Paris Jackson Explains Why She Identifies As A Black Woman

Paris Jackson, the 25-year-old actress and singer, whose full name is Paris-Michael Katherine Jackson, has spoken out about her racial identity after receiving backlash for identifying as a Black woman.

Born in 1998 to parents Debbie Rowe and the ‘Thriller’ hitmaker Michael Jackson, Paris is the only daughter of the late singer. She was 11 years old in 2009 when news of her father’s passing shook the world.

In 2017, Paris candidly discussed her childhood as the daughter of the ‘Rock With You’ singer with Rolling Stone magazine. She addressed the speculation surrounding her biological parentage and shared her perspective on the matter.

At the age of 18, Paris mentioned that many people would describe her as white, noting her resemblance to a girl from Finland. However, she asserted, “I consider myself black.”

She recounted how her father would gaze at her, point his finger, and affirm, “You’re black. Be proud of your roots.”

“I’d be like, ‘OK, he’s my dad, why would he lie to me?” she said. “So I just believe what he told me. Cause, to my knowledge, he’s never lied to me. Most people that don’t know me call me white. I’ve got light skin and, especially since I’ve had my hair blond, I look like I was born in Finland or something.”

However, she emphasized that she had observed mixed-race individuals with a similar complexion, citing TV actor Wentworth Miller as an example. Miller has a black father and a white mother.

Jackson rose to prominence in the 1960s as a young singer in the Jackson 5 band alongside his brothers Jermaine, Jackie, Tito, and Marlon. Managed by their father, Joe Jackson, the band produced several hits, including ‘ABC,’ ‘Smooth Criminal,’ ‘Billie Jean,’ ‘Blame It on the Boogie,’ and ‘Dangerous.’

As an African-American, the King of Pop had a darker complexion at the start of his career. However, he later developed Vitiligo, a condition that caused the pigmentation in his skin to lighten as he aged.

Paris and her siblings were aware that some people doubted if Michael was her biological father, but they firmly rejected the suggestion.

“He is my father,” she told the outlet. “He will always be my father. He never wasn’t, and he never will be. People who knew him really well say they see him in me, and it’s almost scary.”

In another interview, the ‘Just You’ singer talked about her upbringing with her siblings – Prince and Bigi “Blanket” Jackson – on their dad’s Neverland ranch. The ranch had attractions like an amusement park, zoo, and movie theater.

Although she spent her childhood on a vast 2,700-acre estate in California, Paris maintains that her upbringing was ordinary. She revealed that she and her brothers weren’t given free rein to go on the rides whenever they pleased.

“We had school every single day, and we had to be good. And if we were good, every other weekend or so, we could choose whether we were gonna go to the movie theater or see the animals or whatever,” she said. “But if you were on bad behavior, then you wouldn’t get to go do all those things.”

Paris also praised her father for raising her in an “open-minded household,” reminiscing about a moment in her childhood when she was “in love with this female on the cover of a magazine.”

“Instead of yelling at me, like most homophobic parents, he was making fun of me, like, ‘Oh, you got yourself a girlfriend,” she chuckled. “His number-one focus for us, besides loving us, was education.”

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Source: Rolling Stone

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