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by Nicole Pennant

What do we mean when we assert that we are 100% Black? I have been natural since 2004.  I became a follower of natural hair blogs/vlogs over the last couple of years because I started caring for my own hair at home.  The information that I have learned from these sources has been invaluable. However, I have also observed the often heated debates that occur about natural hair.  One that stands out in particular has been about individuals that have grown long natural hair.  Questions or statements about an individual’s background always seem to arise. The following statements/questions come from the comment sections of a selection of bloggers/vloggers: “Are you mixed?” ‘You’re mixed with something right?”

These questions/responses are then followed by either the individual or others asserting the Blackness of the individual: “Why do people think black people need to be mixed to have great healthy long hair?!!!” “No. No she’s not mixed with something.”

And in some cases people make the claim that they or the person is 100% Black: “Yes, I’m 100% Black.” “[insert vlogger name] is 100% black…” “I am 100% Black and my hair has always been lengthy.”

I find assertions like “100% Black” or those alluding to someone being “all black” to be puzzling since it is just not true.

When I was in college I took a cultural anthropology class while pursuing my degree in African American Studies. It was first time I was introduced to how DNA was being used to trace a person’s genealogy and ancestry.  We watched a documentary in the class called “Motherland: A Genetic Journey”.  In the film, we observed three British African Caribbeans trace their ancestry using DNA.  Since this film then there have been many more programs focusing on the science of ancestry. Some of the most prominent programs have been Henry Louis Gates’ “Finding Our Roots” and “African American Lives.”  I find these shows fascinating because of the history that is often hidden underneath phenotypic characteristics like race.  For instance, on “Finding Our Roots” actor Don Cheadle found out that he was 19% White and that he also had Native American in his family lineage. In “African American Lives” Chris Rock found out he was 30% White.  Samuel L. Jackson found he could potentially apply to be a member of the Sons of the American Revolution because of a White ancestor on “Finding Our Roots.”   

Recently Gates wrote an article in The Root entitled “Exactly How ‘Black’ Is Black America” discussing the ancestry of Black Americans.  In the article he indicated that most Black Americans have mixed race heritage when DNA testing is conducted.
* According to Ancestry.com, the average African American is 65 percent sub-Saharan African, 29 percent European and 2 percent Native American.
* According to Family Tree DNA.com, the average African American is 72.95 percent sub-Saharan African, 22.83 percent European and 1.7 percent Native American.
* According to National Geographic’s Genographic Project, the average African American is 80 percent sub-Saharan African, 19 percent European and 1 percent Native American.

These findings indicate that the majority of Black Americans ARE NOT 100% Black.  Making this claim to percentage of Blackness is simply inaccurate.  Who we are today is significantly shaped by our past.  From my perspective acknowledging this racial mixing does not diminish our history because it is a part of the history. Nor does it downplay the Black experience and what it means to be Black in America. The creation of racial groups in American society was a social construction that had a lot less to do with genetics and more to do with physical appearance.

In the area of hair care I think awareness of this history is also important.  Trying to make claims about Black authenticity or 100% Blackness with regards to something that is actually shaped to some degree by genetics like hair seems odd.  But, we also know that good hair care practices have a significant influence on hair growth and that many of us were unaware of that until recently. A lot of the information that we were lacking was due the uplifting of European standards of beauty and the stigmatization of curlier and textured hair commonly found in the Black community.  Consequently, many of us never learned the proper care for our hair.

So when we observe someone with hair that would be considered exceptionally long or a looser curl pattern we shouldn’t immediately run to determine their racial/ethnic make-up in order to explain the ease of their hair care routine or growth.  For one thing, those same individuals proposing the question are more than likely some sort of racial mix as well. Additionally, being aware of the racial mixing in the past does not minimize the new history being created by Blacks who wear natural hair.  

The Black community is diverse and the differences we observe should be accepted as part of the Black experience instead of being used as a litmus test for Blackness.

