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?