How do you define “Blackness”? Skin color? Connection to Africa? Cultural ties? Throughout American history, there have been many iterations of what is and is not considered “Black.” Through slavery and colonization, interracial mixing has both expanded and confused the definition of what it means to be Black for many. Although much has been written about “Blackness,” very few things have explored what it means to be Black when, at first glance, you don’t appear to be Black.

Enter Africana Studies scholar Yaba Blay, Ph.D. and photographer Noelle Théard. Through their project (1)ne Drop, Blay and Théard seek to “to challenge narrow, yet popular perceptions of what ‘Blackness’ is and what ‘Blackness’ looks like” by restarting a “long-overdue and much needed dialogue about racial identity and skin color politics.”

Although the issue of race and how we define ourselves (and how the world views us) is still pertinent, many aren’t tackling the topic. Because of this Blay and Théard have set out to create a book that will take a look at how Blackness is perceived in our racialized world.

To aid their efforts, Blay and Théard are attempting to raise $9,000 to finish their project. So far, they’ve already raised over $4,000 and have a month to generate the rest.

Check out the (1) Drop Kickstarter page for more information about the project and to donate!

How do YOU define Blackness? 

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  • Brodie

    Its a question of convenience to movie. I can think of a few obviously mixed celebrities, politicians, athletes, activists, and inventors who are claimed by black community while everyday mixed people are reminded, frequently, how inauthentic they are in terms of blackness. I have 2 black parents and even I can see the inconsistency in how we choose who can be black and who can’t.

    Are we reinforcing a caste system and getting mad at mixed people for telling us to shove it after all these years of being cherry picked?

    • Socially Maladjusted

      Don’t know which “we” you’re referring to, but for some people but “colour of blackness” issues, are non-issues that are not our list of prioritties of things to address.


      end of

    • Brodie

      @Mal If it don’t apply then keep it pushing. But I’m not going to act like this doesn’t happen because it isn’t something you do. But I’ll use “we” as I please.

  • sasha

    It never fails. When you ask multiracial individuals who state that they have an important role in race relations for their political position their response is typically based on identity politics. I agree that such individuals have the right to identity as they so choose. I agree that at a certain level identity politics can be a starting point. However race relations is this country can not be mended with identity politics. Real talk the black liberation movement in this country has never been driven soley on identity politics. Heck the Black Panthers have daycare services and food drives. Being “black” was no political enough.

    From beautygirl

    “So instead of asking what mixed people have done for economic, social, political equality maybe you should be asking what YOU have done to uplift yourself and your famiily and therefore your community. If enough people did that alot of this economic, social and political “discrimination” would be moot. The legal obstacles were removed. The accomplishments I am most proud of are the ones I had to work the hardest for even when it was “unfair” that I had to work harder for it then someone else.”

    “If you are walking the walk, as well as talking it, why spend the energy throwing negativity on to others? Last time I checked, no one is beholden to someone else, let alone someone from outside their community. My obligation goes to myself, and by choice then to my family, and then to my ethnic community.”

    So at the end of the day, multiracials have no more of advantage, disadvantage, or insight into race relations than do “uno-racial” persons? Just as I thought…. unless of course their identities also have political and social significance.

  • my skin might be white but my penis is black… LADIES!!!

    • African Mami

      You’re a mess!! LMAOOOOOOOOOOOOO.

  • Isis

    2 black parents is how I define blackness.

  • Lb*rollingstone

    I define African which is what people have meant as black, as having two African/Black parents. You are not black if you have one parent, that is an insult. I absolutely hate and can’t understand why people in this country have an issue with this. How can black people here talk that bullish about considering someone who has a white parent the same thing as them racially, when the only reason why you have a mixture is BECAUSE YOUR GRANDPARENTs WERE RAPED. There are NO WHITE WOMEN IN THE BLOODLINES OF 99% of AFrican Americans. White people don’t love you, just calm down, and be a little bit more loving of your own people. Its not about skin color its about parents and the situation. There were redbones in 1000 B.C.E. and in 1000 C.E. and right now in all parts of Africa. Contrary to popular belief, AFRICAN PEOPLE LOVED THEIR COLOR. Before the slavery stigma on black skin, and the wars on Africa for hundreds, if not thousands, of years, WE LOVED OUR COLOR. WHITE SKIN IS NOT NATURAL, IT HAPPENED, ITS A MUTATION. BLACK SKIN IS HEALTHY. THE DEEPEST BLACKEST PERSON gets energy from the sun. They believed their color was a gift from the Creator and they did not want to be lighter. In Ancient Egypt the most popular color was pitch black, which meant holiness and health, amongst other things. So stop this stuff about white people created this context of race. WERE NOT ALL THE SAME PEOPLE. This is dumb that stuff that has you poor. Just because your all human, doesn’t mean your the same as other people. Love your people and have a culture. Exalt your own phenotype. Worry about African people. Black tells you what you look like, it doesn’t tell you who you are. If both of your parents are black then you are black by look, but most importantly YOU ARE AN AFRICAN PERSON.