Michaela Angela Davis interviewed by Soledad O’Brian for new CNN series Who Is Black In America?

I was so proud to see my friend and Image Activist Michaela Angela Davis interviewed by Soledad O’Brien for CNN’s new series “Who Is Black In America?: Soledad O’Brien Explores Racial Identity”

In this clip Michaela asks one of the seminal questions of our time.

(VIDEO)

I have forever contemplated similar questions.  I am black but of mixed race and born and raised in America.

I was born at the intersection of two lineages. One black one white.  Different countries of origin.  Languages.  Economic status.  Professions.  Political systems.  And so on.   All of this informed me as a person.

My mother and aunt married my father and his best friend in the 60s.  Their unions were embraced by both sides of the family from the very first day.   I have never heard, seen or  detected anything to the contrary.

Both families settled in the Chicago neighborhood of Hyde Park just a short walk from the adjoining neighborhood of Kenwood, the former home to President Obama and his family.  Hyde Park was nationally recognized as the most liberal and racially mixed neighborhood in the country.  It also happened to be in one of the most segregated cities in the County.

The fruit of my family’s unions were always in fullest view at Christmas during which adults and kids of all colors – black, white and in between awoke, showered, played, ate, slept together and loved each other.

My parents, aunts and uncles always referred to me and those like me as “mulatto”.   We all considered it a term of endearment until we learned that it had become politically incorrect for some.  But to this day I find it hard to use another word to describe myself and others like me.  Sometimes I simply refuse to use another term and I explain why.

Our families  used the word with a sense of  pride.  That something unique (but not better) had been delivered.    As I grew older I learned to detect two other things in their voices.  A trepidation that we might encounter fear, hate, injustice or even violence.   Moreover, the  hope, belief and resolve that we represented that which should be accepted without question.  That we represent  and would define the future.

As I grew up and went to college I  learned what it meant to be black and I learned the answer to Angela’s question in the video – “why don’t you think black is enough? ”  My answer.

It is.

4 thoughts on “Michaela Angela Davis interviewed by Soledad O’Brian for new CNN series Who Is Black In America?”

  1. She’s practically a regular on CNN and BET now. And doing quite well on all of her appearances I might say. She was just on Anderson Cooper 360 this week as part of a discussion.

  2. Great post H-Guy and heartfelt. It seems you had even more you would have liked to say. Maybe you should be a guest on a panel.
    I didn’t realize that it was a series either I’ve only seen this one episode which I thought was excellent and Soledad was a perfect host. Very informative and educational.

    I agree it would be great if they could show this in school, all schools. And it is always a treat to hear and see Michaela Angela Davis adding her insight and wisdom to a discussion. Very inspiring.
    Would be something good for the whole family to watch together over the holidays.

  3. This is a great series and episode. I think it should be shown in schools to help kids feel comfortable to discuss all ethnicities and encourage them to learn to respect and appreciate the differences of everyone’s heritage.

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