WHAT IS BLACK...OR WHITE?

I originally saw this post on Africlectic Magazine's Tumblr page today.  Africlectic is a new exciting global life-culture magazine promoting the Diaspora’s Renaissance in culture, music, arts, fashion, science & health through the African lens.

Last week, I had the great pleasure of being interviewed about 50 SHADES OF BLACK by one of the editors of this magazine.  I can't wait to share more with you about the interview as well as the magazine itself.

Seeing this photo and reading Sembene's reflections offer more insight into the question that was posed earlier on 50 SHADES OF BLACK.  It also is the basis of one chapter in the upcoming ebook and is nuanced by my art piece with Obama and Clinton.

“A lot of people just look and see skin color. I’ve actually had people ask me was I Black or was I White first.  A White gentleman came up to me and said ‘I thought you might be White, but then I saw your lips.’ 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 was just like, ‘Well, I’m always Black.’ When we were done with the meat of the conversation, she laughed and said something about my hair and my butt gave it away. People definitely let you know that they view being Black as being very literal – the amount of pigment you have. ‘Your skin is White, therefore you’re White. Or are you?’ 

— Sembene McFarland for (1)ne Drop

About (1)ne Drop:

Combining candid memoirs with vivid portraiture, (1)ne Drop provides living testimony to the fluidity of Blackness. Whereas, according to the one-drop rule, Blackness is a matter of biology and the law, effectively leaving its subjects without voice (or choice for that matter), it is through the personal narratives of our contributors that we come to see multiple possibilities for Blackness above and beyond the one-drop rule. Through their personal narratives, contributors provide insight into their own imaginings of Black identity.

For more information about the (1)ne Drop Project, please visit http://1nedrop.com

Photos by Noelle Théard for (1)ne Drop. www.noelletheard.com

All photos copyright © 2012 Black Star Creative, LLC.

Posted on August 1, 2012 and filed under blog.