Who is an African/Black person?- Black Genetics(Part 1 of 4)

Who is black?  What is an African?  This is a question I have been thinking about the last few years.  Mainly because I have seen many debates on YouTube,Twitter and Facebook on who is a black person.  It’s  a hot topic that just wont seem to go away.  I think the fact that people are debating it must mean many of us are still very confused.  Why is that?  Why is the black collective so confused about our own identity?  The video(above) is really good.  I know for some it might seem offensive.  But you can tell that the speaker has really analyzed this issue.  It’s a very touchy subject that most black people want to run away from.

Black People1...

This picture(above) shows different African women around the world. And of course there are people of African descent in America,Canada and the United Kingdom.  Some people say many of us are mixed raced people.  Some say we come in different shades because of years of race mixing.  I will address race mixing in part two of this series.  I personally don’t think race mixing is good for the black collective.  It seems to cause more confusion more than anything else. But I guess the real question is how is a black person defined? What do Africans look like?  How are Africans classified?

African features...

Black family...

Fellow blogger C.C. Saunders stated this about blackness:

“Blackness is not limited to a skin color, but it is a state of being, an incomparable experience prompted by skin color, facial features, body type and hair texture. Omitting any identifying attribute allots a significant privilege absent from the lifetime of any black person possessing these attributes in entirety. However, melanin, while a chief component of blackness, does not encompass the totality of blackness. To distinguish between black and melanated is essential to understanding blackness as a collective identity.”

Blogger Amos Magazine said this about African people:

“Prior to the enslavement of West and Central Africans, Africans had certain traits and certain biological markers that made them a separate distinct group. Africans prior to 1500 and prior to the infamous fictitious Willie Lynch Letter had traitsAfricans prior to the invasion of Arabs, Berbers and other West Asian people had skin color from brown to dark brown. This is an African trait. Africans had one common hair texture. Yes, Europeans upon arriving  in what today is called Rwanda did notice that many Africans were a lighter shade of Brown from other Africans. But they were not yellow or near white. They were simply a pecan brown color as compared to the dark chocolate color of the other group. They used these slight differences in order to pit one group against on another. Today, DNA* test (* because there are holes in this science) show that the Hutu and Tutsi were actually the same people and that Hutu and Tutsi were actually social status. Now Negros will use to in order to say mulattoes are Africans. ***(3star concepts mean this is something to pay special attention to) ***The Tutsi who were divided into people of a lighter hue of brown were not products of mixed raced sexual relationships. My opponents will purposely leave this out in order to compare a mulatto vs. an authentic African or an authentic disasporic Africans.”

Blogger Bhekizitha breaks it down from a biological standpoint:

“An African / Black person is clearly visually a “close” descendant of people from East Africa, a region comprised of countries now known as Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda. Their color variation ranges from bronze, dark reddish-brown, dark or nut brown, dark-chocolate color plus “peppercorn” hair.”

This video(above) is very interesting.  I first saw this video about four years ago.  It’s the author Supreme Understanding. He has authored books such as How to Hustle and Win,Knowledge of Self and Black God.  I’ve read a few of his books.  I must admit that he knows quite a bit about black history and African culture.  But he’s not African…he’s an Indian man.  Years ago I remember seeing him in a picture with his black wife.  In this video he says that being black is color,culture and consciousness. So he’s saying it’s not just physical traits that make you black.  So if a Mexican,Indian or Asian man listens to rap music,studies African culture and has a black wife…..that makes him black? So it’s just about having a black consciousness? This can create a problem in the long run.

What is Black....

