Thursday, January 29, 2009

Next Episode of Being Black

I'm surprised that you all don't have any real inquiring questions. Here are the ones that I expected to be asked...

1) Why do black women wear a lot of extensions? How long do the braids last? Does it hurt?

2) Why do some Black families name their children off the wall names that either rhyme or are hard to pronounce?

3) Do Black people agree with White families adopting Black children?

4) What are chitlins?

5) What are my feelings on rap music?

Those were a few that I expected. If you do want to know the answers to those questions, please let me know. In the meantime, here are a few more answers.

***How do we, as a nation, continue to move forward and eradicate prejudice? I mean it, honestly, after all these years why can we not treat each other with kindness?
Racial prejudice is easily defined for me as purely ignorance. There will always be people who will judge someone by the color of their skin before seeing what's deep inside of them. I see that same stereotype among the elderly here. There are people that discount or discredit what they have to offer because they are "old" but you know what? I love talking to old people because they have so much wisdom. I don't think racial prejudice will ever change completely but I hope and pray that we can come together and understand one another better.

***I just want to know how common is "reverse racism" where you live? And reading about your "articulation" makes me think, does it drive you nutty to hear the younger generation talk in their lingo? I worked at the hospital with a lot of young black girls and the older black women were ALWAYS on their case about "talking ebonic". They hated it.
Reverse discrimination in my town doesn't exist in terms of racism. I live in a town where there are more elderly, White and wealthy people than there are minorities. If anything, the reverse discrimination is towards those people that are fat or overweight instead of anorexic looking. When I first moved here, I was shocked that there weren't very many overweight people here so when I saw someone with a few pounds, I'd whisper, "Thank you!"

As for the slang....I dislike it BUT being honest with you all, I tend to fall into a comfortable pattern when I'm among friends and family (not just my Black friends) where I will use a little slang here and there. For the most part, I don't believe that it belongs in a typical conversation. If you were to take two people applying for a job and during their interviews, one had no experience yet spoke enthusiastically and intellectually whereas the other mixed every sentence with ebonics, the one that would more than likely get the attention first would be the one who has no experience. Why? Because that is a person that knows when to turn it on and turn it off. Not only that, it shows that that person can pick up on things quickly and may be a huge asset to a company. When I was a kid, we went to an all black church but lived in a white neighborhood and all white school. The black kids teased us for talking proper and the white kids parents would say, "You talk so polite". It wasn't that we were polite, we were taught to use proper English.

***I'm yellow! My racist Chinese friends call me a 'banana person' 'cos I can't read or write Chinese. White on the inside, yellow on the outside, get it? I kinda hate this whole 'colour' thing.
LOL. Baby Boo's mom is Hispanic and of course my Boo is Black so she is getting a good cultural sense from both families. I hope that she will learn to read and speak Spanish but totally engross herself into Black culture and history as well. It's never too late to learn, Veronica.

***Babygirl1 is married to a black man. Before the wedding, my favorite big brother who is married to my least favorite sister in law asked me "How do you feel about *that*".

I responded "about what? if you are referring to the color of his skin and how I feel about it, I think he is lucky that he doesn't have to bake his ass off every summer for a tan."
Wait! Did your brother expect you to stop the wedding or to say, "I'm totally against this!?!?" That's what gets me. If our skin was on the inside and our goods was on the outside, color wouldn't be an issue at all, right? I have to say that I love my skin color. I love that I don't have to tan. I do turn a darker shade of brown when I'm out in the sun but no matter what, I love the color that I am.

The children's book that my sister and I have written is geared for African American children but written for ALL nationalities. It's got a flavor of what it's like growing up in a Black family...(basically because it was taken from our childhood). I hope that Black girls will read it and find a sense of pride in being Black instead of wishing that they weren't. My daughter, when she was 4, went through a stage where she wished she was white. She would say, "I like her hair better than mine. I like her skin better than mine." It took years of me saying to her, "You are gorgeous and beautiful, JUST the way God made you and He doesn't make mistakes.

If there's anything else you'd like to know, please ask. I'm dead serious about that. Somehow, I feel like I'm doing my part in opening up dialogue and communication about being Black.


travel girl said...

Funny, my favorite brother was married to a black woman the first time and they have a child together. His second wife is a total bitch (sorry, I know you do not like swearing) and she is the one who made that horrible comment. I can't believe my fabulous brother could marry such a person. but, I did love my smart ass remark to her.

I was taught as a child that people are no different because of color, that when cut, bleed red.

I can't wait to see my grand babies. i am, however worried about the hair. If it's not corse, do you still have to treat it the same since they will be half black?

Chocolate Covered Daydreams said...

Girl, swear away. I don't swear because, I don't know how! LOL It's just the fact that I get the shakes when I think of the butt whoopin's I got when I made the attempt so I just don't do it.

You are so right about the color red...we bleed the same.

Baby Boo's hair is very silky so I wash her hair every night. It's not coarse so it's not screaming for some sort of moisturizer. I put a detangler in her hair but for now, since she's not quite two, her hair appears to be staying the same. It's very long and curly though so it takes her being patient when I comb it.

You're going to love the grandbabies! I don't have any yet but when I do, I'll be right along with you!

Sandi said...

I have spent the entire day in Anaheim at the hair salon. There is nothing like being educated at the hair salon. If I did have a question for you, I can promise you this. I have learned more than I wanted to today!

Danica Lynn said...

Okay here's one for you.

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.

Thanks for being so open.

McEwens said...

I was reading your comment to a comment, and I remember getting DIAL soap in my mouth for swearing....

I do so love these posts!

Rachel and Jacob said...

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...

Barbara said...

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

Tismee2 said...

Thank you so much for this post. The UK is a bit strange compared to the US because although there are black and other races here, there are areas where you could go days without seeing a black person.

I have had a couple of black friends in the past while in the Navy and it didn't really occur to me that they were black, they were just friends.

I was interested to hear that there is a thing about being lighter coloured and that it brings advantage. I never knew that.

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?

Is there anything you want to ask us btw?

Veronica Lee said...

My son is one of the few Chinese in his school which is Malay and Indian-dominated. He is called names like 'mata sepek' or 'ah pek' in Malay. The former means 'slant-eyes' and the latter is a derogatory name for a Chinese old man. And to think Malaysia is renowned for her multi-racial harmony!!


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