January 19th, 2012
01:19 PM ET

Rareview: Touré: Don't forget blackness, but don't limit it, either

Rareviews go inside the lives of those in America whose stories we don't always hear.

By Claudia Morales, CNN

(CNN) – Writer Touré likes to practice yoga and skydive, and married a woman outside of his race - all things he's been told "black people don't do." In his latest book "Who's Afraid of Post-Blackness?: What It Means to be Black Now," Touré argues that times have changed and there are no limits to the black identity. There is no right or wrong way to "perform blackness" in today's society, he says.

"No one can tell you this is authentic behavior, and this is inauthentic behavior, this is legitimate normative blackness and this is illegitimate non-normative black behavior," he says. " That’s ridiculous."

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Filed under: Black in America • Race • Rareviews • Who we are
soundoff (37 Responses)
  1. Yepyep6598

    Damn! I swear the way CNN talks about race you would believe N I G G A S are still being transported from Africa under a boat and sold at auction in Jamestown, Virginia. The last time I checked I didnt live on a plantation, neither do I wear leg chains and dont work in a cottofield. Went to a predominatel white unjversity didnt get any looks like boy go home, Im free to move about, havent seen any color water fountains, I make just as much money as any middle class white person, and take I advantage of every opportunity that comes my way. Remember there are some black people who will never experience racism in their lifetime. So what racism are you talking about? I remember I was walking down the street coming from my job at night I was stopped by the police, they asked me usual questions, there had been a house that was robbed. The white policeman was ready to let me go, oh but no, this MEXICAN cop insisted I robbed the house he kept asking me questions trying to make me say I did it, he was getting angry because I would not confess to something I didnt do, finally the white cop told him to leave me alone. You Go Figure. The world will keep spinning and money flowing while those on the side holler racism and categorize themselves as victims. I dont have eyes in the back of my head so I can only see what is in front of me, THE FUTURE.

    February 3, 2012 at 10:51 am | Report abuse |
  2. twang

    agh jus watts dem air jordans iz wut am does wit wimin doo ho miz

    January 20, 2012 at 9:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Blondie

      Twang – I hope you don't look as dumb as you souind. Please seek psychiatric care, you need it.

      January 21, 2012 at 9:16 am | Report abuse |
      • twang


        January 21, 2012 at 12:22 pm | Report abuse |
      • twang

        Im a lot better looking than i sound, but sorry ,i dont date blacks

        January 21, 2012 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Justin

    Those who view the world through the context of skin color are racist...no matter what color you are, or represent.

    January 20, 2012 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse |


    January 20, 2012 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
  5. pablo

    Well, if we didn't have race to fixate on, we would have to direct our biases toward height or hair color I suppose. Some blacks are determined to keep race at the forefront by insisting on maintaining black colleges, black tv channels, black coaches association, national association of colored people, black miss america, etc. They want to be identified as Afro-Americans, not just Americans. Don't you think we could get over this race thing if we discontinue labeling everything black or white?

    January 20, 2012 at 8:11 am | Report abuse |
    • redbrown

      They? I would like to say that I ask to be called an american.

      January 20, 2012 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
  6. nhop

    Only in the United States, I believe, is anyone with even one black forebear - perhaps a great great grandparent - considered "black." The late Ralph Bunche could easily have passed for "white" and President Obama is as much white as black. In the U S, however, both are exclusively black.
    In Brazil, a country I've visited several times, a distinction is made between black, white, and mulatto, or mixed race. That makes a lot more sense than the U S belief that if a person is "tainted by even one drop of black blood," he's black.

    January 20, 2012 at 5:22 am | Report abuse |
  7. Lost

    ♥♥Love this! I'm Black and very proud. Well said Mr. Toure! Well done! Aside from all other comments on this post, I understand exactly what you mean...and yes...it's time to move ahead.

    January 20, 2012 at 4:50 am | Report abuse |
    • SAMBO

      Are you refering to the non black posts?????????????????????????????????????????????/

      January 20, 2012 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
  8. cleo


    I read this article because I thought...why shouldn't we forget blackness? I thought that was the whole goal???

    This guy seems super caught up in it.

    A whole book?

