Great coined phrase. "Acceptably black means being nonthreatening to white people inclined to feeling threatened by black people. It means standard English, clean-cut appearance (or, as Joe Biden fumbled, "clean") and the most Caucasian features possible. These obviously are not objective measures of character or worth; just as obviously, they are measures of what sells to the vast, white audience. Halle Berry and Denzel Washington are acceptably black. Your local news anchors are acceptably black. Tupac was not." http://adage.com/garfield/article?article_id=122906&search_phrase=obama I would say that it's not so much physical features as it is behavior and accomplishments. Oprah, Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, Obama, black news anchors...all "acceptably black" not because their noses aren't as big as other blacks or something, but they are seen by whites as people first, instead of BLACK people because of poignancy and other strong character traits. Interesting phenomenon to say the least.....I don't support or denounce it, I merely recognize it.