Elijah E. Cummings

Obama And His Black Brothers And Sisters
February 09, 2010

Some place in the prints this morning, I saw President Obama characterized as bi-racial. It led me to thinking about the way we read men and women with different proportions of blackness in them. Pretty much up to now, it was the Nuremberg Law model: a little bit of Jewish blood, you're Jewish … a little bit of black blood, you're black. A few weeks ago, in an extraordinary piece, John McWhorter parsed the meaning of "African-American" and found it utterly useless or, worse yet, a lie. "Black" is less and less a scientific category and becoming less and less a sociological category, as well.