New Book by Dr. Yaba Blay Explores Racial Identity and Skin Color Politics

New Book by Dr. Yaba Blay Explores Racial Identity and Skin Color Politics

Drexel Now
Drexel University

News Media Contact: Alex McKechnie, News Officer, University Communications
Phone: 215-895-2705; Mobile: 401-651-7550

What does it mean to be Black? Is Blackness a matter of biology or consciousness? What determines who is Black and who is not? A new book by Dr. Yaba Blay, an assistant professor and co-director of the Africana Studies program in Drexel University’s College of Arts and Sciences, seeks to challenge narrow perceptions of what Blackness is and what it looks like. 

The book, entitled (1)ne Drop: Shifting the Lens on Race, combines candid narratives and photos of 60 contributors from 25 different countries, providing a living testimony to the diversity of Blackness. It is intended to spark dialogue about the intricacies and nuances of racial identity and the influence of skin color politics.

The book is part of Blay’s larger, multi-platform project called (1)ne Drop – a reference to the “one-drop rule” from the early 1900s that held that anyone with 1/32 of “African Black blood” was Black.

The project, which includes an online and traveling exhibition, ultimately seeks to raise social awareness and inspire community conversation about the complexities of Blackness as both an identity and a lived reality.

The project was the inspiration behind “Who is Black in America?”, the fifth installation of CNN’s Black in America television documentary series with Soledad O’Brien in 2012, on which Blay served as a consulting producer…

Read the entire press release here.

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