The Half Series – When Black People Look White (2 of 3)


Katie Burrell with her son:

Black peopleEstimated reading time: 4 minutes, 35 seconds. Contains 919 words

Most of you are guessing that Katie’s ethnic background is Black and White. Keep on guessing. The truth will be revealed in the third and final installment of this series along with an exclusive interview with Katie.

As I stated in the beginning, I am the mother of a “biracial” or “mixed” child. I use quotation marks for these words because I do not think they are appropriate or correct, but because these are the words used to describe my child and others like her, I will go with the flow so that you can understand where I am coming from.

I think bi or multi-ethnic would be more appropriate.

Why don’t I believe in these terms? Race is a made up social construct. We are all once race. We have different ethnic backgrounds but “race” is not real. We are all mixed in one way or another.

The whole White and Black thing was made up for oppressive purposes that are still alive and well today. If it wasn’t I would not be writing this blog. We’re all 99.9% alike in every way.


Let’s move on to Michael Jackson‘s babies; I believe they are his biological children. Why? Because he admitted in an interview to using his sperm for their creation. I can also see Michael in their features and mannerisms.

You can see a lot of Debbie Rowe in the two oldest children as well, but aren’t children supposed to look like their mama too?

And uh, people act like Michael was dark as hell before vitiligo took over his skin, not that that would make much difference in what his children would look like.

You must also realize that the Jackson clan have mixed ancestry just like every other Black family in the United States. Genes do what the hell they want when they collide.

We don’t control them. They control us! Two dark skinned people can produce a light skinned child.

I know many of you think that Michael had an issue being Black and that he bleached his skin and other such nonsense, so in turn he wanted White children, but you need to let that theory go.

Michael suffered from a skin disorder called, vitiligo. Vitiligo is a skin condition in which there is a loss of brown color (pigment) from areas of skin, resulting in irregular white patches that feel like normal skin.

Vitiligo is hereditary and it has been assumed that Prince also has vitiligo because he has patches of white skin near his underarm.

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Debbie Rowe and Michael Jackson

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Prince, Paris, and “Blanket”

Apparently the youngest, known as Blanket, is Black and Spanish/Italian.

From what I understand, Michael used an anonymous surrogate for him and many people seem to only believe that Blanket is his biological child.

Why only Blanket? Because he looks more ethnic?

If Blanket is indeed Black and Spanish/Italian he is naturally going to look more ethnic than his older brother and sister because they are half Black, half Debbie Rowe (Debbie is a White woman, but I don’t know her ethnicity).


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Paris and Prince

You’re So Pretty! You MUST Be Mixed!

Having a very light skin tone does not make a person any less Black than someone who is black as tar.

Being Black is not literally about having dark skin, it’s about your heritage and about what you identify as. Really it’s about the ethnic background of your parents.

I was watching an old episode of America’s Next Top Model from back in 2005 when Detroit native, Naima won.

Naima is Black, Mexican, and Irish. Another cast mate, Keenyah, a Black woman (background unknown), stated that she didn’t think Naima was Black because  she doesn’t see that in her!

Who the hell is she to define what Black is for someone else and what the hell is she looking for that will make her say , “Ah ha, she is Black!” ? 

Being a brown skinned Black person does not mean you can define Blackness for someone else with lighter skin, and being dark also does not mean you can’t be of mixed heritage.

You can be as chocolate as I am and not be of African descent and you can be as light as Michael’s children and have a Black parent.

Why is this so hard to understand or accept?

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Naima – Winner of America’s Next Top Model 2005

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Keenya – America’s Next Top Model Contestant 2005

Back in my modeling days I constantly heard, “You’re so pretty, are you mixed?”

Of course I took offense to this because the implication is that if you’re a pretty Black woman that you MUST be mixed with something else. You can’t just be Black. Give me a damn break!

I recently attended an Undoing Racism Workshop and let me tell you I was blown away by what I learned. Everyone needs to take part in this workshop if it hits your area.

I promise, you will be enlightened and a lot less ignorant about race and color issues.

Black people will need to be open to the truth about terms such as, Colorism and Internalized Racism and White people will have to face the fact that they have what is called, Internalized Racial Superiority.

I can’t find anything concrete online to directly explain this term, but the truth is out there.

