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Stormeo



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PostPosted: 03/31/21 2:01 pm    ::: Question(s) about Adia Barnes & Race Reply Reply with quote

https://twitter.com/WNBA/status/1377279450841235458

Quote:
@dawnstaley and @AdiaBarnes make history - it's the first time ever two Black women head coaches are headed to the #ncaaW Final Four


So, my question isn't a basketball-related topic at all – maybe more of a sociocultural one. Apologies if it belongs on the Area 51 Forum instead.

Is Adia Barnes Black? Does anyone know if she considers herself/identifies as such? She may have an African heritage/ancestry, but I look at her & I see a White/White-passing woman. I just saw this tweet from the WNBA's account and was seeking clarification/confirmation/context. It's also possible that the WNBA twitter account called her a Black woman by mistake. (They tend to make mistakes over there...) [EDIT: I have learned that it is not a mistake!]

In general, I have long thought that one can be African-American/have African heritage without actually being Black (ie, being "White-passing"), but I acknowledge that many people don't share that same opinion with me.

Anywho, what are your thoughts on any/all of it? And let me just preface this by saying that I hope this post/topic doesn't offend people – certainly not my intent at all.



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pilight



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PostPosted: 03/31/21 2:24 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

The Swahili name didn't give her away?



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SDHoops



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PostPosted: 03/31/21 2:29 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

This is a topic among Native Americans as well. Chelsea Dungee, for instance, has a lot of Cherokee Nation (of Oklahoma) blood, but one would assume she's Black, and only Black, at first glance. She's mixed blood. In Canada they called them "metis" and in America there's not really a term other than biracial. If you saw Jude Schimmel walking down the street, you'd never know she was half Umatilla whereas Shoni is darker and you'd know she is. So to answer your question: there is no easy answer.


PG4ever



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PostPosted: 03/31/21 2:45 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

"Is Adia Barnes Black?" Well, her dad is former NFLer Peter Barnes so she's at least half black in terms of ethnicity. How she identifies, I don't know. In discussing herself and Barnes as Black coaches, I would assume that Dawn Staley knows AB identifies as black. I've always considered Barnes a light-skinned or "mixed" Black woman. In terms of skin color, African Americans range from black to white/White-passing and everything in between. There are a lot of people who are considered white now and have passed into white America but back in the day (for example directly following U.S. Emancipation) they would have been considered "Negro" despite being able to pass.


PG4ever



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PostPosted: 03/31/21 2:48 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

pilight wrote:
The Swahili name didn't give her away?


I love that Barnes is named (middle named) after one of my favorite Yoruba goddesses (Oshun).


Stormeo



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PostPosted: 03/31/21 2:59 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

pilight wrote:
The Swahili name didn't give her away?

I am not familiar with which names are Swahili and which names aren't. Razz

Thank you, everyone, for your input thus far!



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Milks26



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PostPosted: 03/31/21 3:17 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

A few times last year I thought she looked bi-racial, but then in some images she looked white and I never really thought about it again.

So, when they asked Staley that question last night I was confused as to who they were speaking about. I had to look up her parentage.



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undersized_post



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PostPosted: 03/31/21 3:37 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Last night on SportsCenter (or some other similar ESPN show) following the Stanford/Louisville game, Carolyn Peck and a white man whose name I don't know were talking about this, too. Peck was eloquent. Wish I could find a video somewhere.

From what I understood, Peck was the first Black (or Black woman?) coach to win the NCAAW title? Peck said something to the effect of dreaming of a day in the near future where it won't even be notable anymore that there are two Black women coaching in the Final Four. Hopefully it will become normalized with so many Black and Black women coaches on the rise.

All this implied that Adia Barnes is Black.


pilight



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PostPosted: 03/31/21 3:42 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

undersized_post wrote:
From what I understood, Peck was the first Black (or Black woman?) coach to win the NCAAW title?


Peck was both the first black coach and first black woman coach to win the NCAA tournament and remained the only one for many years



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Shades



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PostPosted: 03/31/21 7:00 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

undersized_post wrote:
Last night on SportsCenter (or some other similar ESPN show) following the Stanford/Louisville game, Carolyn Peck and a man whose name I don't know were talking about this, too. Peck was eloquent. Wish I could find a video somewhere.


<iframe width="640" height="360" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/sS85HNlrx5k" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Was the man Steve Levy?
2:16 for intro to Peck
6:10 for Peck accolades



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undersized_post



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PostPosted: 03/31/21 8:37 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Yes that's it^^ Thank you for tracking it down! I appreciate what she says starting around 6:35.


myrtle



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PostPosted: 03/31/21 11:39 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

I too was surprised to hear Adia mentioned as black. But sometimes it's true that I just don't really notice so I assumed I hadn't really looked. When someone asks me to describe another person, ethnicity is just usually not at the top of my 'notice' list.


