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Delano

what does it mean to be black

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This thread seems to weave it self  through topics here. It's like what makes a good speaker the Tweeter or the Woofer.  Highs or Lows. Birds or Dogs. Poodles or Pit Bulls. Jessy Norman or Aretha Franklin.

Maya Angelou or Dave Chappelle. 

 

Who decides or You decide 

Thinking or Feeling.

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Del like the concept of race, what is means to be Black is arbitrary and in the eye of the beholder.  As a result, there can never be an objective determination of what Blackness means; it is up to the individual  Even the government allows people to self-assess.

As illustrated in conversations over the years here, there is no objective or subjective agreement on what it mean to be culturally, socially, mentally, or even physically black. "Black people are not a monolith" has become a cliche.

Speaking of what it means to be Black, Rachel Dolezal, a former leader in the Black community, just had a new book published, In Full Color Finding My Place in a Black and White World:

9781944648169.jpg

 

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Folks can make all the declarations that want about what they are and who they are when it comes to "race".  But they are deluded if they think how they identify themselves  resonates in society-at-large if the way the look doesn't coincide with the physical appearances that are associated with Europeans, Asians, and Negroids.  

What you think you are is voided by how an unsophisticated  world sees you.  A person may consider themselves black but if they have fair skin blue eyes and straight hair, they will spend a lifetime, trying to convince people  that they are black no matter what persona they adopt.  If you have brown skin with frizzy hair and a flat nose, nobody but a blind person is  going to perceive you as white just because you say are white by virtue of having one black parent and one white one, and you have chosen to be white.  If you have yellow skin and slanted eyes and straight black hair, you cannot declare yourself to be black because you dig Rap music and like collard greens

 It doesn't matter what you say you are.  People will decide for themselves what you are to them and their eyes will be the final judge, not the superficial affectations of  people trying to transcend "reality".   

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If it were up to ME......people wouldn't just get to decide their own race.
Just like I wouldn't allow them to decide their own sex.

Being able to decide what race you are based on how you "feel" makes about as much sense as a man with a penis and testicles waking up one morning and declaring himself a woman because he happens to "feel" like one.

I would have some sort of social/govermental standard that would be pretty across the board and quite scientific but you would have to accept that designation regardless as to what you WANT to call yourself.

We have to have some standards.

I was talking to a Puerto Rican friend of my the other day and we're always talking about race and who is considered what.  He often gets angry with me when it comes to his son because he consideres his son Puerto Rican and I don't because his mother is White.
He....like many Hispanics I've known....love to claim the children they have with White people as being just as "Latino" as they are.

You have to some sort of limit or standard to keep or else you'll have massive confusion, even more so than you already have.

Rachel Dolezal is just a test.
A test to see how crazy some Black people are.
To see how so many will be willing to ACCEPT this obviously White person just outright falsely claiming to be Black.
If we embrace it or take an indifferent attidute to it not caring; then the next step will be to give the few benefits and preferencial treatment that was originally designed for Black people...REAL Black people....to now these "new" Black people who are really White.



They were able to do it with the Native Americans........
I've seen so many White skinned people with blond hair claiming to be "Native American" it would be a joke if it weren't so sad.

What's sad about it is a lot of REAL Native Americans (brown skin, black hair, thick features) are dying out from alcoholism and suicide; while White and near White people are claiming their heritage and reaping much of the money and benefits.

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Pioneer, I used to think like you too, but I see thing differently

When I first went to college I was talking to some other students they were Blond with blue eyes.  I asked them where they were from and they said, "Puerto Rico."  I could not believe it.  All the Puerto Rican I knew looked Black or if they were light skinned they had dark hair and dark eyes.  They look whiter than white, the only difference was they spoke Spanish.

Puerto Rico is a culture and "nationality," neither have anything to do with one's so-called Race.  Your friend's son is Puerto Rican, when he gets older he may decie to become a white American--like som many others have.

Pray tell, what preferential treatment do Black people get that white people would renounce their whiteness to get?

If a white man rapes a native American and the child is reared as a native America, and claims to be one, why can't he be?

Human gender is determined by more than one's sex organs.

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Troy


I understand that Puerto Rican is a nationality just like American and Mexican and people come in all colors with all types of features.
BUT..........

What about his mother's influence?
We can't just look at the father and the influence HIS genes had on the child and not look at the mother's.

