Lark Voorhies, best known as Saved by the Bell’s Lisa Turtle, had a major face-palm moment on Instagram over the weekend. The former child star posted a selfie and proudly declared she is “not black.” Yes, ladies and gents, we have another celebrity refuting her race to the world–probably under the misinformed idea it’s “progressive” or something. Below is the selfie in question–notice the troubling caption right next to it.
“I was born in America,” she wrote. “I was not born in Africa, therefore I am not african. Africans are not african-americans! LV.” SMH. We’re not sure Lark understands how damaging–and not forward-thinking–this is to the black community. People in any minority group need strong public figures who aren’t ashamed of their identities and actually claim their races–or sexualities, genders, etc.–with pride. In turn, this makes people more accepting of themselves and embrace qualities they might not have in the past. What Lark is doing sends the message being black is something to hide or downplay. And it’s absolutely not.
If this gives you cringe-worthy Raven-Symoné flashbacks, we don’t blame you. Need we remind you of the Disney star’s awkward 2014 interview with Oprah, where she also claimed to be just an American and not African American? We have the receipts if you burned it from your memory.
Why are Lark and Raven so afraid of admitting their races? We understand the notion of not wanting to be labeled or pigeonholed, but there is a way to accomplish that without completely abandoning one’s roots.
Shying away from their black identities is the last thing these ladies need to do–especially in a time when racist stories pop up daily on the news. Lark and Raven are public figures and can really affect change if they wanted. But doing this is a step in the wrong direction.