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In The Latest News Of All Things Raven-Symone

Raven-Symoné is providing clarification, asserting that her previous remarks regarding her identity as not being African American were misconstrued.

In a recent episode of the Tea Time With Raven and Miranda podcast, released on Tuesday, the 38-year-old Cosby Show alum discussed the matter with her spouse, Miranda Maday.

Titled “we need to talk…,” the episode delves into a 2014 interview with Oprah Winfrey where Raven-Symoné felt overwhelmed by the online backlash directed at her.

Raven-Symoné revisited the topic due to its resurgence following a segment on Real Time With Bill Maher discussing Idris Elba’s remarks about people being “obsessed with race.”

Maher referenced a quote from her interview with Oprah Winfrey immediately after. Addressing the camera, the Disney channel star admitted that the decade-old matter “has haunted me since 2014,” noting that Maher’s comments were in response to something she said during her interview with Winfrey. This segment was included in Tuesday’s episode.

“He is commenting on something I said to Oprah back in 2014,” she said.

“After that aired, it felt like the whole internet exploded, and my name was dragged through the mud. There was significant backlash from my community and others who misunderstood or didn’t hear my exact words,” Raven-Symoné clarified.

She continued,

“What I actually said was, ‘I’m an American, not an African American.’ Many people mistakenly thought I was saying I wasn’t Black, but that’s not what I meant.”

Maday then inquired about the intention behind Raven-Symoné’s statement.

“When I express that the term ‘African American’ doesn’t resonate with me, it’s not a denial of my Black identity,” Raven-Symoné clarified. “It simply reflects my connection to this country. I was born here, as were my ancestors, going back generations. That’s what I’m referring to—the factual aspect of my heritage.”

She continued, acknowledging her awareness of her ancestry and the sacrifices made by her forebears. “I fully grasp my history and the origins of my lineage,” Raven-Symoné affirmed. “I also recognize the immense contributions and struggles of my ancestors in shaping the America that I inhabit today—a land of freedom, happiness, and where I proudly pay taxes as a citizen.”

Did You Know?

The Black Lives Matter protests have sparked vital discussions surrounding privilege, racism, and the diverse experiences of black individuals in America. Recently, the distinction between “Black” and “African American” has gained traction on social media platforms.

Often, individuals default to using “African American” as a sign of political correctness or courtesy. While these terms are commonly used interchangeably, they do not always accurately reflect the complexity of racial identity, both domestically and globally.

As Professor Celeste Watkins-Hayes, an expert in African American studies at Northwestern University, points out,

“Black people reside in every continent worldwide. ‘African American’ is specific to nationality, referring to black individuals born in the United States.”

Understanding this nuance is crucial when discussing race and identity.

Emil Flemmon

Èmil Flemmon is the Managing Editor for the 360 Baseline Movement. The Atlanta-based editor, red carpet interviewer, writer, and photographer, has had a career spanning over a decade in the editorial industry. His work has been featured in Kontrol Magazine, The Atlanta Voice, Blavity, Aspire TV, REVOLT, The Jasmine Brand, and Where Y'at Magazine in New Orleans. His mission is to help journalists and publicists have better connectivity and relationships exclusively through the movement.

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