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The premiere of the TV show ‘Blackish’ got me to thinking about blackness.

First of all, who is black?

In America blackness is NOT decided by the color of your skin.

Blackness is determined by the “one-drop rule”; meaning a single drop of black blood makes you black.

By the way, that rule only applies to blacks or African Americans.

No other country, not one, abides by that rule.

It’s unique to America.

So then the question becomes, what is black?

The definition, terms and conditions for that in America are a bit more nebulous.

Some, mostly black people, say blackness is determined by how you act, or how you were raised, or what food you eat or certain other social predilections you might have like listening to R & B or Hip Hop or eating certain foods.

Others, mostly black people, say black is determined by political affiliation, or how you speak or how “down you are.”

Down with the cause.

Down with the struggle.

Man, that’s a lot of rules and criteria to live with.

It’s called “The Black Box and it is nothing more than the limitations we put on blackness, the formed beliefs about each other based in ignorance, stereotypes and fear.

Back in 2011, in my book titled ‘Transparent’ this is some of what I wrote about the black box phenomenon:

“Sometimes the black box means giving up too much in the name of being “cool’ or “down.”  It can mean saying “no” to education and “yes” to stereotypical attitudes and ideas that ultimately lead to nowhere.  It can mean closed-mindedness to new ideas and diverse experiences.  Sometimes it means adopting the attitude of only that which is “black” is worthwhile or good.”

“I’m not comfortable with feeling that, in order to maintain my authenticity as a Black American man, I must speak a certain way, choose certain pursuits and reject others.

I don’t like limiting myself, or anyone else for that matter.

Especially as a direct descendant of slaves, being told which box I have to operate in just doesn’t sit well with me.

That’s why I applauded the idea of a sitcom like ‘Blackish’ which, through humor, seeks to expose the absurdity of the black box and how that limited thinking breeds stagnation and immobility.

I hope it has a similar effect on breaking black stereotypes as Will and Grace did with gay ones.

I watched the premiere and I loved it.

Unlike the Cosby’s, who just happened to be black, the Johnson’s are black on purpose.

And it is refreshing to see a new, modern black family on primetime television not bogged by stereotypes.

Go Blackish!​

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24 thoughts on “Don Lemon Says It’s Long Past Time We Stop Limiting Blackness. Go ‘Black-ish’!!

  1. Jacqueline Perry on said:

    Im black and im proud and i will say it out loud.i have natural hair and i wear no makeup, ive been like this a long time.many blacks have turned on there own culture for a buck.

    • BuffaloSoldier on said:

      Amen Sister . God never ever ever makes a mistake , he created us Black Folks in His Image and a free will . WE have beautiful nappy hair, full lips , great physique . White women envy sisters, they get butt enhancement, they curl their hair, they get bigger lips ……
      We were created in Gods Image

  2. BuffaloSoldier on said:

    Seriously You have no credibility here is why:
    1) In the whole of America there were only approximately 700,000 Slaves in 1863
    2) initially 88 freed Bi-Racial Slaves went settled in one of four Colonies in what is now Liberia
    3) By the time Liberia became an independent nation it had a total population of 3,000 Freed African American Slaves AND NOT 400,000 like you incorrectly stated out of ignorance.
    4) The original African tribes displaced and slaughtered by White Europeans and their Bi-Racial ex slave offsprings …. one of them may very well be your ancestors who have passed on the legacy to you. Your hatred against Blacks is self evident… as is Don Lemon who is a prolific Homo Sexual who can’t possibly be taken seriously based on his lifestyle and comments of hate against Black people

  3. BuffaloSoldier on said:

    Seriously You are Not Serious . Where did you get the number 400,000 from? are you crazy? around 1863 there were 700,000 African American Slaves and Ex slaves.
    Initially 88 Freed slaves voluntarily agreed to go back to Africa with Abolitionists helping them , most of these were mixed race “Blacks”. The total population repatriated to Liberia from America was 3,000……. Again you demonstrate your stupidity and ignorance

    . Whites Handed over command to Americo-Liberians (mainly Mixed European African Americans)
    The maturing colony was gradually given more self-governance. In 1839, it was renamed the Commonwealth of Liberia; 1841 saw the Commonwealth’s first black Governor, J.J. Roberts. By the 1840s, the ACS was effectively bankrupt; Liberia had become a financial burden for it. In 1846, the ACS directed the Americo-Liberians to proclaim their independence. In 1847, Roberts proclaimed the colony the free and independent republic of Liberia. It then counted some 3000 settlers. A Constitution was drawn up along the lines of that of the United States.