His White mother has given the child skin ligher than his (and he himself has yellowish skin)....as well as straighter hair and GREEN EYES!

Clearly the child isn't the same "race" as his father regardless as to what they want to call him.

Now what if his son is considered Puerto Rican and HE grows up to have a child by another White woman....would HE TOO be considered Puerto Rican?

You see where I'm going with this?

Pretty soon you'll have a race of blonde haired blue eyed White people running around with black hoodies on speaking Spanish and mean mugging people who walk past them talking about, "Why you looking at me....you don't like Puerto Ricans or something????"

You have to draw the line somewhere.

 

 

If a white man rapes a native American and the child is reared as a native America, and claims to be one, why can't he be?

Because he's not.
He's only HALF Native American.

What about his WHITE half?
We can't just ignore it and it's contribution to his gene pool

Now he can claim Native American CULTURE.....as long as it's understood that it's the CULTURE he claims to be apart of and not the race itself; for the same reasons I mentioned about my boy's son being claimed as Rican.

If you don't draw a line somewhere pretty soon White people will take the identity over.


 

Human gender is determined by more than one's sex organs.

I didn't say GENDER....I said SEX.
There's a difference.

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There you go again Pioneer using subjective means to access one's so called race.  

What about the mother influence?

If Barack Obama went around trying to assert his whiteness based upon the 50% of the genes he got from his mother;  Black folks would never have put him into office.  We already know how Tiger Woods was treated by Black folks when he tries to embrace his mother's "race."   

As far as your question about the Puerto Rican's kid's children.  I personally don't consider people born and raised in America anything else but American. I think that might be the legal definition as well.

Do you know anything about people who are transgender, or have gender dysphoria?  It is complicated stuff and not as black and white as you are trying to make it.

 

@Delano It was not clear if you were asking questions, making rhetorical statement, or doing something else to prompt discussion  Maybe using a question mark after your questions would make that clearer.

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Puerto Ricans are people born in Puerto Rico, just like people born in Cuba are Cubans. They come in all colors.  Singer Jennifer Lopez,  actors Rita Moreno and Rosie Perez, John Leguizamo, Supreme court Justice Sonia Sotomayer, and the creator of the musical "Hamilton", Lin Manuel Miranda  are of  Puerto Rican ethnicity by virtue of  of either they or their parents being born there. And they all identify themselves as Puerto Rican. 

Mexicans distance themselves from Puerto Ricans and look down on them.Then there are the Dominicans.  All these groups have Hispanic surnames and speak Spanish but they claim the heritage of the country they or their parents are from and they come in all colors.

If you want to see black Hispanics, look no further than major league baseball.  

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Troy

If Barack Obama went around trying to assert his whiteness based upon the 50% of the genes he got from his mother; Black folks would never have put him into office. We already know how Tiger Woods was treated by Black folks when he tries to embrace his mother's "race."

You're talking about how society VIEWS race...which is often erroneous.
I'm talking about BIOLOGY and how nature itself distributes and manifests the genes that racial classification is based on.

I've seen pictures of Barack's father, he was a dark skinned African.
Obama looks NOTHING like his father despite people calling him a "Black man".

Why?

Because his mother's White genetics CLEARLY had a heavy influence on him and made him HALF of what she is despite what society may classify him as.


As far as your question about the Puerto Rican's kid's children. I personally don't consider people born and raised in America anything else but American. I think that might be the legal definition as well.

I agree wholeheartedly.
I actually wish people of color who were born and raised here would start calling themselves Americans more instead of letting blonde hair White people....many of whom are children of European immigrants themselves.....monopolize the term.

If you watch the American Music Award shows they try to make it seem as if Country music is somehow the standard "American" music...as opposed to Rap or Jazz and other forms that Black Americans invented.

Even many Asians will say "American"  refering to White people but when it comes to us they'll use the color or racial term.
They'll say, "Don't marry a Black man....marry an American man instead".


 

Do you know anything about people who are transgender, or have gender dysphoria? It is complicated stuff and not as black and white as you are trying to make it.

Once again.....
I'm not talking GENDER but SEX.
People who are TRANSGENDER aren't necessarily TRANSEXUAL but you seem to be combining or confusing the two.

The only demographic I've been comparing race to is SEX....because both are biological/genetic.....not gender which is more psychologica/social.

