Morgan Freeman: "America's First Black President Hasn't Arisen Yet" (Who/What Is Black?)

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by Courtney
July 5, 2012 12:57 PM
116 Comments
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"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."

Always one who speaks freely and frankly, Morgan Freeman talking to NPR earlier today.

The conversation is actually about 18 minutes long, and he talks more than just Obama; he also gets into his career, cinema, and his new movie, The Magic Of Belle Isle, which Tambay saw and reviewed HERE (in short, he didn't care for it).

I think the above quote is something more to toss into the ongoing discussions we have on S&A about what blackness is, who is black, etc. Granted this isn't a new argument; others have insisted that Obama not be categorized as a black man, even though I believe he himself has referred to himself as a black man.

Reading his comment, I immediately thought of all the articles that have been written about what Obama has or has not done for black people, suggesting that many obviously think of Obama as a black man, and America's first black president. 

I also recall other celebrities, like Samuel L. Jackson saying outright that he voted for Obama because he was black, telling Ebony magazine in the March issue this year:

"I voted for Barack because he was black. ’Cuz that’s why other folks vote for other people — because they look like them,” Jackson said. “That’s American politics, pure and simple. [Obama’s] message didn’t mean sh-t to me. In the end, he’s a politician. I just hoped he would do some of what he said he was gonna do."

It also reminded me of a documentary we posted on the old S&A site titled I'm Bi-racial Not Black Damnit, which obviously caused a bit of a stir, as bi-racial people wrestle with their own identities, versus how the world sees them.

In the interview, he also talks about how much race has been of influence on the characters he's played over the years.

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116 Comments

  • JDC | July 3, 2013 11:15 PMReply

    Obama is NOT our first mixed race president. There were SIX mixed Black Presidents before him:
    1) Thomas Jefferson (who older brother was a slave)
    2) Andrew Jackson
    3) Abraham Lincoln (whose mother was Ethiopian)
    4) Warren Harding
    5) Calvin Coolidge (whose mother was a European Moor)
    6) Dwight David Eisenhower

  • AllPeople (AP) Gifts | November 26, 2012 11:58 PMReply

    There is actually no such thing as a so-called "Light-Skinned
    Black" person ... but rather ... such individuals and groups
    are actually people who are of a 'Multi-Generational
    Multiracially-Mixed' (MGM-Mixed) Lineage that some may
    have been pressured or encouraged to ignore or downplay.
    .
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Generation-Mixed/message/4160
    .
    People of Mixed-Race lineage should NOT feel pressured to
    'identify' according to any standards other than one's own.
    .
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Generation-Mixed/message/4157
    .
    The legal -application of the racist-'One-Drop Rule'
    (ODR) was banned in the U.S. way back in 1967.
    .
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Generation-Mixed/message/4162
    .
    http://www.facebook.com/groups/253286018082418/permalink/253341891410164
    .
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Generation-Mixed/message/4187
    .
    http://www.facebook.com/groups/253286018082418/permalink/253341281410225
    .
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    .
    Listed below are related Links of 'the facts' of the histories
    of various Mixed-Race populations found within the U.S.:
    .
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    .
    There is no proof that a 'color-based slave hierarchy'
    (or that 'color-based social-networks') ever existed
    as common entities -- within the continental U.S.
    .
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Generation-Mixed/message/4154
    .
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Generation-Mixed/message/4153
    .
    It was the 'Rule of Matriliny (ROM) -- [a.k.a. 'The Rule of Partus'
    (ROP)] -- and NOT the racist-'One-Drop Rule' (ODR) -- that was
    used to 'create more enslaved people' on the continental U.S.
    .
    This is because the chattel-slavery system that was
    once found on the antebellum-era, continental U.S.
    was NOT "color-based" (i.e. "racial") -- but rather
    -- it was actually "mother-based" (i.e. 'matrilineal').
    .
    http://www.facebook.com/allpeople.gifts/posts/309460495741441
    .
    There were many ways (and not solely the sexual assault
    and sexual exploitation of the women-of-color) in which
    'white' lineage entered the familial bloodlines of
    enslaved-people found on the continental U.S.
    .
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Generation-Mixed/message/4238
    .
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Generation-Mixed/message/4239
    .
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Generation-Mixed/message/4240
    .
    An 'Ethnic' category is NOT the
    same thing as a "Race" category:
    .
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Generation-Mixed/message/4236
    .
    http://www.facebook.com/allpeople.gifts/posts/300777016632181
    .
    Other Topics:
    .
    https://www.facebook.com/allpeople.gifts/posts/279223868853420
    .
    https://www.facebook.com/allpeople.gifts/posts/164203590359746
    .
    http://www.facebook.com/notes/%C2%ADallpeople-gifts/the-facts-on-m%C2%ADixed-race/321878451159708
    .
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    .

  • AP Gifts [soaptalk AT hotmail DOT com] | November 20, 2012 1:03 AMReply

    .
    There is actually no such thing as a so-called "Light-Skinned
    Black" person ... but rather ... such individuals and groups
    are actually people who are of a 'Multi-Generational
    Multiracially-Mixed' (MGM-Mixed) Lineage that some may
    have been pressured or encouraged to ignore or downplay.
    .
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Generation-Mixed/message/4160
    .
    People of Mixed-Race lineage should NOT feel pressured to
    'identify' according to any standards other than one's own.
    .
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Generation-Mixed/message/4157
    .
    The legal -application of the racist-'One-Drop Rule'
    (ODR) was banned in the U.S. way back in 1967.
    .
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Generation-Mixed/message/4162
    .
    http://www.facebook.com/groups/253286018082418/permalink/253341891410164
    .
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Generation-Mixed/message/4187
    .
    http://www.facebook.com/groups/253286018082418/permalink/253341281410225
    .
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    .
    Listed below are related Links of 'the facts' of the histories
    of various Mixed-Race populations found within the U.S.:
    .
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    .
    There is no proof that a 'color-based slave hierarchy'
    (or that 'color-based social-networks') ever existed
    as common entities -- within the continental U.S.
    .
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Generation-Mixed/message/4154
    .
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Generation-Mixed/message/4153
    .
    It was the 'Rule of Matriliny (ROM) -- [a.k.a. 'The Rule of Partus'
    (ROP)] -- and NOT the racist-'One-Drop Rule' (ODR) -- that was
    used to 'create more enslaved people' on the continental U.S.
    .
    This is because the chattel-slavery system that was
    once found on the antebellum-era, continental U.S.
    was NOT "color-based" (i.e. "racial") -- but rather
    -- it was actually "mother-based" (i.e. 'matrilineal').
    .
    http://www.facebook.com/allpeople.gifts/posts/309460495741441
    .
    There were many ways (and not solely the sexual assault
    and sexual exploitation of the women-of-color) in which
    'white' lineage entered the familial bloodlines of
    enslaved-people found on the continental U.S.
    .
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Generation-Mixed/message/4238
    .
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Generation-Mixed/message/4239
    .
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Generation-Mixed/message/4240
    .
    An 'Ethnic' category is NOT the
    same thing as a "Race" category:

    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Generation-Mixed/message/4236
    .
    http://www.facebook.com/allpeople.gifts/posts/300777016632181
    .
    Other Topics:
    .
    https://www.facebook.com/allpeople.gifts/posts/279223868853420
    .
    https://www.facebook.com/allpeople.gifts/posts/164203590359746
    .
    http://www.facebook.com/notes/%C2%ADallpeople-gifts/the-facts-on-m%C2%ADixed-race/321878451159708
    .
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    .