This picture(above) is from Supreme Understanding’s website.  It’s titled What is Black? Looking at the pictures you can see all these dark skinned people from India,China,Pacific Islands,Malaysia and Australia. But are these people really Africans? Or do they have racial admixture? Were the original inhabitants of Australia or India really Africans? And if so,what does it mean for black people today?  I think black people really like to be all inclusive.  We like hearing that our ancestors were all over the world and created civilizations.  That’s very true to a large extent.  And to many of us we have a dream of creating some type of racial utopia.  A world in which all people who have some melanin are brothers and sisters.  But this is not reality.  There will always be racial and cultural divisions.   Just because you have dark skinned people in India and Malaysia doesn’t mean they can relate to a black person in America.  The culture of a dark skinned Aborigine in Australia is totally different than a black person living in Jamaica.  I always promote black unity,black love and black power on this blog.  But you can’t have any type of unity if you can’t even decide who is black and who is not black.  How can you have any type of cohesiveness when there are no clear cut definitions on your identity? And this is why the video by Supreme is problematic.  He believes that all “people of color” are fighting against a white power structure. Therefore we are all in this fight together.  But my thinking is that why can’t we fight a racist society and still maintain our own unique racial identity. Why does everyone with a little bit of color have to be considered black?  By making everyone black…no one is really black.  Our unique blackness gets lost in the process.  Chinese people don’t have this problem.  They don’t accept just anyone who might have their physical traits.  I’ve seen Hispanics with a yellowish skin tone but they are not seen as Chinese.  I’ve seen people that were biracial(Black/Chinese) with slanted eyes.  But just because they had slanted eyes,Chinese people still don’t see them as one of them. By doing this it helps them stay homogeneous.  They are able to maintain their racial identity.  And this is something black/African people must keep in mind when want to distinguish ourselves from other groups.  By letting anyone claim “blackness” it devalues those that are black in the process.

Paris Jackson: Culturally Black vs Genetically Black

paris1

The woman on the current cover of Rolling Stone is Paris Jackson. She is the daughter of the late music icon Michael Jackson. In the cover story Paris says that she knows for sure her father was killed.  That may or may not be true but that’s a story for another time.  This post is about the fact that Paris says in the interview that she considers herself a black woman.  Of course social media went crazy over this story. In the interview she says:

“He is my father. He will always be my father,” she said. “He never wasn’t, and he never will not be. People that knew him really … say they see him in me, that it’s almost scary.”

She even expounded a bit more, saying that because of the “Smooth Criminal” singer’s instilling words, she considers herself a Black woman.

“I consider myself Black. [Dad] would look me in the eyes and he’d point his finger at me and he’d be like, ‘You’re Black. Be proud of your roots,'” she said. “And I’d be like, ‘OK, he’s my dad. Why would he lie to me?’ So I just believe what he told me. ‘Cause, to my knowledge, he’s never lied to me.”

Despite what her father told her, she said the outside world still sees her as white: “Most people that don’t know me call me white,” she said. “I’ve got light skin and, especially since I’ve had my hair blond, I look like I was born in Finland or something.”

Let me be clear,Paris is NOT a black woman. Anyone with eyesight can see that. I don’t give a damn  what her father told her.  She looks purely European to me. From a biological standpoint,she is more European than anything else. I personally believe that Paris and her two siblings are not biologically related to Michael Jackson.  I think Michael used the sperm from a white man to impregnate Debbie Rowe because he didn’t want  his  children to look even  half black.  I went to school with plenty biracial kids and most don’t look like this woman.  Let’s be honest here,Michael Jackson was a very gifted singer/dancer.  I can’t take that away from him.  But he had serious self-hate issues.  I think Jackson hated himself so much he didn’t want to see a reflection of his blackness.  I still can’t believe he married that ugly white woman Debbie Rowe. That woman is hideous! But that shows his self hatred(anti-blackness) was really deep.  I saw black people on YouTube arguing in defense of Paris saying she was at least “culturally black”.  I have heard this term many times before.  I knew a white girl in high school that was adopted by a black couple.  She listen to rap music and dressed in hip hop clothing.  She told me she liked soul food,dated only black boys and spoke in a certain “black vernacular”. So many would say she is culturally black. So some may put Paris Jackson in that category.  But Paris and the white girl I knew in high school are still not black women.

