Elle Varner’s statement starts debate
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Gabrielle Serene Varner, better known as Elle Varner is a recording artist of Cape Verdean descent. Her latest album, ‘Perfectly Imperfect’, received 4 out of 5 stars from Rolling Stone Magazine.
In a recent interview with Sister 2 Sister she had this to say:
“Jamie: Okay, what about that hair? Where did you get that hair from?
Elle: My hair is my hair, you know? I’m Cape Verdean and Black.
Jamie: But who in the family has hair like that? Does your mom have a lot of hair?
Elle: My dad’s hair is thick and long, and, like, longer than mine. It’s crazy. My dad has so much hair.
Jamie: He’s got long hair too? Is he mixed or anything?
Elle: Yeah, he’s half Black, half Swedish.”
This started a firestorm of debate. The first issue is that by making her statement about being mixed is she implying that only people of mixed heritage have ‘good hair’? The other issue that has been brought up is why the need to define herself as black AND Cape Verdean? What is the difference? Isn’t being Cape Verdean mean that she is Black? Is Black now an ethnicity? This seems to be an age-old debate that is not going away soon.
One often hears African-Americans telling Africans that they are African, not Black. What does that mean? This is definitely worth discussing, if only to show that, in reality, we are all the same. Your thoughts?