Misty Copeland

Ballet star Misty Copeland was promoted to Principal Dancer at the American Ballet Theater today.

The talented and humble ballerina broke the news on social media. She becomes the first mixed-race female principal dancer in the company’s storied 75-year history.

Copeland, 32, is black, Italian and German. Her mother, Sylvia DelaCerna, is biracial (black and Italian) and her father, Douglas Copeland, is black. She did not see her father between the ages of 2 and 22.

Copeland managed to overcome adversity despite growing up in an unstable environment. Her mother married 5 times, and Copeland is the youngest of her 7 children.

Copeland was named one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world.

From The NY Times:

Her promotion — after more than 14 years with the company, nearly eight as a soloist — came as Ms. Copeland’s fame spread far beyond traditional dance circles.

She made the cover of Time magazine this year, was profiled by “60 Minutes” and presented a Tony Award on this year’s telecast. She has written a memoir and a children’s book, and has more than a half-million followers on Instagram. An online ad she made for Under Armour has been viewed more than 8 million times, and she is the subject of a documentary screened this year at the Tribeca Film Festival.

Watch the emotional moment Misty learned of her promotion.


  • SummerBaby

    Congrats to Misty! ??

  • iWasteTime

    You go girl!

  • Let Your Soul Glow

    Yaaayyy!!!! Good for her!

  • Nanny

    She’s black.
    She had to do a lot to get promoted, wonder if her white predacessors had to jump through as many hoops.

  • WHITTYwithWORDS

    GO HEAD MISTY!!!

  • kgirl33

    Yessssss I love Misty! It’s been a long time coming. Congrats to her ????

  • kgirl33

    Exactly

  • SUZANNE SUGERBAKER

    She did not see her father between the ages of 2 and 22.

    ************
    And I’m sorry for her but just what the hell does this have to do with any thing. Sorry I forgot where I was carry on.

  • lilo

    everyone Jarret Scott has passed away! im so heart broken :(

  • https://www.etsy.com/shop/AMarieNaturals Lovezoe

    A woman who is going big things is biracial, but Tiny is?

  • Cricket404

    I hear you Sandra. Dark skin has been phased out for the newer model. Take pictures of your black Grandma’s, her picture will be next to Lucy at the museum.

  • Cricket404

    Congratulations MC!

  • http://theempirefiend.tumblr.com/ Bird

    Congratulations to sista Misty. Black girls rock!

  • http://theempirefiend.tumblr.com/ Bird

    Thank you. My bestie has a white grandma and it never occured to me, her or anyone else to call her and her siblings “mixed race”. Heck her mama ain’t even called that and she half white.

  • what?why

    So where does the German come in? In any event, she is a fabulous dancer and race simply does not matter – bi or mixed. Congratulations to her!

  • Renee Bee

    Damn!

  • Chitsngiggles

    I need a damn drink and a blunt.

  • Chitsngiggles

    Bi sesual
    #differences

  • iWasteTime

    I was wondering the same.
    and she ain’t have a daddy for 20 years either, but she still made it!

  • SUZANNE SUGERBAKER

    Maybe the Daddy is the German

  • https://www.etsy.com/shop/AMarieNaturals Lovezoe

    Probably that’s the reason for her success. Didn’t have a no good black daddy messing it up. Kinda like that “biracial” Steph Curry daddy messing him up. Oh wait.

  • SummerBaby

    I hate y’all ??

  • http://www.goddessisland.blogspot.com Indigo

    Love her. Congrats Misty!

  • AllmylifeIhadtofight

    Me too.

  • iWasteTime

    lmao!

  • Bootcampgirl

    Now y’all know kids do not prosper without both parents in the household..

  • Bootcampgirl

    I’m not into ballet but kudos to her

  • AllmylifeIhadtofight

    The Jacksons…….Well when they were all still black….

  • Di Ana

    I remember when she was in the news way back when because some yt couple tried to take her away from her mama…. but congrats anyway Misty.

