Sunday, February 11, 2018

Anna Holmes's "Black With (Some) White Privilege"

Barack Obama, Halle Berry, Jordan Peele, Megahn Markle

In a New York Times article "Black With (Some) White Privilege," Anna Holmes wrote about successful people who are biracial. She notes that she had compiled "a list of every child I could think of who had a black parent and a white parent and was born between 1960 and the mid- to late 1980s." Given the lists of people based on birth year that I've compiled, what Holmes did intrigued me. Her questions about the possibilities of  partial white privilege were also important.

Holmes mentions several biracial people throughout her article, but I decided to arrange the mentions here chronologically.

Barack Obama (b. 1961)
Halle Berry (1966)
Mariah Carey (1969)
Adrian Fenty (1970)
Mat Johnson (1970)
Tracee Ellis Ross (1972)
Jason Kidd (1973)
Ben Jealous (1973)
Derek Jeter (1974)
Amy DuBois Barnett (1974)
Rashida Jones (1976)
Jordan Peele (1979)
Alicia Keys (1981)
Meghan Markle (1981)
Lolo Jones (1982)

Holmes indicates that the Supreme Court decision for Loving v. Virginia gave way to an increase in interracial marriages.

At one point in her article, Holmes mentions colorism, which, she writes, "places black people in an uncodified but nevertheless very real hierarchy, with the lighter-skinned among us at the top." She also presents excerpts Ta-Nehisi Coates's writing on Obama. Coates pointed out that "Obama’s early positive interactions with his white family members gave him a fundamentally different outlook toward the wider world than most blacks of the 1960s had.” Further, Coates observes, that the former president's view of the world, which was "born of literally relating to whites, allowed Obama to imagine that he could be the country’s first black president.”

Birth Years & Age Matters

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