Do Black Babies have Blue Eyes?

Short answer: No.

Some of my baby books make claims like, “Babies are born with blue or grey eyes, most of which gradually darken during their first year.” Some go so far as to claim that all babies are born with blue eyes.

This got me curious: what about Black / African American babies? Are they also born with blue/grey eyes which darken with time? Or were my books over-generalizing from a sample population composed primarily of whites?

The idea isn’t totally crazy. After all, I’ve observed plenty of Caucasian children’s eyes go from blue to brown. Pretty much all infants are born with less melanin than their parents, just because fetuses don’t need protection from sunlight.

After much wondering, I remembered that this is the Internet Age and that people post pictures of their babies online and I can just look up pictures of African Newborns and look at their eyes. Here’s a photo of a sweet Uganadan baby with brown eyes; if you scroll down, this article has a photo of a baby boy with black eyes; here’s an African American baby with brown eyes. (I’m just linking because I try not to steal people’s baby photos.)

To be fair, not all of these photos are necessarily of newborns, but could be somewhat older babies, but this is a process that is supposed to happen over the course of several months to a year, not days.

And while some of these infants do have a greyish or bluish tint to their eyes, the overall color is still brown, not blue.

I suppose I should look up photos of Asian babies while we’re at it.

*Googles*

And… they have brown eyes.

There you go, folks. Asian and African babies have brown eyes, not blue.

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11 thoughts on “Do Black Babies have Blue Eyes?

    • All of those examples either have West Eurasian (or “White”) admixture or are from Oceanian populations (who are far closer to East Asian populations than any populations in Africa.

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      • Some of them clearly do, but some don’t seem to. That kid in the upper right (and many of the others) on the Pinterest link looks 100% black to me, based on facial features and skin color.

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      • I agree the kid in the upper right corner doesn’t look admixed. (He does look photoshopped, though, as eyes aren’t normally that bright in photos. But of course I am just speculating.) There are over a billion Africans in the world; some of them certainly have rare mutations that effect eye color.

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