*In case you haven't noticed, for Black History Month - I'm talking about blackness. Let's continue.
You know, reading over yesterday's comments about blackness I realized that I left off a whole other subset of the "black enough" equation. I would be remiss in not calling out my OWN folks who openly display their lack of racial sensitivity. Let me shout out a few gems:
- My editor, a sister-girl, telling me that the hero in my second novel shouldn't be a doctor because "my target audience" couldn't (or wouldn't) relate to him. "It would be better," she said, "if he was a delivery man or something obtainable like that." O__o. Just to be evil, the hero of the second book is a delivery driver for the first eight pages. When we see him again, he has a Ph.D. [snuck that Doctor in anyway]
- Bruh who rolled up at the airport, "Are you Puerto Rican?"
Him: "So what are you?"
Him: "No really, are you mixed?"
Me: Black and black, does it matter?
Him: You just have a look about you that's not really black. I mean that as a compliment. [funny, doesn't feel like one]
- Work colleague (a sister) who pulled me to the side to say she admired my earrings. "Are they real?" I gave her a look and responded, "As far as I know." She came back with, "Oh, I never knew another black person who owned real diamonds before." [Le Sigh]
- Blogger who said he prefers "real black women" not uppity, siddity ones. [I didn't realize sidditiness impacted my black status.]
- African-American owned company who interviewed me via phone six times and then when I came in to meet face to face looked stunned that I was black. In fact, the CEO actually fixed her lips to say, "I would have never known you were black from your phone voice." [Is that the black version of 'you speak so well'?]
- When I transferred from private school to public school for grades 10 – 12, the many, many brothers and sisters who told me that I "talked white" "acted white" and "dressed like a preppy white girl." [I now realize my response should have been - And so?]
It's bad enough when you get it from folks outside the race; you can always
pretend assume they don't know any better. But when your "peeps" come at you with it… no bueno. I'm not sure how we expect everyone else to be post-racial when we can't seem to get the hang of it ourselves.
Well, I had created a seriously stupid quiz to go along with today's post but Blogger won't let me be great. If you want to take it, click here. Have a great weekend!
Comments, thoughts? I know ya'll have had similar experiences... do share!