Biracial Miss Black University Of Texas Criticized For ‘Not Being Black Enough’
This year’s winner of Miss Black University of Texas says she’s had to delete Twitter from her phone after a barrage of messages questioning her racial credentials and slamming her for not looking “black enough.”
ABC News-affiliate First Coast News reports that Rachael Malonson, who is biracial, has experienced an “avalanche” of critical tweets after being crowned Miss Black UT. The reason for the online uproar: Malonson, who’s father is black and mother is white, has light skin and is less “phenotypically black” than many biracial people. Many of the tweets, she said, questioned if she really is biracial and criticized the competition for choosing a winner who does not “look black.”
via First Coast News
“Someone literally asked me are you black? Can you prove it to me? ” Malonson told FCN. “I was like yes, my dad’s black and my mom’s white.”
The problem, she suggested, is that she doesn’t “fit the stereotypical look that a black person would fit.” Many of the tweets she received highlight this appearance-based determination of racial credentials, including one guy who tweeted, “Kind of sad that the black community didn’t have the brass to limit the pageant to only women that look black.”
But as Nyles Washington, a member of the predominantly black UT fraternity Kappa Alpha Psi explained, Malonson clearly meets the two qualifications for entering their pageant. “You have to be a woman and you have to have some African-American in your heritage,” said Washington.
The “avalanche of tweets” got so bad that Malonson finally had to “delete Twitter off of her phone,” the outlet reports.
To help figure out what is “driving these types of responses,” the ABC-affiliate reached out to a psychologist and professor of African Studies at the university, Kevin Cokley.
“People of African descent who are more phenotypically black, if you will, have not gotten positive messages about their looks,” said Prof. Cokley. Malonson winning the pageant, he posited, might have added to this negative message.
Though Malonson said she was surprised by the firestorm online over her not looking “black enough,” she hopes that she’ll be able to use her platform as Miss Black UT and her journalistic pursuits to help people “break away from those stereotypes.”