Nicole Pennant is a guest contributor.  She is currently pursuing her doctorate in Political Science with a focus on Black Politics.  You can reach her at nicole.pennant@gmail.com.

Black Girl With Long Hair

Leila Noelliste, founder of Black Girl with Long Hair (April 2008). Social media, pop culture and black beauty enthusiast. bell hooks' hair twin...

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204 Comments on "Ending Our Association of Long Hair with Mixed Heritage"

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gigi
all well stated, and we need to remember, genes are an unwieldy lot! You blend them up and sometimes the dominant ones do their job as they should & and sometimes the recessives take over, then in the next generation they might leave or show up again in full force! 18% this, 32% that, 4% the other can come out in ANY way it pleases, so people need to love all their lovely blendings and just be… the little bit of hazel flecks in your eyes doesn’t give you more value than someone with a solid brown… a looser ringlet… Read more »
Candice

Also when blacks say “100% black”, this is coming from our history of naming the percentage of blackness in our immediate ancestry (e.g., 50%=mulatto; 25%=quadroon; 1.25%=octoroon). There was a percentage of blackness at which you could once again consider yourself legally white. The expression, “a touch of the tarbrush” meant that you couldn’t pass for white even though a person looked predominately white. It seems as if the author of this article has either chosen to disregard this or has just completely missed the point on this.

AimHighLoveWide
Although this discussion can become mundane at times to adults please continue to have these conversations with your surrounding youth. As an educator in a predominantly African-American school you would be surprised at the comments our young, black girls make regarding our hair and complexion. In a school of 750 students there may be one or two students and maybe 6 staff members who are natural (most of my middle school students wear weaves or wigs). The constant “are you mixed” question to my 16 yr old daughter at school is also draining to her. She has a loose 3B… Read more »
Jessica

I realize that I am taking away such a small part of what you said, but seriously- middle school aged girls wearing wigs and weaves is so sad to me. It starts young- if we don’t enforce the notion of our natural beauty, who will? I am not a teacher (which, by the way, I commend you for) but hope that I can be an example to my sons and nieces of just how beautiful we as Black women are…naturally!

Antrelise
Hi Jessica. I also have sons (4 & 6) and I make it a point to point out various chocolate women/girls and say how beautiful they are. I say “look how beautiful; her tone is so rich; or look how chocolate she is!!” I feel that as a mother of black sons I have to be diligent. I want my boys to never question Black women’s beauty or subscribe to the European standard of beauty……and before anyone says anything…..I don’t point out our lighter skinned beauties because they get enough validation 🙂 :). But seriously, I’m just saying that hardly… Read more »
Trini

Right on! I also encourage the natural students that encounter in the hallways.

Candice

I personally am offended when people assume that there is something in my culture makeup other than it appears because they think my hair is nice. I feel that person is basically saying White (or some ethnicity other than black) is making me better and that Black can’t be naturally beautiful. It is not a compliment.

African Naturalista

Most Blacks in America are not 100% black, which is why your hair is most completely different from Blacks in Africa. They grow at different rates, they look different, they even react differently to the same set of products. When it comes to length of hair, race will always have something to do with it, though I see no way it should cause a controversy. It is just what it is.

African Naturalista

I meant I see no reason why it should cause a controversy

eve-audrey

wrong again i don’t know which planet you come from but you find as many different hair types and lenght in african americans as you find in africans. this site shows it just take a second look.

