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Paris Jackson explained why she identifies as a Black woman

Niamh Shackleton

Published 
| Last updated 

Paris Jackson explained why she identifies as a Black woman

Featured Image Credit: Gary Miller/WireImage/Dave M. Benett/Getty Images

Paris Jackson has explained why she identifies as a Black woman, despite having 'light skin'.

Paris, who is the eldest of Michael Jackson's children, had addressed her ethnicity after some people have claimed the the actress, model and singer is white.

Paris was born to parents Debbie Rowe and Billie Jean hitmaker Michael in 1998, and has gone on to follow in her father's musical footsteps.

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Paris Jackson is the eldest of Michael Jackson's three kids. Credit: Gary Miller/WireImage
Paris Jackson is the eldest of Michael Jackson's three kids. Credit: Gary Miller/WireImage

Michael shot to fame as a young pop star in the band Jackson 5, alongside his siblings in the 1960s, and went on to find worldwide success. Several of their hits include I Want You Back, Blame it on the Boogie and Can You Feel It.

While in later life Michael had fair skin, the hitmaker was African-American and had a darker complexion when he first became famous.

He was said to have Vitiligo, which caused the pigmentation in his skin to go lighter as he got older.

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With Michael's African-American heritage in mind, his daughter Paris says she identifies as Black.

Discussing the matter with Rolling Stone magazine in 2017, Paris said that she 'considers [herself] Black', saying: "[Michael] would look me in the eyes and he’d point his finger at me and he’d be like, ‘You’re black. Be proud of your roots.’

"And I’d be like, ‘OK, he’s my dad, why would he lie to me?’ So I just believe what he told me. ‘Cause, to my knowledge, he’s never lied to me."

Paris also addressed her lighter skin and noted that many people who don't know her say presume that she's white as she looks as if she is 'from Finland or something'.

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But the budding actress pointed out that other mixed-race people also look like her, noting that Prison Break star, Wentworth Miller, was born to a Black father and white mother.

Michael Jackson pictured with two of his children. Credit: Dave M. Benett/Getty Images
Michael Jackson pictured with two of his children. Credit: Dave M. Benett/Getty Images

Paris received some criticism at the time the interview was published, with the likes of US talk show host Wendy Williams saying: "I get that she considers herself black and everything, but I’m just talking about the visual because you know… black is not what you call yourself, it’s what the cops see you when they got steel to your neck on the turnpike.

"It’s what they see. But that’s cute and good for her."

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Paris' father faced much speculation over his changing appearance over the course of his career and always denied bleaching his skin.

In an interview with Oprah Winfrey in 1993, the 'Thriller' star insisted that the only cosmetic procedure he'd had was a nose job and that the depigmentation of his skin was due to his Vitiligo.

"I am proud of my race. I am proud of who I am," he told Winfrey at the time.

Topics: Celebrity, Michael Jackson

Niamh Shackleton
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