  • Di Ana

    New post :-)

  • Bootcampgirl

    If this Bryan Stevenson is one in the same I juuussst finished reading a book by him today…He unequivocally deserves to be on this list..

  • SSSLOVELIVE

    Good for her coming from a bad situation and not making excuses. Clearly she didn’t take on her parents bad judgment. (mom 5 husbands, 7 kids. dad MIA for 20 years)

  • https://www.etsy.com/shop/AMarieNaturals Lovezoe

    New post

  • Renee Bee

    I believe her mama and all dem kids were living in a motel and the yt couple wanted to “save” her. She lived with them for quite a while so she could dance. That’s all I got.

  • Readytochokemothernatureonout

    Congrats to her?

  • http://batman-news.com Mama Dee’s Wig Maker

    Yay Misty!!

  • Dee

    Wow, her dad was gone between 2 &22 and her mom married 5 times!!! I don’t know her but very proud of her because that position is no joke. Good for her!

  • oneflower67

    lol

  • Tiffany Miller

    Her BODY!!! my GAWD!!!!!

  • kco0l;s ChocolateBox

    U forgot to mention Misty danced with PRINCE on his “Welcome 2 America” tour back in 2012

  • Matte

    Congratulations to the prima ballerina!

  • Simba711

    Which means she’s more black than white. Like Rihanna and the Obama girls.

  • Anna Maria

    Sandra Rose has a few words in her vocabulary and they are usually used for shock value. They are dopamine (I wonder if people who have been married for fifty years still have dopamine, Sandra?), mixed race, homosexual, metrosexual, and a few other choice words. Most black people are of mixed race so it’s nothing to hang on Misty Copeland as special.

  • scentsychick30

    Congrats to misty,but that’s a whole bunch of black to claim she mixed race??she’s black?

  • iProfit

    Exactly

  • Nia

    Congrats! Hope this BLACK woman never lets anyone steal her glory.

  • Mary

    Sakeena and others like her. Misty copeland is not black she is mixed race don’t forget she is Italian and German why don’t people acknowledge this. And to misty a very congrats you are amazing and deserve this

  • Guess Who

    LMMFAO @ the dopamine word. SHe uses that constantly when talking about ANYONE’s relationship.

  • Guess Who

    Congrats to her.
    So, her mom is biracial and her father is full black? I am one of those who don’t believe in the one drop rule however I wouldn’t call her exactly mixed…..I dont think. Slippery slope!

  • Kimmie

    Hmmm… pretty much all African Americans have a relative that had a parent that wasn’t black. How is she biracial just because her Mom is? She had a Black Dad and a mixed mom she’s black, but I love the way they made her race an issue by calling her “not quite black”.

  • barbeez

    Oh. Okay. I thought she might be mixed. Congrats. Can’t wait until we get a black president, a black lead ballet dancer, and a black woman wins the Oscar for best actress. The struggle continues.

  • Triumph104

    Both of her parents are mixed. Misty is second generation mixed. Her father is black/white (German) and her mother is black/white (Italian). Misty has been dating Taye Diggs mixed black/white cousin for several years. It is almost like “coloreds” of South Africa, being their own distinct culture and race.

  • Triumph104

    No, she is probably more white than black. Both of Misty’s parents are mixed black/white. Since most black people in the US have a few drops of white in them, Misty would be mosty white.

  • Triumph104

    No, both of her parents are mixed. Misty is majority white unless she had a pure African grandparent on each side which I doubt.

  • Triumph104

    No, both of her parents are mixed. Misty is second generation mixed.

  • Triumph104

    Both of her parents are mixed. Her father is black/white (German) and her mother is black/white (Italian). Considering most African-Americans (her two grandparents) have white in them, Misty is majority white.

  • Triumph104

    Misty is second generation mixed.