  • jessica | November 19, 2012 5:29 PMReply

    well, frederick douglas isn't a famous black man who escaped slavery if we use those terms! he's a man of mixed race who escaped slavery and then went on to work for the freedom of black people? in a nation where being of mixed race generally puts you into one group-one group that doesn't necessarily completely accept you as one of them--i think it's almost hurtful to then take away that identifier, and say no, you don't even get to say you're black in passing. you're mixed. is he not 'black' enough by morgan freeman's standards? i'm sure morgan freeman isn't completely african american either, bc he's suspiciously pale if he's trying to claim he has no white relatives. in fact i'd bet money on it

  • The Prophet Israel | November 15, 2012 1:52 AMReply

    Morgan Freeman, You are speaking Hypithectical. The Black man is not the fault of the White people stealing us, and mating with our people because they had the upper hand. I know that you didn't say that you were smart, you are an Actor, but to be ignorant is weakness. By our captivity, we became ignorant of our beginning. Originally, we were a very Black people, in color. We looked like Samolian people. Many things was done to us to cut us off from our Culture, and color.Now the black men are doing it to themselves, mingling with White women. Working against yourselves, having those strange children.But you are like the rest of us, out of touch. Love you Brother

  • mike miller | October 14, 2012 2:44 PMReply

    im half and half . and when them racist cops or extremest see me they and saying 'stop You half black muthafucker' there saying 'get that nigger' .
    Cant tell me what i am ive already been shown it by society

  • The Truth | September 10, 2012 2:34 AMReply

    I don't know why people pretend, when it comes to blacks in America, they cannot define them but they can define a more ambiguous looking group like so-called mongoloid/heavily laden European-blooded "Native Americans". Such bullshyt. Most of you idiots know that no real Black person drops from between the legs of a White female and is raised by his biological WHITE grandparents. He's more White than he will ever be Black and the only real Black thing about Obama is his wife. But guess what, she ain't president or running for presidency. Mr. Freeman is right!

  • chanel linder | September 7, 2012 3:36 PMReply

    You know people are forgetting the most essential fact of all. Pick the person who would be the best candidate. Skin color doesn't matter, its who would be the best president that matters. The persons qualifications should be viewed nothing else. People always want to fixate on things that really have no bearing.

  • Mario | July 24, 2012 10:17 PMReply

    So by his logic no "black" people exist in American. Next he will say Africans naturally come in all shades light to dark. Hes a bitter closeted rascist with logic very similar to christians
    What hes really saying: "obama lied to us so hes not a real black man only white people lie"

  • ernest pacheco | July 18, 2012 6:56 PMReply

    Obama, like the Democrats & Republicans, are all full of shit who take orders from the elite-RICH PEOPLE! This country spends 739 billion dollars on defense to oppress other peolple & defend the interests of massa. I originally believed that Obama would make a difference & not be like the others before him...But he's no different. He's an ass-kisser who's turned his back on the people who put him in office in hopes of change-the poor! And how has he repaid them...by bailing out Wall St. & the cronies. How disgusting!

  • Joseph | July 17, 2012 9:10 PMReply

    Unpopular in today's America, but 100% true. Racially true, culturally Obama might identify with his African heritage. But, the fact of the matter is that Obama is 50% white and 50% black.

  • TiMT | July 17, 2012 11:34 AMReply

    I say to Freeman, stick to making your movies cause kickin' it with someone that can be his grandchild speaks volume about the imbalance within the man. Who gives a shit about what Freeman has to say anyway. Hey, I will watch his movies though. I guess some people are just good at memorizing scripts but in the end they are just as air head and stupid as Donald Trump is.

  • Fleshman | July 13, 2012 12:14 AMReply

    I wonder if Morgan Freeman has ever heard of the "The one drop rule"
    This rule Is under the Racial Integrity Act of 1924. Meaning any person with one drop of black blood was considered black. Why does someone always have to take away the achievements of Black Americans, because of course most of us are not African Americans.

  • LEE | September 2, 2012 6:10 AM

    So take away lots of celebs cause bryant gumbel mixed , keysha cole mixed , malcom x mixed . To tell you the truth most all black americans can not claim 100 % percent black and you know that

  • Joseph | July 17, 2012 9:12 PM

    The one drop rule was made in a time of racial bigotry. Follow it if you'd like, but it's very contradictory to most progressive liberal thinking

  • Stephen | July 10, 2012 4:01 PMReply

    His statement sports some truth, even if it's not exactly the message Freeman was trying to convey.

    There's a stark difference between a black kid with a white mother, raised in several different regions of the planet, with the support of his white grandparents, and a black kid with both black parents, maybe DIDN'T bounce all over the world, but perhaps grew up in the streets of Harlem, the Bronx, or Watts. Indeed, the first is a far cry even form a Catholic school kid of all-black parentage raised in the Oakland suburbs.

  • eshowoman | July 10, 2012 2:32 PMReply

    Those magic Negro roles have really gone to his head. Someone who dates his step granddaughter, 40 years your junior should keep a lower profile.

  • UnKnown | July 10, 2012 1:58 PMReply

    yall got something to say about everything history is history

  • Stephen | July 10, 2012 4:03 PM

    No, it really isn't. History is a ripple effect, and the major events of yesterday always leave marks on today, and tomorrow. People that think like you are the reason history repeats itself.

  • David EA | July 9, 2012 10:45 PMReply

    THE REASON HE IS WRONG...is because if our President was a normal person, who someone was asked to describe, (s)he would most likely do so by describing him as A LIGHT SKINNED BLACK MAN. IN AMERICA if you look black, you ARE black. I know light skinned folk who look like president Obama, who have two "dark skin" parents. He's the first black president because THIS "complex" country of ours voted for someone who looks like US! Because after all, aren't we all "mixed" with a lil slave owner somewhere down the line? AND, what if Barack's GRANDFATHER was white, and his mother/father black, would that make him black? What about if his GREAT GRANDFATHER was white, and every one else leading to Barack was black, would THAT make him "black"? I see where he was TRYING to go, but it wasn't a well thought out answer, its an answer that comes from the same guy (as much as I/we love em) who doesn't want to be referred to as a "black" actor, and if thats how YOU choose to look at it fine, I'm just trying to explain what type of person the answer is coming from...

  • ayo | July 9, 2012 2:13 PMReply

    Black is the absence of light. Light is fundamental for colour to be perceivable.

    Black is basically a void.

    Brown skin is composed of a plethora of hues; yellow, orange, red pinks.
    Black is the absence of such diversity.
    Black is reductive when describing the physical but totally useful when describing the sociological.

  • crldvn | July 9, 2012 1:27 PMReply

    @ ayo you know brown is a light shade of Black

  • ayo | July 9, 2012 9:17 AMReply

    I used to say things like this before and then i thought to myself; "wait why am I even calling myself black anyway" yeah both of my parents are dark skinned but that doesn't really mean anything. It's not reflective of anything physical about me. My skin's dark brown not black.