Conway Gamecock



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PostPosted: 04/01/21 3:14 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

SDHoops wrote:
This is a topic among Native Americans as well. Chelsea Dungee, for instance, has a lot of Cherokee Nation (of Oklahoma) blood, but one would assume she's Black, and only Black, at first glance. She's mixed blood. In Canada they called them "metis" and in America there's not really a term other than biracial. If you saw Jude Schimmel walking down the street, you'd never know she was half Umatilla whereas Shoni is darker and you'd know she is. So to answer your question: there is no easy answer.


If you saw me walking down the street, you'd never know that I was 50% English and 40% Scottish. So I definitely can relate to Jude, my Sister from another Mister.......


PG4ever



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PostPosted: 04/01/21 9:13 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

myrtle wrote:
I too was surprised to hear Adia mentioned as black. But sometimes it's true that I just don't really notice so I assumed I hadn't really looked. When someone asks me to describe another person, ethnicity is just usually not at the top of my 'notice' list.


I want to push you to think about your statement a little more. If you didn't notice then why would you be surprised to hear that she was black? I would say you did notice and your brain assumed she was white and that's why you were surprised to hear that she was black. That's not an attack. I just think it's important for people who are not black to think more critically about how they think about race/ethnicity and to learn more about how black folks think about it. I have a question for you and I genuinely want to hear your answer if you're up to answering it. Why do you think ethnicity is not at the top of your list when you're describing someone? As a black woman, my African American identity is very core to who I am. If someone were describing me and didn't mention that I was AA I would think they don't see me, that I'm kind of invisible to them and that, in not noticing, they disregard the history of African Americans in this country. I appreciate your thoughts and willingness to have dialogue.


PlayBally'all



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PostPosted: 04/01/21 12:02 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

PG4ever wrote:
myrtle wrote:
I too was surprised to hear Adia mentioned as black. But sometimes it's true that I just don't really notice so I assumed I hadn't really looked. When someone asks me to describe another person, ethnicity is just usually not at the top of my 'notice' list.


I want to push you to think about your statement a little more. If you didn't notice then why would you be surprised to hear that she was black? I would say you did notice and your brain assumed she was white and that's why you were surprised to hear that she was black. That's not an attack. I just think it's important for people who are not black to think more critically about how they think about race/ethnicity and to learn more about how black folks think about it. I have a question for you and I genuinely want to hear your answer if you're up to answering it. Why do you think ethnicity is not at the top of your list when you're describing someone? As a black woman, my African American identity is very core to who I am. If someone were describing me and didn't mention that I was AA I would think they don't see me, that I'm kind of invisible to them and that, in not noticing, they disregard the history of African Americans in this country. I appreciate your thoughts and willingness to have dialogue.


You make some fair points, but there is another element involved as well. Non Hispanic White people in the U.S. are taught that it is never acceptable to describe themselves using race as a metric. Having pride of any kind in their ethnicity is perceived as racial bias. I believe that is where the disconnect comes from in the minds of some.

I am incredibly impressed that those posting in this thread have been able to discuss this topic without making assumptions about anyone's motives. Open discussions like this one are critical in order for real progress to be made.


PG4ever



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PostPosted: 04/01/21 12:18 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

PlayBally'all wrote:
PG4ever wrote:
myrtle wrote:
I too was surprised to hear Adia mentioned as black. But sometimes it's true that I just don't really notice so I assumed I hadn't really looked. When someone asks me to describe another person, ethnicity is just usually not at the top of my 'notice' list.


I want to push you to think about your statement a little more. If you didn't notice then why would you be surprised to hear that she was black? I would say you did notice and your brain assumed she was white and that's why you were surprised to hear that she was black. That's not an attack. I just think it's important for people who are not black to think more critically about how they think about race/ethnicity and to learn more about how black folks think about it. I have a question for you and I genuinely want to hear your answer if you're up to answering it. Why do you think ethnicity is not at the top of your list when you're describing someone? As a black woman, my African American identity is very core to who I am. If someone were describing me and didn't mention that I was AA I would think they don't see me, that I'm kind of invisible to them and that, in not noticing, they disregard the history of African Americans in this country. I appreciate your thoughts and willingness to have dialogue.


