Three Pennies And Odd Man Out To Pick Someone's Race
Well, none other than Denmark Vesey stopped in today to leave a comment on my blog trying to lay out the case that "Blackness" ultimately has very little to do with complexion.
He does make a pretty good point, however, I have found myself fascinated by the "cusps" or the "twilight zone" with some individuals who really do seem to be straddling the two groups.
Now that we can run genetic tests and find out how much of one's ancestry is European, African, Far East Asian and Native American, it seems that the "transition line" is somewhere between maybe 25% and 45% sub-Saharan African.
We know that 50% is generally not the dividing line. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. has tested at almost exactly 50% African and 50% European. It's pretty likely that Halle Berry and Barack Obama are also almost exactly 50% African and 50% European, and yet they are generally considered "Black", and, the Dean notwithstanding, it doesn't f*ck with your head to think of these ladies and gentlemen as "Black".
Henry Louis Gates, Jr. also had a couple of guests in his African American Lives series who were in the 10 - 16% African range who were decidedly White.
So the admixture where it starts to get "fuzzy" must lie somewhere between roughly between 16 and 50% - I'm guessing somewhere around the 25% sub-Saharan African range.
Now, Denmark Vesey for some reason gets a laugh out of my mention of Lonette McKee, but I'm serious on this one.
I sat through 3/4 of Brewster's Millions not suspecting for a second she was Black until that line where she says, "That's more than alot of hard working people make in a year," and does that Phylicia Rashad head twitch and I just about shot out of my seat - "OMG! This woman is Black!"
Actually I had a quite similar moment a few years ago when I saw Mariah Carey in an interview. I can't remember what it was she said exactly but all of a sudden it hit me - "Not Puerto Rican, not Middle Eastern, plain old Winton Terrace Black."
Well, part of the time anyway - Mariah Carey strikes me as one of the few people who can actually change race at will, but that's another story.
No, this is some serious business.
For reasons I have yet to fully understand, Mrs. Axinar is whiskey bent and hell bound on reproducing.
This creates a very real possibility that some day it's going to be ME and me alone staring at the clerk working on ths birth certificate for this demon spawn of ours.
Now, although I have never been able to get Mrs. Axinar to submit to the admixture test, I'm guessing from various anecdotal sources that we're talking about 3/4 sub-Saharan African mixing with my 7/8 Northern European and 1/8 Armenian. That puts us at about 37.5% sub-Saharan African for Axinar, Jr. - WELL in the "zone of ambiguity".
Denmark Vesey's appraisal doesn't help much because we're looking at - what? - somewhere around age 3 - 4 before a personality forms enough to extract any useful information from that.
Wait a minute - Dean - now I know you've gone deliberately ambiguous in terms of "teaching" your children about their identity, but what DID you do about the birth certificates themselves???