Friday, July 25, 2008

My Take...




On Being Black in America





Let me preface this by saying I was looking forward to seeing the report and would have been equally as intrigued had it been White, Hispanic, Asian etc. in America-moreover if it had been Native Americans but you catch my drift. I disagree with many of my peers who stated, "I'm living it." Or, "Been there done that." The feature was meant to be informative and while I didn't necessarily learn anything there were a few nods, sighs and bursts of feel good energy along the way.



A few highlights:




The news is well, sad enough entertainment-so I did expect a certain level of extremism; not necessarily so. Alas I saw Black families that reflected my own as well as others I know intimately. This is refreshing in a TV world that presents us with the option of doctors or derelicts and few choices in between.


I could certainly relate to the Warren children and how it feels to be not quite black enough. The statistics on the grades : popularity polarity were not at all alarming. The number one reason why we homeschool our children. I understand the need to develop a social identity and mesh, meld, assimilate during your pubescent tribe forming years. But, I have no desire to have any grown children living with and/or off of my husband and I-so I did the only thing I felt I could and separated the two. I still encounter folks who frown upon the way I speak or dress, the books I read, films I view-but being self sufficient and self assured because I am intelligent and cultured and aware alleviates the kind of angst that could and would manifest itself in someone who was still trying to formulate themselves and build character.


Aah Spike Lee, I love Spike. I'm not necessarily a Spike film fan, his work doesn't translate well for me on screen, but I give kudos for the concept and sheer initiative to bring issues like black on black hatred and interracial romance (not just sex) to the forefront. Spike touched on a subject that is heard and spoken often in my home when my children are watching television regarding the way blacks portray themselves on TV and the big screen. (Themselves because you do not have to take the role people.) He used the phrase, "Shucking and jiving...coonery buffoonery". Well, my children have never heard these phrases (thankfully) but growing up in a Southern culturally influenced home, I have and I know exactly what he means. For example, college-I was not in a sorority, I do not know how to step, I took ballroom dance, not hip hop. I played soccer not basketball and I studied! As we prepare to shuffle child number one off to college, I have to enforce these things as not only being stereotypically urban Black sub-culture versus the real Black Experience as well as encouraging him to go to college to have an experience not one that is boggled down by racial barriers, expectations and the like.


Lupe Fiasco whom I became familiar with on Jill Scott's collaborations CD took on the role of rap music and videos. I love words which would easily pre-dispose me to an affinity for rap music yes? Well not necessarily true since the most requested, and played songs have as much varied lyrical content as a fortune cookie-I mean really how many words rhyme with lollipop, nigger and bitch? Lupe said it best with Dumb it Down. As for Russell Simmons, meh-look who/what he married, he just talks the talk; Yogi my ass. There are certainly true and valid points made in hip hop, but if 60% of Black men are in prison at one time or another and more and more Black women are opting for non-Black men or single lifestyles, just where are is all of this "Bagging of Bitches" happening?


And lastly, a topic near and dear to me, interracial relationships. I'm never satisfied with the presentation of interracial romance because it is always put out there as some last resort or consolation prize. In all fairness that works both ways, historically it has been said that Black men date white women because they are passive, lascivious, more nurturing et al. Black women date white men for money, status or because Black men have fouled out. I say not true. Of course, there are some relationships that work like the aforementioned, but what about pure attraction, be it physical, or perhaps you happen to find the person intellectually stimulating. I always compare my choices in men to shoe shopping (I don't go through men as often, mind your manners.) I prefer a brown flat shoe and a fat (OK larger framed) white man. It has absolutely nothing to do with anything other than what appeals to me. It is no more or less egregious than liking a partner that is short, tall, blond etc. Is it superficial? Hell yeah, but shit something has got to be simple. Want some more?

12 comments:

High Desert Diva said...

Always an interesting read Tameka!

SuzyQJenn said...

You have a beautiful family! And that was a great blog post, thank you for sharing.

kim* said...

you have a cute family...

i like spike lee's movie Crooklyn it makes me cry every time i cant watch the end. but i think their family is super cute and fun. makes me wish i could have lived their at the time.

kim said...

Interesting thoughts. I really enjoy the way you think, what you say, and how well it is written.

You have a beautiful family. I lok forward to knowing you better through blogging!

Peace

BlossomingTree said...

Interesting post. I haven't been able to catch the special but I appreciate your thoughts on it. Several of your points I so agree with you on.

T.Allen-Mercado said...

Thanks all who have commented and so respectfully as race issues are not an easy discussion.

Blog Queen said...

You've got a great site. I added it to my blogroll. Your thoughts flow well from mind to keyboard.

I'll try to visit often.

Peace...
Roschelle

GrayEyedScorpio said...

Thanks for writing this post. It's always good to actually learn about someone else's perspective instead of simply imagining the world from her shoes.

fly tie said...

programs such as "black in america" and tavis smiley's state of the race never sit right with me for one reason or another, but i can appreciate how you broke it down. lovely pic, too. :-)

Torrance Stephens - All-Mi-T said...

well u know my take sister

Jennifer said...

Nice post...I'm gonna have to visit you more often :-)

Mrs. K said...

I'm a new follower and just saw this for the first time. I can relate to some of what you said. I must confess though that I have not seen the CNN documentary although I've heard so much about it. I know I'm probably the only person in America who haven't seen it yet. I'll see it one day. Very interesting post anyway :)

Related Posts Widget for Blogs by LinkWithin