In the light of current events this subject appeared sort of on accident. The coincidence of timing is impeccable.
Since I have been in
So the way I figure it, there are three types of black people.
- Africans – straight off the boat or first or second generation
- Black Americans – those of us who have no clue were we came from and have fully adapted American culture (names like Shanaenae, Daykwon,
D’ anything). Ethi, Champagne
- Naturals – these are hyper cultural enthusiasts (names like Future and Knowledge)
I have no problem with any of these “types” until they interfere with me or judge me directly. It so happens that this week I can speak directly about all three. My black American self is now dating full blooded Nigerian (6’3 and abs of steel) and I just recently (to my distaste) cohabitated a “natural” venue/event.
Being worldly my buddy ES (Esquire – cause he’s soooo fine and sooo off limits) and I had an Asian flavored dinner and headed for a natural themed event last Thursday. It happened that one of the girls from Floetry was performing, so on a whim we went to check it out. Walking up to the venue I had a feeling things were going to go terribly wrong, an adventure was going to happen in this place, I just wasn’t sure if I’d survive it. As I entered the line the mixtures of Kemi oil and incense stung my nose and the abundant masses of colors and patterns blinded my un-shaded eyes. Where was I? Had I stepped back into a
ES and I had a couple drinks and gawked at the funny little bartender with the big handsome arms. It worked for a little while until the thick pork/grease smell began to seep into our pores. The wrangly girl meowing on the stage behind black rock band wasn’t remotely interesting enough for us to endure the torture. Her punk hair cut was the only attribute we commented on. We hightailed it out of there before Floetry girl came on with or dignities in tact…All the while not apologizing for being stylish or having relaxed hair.
A couple columns back (refer to “tale of two dates”) I mentioned a certain dreaded fellow who didn’t cut it in the date etiquette department. Afterward this same man asked me why woman wore weaves. He also stated that it wasn’t his preference … I told him it was good he didn’t wear a weave then. Was he serious? Is this not 2007? I explained to him that it’s a part of a person’s persona … IF we are smart we see ourselves in our own light and care not of what others opinions are – making ourselves into the individuals we had envisioned being as children. I personally do not prefer men with dreads but that’s not to say that I wouldn’t date one. However that IS to say that I don’t prefer the smell of African musk to the new Ralph Lauren Polo cologne.
I say all this to point out that many of us only know one culture. We have all been Americanized. Straight hair or dreads we aren’t Africans, were all tainted. It compels me even more to think that if either groups were to be judged by real Africans neither would probably be accepted. My nose may be small and my skin no darker than a paper bag but I still hold and am proud of a few traits of whomever my true descendants were. Thick lips and wide eyes are enough for me to recognize just who I am. There is no level of black in