I mean, look at this:
Hmmm... pretty curious because this same author alludes to the "Acting White" phenomenon even as she herself pondered how she "suspected" her [Black] classmates where not intellectually curious, inspired and excited enough to even dare do something as UN-Black like doing reading, etc. outside of the classroom. If I'm wrong in my reading... then what is the "acceptable" Black book comparable to "Little Women" that she should have read 5 or 10 times over to prove here young Black "authenticity"?quote:Chatting at NABJ, Boston Globe columnist Derrick Jackson and I admitted the unadmittable: We aren't "really" black-- or, as Jackson later explained, "really black in the eyes of some people."
...I suspected that most of my classmates hadn't read "Little Women" 10 times or plopped before the TV, notebook paper in hand, to record lyrics from Rodgers and Hammerstein's annual "Cinderella" telecast.
Even more clear and pernicious stereotypes here. Damn, I didn't know that in order to be Black I had to be able to ball, dance, etc., etc. Now, we often get criticized in American society (by Whites) about being overly sensitive and I often beg to differ. But this is one case where I have to change sides. Though most likely said in jest, the Jackson guy really needs to lay off the drugs... Though he says "every one of those 'you're not black' moments sticks in your memory," what seems to be wrong with either his recall, his perceptiveness or his experiences if there wasn't at least as many moments affirming his Blackness as it was with him however he was non-dancing, no ballin' or whatever or whomever he was/is?quote:Jackson... figured things out early, too. "I can't play basketball," he begins. "I've been told I don't talk right and can't swear right... I couldn't even say 'Right on' right, no matter how many 'Free Angela Davis' buttons I wore. Friends tried to give me dance lessons in college...
Seriously? If there are so many people as it seems who want to make this an issue - in some arguments those who make these types of "observations" (read: John McWhorter) call themselves the Silent MAJORITY - then how is it that they never felt validated or affirmed by at least one other Black person who was not your [RACIST] stereotypical Black?
I had my "Blackness" questioned growing up constantly (and still do) within my own family with the typical remarks about my choice in music or other behavior not fitting the "norm". Not that anyone is suppose to be like me or that my experience is typical or even that extreme but, even in the midst of those, perhaps, unintentional slights... there were countervailing messages, affirming or loving messages with signals that I was embraced regardless and even respected all the more because of the "positive" things that may have been deemed atypical. (And I'm talking about my family where we love to talk about folk... especially each other.)
I just don't understand... No doubt, because my experience and the way I dealt with my own little encounter with the Indentity Police, my own perception of them, was perhaps just different. Though I can remember those "moments" clear as day, I didn't and haven't come away with a net negative feeling. But this is all rather funny, because the other day, I joked with my daughter about kids going through Identity Crisis. She's a teenager so I think you know what I mean. Anyway, however the conversation got started, I topped it off with a little remark about how White kids with either hippie, punk or gothic jet black or multicolored hair must suffer from some extreme Identity Crisis.
I mentioned that only put all this into perspective. It is what it is. An Identity Crisis is just that: An Identity Crisis. We all go through it and we all have to learn how to navigate through it. Part of doing that is not buying into those messages that say that you don't have a place - somewhere where you belong. Unfortunately, when Black people internalize the most problematic of negative stereotypes, react with hypersensitivity (IMO) to those messages that, perhaps, say no more than "you seem different" and fail to self-validate themselves... then we have a situation that is a universal human phenomenon projected as if it is something that especially plagues the Black Community.
What's even more tragic is when those in a position to dispell some of the myths and aid us in moving beyond Knee-Jerk sentiments fail to even do more than just beef up these Urban Legends without providing the proper perspective to something that's hardly a mystery, IMO.
Article QUOTES from commentary published in the Washington Post: