Appearing on Oprah’s OWN Network, former child star Raven-Symoné shocked fans and viewers alike by telling Oprah,
“I don’t need a categorizing statement… I don’t want to be labeled gay. I want to be labeled a human who loves humans. I’m tired of being labeled. I’m an American. I’m not a African-American. I’m an American… I don’t know where my roots go to. I don’t know how far back they go to… I don’t know what country in Africa I’m from. I do know my roots are from Louisiana. I’m an American. And that’s a colorless person. Because we’re all people. I have lots of things running through my veins.”
In an era of identity politics ruling the national conversation Symoné’s statement is a breath of fresh air. Predictably, those who peddle in identity politics are outraged by Symoné’s assertions that given that she is unable to trace her roots back to Africa, she does not self-identify as “African.”
Most child stars end up gracing the front pages of gossip magazines for their mental breakdowns (see Amanda Bynes, Shia LaBeouf, Britney Spears) and/or rampant drug use. It’s refreshing to see Symoné take control over her personal life, refusing to discuss it, while also refusing to be a poster-child for political correctness.