[Watch] Raven Refuses to Call Herself “African American” – Oprah Flips Out…



Raven Symone had Oprah Winfrey raising eyebrows and nearly falling out of her chair with a statement made during an interview yesterday. Oprah predicted the poised actresses’ words would “set Twitter on fire.” And she was not wrong!

You may remember Raven as Olivia on the “The Cosby Show” or as Raven from the Disney Channel Series, “That’s So Raven.” In questioning the actress on her personal life, Oprah, who has interviewed many guests over the years, literally had to take a few moments to collect herself when the younger woman told her,

“I’m tired of being labeled. I’m an American; I’m not an African-American. I’m an American.”

Fanning herself and shaking her head, Oprah laughed and asked her to clarify.

Raven, in a confident, no-nonsense manner, expounded on her controversial statement: “I don’t know where my roots go to, I don’t know how far back they go. I don’t know what country in Africa I’m from. But I do know that my roots are in 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.”

Oprah, taken aback once more by this confident and poised young woman, told the actress she would “get a lot of flak for saying you’re not African-American.”

The reply was just as calm and poised as the rest of the interview had been:

“I don’t label myself.”

When asked what she really meant by that, Raven’s reply was: “What I really mean by that is that I’m an American. That’s what I really mean. I have darker skin; I have a nice, interesting grade of hair; I connect with Caucasian, I connect with Asian, I connect with black, I connect with Indian. I connect with each culture.”

Still shaking her head in disbelief, Oprah commented: “You are a melting pot in one body.”

Raven asked:

“Aren’t we all? Isn’t that what America’s supposed to be?”


About the Author

T.S. Walker
T.S. Walker is a freelance writer and a voracious reader, who enjoys simple things, laughter with loved ones, and wide open spaces.

45 Comments on "[Watch] Raven Refuses to Call Herself “African American” – Oprah Flips Out…"

  1. Mary Hayden | 02/21/2015 at 10:23 AM |

    How about us all being American, whether we are born in America or if you are a naturalized American. I deplore labels and hyphenation. I am adopted so I don’t know what my ancestry is. I take people as they are, not by something as irrelevant as melatonin levels in a person’s body. I truly try to abide by Dr. King’s dream.

  2. David Sumrell | 11/11/2014 at 9:37 AM |

    You got to love her honesty, because unless you are born in a country, you can’t claim it as yours! She and anyone else born in United States is AMERICAN!
    Maybe Oprah can learn something and teach others…. Thank YOU, Kimberly..

  3. My neighbor is the only true african american I personally know he was born in south africa his family lives there still and he’s as white as can be…

  4. The_Irish_Samurai | 11/10/2014 at 11:01 PM |

    The race baiters cant stand unity because then theyre out of a job

  5. The_Irish_Samurai | 11/10/2014 at 11:00 PM |

    Amen brother

  6. The_Irish_Samurai | 11/10/2014 at 10:59 PM |

    Has everyone forgotten Jesse Jackson calling Obama the N word when he didnt think the mic was on…

  7. The_Irish_Samurai | 11/10/2014 at 10:57 PM |

    You had to reach for that one and by doing so became one of the ilk mentioned. You sound kind of ignorant to me. FYI Ive met Raven and shes an amazing strong woman that wont be defined by anyone but herself.

  8. Enrique Baldwin Del Castillo | 11/10/2014 at 10:24 PM |

    I agree with her 100 % / 100 % not because she said what ever she said, but because I see it that way.

  9. Clearly Oprah was not serious in that bit which I can clearly tell she was joking and trying to be funny. I think some people will call that sarcasm. So you need to re-watch the clip over and over because you don’t get it.

  10. I wondered about this so I actually asked a very black man why they called themselves African-American when very few had ever been to Africa even and most probably couldn’t even find it on the map. He said “I don’t know and I think it is stupid. If you are an American citizen, you are American. I am American, period!!

  11. Thank you Raven, you have strength and compassion, you know more than people twice yup years. Yes you are an American and a good one at that. You are a role-model for women and girls of all races all over this country. You should be so proud of yourself. Oprah, needs to get a clue. Oprah should know better. I once looked at her as a mentor for all women. I don’t now. Thank you for being the wonderful woman you have become! That is the only way there will be peace.

  12. Absolutely love her,, I am an American not a European American.. WE ARE ALL

  13. Jane Smith | 11/10/2014 at 12:42 PM |

    Oprah is a fraud in any color. And a blame thrower like yourself should be ashamed.

  14. Jane Smith | 11/10/2014 at 12:41 PM |

    Shut Oprah you big fat racist witch. Raven is the real deal. A beautiful BEAUTIFUL AMERICAN young woman of class and dignity. She is not from Africa.

  15. Michael J. Simmons | 11/10/2014 at 12:39 PM |

    And Raven knocks it out of the park. This is the point, she has spoken truth to power and power just can’t figure it out.

  16. did you even watch the video? Watch Oprah’s reaction in the first 10 second!!!! Stop, STOP STOP!!!! That was all she could say!!!! She is a true racist…. and that is HER label!!!!

  17. Thank you thank you raven I am glad some are waking up!!! Like u said we are Americans no mater what color we are!!!!’ Thank you again!!!!

  18. Steve Rodocker | 11/10/2014 at 2:55 AM |

    She’s got it nailed. I’m an American of German and Croatian descent. If I’m anything I’m Navy-American. GO NAVY, BEAT ARMY.

  19. Deborah Ferris | 11/10/2014 at 2:26 AM |

    I’m from St Louis. You know, furguson? Supposed to come up with a decision soon on the mike brown shooting. Please pray for St. Louis. Thank you.

