The term “biracial” implies that an individual is an immediate interracial relationship offspring.
When we see certain celebrities or African-American or African people who are of a slightly lighter skin tone, the assumption is ‘S/he is bi/multiracial’. However, a lot of people of African descent, are not an offsprings of interracial relationships and neither are their parents and/or grandparents.
What does the term multi-generational multiracially-mixed (MGM-Mixed) mean?
Take the case of celebrities like Beyoncé, Nicole Ari-Parker, rapper T.I. Vanessa Williams for instance are not offsprings of an interracial relationship and neither are their parents and/or grandparents. In other words, these individuals do not have a “white” parent, grandparent, or great-grandparent. Therefore, they are not labeled “biracial” by the technical definition of what that infers.
Case Study: Vanessa Williams
In the case of Vanessa Williams, the actress does come from a family that has became mixed-race and continually remained mixed-race throughout the family’s many generations leading up to Vanessa’s very own generation.
Thus, Vanessa is a multi-generational multiracially-mixed (MGM-Mixed) individual, because she comes from a family that has became and continually remained mixed-race throughout its multiple generations.
Vanessa Williams can be classified as “multiracial” because she has additional racial ancestries other than just one, but she self-identifies as “Black,” nonetheless; and Vanessa is “black” in a socio-political sense. Although there are many erroneous sources that claim that Vanessa Williams is “biracial” or “half-white and half-black,” she actually is not because she is not an interracial relationship offspring and neither are any of her parents.
Wilton Williams, Sr. was born to two African-American parents as well–John Hill Williams and Mary Fields. Mary Fields was the daughter of William A. Fields–a teacher who was classified as “mulatto,” and who also served on the Tennessee state legislature.
Iris Carll, Vanessa’s paternal grandmother, was the daughter of Frank Carll. Frank Carll was “biracial” because his mother, Mary Louisa Appleford, was white, and Frank Carll’s father, David Carll, a pioneering free negro who served in the Union Army, was African-American. That means that Vanessa Williams great-great-grandmother was a white woman named Mary Louisa Appleford.
Vanessa Williams is far more than one-sixteenth white, because, prior to the 1930 census, the majority of her ancestors on her father’s side were all listed as “mulatto,” which was a person of black and white ancestry to whichever degree. Now, the designation “mulatto” did NOT mean that a person was necessarily the immediate child of one white parent and one black parent, it just meant that this individual had a physical appearance that suggested both white and black ancestry.
Vanessa Williams’ mother, Helen Williams (née Finch) is also a non-biracial African American. However, she is similar to her late husband, a multi-racial individual who comes from a racially diverse, albeit complex, racial background–consisting of white, black, and Native American ancestors.
Case Study: Beyoncé Knowles
Let’s take a look at Beyoncé’s ancestry. While Beyoncé’s father Matthew Knowles is African-American, her mother, a Louisiana Creole, that is of African, French, Native American, and Irish ancestry.
Both her parents, Lumis Albert Beyincé and Agnez Dereon, were French-speaking Louisiana Creoles. French or Spanish Caribbean and Latin American colonies in the Louisiana territory developed a mixed-race class, of whom there were numerous free people of color in the early days.
The majority of Creoles descended mostly from European men and enslaved or free black or mixed-race women. French men took African women as mistresses or common-law wives, and sometimes married them creating a new generation (breed) of mulatto people.
This means our current generation consists of a group of Multi-generational Multi-racially Mixed (MGM-Mixed) lineage that don’t identify as biracial and in a lot of cases multiracial!
Do you belong to the multi-generational multi-racially mixed generation or do you know anyone who is?
- The contrast between the multigenerational and first-generation (mixedracestudies.com)
- Half-and-Half: It’s the Obama age, but my biracial child still makes some people uncomfortable. Babble.com. | Babble (babble.com)
- Racial Identity and the Multiracial Child (babyzone.com)
- Californication: Race, Ethnicity, and Unity in Twentieth Century California (tropicsofmeta.wordpress.com)
- Census Bureau Rethinks the Best Way to Measure Race (hispanicallyspeakingnews.com)
- Beyond the One Drop Rule (or: Between Black and White) (translucence.wordpress.com)
- on diversity of cultural experience & ganesha’s sweet tooth (chookooloonks.com)
- President Barack Hussein Obama – America’s 1st Biracial President! (kolorblindmag.com)
- Multiracial Entertainers: The Female Edition 1 (kolorblindmag.com)
- Multiracial Entertainers: The Female Edition 2 (kolorblindmag.com)
- Multiracial Entertainers: The Male Edition 2 (kolorblindmag.com)