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Pioneer, you realize of course that Obama could have come out looking as white as the Jesus you envision.  It was just the roll of the genetic dice that resulted in his physical appearance.

If Obama was born looking like his mother and could pass for what you define as "white," you would be calling him white--and there would be no difference in his ancestry. Further, despite an identical upbringing you would treat and think of Obama completely differently applying a completely different set of stereotypes to him.

Pioneer define "sex."

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Once again what you call yourself and how people see you could very well not coincide because Society has discriminating eyes!  A woman could tell a friend that her daughter is dating an American and when the friend  met the daughter's boyfriend,  the first thing she would say to the mother was was why didn't you tell me your daughter's boyfriend was black, if he was black.  

You could tell your friend that you just got a new pet animal.  And the first thing the friend will ask is what kind of animal because animal like American isn't explicit enough for a curious society.

A friend who you haven't seen in a long time has just lost 10lbs, She sees herself as thinner but  since thinner doesn't make her resemble the way she did the last time you saw her, you will see her as fatter.

What is the point of putting humans all in the same category and expecting everybody to just overlook their distinctive traits???  Why should people not identify with a group who they share a similar appearance and culture with? What is wrong with hyphenated ethnicity?  

As for Obama, his mother's white genes didn't prevail because he simply looks like a light-skinned black person with hair that isn't straight and a broad nose.  He is a perfect mixture of his parentage.    

  

 

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Some questions of demarcations aren't about boxes. The motive could be curiosity. 

When someone says my gay friend, my black or (adjective) friend they aren't just hyphenating they are showing their prejudice. Although in practice I agree with your hyphenated stayement Cynique. 

Just to be clear I neither want to define  what is Black. Nor am I interested in fitting in categories that make people comfortable or uncomfortable. 

I try and spend aome time in different worlds.

Is blackness color culture or some combination of the two.

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Nobody wants to be categorized just to make people comfortable.  But people want to be made comfortable and their collective attitude prevails over an individual's yearning to be unique.

The ubiquitous insatiable ego convinces its owner that he or she is special,  But others might think he or she is crazy, moody, cranky, anti-social, conceited, cocky, obnoxious, or stupid.  Which is why self-deprecating people can be the most endearing and charming,  and laid back ones the most mesmerizing. IMO :o^_^;)  Slow day...

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Troy

 

Pioneer, you realize of course that Obama could have come out looking as white as the Jesus you envision. It was just the roll of the genetic dice that resulted in his physical appearance.

The Jesus I "envision" wouldn't have a color....because he probably wouldn't exist to have one...lol.



 

If Obama was born looking like his mother and could pass for what you define as "white," you would be calling him white--and there would be no difference in his ancestry.

This is true....because he WOULD be White.

Remember, race isn't JUST genetics but also phenotype or how they actually LOOK.
So even if a person has a Black parent, if they come out LOOKING White then they ARE White.
We can't make people Black just because they may have had Black parents......ALL races of human beings originally came from Black parents.

What I'm saying probably doesn't make sense to you because you probably define Black the same erroneous way MOST people in the United States does.
.....going by that old crazy ass "one drop" rule that doesn't make any sense and isn't grounded in reality.
The only reason they came up with that "one drop makes you Black" nonsense was in a vain and silly attempt to keep the White race what they called "pure".

Go to Italy or Spain or France and you'll see thousands of people who CLEARLY have more than a drop of Black ancestry and they're still called Italian, Spanish, or French and would be classified as White.



Pioneer define "sex."


THE definition of SEX (not just Pioneer's) according to those who are qualified to define is:

"either of the two major forms of individuals that occur in many species and that are distinguished respectively as female or male especially on the basis of their reproductive organs and structures"

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sex


Sex is PHYSICAL/GENETIC.
Gender is SOCIAL/ROLE PLAYING

However just like culture is often rooted in the genetics of race, gender is often rooted in the genetics of sex.




 

Cynique

Once again what you call yourself and how people see you could very well not coincide because Society has discriminating eyes! A woman could tell a friend that her daughter is dating an American and when the friend met the daughter's boyfriend, the first thing she would say to the mother was was why didn't you tell me your daughter's boyfriend was black, if he was black.

What is the point of putting humans all in the same category and expecting everybody to just overlook their distinctive traits??? Why should people not identify with a group who they share a similar appearance and culture with? What is wrong with hyphenated ethnicity?