    At that point I got why "mixed" folk (for now) are socially recognised as black. Because we still in a society that's hella stratified and it's just the aftermath of-one drop rule politics - followed by the civil rights reclaiming of the word.
    I think it would be really horrible for people to start getting defensive and particular about a term we inherited from racist white folk.
    We're all black and we're also all not black. By all means interrogate that but don't degrade others in the process.

  • Joe | July 9, 2012 12:48 AMReply

    I doubt Obama cares what Morgan Freeman has to say. Most black people in America talk about blackness too much but they don't really have it in their DNA anymore. As an African i see Obama as one of ours. A real black man and fuc? Freeman.

  • Patrick | July 7, 2012 5:04 PMReply

    thank you so much Mr. Morgan for speaking a necessary truth thank you again and may God continue to bless and use you in a most wonderful way.

  • Yolanda | September 10, 2012 2:37 AM

    Yes, Patrick. He spoke the truth. I like this man. :)

  • brandon | July 8, 2012 3:48 PM

    patrick its funny you say tht however morgan is an atheist sorry

  • Professor Smartass | July 7, 2012 3:53 PMReply

    How would we know when we had our first purely black president unless BOTH his parents were directly from Africa?

    Those of us with ancestors who have been in America, whether white, black, Native American, or whatever, for more than 4-5 generations don't know for sure what all we've got in our racial DNA stew.

    I suspect Morgan Freeman's point was more along the lines of "Obama is one of us black folks. He's one of us ALL folks."

    There is something to that, but it's still cool to think of him as our first black president too.

    And I'm a white guy.

  • Susan | July 7, 2012 3:10 PMReply

    By the way, I'm a right wing cunt who would love to see all of you back in chains. I only pretend to care about this country and my home is hiding behind the internet because that's as good as my life gets. Carry on. :)

  • artbizzy | July 7, 2012 4:50 PM

    Where is Sandman when you need him? Buh Bye yah goofy Birther Cornball this ain't the Yahoo Comments section.

  • anon | July 7, 2012 1:59 PMReply

    It speaks volumes that a man who isn't even HALF black American as his dad is ACTUALLY Kenyan still has the majority of black Americans completely disregarding this fact. He ACTUALLY has a culture outside of America that most blacks cannot relate to but of course the only thing that matters is what stupid white Americans think eh? if they see you as "black" then your black because white people are god and their opinion is TRUTH. Black Americans continue to claim people who not want to be claimed by you aka tiger woods and have privileges over you ALL against your OWN best interest Is it just so you can see someone who vaguely resembles you up there? No other race EVER claims people who are not 100% of their group but black people its truly pathetic.

  • crldvn | July 9, 2012 1:12 PM

    To anon that's because the white slave masters raped our woman!!!! we too have a culture outside this country, but you guys stole it from us. and as far as I'm concern he is half black American, cause America or being American is a state of mind, there is no race of people name American it's just a citizenship

  • Miles Ellison | July 7, 2012 5:36 PM

    Obama's white mother is from Kansas. I never knew that Kansas was part of Africa. You learn something new every day. Maybe I need to start wearing the same tinfoil hats Susan is wearing.

  • bondgirl | July 7, 2012 4:33 PM

    @Laura: LMAO!!!!!! I was like, "What is Laura saying???", until I got to the 5th line. Hilarious!

  • bondgirl | July 7, 2012 4:27 PM

    @Susan: See, now you messed up. People on this site love to fight each other, but won't take on Neo-Klan members like yourself. I, on the other hand, would much rather deal with the likes of you. "The proof" is that he has an American parent. That is ultimately what makes him American, regardless of where he was born, or even if he has a birth certificate to produce. I'm guessing you didn't learn all that in 10th grade History class, because you dropped out to take care of your baby that you fathered with your uncle. So unless you are looking to challenge his mother's citizenship (why would you-she's white*sarcasm*), I suggest you take your dumbass elsewhere.

  • Laura | July 7, 2012 4:04 PM

    Sorry Bondgirl. Susan is right. Obama is Kenyan eventhough he's was born in Hawaiian and his mother is American. And more importantly all documents that proclaim Obama's citizenship were forged. You see, National Security Agency, Central Intelligence Agency, Federal Bureau of Investigation, National Reconnaissance Office Agency, Defense Intelligence Agency, National Intelligence Council, Director of National Intelligence, et al., could not uncover the hoax. But Susan did. She has xray vision, telekinesis and walk through walls. Ain't that right Susan?

  • Susan | July 7, 2012 2:53 PM

    Sorry Bond Girl, his father was Kenyan and subject to the British Empire and that makes Obambi half Kenyan and half white. So far I've never seen anything to suggest he's an American ...as his birth certificate, social security and draft papers are forgeries. Show me the proof...This man has perpetrated the greatest hoax on the American people and the liberally biased media are complicit in this cover up. VOTE HIM OUT and get on with reversing the damage this man has wreaked on this country!

  • bondgirl | July 7, 2012 2:41 PM

    Please stop acting like you don't subscribe to white people's thinking. The English you are writing, and the European style clothes you probably wear suggest otherwise. Don't pretend that only Black Americans succumb to the white man's thumb. All of us do not claim Tiger Woods, so let's get that straight. Lastly, all races claim people who are not 100% of their race, ESPECIALLY when they get famous and/or wealthy. Latinos claim Zoe Saldana and Jamie Lynn Sigler, Asians claim Sean Lennonand and Olivia Munn, Africans claim Obama. Btw, my President isn't Kenyan or he WOULDN'T be in office.

