Paula Patton says she does not identify as biracial: ‘I’m Black and I embrace it’

The 'Sacrifice' actress spoke about her distaste for the term during an interview on the 'The Clay Cane Show'

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Paula Patton is the daughter of a white mother and Black father, but if you ask her how she identifies, she’s very clear: she’s Black.

The actress has addressed her racial identity in numerous publications throughout her career. Patton, 45, shared her perspective again during an interview on The Clay Cane Show when Cane brought up a past quote referencing her opinion of the term ‘biracial.’

“I find the term ‘biracial’ offensive,” Cane quoted from the interview. It’s a way for people to separate themselves from African Americans, a way of saying, I’m better than that.”

Cane, who disclosed that he too is of mixed parentage, said he didn’t care for the term either. Patton told Cane that her point of view hasn’t changed.

“I feel the exact same way,” Patton said. “That’s not to say that I don’t embrace my mother and everything that she’s brought to my life, but it was my mother who let me know, ‘The world is going see you as Black and that is who you are. So don’t have any questions about that.’” She praised her mother for encouraging her to claim her Blackness above all else.

“I’m very grateful for her,” Patton continued. “The politics of race in our country are such that when one wants to make it very clear that they’re not Black, it’s a way to keep them separate from Black people. We know, we’ve had a long history in this country of it not being popular to be Black, to be honest with you. I’ve always found that to be an offensive term. I’m Black and I embrace it, that’s my family.”

Premiere For The New BET  Original Series Sacrifice
Paula Patton at the premiere for the new BET original series ‘Sacrifice’ on Nov. 9, 2021 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Leon Bennett/Getty Images for BET )

The actress said she was excited to work with BET because it gives her a chance to connect with the Black audience that has held her up for so many years, saying BET is “more like a family, and they have come through and supported me in a way that has a different quality to it. It’s hard to put your finger on, but I feel very grateful to be a part of the BET family.”

Patton is currently promoting her latest project, the BET+ drama series, Sacrifice. The show is adapted from the 2019 original legal thriller and BET+ film of the same name. Patton is reprising her role as entertainment lawyer Daniella Hernandez, who has to navigate through the seedy and scandalous lives of Hollywood’s elite.

In an interview with Refinery 29, Patton said that she identifies with Daniella’s complex character.

Nelson Bonilla as Miguel, Paula Patton as Daniella Hernandez, and V. Bozeman as Tamika Bland from BET’s “Sacrifice” pilot episode. (Photo: Peter Forest/BET)

“I’ve always connected with Daniella’s drive and strength,” Patton said. “She’s consumed with her career and she’s a total force. She always rises to the task at hand.”

She continued, “What I admire most about Daniella is her tenacity. She truly never loses sight of her goals. And in spite of plentiful obstacles and challenges, she never falls down.”

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