Friday, January 30, 2009

Here I am again on Being Black

Tismee asked if I had any questions for all of you and I thought that was a great idea because, believe it or not, I do. But first, I'm going to answer a few more questions that have trickled in.

***LW's daughter is bi-racial and she has VERY curly hair but it's kind of blondish brown (her mom is white with blonde hair). How should I help her take care of it? I think she tries to straighten it on her own, but she's fried it with the flat iron.
It depends on whether it's very dry. She may need a very good moisturizing conditioner. I use Pantene for Women of Color (Deep Conditioning formula) for shampoo and conditioner. I also use a light oil on my hair called African Pride when the ends feel brittle and dry.

If her hair isn't damaged or dry, you can show her how to put Biosilk (Silky) on her hair to make her hair much more manageable and silky. Plus, when any heat is used, it will protect it. A deep conditioner at least once a month will do wonders for her hair.

***i am enjoying this... I am a foster parent, even though I dont have any now... but I did have a few african american children while living in residential.. my biggest questions were on hair... but i did have soe good helpers... once Im on my own in my own house, not sure what Im gunna do...

One of my pet peeves is seeing Black children with their hair extremely broken or sticking up all over the place. I believe that there isn't a single thing wrong with a non-Black family raising Black children but there has to be a desire to learn about their skin and hair and even raising a child with a good self-esteem. I understand that our hair is so much more different than other ethnicities but honestly, I've wanted to tap a few people and tell them about products to use on their child's hair. There was a foster mom who had a Black girl in her care and her hair was so matted, I wanted to cry for her. We got to talking (the foster mom and I) and before long, we had set up a day for her to come over for me to put a relaxer on her hair and then get her ends trimmed. She looked gorgeous once the matted hair was smoothed out and hanging down. She walked around with a smile on her face.

***I have very light skin and have had negative comments all my life from other whites. It made me insecure about my heritage. I think we live in a very insensitive society and it also varies from state to state and city to city. I look forward to the day when we value the Spirit of the person and not the outward appearance. Blessings
Amen! You know, even people like Halle Berry have insecurities. It's because there are always going to be people who judge or size another person up based on what they see on the outside. Vanity is deep though here in the U.S.

****My question is, do you actually go darker in the sun? Like if you lived in a colder climate and went on holiday to Florida, would you 'tan' if your skin was of a lighter shade?
Yes. Becuase I have native American Indian on both my mom and dad's sides of the family, my skin turns darker but develops a slight reddish brown tone. I love that I can "change colors" according to the season. I don't need to lay out in the sun to tan though.

Now, on to my questions....

****I have often felt out of place when I'm the only Black woman at a function with other women. Why does it seem that non-Black women are hesitant to approach me?

****When I was the office manager at an elementary school, I often had kids that would come in every morning for my morning hug. Kids are so pure and innocent when it comes to the color of one's skin. I had one mom and dad tell their little boy, "Don't hug her!" and that little guy's response was, "I ALWAYS hug Ms. Simone. She's my favwite." Do you feel that kids that are raised in a racist family can overcome that bigotry or is it engrained in them?

****How do you feel about interracial dating and marriage?

****Have you ever been to a movie that mainly had an all Black cast? If so, what movie was it and why did you choose to see it?

I'm anxious to hear all of your answers. Please be open with me. I am learning much by answering as well as asking questions.


travel girl said...

Obviously, I have not problem with interracial dating or marriage. I would be lying though, if I said I didn't have concerns. My biggest concerns are the way others will treat my babygirl1 and her fab hubby and how they will treat their children when they have them.

I can't remember the other questions but there you go:)

Tenakim said...

I have no idea why people are hesitant to talk to you... it may just be unfamiliar with YOU as a person. I feel the exact same way- like everyone else is socilaizing with each other- they avoid me like the plague- and I'm white.

To be completely honest, my husband was raised by 2 VERY closed-minded people. He definitely does have a touch of that in him, still- and I hate it. I, however was raised by peace and love hippies- exact opposite! Luckily, our kids, are just like me- they constantly correct my husband if he ever even infers judgement on someone. I have sat them down and explained to them that ugly attitudes of unfairness is from fear and ignorance.

I don't think anything of biracial marriage or dating- people are people.

When I was in college I saw Poetic Justice with Janet Jackson. I was one of the few white people in the theater- I LOVED Janet Jackson!

jill jill bo bill said...

I agree with Tena on the hesitation to talk to you.

I was raised with very loving and acepting parents, but they were not. My dad's mom from the generation that was smothered in prejudice. She was a bigot and she constantly judged my friends and gave her two-cents about "nigras" as she called them. Even as a very young child I KNEW that it was wrong and was able to have many black friends and grow up with an open mind.
My niece is pregnant with a black man's baby. I will honestly say that at first I was devastated. First, she is 16. Secondly, she was attracted to black guys when she lived here with me in our small town. I tried to teach her that if they were good boys, I was fine with whomever she dated, but the town we lived in would not be accepting and life would be miserable for her while she was in HS. I tried to encourage her to wait until college to date anyone, since she had poor decision-making skills anyway. Now she is pregnant wiith a 28 y/o drug dealer who already has 3 kids that he doesn't take care of. I have told her to give the baby up because she can't even take care of herself, much less a baby. The crazy thing is my niece wants to name the baby after my bigotted grandmother and I think that is HILARIOUS!!
Tyler Perry is my favorite. I love him.