  • DR. SWAGGAS | July 7, 2012 5:05 AMReply

    A "Black" Man, A Moor, John Hanson
    Was the First President of the United States! 1781-1782 A.D.???
    George Washington was really the 8th President of the United States!
    George Washington was not the first President of the United States. In fact, the first President of the
    United States was one John Hanson. Don't go checking the encyclopedia for this guy's name - he is one of
    those great men that are lost to history. If you're extremely lucky, you may actually find a brief mention
    of his name.
    The new country was actually formed on March 1, 1781 with the adoption of The Articles of
    Confederation.
    This document was actually proposed on June 11, 1776, but not agreed upon by Congress until November
    15, 1777. Maryland refused to sign this document until Virginia and New York ceded their western lands
    (Maryland was afraid that these states would gain too much power in the new government from such large amounts of land).
    Once the signing took place in 1781, a President was needed to run the country. John Hanson was chosen
    unanimously by Congress (which included George Washington). In fact, all the other potential candidates
    refused to run against him, as he was a major player in the revolution and an extremely influential
    member of Congress.
    As the first President, Hanson had quite the shoes to fill. No one had ever been President and the role was
    poorly defined. His actions in office would set precedent for all future Presidents.
    He took office just as the Revolutionary War ended. Almost immediately, the troops demanded to be paid.
    As would be expected after any long war, there were no funds to meet the salaries. As a result, the
    soldiers threatened to overthrow the new government and put Washington on the throne as a monarch.
    All the members of Congress ran for their lives, leaving Hanson as the only guy left running the
    government. He somehow managed to calm the troops down and hold the country together. If he had
    failed, the government would have fallen almost immediately and everyone would have been bowing to
    King Washington. In fact, Hanson sent 800 pounds of sterling silver by his brother Samuel Hanson to
    George Washington to provide the troops with shoes.
    Hanson, as President, ordered all foreign troops off American soil, as well as the removal of all foreign
    flags. This was quite the feat, considering the fact that so many European countries had a stake in the
    United States since the days following Columbus.
    Hanson established the Great Seal of the United States, which all Presidents have since been required to
    use on all official documents.
    President Hanson also established the first Treasury Department, the first Secretary of War, and the first
    Foreign Affairs Department.
    Lastly, he declared that the fourth Thursday of every November was to be Thanksgiving Day, which is still
    true today.
    The Articles of Confederation only allowed a President to serve a one year term during any three year
    period, so Hanson actually accomplished quite a bit in such little time.
    Six other presidents were elected after him - Elias Boudinot (1783), Thomas Mifflin (1784), Richard Henry
    Lee (1785), Nathan Gorman (1786), Arthur St. Clair (1787), and Cyrus Griffin (1788) - all prior to
    Washington taking office.
    So what happened?
    Why don't we ever hear about the first seven Presidents of the United States?
    It's quite simple - The Articles of Confederation didn't work well. The individual states had too much power
    and nothing could be agreed upon.
    A new doctrine needed to be written - something we know as the Constitution.
    And that leads us to the end of our story.
    George Washington was definitely not the first President of the United States. He was the first President of
    the United States under the Constitution we follow today.
    And the first seven Presidents are forgotten in history

  • DAVIDEA | July 9, 2012 10:57 PM

    I've heard some of this before, but could you direct me to where I might find some of this info?

  • Sunn m'Cheaux | July 6, 2012 1:26 PMReply

    I disagree with Mr Freeman. He says this as though 'race' is not actually a contrived social construct with NO scientific/genetic basis. The race "rules" play fast an loose with facts. The same pseudo-science and imperialists who invented 'race', also invented the erroneous 'one-drop rule' -- one drop of 'Black' blood legally makes you Black -- to protect their newly minted commodity: Whiteness.

    So, the concept of "mixed race" is about as social a misnomer as a 'bi-sexual man'. No matter how many women he's intimate with, society at large will view a man who has sex with men as 'gay'. It doesn't matter that Obama's mama was White, anymore than it matters that both of Tiger Woods' parents were "mixed" with 4 different 'races'; society (not science) sees them as Black. And since there's no scientific basis for race, social perception makes the call. Obama IS (by the aforementioned arbitrary social criteria) the "first Black US president", even though "African-American" would be even more apropos. Deal with it, Easy Reader.

  • Donella | July 7, 2012 3:21 PM

    And he's kicking a$$.

  • Susan | July 7, 2012 2:57 PM

    Actually the proper word for Obambi is 'mulatto'...but who cares. He's a phony.

  • Donella | July 6, 2012 3:42 PM

    I'd say that being president makes Obama the alpha male in this scenario. Sorry, Freeman. If the alpha says he's Black, then he's Black. Your opinion takes second place.

  • Arje Jackson | July 6, 2012 12:01 PMReply

    Surprisingly, the large percent of African-Americans trace their mitochondria to Europe and not Africa. Consequently, most of us are mix raced. Should the "first" through-out our history rescind their name in our history because they too were mixed race? Morgan Freeman should direct his attention to a more meaningful platform. The black community need much more than this divisive rhetoric.

  • ida | July 7, 2012 8:33 AM

    President Obama had a black father and a white mother his of mixed race which most black people in america have white people in their families whether they like it or not but the best thing a person can do for they own knowledge is find out who is in your family John MCcain have plenty black people in his family they appear on CNN on October 22, 2008 while he was running for President he was invited to many family reunions he refused to attend other white members of his family accept they black cousins as family because John MCcain great great grandfather was a slavemaster in his time and impregant many of the female slaves on his plantation from what I learned there was five other mixed Presidents whom past for white didn't want it to be known that they came from mixed parents three of them had black mothers two had white mothers and black fathers people try to conceal truth yet it alway come out one way or another it one of the only things man have no ruling over.

  • Kirsten | July 6, 2012 11:44 AMReply

    I am tired of Morgan Freeman. The older he gets, the more ignorant his statements get. I remember when Henry Louis Gates, Jr. profiled him for the PBS special on his slave background and how stupid he looked when he tried to claim "Native American" ancestry and then found out he didn't have ANY! He was so proud of the fact that he thought he had that background...would that have made him less of a black man? Maybe he wished it would have and that is why he is taking issue with Obama's racial make-up!

  • julius hollingsworth | July 6, 2012 7:57 AMReply

    Obama is a black man.That is how he identify's himself.Yes,he has other parts to his heritage.There is no person in America who is pure anything.He also loves a black woman and their children deeply, enough said.You to, can find out about what other blood flows through your veins if you like.There is no such thing as the Aryan Nation accept in the heads of a lot of cookoo for coco puff people around the world.We all started in Africa.I believe if there is a end it will end there.

  • Ida | July 7, 2012 8:43 AM

    sorry Julius you have that one wrong we did not start out in africa you need to study and get into reseaching your black history we came from the Holy land we went into Africa it a very long story not enough room to tell it when you look at your eyebrows and eyelashes then the hairs on your head tells a story by it self the black man and black woman is the parents of all people it will be healthy for you to do your research work before speaking about things you don't know a people that don't know they history don't know much about anything else.

  • JKing106 | July 6, 2012 4:33 PM

    No, he isn't. He's a racially mixed individual who was raised white, in a white culture. I'm not commenting on if that is right or wrong, it's just a fact.

  • James | July 6, 2012 3:55 AMReply

    This actually makes me mad. It's that mentality that just brings forth more problems. I am half black and to anyone who is not black, I'm black. Those who are black told me I'm not black because I'm not black. Through my Life i have had racism from both sides, black and white.

  • Logic | July 6, 2012 3:05 AMReply

    This from the ignoramus who said racism will end if we stop talking about it. He needs to stick to being a self-sacrificing, stuck on side-kick, magical negro playing, mitigator of white guilt in overrated movies, and let black folks decide for themselves how and with whom to identify. Maybe he can busy himself writing an Uncle Tom...I mean, uh, Uncle Ben biopic. Surely that's the role he's been dreaming of.

  • Donella | July 6, 2012 3:41 PM

    "This from the ignoramus who said racism will end if we stop talking about it." LOL I remember that. When I saw Freeman's latest philosophical musing, I said, here we go again...

  • artbizzy | July 6, 2012 2:04 AMReply

    Seems like many of us didn't have as much of an issue with Bill Clinton being referred to as the "first black president." As tongue in cheek as the sentiment was, it was still an interesting thought provoking reference. What was it about Clinton that made many of us okay or at least not too offended when this was said about him, a white male from the south?

  • Laura | July 6, 2012 5:44 PM

    I don't know about you, but I never accepted the load of malarky. But then again, many of us were too young to comment on that BS. He's a cracker --fair and square.