  • Kimmie

    This was a really bad answer considering her father is not bi racial and even if he were she still identifies herself as a black woman. She’s never called herself mixed there’s no reason to start insisting she’s white. This article was ridiculous for no other reason that every time someone that’s black becomes famous there’s research done to insist that someone in their family wasn’t quite black even if it was over a hundred years ago.

  • scentsychick30

    And they still treated her black,guess she should’ve told them that.?or checked the white box??

  • Triumph104

    Her father IS bi-racial. I never said she was white. She can identify however she wants. YOU asked how is she bi-racial and I answered you.

    Read the Glamour article where Misty talks about her background. “My mother is half-black and half-Italian, my father is half-black and half-German.”
    http://www.glamour.com/inspired/blogs/the-conversation/2012/04/misty-copeland-american-ballet

    .

  • Nia

    Misty personally describes herself as an African American and Black woman in interviews. She’s spoken of how hard it is to be a BLACK woman in ballet and was even brought to tears. If you saw her walking down the street, you’d see a black woman. Her story is amazing and historic. Be clear!

  • Triumph104

    All of those things you mentioned are heavily publicized. If one googles Misty Copeland principal dancer most headlines mention that she is black. I am being clear that she is mixed race, something that several people in this thread are confused about.

  • Triumph104

    YOU asked how is she biracial and I gave you the answer. I never called her white. I think people should identify however they want.

    Misty has talked about being interracial many times including her book Life In Motion. In Glamour magazine she said “My mother spoke of every side of my background with us kids. She also made it clear that even if you are half black, society is going to view you as black, period. My mother is half-black and half-Italian, my father is half-black and half-German.”

    This is what she told Time Magazine “Something that my mother instilled in me, as a biracial woman herself, and me being biracial, was that the world was going to view me as a black woman, no matter what I decided to do.” […] “I’m here to be a vessel for all these brown ballerinas who have come before me,” she said.

    (Excuse me if you get two replies. I had a link in the other reply and I don’t know if it will get approved.)

  • Kimmie

    Doug Copeland is not biracial.

  • 2Real

    ALL of us black people are mixed lol. The pure Nubians are in Africa and even a lot of are mixed with Arab

  • Jules W.

    So true. I laughed at referring to her as mixed race.

  • Jules W.

    All of black America is mixed and everyone else is not referred to as mixed race.

  • Jules W.

    I call bs. All of black America is mixed race technically but we are still black. The rules don’t all of sudden change on a pick and choose basis for white folks convenience. I am tired of people who are shades darker than me calling themselves biracial or white. Cut the crap. Show some respect for yourselves and be who you are instead of letting someone else define you.

  • Jules W.

    Thank you. Truth plain and simple.

  • Jules W.

    Bs

  • Jules W.

    If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck then it’s a duck. She’s black. Live with it and stop trying to define black people.

  • Jules W.

    All black people are mixed race but still identify as black.

  • Jules W.

    Again bullshit. Girlfriend is darker than I am. She is black. We come in all shades due to mixing over generations mostly with master raping the African slave women he kidnapped. Lets keep it honest. You can’t just claim who you want.

  • Jules W.

    Again bullshit

  • Jules W.

    No slope, just black.

  • Jules W.

    Well said

  • Jules W.

    Who are you to define us? Tired of others defining us.

  • Jules W.

    Bullshit to infinity. You will not define us. Slavery is over.

  • Jules W.

    Misty is black. White people will not claim her because she is famous. Her gift of being athletic is from black people. ALL BLACK PEOPLE ARE MIXED BUT WE ARE STILL BLACK. White people do not define us. Those days are over. Its pure RACISM to tell us who we are and NOT YOUR PLACE. Go duck yourselves.

  • WiserWords2

    , I agree. I guess some think of her as “off black”.
    :

  • Simba711

    If both of her parents are actual biracials, then she’s biracial, but if one parent is an actual biracial and the other is black, then she is more black than white. Just like a person with one white and one half white parent is more white than black. Cut the foolishness. You would never call white girl Dakota Fanning black or maybe you would?

