Is Mariah Carey Black Or White? 65,000 Fans Ask Google
BLACK, WHITE, OTHER: The latest search news from Google reveals that 65,000 fans of singer and ex-American Idol judge Mariah Carey are unsure of her ethnicity. Many do not realise that Carey's late father was a black Venezuelan.
65,000. THAT IS the total approximate number of Internet-users from Google latest search figures, who are unsure of singer Mariah Carey ethnicity. The total reflects the annual number of search queries about the subject, which includes questions such as, “Is Mariah Carey black?”
To the naked eye, she appears to be a white blonde, but her family history and background are diverse. Her mother, Patricia Hickey, is of European ancestry (Irish American), while the singer and former American Idol judge’s late father, Alfred Roy Carey, was of African heritage (Venezuela, South America).
Many of those who turn to Google with questions about Carey’s ethnic background are not aware of her father’s ancestry, and many may also be unsure why she is referred to as African American, despite her European appearance.
HISTORY IS THE LATEST NEWS
The answer lies, not in the biological facts, but within the cultural politics derived from the history of slavery and racism in America. In the early 20th century a number of American states introduced the notorious “one-drop rule” — a series of laws which classified as legally “black”, any individual with as little as “one drop” of “black blood” within their genealogy. The legislation was designed as a means of constraining the children of biracial unions to a lower status within American post-slavery society. The rule was first passed into law in Tennessee in 1910, and by 1931 most states had adopted some form of one-drop law.
Although these laws are no longer in force today, their original classifications remain very much in use in a society in which race remains a hot topic. Despite the laws racist origins, citizens of biracial heritage are still referred to as “black”, both in terms of the way they are perceived or often discriminated against in society, and also in terms of being identified as such by other people of colour. This explains why Mariah Carey is referred to as “black” by many African Americans, because, of her two parents, her father Alfred Roy Carey's African ancestry obeys the old one-drop rule originally invented by American history's racists.
Read a longer version of this news article about Mariah Carey’s ethnicity.
ALTHOUGH MARIAH CAREY may look white, many fans are unsure why she is referred to as black in America. The answer lies within the complex cultural politics of the country's past. By Ben Arogundade.
FATHER AND DAUGHTER: Music celebrity Mariah Carey, pictured as a teenager with her late father, Alfred Roy Carey. Mariah's father was a black Venezuelan.