  • artbizzy | July 6, 2012 1:56 AMReply

    Morgan Freeman in the quote said that Obama was a "black" man. We can argue about whether or not he's African-American, American Irish Kenyan or whatever but he identifies as a black man. This issue about the one drop rule is a distraction. Claiming your blackness is an act of solidarity. It's an homage to your oppressed ancestors no matter where they have ended up on the globe. And last I looked the racism/colonialism machine and its pathological effects are still well under way around the world. What if Obama said he was white instead? It's his business to do but Obama does not look like a white man. I am just as mixed as Obama is but I have two black parents one more mixed than the other. Let's not forget about many of us also having Native American blood, too. So like I said earlier, he is a black man, as far as being "African-American" is a different story although I believe he can claim that title (as problematic as it is), too. Obama seems to have had a close relationship with his white Mother especially since she was the one who held it down for him as his Dad wasn't in the picture. So let's let go with our faux sympathy toward her as if his choice was a personal affront to her, a dismissal of her presence in his life and in his DNA and let's just call this argument what it is: a small victory for divide and conquer.

  • justsaying | July 6, 2012 10:04 AM

    If Obama said he was White instead, he would be playing himself. Obviously people see melanin and automatically think Black ONLY due to colorism and racism that has plagued our planet for centuries however Obama is Black and White and whether he identifies with it being both white and black or not doesn't change who he really is. Yes we are all mxed. African Americans have mixed blood in them, but they are still African Americans and a small percentage actually have Native American blood in them so let's stop with all of that. Obama is half Black and half White. You can't pick. lol I think it is disrespectful to ignore your other half of your genetic makeup. And how do we adhere to the stupid one drop rule created by racist society? We can never progress forward because we are always using the very rules that oppress us to move ahead....that goes for independent cinema as well! Ummm...Obama doesn't look like a 100% white man, but some may see him and say he looks like he has a large percentage of white in him just as someone would say he looks like he has a large percent of Black in him.

  • That Dude | July 6, 2012 1:45 AMReply

    Tribalism. LOL. We Black Americans no nothing about that.

  • dean | July 6, 2012 12:02 AMReply

    Morgan Freeman is right. First, Obama is not black. He’s as much white as he is black. He’s mixed, biracial or mulatto but not black. Second, Obama is not an African American. African Americans are the descendants of African brought to America and enslaved. The term was chosen because, although it is known that black/African Americans are of west and south-west African descent (as far north as Senegal and as far south as Angola with perhaps 5% from Mozambique in east Africa) because of the intervention of slavery, it is not known where a particular black/African American’s roots are from.


    Obama’s father was a black man from Kenya and his mother was a white American of primarily Irish descent. Accordingly, Obama is Kenyan-Irish American or Irish-Kenyan American but not African American. An American of Nigerian descent is a Nigerian American. An American of Ugandan descent is a Ugandan American. Neither is an African American.
    This calling anyone with a “drop” of black blood black is racist. It’s due to the racist belief that black blood taints the rest requiring all to be thrown out. It is patently racist. Black people are not pollutants. I reject racism in all its forms and permutations so I reject this racist “one drop” theory.

  • James | October 11, 2012 4:56 PM

    Every comment on here is questionable in it's own way as most are merely a matter of opinion, which differs from person to person no matter what the race.
    My question is specific to your comment regarding African-American;
    Uganda, Kenya and Nigeria are all Countries/states in Africa. So by your theory are you also saying that a person born in Nigeria to 2 Nigerian parents cannot/should not classify themselves as African?

  • Mark | July 5, 2012 10:54 PMReply

    Aren't the majority of all African-Americans mixed-race? Malcolm X. Billie Holiday. Jesse Jackson. Muhammad Ali. Blair Underwood. Martin Luther King Jr.

    Most African-Americans regardless of phenotype would not pass a racial purity test.

  • Listenb4uspeak | July 5, 2012 10:29 PMReply

    Did anyone listen to the interview posted? He's making the point based on the Trump's accusations that the president is not an American by pointing out the his mother was a white American. Technically he is bi-racial(African/White)but in American he's consider black. So I raise this question, if your a by-product of black/white parents and you check "black" why are some Mexicans now being told to check "white"? Is it the texture of the hair to determine if your black enough?

  • Micah | July 5, 2012 10:09 PMReply

    Race is just a social construct. If he meets the current social definition of what it is to be black than he is. If someone saw him walking down the street, they would say there goes a black guy.

  • justsaying | July 6, 2012 10:19 AM

    In this age if you are ignorant enough to assume that someone is Black ONLY because their skin is brown well then you need help. Think about where this type of mindframe came from and then ask yourself if that is really what you should be using in this day and time. To say someone is Black only is a dangerous assumption and disregard for their individuality. The real issue is colorism and the sad assumptions that go along with it.

  • Mark & Darla | July 5, 2012 9:39 PMReply

    The white blood Obama got from his mother no longer exist in his body, eating black pussy for twenty years have made him 100% black, smile

  • Kimji | July 7, 2012 12:59 AM

    I know a white lesbian who agrees with you; she loves Black in through her pores...smile back.

  • artbizzy | July 5, 2012 11:20 PM

    Yet another attempt to reduce a black woman to her body parts. Turn off the TV.

  • hmmm | July 5, 2012 11:00 PM

    you can express yourself without being disrespectful and CRASS, you know!

  • Miles Ellison | July 5, 2012 8:38 PMReply

    In the euphoria that followed Obama's election, white people were saying "but he's half white." About 3 seconds later, when he actually started trying to govern and solve problems, he became "that nigger who's running this country into the ground."

  • James | October 11, 2012 5:00 PM

    So true...

  • BluTopaz | July 5, 2012 4:50 PMReply

    Yeah ok Freeman--go tell White racists about how bi-racial Pres Obama is. Many of those same middle americans who are as White as his mother are the ones making fried chicken, watermelon and food stamp references to this BLACK president. Freeman just needs to sit his one-note magical negro behind down somewhere and shut up. His point is as ridiculous as the birther loonies demanding to see birth certificates.

