The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Friday, April 02, 2010

Obama Census Choice: African-American

I am very mixed (Black, white, Native American) but generally just consider myself "black" for simplicity's sake. Genetically, I am a mutt (Native American varies from Asian to mixes similar to Russian, filtered through lotsa generations of open-air living which produce darkened skin.) My sister considers herself "multiethnic" which is her right. I could give a damn, but understand that part of my public definition has to do with communication to others. Whites usually just consider me "black" and that is certainly what the definition has been throughout American history (down to 1/8th, you could still be sold). In any purely logical sense, I'm just a mixture, but the sociological definition has been clear for hundreds of years. My self-definition? I'm Steve. The rest of it is interesting but archaic labels many racists (black and white) fall into from old programming. Cool. A label isn't the thing itself. I contain multitudes, as do we all.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost


Scott said...

I (in Austin) joke that when I lived in Chicago I was a white guy. When people squint and say, Scott, you are a white guy, I peel off a shoe and sock and show them what my untanned skin looks like; "Oh, *white* guy."

rnojonson said...

I have no problem, I guess I have surpassed the one drop calibration measuring stick. Now that DNA is on the up swing. how about a percentage rating. When the census comes around we could color in a pie chart or bar chart.

The funniest thing my hood is when they look like me but speak fluent Spanish. The black until spoken too thing gets me every time.

If diaspora man were a passport he'd have more stamps than pages.

Steven Barnes said...

"More stamps than pages" LMAO.

"Diaspora Man"--never heard that term. Like it.