Read. There are tons of books that get into these topics.

Start with Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?

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In the final installment of The Half Series, I will reveal Katie Burrell’s ethnic background and I’m sure you will be shocked.

I was!

In the meantime, stop trippin’ about color and try to love one another.














56 Replies to “The Half Series – When Black People Look White (2 of 3)”

  1. You and I both paint, and I’m sure we understand that everyone’s color is as individual as everything else, it’s all just different shades of skin that don’t necessarily identify anything.

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  7. Fascinating…definitely food for thought. I hope you do not mind if I pass this on to a few other individuals I know.

  8. Wow, this blog is very ineresting. I am half black and half white (my dad is the black parent), I am one of those “mixed” people who are in-between. Someone once described me specifically as such. My mom almost never bought me white dolls when I was little unless I asked for one. She always wanted my brothers and sisters and me to embrace our ethnic backround.
    Anyway, I have an 8 yr old whose father is white, but she does not look white except for her straight hair. I’m now married to a man who is “mixed” like me and we have a 5 month old baby girl.

    “Genes do what the hell they want when they collide. ” That is so true! My older brother has 2 children with a white woman. The eldest is like my daughter and the baby who is 3 has blonde curly hair and gray eyes! He’s so cute, fair skin maye even olive but he looks like his dad! By the way, your daughter does so look like you! Her skin is just lighter. You are both beautiful.

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  10. what gives us a color? melanin.what is melanin?chemical key of life.Study what Melanin is all about Black people you have the most of Melanin internal (organs etc..) and external (skin) Chemical Key of Life.
    Melanin is in the cosmos,Vegetation,animals,humans Melanin is needed in order for these to exist.where do melanin come from?From the pineal Gland (Third Eye) located in the forehead area.this gland is very important for inner-vision, spiritual understanding in depth as well other things.when u lay with white people you diminish your powers this is the truth.please read Dr. Richard King book Melanin A key to freedom

  11. internalized racial superiority? wow!?? so basically what youre trying to tell me is that our racial backgrounds dont define who we are and what we look like and to stop trippin about color and love one another….. oh but by the way all you white ppl njust naturally think youre better than the rest of us. youve just basically udermined what you just said and made matters worse. thanks a lot.

    1. Our ethnicity does not define who we are, we are much more than just Black, Asian, Hispanic etc. No one should be defined solely on their “racial” background. The point is, race is made up, we are all one race. Internalized racial superiority is something that White people deal with, whether they know it or not. Also, I am not a White woman. I think you have severely misunderstood some very key points of this series. Read again!

  12. I found this post very interesting. I agree with most of it, but not with all of it.

    You see, my mother is of dual heritage. Her dad was black,but she never knew any black members of her family. Recently I asked her if push came to shove, whether she would consider herself black or white. She said black, simply because she had darker skin. So how can race be purely about identification when she felt she had more in common with a race she had little sociological connection with?

    Having said this, perhaps it was more about what she was not, and that could be related to racial elitism and how exclusive ‘white’ is to ‘the other’ (anything that isn’t white).

    Then there’s my brother and I. We have exactly the same facial features but in a different colour. I look fully white and was always being told that I was adopted growing up. I was clearly related to my brother, thus my mother, but people were unwilling to accept I could be her child. Even now people get confused.

    With regards to people’s comments about you being mixed race rather than fully black, I recently watched a documentary that suggested mixed race children are genetically superior; their parents’ DNA would vary much more if they were of different ethnic origins, thus giving their children a greater range of useful genes. This may not be a very ethical theory as it gives rise to racial superiority and we all know where that goes…but it was interesting none-the-less.

    Thank you for your post. It was a very interesting read and gave me something to mull over (as you might have guessed). Keep up the interesting posts!