Maggie
@SJ – What about the presence of the Portuguese and other races in Nigeria before the onset of American slavery? When there was happy free trade going on. I mean the land mass wasn’t always considered “Nigeria”. From my understanding many Nigerians can’t really trace their lineage past great-great-great….let alone saying who was where or “what” (mixed and such) before 1600. One generation is only 30yrs (some say 25yrs) not 100 or 50 years. So to say you can trace your lineage back 6 generations is not that much. British people have records (not just artifacts and pieces of art… Read more »
CONNIE1
AND WHAT ABOUT JUST PURE 100% AFRICANS. AFRICA IS THE BIRTH PLACE. SO WHY ARE YOU ALL SO STUCK ON NOT BELIEVING THAT THERE ARE SOME 100% BLACK AFRICANS OUT THERE WITH NO MIXES. IM SURE YOU WOULDNT DEBATE THAT THERE ARE SOME 100% EUROPEANS OUT THERE. SO PLEASE STOP WITH THE LIES. ALSO MOST OF YOUR HISTORY BOOKS ARE WRONG AND WRITTEN TO MAKE BLACKS FEEL DEGRADED. HALF OF IT IS UNTRUE. I AM BLACK 100% AND I HAVE LONG NATURAL HAIR. NOT BECAUSE OF ANY MIXES IN MY FAMILY. I HAVE NO MIXES. I AM JUST MIXED WITH… Read more »
SJ
Hi Maggie, I do understand what points you’re making, but realize that I said predominantly black, if not 100%. And you bring up a good point: other races may have mixed before the presence of the British. This is all true. But it is important to realize as well that after a certain number of generations, can we even really count it for much? In other words, if I had a Portuguese ancestor from the 1100s, would it count for much more than 10%? 5%? 1%? Think about it: the more recent the miscegenation, the more apparent the legacy of… Read more »
Maggie
“Light skin, narrow noses, thin lips, type 3 hair was also on the continent, depending on what ethnic group you want to look at…” You can find these traits in Australia, South America, Oceania, India and some parts of Asia as well. Miscegenation has added to diversity of the planet IN GENERAL. Not to mention being able to find Dark skinned, broad nosed, type 4 hair people in all those same regions. Depending on what “theory” of human evolution and mass migration you believe, we have been mixing since we as humans came into existence (whenever that was). If you… Read more »
SJ
Hi Maggie, I do understand what points you’re making, but realize that I said predominantly black, if not 100%. And you bring up a good point: other races may have mixed before the presence of the British. This is all true. But it is important to realize as well that after a certain number of generations, can we even really count it for much? In other words, if I had a Portuguese ancestor from the 1100s, would it count for much more than 10%? 5%? 1%? Think about it: the more recent the miscegenation, the more apparent the legacy of… Read more »
Stace
I find it questionable on why there is even so much work being done into decoding the black race, and identifying who is or isn’t black (eg. aboriginal peoples of Australia, and paupa new guinea). Africa is the largest continent and it has been established that human migration moved out from the heart of africa. So with that being said how can someone by examining the DNA of peoples who migrated thousands of generation ago and then isolated on islands say that this person is not black, but only looks black. When there are so many tribes and peoples of… Read more »
Nana
You make good points as there are 250 cultures in Nigeria alone and most of them are misplaced heritages struck by the damages of colonialism. The Yoruba language alone has surprising elements of Arabic and Portuguese and oral tradition will tell you that our people come from the kingdoms of Axum, Songhai, Oyo etc (which are far from being in the same locus of West Africa. Also they recently discovered the oldest boat was from Nigeria (I think it’s over 3000 years old). Combine this with the fact that many Olmec and Maya god-like structures have facial features similar to… Read more »
eve-audrey

interesting i just found a korean site that states the oldest boat was found near seoul 8000 years ago could you give me your sources?

Nana
boazwife

It seems to me that the author had a premise and floated a few sparse facts to support it. In all honesty, for those of us who have regularly researched natural hair care on the popular blogs, how often has any of these arguments surfaced, less than 1% of the time, I’d say. I’ve seen more articles on the controversy of long hair and ethnicity, then any actual controversy.

Nicole Pennant
Hi boazwife, I am not saying this is the major debate of natural hair. I asserted that I have seen it often enough that it stood out to me which led to writing this article. I have statistical training and I am not trying to assert that the small sample of quotes I took from various websites is indicative of the whole natural population or discourse. They served as inspiration for a broader piece. I would ask though, this is not meant as snark, but if your claim is that this happens less than 1% of the time is this… Read more »
Lenya Jones

Thank you so much for posting this very well written and informative piece.