  4. If anything we need to cultivate Blackness instead of Black-ish!

    Re-counting some things.

    1. In movie portrayals, the slave mourned louder than the slaveowner when Master died,
    2. Ebonics was recognized as a language among Black people, solely. We spoke properly when the situation called for proper English,
    3. We have always been reared to be twice as better to receive the same success,
    4. Other races/cultures are never targeted to assimilate to get along.

    Why is Black bad, and Black-ish good. If anything, we definitely should seek, adhere and cultivate our Black. Why again must we sellout to get along?

  5. Prophetic Imagination on said:

    You know who Don Lemon is? For those of us who know what it is like to be a minority in predominantly White settings (i.e. school, workplace), Don is that Black guy who is acceptable to White people but will never be accepted as fully equal and so he lives in this tormented world of double-consciousness. He says things like “living in a color-blind society” and misappropriates the words of Dr. King and Frederick Douglas, but what he is really saying is he wishes he weren’t Black. He believes that other Black people are “hating” on him or are envious of him. He believes when Dr. W.E.B. DuBois was talking about the “Talented Tenth” he was talking about people like him. He believes that other Black people should follow his example believing that if we act less ethnic, then we will be more acceptable to White people and racism will be over. Every time he thinks he has fully integrated into White society, they do something to remind him he is “colored” like when he was in Ferguson. Let me tell you the truth Don Lemon, no matter how hard you try, you will never be White. President Obama had a White mama and he is still treated like he is the darkest-of-darks. If Obama cannot escape it, neither can you. You better learn to love yourself before you drive yourself crazy. This dude is not leader. He has some serious self -hatred issues. He really needs to go.

  6. seriously on said:

    Buffalo soldier, You are a silly, silly person and you sound immature, just because I disagree or simply do not care about Africa, has nothing to do with hatred…that’s high school meanager mentality. Your stats are wrong! But, you are the one of the problems with some African-American today, you come up with titles of our history that you did not earned i.e. buffalo soldiers, you rant about white man this and white man that, and not because it is true it is your crutch of ignorance and angry to mask your own low expectations. Because irregardless, there is not a field in America or profession in America that an African-American has not obtained successfully. And just because you are not aware of….don’t get mad, educate yourself…Buffalo Soldiers, were strong, educated men, they pushed their own children through a higher level having to enduring racism to cruelty that we do not have too and they left a foot print for others blacks folks. You just want to tell black folks what they cannot do and how jail waiting for them. Instead of compared to our ancestors or generations back, we can do this….Actually, it is a piece of cake in comparison to what our ancestors and generations backs have endured.

    You are poverty pimping, trying to get black folks to give up and accept low achievements and expections as long as they can put the blame on someone else…Because even if it is true, it not going to help you…You are about 400 plus years late on a clue, if you think black folks believe white folks or people who sold them into slavery care about your recovery or resurrection. Our people have had to endure more than this and they made it..You just want an excuse not to. Something you get or you don’t

    I am done

    • BuffaloSoldier on said:

      You are an advocate of Black self hate and you have no credibility in fact.
      You seem to vacillate between several unfounded philosophies notwithstanding that Blacks where imported to America from Africa through surreptitious business transactions driven by the need to replace North American Indians who were wiped out by smallpox by European Americans. You definitely suffer from the Stockholm Syndrome and your mental state resides in fantasy world driven by false realities and against this back drop you are spewing hatred and you shall remain a mental slave.

  7. seriously on said:

    Of course this one point that Lemon is making, the self-imposed stereotypes that black people have about themselves and each other. Because so what is most black people do not have doctors/lawyers as heads of the families…as those are not the only professions that are elite. Plenty of black people in engineering, top tier management, consulting, wall street, own businesses, etc…And just because you and or others do not know such black folks. They have always, always been around. None of which is still trying to identify what is black and we are not a monolithic race, we have a class system like every other race…So your point of view is limited to what really is black America. The Good Times reference wasn’t about good to see black folks on TV…It was about striving to do better, no matter where you started from….It had a point and meaning.

