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Raven-Symoné Shuns Gay, African-American Labels

I love Raven-Symoné, really I do.

I grew up watching her on The Cosby Show and constantly tuned in to That’s So Raven in high school. I rooted for her, defended her against haters questioning her sexuality and applauded her self-confidence.

But homegirl shared some interesting thoughts on her episode of Oprah’s Where Are They Now?, which aired on Sunday night.

It all began when Oprah asked Raven about “That Tweet,” you know the one in which Raven rejoiced that she could finally get married and that she was proud of the government.

The former child actress admitted she is in a loving relationship with a woman and said that her family taught her to keep her personal life private.

Fair enough. I believe that everyone, celebrity or not, is entitled to his or her privacy, especially when it comes to relationships.

But the interview took a turn when Raven went on to say: “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 an African American. I’m an American.”

But wait there’s more.

“I don’t know where my roots go to. I don’t know how far back they go,” Raven continued. “I don’t know what country in Africa I’m from. But I do know my roots are in Louisiana. I’m an American and that’s a colorless person.”

And, finally:

“I have darker skin, I have a nice, interesting grade of hair,” she said. “I connect with Caucasian, I connect with Asian, I connect with Black, I connect with Indian. I connect with each culture.”

Umm…what exactly is that supposed to mean?

I completely understand not wanting to be defined by a label and, as far as it concerns her sexuality, that’s her business. But to look down on being labeled African-American?

Regardless of how “deep” your roots go, you’re Black. When you walk down the street, you’re Black. When you get stopped by a police officer, you’re Black. I won’t even touch the “interesting grade of hair” comment because that’s another post on its own.

Check out the clip below and let us know what you think in the comments: