tony are you sure you’re black?

two years oldcynical and new busblog reader Lana [Turner??] from naturobetic has many many questions.

Are you absolutely SURE you’re black? I’m having a hard time buying THAT, too! I saw many pics of you and you only look part black in one. Is your father black or part black? I saw your mother’s pic; she doesn’t look black, either. Were you adopted?

And does “being” black REALLY give you permission to call people the N word? Or even utter the N word? It was wrong for Paula Deen and it’s wrong for you! Or, do you just wish you were black ’cause it’s cool?

the great thing about looks is they are deceiving.

when i was born and until i was in about the third grade i was very light skinned, much like the relatives i had on my fathers side of the family. we think my moms dad is cuban, but he could just be canadian.

you see, the records of black people, are not as detailed as those of other races because, well… guess.

my mother and father are really black. they met at a historically black college in Tennessee because believe it or not, but not that long ago blacks were not allowed to go to a lot of colleges – particularly in the south. even if you were light skinned.

so they went to school, met, fell in love. my dad was the president of his fraternity – a black one. my mom was the star of her sorority (also, black).

and when they got married and had children they had two little black kids. one was light skinned one was dark skinned.

like most kids we visited santa in december – long after any summer tan would have worn off and when i was in 1st grade this is what we looked like. she was clearly darker than me. and freaked out by Mr. Claus

me and my sister and santa

then just a few years later we saw him again and something miraculous happened

she was no longer *much* darker than me. also she had chilled.

keep smiling

and just look how my afro was starting to really get gorgeous.

as i got older i got darker. maybe theres a scientific term for it.


and my afro just got bigger.


so anyway, yes, black. and yes, the shade of my skin has lightened since high school.

it’s weird. but real. it’s not a skin disease. i have no blotchy areas.

but, still, black and beautiful. not adopted.

and with that, yes, i can use the n word. much as i like.

and i can travel freely to any part of town.

plus, when youre light skinned like i am, you can also travel freely to all parts of town.

nowadays, especially since i shave my head, mexicans think im mexicans

middle easterners think im from the middle east.

and people tend to project whatever theyre most comfortable with.

as someone who enjoys being a reporter, it’s a great blessing.

is being black “cool”?

it wasnt when i was a kid

until i made it cool.

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