Yes, click on it and follow the link to the quiz. Is this the type of test you think is necessary to determine to watch a movie that has grossed more than $1 Billion worldwide? 50k thought so. So what is truly black enough?
According to the 2012 U.S. Census Bureau Report, data shows that during the most recent polls our country has grown from roughly 6.8 million to 9 million people that identify with two or more races. In 2018, numbers are not as accurate as expected but various industries are building their sales around culture and ethnicity mixed with statistics on age and income.
Why you ask, is racial background important to how companies build as well as conduct business? I have asked myself the same question numerous times. While filling out a job application, conduct surveys, handle personal affairs or even dating sites, the questions often pop up. Race, sex, age? I say none of your business but obviously, it’s of uttermost importance to satisfy our government. Statistics will eventually become our downfall or more the enslavement of the mindset it embodies.
Fox network TV drama STAR has made a point of proving how important cultural and racial blending is in the United States. Casting the leading role of the young songstress Star with talented actress Jude Demorest was a strategic move by creator Lee Daniels. Many say that the actress is both likable by the black and white audience and ratings seem to support those claims. Jude no doubt is a mystery but rumors support the claim that even though her portrayal of the character Star Davis suggest for her to be a ‘white girl’ with a little flavor, she in all actuality is biracial. So the questions stand, is she black enough? Or is she black at all?
Years prior the mini-series, Queen, a TV adaptation portraying author Alex Haley’s paternal grandmother experiences, shows historically just how deep the importance of racial identity lies. Alex Haley, acclaimed author of ‘Roots’ and ‘The Autobiography of Malcolm X’, made certain to embrace the history of racial profiling as personable as possible. Telling the story of a young woman whose life was driven by the need to belong and be accepted by either blacks or whites. Ratification of slavery in the mid 19th century obviously did not guarantee equality. Long story short, the main character was light skinned, she tried life on both sides and eventually realized that acceptance would be difficult if not impossible.
Queen, portrayed by Oscar recipient Halle Berry, is a prime example of many women still alive in many parts of this country. Often forgotten as the child that all believe to be the one too cute, too pretty, ‘thinks she’s better than the rest of us because she is high yellow’ female. She becomes the one that listens to – honkey, cracker, mulatto, greaseball, beaner, taco head, nigger, jungle bunny, ape, monkey – name calling without consideration of her ethnicity. I personally always remind people of both races that they are speaking of my mother or my father but people forget. Our society is built on race and division, even in the 21st century, segregation is alive and well. But the question of being ‘black’ enough stands. Social media and television play a tug of war on what is the current acceptable norm. Bodies should be curvacious, tanned skinned, popular music becomes more and more hip-hop inspired. Still many feel the great divide in this nation.
‘Stop the whining’ or ‘we have bigger problems’ is what most people may say when reading this article but those people need to be reminded that a sense of belonging and acceptance is what drives humanity. Sociology statistics show that a large number of people are drawn toward being categorized or classified. Droves gravitate towards community-based living, identifying with like-minded individuals, economic classes, and religious commonalities. We know that race automatically places us in categories but what of a large number of babies born with 2 or more racial and ethnic roots. Are we prepared to cater to an entire subculture in the making?
My curses and blessings combined lie in the fact that I am biracial. Torn between what my mother gave me and my father denied me. Being raised as a child in one culture but choosing an adult path of surviving in the other. Living in the south has taught me that the division is alive and well. It actually took me years to attend comedy shows because hindsight prepared me for the obvious. Being the obvious ‘light bright’ minority has made me the pun of many comedians jokes. The white girl in the audience, upgraded to the occasional half-breed has promoted me to being the conspirator to the ‘Trump-administration’. Ironically since I am part of the LGBTQIA community that would make me a traitor of sorts but who am I to argue.
Recently, it was apparent that I was NOT black enough to attend an HBCU (Historically Black College and University). I was associated with the ‘other’ white guy/girl that attended Moorehouse. The conversation was light but grave in my eyes. An ongoing joke at my place of employment but I keep my peace because I’ve been fighting this battle for ‘EQUALITY’ long enough. Am I black enough to raise black children, teach black students, prepare a traditionally ‘black’ meal? Questions that will probably go unanswered but they should raise our awareness of what is said in polite company. Are we as a society ready to take petty thoughts of division out of our ways of assessing others? What is the 1st thing you should judge a person on? Definitely never the color of their skin. Regardless of how dark or light the individual may be should never determine their abilities, their worthiness and their contributions to society.
Think of how many more years, decades or possibly centuries it may take for our world to finally become blind to the one thing that has brought division, battles and even wars to nearly every corner of this planet.