  20. Deborah Ferris | 11/10/2014 at 2:22 AM |

    Dis you all see Mia Love’s response to CNN when they tried to put her in a racist box? LOL!!! She’s brilliant!!! Harvard graduate from hatian immigrant parents who were very poor. They knew the value of discipline and work. Mia won in an all white district. Historical because they voted American values.

  21. African American refers to any one of any race who had African citizenship and is now an American. It doesn’t fit someone because they are Black, or Negroid which is the “real name of the Black race” wether they like it or not.

  22. Deborah Ferris | 11/10/2014 at 12:11 AM |

    Ilk meaning people who are racist. A person doesn’t have to be racist to see the obvious. I’m sick of racism. I’m white yes. I love everyone! Black people rock! To judge a person based on the color of their skin is just wrong. I like nice people of all stripes!

  23. Raven is so right!!! Oprah doesn’t like that because Oprah is very racist. Blacks wanting to be called African American is like me demanding to be called French American. That title is ridiculous.

  24. Oprah lost my respect and attention when she introduced that thing sitting in the White House on her show. She may have visited Africa, but she was not born there. Only someone who was born in Africa and legally migrated to America can actually call themselves African-American. If they were born in America, they are Americans only.

  25. Mike Kachadurian | 11/07/2014 at 4:13 PM |

    Ophra should stop reminding people about Racisim and also stop encouraging America African only and think as American Only,this Country is full of Immigrants from All over the World and need to focus beeing American only without attaching Label,whoch Ophra is doing in Her All Shows,all She cares African American,with Her Wealth ,She can not buy Americans and also She Should Treat ALL People Equally,regardless HER/HIS origin..
    Ophra in Most of Her Interviews,She Picked Black people and continously remind People that You are Black(African-American)

  26. History1979 | 11/07/2014 at 1:03 AM |

    Oprah was trying to strong arm her into changing her answer by saying she was going to get it on Twitter. I would say the same thing, if you were born he in the US, you are an American first and whatever else second. Blacks are American Africans, Latinos born in the US are American Latinos. Only those born in Africa and move to America can be African Americans. Canadians who are born in Canada and move the US are Canadian Americans, people who are born in America with roots in Canada are American Canadians. People want to use their race first and their country of birth second and that is not how it works.

  27. i didn’t see Oprah flipping out in this clip

  28. mary witte | 11/06/2014 at 1:54 PM |

    smarter then fu ckin oprah

  29. April Elizabeth Rayburn East | 11/06/2014 at 10:10 AM |

    My opinion…. Yes we all have different skin color, different skin tone, different hair and eye color, all different shapes and sizes, and different languages……. But we are ALL HUMAN, And WE ALL have RED blood flowing through our veins!!!

  30. Jørgen M. Berg | 11/06/2014 at 3:05 AM |


  31. The Bear | 11/06/2014 at 12:50 AM |

    I’m not Mexican American! I’m an American! If you are an American, be an American!

  32. gary helm | 11/05/2014 at 9:39 PM |

    Best statement. “Isen`t that what were suppose to be”. All one people in America. This is not what the black leaders want their people to hear. Good job Girl, this is what God wants.

  33. jo jo hobo | 11/05/2014 at 6:46 PM |

    Obama, Oprah need the race card just in case they feel intimidated

  34. Michael Louviere Jr. | 11/05/2014 at 3:26 PM |

    Look at the Russell Wilson situation with the Seahawks. A lot of his teammates were claiming that he wasn’t “black” enough because he’s educated and we’ll spoken, and doesn’t get in trouble. Charles Barkley pointed out that it’s a ” dirty little secret” that well educated, successful, well spoken black people are often looked down upon because they don’t fit the lifestyle. There’s your problem to ending racism. When you have a entire group of people within the race projecting certain stereotypes it becomes an almost immovable obstacle. Bravo Raven Symone for standing up in the face of guaranteed criticism.

  35. YESSSSS WTG girl your all AMERICAN…. if your not born in africa your not african-american..if your a citizen of the united states then your AMERICAN…way to tell them i’m so proud of you…

  36. Why? Why would her saying she is an American cause such a controversy? Because others need her to be in their box. It’s gross, it’s racist!

  37. Nothing wrong with calling a spade a spade, no pun intended. Her “ilk” consists of people like Sharpton, Jackson and Obama. You don’t see Herman Cain, Allen West, or Ben Carson spouting this racist garbage, but then they are all class and not crass.

  38. Exactly right! We are all Americans in this country. We are not white Americans or black Americans or Hispanic Americans, we ARE Americans!! This is an extremely intelligent woman!! If Oprah hasn’t gotten it by now, she’ll never get it, just like Sharpton and Jackson, but then they wouldn’t be in business if they weren’t racist. Oprah made her millions off mostly whites watching her show before she became so racist so she really should shut up!

  39. a_view_from_street_level | 11/05/2014 at 10:39 AM |

    i love this girl who has the guts to stand up to the black establishment and especially the racist Opera

  40. Joseph Csoka | 11/05/2014 at 8:24 AM |

    Ms. Raven is absolutely right! That’s how America should be and must be!

  41. salvage35 | 11/05/2014 at 7:46 AM |

    You are an American — african-american is just a fancy name that negro’s made up to try and make them look better

  42. NLer in Ottawa | 11/05/2014 at 7:37 AM |

    Her ilk? You sound kind of racist to me.

  43. Kimberly Rock | 11/05/2014 at 6:58 AM |

    I love it.. She gets it… Oprah, the racist white-hater, will never get it.. She’ll just going on race-bating with the rest of her ilk..

  44. Richard French | 11/05/2014 at 4:05 AM |

    Intelligent girl, end racism!

  45. Michael E Clayton | 11/05/2014 at 3:08 AM |


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