Nicole Pennant

Thanks Lenya Jones. Glad that you liked it.

Michelle

Thank you for writing this article, it was very informative. 🙂

Nicole Pennant

Thanks Michelle. Glad you liked it. I love being Black and identify strongly with it but I do find DNA and ancestry to be fascinating.

Ingy

I have been a conscious natural for a year 1/2. I identify myself as an African American woman with a combination of (what I think is) 3c, 4a & 4b textures on my head. My mother’s racial background is primary Irish & Native American (Lakota). My father is a propionate mix of African (Eastern African) & Native American (Cherokee). I strongly believe that without that African touch my hair WOULD NOT be as dope as it is. 100% or not I got my “good hair” from my African roots!

Nicole Pennant

:o) Excellent. I love my hair texture as well. 4A/4B here. I love that it can be molded, sculpted and shaped to do so many things. I am always getting question and compliments my hair from people of many different backgrounds. Wouldn’t want it any other way.

Carla

This was a really great read. Like you I am fascinated by our diverse ancestry and want to do research this year to discover more about my own. I believe that when women refer to being 100% black they are referencing what they know. I am black as far as I know although I have some mixtures like many of us do. The mixtures are beautiful, but also unfortunate. So many of us don’t know our history or where our people come from outside of MS or NC smh.

Nicole Pennant

Thanks Carla. Glad you liked it!

Cass

Thoughtful post.

Nicole Pennant

Thanks Cass.

J. Nicole of UrbanExpressive

People have been conditioned for years to believe Black hair doesn’t grow, and if it does, it means because you’re “mixed with something”. It’s going to take a while for them to realize that, but in the meantime I find it unecessary to waste much time on them. I think its common knowledge (or should be) that because of the diaspora Black people-all over the world have various aesthetic appearances. There’s way too much info out there for people to still be so ignorant.

Nicole Pennant
Hi J. Nicole of UrbanExpressive, I think your right that conditioning of one idea over time has had a significant impact. However, I wouldn’t just assume what people know. I have taught undergraduate course in higher education now for many years. I used to always find myself floored by what people do and don’t know. I have undergrads, Black and White, who believe that Black Politics for instance didn’t start until Martin Luther King and that Blacks fighting for rights is a “new” movement. They don’t think of Harriet Tubman, the Slave Trade, Nat Turner, the abolitionist movement, or even… Read more »
J. Nicole of UrbanExpressive

Right, that’s why I put “or should be” in parentheses. I’m grateful to be around & continue to meet people who know better and all I can do is hope everyone else falls suit, but if they don’t I won’t lose sleep over them.

jjac401
Thank you for this article. I have always had to deal with other African Americans (AA) question my racial admix because of the length and texture of my hair. For some reason I used to find these questions and comments annoying. The truth is that AA are typically admixed due to our history and often times it shows up esthetically. But should this be a big deal? Just for my own fact finding about my family I had a DNA test last year which provided me the results of my admix, of course it indicated percentages of Sub-Saharan African and… Read more »
Nicole Pennant

Hi jjac401,

I completely agree! I am glad that you liked the article.

