African-Americans and the rise of the Mulatto Elite
Because she can sing black or white, Jordin Sparks thus looks well-poised to win the vote this year.
If she does well, that would be more evidence for a phenomenon I've been vaguely noticing for some time -- the rise of a Mulatto Elite in public life, to some extent displacing African-Americans raised in a conventionally black background. Perhaps it's just that there are more people with one black parent and one white parent today. But I suspect it's also that traditional African-Americans, in general, are getting ever more into their own narrow black groove and thus slowly losing touch with the rest of the country.
The tendency of black parents to give their children unusual names exposes them to discrimination in the job market:
But blacks seem to be willing to have their children pay that price in the name of racial solidarity. Giving your baby a name like LaKisha is a way of branding her permanently with black culture so that she is less able to step away from it if she chooses.
As conventional blacks increasingly concentrate in only a handful of fields (e.g., just basketball and football in sports) and make a fetish of keepin' it real, of not "acting white," they are losing touch with the interests of the white majority, even as whites become ever more positive toward black talents. In their place, those individuals who are part black genetically, but had at least a partly white upbringing are able to flourish among whites by providing black skills without as much self-defeating black attitude. (Any connection between this trend and the popularity among whites of a certain Senator from Illinois is of course utterly coincidental.)
A Roshanda by Any Other Name
The Freakonomics of Race and IQ