    Freeda prospective is just that her own, she is entitle to her opinion and speak for her own level of exposure…why attempt to bring her down to yours?

    To Joy

    • BuffaloSoldier on said:

      Your narrative of the transatlantic slavery is by false informations . You are mentally orphaned and you need to educate yourself instead of personalizing your attack just because you hate yourself.

  8. Black people need to go back to the way it’s culture was brought up in regards to true love, respect, morals, and survival. None of this phony stuff! I’m referring to the way Grandma and Grandpa raised the family. Example: the movie “Soul Food”- in the episode where the family would gather for Sunday dinner. Lookout for one another. My family is very close knit. When one family member is down, then we all are down. If a family member is in need, we’re there!

  9. And here we go again, putting on the Blackface in an attempt to identify “Black Culture.” Enough already. Take off the mask and allow people to be who they are. Just because you have attained a little bit and trust me it’s just a little bit of material success does not mean that you are no longer considered Black. That idea of Black culture comes from a historical lie that Blacks desperately want to embrace as truth. What is Black — Good Times; That’s my Momma? Come on, we are much more than either of those show and we are definitely much more than the poor mixed-race kinda Black family who is above everyone else. Poor things! Give me a break! And stop comparing this to the Cosby show. The Cosby Show was an accurate depicition of Black Family life. This is not. Don Lemmons, share your mixed-race opinions with the movement that’s trying to separate the mulattos from the Blacks. You’ll do much better there.

    • seriously on said:

      True, True…I do not like this show and they are certainly not “bourgie”…It is ridiculous and not reflective of intelligent and progressive black family…Hell even Good Times character/show has more going on that this ridiculous show of confused black people, who is suffering identity crisis. And no intelligent progressive black would name their child “rainbow”. This show is a mockery of black people and we have and always have had a class system. It’s a modern day minstrel show!

      • @seriously: SERIOUSLY….who cares if the *Blackish) family is bougie, or not? That’s not even the point the show is trying to get across. When ‘Good times’ aired we were just glad to see Black people on TV. And, Blackish isn’t anywhere near being a minstrel show.

      • BuffaloSoldier on said:

        Your likes and dislikes are very clear especially when it comes to your african roots. I suspect that you may very well be mixed race. In Don Lemon’s it is driven by his Homosexual background, lack of masculinity , and definitely rooted by his sexual alliances with his White Jewish husband who penetrates his anus every day . Don Lemmon is not a real Black Man, he is regularly humiliated by his White Gay Husbands who treat him like a Black Plantation sexual slave.

    • @Freeda: You said The Cosby Show was an accurate (depiction) of Black Family Life. From which perspective? Lots of great Black families (I grew up in one). But in keeping it real….most Black families didn’t have a Doctor, nor a Lawyer leading the helm. By the way; neither do other ethnicities including Caucasians (have a doctor, or lawyer heading their families). For the record…..there are LOTS OF BLACK DOCTORS, and LAWYERS in this country; but again…..most families don’t have one. I loved The Cosby Show just like most other people did, and I like Blackish. To each his own (opinion)…..or rhetoric (what ever the case may be)

  10. Don, Please READ and share the news. Liberia will be finished we do not do something very quickly.
    Dear Sir/Mme:

    I am Dr. Margaret N Kromah, DDS/MPH. I am a general dentist in
    Baltimore, Maryland. As a United States Veteran and Public Health
    expert, I have consistently used my training, after my military
    service to help make a difference in my country of birth. My husband,
    Sam Kromah and I have been delivering health and dental services to
    Liberia since 1992. Our non-for-profit organization, Resources and
    Outreach for Liberia, (ROL) is fully involved in the fight against the
    ebola virus in Liberia.
    My husband recently returned from Liberia and for the next 3-4 weeks
    we are engaged in soliciting help from any of the listed items: Ambulances, latex surgical gloves, scrubs, gauze, Alcohol, antibiotic, pain medication,
    diarrhea, disinfectant, etc, etc from good Samaritan.

