Who Gets to Be A POC?: Self-Identifying & Privilege

Posted in Articles, Arts, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States on 2014-02-17 17:02Z by Steven

Who Gets to Be A POC?: Self-Identifying & Privilege

Mixed Dreams: towards a radical multiracial/ethnic movement

Nicole Nfonoyim de Hara

This post is in response to a great question a friend asked about how the wonderful new book (1)ne Drop:Shifting the Lens on Race by Dr. Yaba Blay and Noelle Théard, featuring portraits of individuals who identify as “Black” speaks to an article entitled “4 Ways to Push Back on Your Privilege” by one of my favorite bloggers, Mia McKenzie (aka Black Girl Dangerous). Many portraits in (1)ne Drop may raise a few eyebrows. Take the portrait of ‘Zun Lee‘ on the right. He says:

“When I applied to grad school or for jobs, all of a sudden the boxes come up. I had to make a choice, so for the first time, I checked ‘Black.’ And I didn’t think long about it because for me, it was based on personal circumstance. I just chose the box that I felt most at home with because I didn’t relate to any of the other options. From then on, if I were asked, I would answer, ‘I’m Black.’ Of course, people told me I couldn’t do that — that I couldn’t choose that box. But I had spent all of my life being pushed away by people. In Germany, I wasn’t even given the option to check anything because I wasn’t welcomed there. I had no box. For the first time, I was being given the option to identify myself. Now I had a box, and I was happy in that little box.”

Is it okay for Zun Lee to identify as black? He doesn’t self-identify in his quote as “Asian.” Should we, the viewers and readers see him and insist that he must be “Asian” or at the very least “not black?”…

Read the entire article here.

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