  • CareyCarey | July 5, 2012 4:33 PMReply

    For approximately EIGHTY THOUSAND DAYS, there has always been a white gentlemen sitting in the White House. So, although I've said this before, S&A's article begs to be challenged one more time. The following are my thoughts (long thoughts) on this whole debacle of whether or not President Obama is biracial or black. Listen, my father has gone home. I miss him, but I remember his words of wisdom. He was my little league coach and I was a pitcher. One day, a player on my team dropped a fly ball which caused me to lose my cool. As he scrambled to retrieve the ball, another player stumbled over him. The opposing team laughed, ridiculed the players and called them a few choice words, to a point they both started crying. I made matters worse by my mean look and foolish antics on the mound. Consumed by my emotions, I threw my next pitch with the fury of a Tasmanian Devil. I hit the batter square upside his head. My father called time out and approached the mound. His following words I will never forget. "look boy, don't ever play another man's game and don't be nobodies fool. Their job is to get you mad at your players and yourself, and have you act a damn fool. Don't let them see you get rattled. Go out and tell Tommy it's alright. Tell him we are not clowns nor negros, and we are going to win this game. We don't need enemies on our own team son." Well, President Obama has a huge task in front of him. He's standing on the mound and the ball is in his hand. He may have thrown a wild pitch or dropped the ball a couple of times, but we don't need enemies on our own team. If someone tries to engage you in negative criticism of President Obama (whether he's black or white or bi-racial) stop, look and listen, and then ask them where they are going? Don't play another man's game and don't be nobodies fool. Remember, Rome was not built in a day and 43 white fellas have played in the white house for over TWO CENTURIES - THAT'S 200 YEARS YAWL! And that's a loooog time. Taking that into consideration, President Obama has been there but a blink of the eye. Step up when someone tries to bring him down with some petty bullsh*t. Lets build something to pass on! I say, move away from the petty indifferences and look ahead to a better day. If not Obama then who!? Which one of the "all white" men would you want to represent you? In short, don't be led astry. ONE MO TIME, WE DON'T NEED ENEMIES ON OUR OWN TEAM. The other team is still out there, on the case, in their war rooms, plotting and strategizing. In fact, they have always been on the case, for their team! It's time for us to think, stay focused and understand what is going on and what the stakes are and always have been. Choose a team! And remember what our ancestors knew, "It was never just a game!." Just because some folks say it's only "politics" and it's harmless conversation, doesn't mean it is!

  • saadiyah | July 5, 2012 4:16 PMReply

    @JustSaying - How the f* can YOU take it upon yourself to define the term African-American? The brother/sister Dae says he/she is from Nigeria which is in AFRICA (which BTW also makes him AFRICAN) and you say he/she is NOT African American.

    I've heard that nonsense before and it is you people who feel that you can decide someone else's identity (like Morgan) that need to go sit down. I mean damn, you can't take the term Black or African and decide that it should only be applied to certain people who are Black or African AND have a certain history that you deem distinct and/or more important.

    Go have a seat!!

  • Nadine | July 5, 2012 5:22 PM

    I can't finish my statement...on a mobile... too hard...hope that statement below made sense...

  • Nadine | July 5, 2012 5:10 PM

    I came back just to make sure my comment wasn't seen as divisive. DAE - Ken Saro Wiwa was an amazing man, Black man, Nigerian man, and is very much a part of modern Nigerian history and is tied to the Nigerian Americans in a nationailistic sense...not African Americans. I say theses things as an American, Jamaican-American, Black American with a husband whose family has been in this country for over 300 years. Our daughter is not like me or my husband, she now has historical ties to multiple regions affected by the Triangular trade and will be able to identify with both co-equally. She is bi-cultural. Why run away and dismiss our differences and not see them as beautiful pieces of a puzzle for Blacks in America who have also been greatly affected culturally (especially in the urban areas) by immigration (see Garvey. X. DuBois. Farrakhan, the Harlem renaissance, hip hop, the list goes on).

  • justsaying | July 5, 2012 4:55 PM

    I'm not taking it upon myself to define the term. But when you do your homework and acknowledge the history that come before you, its kind of hard to look past. @DAE can be African, he can be Black, he can be Nigerian, he can be Nigerian American, but he is not African-American. I think to overlook this distinction is disrespectful to African-American history and their ancestors who have a long history in this country. I know many wish to destroy such history - but it will continue to rise. lol @"you people" - it's not about deciding identity. Like I said, you are who you are. LOL who's really deciding? Actually it's the racist society that perpetuates the idea that once you get here you will be viewed a certain way so you might as well identify as such, oh and forget the history that was here before you arrived... THEY NEED to sit down lol because they are messing people heads up big time, and too many folks are not doing their homework. I never said it was more important or should be more important to know African-American history. The more you know, the more empowered you will be.

  • Dae | July 5, 2012 2:54 PMReply

    @ JustSaying How can you say President Obama can't identify as African American? My parents are Nigerian and I was born and raised in America. Doesn't that make me an African-American in the truest sense of the word? He's the same. He's born in America with a parent who is African. The whole term was meant to describe Americans with African roots. And for those who say when Obama says he identifies as Black, he's excluding his white/caucasian heritage. I disagree. I identify with Black Americans/African-Americans, whatever you choose to say, more than I do with Nigerians because of where I was raised and the people I grew close to. Doesn't mean I love my Nigerian culture any less though.

    At the end of the day, Morgan Freeman needs to stop talking. It just starts an ugly conversation when you start questioning someone's "blackness". Things like that have been used to divide us for generations and it's just plain stupid. I mean, the vast majority of black people in america are mixed with some other race somewhere in their family tree anyway. The President is both black and white, but in this country, right or wrong, that has always meant you're black. Period. And when we start picking each other apart, it never leads to good things.

  • justsaying | July 9, 2012 8:50 PM

    @artbizzy, history and knowing where you come from shouldn't be silly. For me Black represents the African Diaspora. It's not about taken away from someone else, its about inaccuracy and neglect to fully acknowledge where you come from. If one parent is Black and another parent is White, why only identify as a Black person when two people came together to create you? If people from the caribbean came over, their children were caribbean americans, and African American/ Caribbean American children were produced too. Marcus Garvey was Jamaican. Obama's mom's background can be explored, but as far as I know she is of the white diaspora. And with this info he is Black and White. I would argue that we are not as united as I believe most envision Black people to be. But we can continue to move toward it, and celebrating difference will inevitably bring us closer. I'm glad you bring that up "So many people don't believe we have a right to claim that as we've been so removed from Africa." And thus in us being removed, new culture was created. A distinction should be made. This was a great convo! Thanks

  • justsaying | July 9, 2012 4:26 PM

    @Bondgirl, You're trying your very best to link the terms but it is different. It's not {insert ethnicity}-American, when dealing with African Americans. African American is the Italian in Italian American. Understand? I don't understand why you would want to claim being an African American when you are Nigerian American or Kenyan American... I do understand why you would claim being Black. But Black does not automatically equal African American. Black American history will continue to evolve as the people of African descent in America evolve together. No point in discussing this further.

  • artbizzy | July 9, 2012 4:03 PM

    @JustSaying Actually Lenny Kravitz's Mom, was African/American/Carribean. His Dad was a white Jew I believe. What if Lenny's dad had a half black American Grandma he didn't know about? Would that change things? This stuff just gets so silly. And shouldn't Lenny Kravitz define himself? You've every right to disagree but...what is the point? What do you think that mixed race people who decide to call themselves black are taking away from people who are supposedly fully black because they've got two "black" parents who "look" mixed, one damn near looks white but both their parents were also black except one looked native American but we cannot be sure. See...it's all so silly. And where does class and skin tone play a role in all of this? Who to you are the true African-Americans, then? Those who are the descendants of slaves? What about the West Indians who came here in the 1920's and had children and grandchildren here with "black" American people or with white Americans then with black Americans again? What about Marcus Garvey? Barack Obama's Mom could possibly be the descendant of slaves as there was lots of secrecy and mixing. The main issue is we don't know what we all got running around in our blood-black or white or red which kind of doesn't make any of what Morgan Freeman said a very tangible argument, which actually boils down to being a very subjective one. I say I am black you say I am mixed I say okay not going to argue with you and have a nice day. I go on continuing to identify as black, check the boxes, get treated as such, for better or worse. Maybe 100-150 years ago the case could make for a stronger one especially if we take the one drop rule out of it and just separate mixed people into a completely different category but again how could you be sure someone is mixed unless you are going by skin tone, hair texture, etc. Who is who and what is what? What unites black people, African-American people is our common experiences and dare I say it, our ancestors. And then what of the "African" piece. So many people don't believe we have a right to claim that as we've been so removed from Africa. Still some do claim it. Anyway, the argument is so COMPLEX and literally not so black and white at all.