As for Obama, his mother's white genes didn't prevail because he simply looks like a light-skinned black person with hair that isn't straight and a broad nose. He is a perfect mixture of his parentage.


:rolleyes:I totally agree and I'm not sure if I could have stated the above more clearly.

When it comes to explaining the concept of "race" to Troy, I think I'm gonna just let Cynique do the talking......lol.

 

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Just to be clear I neither want to define what is Black

Is blackness color culture or some combination of the two.

 
:huh: ?????

 
Blackness is a COLOR made up of 2 races.

And within those 2 races you'll find thousands of completely different cultures.


Black people who grew up in the United States usually find this out the hard way by interacting....or TRYING to interact.....with Black people from India, or African and Carribean countries.

A lot of Africans who come here find it easier to get along with White Americans than AfroAmericans because the way we talk and behave is often so completely different from the way they were trained in preparing themselves for America.

Because most of the Americans who go abroad and teach or perform missionary work are White Americans, these people learn White American customs.

I live near a university and see quite a few African students; it's always interesting to watch their metamorphosis !

In the fall when school is just starting you see them walking around in dockers that are too short, choppy hair cuts, ashy hands and arms, and saying "morning" to you with a dry smile as they walk past you in a hurry.....
About 6 or 7 months later after observing OTHER Black folk (some "real niggaz"..lol) they stroll past you in some baggy Girbaud jeans with either a bald head or fade nodding back at you or maybe saying "whaddup" if he feels like it......lol.

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@Pioneer1, so you are asserting that l Blackness is solely about skin color. And because of his complexion, Obama is Black.  Do I understand you correctly

Are you also saying culture as nothing to do with what is means to be "Black" in America?  

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Troy

so you are asserting that l Blackness is solely about skin color. And because of his complexion, Obama is Black. Do I understand you correctly

Blackness isn't only about skin color, but it IS one of the biggest factors.

We have Black albinos whose skin is whiter than most White people's so you can JUST use skin color; you also have to look at their ancestry, facial structure, and hair structure.

It's not just ONE feature that determines a person's race but a multitude of factors.

Obama...in my opinion.....isn't Black. (Unless you're talking about Michelle...lol)
Like Cynique said, he's actually a true MIXED RACED human being having both Black and White phenotypical traits.


He IS an AfroAmerican.....but he's not Black.
There's a difference between AfroAmerican (ethnic group) and Black (race).
 

 

Are you also saying culture as nothing to do with what is means to be "Black" in America?

Technically....no.
There are hundreds of thousands if not millions of Black people in America who don't share "AfroAmerican" culture.

You have many Africans.....Blacker than you and I....who don't share our culture.
You have thousands of Black Hispanics who don't share our culture but practice Latino culture.
You have thousands of East Indians.....Blacker than you and I....who don't share our culture and really don't even see themselves as Black.

 

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OK I see why I misunderstood you @Pioneer1, In this conversation I've been equating Black with African-American, Afro-American, Negro, etc as it relates to African American culture.  

You are equating Black primarily with skin color, with no real relationship to culture.

Still, it is not clear given your definition why Obama is not Black.  He is basically the same complexion as I am; am I not Black?  My mother and sister are much lighter than Obama, are they also not Black? Let me know.

 

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Troy

You are equating Black primarily with skin color, with no real relationship to culture.

Exactly



Still, it is not clear given your definition why Obama is not Black. He is basically the same complexion as I am; am I not Black?

I've seen only limited pictures of you but you don't look Obama's complexion to me.
Obama is a light brown complexion and you seem to be medium brown.

 

Image result for barack obama


Also, his features are different than yours.
His lips are thinner and his head is more "angular"....larger dome with a smaller jaw line...like most Europeans.

 

Like most AfroAmericans I'm sure you're mixed with White and Native American ancestry from way back, but since your African features dominate I consider you Black.
You don't have to be 100% just to be of a certain race, just be predominant in those traits.

But Obama's African features don't "dominate".....he's pretty even between both races phenotypically speaking.


Look Troy, the thing we must keep in mind is the fact that while Obama is DIRECTLY mixed....meaing one of his parents is actually White....many so-called "Black" people in the United States are INDIRECTLY mixed.  Meaning they have a lot of White (and Native American) ancestry and it comes out in their complexion and facial features just like his does. 

