Halle Berry, the 'One-Drop Rule' and Race in America

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

According to the Pew Research Center, interracial marriage is at an all-time high. The results of the 2010 Census are expected to show a dramatic increase in the number of mixed-race Americans. But as multi-racial Americans become more common, a recent remark from actress Halle Berry certainly raised some eyebrows. Berry recently discussed her daughter’s identity with Ebony magazine. Her daughter’s father is white, but Berry, who is of mixed-race herself, said, "I feel like she’s black. I’m black and I’m her mother and I believe in the one-drop theory."

Joining us to discuss what Berry's comments say about biracial identity and race in America is Kai Wright, editor of ColorLines.com. He says that the conversation about race in America is ongoing and complex.

Comments [4]

Jake from Connecticut

This issue brings to light the most fundamental problem with 'racial identity' in the United States. Basically, people treat it as if its something that can be shaped. Halle talks about 'feeling' and 'believing,' but the issue is that race or ethnicity simply is, it doesn't depends on what people feel or believe in. For this reason, the issue with multiracial people is not whether they feel or believe to be one race or another, that was decided on the day they were conceived and is guarded in their DNA. The true issue here is whether she (and all multiracial people) love and respect themselves enough to accept themselves for what they truly are or they will continue living in denial. Denying one part of your ancestry, is denial and a disgrace. I'm multiracial and perfectly content with myself.

Apr. 28 2011 08:32 PM
Greg Thrasher from WDET

The 'mixed race' tag is the new "one drop" tag of the post racial era...Race trumps everything in America ...In our nation every ethnic group in America there is language that refers to Black Americans as n*ggers..

Feb. 09 2011 10:50 AM
Al from KY

Oh, how I wish I would live long enough to see race become a non-issue! That we should classify or judge anyone based on the melanin level in their skin is so primitive and totally meaningless. I live for the day when we are all just people— for in the finality of it, that's all we are.

Feb. 09 2011 09:16 AM
Lin from NJ

H Berry may have been your starting point but wld have been more informative to follow lead of interviewee vs continually coming back to HB comment. If you are going down celebrity focus road why not reflect on why a woman, of any race, wld choose a to have a relationship and child with such a man....and dont think she had no inkling....just another trip down a weary road....inforamtion not clebrity "junk" is something i appreciate on the program

Feb. 09 2011 06:49 AM

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