  • bondgirl | July 9, 2012 3:36 PM

    @JS: I'm fusing nationalism into this bc the very term IS nationalistic! You cannot separate the two, but you are doing your darndest to...won't work. How can you have a hyphenation such as {insert ethnicity}-American, and then ignore the nationalist part? Again, we are treading incongruous territory here. Both must be considered to meet the burden. I'm not minimizing the AA culture or disregarding it, because my culture is preserved through my future generations. I have some knowledge of my oral history, but it is really a fallacy to believe all of it to be accurate or comprehensive. As for the black history that is authenticated through books, please explain how allowing Africans to claim themselves AA, becomes a threat to that history. If you could in practical, chronological terms, map out the aftermath it will have on Black American history's future, I will be on your side. Are you saying historians will mash together our contributions to theirs, creating new inaccuracies? That Africans will suddenly get "credit" for things AA did? There are Africans in the US today calling themselves AA, so I'd like to know how that effects my future grandchildren. Give real-life scenarios of how this has impugned AA culture. You're ringing the alarm, but you refuse to show where the building is burning. Btw, Lenny Kravitz has a Bahamian-American mother and Jewish father. Gotta run, ttys

  • justsaying | July 9, 2012 2:19 PM

    @Bondgirl, I am speaking upon culture and heritage and you are fusing nationalism into this. If someone is born in Italy, and they come here and are naturalized, they are NOW a naturalized American citizen which has more to do with laws, legal issues and nationalism. It has nothing to do with culture or heritage. You skipped over that part in presenting your example earlier. Of course if she spent her life in the United States, and was naturalized to become an American - she will become an American/Italian American in that since. But I really think you are tragically skipping over the fact that she is coming here by free will and NOT BY FORCE - and also, she is coming to America- not coming to the new world! Also - she is coming from a specific country not places along a coast in a continent and the list of different parameters goes on...what an insensitive comparison. That is the very sad aspect that I am talking about!!!! The disregard for the sequence of events and history in which African-Americans contributed to help build this country today. We can afford to highlight differences because Black represents a diaspora!! And the very thought that you feel this is nitpicking speaks volumes to your respect for history. Where you see nitpicking, I see celebration! It's not a desperation to be heard in this country. Who wants Whites to do anything? Last time I checked, Lenny Kravitz is African-American and white. We can still collectively all work together and still get work done while acknowledging difference. Zoe Saldana is black and latino. Do you hear her going around saying she is African American? Actually, I will encourage rising generations to know where they come from so they can better appreciate their contribution to the multiculturalism that they participate in and respect their previous generations for working to help collectively build...

  • bondgirl | July 9, 2012 12:06 PM

    @JS: Sorry it took so long to respond, I lost my first comment and had to rewrite. I have a friend who knows the Laurentiis family...trust me, she's Italian-American just like Rachael Ray. She was born in Italy, naturalized as a US citizen when younger. My comparison stands. Giada is to Obama, as Rachael Ray is to Sanaa Lathan. Why blacks are nitpicking and no other race is, speaks to a desperation to be HEARD in this country, and that doesn't come with labels. It comes from using your voice to share your culture, rather than insist that whites do it for you. Lenny Kravitz is not AA to you? Chile, please. Nobody is going along with that. No black leaders and most AA's are not adhering to that type of segregation. You are putting a new name to some old mess....biracial/mixed-race is mulatto, AA is black nationalist. You aren't taking into consideration the long-term implications of segregating blacks in this manner, esp. regarding what we can politically demand from this country. Use that passion that you have for your culture to cultivate pride in this new generation of blacks (40 yrs old and younger), who are more interested in multi-culturalism than their own history. Chris Rock recently missed a prime opportunity to bring our 18th century history to a global platform, and instead chose shame and blame tactics, which do not work on the majority of whites during celebratory times.

  • justsaying | July 6, 2012 5:37 PM

    @Bondgirl, I hear ya on the sleep :) Just to be clear on what I am trying to communicate history shows Black has come to symbolize the African Diaspora. When you add American to it symbolizes the African Diaspora in America. Within America you have people of African Descent from different cultures and with different histories. It's not about tracing your roots back to Africa. And not saying you are, but so many people simplify Henry Louis Gates Jr 's work into that defining moment of tracing your mitochondria when the most intriguing part of his series is the actual African-American culture and history that he unveils as they embark on their journey to discover, and the fact that some of these people don't have a clue about their dynamic history. African-American is a subcategory of Black American, and it is a sub category of all people of African Descent. No one can tell me that Africans that were forced here centuries ago, survived, and fought to help make things better for new generations of people of African descent didn't create culture/history here. There is a risk of not fully acknowledging someone's culture when it begins to merge together without such a distinction. Centuries ago, black people were fighting battles in the Americas and in Africa at the same time. And while we have a common tie of African blood, our experiences and history are inevitably different. In regard to your example "For example, Giada DeLaurentis and Rachael Ray claim to be Italian-American, yet only one of them was born in Italy." One is ITALIAN living in America and the other is Italian American. But they both are white...(Part of that White/European diaspora) Just because someone or a history is not taught, lauded, or acknowledged by the mass or persuading majority, doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Not a great comparison anyway...Much more complicated than that. A Kenyan American is not the same as an African-American, and its not about tracing ties back to Africa. Outsiders may make it seem that way. The point is, when Africans arrived here centuries ago they survived. And new fused cultures was created that help to contribute to the Black (African Diaspora) as a whole and collectively help the progression of all Black Americas (people of African descent in America with long histories in Africa and beyond.) I'm not doing anything to Africans. I don't understand the need to disregard the culture and history that was built in America before the new wave of Black people and generations of Black Americans came to be arrived.

