Black, White and Other… Worldwide

Black, White and Other… Worldwide

The Huffington Post

Marcia Alesan Dawkins, Visiting Scholar
Brown University

Even though the 21st century is seeing an exponential increase in reports of multiracial ancestry worldwide, exactly what makes a person multiracial remains a puzzling concept. According to the Association of Multiethnic Americans and Project RACE, the definition of a multiracial/interracial person is either someone whose parents were of more than one race or racial background, or someone who had parents that were of different racial groups. But what about those who identify with more than one racial background, irrespective of their parents’ identities? Or, those who identify with a racial background completely different from those of their parents?

Case in point: Nmachi Ihegboro, a blond haired and blue-eyed white baby born earlier this month to proud black Nigerian parents Ben and Angela Ihegboro in London UK. Nmachi’s parents are somewhat mystified about how they could create a white child and they are not the only ones. According to the New York Post, genetics experts are also baffled. So far they have offered three theories: (1) Nmachi “is the result of a gene mutation unique to her. If that is the case, Nmachi would pass the gene to her children — and they, too, would likely be white. (2) She’s the product of long-dormant white genes… that might have been carried by” her ancestors “for generations without surfacing until now.” Genetics professor Sykes of Oxford University thinks that some form of mixed race ancestry would seem to be necessary, and notes that sometimes multiracial women can carry some genetic material for white children and some genetic material for black children. It is also conceivable that the same holds true for multiracial men. (3) “While doctors have said Nmachi is not an outright albino, or lacking in all pigment, they added that the child may have some kind of mutated version of the genetic condition — and that her skin could darken over time.”…

Read the entire article here.

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