Somehow, the race of #BlackLivesMatter activist Shaun King became big news over the last three days, not in any small part because King refused to answer questions like “Are you black?” with a simple yes or no, instead retreating temporarily and letting the question linger.
Media outlets as large as the New York Daily News, TMZ and CNN looked into King’s past for clues. CNN’s Don Lemon hosted a segment Wednesday night with several guests trying to explain the mystery of King’s race. Lemon concluded by saying he too had reached out and asked plainly if King was white or black, and received no response.
Today King, who writes for liberal site The Daily Kos, teased, “This is it. My whole story.”
He wasn’t kidding about the piece being his whole story. In a personal essay of about 600 million words, King says that his biological father is not the white man named on his birth certificate, but a “light-skinned black man” with whom his mother had an affair — one reason he didn’t want to broach the topic. “By the time I reached middle school, I fully identified myself not even as biracial, but just as black.”
So, the short answer: multiracial. Glad that’s settled once and for all … right?
As usual, King concludes by repeating that he has a single mission to which he has dedicated himself: “My focus will continue to be ending police brutality. I believe it is the pre-eminent civil rights issue of modern America and that, together, we can fight against it effectively.”