Monday, January 30, 2006

The Unoffical Start of Black History Month

What's this? Black people month doesn't start until February 1st. Well since February is the shortest month I'm hereby changing it to starting today January 30th.
I'm a pacifist. The book "Negros with Guns" however was a delightful & powerful experience to read. I realized that in that time & place, when our people we getting murdered for breathing that sitting back & trying to take a non-violent approach was not always effective. What was most moving in this book was that all black folks had to do was show their guns. Not even having to fire them was enough to save lives. I was reading this on the steps at the public library downtown & this older white guy comes up to me and says "you shouldn't be readin' that girl". I just had to laugh.

Countee Cullen was a queen poet. Oh & he was a negro too. His poetry saved my life in sophomore year in high school. He talked about being black & gay & an artist and it was the first time through poetry I knew I'd make it through this life as queer woman of color.

Etta James has one of the most power-filled voices I've ever heard. She had the strength to recover from her demons & continue singing.

Some of you may not know this, but I'm Black. Also known as a Negro, Afro-American, African American & only in concern to my fellow Blacks or angry rednecks a nigger. Truthfully I identify as a child of the great Spirit first & foremost. Then a sober alcoholic. Then all those other labels that I loathe. But ethnically I'm 25% Black. I'm also 25% French as well as 25% Bohemian. Then there's some other stuff. However the one drop rule seemingly still applies to my racial identity even in 2006. When many ask about my background & I actually tell them (I usually make them pay a fee. Please visit the rent-a-negro link on this blog for more info) folks will then always refer to me as Black. Not one person has refered to me as French or Bohemian. Even "well meaning liberal" folks do this. And truly I no longer mind as much. Seems like putting folks in comfortable little boxes is just human nature, so personally why stress???? But & it's a big but (& yes I do have a big butt, but that's from my bohemian granny thank you very much!) it's a symbol of racism's ugly head rearing itself.

As a people we continue to be emersed in racist ideaolgy. Yet even the "I have a black friend" set doesn't always wish to see this reality & participate in changing it for themselves & the world at large. When I've confronted "friends" on this very topic of labeling me by race, each one has balked. "I'm NOT a racist" they proclaim. So when I say "okay well then let's explore white privilage, how you automatically have more rank then others based on a set of privilages that come with your skin color" they say "oh well I don't think that's true, look at Colin Powell". That's when I have to pray to the Powers that be to show tolerance of love. I used to get quite annoyed/suicidal over the racism I experience. Now it's better. I've learned to walk away when it's right & confront when it's right. But I know this, I'm go grateful God made me my color. It's beautiful. I'm in a perfect position to be of maximum service to many more folks then I could dream. I no longer have to hide behind a mask of "white-likeness" to be loved. Because I have true friends & true faith that as long as I work to create equality & love in this world, I shall never have to fear my reflection.

1 comment:

Zee said...

Well crap, you went and got all philosophical on me! Heh.

I always thought you were Native American, which just goes to show I don't know much at all.

The bottom line, is this: you're fabulous and gorgeous regardless of color or size or shape. I'd think that even if your skin were peuce-colored.