Thursday, November 19, 2009

A post from Nappy Headed Black Child

This is a post that I ran across today...idk you tell me what I

"This is a very difficult discussion because frankly there are no good answers or solutions. but lets dive into this and see where we end up

So the one drop rule is ideology of white racial purity saying that even one drop of black blood makes you black. Now in my lifetime i have considered anyone w/ "black in them" as black particularly because we could relate to "american black urban subculture" <---very important distinction. Now as i am currently reconstructing my own consciousness i look at the "One Drop rule" and say fuck that. Why is the concept of what is black based of the exclusivity of whiteness. I reject that totally any concept of blackness that is dependent upon whiteness for definition my people are to great for that. but that then begs the question Who is black...and who isn't black. Thats a hell of a question to answer because of the cultural destruction that Africans in america have suffered at the hands of those of european decent. There are many of us who distinctly show our African heritage in our facial and body structure as well as our skin and hair. So quite frankly What do we do about the black/other non black people? Do they still count? I mean if are still under the working definition of the one drop rule they would be considered black...but since im rejecting that...where do they stand? Hard Question to answer. This becomes increasingly problematic when we look at it in terms of colorism. The term colorism usually refers to when lighter skin tones are preferred and darker skin is considered less desirable. No matter where i look in a music videos on tv advertisements rarely do i see a dark skinned black male or a dark skinned black female portrayed together. Generally its dark skinned male and lighter skinned female. Given the pervasiveness of eurocentric beauty standards there is a problem here. Rarely do u see Grace Jones/Alek Wek dark skinned beauty grace a screen w/ black dark skinned male. When talk about black people or people of african descent we are not appreciating the breadth of African beauty. How u gonna talk about black people and not highlight the BLACK woman. Let alone a Black Queen. These are questions...that don't have answers right now. But are definitely worth discussing. But at the moment i suppose its all about what you are claiming." posted by Isaac at 1:31 PM on Nov 19, 2009

HERE is my response to what he said

Blogger HaS the Turtle said...

i have to say i completely agree with you on that. I am a dark skinned male but my biological father isn't even black, but when you look at me the first thing you think is I am black. My mother is African American and My father is Native American. To be honest I have such an identity crisis sometimes because I don't act like a typical African American male, reason my father isn't African what am I bi-racial? My outwardly appearance says other wise...

Honestly sometimes I feel like I am a black man but I just don't act like the typical one. Other times I feel as though I am not a black man I just appear to be one. I remember all through school I was called an oreo, you know black on the outside white on the inside. In some cases this was completely true. I mean if you don't exactly have an African American Male to model yourself after, can you in turn be an African American Male? I mean you can argue it all you want but can you really? I remember I used to feel really left out over this because my dad didn't have the same skin tone as me, he didn't have the exact same heritage as every other kid that looked like me. I felt like I really had to prove I was just another "Nigga" so to speak but as I grew up I realized I wasn't. I used to feel alienated from black people because they are partially my people but in a way not fully. It makes things difficult because as a teenager you have alot going on in your mind, body, and socially. I had to deal with this interesting dilemma. How can I call myself a black man, if the man that raised me, isn't a black man himself and wasn't raised by a black man either?

I wont lie I have struggled with this alot! I used to feel so awkward when I would date a black girl, or any girl for that matter because people have some sort of preconceived mold that you are supposed to fit. Well atleast here in the south. In all honesty I wasn't raised in a majority black neighborhood, I grew up around white kids, mexican kids, dominican kids, veitnamese kids, korean kids and mixed kids. Very few black kids, now many of you would say what about your mothers side of the family. Yes I knew them. Although I did not grow around my black cousins, nor did I grow up around my racial conondrum of family my father has. He kept me and my brother isolated really. He didn't really want us to be around my mothers family too much, yet at the same time he really didn't push to be around his side of the family.

I guess what I'm trying to say is, who am I? I have had the hardest time trying to define myself as a person because I literally don't have much to stand on. I have an islamic name and I am a christian. My native american father grew up as a muslim in Chicago. My mother a southern baptist. I am a dark skinned brother who didn't grow up to be a typical black man. Its like one of my exes used to hurt me so badly when she would critisize me on some of the things I would do and say. WHY? Well her being a white woman who grew up in the south she had a precut image of what a black man is supposed to be, and I just didn't fit that image. I remember becoming gang affiliated because I wanted to just be a black kid, nothing more. Now I am on the verge of 20 and I literally don't know what to do or to say about what I am let alone who I am.

My younger brother on the other hand he just sees himself as a black kid, for now. Everyday I see him grasp the reality that he isn't like other black kids. I am literally waiting for him to ask me, how are we supposed to act? I mean we look black, well sorta. We aren't built the exact same as other black kids, i noticed that first! My facial structure is honestly quite funny looking to me. I'm trailing off topic. But hey these are my thoughts do with them what you will....


1 comment:

Bri said...

I like this discussion...It's something I'm very interested in. I'm from Trinidad in the West Indies where the majority races are African and East Indian. I'm a product of those and then some (grandfather a Scottish mulatto, great grandfather Chinese). We call mixed race people "dougla" here and it's a thing of which people are proud.

Now, honestly, dougla means "bastard child" in Hindi so the connotation wasn't always good but now it's celebrated.
In Trinidad, and Jamaica I believe, what you are racially and what you look like is what you are. So a cat call for me here is "Aye Dougla!", or "Brown skin ting" or "darkie!". If, though, I went to say the UK and someone White said “Darkie” to me, I’d probably flip out. It’s a totally different connotation.

Cultural identity is a beautiful thing to watch here; I light deyas for Divali, speak a Creole influenced by Yourba and Hindi and look like a little bit of everything. I’ve also noticed that West Indians are very sensitive to when someone is mixed – not in a bad way, it’s just that to us what’s a “dougla” might just be a Black person to a North American. For example, I’m getting registered for a pap smear, an East Indian nurse is taking my information and she gets to the ethnicity section. She looks up at me, just a glance, and writes “Mixed”. She didn’t ask. A non West Indian may not have seen that as important but she knows it isn’t that simple.

I grew up being called exotic looking. I do have an odd face in a way but I don’t mind it.
My nephews are like prizes in chance games; you don’t know which features, from which races they’ll get until you see them when they’re born and they’re absolutely gorgeous.

I’ll be honest in saying that I prefer people like me who are mixed and who have this strange beauty. It comes from having a canvas that’s one thing and feature from all over the place. My grandmother looked like a very dark skinned Chinese lady. It was strange. I think we look at features and traits and not make blanket classifications based on skin tone.

Of course this has it’s negative side. Being very African comes with a stigma of not being good enough; a woman once told another woman in speaking of me, in particular my hair, “she not no market dog. She have pedigree.” This is because I’m mixed and that corresponds to some, as being “better than”. Then there are the ethnic leaders who call for their people to stay within their own race.

One of my lecturers for African lit is a typical Dougla (having on parent East Indian and one African). Her last name is Bharat which literally means India in Sanskrit. She has very African features though and she totally blew a Sheik’s mind in London when she explained how she came into being. There’s a very strange beauty in being mixed. Once it’s grown into and accepted it’s lovely…:)

My Nigerian professor always says that people who descended from slaves and indentured labourers (the East Indians in Trinidad came as indentured workers) have nothing to be ashamed of; we have a different circumstance and we therefore have a different culture which is uniquely ours. We need to take that goodness and that power and soar.

Just be who you are for real, inside, you can’t be anything else in the end. :)



There was an error in this gadget

copyright Registered & Protected