Blackness is something many don’t shy away from profiting off of but are sometimes hesitant to claim. For some reason, there are Black celebrities who have chosen to shy away from being called just that, Black.
Last week, Bow Wow made headlines for saying he’s “mixed” and can’t relate to the struggles of Black people in America. He’s not the only one whose made similar statements. The rapper and actor joins a list of celebrities which includes Raven-Symone and Tiger Woods who don’t want to be labeled as Black.
Bow Wow came to fame as a teen star in the early 2000s and his music dominated BET’s once-flagship music video countdown show, “106 & Park,” so much he was nicknamed, Mr. 106 & Park. He even became the show’s host in its final years on air. Recently, in light of the police shootings and this upcoming presidential election, a fan on Twitter asked Bow Wow his thoughts. He replied he doesn’t vote and he can’t relate to the struggles going on in this country or the Civil Rights movement because he’s “mixed.” We still don’t know what he’s “mixed” with, but he doesn’t appear to be claiming his Black ancestry.
Raven-Symone was often praised as one of the child stars who made it to adulthood successfully without controversy. Now, her opinions regarding race and social issues have gotten her the side eye from the Black community. In a 2014 interview with Oprah, the actress said she did not want to be labeled “African-American.”
“I’m tired of being labeled,” she said. “I’m an American. I’m not an African-American; I’m an American…I’m a colorless person.”
“The View” panelist constantly makes cringe-worthy comments we can’t wrap our brains around.
Arguably one of the best golfers walking the planet, Tiger Woods is embraced by the Black community regardless of how he feels. Many didn’t start paying attention to the sport until Tiger came to prominence.
Tiger, whose father was Black and mother is Asian, made some interesting comments regarding race.
He considers himself to be “Cablinasian,” a term he made up which includes his heritage of Caucasian, Black, Indian and Asian.
Many have been giving Zoe Saldana the side eye for her role in the Nina Simone biopic, Nina. She’s also made some interesting comments when it comes to her race. Zoe is Dominican and made a quote, saying, “There’s no such thing as a people of color. ”
She told BET.com, “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.’”
However, in recent interviews this year, she did interviews saying she was appalled her Blackness was being questioned regarding the Simone biopic.
Because she’s from the island of St. Thomas, she believes she doesn’t have “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.”