A deeper look at an artist who refused to be white
by Michael Kilian
November 25, 2004
Romare Beardon (1911–1988) was not only one of the most talented American artists of the 20th Century but also one of the most complicated.
An extremely light-skinned African-American, he easily could have lived his life as white but refused to do so, devoting most of his art to African-American life and the struggles of blacks to achieve respect and equality.
Kilian is trying to make something heroic out of accepting the “one drop” myth. Beardon was only following orders, obeying the status quo, etc. What’s heroic about that? Courage lies in defying the status quo and rejecting the ODR.