Julie said...

Can I just tell you I think you are amazing for doing this series of posts?

I am not a person who sees color. I'm just not. I don't see Barack Obama as a black man. I see him as a man I wanted to be elected President. Heck, I had no idea you were black for probably 3 months after we started talking to each other on blogs and via email! (Yeah, I pay that much attention to pictures and stuff. LOL...I'm a ditz, what can I say?). One of the other blogs I read, "The View from this Place", Jaded is a 20-something black woman who's lost two children halfway through pregnancy. I'm a 47 year old white woman with an adult child. She and I seemingly have nothing in common, and yet we're striking up a very nice friendship. I've grown quite fond of her and pray for a successful pregnancy for her soon.

So I guess I could come up with some questions if I really thought about it, but I didn't bond with you because of or in spite of the differences in our skin color. I bonded with you over our similar divorces, ages, etc.

And as I said to you in another comment previously, any questions I would have about being black would be about black men and they would be sexual in nature! ROFLMAO.

Hey, a girl has her priorities!

Rachel and Jacob said...

OOoo I have noticed that some white children that came to us at the group home were "afraid" or ""anxious" around my african american co-workers. I dont know how they had been raised but I can tell it was to fear or stay away. It was neat to see them "come around" and consequently fall in love with them.

Also I went to Africa!! so fun -- I was a white girl in in Kampala. It was interesting to get the stares and such. I wasnt there long enough to get get over the novelty though.

BTW, I used "soft and precious" hair lotion on my lil boys. worked real well on their type of hair :)

Veronica Lee said...

I watched Chris Rock(Kill the messenger). It's a 1 1/2 hr stand-up comedy. Does that count as an 'all-black cast' movie? Just kidding.
My favourite actor/actress are Morgan Freeman and Whoopie Goldberg. For a while, my boys actually thought God looked like Morgan Freeman!!

Danica Lynn said...

Thanks for the info about the hair for Kassidy. I passed that on to her daddy. :-)

I think you're so amazing. Would love to meet you in person some day!!!

We need a blog reunion!!!

Tismee2 said...

I really couldn't care less what colour someone is, but if they were rude to me or obnoxious then I would treat them the same as I would anyone else.

To be honest I have never been in the company of more than one or two black people. I have never lived in an area that has a lot of ethnic groups - of any race. It can be like that here in the UK. It is mainly the bigger cities and certain towns where there are large communities. In Newcastle which is my closest town the majority are Chinese, and there aren't many black people - I don't know why, maybe when people came here in numbers during the 1960's from the West Indies etc there was more racism up here or perhaps there weren't the jobs???

I would certainly speak to you in a group situation, as I would anyone else.

The only film I can think of was The Colour purple years and years ago. I cried my eyes out but have always said it was one of the best films I have ever seen. (I must watch it again!) How do black people feel about that film btw?

I love thee posts!

McEwens said...

I love these post, HOW wonderful of you to help the mom learn how to help her daughter!!

Your questions, I have never had a problem with talking to people of various races. I mean hello arent we all children of God?

Here is a funny story for you. When I was in Africa, out in a remote village, I got my real first taste of how you may feel. MINOR taste, When I turned the corner I came face to face with a little girl of about 5. I was the first person .. the first white person she had EVER seen. She cpward in the corner and screamed for her mother. I felt so bad, I never wanted to scare anyone.

We have always lived in a good mix of people, I grew up back east, when I moved west, CO... not so many colors here. I think that is when kids dont understand, cause they are not exposed. Like the litte girl I scared. BUT here is the difference, In africa, the girls mom explained I wasnt a ghost, and allowed me to offer her a lolipop. The mom took the time to explain.... here, like the dad, sometime the people that are explain arent explaining, they are keeping up generations of mis understandings and hate. How sorry is that!

Interracial marriage, not a big deal.

The only movie that is coming to the top of my head is College ROad trip. I gues I dont pay attention to if the people in the movie are black or white, just if it looks good.

Jill said...

I am so glad you did a post like this. As most know I am married to a black man who is of mixed race himself. His mom is black and his dad was a blonde hair blue eyed irishman. He was raised by his stepdad who is black though and didn't follow any of the irish roots. I have two children of mixed race and I am so proud to be their mom. I am no longer worried about people treating them different I am more worried about the people who do such horrible things!

Deb said...

Amazing series of posts!

Interacial dating and marriage - sure, why not?

Groups where white women won't talk to you? Probably fear and discomfort. Kind of stupid when you think about it.

Movies - We watch whatever we like, and we have watched many movies with most or all black characters, simply because the movie looked good, not based on anything else.

Thanks for doing this...


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