EXCLUSIVE: Never-before-seen pictures of Michael Jackson and his children

Some like to say that being black is a mindset.  But I disagree. You either have African genes are you do not.  You have melanin or you don’t.  It’s that simple. This type of mentality diminishes the black experience and insults our ancestors. We are blessed to have African DNA in us.  And we have to get away from worshipping whiteness and being ashamed of blackness.  This is the mental illness many of us suffer from.  Many of us can’t appreciate our blackness unless it’s close to whiteness. That’s why some us have interracial sex so we can have mixed babies.  And then say “Isn’t this a beautiful black child?” This is why you have black fools saying “Paris should be allowed to call herself black.”  This is an insult to authentic black people.  It’s an insult to dark brown,dark skinned blacks with African textured hair.  Paris has none of the physical traits of a black person. If she does have any African genes she must be about 0.000001 % black.

paris-and-katherine

This picture(above) is Paris with her brothers Michael Jackson Jr and Prince.  They are pictured with their grandmother Katherine Jackson.  These children may have been raised around black people but that doesn’t make them black people.  And we as black people have to stop giving everyone a pass.  We must stop making blackness all inclusive.  It makes us look stupid. They are making a mockery of our beautiful blackness.  It’s because many of us don’t have the courage to create a definition of what is an African person.  By allowing people like Paris to be considered is  black is an insult  to our intelligence. Paris or anyone that looks like her is not black. Michael Jackson told her to “be proud of your roots”.  He must’ve meant her European roots.

Who were the Neanderthals?? They sure weren’t Africans!

Caveman2

If your heritage is non-African, you are part Neanderthal, according to a new study in the July issue of Molecular Biology and Evolution. Discovery News has been reporting on human/Neanderthal interbreeding for some time now, so this latest research confirms earlier findings.

Damian Labuda of the University of Montreal’s Department of Pediatrics and the CHU Sainte-Justine Research Center conducted the study with his colleagues. They determined some of the human X chromosome originates from Neanderthals, but only in people of non-African heritage.

“This confirms recent findings suggesting that the two populations interbred,” Labuda was quoted as saying in a press release. His team believes most, if not all, of the interbreeding took place in the Middle East, while modern humans were migrating out of Africa and spreading to other regions.

The ancestors of Neanderthals left Africa about 400,000 to 800,000 years ago. They evolved over the millennia mostly in what are now France, Spain, Germany and Russia. They went extinct, or were simply absorbed into the modern human population, about 30,000 years ago.

Caveman1

Neanderthals possessed the gene for language and had sophisticated music, art and tool craftsmanship skills, so they must have not been all that unattractive to modern humans at the time.

“In addition, because our methods were totally independent of Neanderthal material, we can also conclude that previous results were not influenced by contaminating artifacts,” Labuda said.

This work goes back to nearly a decade ago, when Labuda and his colleagues identified a piece of DNA, called a haplotype, in the human X chromosome that seemed different. They questioned its origins.

Fast forward to 2010, when the Neanderthal genome was sequenced. The researchers could then compare the haplotype to the Neanderthal genome as well as to the DNA of existing humans. The scientists found that the sequence was present in people across all continents, except for Saharan Africa, and including Australia.

“There is little doubt that this haplotype is present because of mating with our ancestors and Neanderthals,” said Nick Patterson of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard University. Patterson did not participate in the latest research. He added, “This is a very nice result, and further analysis may help determine more details.”

David Reich, a Harvard Medical School geneticist, added, “Dr. Labuda and his colleagues were the first to identify a genetic variation in non-Africans that was likely to have come from an archaic population. This was done entirely without the Neanderthal genome sequence, but in light of the Neanderthal sequence, it is now clear that they were absolutely right!”

The modern human/Neanderthal combo likely benefitted our species, enabling it to survive in harsh, cold regions that Neanderthals previously had adapted to.

“Variability is very important for long-term survival of a species,” Labuda concluded. “Every addition to the genome can be enriching.”