Seems like there’ve been a few conversations going on [for a while] about being black and what that means. Or being biracial [specifically black and white, most frequently] and what that means. Some of the hype might be because Obama’s got the [presumptive] nomination and everyone who’s not black is looking for a crash course. Or it might be because of that whole 2007 being the year of the noose, thing. Or maybe it’s cuz the veneer cracked a bit, and somebody was taping it.
I don’t know why black people are on the radar now – shoot – maybe they’re not and I just think they are.
But as a ‘mixed’ girl, living where I live, I mostly identify as black. And I know what that means to me. My life has been my life, typical of nothing. I don’t really know who has the actual ‘typical’ life – I don’t think I’ve ever met them. I know a few folks who lead a fairly stereotypical life – and that’s their choice.
I’ve had the privilege of being exposed to ignorant as well as enlightened people from multiple ethnic backgrounds, and I’ve gathered that we all are who we are. Sure that’s general, and it really says nothing to distinguish one from another, but that’s kinda my point. People choose their words, their clothes, their lifestyles, their careers based on a host of different factors. I’m not a sociologist or a statistician, so I’ll leave them to their philosophizing and numbers. What I know is that any one person, from any given group, may be as alike or different from any other person, from any other group. You can’t really get more specific, because it’s all in the details.
Our brains love to box people up into one category or another – we love to find patterns. Which is why the imagery we see, and hear about, affects our perceptions. Beyond that, we have our own lives/experiences to color how we filter the material we’re exposed to. Maybe I hung out with some ragamuffins and self-proclaimed hoodrats, but then I saw family and friends with a whole ‘nother approach to life. They’re all black, and I couldn’t say any one wasn’t simply because they listened to baroque music and didn’t say the word “ain’t”.
So, uh, that’s why I’m kinda puzzled about Ms. Evin’s comments.
Didn’t grow up around many African Americans? Me neither. Private schools? Check. Assumption that I can’t relate to black people because I’ve been exposed to a couple knot-heads from the so-called [in my specific situation: wanna be] hood? Naw.
Really? You prefer not to speak “in that hip-hop way”. Well, I think I discussed how I feel about Mr. Cosby’s diatribes about black folks, so you already know. Can’t say I’m surprised – first comes the tree, then comes the apple – but when is it gonna stop?