Cleo
People will always credit being mixed with having long hair, that’s how it is unfortunately. In reality there tons of biracial or multiracial people with damaged, short, unhealthy hair. While there are black people with healthy heads of hair. It’s about hair practices and regimens, but a lot of black people don’t want to hear that it’s oh you must be mixed with something right?? What American born citizen isn’t mixed (including white people) I will never credit an Indian ancestor from 200 years ago on my hair texture and how it grows, that crazy. Even when I had long… Read more »
Nicole Pennant
Hi Cleo, Hello Cleo, I understand your point and let me clear I don’t think mixed race equal healthy hair either. I have seen people with all kinds of hair from a variety of racial and ethnic backgrounds struggle to grow hair because the hair as been treated poorly and is damaged. I have had friends that identify as white discuss their difficulties with growing hair because every White female doesn’t automatically grow long hair. There hair can handle more damage due to the strength of the strands but you still have to treat it properly for it to be… Read more »
CONNIE1
NICOLE, THE ARTICLE MAKES THE ISSUE WORSE. SOME OF US ARE NOT MIXED. WHY IS THAT SO HARD TO BELIEVE? THERE ARE CERTAIN TRIBES IN AFRICA THAT ARE 100% AFRICAN. NO MIXTURE, NO EUROPEAN BLOOD. BASICALLY WHAT YOUR SAYING IS THAT WE ARE ALL MIXED AND OUR HAIR IS DIFFERENT BECAUSE OF IT. NOT TRUE! AFRICANS HAVE ALWAYS HAD BEAUTIFUL HAIR BEFORE THE EUROPEANS EVEN DISCOVERED THE CONTINENT. SO WHEN PEOPLE SAY I AM 100% BLACK, THEY TRULY MAY BE. THEY ARE TRYING TO TELL YOU THAT NO ONE IN THEIR FAMILY IS EUROPEAN OR NATIVE AMRICAN OR WHATEVER. THEIR… Read more »
Antrelise
Although I understand the jest of your position, I do believe that when black girls with long hair refer to themselves as 100% black they are not ignorant to the fact that somewhere in their ancestry lies different blood (just like the people with kinky and short hair) I’m constantly accosted by people who insist that I must be mixed!! I tell them no, I’m all BLACK/non-Caribbean!! Of course then they want to know where my parents/grandparents are from. I say Georgia. Then I have to explain that both of my parents are black, both of their parents are black,… Read more »
maralondon

What is your perception of a Caribbean? Don’t you know that America, North and South and the Caribbean are of the same Continent?

Antrelise

Not sure if your question was for me but, I live in South Florida, and if someone says you look like you are from the Caribbean what they mean is that you look like you are mixed with Indian, Chinese, etc. maybe it has a different connotation where you are from. So that’s why I said black/noncaribbean to emphasize that I am not mixed.

maralondon

Not all people from the Caribbean are mixed with Indian, Chinese etc… where do people get this notion from? The majority of these people tend to stick with their own anyway so it kind of dispels that myth.

Antrelise

I agree!!
In fact , the people who ask me this question are almost always from the Caribbean, but NEVER look like they are “mixed” themselves. Not sure what that’s all about 🙂

maralondon

What is your perception of a Caribbean? I find that an odd statement since America, South and North are of the same Continent

TINA SMITH

YES LORD SAY IT AGAIN!!!! IT’S ANNOYING WHY CAN’T WE CREDIT FOR OUR BEAUTY BECAUSE WE ARE BLACK, NOT BECAUSE OF A MIX IN THERE

Kandis

Perfectly stated Antrelise! And I do the exact same thing…it’s so funny to see how frustrated people get when I tell them my parents, grandparents and great grandparents are all Black…their minds just can’t handle it! SMH

anastasia

I’m smiling reading this b/c just today I told someone I was mixed w/ black, blacker, and blackest. The look on her face was priceless.

Antrelise

I know right, Kandis!! And even after all that, they still say…. You probably have a grandparent from Jamaica or Trinidad and you just don’t know!! Happy to hear I’m not alone 🙂

