With all the stories about Black people bleaching their skin, arguing over interracial dating and America’s ever-persistent promotion of the angelic (read: white) image in mainstream media, one Egyptian man living in Detroit proves that not everyone is quick to shun his or her blackness.
After emigrating stateside in 1978, Mostafa Hefny (pictured) was shocked when his government-issued identification classified him as “white.” According to the Office of Management and Budget Standards for the Classification of Federal Data on Race and Ethnicity, citizens are designated as White if they have “origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, North Africa or the Middle East.”
This would make sense within the context of Hefny’s native country.
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But the former educator hasn’t taken the categorization lying down. Hefny has fought since the 1980s to be classified as black, according to the Detroit News. “As a Black man and as an African, I am proud of this heritage. My classification as a white man takes away my black pride, my black heritage and my strong black identity.”
The 61-year-old also says his racial classification cost him a job at Wayne State University in the 1990s, a position created for minorities. Worse yet, he’s lost five other jobs because of his long battle, leaving him unemployed and dependent on family.
In his despair, Hefny even sent a letter in June to President Obama asking for help. He enclosed his photo as further proof of his black roots. “I am a black man. My complexion is darker than yours. I was born and raised in Africa (Egypt) and you were not, yet you are classified as Black and I am classified at White.”
Despite what his papers say though, Hefny calls himself an Egyptian Nubian. He’s even started an online petition at SignOn.org to advance his cause.
We might have to side with Hefny here. Looking at his photo, we’re pretty sure the Detroit Boys In Blue will gladly show him how “white” he really is on any given Friday night.
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Continue reading Egyptian Man Fighting To Be Considered Black By U.S. Government
Top Black Pop Culture Moments Of 2015
From <a href="http://hellobeautiful.com/2015/12/22/sandra-bland-family-non-indictment/" target="_blank"><strong>Sandra Bland</strong></a> to the shootings in <a href="http://hellobeautiful.com/2015/06/20/why-is-south-carolina-using-a-judge-in-the-charleston-church-massacre-who-has-used-the-n-word-before/" target="_blank">Charleston, South Carolina</a>, African Americans were sadly reminded that being <a href="http://hellobeautiful.com/2015/12/13/police-brutality-2015/" target="_blank">Black in America</a> is much harder than it ought to be. And yet in the same breath, 2015 was a year of Black joy during which our culture dominated not only in our lives, but in the mainstream consciousness. From <a href="http://hellobeautiful.com/2015/07/16/lee-daniels-and-taraji-p-henson-emmy-empire/" target="_blank">Cookie Lyons</a> to the <a href="http://hellobeautiful.com/2015/10/17/ebony-editor-comments-cosby-cover/" target="_blank">Cosby <em>Ebony </em>cover</a>, our brilliance helped to push the conversation, affirm our greatness, make history and most important, make us laugh.
So to celebrate that greatness, we put together this list of the most defining Black pop culture moments of 2015. And don’t worry: <a href="http://hellobeautiful.com/2015/12/08/rachel-dolezal-interview/" target="_blank">Rachel Dolezal </a>is nowhere to be seen.