So when you point to another AfroAmericans and say:
"Well THEY are Black and Obama looks like THEM so Obama must be Black too!"

Really, all you're doing is comparing 2 mixed raced people!
NEITHER ONE is truly "Black" racially speaking but the only difference is one has an immediate White parent and the other has Whites ancestors further back.

Which leads me to my NEXT response....................

 


My mother and sister are much lighter than Obama, are they also not Black? Let me know

I don't know, I would have to look at them to make that judgment.
As I said before, although complexion/skin color is one of the BIGGEST factors in determining race, it's not the ONLY one....other features go into it.

There are groups of Africans in southern Africa known as San and Khoi people who are YELLOW in complexion with slanted eyes but are still "Black" racially speaking.

 

Image result for san people             Image result for san people



Speaking of southern Africa.........

If you're sitting back shaking your head and laughing at what I'm saying -
Just remember that in South Africa you have millions of people just like us here in the United States but unlike us they all don't consider themselves "Black".

One group calls themselves Black and the other call themselves "Colored".
Now the Coloreds look just like many AfroAmericans, light skinned with curly hair and some European features but they don't consider themselves Black!

So don't trip or think it's so ridiculous at my suggesting that many fellow AfroAmericans like Beyonce or Al B Sure or even Prince shouldn't be considered "Black", if this were any other nation besides the United States....trust me they probably wouldn't consider THEMSELVES Black either!

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@Pioneer1 I'm not going to muddy the issue by getting it into all the other characteristics you described like lips size head angularity (whatever that means) and all the rest.

I'll just stick with your definition of black dealing with skin color. On one hand you say those who are not Bernie Mac black are simply mixed like Obama and myself. Then you introduce some people Chinese looking people from southern Africa and say they are "racially black!"

Those people have characteristics, racially speaking, that one would normally associate with Asians. However you find no difficulty in calling them black. Don't you see how little sense that makes? It's just too inconsistent.

In fact it is so inconsistent and subjective it is impossible understand.

The fact that all your reasoning is based on 18th century science does not help your position either. As I said a million times there is only one race and it is human.

According to you, the majority of so call Black people in America are "mixed race," not truly Black.

Therefore what it means to be black to you is to either be Precious purple or look like the Chinese looking people in South Africa.

 

 

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Troy

I checked it out, and I don't agree with our brother.

Especially on the "not being American" part that he starts off with.

Who gets to decide who is an American?
The U.S. Constitution does.....and it makes it CLEAR that we ARE Americans.

Now if someone is silly enough to sit up and let someone else steal their identity and birthright and claim it for themselves while they crawl off in some corner, fold their arms, and mumble cuss words to themselves out of frustration.........
That's no one's fault but their own own.
That person gave up and gave in.


And what was THIS statement all about??

"
And also, African-American has no cultural value. Unlike Italian-American, Asian-American, Native American, Blacks have no heritage or motherland to connect to to display pride and unification throughout the world. Blacks, in general, are the newest breed of humans on the planet. "

:unsure: I HOPE the brother was just being sarcastic with that statement!

Anyway...............

 



On one hand you say those who are not Bernie Mac black are simply mixed like Obama and myself. Then you introduce some people Chinese looking people from southern Africa and say they are "racially black!"

Either you're purposely twisting my words, OR not taking time to read and comprehend them clearly.
I said skin color is an important factor in determining race but not the ONLY factor.
Furthermore I said you don't have to be 100% of a particular race just to be considered part of it.
Almost ALL AfroAmericans have some non-Black ancestry to various degrees but most are still considered Black racially speaking because their Black genes dominate.



The fact that all your reasoning is based on 18th century science does not help your position either. As I said a million times there is only one race and it is human.

Lol......
That's like saying there's only one sex....the HUMAN SEX.
Or there's only one language...the HUMAN LANGUAGE.

Another point of confusion is the term "Black" used for a racial classification.
I've been using it on this site because most of the people here use it and most people I know use it.....but it's not very accurate in describing our race because as you pointed out there ARE plenty of pure Africans who are considered "Black" but their skin is naturally light without admixture.

The more accurate term and the term I actually use the most is  "African race".
Just like I usually don't say "White" but "Caucasian" because it's more accurate.

I think I'll start a thread with you in mind to try and clarify people on my concepts of race and ethnicity.

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