Anne
I hear you. I get that ALL the time. People tell me I cannot possibly be ALL black and truthfully I’m not– I’m part West Indian but to ignorant people Black is Black if your skin is brown and your hair is somewhat thick and unruly or nappy then YOU ARE BLACK that’s just the way the world works. It bothers me because people often pick me apart from hair to my skin complexion to the sound of my voice telling me because I have the attributes that are considered “beautiful” by the world then I MUST be mixed because… Read more »
Kandis
Anne – you said it…It’s so sad..whenever a Black woman has long hair or is attractive, someone ALWAYS asks if they’re mixed. And I look at Black actresses and many of them are always blurting out a list of 6 – 7 things they are…not that there’s anything wrong with being mixed at all, but most of these folks don’t have anyone but Black folks at their family reunions and they’re just passing along incorrect information that some misinformed relative has said about their heritage.I look at Asian/White/Hispanic women and they proudly represent their heritage and say they’re 100%…I wish… Read more »
Nicole Pennant
Hi Antrelise, I agree with you. Be loud and proud about your hair and why it is the way it is! I love mine as well! I think the people that this article is directed at are those who are accosting you. You shouldn’t have to explain a lineage to justify your hair because we all have a lot going on in our backgrounds. Therefore, people shouldn’t press to find an explanation just appreciate. I too have been accosted and I have dark skin and on any race measure or categorization I would be seen as Black. You can’t win… Read more »
Antrelise
Thank you Nicole for your thoughtful response. I will make great efforts in the future to answer as you’ve suggested. I hope I live to see the day when black women embrace our hair. Our hair is so unique, versatile…..beautiful. No other “race” has our texture….not even close!! I’m really in awe. Our hair is not the problem, but our historical lack of education about our hair is. Our men already set the standard with their style; now we need to stand proud (with our hair) and show the world a standard of beauty that only “we” we’re given. God… Read more »
anastasia

“God never meant it as a curse, but instead, as an honor.”
YES!

Jessica

Antrelise…I think you are awesome…that is all

jjac401

@Antrelise – Girl Preach! I also contribute my hair’s beauty to the 70 percent! Heeeeeeyyyyyy now!!!!!

Nia

I find it draining discussing race and such..bc its the same arguments/points over and over. New conclusions are seldomly reached

me

discussion is fine as long as ACTION of some sort is happening as well…

Nicole Pennant
Hi me, My only call to action in this case is that we think more about how divisive with each other (the natural community) when it comes to hair based on how black people are. You may not be the person doing that and that is cool however there are plenty of people that do. This article was mainly written to dis-spell the idea of some sort of “black pureness.” I am definitely aware of the fact that a lot of people hold myths about Black hair and what it can and cannot to. Therefore, I think action is being… Read more »
Nicole Pennant
Hi Nia, I enjoy discussing. I think the topic is complicated and I agree that there aren’t clear conclusions. I do believe it is worthy for dialogue and discussion especially in a community (natural hair broadly) where questions of racial authenticity are frequently used as a way to challenge one’s natural journey or struggles with hair care. I highlight the point mainly to say we all have a dynamic past that is shaped but in many cases horrible and terrible events however blackness is more than just skin color or being 100%. Rather it is about a life experience that… Read more »
liberiangirl

@ nia, thank you. i’m getting a headache just by reading the caption alone.

silkynaps
There’s the traditional West African black aesthetic and there’s the black aesthetic that was tremendously influenced by miscegenation. Of course, the black aesthetic in the Americas is more likely to be influenced by miscegenation due to slavery and interracial unions…yes, that means some black people will have hair textures and complexions that are not what we’ve come to know as traditionally West African. In the Americas, miscegenation is a fact. Regardless of having two brown or black parents, it’s naive to think that miscegenation does not play a role in the way we look. DNA is funny…sometimes, first generation mixed-race… Read more »
Miss T
I don’t understand why some people think black people come in one shade and one hair texture. I have a light complexion and my hair is in the 4b/4c range, I’ve had some people seem to get irritated with me or surprised because I don’t have the texture of hair “a light skinned girl” is supposed to have (very funny too me). I have been called white, mexican, chinese and almost every other race, most people who are half white are darker than me, My parents are black and so are their parents, my mother is lighter than the average… Read more »
kem247

ey! I am from West Africa, and correct me if I’m wrong but there really isn’t a traditional aesthetic, being from Nigeria you see a mixture of women and men who look “mixed” or have lighter skin. All parts of the world like you said have people with a mixed race aesthetic, in fact I have met black men and women who look “West African” but they’re ancestors go back to the Native American.

What I’m trying to say, is that one cannot tell if a person is mixed just by looking at them.

kem247

The comment was for silkynaps.

