Taye Diggs has a bi-racial son with Broadway star Idina Minzel that he doesn’t want to be identified only as a Black guy. The actor says labeling his child one race disregards his mother, who is of Eastern European descent.
“When you [call biracial kids Black], you risk disrespecting that one half of who you are and that’s my fear,” Diggs said in an interview with The Grio last week. “I don’t want my son to be in a situation where he calls himself Black and everyone thinks he has a Black mom and a Black dad, and then they see a white mother, they wonder, ‘oh, what’s going on?‘”
The author of Mixed Me and Chocolate Me, used President Obama as an example of a bi-racial man getting slapped with the “Black” label. “As African-Americans we were so quick to say okay he’s Black he’s Black, and then there were the white people who were afraid to say he was biracial because who knows,” he continued. “Everybody refers to him as the first black president, I’m not saying it’s wrong, I’m just saying that it’s interesting. It would be great if it didn’t matter and that people could call him mixed. We’re still choosing to make that decision, and that’s when I think you get into some dangerous waters.”
Being that Diggs isn’t actually bi-racial it would be up to his son to decide what he wants to be called — or if he even cares what other people think.
By the way, there is no one official rule that mixed people follow because everyone is free to do their own thing. Halle Berry once revealed that her mother (a white woman) encouraged her to identify as Black rather than bi-racial. “Trying to be in the middle, trying to be both, just isn’t working for me,” Berry said. “It’s just further ostracized me from either group.”
The Oscar-winning actress subscribes to a similar theory with her own daughter, whose father is white.