DON'T LABEL ME
Are you African-American? Nah. I'm Raven-Symone. I applaud Raven for choosing to label herself, but it's what she doesn't include in her identity that says a lot about who she is. Last night Raven-Symone joined Oprah Winfrey in Chicago to film OWN's "Where Are They Now" where she dropped a bomb that has exploded on twitter. She went on a brief tangent about how she chooses to label herself and which identities she denies.
Despite what she said, Raven-Symone is fine with labels just not certain ones. She labels herself an American and opts to remove 'African' from the beginning because she doesn't know where her African heritage is rooted. I get that. So, why doesn't she identify as Black which comes with the assumption that you are African in ancestry but have no ties to any country on the continent? She didn't say that she wants to know more about where she comes from, she said that she is not where she comes from. It's a complete denial of her being. What's a $150-$350 genealogy test to the 400-million dollar woman?
It seems that she sheds every label that comes with any type of rejection or negative attention. Gay and African-American (Black) are literally the two worst things to be in America, the two demographics that are the most marginalized and persecuted. Coincidence? Connecting with other cultures has nothing to do with how someone identifies. The irony is that she is comfortable with referencing other ethnicities that she is kindred with but refuses to acknowledge her own. She doesn't say I connect with humans as another human, she says "I connect with Caucasian, I connect with Asian, I connect with Black, I connect with Indian, I connect with each culture." Humanity and harmony is not about ignoring race but acknowledging it and respecting it.
And since when did race and sexuality become a label and not an identity? I thought labels were: weird, ugly, nerd, freak, etc. I had no idea, until her interview that race and sexual orientation were labels and not truths. You are not born with labels. It's easier to say you don't label yourself as something than to face the harsh reality that there are people who hate you for who you are on more than one level. Maybe she gets better sleep not joining herself to the fight for equality and justice. She doesn't appear to take any pride in two important factors of being Raven-Symone. She can be an actress, artist, designer, gay and Black... she just doesn't want to. She could lend her voice, fame and talent to the ongoing fight for progress but it doesn't look like she wants to. She can be herself, her entire self but it doesn't seem that she wants to.