  • Simba711

    Are white people mixed race too?

  • tt

    Congrats to Misty Copeland for being named the FIRST AFRICAN AMERICAN principal dancer of the American Ballet Theater

  • cheechee1x1

    This young lady is phenomenal!!!!

  • Emerah Marie

    Still mixed, just because one is mixed with black like myself does not make me just black, as if my mother [spainard/Indian] didnt have nothing to do with the man she had sex with, who is black/Taino indian [Jamaican] you can’t erase facts/DNA and solidify it as fact because you want to.We are MIXED NO MATTER WHAT ANGLE YOU WANT TO VIEW IT AS, THIS NATION IS THE ONLY NATION WHO CLAIM MIXED BREED CHILDREN BLACK. I’m not ashamed of my black half but im not ashamed of my hispanic side and will not be pressured by people who just want to claim a persons black based on the color of there skin, even though you mix black and white you dont get black or white you GET GREY.

  • Emerah Marie

    because we still live in an ignorant society. We still have stupid people telling us to choose.

  • Christine Crum

    She’s not the first mixed race principal dancer. There are plenty of principals at ABT that are minorities. Misty is the first principal with some African heritage. Marcelo Gomez is Latino, Hee Seo is Koreon, Stella Abrera is filipina but from California- youngest of a large family, just like Misty.

  • disqus_rnD5Q5kyEx

    Our dad is Black and German

  • Truthurts

    So, all of her predecessors are 100% Italian, German, or white? Hmmm? Not often that a person who is half, or in this case about 3/4, black is referred to as mixed. Who’s referred to as our first BLACK president? Barak Obama is HALF black, raised by his WHITE relatives. I wonder how many mixed race criminals are labeled as black? I could be wrong BUT seems to me like this writer is not comfortable with blacks or accepting of her being the first and only black Principal dancer. Next time you write about a similar mixed person, it would look and sound better if you either say they’re black and white, African American and Caucasian, or African American, Italian, & German. Oh, and focus more on the great accomplishment….negative media hype would be more appropriate if it pertained to the segregated ballet community which lacks diversity and less on her family background.
    #justsayin’ #RESPECT #goMistyCopeland #its about time

  • Apprentice

    You can certainly define yourself however you like. Misty’s mother is Black and Italian and Identifies as Black (Her words, not mine, it came from an interview) Her father is Black. Misty (With 1/2 Black, 1/2 White mother and a Black Father) is mostly Black if you look at the math. Not only is she majority Black (can’t argue with DNA like you said), but she herself also identifies as Black (check interviews) and should be given the same freedom to define herself as you are stating that you inherently have. You’re correcting others and labeling Misty with whatever label you choose to give her, yet you want the freedom to define yourself…With the history of race in America, very few American Blacks (particularly ones carrying the blood of enslaved Africans) can claim 100% Black ancestry. If that is the requirement for being “Black” than there practically wouldn’t be any “Blacks” in America.

  • Emerah Marie

    mixed is in our DNA, it’s in our blood, it’s our being, you say i label, if you call yourself american its a label with that logic or boy or girl. It is a FACT she is mixed, it is without a doubt and fact she is mixed no matter what angle you, “want” to view it in. There is no math in mixing especially when one conceives who the hell just has sex and adds or subtracts what the kid comes out to be?oh darling he’ll be 1/2 white and quarter chactaw, that just sounds ridiculous and stupid,I wonder how that white mom feels when her child says, “im black”when she gets an award disregarding she ever had sex with her father, like shit. when i mix i will have another mixed child, for example, my sister is mixed and had sex with a Mexican, the baby looks like BOTH like me and her,he cant be one or the other, why? because he’d be in between having to choose because people like you who tell mixed people, “you can define yourself however you like, disregarding the fact it took 2 to tango in the first place with different racial backgrounds. I will teach my child that they are of 5 different racial backgrounds because i’m not ignorant and biased asf.