Saturday, September 11, 2010

Armenian Americans

Val Avery

Richard Bakalyan

Mike Connors

Ken Davitian

Michael Goorjian

Armenia can be considered part of Europe or Asia, but Armenians are another interesting test of white Americans' definition of whiteness. These are actors of Armenian descent. They all look white to me, but Ken Davitian (the manager from Borat) looks pretty exotic. I suspect an anthropological education has widened my definition of white.

I probably should mention that Kim Kardashian's father is of Armenian descent. (While we're at it, so is Cher's).


  1. Anonymous11:33 AM

    Self-identification has a major bearing on a group's racial classification. Armenians qualify as white in the United States in large part because most Armenian-Americans do not identify themselves as nonwhite. Or consider the reverse: a person who is 1/8th black and 7/8th white is considered nonwhite because almost all people of that mixture identify as black.

    The fact that Armenians are Christians rather than Muslim helps them qualify as white, in fact this is also true with respect to many Lebanese-Americans. If there were a significant number of Azeris in the United States, I am reasonably sure they'd be considered nonwhite even though physically they're nearly indistinguishable from Armenians. The deciding factor is that Azeris are Muslim, albeit usually secularized ones.


  2. dearieme1:32 PM

    Caucasians - white or not?
    You are teasing, aren't you?

  3. Some Armenians look swarthy.

    I sometimes have mistaken them for light skinned Hispanics when I visit LA.

  4. Anonymous6:13 PM

    Armenia can be considered part of Europe or Asia

    Geographically, it's debatable. Racially, not so much.

  5. Anonymous11:40 PM

    Armenia is in the Caucaus area which is where the word "Caucausian" came from. Armenians were the first nation to accept Christianity in 301 AD. This is some 11 centuries before the Mongolian Invasions Ossomans/Ottomans from Central Asia. Rape, invasions, domination, subjegation changed the people's looks. But it is not uncommon to find Armenians that are light complexiion and light eyes.
    The fact that this is one of the most ancient civilizations besides the Greeks and they have survived is a testimony to the spirit of Armenians.

  6. Armenians were the first nation to accept Christianity in 301 AD.

    I believe that Egypt beat them to it.

  7. I was wondering if you were going to include the Kardashians. Unfortunately, they're probably the most famous Armenian Americans.


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