Friday, October 1, 2010

I Am A Black American (don't tell nobody)

What is it about race that just plain makes some White folks uncomfortable? I had lunch today with a couple of ladies of the Caucasian persuasion. One of the women, started telling a story about a group of women whom she gets together with quite often. Women that she's been friends with since her child was in grammar school. Women who start these "mother's groups." I said that I never really got into those groups because when my daughter was in grammar school, it wasn't very diverse and I didn't think the other mothers were ever quite comfortable letting someone as, well, diverse, as me get that close to them. It was fine for my daughter to play with their kids. Everybody wants their kids to have "exposure," right? My daughter used to say, "Mom, I wonder why they don't invite you to join their book club, you're always reading!"

Anyway, when I mentioned the "R" word - race, my lunch mates practically croaked on their "croque sandwiches." For crying out loud, while we have a Black president, we also still have the KKK - oh, and don't leave out the Tea Party.

So, don't pretend that race doesn't matter or that nobody notices because the bottom line is that I am and always will be a Black woman, African American (born a Negro) and I'm not going to conceal it or apologize about that to anyone.

Race. The conversation that still needs to happen.

Racism. The gift that keeps on giving.

1 comment:

Brooklyn said...

Kudos to you!!! People stay ignorant because they refuse to let knowledge enter into their equation. It's much more comfortable for some people to surround themselves with African Americans who have such an inner desire to "be included" that they refuse to acknowledge their own presence.

I work in a large corporate office and recently an African American male came aboard as a contingent employee to help with a project. He makes it a point not to look at, speak to, or acknowledge anyone who is African American. All of the African American employees have noticed his clear avoidance. I say, "his problem." He is a young man. I don't suppose he is barely out of his twenties. Professional African Americans who have worked here for over a decade would be delighted to help him navigate through the system to become a permanent employee, but he has cutoff that resource with his own attitude of "don't even look at me - I'm not one of ya'll" mannerism. He doesn't realize that he's sending a clear message of "I feel inferior with what I am." Such is life in The Big City!