    We are, therefore, asking for your support. Our tax exempt or EIN number is: 52-2215901.

    Sir/Mme: Please accept the expressions of my highest respect.


    Margaret N. Kromah, DDS/MPH

    Contact are: 410-325-7434/443-453-4914

    Note: Please contact Sam Kromah

  11. seriously on said:

    Black is just a color or race….A color and race that is maligned and marginalized to believe that they are less than and some silly Nogrows have bought into these isms, which is designed to limit your aspirations, hopes and dreams. What makes me uniquely black is that I do not buy into none of it…I have a right to live my life according to my own efforts. I will not let anyone white or black take that from me…I refuse to be ignorant to what is really going on and as I recognize the isms being used to keep me boxed into a stereotype of self-inflicted failure. Not I, I come from a long line of people who made it through by courage, strength, education. That knows that just because you in a new jungle, doesn’t mean you cannot take the land. So, White America can malign us, commit injustices against us, etc….But, that is nothing new, so we adjust and punch a higher floor.

    And I refuse to holler, cry and beg White America help. You are dealing with people who enslaved you, brutalized you, separated you from your homeland and family….yet they hate you. So why bother? Come up with a plan for yourself. And that Africa crap is just that crap….BTW, African-Americans collectively is richer than any African-Nation…If African-Americans was their own nation that would be the 11th richest country in the world. So screw Africa…And take pride in what we can accomplish under the circumstances we have to live under. I refuse to acknowledge and celebrate Africa…When it was my own ancestors generation after generation that set the foundation for me to succeed and have the freedom and rights, we do have…rights and freedoms that was paid for with their blood and the blood of every man, woman and child century after century.

    • BuffaloSoldier on said:

      Some of your comments are patently wrong and need to be challenged. You are a “nouveau uppity ” self loathing person of African roots . African Americans are beneficiary of the Trickle Down Economy courtesy of our fellow European Americans , collectively our purchasing power is $1.1 Trillion which ranks us 16th in the world .

      On to your hatred of Africans, in any transaction you need a buyer , seller, and a commodity . The Buyer was the White European slave merchant, the Seller our African dominant tribal chiefs, and we were the Commodity. After emancipation some slaves were repatriated to a new African country called Liberia one of Africa’s poorest and most dysfunctional countries in the world run by freed repatriated American this day their flag mirrors The USA flag with one star.

      Here are some more sobering stats African American Males make up 48% of the prison population !
      13% of america’s population 48% in Jail. Hispanics 18% of America 15% in Jail, Whites 67% of America 35% in Jail. 1 in 15 Black male are in jail, and it is now expected that in the next few years 1in 3 Black males will be jailed 33%……

      Seriously is not to be taken Seriously will rant and rave and scream that is expected from Seriously.
      Seriously is a self hating uppity “Black Self Denial” Neophyte …. With no credibilty… Bring It On Seriously… You are a Cyber Bully

      • seriously on said:

        Good Grief! I wouldn’t mind so much your ridiculous posts if they were actually true. Like Liberia, for instance yes 400,000 exslaves were taken to Liberia, where they were slaughtered by Liberians….all 400,000 and US did nothing it was Nigeria that finally stepped in and stopped the Liberians. The U.S. is there because US has businesses their…ie rubber plants. You know nothing about history, your own history…That is the real tragedy and when you cannot give facts you resort to ridiculous, low brow tactics that makes you seem intelligent. You high jackeded the buffalo soldier name, with out the courage and intelligence to know its history. Misguiding black folks, believing that people who sold you in slavery would be your friend. Afterall, slavery in Saudi did not officially end to 1976 (they got their slaves from Africa) and Brazil had refuse to stop slavery well past trans atlantic slave trade. At that point, sorry cannot put that solely on the European/ White folks. I rather have the truth

        If you are going to preach all things black atleast know your history…Your post is embarrassingly ignorant.

      • BuffaloSoldier on said:

        Seriously You are an angry self loathing Black Wannabe person, you are the ignorant one, your narratives are all over the map your facts and figures are flawed. Have you ever been to the capital of Liberia Monrovia? Do you know the name of the first Liberian President?
        Learn and then You may regain your Black African Citizenship

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