  13. Thank you for these articles! I am half black and no one can ever tell. My mother is extremely “high yellow” and my dad is Asian. Her brothers and sisters look undeniably black, but are probably considered “light-skinned.” My mom, however, does not look that “black.” She has near “white” skin, doesn’t have kinky hair and her eyes are hazel. Of course, I am far from “looking black” and have even had people get angry and accuse me of lying. My mom is “fully black” and I put that into quotes because yes, there is some racial mixture in the background due to slavery and the fact that many of my ancestors escaped slavery early on and lived amongst Native Americans. However, both of her parents are black and look black. I’ve even had people tell me that my grandparents must have lied to her and that she’s actually adopted. Further, I don’t have a curvy, thick body like most black girls do and am slightly perpetually tanned, am very tall and have frizzy brown hair, not porcelain skin, pocket-sized bodies or the long jet black hair most want Asian girls to have. My dad is fully Chinese, from Shanghai yet, is 6’3″. Heh, I guess it was always impossible for me to fit into an ethnic mold with a background like that!

  14. Hmmm I had to spend some time thinking about this for so many reasons before I replied. First, I have to say this is really nice to read, and see. Your daughter looks like me in the skin dept, but other than that not much.
    I am also “biracial’ and it has been a constant struggle all of my life to find my “identity” because of social and cultural narrowness. I am “white” looking but my hair tells a different story. Black people generally don’t know or are in denial of my heritage and call me Latino because it’s comfortable. White people don’t know and call me Jewish or Latino because it’s comfortable. I still struggle with this every time I see a black person I wonder “do they know I’m one of them?” But, in truth I’m not nor am I white, Latino, Mulatto, Mixed, Biracial, Black, high yellow or anything else. I’m simply me. As much as this disturbs people that I don’t “claim a side” it has always hurt and pissed me off that people constantly had to put me in a box, but I refuse to be put there. What is wonderful about being who I am and how I was raised is that I can walk in two worlds comfortably (mostly, depending on the situation) and I can see most sides of cultural arguments. I’ve been discriminated against from every “color” out there. We/I are an “anomaly” of no name “abominations.” Yet what is ridiculous is that most “black” people in this country have “white” ancestry and there are many white people that have one drop of black in them too. This is a constantly frustrating issue and there is no easy end in sight to the racial struggle people face regardless of ethnic background. My son is a perfect example he is half Mexican and then he has me as his mother. His story will be even more interesting. Yet, I promise he will be discriminated against because he isn’t Mexican enough or white enough, etc, and lord forbid he identifies with black culture. My mother (who was black) tried very hard to fight this all her life. Mind you she was disowned by her family for marrying a white man in the early 70’s, as was he from his, except for his mother. (They were happily married for over 40 years before her death and he raised 5 of her children from a previous marriage and 3 more were born to both of them.) I could go on and on because this is so close to home for me.

  15. Fascinating article(s). If I have anything other than “white” in my heritage it isn’t obvious. I have extremely pale skin and blonde hair, I consider myself “pink” rather than white! I also have a LOT of Viking in my/my family heritage…which are generally considered vicious and violent killers and thieves in the UK…just adding this point having read that I apparently have internalized racial superiority!
    I believe people are beautiful if they smile, are positive and are happy in their skin.

  16. you’re dumb, italian and spanish people(actual spanish people from spain, not people who are part native american) are white people, go look at pictures of people like footballers claudio marchisio who is italian and gerard pique who is spanish, and tell me thet they arent white, what is it with dumb people in the united states and not understanding this

  17. Many African Americans have asked if I am mixed race. Although I am very fair with light brown hair and blue eyes, I have very full lips, a wide nose, a strong jawline and curly hair. My body type is thick and I have a bubble butt.
    My mom is Scandinavian, my father has Middle Eastern ancestry, if anyone asks I tell them it’s certainly possible I have African ancestry, but it happened back in the old country (family is second generation in US on both sides) and I am not sure when or where!
    Genes are like that, they can pop up at strange times. Wish I had a better answer!
    Sometimes I say there are lots of mixed race people in the Meditteranean area and always have been.
    When get mistaken/assumed for being an Eastern European Jewish person, I say that I am just “Jewesque” not Jewish.

  18. Italians and Spaniards ARE white. The one drop rule was racist and hateful and I don’t know one white or non black person that perpetuates it, only blacks. Don’t get me started on the race vs ethnicity confusion. I already ranted on that.

    1. Kathy – Yes, Italians and Spaniards are “considered” white, but that has not always been the case. Research it! Also, Italian and Spaniards are very ethic looking and often have a skintone!

