That’s So Raven: The Complicated Roots of Black Denialism

Black Millennials

Ordinarily, when I hear mention of Raven Symoné, the mere thought of her brings a warmly nostalgic smile to my face. I think of her precocious sass in those delightfully witty back-in-forth sparring sessions between Olivia Kendall and Cliff Huxtable on The Cosby Show. I recall her role as Raven Baxter on the seminal That’s So Raven; a show that basically redefined how the Disney Channel creates, markets, and package teen idols.

Raven Symoné was one of the few child stars that gave us no controversy; no rumored tales of bad behavior or salacious drug use. That’s why it pains me to watch her recent interview with Oprah Winfrey.

In it, she details that she does not wish to be defined as an African American… just an American. Such a declaration is particularly troubling, especially considering her part within the most iconic Black family on television. She also distances herself from this rather awesome tweet which seemingly…

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