“Mulatto” – Fresh Paint app digital drawing using colored pencil effect on a dark reddish “paper” (completed 2-15-2015)


I asked this in an Afrocentric Facebook group, but I’d like to hear from you guys too… What are your thoughts on the word “Mulatto”?  I learned the word for the first time in high school as part of the history of colonial North America (the different distinctions the Spaniards gave people based on lineage).

On top of the word itself, there is the social implication even in the 21st century for Black/white mixes.  I have to admit that even though I am of mixed ethnicity, I still stop for a half second when I see mixed couples. I don’t get angry anymore about Black men (like my father) getting with non-Black women (like my mother). It’s just this deeply ingrained knee jerk reflexive response.  (I’m sure the people who know me and know that only 50% of the guys I’ve dated weren’t Black would be surprised to know I ever had that response).

But back to the question at hand, how do you react to the usage of the word mulatto? Is it different when you hear it from a Black person than when you hear it from a non-Black (like with the n-word), or is your reaction universal regardless of who says it?



PS… I have still been posting daily Black History Month posts on my “official” blog: http://afrocentriqueaz.blogspot.com/


5 thoughts on ““Mulatto”

  1. I think as humans we are redefining our lives around what brings happiness;therefore this word is a social construct to derail real issues.When I hear this word from blacks or whites I realizes we (humans) are stuck on appearance.

    • Definitely a valid point.

      I personally find the word merely descriptive of the particular combination of heritage that I have (European and African).

      Of course mixed race people come in a wide variety of shades and hair and eye colors. I’d like an honest external opinion, do you think I may have a subconscious affinity to the word because of my particular shade of mulatto?

  2. As a reader to your blog, I think this subject is breaking through many surfaces of light,dark,and nationality.Personally when I see couples together, I use to think of skin first,however nowadays I think of love first.. Humanity is slowly changing ,as it swings back and forth through old traditional, and morally correct.I may not be able to answer this question fully but we are more than a skin shade…even when others cannot not see the person before the color…

    • I’m getting better at seeing the love first too. You’d think as a product of a mixed relationship that I wouldn’t have ever had that reaction, but… there it was. The social conditioning by the media overruled what should be a non issue. Plus not being raised around people who looked like me probably made me more “posessive” of my own kind for lack of a better word. Who knows.

      I just think about all these things and sometimes new insight can be gained from discussion. Thanks for your thoughts!

      • Happens to me quite often I grew up in a single home in which this validation that my skin was beautiful did not sink in until I was grown. I truly understand some of your feelings when you don’t see people who look like you…

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