  • bondgirl | July 6, 2012 11:36 AM

    @JS: Here're my final thoughts...First, Africans and Black Americans can share the term "African-American" w/o jeopardizing each other's histories. There would be a sub-category for each (i.e. Nigerian or Southern Black) For example, Giada DeLaurentis and Rachael Ray claim to be Italian-American, yet only one of them was born in Italy. Ray isn't diminshing her Cajun-Italian heritage by agreeing that Giada is I-A, and vice versa. People understand the difference in the two women, because they SHARE their heritage. That's what's important. There are too many blacks in this country who aren't interested in their history. There are too many black people of all ethnicities who do not feel AA's have a culture. This is what should be discussed, defined and adhered to; exactly what our culture consists of. It's too illogical to suggest that a Kenyan-American can't consider themselves AA, when technically that's what they are. I don't know if the irony is lost on you, that you are doing to Africans exactly what was done to us. Second, genetic research is evolving so rapidly that AA's CAN find out what tribe they belong to. For example, Blair Underwood now knows he's Igbo. A simple swab of your cheek can connect you to African relatives 7,000 miles away. So we can't rely on the "we don't know who we are" excuse for too much longer. I had a couple of other points, but I haven't gotten much sleep, so I may come back once I remember them. I'm not exactly working on all cyclinders right now...lol

  • justsaying | July 5, 2012 7:17 PM

    @Bondgirl, to hear and somewhat agree with what I'm saying yet hold fast to that statement sheds light on the very challenges we have as Black Americans in this country have. South Africa? Mandela? African American history goes back centuries before. Lumping us together in such a manner diminishes the beautiful multifacted history of Black people. It works to create a feeling like we are starting from scratch or that we are far behind. Yea right! Nadine is on point. We have to get back to educating our children and educating ourselves so that we all know where we come from and won't be easily persuaded or influenced otherwise. When we CELEBRATE our differences and use it as a powerful progressive force, we will be unstoppable.

  • Nadine | July 5, 2012 6:37 PM

    I hear ya' Bondgirl.

  • Nadine | July 5, 2012 6:34 PM

    See now... I posted in the wrong place on my mobile. My statement above was for DAE. @JustSaying - your statement "Actually it's the racist society that perpetuates the idea that once you get here you will be viewed a certain way so you might as well identify as such, oh and forget the history that was here before you arrived... "... pretty much sums it up. Again... I say all of this as an American, Jamaican-American, Black American, New Yorker (born-n-raised) with a husband whose family has been in this country for over 300 years. Our daughter is not like me or my husband, she now has DIRECT historical ties to multiple regions affected by the Triangular trade and will be able to identify with both co-equally. She is MULTI-cultural which is why the whole "bi-racial" thing can be annoying (for me) as it is less a reflection on how confusing it is to have parents of different backgrounds and more that there are weak (or one-sided) foundations in the rearing, culturally. I've always thought that African-American history was DIZZOPE as my parents, not schools, taught it to me (very conservative "speak the King's English" parents), but at the same time, they taught me about Nanny, Dutty Bukman & Haiti, Bogle, The Maroon Wars, etc... how the Caribbean was basically a training ground for enslaved Africans who would then be shipped to America... the Harlem Renaissance and Black immigration and its effects and so on and so forth. @DAE - We are all inter-connected, but should rightly acknowledge that we are linked, but not the same pieces. THAT'S BEAUTIFUL YO! The more we acknowledge our differences, the more we will see on inter-connectivity and similarities. It is WAY TOO DANGEROUS for us to not know AND HONOR as much as we should about our histories and the histories of our brethren, for it would make us all, as a group, much stronger, MUCH STRONGER and more focused, btw... That being said... Freeman is very clear... and honor and understand Freeman's point of view. Why can't Obama be American, Kenyan American, etc... and Bi/Multi-racial yet a Black-IDENTIFIED American (a fork in the road classification, if you will)? Another beautiful link in the chain not to be mistaken for another piece? Eh... what can you do...

  • bondgirl | July 5, 2012 6:09 PM

    @JustSaying: I'd always thought the term was brought about to create racial solidarity with Africans living in America, while also removing any residue of racist classifications. I was too young to know the impetus for change, but I remember at the time Black Americans were protesting/boycotting companies divesting in South Africa, Mandela was still imprisoned, and we were consciously making the efforts to be more Afro-centric. I never realized Africans living here weren't intended to use it. I agree with a lot of what you and Nadine are saying, but I still say Obama is African-American:-)

  • justsaying | July 5, 2012 5:23 PM

    @Bondgirl, his or her culture is definitely within the Black American community, but that doesn't make them an African American. Like I said Black = African American USED to be synonymous, but its not anymore. Its more of the rectangle square relationship. And if you pay attenetion to history, and the changes and waves of miration, immigration and exchange of culture/people worldwide, you'll understand how this has evolved overtime. Oh, and obviously when you are traveling from country to country, they're not interested in the specifics of your heritage but rather the country you were born in, so I am unsure how that adds to the conversation. And as I said before, just because history is not acknowledge by the more persuading society, doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Enjoy!

  • justsaying | July 5, 2012 4:40 PM

    @Nadine, exactly. "Honestly, new Blacks (to this country) need to recognize that it is not just the lilt in your voice that makes you an African-American, but the very real history, mores, norms, codes and culture that is distinct to those people whose families have been here for centuries. (CENTURIES**) The history is very important and can not be ignored. Acknowledging difference doesn't mean you are looking to devalue or value more.

  • bondgirl | July 5, 2012 4:37 PM

    @JustSaying: Dae should be considered African-American because his/her culture/ethnicity is rooted in the Black American community, as well as being born in America.This "truest sense of the word" mess are the seeds of tribalism. Btw, when I travel to Africa and go through customs, they do not consider me African-American or black. The rules of engagement on their turf dictate that I am American only. When in Rome, folks...

  • Nadine | July 5, 2012 4:08 PM

    You're an American and would be rightly seen more as a Nigerian American, yes? All under the umbrella of Black American (if Black). Obama is an American and Kenyan American (and whatever else)... Honestly, new Blacks (to this country) need to recognize that it is not just the lilt in your voice that makes you an African-American, but the very real history, mores, norms, codes and culture that is distinct to those people whose families have been here for centuries. @justsayin has some valid points as does the mixed race population who should be acknowledged as a group with certain choices (but not every choice especially since they are often, if female, a preferred permutation of less diluted groups and are used to reinforce the dominant groups supremacy...this is a real conversation that should not be swept under the rug. Hope that made sense ... running..

  • justsaying | July 5, 2012 3:46 PM

    @Dae, my friend imo, you are Black and Nigerian American. African-American in the truest sense of the word? lol ummm no. Both your parents are Nigerian. The term "African-American" came to be over a period of history evolving from previous early labels of black people in America within the white/black dichotomy. There is a history. Just cause you identify with Black Americans/African-Americans that doesn't change who you are. Just cause racist society doesn't take the time to acknowledge your heritage , doesn't change who you are. I don't get it. Why is there a fear to address the real history and celebrate difference, yet still come together. Yes you grew up here, and whether you decide to bring your Nigerian culture with you, you will still be Nigerian American. You are who you are. Identification is based on your perspective while growing up. Ok. A White person who grows up in a Black community and grows close to Black Americans, are they allowed to identify as Black as well? Is this only because of color? Lol Morgan Freeman would have been more correct if he said he is a Black and White president. Celebrating different culture, routes, and roots shouldn't cause division! "And when we start picking each other apart, it never leads to good things." You touch upon something very important. Why doesn't it lead to good things? In fact, I'd envision it leading to power, strength, and pride in our vast cultures. Such a shame. A baby who is of a white and chinese parents.. are they only chinese/asian? Nope.

  • lauren | July 5, 2012 2:37 PMReply

    So silly! When 85% of Americans of African descent also have European ancestry. Stick to acting Mr. Freeman.

  • charles sanford jr | June 30, 2013 12:36 PM

    Most negros in America....is american by birth....and african by heritege ...what we don't no...is what part of Africa.

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