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Raven-Symoné Was ‘Misunderstood’ When She Said She’s ‘Not An African American’

10 years later Raven-Symoné is working to clear up her 2014 declaration that she's "an American, I’m not an African American.”

Ten years later, Raven-Symoné is working to clear up her 2014 declaration that she’s “an American, I’m not an African American.”

The “That’s So Raven” star was being interviewed by Oprah Winfrey when she made a remark that sparked backlash across social media. Now, looking back on the incident, Raven-Symoné believes she was “misunderstood.”

“I wanna talk about something that has haunted me since 2014,” she explained on her “Tea Time With Raven & Miranda” podcast. “When that aired, I felt like the entire internet exploded and threw my name in the garbage. There was so much backlash from my community and others that misunderstood slash didn’t hear the exact words that I said.”

According to “The Cheetah Girls” star, she wasn’t disassociating herself from identifying as Black, she was focusing on the “logistics” of the country she grew up in.

“And the exact words that I said is that ‘I’m an American, not an African American,’” she continued. “A lot of people on the internet thought I said that I wasn’t Black, and I never said that. There’s a difference between being Black and African.”

Raven-Symoné explained her rhetoric further when her wife, Miranda Pearman-Maday, asked for clarity.

“When I say that African American does not align with me, that label, it doesn’t mean that I’m negating my Blackness or I’m not Black,” she explained.

“It means I am from this country, I was born here, my mom, my dad, my great-great-great-great-great — and that’s what I’m saying. The pure logistics of it.”

“The Cosby Show” star is fully aware of her Black ancestors’ history and knows “how much blood, sweat, and tears they’ve soaked into this earth in order to create the America that I live in today: free, happy, tax-paying, American citizen.”

Raven-Symoné noted how when she visits other countries, people identify her as “an American, plain and simple” and not “Look at that African American over there.” Looking back on the ordeal, the former child star says she felt “attacked,” “judged and not heard.”

“Stop mislabeling us,” she said.

The actress and TV star had also sat down with Winfrey in 2014 to come out about her sexuality, and said she didn’t want to be labeled as gay.

“I want to be labeled a human who loves humans,” she told the media mogul at the time.

However, she walked away from the interview dealing with new labels related to her Blackness.

“I said, ‘Don’t label me’ and it turned into that instead of my coming out,” Raven-Symoné said.

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