You make some fair points, but there is another element involved as well. Non Hispanic White people in the U.S. are taught that it is never acceptable to describe themselves using race as a metric. Having pride of any kind in their ethnicity is perceived as racial bias. I believe that is where the disconnect comes from in the minds of some.

I am incredibly impressed that those posting in this thread have been able to discuss this topic without making assumptions about anyone's motives. Open discussions like this one are critical in order for real progress to be made.


I'm impressed, too. I think a lot of sports fans commenting on other sites could learn a lot from the WBB fans here. If you're ever up to coming to Ann Arbor for a Michigan WBB game sometime in the future, let me know and we'll go together!


ClayK



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PostPosted: 04/01/21 12:25 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

It's such a fine line (as an old white male).

So let's say there's a group of players coaches are talking about. (And this is a legit question.)

Is it OK to say "The Black girl looks good"? I feel like I shouldn't say that, shouldn't use "Black." I feel like I need to say "The girl is red shorts looks good."

In other settings, when you're trying to identify a person in a group (not in a negative way, just to determine who's being discussed), is it OK to say "Oh, the Black guy"? Or again, "The guy in the blue shorts"?



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summertime blues



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PostPosted: 04/01/21 1:42 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

ClayK wrote:
It's such a fine line (as an old white male).

So let's say there's a group of players coaches are talking about. (And this is a legit question.)

Is it OK to say "The Black girl looks good"? I feel like I shouldn't say that, shouldn't use "Black." I feel like I need to say "The girl is red shorts looks good."

In other settings, when you're trying to identify a person in a group (not in a negative way, just to determine who's being discussed), is it OK to say "Oh, the Black guy"? Or again, "The guy in the blue shorts"?


OK, here's an example from one of my granddaughters (I have 11 grandkids, all but one of whom are multi-ethnic of some kind). This girl's mother is Black (with some white, obviously, because she and her family are pretty light) and her dad is Puerto Rican. When she was applying for college monies, she said to me, "For some, I can play the Black card, for some I play the Hispanic card. Honestly, I'd rather just play the honor student card."



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bcdawg04



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PostPosted: 04/01/21 2:39 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

PG4ever wrote:
myrtle wrote:
I too was surprised to hear Adia mentioned as black. But sometimes it's true that I just don't really notice so I assumed I hadn't really looked. When someone asks me to describe another person, ethnicity is just usually not at the top of my 'notice' list.


I want to push you to think about your statement a little more. If you didn't notice then why would you be surprised to hear that she was black? I would say you did notice and your brain assumed she was white and that's why you were surprised to hear that she was black. That's not an attack. I just think it's important for people who are not black to think more critically about how they think about race/ethnicity and to learn more about how black folks think about it. I have a question for you and I genuinely want to hear your answer if you're up to answering it. Why do you think ethnicity is not at the top of your list when you're describing someone? As a black woman, my African American identity is very core to who I am. If someone were describing me and didn't mention that I was AA I would think they don't see me, that I'm kind of invisible to them and that, in not noticing, they disregard the history of African Americans in this country. I appreciate your thoughts and willingness to have dialogue.


I have an honest question, if I may. If someone describes you to me as "an African American person," what is it you hope that I infer about you from that description?

Or, would you expect that identifying you as "an African American person" is only part of how s/he describes you?


osubeavers



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PostPosted: 04/01/21 2:43 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

See post below.



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osubeavers



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PostPosted: 04/01/21 2:45 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Here’s a touching story about Adia and her father.

https://tucson.com/sports/arizonawildcats/basketball/arizona-coach-adia-barnes-finally-got-to-know-her-father-then-she-lost-him/article_9dd8efd3-0b00-5026-a1dd-26b558d40300.html



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myrtle



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PostPosted: 04/01/21 7:16 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

PG4ever wrote:
myrtle wrote:
I too was surprised to hear Adia mentioned as black. But sometimes it's true that I just don't really notice so I assumed I hadn't really looked. When someone asks me to describe another person, ethnicity is just usually not at the top of my 'notice' list.


I want to push you to think about your statement a little more. If you didn't notice then why would you be surprised to hear that she was black? I would say you did notice and your brain assumed she was white and that's why you were surprised to hear that she was black. That's not an attack. I just think it's important for people who are not black to think more critically about how they think about race/ethnicity and to learn more about how black folks think about it. I have a question for you and I genuinely want to hear your answer if you're up to answering it. Why do you think ethnicity is not at the top of your list when you're describing someone? As a black woman, my African American identity is very core to who I am. If someone were describing me and didn't mention that I was AA I would think they don't see me, that I'm kind of invisible to them and that, in not noticing, they disregard the history of African Americans in this country. I appreciate your thoughts and willingness to have dialogue.


