Something that I believe is often overlooked is the contribution of mixed or bi-racial people.

Something that I believe is often overlooked is the contribution of mixed or bi-racial people.

Sometimes, mixed heritage is attributed to people as well, such as Malcolm X, who at first glance would be seen as mixed raced: Meaning one of their parent is black and the other parent is white, asian or oriental.
Malcolm X had two recognisably, mixed parents, but I imagine he would have called himself black and I did pretty much the same, although not everyone chose to accept that.

You must know by now, that I, like Malcolm X; were both blessed with golden or ginger hair. I spent most of my childhood wishing I had black hair because it was so very different to most of my family. I was for a vast portion of my childhood, the odd one out. I have since grown to see all people as brothers and sisters. When I look at any race these days, I feel a kinship for them. I’m not sure the same can be said for others viewing me 🤣🤣 Anyway I digress.

Mixed raced people, the likes of notables such as Lenny Kravitz, W.E.B Dubois and Bob Marley to name a few, have in my opinion, been hugely important in breaking down barriers. Or in fact, been a bridge to explore, intellectual and social constructs around race. I could go on a rant and illustrate the incredible importance associated with all of their individual contributions, but that was not my real intention for writing this.

I wanted to think about why we were not authentic in our portrayal of Bob Marley in the musical. I have yet to see it and I am a great admirer of Bob Marley, (how could anyone not be?) but the casting did not sing true for me and although some may not appreciate my blatant honesty, I see an opportunity squandered.

Why did they not cast a mixed raced person to play the central character? It would be like taking the greatest play; (in my opinion) Othello, and cast a visibly mixed raced person in the central role. When I visualise Othello, he is a dark skinned man and Actor James Earl Jones portrayal of him was fine, but less authentic, if that’s what one seeks for their visual palate. Not everybody cares if the colour of a persons skin matches the characters they play.

The great Laurence Olivier’s portrayal of the character in blackface, denotes a desire to achieve some authenticity, albeit tasteless in todays standards. Anyway, let’s take a step back and pause for a second. Should we bother about being authentic?

Well, Bob Marley’s father was Scottish and that connection meant something. As always, I write out of love, as all I want is positive change, but it will only come when we are truly honest with ourselves. Had they cast a white brother to play Bob Marley they would have called it White Washing history.

Let’s not erase the contributions of mixed raced people, but instead celebrate them, especially when by their very existence they present something beautiful and the obvious truth that races mixed and formed new versions of themselves for thousands of years. (Many of us are the product of race mixing) And by the very existence of mixed raced people the world has better understanding of the other which internationally, has brought so many people together. It would have been a great and beautiful thing to have seen a mixed raced / bi – racial actor shaking his locks and truly reminding us of the deeper struggle Bob Marley would have endured. Being neither Black nor White, but being a product of both.

#CLUSTERVIEW find a different perspective or share your own 💥❤💯

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