Paula Patton is a woman of mixed-race heritage. Her mother is white and her father is Black, however, she doesn't consider herself to be biracial. The actress who is starring in the new BET + series Sacrificeopened up about her racial identity with SiriusXM's Clay Cane after she was asked about her previous comments regarding race.
Back in 2010, the actress spoke with Women's Health and revealed that she was often judged because of her racial background. "People judged me because I was light-skinned. [They'd assume] I didn't want to be part of the Black race," she said.
She went on to say that she even disliked the term "biracial." "I find it offensive, she said. "It's a way for people to separate themselves from African-Americans…a way of saying, 'I'm better than that.' I'm Black because that's the way the world sees me. People aren't calling Barack Obama biracial. Most people think there's a Black president."
When speaking with Clay, the 45-year-old actress doubled down on her previous comments and further explained why she saw herself as a Black woman versus a biracial woman. "The politics of race in our country are such that when one wants to make it clear that they're not Black, that it's a way to keep them separate from Black people. We have a long history in this country of that. Of it not being popular to be Black."
She continued, "So I've always found that to be an offensive term. I'm Black, and I embrace — you know, that's my family."
Historically, a person was considered Black if they have one-eighth or more drop of blood from a Black person, but over time, conversations about whether or not a biracial person is considered Black has been a hot topic especially since there has been an increase in the number of multiracial people in America and in the world.
Many have argued that they should be allowed to label themselves however they see fit. And while there are many people of mixed race who identify as Black, there are others who identify as biracial such as Meghan Markle, Mariah Carey, and Rashida Jones.
Featured image by Leon Bennett/Getty Images for BET+