skinned with golden brown hair and slate gray/blue eyes. My daughter is going through alot currently as her boyfriend’s friends and relatives don’t believe he is the biological father because the child ” looks too white” She has been asking the baby’s pediatrician during every visit when the baby will get her “color”. I love that the article stresses the insignificance of color. Her girl needs to be loved and accepted for who she is and not whether she is black enough looking for the concerned relatives.

  40. Thanks for the insight. I teach in the city of St. Louis, and I have kids of every imaginable ethnic and race group. I am all European. My mother is a refugee from WWII Austria, and my dad’s side is Irish and English.I learned from your insight and experience. I have a student who by all appearances is white, but is not. I was just worried about him, and you guys gave me an understanding of what his life is like. It sounds like he will be just fine. He’s got an amazing pesonality, very funny, and kind. He is pretty smart too! I’m still trying to learn other cultures. Thank God for the internet!

  41. I really love your blog! I’ve had to deal with this issue all of my life..I am from New Orleans and mixed black, white, french creole. Most people think I’m white, and I know that I do look white. I grew up in a black neighborhood in New Orleans, attended black schools in the 50s’ and 60s’ and always considered myself black as that is what my experience was. My first husband was black and we had a son who looks more black than anything else. He’s now 31 years old and thank God, he’s colorblind.

    Fast forward to my second marriage to a white man. I am often put-off by the racist comments some white folks make around me when they don’t know my heritage. A lot of whites, unfortunately, think all blacks are ghetto and thuggish and that really upsets me. I think this is because some whites only have awareness of the black culture through watching Jerry Springer, Maury, seeing black gang-bangers on the news, etc. — all of which exploit the black stereotype.

    Thanks for the forum to express this!

  42. Nice story/perspective/ experience. i voted she was Arabic /black bc i have dated Arabic and am a pretty good seer of this. My kids are black with many mixed ethnicity is but we all look black. except when my oldest was a baby most thought she was the granddaughter of our phillipina nanny or I was her nanny! sad to think that I would get scoffs and glares because most people ( black) thought that I had a baby by a white man—and so what if i did-which i didn’t but you get me…. hah!
    best to you!

  43. Pingback: DangerousLee.Biz in Review – 2010 |

  44. Hey Kyla! Thanks so much for subscribing and you’re a doll for saying I am amazing, so are you. I enjoyed reading your experience and hearing about your daughter. Have a great holiday :)

  45. This is the first time I’ve ever visited your blog, but girl…you are amazing!

    I am Black, White, and Native American, though I often get mistaken for Hispanic/Latino. I, too, have what Katie grandmother called “Puerto Rican hair”. My sister does not. I took after mom and she took after dad. Couple that with the fact that I am married to and have a child with a White man, and you have the perfect recipe for instant stares.

    My daughter is gorgeous: her eyes are jade, her hair corkscrews of cinnamon, her skin a perfect cafe’ au lait. This was not always the case. When she was an infant, we would get stares everywhere we went. I chalked it up to the fact that I live in a smallish city in the Midwest, but I was forever changed by the words of well and otherwise intentioned passersby who commented on how much she looked like her daddy just because she was fair complected, had straight blonde hair, and light eyes. She doesn’t. She looks just like me. Not until her ringlets began to take shape did anyone even consider she might be “mixed”; they all thought I was taking care of his kid. Oh sweet irony!

    Thank you for your humor, wit, and intellect. I am now going to subscribe!

  46. Thank you very much for this article! ( all 3 parts). I am a woman with a Jewish father and a half-Japanese, half-Black mother. My whole life I have been dealing with others telling me what I am, and trying to figure that out for myself. Growing up people would always think that my mom wasn’t my mom, and be surprised that I am a different color than her. It’s refreshing to read your article because I feel like you understand the complexity of being mixed, but also the ridiculousness of people’s expectations. I look white, and therefore could “pass” as white, and have in the past, but I am becoming more and more happy and proud about my multi-cultural background.

  47. I, myself, think all this fuss about race is just bunch of unnecessary nonse. Why worry so much about what the outside looks like? I know I’m of an age (67) and a race(white), that frequently has problems with someones skin color, and I can’t quite understand it. If my parents were still alive, they wouldn’t either. I have always had friends (and yes, relatives), of every color. At the present time one of my sons is married to a woman from Guyana, they have 3 beautiful kids. Do I love them any less? My husband of 30 years was 3/4 black ,1/4 Cherokee, but I always delighted in telling people that his blood type and mine AND my father’s (who was of Scotch and English descent) were all the same. And our daughter, with a white-black-Cherokee heritage, looks Hispanic. So, again, why all the fuss? God made us all– that’s all that should count.

  48. Thanks for reading and enjoying. It’s a damn shame how some people delete others from our lives simply based on color or ethnicity. They’re missing out.

  49. Interesting series. I love that you’ve been addressing this issue. I’m bi-racial (a “black Indian”) and I’ve had my own experiences, similar to Katie. I’ll never forget the time years ago when I made friends with someone who must of thought I was Hispanic or Middle Eastern, and when she found out I was black, she stopped talking to me. Also had a girl in college I asked out on a date (she was white) and actually asked me if I had any white in me because her father wouldn’t approve of her going out with me if I wasn’t at least some part white.

  50. Pingback: The Half Series – When Black People Look White #2 |

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