11 Black Celebrities Who Say They’re Not African American
Raven-Symone just ruffled a lot of feathers after revealing to Oprah that she doesn’t consider herself gay or Black. But Raven isn’t the only celebrity who doesn’t want to be labeled as African-American. Prepare to be surprised by the celebrities who don’t think they belong on the Black list.
When The Face model Devyn Adbullah told Wendy Williams, “I don’t really consider myself as a black girl model. I know what my ethnicity is, but I’m fair-skinned and I feel like I have an international look” she not only took the audience by surprise but her mentor Naomi Campbell was shocked as well. She famously quipped, “What the f*ck does she mean? That’s a disgrace! She’s a Black girl.”
Zoe Saldana said that she thinks “there’s no such as people of color.”
While on BET, she said:
“I literally run away from people that use words like ethnic. It’s preposterous! To me there is no such thing as people of color cause in reality people aren’t white. Paper is white. People are pink, it’s a bit ridiculous when I have to explain to a human being, that is an adult like I am, that looks intelligent but for some reason I have to question his intelligence and explain to him as if he was a two year old, my composition in order for him to say, ‘Oh I guess I can chill with you, I can work with you.’
I will not underestimate a human being and I will not allow another human being to underestimate me. I feel like as a race, that’s a minute problem against the problems we face just as women versus men, in a world that’s more geared and designed to cater towards the male species.”
When R&B singer Keyshia Cole said that she was hesitant about participating in Black Girls Rock because she wasn’t sure if she was Black, Black Twitter exploded with criticism. Keyshia quickly backpedaled and said ““I’m bi-racial, but it’s okay. I’m Black.” But she still left a few fans feeling frustrated.
Video model Karrine Steffans — better known by her industry nick name Superhead — says that she doesn’t consider herself or her son African-American. Karrine says that because she’s from St. Thomas, she doesn’t have a black “state of mind”:
“I think people forget, I’m an islander. I’m not African American. I don’t have like African American struggles. I just don’t. I don’t have the same history. So, and I’m not even tryna be facetious…There’s a serious mind state that comes with being Black in America and being a Black American. And the history that comes with that. And all things that are passed down from generation to generation…Shame. Shame sexually. Sexually shaming. Shame on the female gender. Shame just all kinds of shame. And abuse. And belittling and all those things that come from post-slavery.”
Former Cosby Show star Raven-Symone recently shocked her fans when she told Oprah that she didn’t want to be labeled “gay” or “African-American”:
“I’m tired of being labeled. I’m an American. I’m not an African-American; I’m an American…I’m a colorless person”
To which Oprah replied, “Oh, girl, Don’t set up the Twitter on fire… Oh, my lord. What did you just say?”
And then Twitter was set on fire.
Despite starring in some of Black Hollywood’s biggest movies, Shemar Moore says that he doesn’t consider himself a “black actor”: “I’m just Shemar Moore the actor. I’m very proud to be Black but I’m just as much Black as I am White.”
In his controversial 2004 NAACP event commemorating the 50th anniversary of Brown vs. Board of Education, Bill Cosby said call him anything but African-American:
“We are not Africans. Those people are not Africans; they don’t know a thing about Africa. With names like Shaniqua, Taliqua and Mohammed and all of that crap, and all of them are in jail.”
OK, so Gabriel Aubry obviously knows he’s White. What he doesn’t understand is his daughter is also Black. TMZ reported that he goes “nuts” whenever anyone calls his daughter Nahla, born to bi-racial actress Halle Berry, Black — and even tried to get the word retracted when he saw it in print.
The world may consider Tiger Woods the first African American to win the Masters, but Tiger told Oprah that he considers himself “Cablinasian”: a mixture of Caucasian, black, Indian and Asian.
Prison Break star Wentworth Miller came under fire when he was accused of passing for white while a student at Harvard. Wentworth says that he had other reasons for not revelaing that he is half Black, but a lot of Miller’s fans still don’t know that he’s biracial.
Kidada Jones says that her famous sister Rashida used to pass for white back when they were in school. She told Glamour Magazine,
“I didn’t want my mother to come to my new school. If kids saw her, it would be: “your mom’s white!” I told Mom she couldn’t pick me up; she had to wait down the street in her car. Did Rashida have that problem? No! She passed for white.”