Nana
I wonder where people get this notion that West Africans or Africans in general aren’t mixed. There are whole tribes stretching to Angola whose heritage is partly due to Portuguese miscegenation dating back waaaay back to the 1400s. There are whole slave heritages (such as in Liberia) where after the fall out of slavery in Western countries Black identified persons were shipped back to random areas of Africa. Recently scientists have finally accepted that Chinese and Kenyan people share genetic similarity due to trade routes. And then you have people like me. 100% Nigerian but my great-grand mother’s maiden name… Read more »
natu

WOW! Am really impressed by your answer. It always good to see black people that know their history. To add on to your answer the Arabs also mixes with the Kenyans and Tanzanians. We now refer to them as the Swahilis. Many people keep forgetting that the ‘whites’ settled in Africa for a long time therefore our line was corrupted. That said, Africans had various skin tones and hair textures even before these other nationalities discovered the continent.

SJ
Well, I am a person of Nigerian descent who can trace my lineage back quite a few generations. My hair has come a long way and has grown to great lengths. I have 3 textures on my head, with mainly 4a, but also some 3c and some 4b. I know that I am predominantly black, if not 100% black. In Nigeria, miscegenation is in our history, but not nearly as prevalent as it was in the Americas. But at the end of the day, people still question my background and assume that I am mixed with something. I like that… Read more »
shelikes
this is an aside, but you are so lucky to be able to trace your lineage!!! and not through some dna internet order, but through stories handed down each generation…just like the white folks. so cool. i was in west africa once years ago and most of the women i saw had thin dull hair. i just chalked it up to poverty, poor diet, stress, relaxers, weave, etc. those who had short natural cuts were prettiest. i really think that once a person begins to live a healthy lifestyle and finds healthy products for their natural hair, it will grow… Read more »
Nana
It makes me wonder what we consider a “prevalent” racial phenomenon. Would it be the kinky hair? Many women of the Caucasus region (note: Caucasian actually does not denote White) also share that distinction. Wide noses? Many Asiatic cultures same the same features. Or perhaps it is the skin color– which we already have established is not unique to our own dynamic. Racial classification is so interesting when you realize how little it actually accounts for. Also it’s funny you point out Igbos are lighter. I’m Yoruba and we all tend to be dark as hell LOL I always thought… Read more »
SoSad

I find it interesting that whenever broad features, dark skin and coarse hair are attributed to West Africa people feel the need to point out “but but but Asians have broad features too.!!!!” or “my mother’s cousin’s boyfriend is white and her hair is so kinky!!!” First of all, who cares? No one was talking about “them” and secondly, the exception isn’t the rule and lastly, would the reaction be the same if thin features, light skin and silky hair was the association?

SJ

I agree, Nana!

SJ
When I say miscegenation was less/more prevalent, I mean how culturally common it was to mix with other races in the region in question. In some regions of Latin America, miscegenation was not really as frowned upon as it was in Africa. I have taken a course on this stuff and did a research paper. A lot of it has to do with the prevalence of slavery and “ownership”. Many white slave owners justified rape with the fact that they thought they “owned” these women and could “do whatever they wanted”. Depending on the region considered in Latin America, some… Read more »
eve-audrey
@nana i actually agreed with your comment ^^ and concerning ancient egypt you’re right but making people accept the fact that ancient egyptians were black and not white is another thing and let me tell you not an easy one! it reminds me of the legend of the queen of sheba (english is not my mother tongue so i really don’t know if that’s how you her in english) proofs of her existence have acctually been found. ethiopians call her makeda and i strongly believe she was from abyssinia (the empire that later became ethiopia) but again you’ll have people… Read more »
Nana
Op! Then I apologize for my brash response haha. I was so confused because being “mixed”/miscegenation does not guarantee the traits we commonly associate with the mixed identity (light skin, curly hair, light eyes, etc). Actually part of the reason why early Egyptologists refused to classify Egyptians as classically “Black” was because they didn’t have the features we commonly associate with West Africanness (wide everything, dark skin, neotenized skulls). However Egypt’s antiquated named– Kemet– itself means “Black Land” and lemme tell you the land ain’t actually Onyx Black lmao. (Can you tell I love this subject) Anyway I do apologize… Read more »
eve-audrey

@nana my bad i wasn’t responding to you but to silkynaps whostated that entire nations are comprised predominately of people with mixed race asthetics including east africa. i was just correcting by saying that east african countries are not predominately made of mixed race people that’s all. i’m fully aware of the fact that common genetic traits were found between chinese people and some african people and that some african people actually have common genes with jews thanks for your information.

