Look: Co-Parenting Mixed-Race Kids Requires More Than Racial Tolerance

Posted in Articles, Family/Parenting, Interviews, Media Archive, United States on 2016-12-15 19:17Z by Steven

Look: Co-Parenting Mixed-Race Kids Requires More Than Racial Tolerance

Black Entertainment Television (BET)

Ashley Simpo

What happens when fetishizing Black bodies results in having to raise one? An interview with Nick Harris.

It’s far from unique to see an interracial couple these days. The millennial generation is the most racially mixed to date and the U.S. Census predicts that, by the year 2044, there won’t even be a white majority. But within the larger construct of interracial love are several smaller, equally vital conversations — one of which is interracial co-parenting. What happens when an interracial couple has a child and then splits up? What issues arise?

These are questions single father Nick Harris had to come to terms with recently in a text exchange between himself and his daughter’s white mother. Nick posted a text conversation with his ex concerning his daughter’s hairstyle, which was the pretty common style of cornrows done by the child’s aunt, and the screen shots went viral. When his daughter’s mother saw a picture of the braids, she berated Harris, saying the style looked “too Black.” Harris defended his choice by reminding her that their daughter is, in fact, half Black. The exchanged escalated and went on for three pages. Once the internet caught wind of the epic text battle, the outrage sparked a heated reaction…

Read the entire interview here.

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Misty Copeland on Why She Doesn’t Identify as Biracial: ‘I Am Viewed as a Black Woman’

Posted in Arts, Biography, Media Archive, United States, Videos, Women on 2015-10-18 18:19Z by Steven

Misty Copeland on Why She Doesn’t Identify as Biracial: ‘I Am Viewed as a Black Woman’

Black Entertainment Television (BET)

Evelyn Diaz

Misty Copeland

The history-making ballerina on changing the game.

Misty Copeland and director Nelson George recently talked about their new documentary, A Ballerina’s Tale, which chronicles Copeland’s awe-inspiring rise to becoming the first Black principal dancer at the American Ballet Theater. The film is not only a portrait of one of the most exciting artists of our generation, but a look at how difficult it still is for people of color to gain entry into some parts of American life.

Asked why it was important for him to tell Copeland’s story, George’s answer is simple: “Black artists aren’t documented very well,” he says.

Copeland, meanwhile, got real about the backlash she’s experienced from her own people because of her skin color. “I’ve gotten some flack from the African-American community…[people] say ‘you’re not really Black,’ or ‘you don’t really have dark skin,'” she says. “I’m fully aware that it’s harder to succeed in ballet as a darker-skinned woman, but it has to start somewhere.” She adds that the racial discrimination in ballet — and the rest of the world — doesn’t differentiate between dark-skinned and light-skinned. “I know that I’m viewed as a Black woman in society,” she says.

Watch our full interview with Copeland and George below, and see A Ballerina’s Tale in select theaters and on VOD now.

Watch the video here.

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I’m both. Everything and nothing.

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2015-03-24 01:31Z by Steven

Do you identify as Black, mixed — how do you see yourself?

I’m both. Everything and nothing.

Clay Cane, “Brittany Howard of the Alabama Shakes: “I Don’t Think About Color”,” Black Entertainment Television, (June 25, 2013). http://www.bet.com/news/music/2013/06/25/brittany-howard-of-the-alabama-shakes-i-don-t-think-about-color.html.

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Brittany Howard of the Alabama Shakes: “I Don’t Think About Color”

Posted in Articles, Arts, Interviews, Media Archive, United States on 2015-03-23 01:16Z by Steven

Brittany Howard of the Alabama Shakes: “I Don’t Think About Color”

Black Entertainment Television

Clay Cane

Brittany Howard of the Alabama Shakes: “I Don’t Think About Color”

If you haven’t heard of Brittany Howard of the Alabama Shakes, the 24-year-old is making jaws drop in the music industry. Armed with ferocious vocals, passionate lyrics and a dynamic presence — on and off stage — Howard as the front woman of the Alabama Shakes is bringing rock and blues back from the grave for a new generation.

