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Lillith1991
01-13-2015, 01:53 AM
So I was watching a movie called Rag Tag earlier, good movie. It was a love story set in London between a medium-lightskinned Jamaican man and a dark skinned Nigerian man. They had been childhood friends who got split up with the Jamaican man was sent to live with his grandmother, and reunited 10 years down the line. Anyway... the Jamaican guy has green eyes, his mom is dark skinned and also has green eyes in the scene she shows up in. Obviously he got it from his mom, and likely his skin from his dad.

And that brings me to my question, how would you describe a black character either light or dark skinned with green eyes, really light hazel, or some shade of blue? The default for most readers, even POC who know people with these traits would be to assume the character is at the very least mixed. If they're lightskinned, they're likely to be assumed white. How do you get across that this character is black?

kuwisdelu
01-13-2015, 02:38 AM
I would say they're black.

I knew an Alaska native girl with heterochromia. Her eyes were green and red.

It's more distracting in real life than it is in anime...

Lillith1991
01-13-2015, 02:53 AM
I would say they're black.

I knew an Alaska native girl with heterochromia. Her eyes were green and red.

It's more distracting in real life than it is in anime...

That's what I was thinking, but I keep wondering about ways other than repeating they're mixed or black at any reasonable and story enhancing instead of destroying juncture.

Mr Flibble
01-13-2015, 03:01 AM
What he said

I knew a black kid once, at my school. He was definitely black, but he had the biggest, bluest eyes I have ever seen, and red hair

No doubt there was some mix in his (not recent) ancestral past -- he was West Indian, or rather his parents were and there was a lot of mixing going on back in the day. But he was black.

Ofc, I could be wrong because I am not POC :D But that's how he described himself.

Lillith1991
01-13-2015, 03:55 AM
What he said

I knew a black kid once, at my school. He was definitely black, but he had the biggest, bluest eyes I have ever seen, and red hair

No doubt there was some mix in his (not recent) ancestral past -- he was West Indian, or rather his parents were and there was a lot of mixing going on back in the day. But he was black.

Ofc, I could be wrong because I am not POC :D But that's how he described himself.

Nope, you're right! My paternal grandfather was nicknamed red because he was a black man with dark auburn hair that was obvious. There's a lot of mixing and recessive stuff in the black population of the caribbean and North America. A lot in the Black Hispanic population as well, all over the Americas.

KateH
01-13-2015, 07:18 AM
You could just say they're black.
Or mention their skin tone as well as their eye colour.
If they've got other family members in the story, mentioning that they're black will let readers realise this green-eyed character is too.

Sunflowerrei
01-16-2015, 12:10 AM
I once saw a Chinese gymnast in the Olympics who had natural red hair. I knew a girl in junior high school who was black of Caribbean descent. She was light-skinned, with black hair and brown eyes, but she once told me that her aunt was blonde and blue-eyed and not adopted. There must've been mixing in that family somewhere along the way, but...Genetics are really interesting things.

Lillith1991
01-16-2015, 04:20 PM
I once saw a Chinese gymnast in the Olympics who had natural red hair. I knew a girl in junior high school who was black of Caribbean descent. She was light-skinned, with black hair and brown eyes, but she once told me that her aunt was blonde and blue-eyed and not adopted. There must've been mixing in that family somewhere along the way, but...Genetics are really interesting things.

Yes, they really are. My natural hair tint in the sun is like a really dark version of my grandfather's. And I know someone like the relative of the person you knew in junior high school. She was slightly lighter than me, blond with kinky-curly hair, and had really light eyes. I can't remember whether they were light amber or blue, but they were light. One of my junior high friends was Kurdish and her little brother was born with bright red hair that darkened to black as he got older.

Kitty27
01-18-2015, 03:21 AM
Just say they are Black. I have a cousin with light blue eyes and both her parents are entirely Black. Genetics can be very interesting,sometimes.

But people do make assumptions about how Blacks are supposed to look. I'm brown skinned and my son is very light skinned. I've gotten everything from "Where did you get him?" to "Wow, I didn't know you all could be different colors in one family."

M.N Thorne
01-18-2015, 12:11 PM
I have some theories about both the chinese redhead and blond plus blue eyed Afro-Caribbean. The Chinese redhead could have came from a Russian ancestor during the time of Mongol empire. Russians, Mongols, and Chinese met up with each other from time to time. I was friends with two Mongol twins with Cranberry redhead and super green eyes. Their hair came from one of their Russian ancestors from 12th century.Meanwhile, the blond and blue-eyed Afro-Caribbean woman came from a European ancestor. Thus, your blood remember even if your family forgot it's history. It is really that simple unless you are talking about some unique genetic disorder. That also happens as well :) Such as the Nigerians without any European or Arabic blood creating a "white child" back in 2010. Snow-white skin, white hair, and violet eyes yet not an Albino. ;)





I once saw a Chinese gymnast in the Olympics who had natural red hair. I knew a girl in junior high school who was black of Caribbean descent. She was light-skinned, with black hair and brown eyes, but she once told me that her aunt was blonde and blue-eyed and not adopted. There must've been mixing in that family somewhere along the way, but...Genetics are really interesting things.