Nana

… Who said East Africans were more mixed than West Africans. Can we stick to what was actually said? If you need me to reinterpret my words for you because it wasn’t clear enough I can do that.

Everything I said can be attributed to well known anthropological facts provided to us by the dedicated scientists eager to trace the human genome.
If you have a problem with that, I can’t help you.

Google is Your Friend.

http://science.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/03/14/17315481-600-year-old-chinese-coin-found-in-kenya?lite
http://www.mfa.gov.cn/ce/ceke/eng/sbgx/t204436.htm

I cannot with the ignorance in the rest of your comment.

eve-audrey

here we go again east african countries are not predominately made of mixed race people where the hell does that myth come from? as for north africans i don’t know so i won’t make any statement. i don’t mean to attack you but as someone else stated there was a foreign presence in west african countries too leading to some admixture but how do you actually know that east africans are more mixed than west africans? we still have a long way to go busting myths and misconceptions.

Nana

Oh I should point out I wasn’t disagreeing with you, just adding more facts 😀

Nooni

I think she is taking the term 100% black to literally. When people say that, what they really mean is their parents are not different races and/or that there is no immediate non-black ancestry that they are aware of.

Chereace
agreed. I don’t think any black AMERICAN believes they are 100% black literally. but it’s a shared understanding that we mean that there has been no recent race mixing in our genetic makeup. I really thought this post was going to be about something else, more specifically delving into issues like this: ” the uplifting of European standards of beauty and the stigmatization of curlier and textured hair commonly found in the Black community. Consequently, many of us never learned the proper care for our hair.” it is like this BECAUSE of our history in american and BECAUSE of european… Read more »
Jessica

I totally agree Chereace…. I thought the article was a nice way to state the obvious… I mean… That is common knowledge that no Black American is 100% black, right?…..right? Lol. I think it would have been much more beneficial to delve more into what this flawed thinking has to do with our hair and how we care for it. While the actual breakdown of the percentages was very interesting- this article told me nothing that I didn’t know already

Nicole Pennant
Hi Nooni, I understand what people mean when they say that they are 100% black. You are right…most of the time they are referring to their parents or no immediate ancestry that they are aware of. However, I think this notion to claim 100% blackness makes no sense when the evidence says otherwise. The qualifier of 100% makes the expression problematic because trying to prove “blackness” is much more complicated. In all honesty I don’t think people need to explain how black they are. My argument is about just accepting that our black identity is most prominent but that our… Read more »
goyta
i’m sure it’s just an expression that simply means that, as nooni said, their parents or grandparents or even great grandparents aren’t “other”. in any case, no matter how factually incorrect it may be, we all understand what is meant by what is said. it’s the same as when someone says “i’ve got mixed hair…” whether the person making that statement is mixed or not, we all, even if begrudgingly, get about the same mental image conjured up in our heads of some type 3ish curly, wavy (not black, but not white) curl pattern. it’s probly a dumb way to… Read more »
Nooni
Race is not an objective characteristic, and the whole concept of talking about black and white race etc is inherently flawed because ‘race’ does not exist. As such, we often use largely flawed terminology to say what we feel, therefore using the term 100% black is fine. The underlying meaning is conveyed. Saying I am a black person makes as much sense scientifically as saying I am 100% black, both are scientifically incorrect, but they convey a specific meaning. Using the term 100% black is fine and perhaps not all of us want to acknowledge our past ancestors equally. I… Read more »
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