    This guy seems to have serious issues with his blackness. I don't have issues with being a farm boy from Wisconsin, which many would argue is 'not WASP enough'. The only one talking about legitimate and illegitimate methods of being black is him. He should try to relax a bit more. I guarantee you...not many whites take your 'blackness' that seriously. I strongly suspect that not many blacks take your 'blackness' that seriously either.

    Just breathe guy...

    January 19, 2012 at 9:43 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Crom2112

    Racism is alive and well in the U.S., mostly within the Grievance Industry and its legion of race hustlers who are quite happy to profit from fear and division. Want to be judged by the content of your character rather than the color of your skin? You're out of luck because the Left desperately needs to keep you a hyphenated American so that you will be psychological dependant on them and remain potential cannon-fodder in their ideological wars. Welcome to the Diversity Machine, comrade!

    January 19, 2012 at 9:28 pm | Report abuse |
  10. p41

    Toure": But I am Black..yessa' boss..I, I mean word.

    January 19, 2012 at 8:57 pm | Report abuse |
  11. p41

    Oops..sounds like toure', (or however the hell its spelled) has been called an "uncle-t0m" by someone.

    January 19, 2012 at 8:55 pm | Report abuse |
  12. JustMe

    Unbelievable that those who claim to fight racism actually promote it. Why does it have to be about race? Why can't it be about who we are? I have heard my whole life how one is discrimminated against for blah, blah, blah...their race, color of their skin. Yet a race will only fight for their race. That is not humanity or love or genorisity in it's truest spirit. It's racism; only give to my own. Their is "black america month, hispanic month", etc. Why cannot there be a month of just "people month" because of who they are, and because they are not defined by the color of their skin? And please, I am far from being white; but the sheer arrogance and hypocrisy of it is now disgusting to me. All that "for me because I am other than white" is like finger nails across a chalkboard.

    January 19, 2012 at 7:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Opalescence

      JustMe, I understand what you're saying but I don't agree. You have to realize that events/organizations like Black History Month, the Miss Black America pageant, the NAACP, and organizations that protect the interests of other people of color exist because of disenfranchisement and the lack of an even playing field in some cases. While ethnic groups have made certain gains over the years, there's still much to be desired in the way of equality in the U.S. This country was built on racial prejudice, and unfortunately, racism remains to this day. When you have people who benefit from racism, directly or indirectly, it's in their best interests that racism and discrimination in other forms still exist. Now, I'm a woman of African descent and I don't hold Black History Month sacred, however it can still be used as a teaching/learning tool for youth or even adults who don't know much about the countless contributions of people of African descent. I believe black history is every day, not just 28 or 29 days of one month. There's still the need to get from under the heel of the white majority to ensure that the contributions, cultures, and the best of every ethnic group are highlighted. Further, your assertion ethnic groups don't fight for those of different ethnicities is just plain wrong. Read your history, and it's also plain as the nose on your face right here and now. Whites marched right along with blacks during the height of the civil rights movement, and some whites were killed fighting for equality. Blacks, whites, Latinos and Asians are rallying together in the present Occupy movement across the country. Historically, the US made it a point to define black people by the color of their skin. It made enslaved Africans easy to catch if they tried to escape. It's a practice that's been ingrained for centuries and the "We're one race – the human race" people won't change that.

      January 19, 2012 at 8:18 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Shirley Marie Bradby (English_For_You)

    Actually, I would like to take this a few steps further and definitely think outside of this "box" of "blackness". Personally, I do not want to be limited by my so-called "blackness" or my "femaleness" or having been born in America....or whatever..... which are all identified with a particular body. Why? Because I know that what I am ....an eternal spirit soul....is beyond the concept of the present body that I now inhabit. I ...am....not....this....body!

    January 19, 2012 at 6:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • SAMBO

      Me too. I luv looking over the event horizon at the singularity..............................................What are you some kind of jello blob. Everyone is defined by multiple aspects. Don't act like a goof

      January 20, 2012 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
  14. ohsnap

    I have been fighting the 'black people are not supposed to do that' FROM black people all of my life. And all of my life I've ignored that stupidity. If people were to obey that kind of thinking, we wouldn't have Leontyne Price, we wouldn't have Matthew Henson, we wouldn't have Wilma Rudolph. All black people, doing things that only white people (supposedly) should do. I don't assume I cannot do something because I'm black. I just do it. And because of that, I've had a lot of experiences I wouldn't have had if I subscribed to the mentality that 'only white people do this.' And a final note: I will be SO GLAD when we don't define ourselves as anything except human beings!!!!