Lillith1991
01-20-2015, 12:14 AM
Just say they are Black. I have a cousin with light blue eyes and both her parents are entirely Black. Genetics can be very interesting,sometimes.

But people do make assumptions about how Blacks are supposed to look. I'm brown skinned and my son is very light skinned. I've gotten everything from "Where did you get him?" to "Wow, I didn't know you all could be different colors in one family."

The bolded would have made me mad. One of my nephews is light skinned like his mom, with a sandy sort of light brown hair, and greenish-hazel eyes. Even some of the people in our family think he can't possibly be my brother's child because my brother is dark skinned, which makes me shake my head. Of course he can be. Then again I think it's because people keep forgetting that most Black people in the Americas have some degree of European heritage. Me and my nephews mom just have a bit more than average because we're mixed. Heck, my SIL even has freckles.

Ken
01-20-2015, 05:09 AM
Me, personally, I'd probably just accept it and not automatically assume, "mixed." There are always "anomalies," or exceptions or what have you. Take Italians. Most have black hair and black eyes. At least that is the commonly held belief, whether actually true or not. So then you encounter an Italian with blonde hair. And some do have blonde hair, I believe, including some celebs. Lady Gaga? So you just sorta accept it. Same with a black woman with green eyes. "Okay. That is a bit unusual. But hey. Why not? Fine. Intriguing too! So leave it at that. Okay, now what else do you have to tell me about her..." Etc. Just my own take.

So IMO you have the option of either spelling it out which is fine or just leaving things be.

M.N Thorne
01-20-2015, 10:12 AM
Lillith,

Most people do not understand genetics or simple biology even. So they tend to asked very strange questions about skin and eye color. Usually, I answer them if they asked me about skin or eye color in my family tree. " That is what happens when Mestizos, Castizos,and East Indians have sex with their black wives back in the day." Then everyone gets quiet and I laughed. No one ever asked me the same thing twice:D



The bolded would have made me mad. One of my nephews is light skinned like his mom, with a sandy sort of light brown hair, and greenish-hazel eyes. Even some of the people in our family think he can't possibly be my brother's child because my brother is dark skinned, which makes me shake my head. Of course he can be. Then again I think it's because people keep forgetting that most Black people in the Americas have some degree of European heritage. Me and my nephews mom just have a bit more than average because we're mixed. Heck, my SIL even has freckles.

Lillith1991
01-20-2015, 05:29 PM
True, very true. For the perfect example, Shemar Moor the actor and I each have one mostly white parent. He is however darker than I am, even though we are both mixed. Even people in the Black community seem sort of surprised when they figure it out, like only light children can come of an interacial couple where one is white and the other is Black. Then you have this awesome hair blogger named Elle, who's parents are both Black and she's the same color as I am. Makes me want to drag my biology text from highschool out when people are surprised Shemar Moor is mixed, but act like it's a given me and this hair blogger are mixed. Or, you know, just point to the President and say, "You do know he's mixed, right?"



Lillith,

Most people do not understand genetics or simple biology even. So they tend to asked very strange questions about skin and eye color. Usually, I answer them if they asked me about skin or eye color in my family tree. " That is what happens when Mestizos, Castizos,and East Indians have sex with their black wives back in the day." Then everyone gets quiet and I laughed. No one ever asked me the same thing twice:D

Kitty27
01-21-2015, 12:16 AM
The bolded would have made me mad. One of my nephews is light skinned like his mom, with a sandy sort of light brown hair, and greenish-hazel eyes. Even some of the people in our family think he can't possibly be my brother's child because my brother is dark skinned, which makes me shake my head. Of course he can be. Then again I think it's because people keep forgetting that most Black people in the Americas have some degree of European heritage. Me and my nephews mom just have a bit more than average because we're mixed. Heck, my SIL even has freckles.


Oh,I got them together very quickly!

Lillith1991
01-21-2015, 01:21 AM
Oh,I got them together very quickly!

I'm sure you did! :D Some people are just rude as hell, questioning if a kid is their parent's child because they're too light or too dark.

Sunflowerrei
01-21-2015, 09:48 AM
I'm sure you did! :D Some people are just rude as hell, questioning if a kid is their parent's child because they're too light or too dark.

I used to get asked if my dad was my dad because my father is full Irish-American--six feet tall, blue-gray eyes, pasty freckly Irish skin. Meanwhile, while I got the pasty skin and probably some bone structure from the white side, I have dark hair and dark Asian eyes from my Japanese mother. Plus, I'm short.

