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White theater director who says he is an ‘African born again’ receives job aimed at black directors

Claudine Varela
Nov 06, 2018
10:26 A.M.

A White man living most of his adult life as a Black man is in the middle of a controversy involving funds he’s been receiving intended for colored people.

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Anthony Lennon is a white man born with slightly darker features which later prompted him to adopt an African name and live as a Black man.

Lennon, who now goes by the name Taharka Ekundayo is a theater actor and director who struggled with bullying as a child due to his skin color. Many believed he was of mixed race. As an adult, he found it difficult to land roles as a white man so he gravitated towards all-black productions.

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Last year, he won a paid traineeship as a “theatre practitioner of color.” This has now become a subject of debate since technically, Lennon is a White man benefitting from a program meant for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) leaders.

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Lennon, who’s of Irish descent, admits that his parents and ancestors are all white. But he also truly believes he’s an African.

“Some people call themselves a born-again Christian. Some people call me a born-again African. I prefer to call myself an African born again.”

Lennon also claimed in 2012 that “he’s gone through the struggles of a Black man, a Black actor” making him identify himself as Black.

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However, upon winning a £400,000 theater grant meant for ethnic minority leaders, many are questioning why he’s entitled to it. Lennon applied as a “mixed heritage” individual prompting his critics to protest the matter. But the council who approved his grant stands by their decision. A spokesperson for the group said,

“This is a very unusual case and we do not think it undermines the support we provide to black and minority ethnic people within the theatre sector.”

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A BLACK TEEN WHO BELIEVES SHE'S WHITE

Though Lennon identifies himself as a Black man, he’s very much aware that he’s of white descent. This is not the case with a young teen who genuinely believes she’s White even if she’s physically Black and was born to Black parents.

Treasure guested on Dr. Phil’s show with her mother, Monica who sought the help of the popular television host in convincing her daughter she’s Black. Treasure abhors Black people and thinks she’s White. Growing up, the 16-year-old played with White children and destroyed her black dolls. She’s also a fan of the Ku Klux Klan and thinks White people are smart and right. She believes she has nothing in common with Black people and denies having a wide nose, curly hair or gapped teeth. Despite efforts from Dr. Phil and a spiritual therapist, Treasure couldn’t be swayed. According to her mother, Treasure is “a racist against her own race.” Even Dr. Phil was amazed at how strongly Treasure believed she was White.

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