A black person was originally defined as any person with any known amount of African black ancestry. In the South during the Jim Crow era, this classification became known as the “one-drop rule”, meaning that a single drop of “black blood” made a person get classified as being of black decent. The U.S. Census Bureau must adhere to the 1997 Office of Management and Budget (OMB) standard which says that a person having origins in any of the Black racial groups of Africa is to be considered as Black or African American. Identification of ethnicity is fluid and self-perceptions of race and ethnicity do change over time and for many people there are special circumstances that need to be considered. The concept of race is a socially constructed idea, originally based on skin color so we could identify a group of people with a common ancestor. That group, just as we see in families today, could be quite diverse. While the experience of being Black in America varies tremendously, there are shared cultural factors that play a role in helping us to define the concept of race as it is currently viewed. Talking about differences between groups of people is often a sensitive subject and especially since diversity exists within the groups.
White people come in all different shades of skin color, and none of them are actually white. It is just a word that is used to describe a large group of people. A person that is being classified as ‘white’, or ‘black’, or ‘brown’, or ‘yellow’, or ‘red’ is just a way of putting people into a certain group. At one time these groups may have been important, but since nobody is really white or black, in my opinion, this classification has diminished over the years, as most skin colors are just different shades. I am not saying that people are not still proud that they are white or black, but now that the races have mixed, multiracial populations are increasing faster than any single race, so in the end, we may all end up being the same race, the human race. I try not to concern myself over racial classifications and to me Wonder Woman should have been a Black woman, but once Lynda Carter took this role, the Amazons were presumed to be white.
Written for Fandango’s Provocative Question #183 which asks, “Does diversity casting in TV shows or movies, where fictional characters who were presumed to be white in the source material are portrayed by non-white actors, concern or bother you? Why do you feel that way?”