  19. I’m mixed; half black and half white. And while I agree with the fact that there is no such thing as a “pure-bred” among human beings, there’s a few things I disagree with in this blog:

    1) Your insistance that Michael Jackson’s children are his biological children is rather bewildering. Only a DNA test can confirm, but I see no reason to believe that they are. Firstly, they look *nothing* like him, and that’s particularly telling in a family like the Jacksons, who all bear an unmistakable resemblance with each other. Even his nephews 3T look more like him than his own kids. And those offspring, like many other Jackson grandchildren, are also mixed.
    Secondly, while it is totally plausible that all three could be the children of a black man, Michael’s track record with telling the truth was his own undoing. (i.e. only two plastic surgeries) He couldn’t even keep his story straight when explaining Blanket’s parentage. In that now-infamous Bashir documentary, he first stated that Blanket’s mother was a woman that he had been in a relationship with. He then changed his story and made her an anonymous surrogate… a *black* surrogate.

    2) Stating that Blanket is half black and half Spanish/Italian is even more bewildering. Where did you get the “Spanish/Italian” from? Michael stated, in his own words, that Blanket’s mother — who was, apparently, an anonymous surrogate that he didn’t know but somehow had been in a relationship with — was black. And even if she was Spanish/Italian, she would still be classified as white, making her no more darker than any other person of European origin.

    1. Yep! Michael did say that Blanket’s mother was Black, but I’m sure we all know that’s BS! During that interview Michael also said that Black people come in all shades when asked why “Blanket” is so light! Where did I get the Spanish/Italian from? I read Frank Cascio’s book, My Friend Michael, and he talks about who Blanket’s mother is. According to Frank she is olive skinned…as you would expect someone of Italian/Spanish descent to be. Why did Michael lie about it in an interview? In my opinion, he was high and irritated with Martin Bashir and felt like fucking with him during the interview that went horribly wrong. Also, Michael has made it clear that he used his sperm for all three kids and I have also made it clear what I think about comments that the kids look nothing like him, so I’m not going to rehash them here. Thanks for the comments and I’m glad you stopped by!

  20. Thank you for an interesting read! I’ve been asked if I’m mixed before. My mom’s Eastern European and my dad appeared white, but he was cut off from his family and all I’ve seen are a couple of random aunt pictures, so who knows? Anyway, I learned things. Thanks again!

  21. Sorry but you let your bias/love for your mixed race child in the way , and I think that you fall for a colorblind mentality regarding his or her white half . As you Use MJ is more obvious , cause his sickness didnot force him to do his hair like a white or do surgery to reduce his nose …. and yes having a child with a white person do not let you off the hook of having internalized racism or in your case colorism as you tend to forget that a passing for a white child will have more privilege than you in society. A passing for a white person like latinx or arabs tend to,has privileges and it is exactly the same for lighter skin blacks because that is how the racist white supremacy system works !! I am not surprised that ppl in favor of your colorblind response regarding your mixed Race or white passing chold are mixed race themselves , whites or parents of mixed race child . It doesn’t matter that you admit it or not the realty is that if you do not check or open the eyes of your child in his or her privilege regarding his or her light skin , you will enable her/him to reproduce white supremacy skim inside the black community . You cannot seriously deny that the blacker your are the more discrimination you face ??? If you do you more delusional that you think and do not understand the system at all . Mixed race or light skin ppl who are call out about their whiteness fell to realize that if they do not understand their privileges and deny them they are part of the problem too . Frankly use the argument that every one in America is mixed race is really low because you do not call yourself mixed race but blacks! Unfortunately yes you have internalized colorism and even if you want to hide that in your pro black women title you spill the same arguments that non black ppl say when being called out about their privileges , in order to stay woke you have to check yourself once in a while on every subject . Life will bring your more ppl who will call you out on that either you want it or don’t . Last thing Darker ppl like Africans for instance have the right to question the light skin person because melanin is a force that they feel better than us either you admit it or not . One quarter of melanin say that you have 3 quarter of none so it is simple , you feel less the force of it and that is exactly why whites hate us .

    1. I don’t think you read all three parts of this series or that you understand my POV. My daughter knows all too well about light-skin privilege. Your grammar makes it difficult for me to understand exactly where you’re coming from but thanks for taking the time to leave such a long and passionate comment.

Tell me how you feel!