Friday, February 21, 2014

What is Black?

By Tenisha Mercer

Black is ... many things. From albino to the fairest of fair and the darkest of dark. The book,  (1)ne Drop: Shifting the Lens on Race, published last year by Dr. Yaba Blay, looks at the complexity of racial classifications (from the one-drop rule of the early 1900s) to Blackness in its many forms, from people who are bi-racial, have vitiligo or albinism.

What's clear is that Black is more about skin color, race, a social construct or even our hair, and these striking photos by Noelle Theard show it. It features people who identify as many things, from "Black" to "Jamerican" to "Afro Latino."

 Sembene McFarland/Black/African-American
"A lot of people just look and see skin color. Your skin is White, therefore you're White. Or are you? One girl said to me, 'I've been wanting to ask you this question but I didn't feel comfortable asking you because I thought that you might be offended, but are you Black or are you White?' And I told her, 'Well, I'm always Black.'"


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