Someone said something to me the other day that made twitch with WTFrackness:
“You know, even though you try to act like you’re not black, your pictures of you don’t lie.”
It’s the same thing I’ve heard over the years in different ways, over and over again. You act white, you sound white, you’re forgetting that you’re black. I assumed you date only white guys (with the unsaid “because you’re a oreo”). Shouldn’t you know this (because you’re black)? Or the most mind-boggling of all: oh, I forgot you were black.
*looks in the mirror*
Hmm, milk chocolate skin, non-artificial big beautiful lips, and a badonk that needs tail lights.
Hmmm, yes, I’m still coloring with the brown crayon.
I guess it all has to do with stereotypes and how people believe a black person should behave. And how I forget that I’m supposed to be a walking, talking caricature of a black female. I blame my mother.
See, the mother is Hispanic and Black. And you would think this would grace her with some innate rhythm. Uh, yeah, not so much. The only thing my mom can do is move her feet side to side. Seriously. I’ve seen her do this on the dance floor. And it’s not even always in rhythm to the song, this most basic of the basic 2-steps. So there’s strike one.
Strike 2 is that along with no rhythm, she is a geek. It doesn’t matter that she grew up in the hood until she was 20 or so. She speaks like it, much to my horror, and I constantly am correcting her. But even with only a high school education, the woman in her spare time likes to read, write poetry, create inventions for her dream kitchen, and watches sci-fi and supernatural shows. This woman produced one child that thinks she’s Japanese and draws manga, a son that can create his own video games and is a math whiz, and me who loves to write poetry, short stories and dreams of one day finishing her own supernatural book series.
So, growing up that way, and being a complete and utter nerd, I didn’t learn all the stereotypes I was supposed to live up to. I can’t do the whole neck swivel thing. My rhythm is a learned thing from watching other black girls so I never looked like a complete fool on the dance floor. I’ve never owned a pair of apple bottom jeans. I can’t stand Tyler Perry movies, or the show The Game, or the so-called African-American section in the bookstore. I know more about anime than I know about BET (although I do love hip_hop, well before now; see this post: http://dimensionthe5th.com/2013/04/04/frack-me-im-getting-old-losing-my-love-of-hip-hop/ ). I’d rather have Riesling than Moscato because Moscato is just too sweet, and I need my wine to have some kind of bite. Even though I’ve fought singing along in the past around my peach crayon friends, yes, I do know all the words to Journey’s Don’t Stop Believing, and Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody. Give me a couple of glasses of wine and I’ll stand on the table with you and sing along.
But does that make me not black? Or does that make me an individual. Contrary to belief of some, I don’t want to be white. Growing up, in the suburbs in mostly white neighborhoods did confuse me for a while, and make me pessimistic about life in general. I didn’t look like my friends. They didn’t understand that my hair wasn’t straight like theirs. That my lips were pretty much my whole face until I grew into them. But I grew up and grew to love myself and my looks. Frack, now I’m quite vain about them.
But that doesn’t make me not black. Being able to speak without slang and ebonics does not mean I’m trying to be white. It means I was taught to talk correctly by my schools, my biological sperm donor, and my mother (even with my mother’s articulation issues. I love that woman!). Just because I’m not interested in most black dramas/ comedies, etc does not mean I’m not black. Just that black people need to make more sci-fi/ fantasy stuff for me to watch!
I like myself the way I am. I’m not apologizing for it.
Although it makes me twitch, its YOUR (whoever you random people may be) problem for trying to fit me in a box. Nobody puts baby in a corner and all that.
Funny, this whole post reminds me of the saying “I don’t have to do nothing but stay black and die!”