Singer Jason McKinney embodies diversity

The Sherman Park Arts Festival couldn’t have found a more fitting performer to represent its theme — “Diverse Roots, Common Ground” — than the gifted bass-baritone Jason McKinney, who, by way of introduction last week, confused an auditorium of mostly black students by saying:

“I claim African-American heritage. But I also claim Native American heritage. And I also claim Ashkenazi Jewish heritage.”



Forty-five minutes later, having completed a short performance and having taken a dozen or so questions from the audience (Where were you born? Milwaukee. Can you rap? No. How tall are you? Six-foot-five.), Jason folded himself into a seat near the front the auditorium, where he was approached by a soft-spoken girl.

What’s your race, she wanted to know.

“I’m human,” Jason said. His voice was deep, warm and melodious.

The girl looked confused, but she nodded politely and began to back away. Jason stopped her and urged her to press on. She did.

“But what are you really?” she wanted to know.

Find out his answer and read the full article by by clicking the link below: