December 4, 2008
The other morning I had the Today program on as kind of white noise to my life and I looked up and there was the most gloriously beautiful woman I'd seen in years, singing an odd song called "If I Were a Boy," in front of crowds standing outside in the cold, bouncing to the rhythm, and mouthing all the lyrics with her. I watched the whole performance, intrigued with the song and the singer, and learned at the end it was the famed Beyoncé. I need not tell you at this point that whatever the opposite of hip is, that's what I am.
Seeing this elegant icon sent me back to my high school days in Alabama. We had a girl in the class who had moved to town from Chicago and she was telling us about a book she'd just read stating the premise that by the year 2000 there would be so much intermarriage in this world that there would be no separate races. Everybody would be a beautiful beige color and they would share the most attractive physical characteristics of all races. She said she couldn't wait to see that day.
Needless to say it didn't happen exactly the way her book predicted. Don't forget the time and place she was reading it; we had never even seen an interracial couple. But watching and listening to Beyoncé, I was struck with how close we are coming to the day when the melding will take place. It didn't happen in Y2K, but look around you at the beautiful people who are beginning to surround us, the cool people who are a mixture of colors and ethnicities. Their stars are rising, and they are already among us. From actors like Terence Howard and Halle Berry to the president elect, the number of cool people in the spotlight--people who happen to be of mixed racial background--is notable and growing, and will probably change the world in less than a generation. The day hasn't quite come, but it is drawing closer. Look around you.