On Wednesday (October 8), the former Disney Channel star released a statement to The Grio, hoping to clear up her words:
“I never said I wasn’t black … I want to make that very clear. I said, I am not African-American. I never expected my personal beliefs and comments to spark such emotion in people. I think it is only positive when we can openly discuss race and being labeled in America."
During her "Where Are They Now?" interview with Oprah, Raven said she doesn't like being labeled -- whether it's her race or her sexuality: “I don’t want to be labeled ‘gay,’” the actress said. “I want to be labeled ‘a human who loves humans.’”
After saying she's not African-American, Raven clarified by saying she's from Louisiana, not Africa. "What I really mean by that is 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."
Twitter was set ablaze, just as Oprah predicted, and soon Raven's name trended amid a controversial conversation.
But with the dissenters, there were twice as many people showing their support for Symoné, sharing their own stories about being labeled African-American when their families are from other places like the Caribbean. In our original article alone, nearly 90 people commented about how Raven was speaking up for dark-skinned people who didn't want to be called "African" when they aren't even from Africa.