A bio teacher in high school said that taller height was the dominant gene. He was sooo wrong.

M.N Thorne
01-21-2015, 12:03 PM
Yeah, height is kind of a mix bag when it comes to genetics. For example, many of ancestors are over 6 feet tall including the women yet I am just 5'9 1/2 or 5'10. I mean I have male ancestors over 6'6 and female ancestors over 6'1. Sure, I am still tall but not as tall as my paternal great-grandmother at 6'3. Genetics is not as cut and dry as many would think.;)



I used to get asked if my dad was my dad because my father is full Irish-American--six feet tall, blue-gray eyes, pasty freckly Irish skin. Meanwhile, while I got the pasty skin and probably some bone structure from the white side, I have dark hair and dark Asian eyes from my Japanese mother. Plus, I'm short.

A bio teacher in high school said that taller height was the dominant gene. He was sooo wrong.

Ken
01-25-2015, 05:14 PM
Yeah, height is kind of a mix bag when it comes to genetics. For example, many of ancestors are over 6 feet tall including the women yet I am just 5'9 1/2 or 5'10. I mean I have male ancestors over 6'6 and female ancestors over 6'1. Sure, I am still tall but not as tall as my paternal great-grandmother at 6'3. Genetics is not as cut and dry as many would think.;)

Plus, there's always the possibility ...

Not you, personally !

But, well that stuff does go on. (extramarital affairs)

So one just never knows for sure what's in the genetic pool.

JubbyO
03-24-2015, 01:13 AM
I know some black people with pale skin, dark hair and green eyes. One girl used to get very red in the face when we told her she may be mixed. She swore she was black. Full-black. Later on, she got happy when she saw that almost all african-americans are mixed with white ancestry. Now, she could identify just like us because we were mixed too. "Black people come in all colors," she said (just not 'white,' presumably.)

snafu1056
03-24-2015, 10:04 PM
I have some theories about both the chinese redhead and blond plus blue eyed Afro-Caribbean. The Chinese redhead could have came from a Russian ancestor during the time of Mongol empire. Russians, Mongols, and Chinese met up with each other from time to time. I was friends with two Mongol twins with Cranberry redhead and super green eyes. Their hair came from one of their Russian ancestors from 12th century.

You don't even need the Russian ancestors. Red hair and light colored eyes were pretty common in central Asia long before the Mongol empire. The red-headed Chinese probably comes from far western China, where the Tocharians, a red-headed people, once lived. You still see plenty of redheads among the Uygurs of western China. The Kyrgyz of eastern Siberia were another red-headed group of non-Caucasians. In Manchuria you even had possible blondes under the name "Yellow headed Shiwei". Genghis Khan himself was a redhead with light grey eyes (and definitely not a Caucasian).

sugarhit
03-26-2015, 12:30 AM
I dunno, eye color, esp. green and hazel aren't specific to any race. Rihanna, Tyra, Vanessa Williams and Naomi Campbell, all come to mind. All of them are born of two African-American parents (or African-English in Naomi's case).

I think a passing mention to skintone would suffice like "His skin, the color of freshly toasted almonds" or somesuch.

kevinwaynewilliams
04-04-2015, 07:17 AM
http://static01.nyt.com/images/2012/05/08/science/08blond/08blond-popup.jpg

Picture of a Solomon Islander: explanation here (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/08/science/another-genetic-quirk-of-the-solomon-islands-blond-hair.html).

Elysium
05-15-2015, 07:07 PM
I would be considered darkskin and I am black but I took an ancestry test for a course I took awhile ago and I found out that I was European, Asian (from different parts), and Native American. My domninant ancestry, of course, is African but it just goes to show that black people in America are not what they appear on the surface. And just because you are light, it doesn't mean you are mixed. Ther were students lighter than me who had more African ancestry than I did. Also, the geneticist who ran the study I was apart of said that people in Africa with dark skin, light colored hair, and light eyes were typically 100% African. Since more and more studies are finding that all of creation began in Africa, whether you believe that or not, a black person doesn't need other ancestry to explain why they have green eyes or red hair. Africans, as a whole, just have a lot of genetic variation compared to other groups.

TessB
05-16-2015, 05:41 AM
A close friend of mine in high school was mixed, Black dad and white mom, but her grey eyes came from her father's side. From what she told me, grey eyes were common for women in her paternal family line, whether mixed or both Black parents. The story was that somewhere back in the mists of time, one of her great-great-grandmothers had been an earth priestess (I don't imagine that's the proper term, but it's the wording she used), and the grey eyes were a sign of her powers.

One thing to keep in mind is that it can be seen as offensive/exotifying to describe POC skin tones using food comparisons -- a connection to Black bodies being seen as commodities for consumption. ('chocolate' 'mocha' or 'coffee' skin, and so forth.) I'd avoid those whenever possible.