Halle Berry is talking about her daughter, Nahla Aubry, in the March issue of Ebony magazine. In an interview done just before news broke that she has dropped out of filming “New Year’s Eve” over a custody battle with Nahla’s father, Canadian model Gabriel Aubry, Berry talks about the importance of motherhood, and her views on Nahla’s race.
Halle told the magazine:
If you’re of multiple races, you have a different challenge, a unique challenge of embracing all of who you are but still finding a way to identify yourself, and I think that’s often hard for us to do.
Berry is speaking from personal experience here. The actress, whose father is black and whose mother is white, has often said that she identifies as a black woman. The challenge for her has been to embrace her black heritage without alienating her mother. When asked whether she thinks of Nahla as black, Berry had this to say:
I feel she is black. I’m black and I’m her mother, and I believe in the one-drop theory.
The “one-drop theory” refers to a belief during segregation that a person was black even if they only had “one drop” of African blood in their heritage. Berry’s statements are in stark contrast to the alleged beliefs of Gabriel Aubry. According to TMZ, Aubry sees his daughter as white, and had insisted Berry demand a retraction when the press labeled her otherwise.
Without knowing all the facts, it’s kinda hard to know exactly how this will play out. But it did get my little brain wheels turning, and I have a couple of questions:
1.) Didn’t Berry and Aubry talk about race before her eggo was prego? I mean, I’m in an interracial relationship, and The Boyfriend and I talk about it all the time.
2.) Aren’t they both sort of right- and wrong- about Nahla’s race? I mean, she is multiracial. We can discuss it ’til we’re all blue in the face, but until Nahla is old enough to decide that for herself, who gives a crap?
3.) Not to get too deep here, but doesn’t this interview speak to a larger problem? Specifically that, even though we see more interracial couples on TV and in our neighborhoods, the reality is that race is still important- and controversial- in 2011. We might like to give ourselves a pat on the back for being a more diverse society, but maybe the kudos are premature.
What do you guys think? Should Halle Berry have spoken about her daughter’s race in Ebony? Are multiracial people ever really allowed to choose for themselves what race(s) they identify with? And is little Nahla possibly the World’s Cutest Baby?! (Seriously, do a Google Image search. You will die!) Share your thoughts in the comments!