    January 19, 2012 at 6:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • p41

      Wow... and let me guess. You haven't been called a N-w0rd by any caucasian people; nor have you been unfairly treated by your precious "white-pe0ple." In this society, people like you are a dime-a-dozen. Why, just look at 0bama.. When the caucasians hire your kind to badmouth other people of color, you just do the best job possible for them. You are merely a mouthpiece for racist caucasians. Saying for them, what they are sometimes afraid to say. Good luck with your career aunt-jemmima.

      January 19, 2012 at 9:04 pm | Report abuse |
      • glyder

        your a hypocrite.oh snap isn't following anyone,you are.look in the mirror.you are the uncle tom.

        January 20, 2012 at 9:51 am | Report abuse |
    • vas

      ohsnap, you sound.... normal. it's ridiculous that you have to defend a position such as this. but when you do, you're defending it against hate and prejudice. the very things that racism consists of. in my book, that is something to be proud of.

      January 19, 2012 at 9:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • SAMBO

      We'd still have Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson jr & sr, Calypso Louie and Barrack Obama

      January 20, 2012 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Aunt Bunny

    Go to Youtube and search for the following:

    Im black yall CB4

    You'll get the same message but will save the time necessary to read this guy's book.

    January 19, 2012 at 6:06 pm | Report abuse |
  16. noolibs

    Only cnn and a blck person would even make something like this an issue...WHO CARES!

    January 19, 2012 at 6:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Opalescence

      You care because you took the time to peruse and post. If it doesn't interest you, keep it moving. Very simple.

      January 19, 2012 at 8:25 pm | Report abuse |
  17. poorguy

    Sounds good. As long as the rest of us are 'allowed' to remember our whiteness without being criticized for it.

    January 19, 2012 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • KARL

      As a Black man, I can't criticize you for being White. Embrace your whiteness as I embrace my blackness. We were born this way and it won't change. So, enjoy one another while we live on this earth. Finally, who am I to "allow" you to remember your whiteness? That's silly.

      January 19, 2012 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • blackDude

      Be proud you guys this great thinks after alll!!!!
      Am very proud to be black so you should equally be proud to be white,brown,yellow or whatever you are.

      January 19, 2012 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • vas

      being proud of one's race is equally silly to being ashamed of one's race
      you didn't choose your race, so you can neither be blamed for it nor given credit for it. accept it and try to become recognized for what you are as a person, not for randomly belonging to an ethnic group

      January 19, 2012 at 5:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Opalescence

      Hmmm...well I guess you can remember your whiteness and be comforted by the fact that it keeps you from being racially discriminated against. White people have the luxury of not having to "think" about race, which is why a lot of you dismiss racism. I guess if you don't see it or understand it, then it doesn't exist. I find it interesting that the articles relating to race or racism or people of color have threads that are flooded with comments by whites, mostly negative. One one hand you dismiss racism and claim that every time an article about race is run, black people are whining or playing the race card, yet you can't wait to display your ignorance and hatred. What a clueless, pitiful, disconnected way to live.

      January 19, 2012 at 8:33 pm | Report abuse |
      • person

        In my experience the most racist group of people(defined here by race) are black people. I am white and I have to worry about racism every day.

        January 20, 2012 at 4:04 am | Report abuse |
    • p41

      Every war Black people have fought in to secure your democracy reminds every human being, that there are still caucasians, oh i mean "whitepeople" alive and doing quite well. You POS.

      January 19, 2012 at 9:09 pm | Report abuse |
  18. Punisher2000

    Toure: If you don`t forget blackness, it means when you look at the mirror you see a black man. Not a man. In my view, that is wrong. You can be proud of who you are and still see a MAN on the mirror.

    January 19, 2012 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
  19. Vince


    January 19, 2012 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |