“I’m tired of being labeled, I’m an American. I’m not an African-American; I’m an American…I mean, I don’t know where my roots go to,…I don’t know how far back they go… I don’t know what country in Africa I’m from, but I do know that my roots are in Louisiana. I’m an American. And that’s a colorless person.”, says Raven Simone

“I don’t label myself…I have darker skin. I have a nice, interesting grade of hair. I connect with Caucasian, I connect with Asian, I connect with Black, I connect with Indian, I connect with each culture.”

“I don’t want to be labeled ‘gay,’…I want to be labeled ‘a human who loves humans.’

Bold statements that can rattle a snake to spit out all kinds of venom, but let’s step back and read her STATEMENT carefully and try to understand something here from the perspective of an African-American, African, American, Black, Colored , I don’t even know what is appropriate to use here, lol. But all the same, I need your opinion in analyzing Raven Simone’s statement in a broader picture.

In a quick second without thinking too hard, draw a picture of an African. STOP!!! Hold that picture in your thought.

Africa for the Africans, those at home and Abroad”, I remember this famous Marcus Garvey’s quote, labeling all people of African descent as ‘one African people’, although separated in distant lands and adopting foreign cultures– Blacks in the Americas, West Indies, Asia, Europe and Africa were to identify with each other as ‘one Africa’; Appreciating the various shades of our skin, the pride of our culture, but one African race.  This was much needed in the emancipation and unification of all Africans irrespective of the fact that some of us were not even born in Africa or might never ever step foot back into Africa, but the belief that ‘once Black, Africa is in you’ was rejuvenating to the spirit knowing that we had a root, a home , an Orijin. — The Motherland for ALL Blacks and not the White, or Asian, or any other race that is out there. “Africa for the Africans, those at home and Abroad”,  another race dare not even claim ownership of the land of our African ancestors, all hell will break lose. Blinded is he of African heritage, born in a foreign land who fails to see that their soul is born in Africa but their flesh and bones are ‘passported’ in the foreign land that they walk on.

In a quick second without thinking too hard, draw a picture of an American? Actually  let’s make it 5minutes, and if you are not done I am willing to give you more time. Who is an American? They say America is a melting pot of people of various cultures and background , but really is that so?  Is the system built for you? Is it an ideology which isn’t?

America, America! “land of the free and the home of the brave”, how bold can you say this as a Black person of color living in America? Are you African-American or American?  Are you the colorless American that Raven sees? Is this what the rest of America sees? I leave that up to you to testify by the news we hear everyday , the statistics of Blacks and minorities in Jail, the unemployment rate, educational system and even the stereotype we have amongst ourselves which divides us. But yet again, let me play the devils advocate by asking, who is the president of America? Who put him there and why is he there?

Maybe I can understand Raven’s frustration of inequality in all forms which prompts her to peel off  a “label” and put on a colorless American body so that you only judge her by the content of her character and not the complexion of her skin, the texture of her hair, the nature of her sexuality and religious beliefs. Maybe she sparked the plug for a nationwide conversation and correction in the views of race and gender in America. Maybe if we read in between her ‘I am not African-American, I am American,’ we will find that her statement is a very powerful challenging statement for all. Maybe if America was a colorless America, maybe Mike Brown wouldn’t have happened, neither Treyvon Martin and all who have fallen under ‘labeling’.

The question is are we looking for a “colorless America” or are we looking for a “distinct colorful America with equal respect” ?

Maybe all this is a bunch of confusion that needs the Oracle. Let me Play the Oracle and you play Neo in this Matrix

There are two pills ONLY. One Black and One Colorless

If you choose the Black pill, you are exposed to the truth of who you are, labeled Black, Colored, African-American.You will know the truth of your history, heritage and culture–tracing your roots to Africa but still suffer the truth of not knowing how far your roots go in terms of country, but live in this Ideological world that one day we will all be equal, regardless of your color or race, where we “will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” You might not witness it but your children’s children will.

If you choose the Colorless Pill, your memory of your roots is erased. the history of your ancestors who fought for your freedom is covered and buried, forget about the history of Martin Luther King, Malcolm X and Rosa Parks, forget about your forefathers who were put on a ship and brought into slavery in America, they will all not exist, their hopes and dreams of returning back to Africa through you and I will be all lost. It will be like a bright sunny morning and all you see are “colorless people” with equality, and ALL you know is “I am an American”, no labeling, colorless.  FYI, definition of Colorless : lacking distinctive character or interest; dull.

Which pill would you take?

Matix of Raven Symone I am not African-American


 Photo by Andrew Fennell (andrewfennell.com)

Photo by Andrew Fennell (andrewfennell.com)

Azmarie Livingston and Raven Symone |Photo by Andrew Fennell (andrewfennell.com)

Azmarie Livingston and Raven Symone |Photo by Andrew Fennell (andrewfennell.com)

Matrixing Raven Symones “I’m not African-American” on Oprah.

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