According to the United States Census Bureau, more than 40 million Americans identify as German-American, making this the most prominent ethnic identity in the US today, with 76.5% Americans who identify as White. But what ethnicity does famous singer Mariah Carey identify with?
Mariah Carey is biracial, often identifying more closely with her ties to the Black community instead of her White heritage that was passed down from her mother. 2.7% of America’s total population identify with two or more races. But in Huntington, NY, where Carey was raised, just 0.9% identify with two or more races – that’s according to the United States Census Bureau.
Let’s talk about Carey’s ancestry and biracial America.
According to Pew Research Center, 11% of all marriages in America consisted of a Black man married to a White woman or vice versa, compared with 42% of marriages with a White and a Hispanic individual. Just 14% of infants in the US are multiethnic or multiracial, with only 10% born to one White parent and one Black parent.
Mariah Carey has a White mother and a Black father, making her part of that 10%. Carey’s mother is Irish-White, while her father was a Venezuelan African-American.
It’s easy to mistake Carey for being White due to her light skin tone, but she’s technically biracial.
Carey’s Biracial Identity Struggle
A study revealed that biracial individuals in America are viewed as “unusually attractive outcasts” struggling to find their place in society.
Carey revealed what it was like for her growing up in a place where her peers were predominantly White in an interview with Bustle, admitting that she found it difficult to fit in because she felt that people who were of higher social standing than her would never understand the intense experiences she faced growing up.
Carey has gone as far as to insinuate that her struggle with bipolar disorder can be linked to her identity struggles for being biracial. When talking with People back in 2018, Carey said,
“I had to go through so much in my childhood just to feel accepted and feel worthy of existing on Earth because I felt so different from everybody else growing up, because I was biracial, because I was so ambiguous-looking and because we didn’t have the money to escape whatever the everyday realities of life were.”
In the above video, you will see that Carey suggests that she views herself as a multiracial person. She refuses to label herself as purely black or purely white; she recognizes her roots and wishes to uphold this.
Being Biracial in the American Music Industry
It’ll be known to many Mariah Carey fans that as a biracial singer, Carey has faced racism in the music industry. When she first made an appearance in the industry, all anyone could ask in relation to her racial identity was, “What are you?” “What do you identify as?”
Carey revealed in an interview that when she first started out as a singer, she faced “corporate manipulation” when she got her first record deal as a teenager. She said that when she got the chance to travel the world, it opened her eyes to how big of an issue race is in America.
Carey went on to talk about her music and how it’s helped her escape the pressures and challenges that she’s faced as a biracial woman in both America and the industry itself. She said, “Music was always my escapism, so writing about its been very healthy.”
It’s clear that fan-favorite singer Mariah Carey has faced a world of difficulty growing up in America where she struggled to find her place. But she has used her voice for good and has absolutely excelled in her job, which just goes to show that you’re capable of anything you set your mind to even if you do face many challenges and people doubting you along the way.