Thanks for your input. In general I'm a terrible 'describer'. Sometimes my blind housemate will ask me what someone looks like. I say something like "she's got a great smile" "she has long hair pulled back in a pony tail" If it's a basketball player, I will usually talk about her playing style. If it's someone I work with I usually tell him something about how we work together - what I think her working 'style' is, what she's good or bad at doing, how I relate to her on a personal level. If he asks for something more specific eventually he will start asking specific questions "is she tall or short" "is her face long or round" "what color is her hair" "did you notice her eyes" "what's she wearing" and if it doesn't come up in the conversation he might later ask "is she Asian, Black, Hispanic, or White" and if he asks that after I can no longer see the person, often I truly cannot answer it. This happens even with players or people I'm around a lot. I think I'm just not good at visualizing...or at describing. I'm guessing that since your ethnicity is important to you, you would probably make it obvious to me so that I would in fact notice and include it in my basic description. There are some people like Nneka and Chiney that show their ethnicity all the time, so I notice that. I have white, Black and half Black, Asian and half Asian, Hispanic and half Hispanic close family members. When I'm dealing with in-laws, nieces, nephews, and cousins their race is just not something I think about unless they run into some race related situation and tell me about it. I don't know if this answers your question or not, but thanks for asking. It at least made me think about it some more.


Howee



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PostPosted: 04/01/21 9:24 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

myrtle wrote:
In general I'm a terrible 'describer'.* Sometimes my blind housemate will ask me what someone looks like. I say something like "she's got a great smile" "she has long hair pulled back in a pony tail" If it's a basketball player, I will usually talk about her playing style.....


I might beg to differ with you: living with a blind person may qualify you to be among The Best of 'describers'. Really. Think about it....it is only us *sighted* folks who make those racial distinctions from afar. (I may be mistaken; I know no blind people closely....can they determine racial distinctions if in a group?) But serving as the *eyes* for a blind person most likely enables you to have honed your skills in assessing what is most important in 'seeing' another person.

Re: the original post, I certainly understand the pride and even the need for Dawn to point out this milestone. Being of the age I am, I must also add that it's a tiny bit bittersweet that CVS never got that NC -- she certainly paid her dues to that end.

I can only hope I live long enough to be in that time and space where it is all moot and passe. Cool

(*except when you call me 'flippant'! Razz Laughing )



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PG4ever



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PostPosted: 04/02/21 9:58 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

ClayK wrote:
It's such a fine line (as an old white male).

So let's say there's a group of players coaches are talking about. (And this is a legit question.)

Is it OK to say "The Black girl looks good"? I feel like I shouldn't say that, shouldn't use "Black." I feel like I need to say "The girl is red shorts looks good."

In other settings, when you're trying to identify a person in a group (not in a negative way, just to determine who's being discussed), is it OK to say "Oh, the Black guy"? Or again, "The guy in the blue shorts"?


I can only speak for myself here. Either of those descriptions is perfectly fine. If one of the players was the only AA player or the only white player out on the court, it would be easier/quicker to identify her that way.

Because of our history, because racism is so entrenched in our culture and our institutions, discussions about race/ethnicity are complicated and loaded in ways that they wouldn't be had our history not been what it was.


PG4ever



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PostPosted: 04/02/21 10:05 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

summertime blues wrote:
ClayK wrote:
It's such a fine line (as an old white male).

So let's say there's a group of players coaches are talking about. (And this is a legit question.)

Is it OK to say "The Black girl looks good"? I feel like I shouldn't say that, shouldn't use "Black." I feel like I need to say "The girl is red shorts looks good."

In other settings, when you're trying to identify a person in a group (not in a negative way, just to determine who's being discussed), is it OK to say "Oh, the Black guy"? Or again, "The guy in the blue shorts"?


OK, here's an example from one of my granddaughters (I have 11 grandkids, all but one of whom are multi-ethnic of some kind). This girl's mother is Black (with some white, obviously, because she and her family are pretty light) and her dad is Puerto Rican. When she was applying for college monies, she said to me, "For some, I can play the Black card, for some I play the Hispanic card. Honestly, I'd rather just play the honor student card."


It doesn't have to be either/or. She can be the Black Hispanic honor student and be eligible for scholarships that target African American students, those that target Hispanic students and those that target honor students. That language of "playing the race card" makes it sound like students of color are getting some kind of unearned advantage over white students and when you look at the data (number of students of color on college campuses, scholarship money, etc.) that's not the case.


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