On Sunday night at the Capital Theatre in Port Chester, NY, the Grammy-nominated Alabama Shakes performed to a sold-out show, performing music from their latest album Boys & Girls. Hours before hitting the stage, Brittany was prepping for her first one-on-one interview with BET.com.

Just finishing a cigarette, Howard sat down to discuss her roots, music and fame. Although surprisingly reserved, the Athens, AL, native possessed a quiet strength. Interviews, celebrity and folks wanting to know your business is new for Brittany and the band who never strived be the next big thing in music: “It’s a miracle that we are sitting in Port Chester, New York doing an interview with BET. Like, what the hell?”

When did you first fall in love with rock music?
Sitting in my grandmother’s kitchen, she always had solid golden oldies on the radio. The grittiest music, I was like, “That’s my s–t.”

You’re often compared to ’60’s rocker Janis Joplin. How do you feel about that comparison?
People hear a powerful female singer in a rock and roll band and they say, “Janis Joplin.” I think people just make that comparison because it’s easy. But I don’t think I sound like her at all. What do you think?…

…What is your racial background?
Mom is white, dad is Black.

Do you identify as Black, mixed — how do you see yourself?
I’m both. Everything and nothing…

Read the entire interview here.

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Commentary: Black Is…

Posted in Articles, Book/Video Reviews, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2012-12-20 04:50Z by Steven

Commentary: Black Is…

Black Entertainment Television (BET)

James Braxton Peterson, Director of Africana Studies; Associate Professor of English
Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

Black in America explores what it means to be Black.

CNN’s Black in America series has become something of a welcome crucible for the Black community these last four years — especially as the community has developed discursively across social media networks and platforms. The fifth iteration of the series debuted, with host Soledad O’Brien, last week to conflicting reviews and reports (especially on Facebook and in the Twitterverse) asking what does it mean to be Black in America and how do we define who is Black?

As usual, there is no easy answer, especially when we meet Nayo Jones and Becca Khalil, two teenage women of color who wrestle with their identities in the face of society’s need to categorize them in outdated and restrictive racial boxes.

Nayo, who would certainly be categorized as a Black woman on the street, struggles with being abandoned by her Black mother and raised by her white father. Nayo’s younger sister readily identifies as Black, but Nayo is conflicted and reluctant to identify herself as her sister has. Her best friend, Becca, an Egyptian-American, readily and enthusiastically identifies herself as African-American…

…Becca and Nayo are not alone in the conflicts they encounter as they seek to form their own identies. Yaba Blay’s (1)ne Drop Project was the inspiration behind this year’s Black in America, and is a revelation of how intra-racial bias and/or colorism continues to deeply affect the Black community. Blay interviewed light-complexioned people of African descent about self-determination and the resulting extraordinary project is both historical and relevant to identity formation…

Read the entire article here.

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Commentary: Morgan Freeman’s Misguided “Mixed-Race President” Quote

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2012-07-12 02:11Z by Steven

Commentary: Morgan Freeman’s Misguided “Mixed-Race President” Quote

Black Entertainment Television

Cord Jefferson

The legendary Black actor made a silly mistake when he said Obama isn’t a truly Black president, because fewer and fewer truly Black Americans exist.

Morgan Freeman is one of the most sought after actors in Hollywood, and for good reason: He’s handsome in the way we expect wizened and wise old men to be, he’s got an eminently soothing voice, and, above it all, he’s a hyper-talented thespian. Kudos to Freeman for rising to the top of his craft. Where Freeman tends to falter, however, is when it comes to talking about race and politics…

In a new interview with NPR, Freeman said that he takes issue with people calling Barack Obama our “first Black president.”

“First thing that always pops into my head regarding our president is that all of the people who are setting up this barrier for him … they just conveniently forget that Barack had a mama, and she was white — very white American, Kansas, middle of America. There was no argument about who he is or what he is. America’s first black president hasn’t arisen yet. He’s not America’s first black president — he’s America’s first mixed-race president.”

Freeman’s hesitance to call Obama the first Black president is fine if that’s his choice on the matter. But as long as we’re splitting hairs, it should be noted that it’s going to be mighty hard to ever elect a Black president who isn’t, as Freeman calls it, “mixed race.”..

Read the entire opinion piece here.

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