Black Love Shaming

Greetings World Wide Web,

Have you walked in a public place and seen two people walking together  from 2 different races and just stared? Is it your curiosity or just your bias steering the wheel? What’s your for or against argument among the people whom you’re comfortable enough to let it all hang out? I’m talking about those conversations with parents, siblings and besties.  If you want true feelings about race relations and/or how someone really feels, you’re probably going to have to be a fly on the wall during those times. Other than that, you’re likely getting the PG-13 version. Shaming is deeper. It’s when someone is calling you out because of your choice of a mate. It can be subtle or blatant, but it’s certainly meant to call out your choice of a different race as not the thing to do.

I don’t think we need to come to that level of candor to make progress. People should be entitled to their opinions as long as those opinions don’t physically or emotionally harm another person directly.

This piece just crossed my mind because I was recently in a forum.  I was looking at the timeline and there were these celebrations of “black love.”  My perspective on it was totally different. The timeline was showing “TI & Tiny” “Beyonce & Jay-Z” “Mariah & Nick” and plenty of others. I thought, Tiny is biracial, Beyonce is tri-racial and so is Mariah. How is that “black love?” I guess what makes them “black” is how they’ve chosen to live their lives? Wouldn’t that then make “black love” essentially include mixed couples? I’m not petitioning an endorsement. I’m ultimately just addressing the current logic behind today’s realities and inconsistencies. More often than not when we see the more obvious mixtures where a black person and a white person or a black person and some other very obvious different race or ethnicity are in a relationship there’s chatter. Y’all know the chatter.  I’m not saying it’s everyone, but it’s some. With a history deeply rooted in 1 drop  that would make a “black” person’s offspring “black” or at least a consideration in the conversation of “diaspora” when there’s at least 1 parent who is black,  it’s hard to believe there is any level of shaming that takes place, but it does.  Mercy forgive if the 2 people who are in their interracial or multi-ethnic relationship has a child & that child doesn’t hold tight to their “black” heritage.  They will quickly be classified as racially confused.  Don’t let them say it on Twitter… There is an individual engine called ‘black Twitter” that will educate them quickly or make them wish that they never even spoke in the 1st place.

In other race and ethnicity around the world, children with 1 black parent aren’t allowed to classify as just that ethnicity or race solely in many cases including being mixed black and white American.  Ex: half Asian/black children aren’t often moving to Asia with the sole classification of being just Asian. Largely they are now mixed race. They can comfortably be embraced like Kimora Lee or Karreuche among “black” people. The kicker is that when their parents are in the interracial relationship, they’re often not accepted by either Asian or black Americans communities comfortably in many cases.

As I take a look at “black” celebrities there is a high biracial identity span with even Latinas who are biracial and tri-racial playing black women parts in movies and etc.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen a “black” American women playing a Latina part to date or anything thereof.

This  is stretching the rabbit hole of colorism (darkskin & lightskinned) black people far beyond reach because “some black” is “black” but interracial couples are still shamed. The media is making “biracial” the new face of beauty everywhere you look and the India Aries & Lupita Nyongos are “cute for dark women” You’d think with all the shaming that would be all you see on posters instead of lengthening techniques to “mix look” Z and tight S-shaped curls because the “nappy hair” is truly not in, but we’ve silently made it movement. Just walk down the aisle at your local beauty supply store. The faces on the products all look biracial. This is another blog worth pages so I continue along to the point.

Why then would there be “black love” shaming?  I think more than ever it’s time to embrace the rich diversity of the “black” community. It’s also time to have a coming to Savior meeting about realities long ignored and how to sweep up at our own back door. There’s a unique heart for love, acceptance and long-suffering where some practices are outdated and it’s time to ultimately embrace a seemingly evolving reality. You  don’t have to eyeball the white woman walking down the street holding hands with her black man. Trust me, she’s facing her own set of unique circumstances from people who look like her just for standing by who she loves. She probably needs a sistah’s help when she gives birth to a child that has curls and she needs to learn a moisture regimen just to keep the hair from breaking. She’ll also need help with fully understanding what the black experience is and how to effectively introduce her “black” child to society. Whether she/he thought of that or not before she fell in love is not relevant. In the black community we marvel over the mixtures at how “cute” mixed children are, but shame the couples who make them in some cases. There’s also the added part that if the couple bares a child based on a current census of understanding, the child will return right back to identifying as “black” but “yella, or light-skinned or red bone” or something like that. There’s a whole heap of “good hair” sayings where biracial people blend quietly into “black” culture with the “black folk” with Indian in their blood.

I know very passionate people who didn’t choose to fall in love with someone who is racially or ethnically different from them. This doesn’t change their black experience. It also won’t change their children’s experience either. I’ve found it to be a bridge over troubled waters in some cases.  It surely hasn’t changed mine. Contrarily I’ve been invited behind closed doors and even invited to conversations from people who look at my world from the outside. It increased my awareness and even made me more passionate about my identity. It didn’t happen before making me feel horrible for years. I’ve had several coming to Savior meetings with myself over the years. I’ve heard hard truths, mean opinions, been wounded and stopped in my tracks with wanting to be around anyone who doesn’t look like me. I lived to love again. Every single new experience with an awesome person built me back up so I could jump back into this wonderful diverse world of people with so much I can learn from.

I purposefully don’t stare at people who are brave in their life choices. That takes courage. LGBT, mixed couples and so many other people who aren’t what our society places it’s “normal” stamp of approval on.  When they walk into the world elated with the love being offered to them by another human they should be embraced. If I make eye contact, which I normally try to do, I smile at all the beautiful brave souls I see because I know what they feel. I also want to send them love and light.

Contrarily, for the people who openly intend to shame with their words, I feel sorry for them. They’re missing out on realities that whether they’re comfortable with them or not, are moving forward and growing stronger.

Until the Next,

XOXO,

MarjorieIam

 

 

Afro-Latino or African American & Latino

Good Morning World Wide Web,

The other day I was speaking to a young man. He actually reminded me of my son. He was raised by an African-American mother, and his father who was not a part of his life is Latino. He doesn’t speak Spanish or understand Latin culture much at all and it made me wonder about there being a distinction.  If you’re African-American and Latino mixture, does that just make you Afro-Latino? Are you African-American & Latino?  Comparably, I have a friend who is Latina, that would racially be considered white after she selected her ethnicity of Latina, then her race next.  Her husband is also Latino. If he selected race he could consider himself black by his skin tone and obvious mixed hair texture. Although multiracial and similar to how a child of black and white American heritage would just be considered black or African-American, the off-springs of the couple that are both Latino could be considered “black” and could pass for “black or African-American” The difference is the child of the Latino couple would more than likely speak Spanish, celebrate and understand the Heritage and be able to speak to what would make him or her Afro-Latino. What about the mixed African-American and Latino, raised by the African-American mother without having been introduced to Latin culture? Is he Afro-Latino also? It makes me wonder what truly classifies a person. Is it skin color or culture? Is it skin color & culture? Does it have to be both? What does that do for the person from a two parent household of Latino parents but doesn’t speak Spanish? Could he/she still pass somewhere else outside of their Latin heritage not having a connection to it, with the same measure that someone else could be accepted into the same culture without having a direct connection to it?

My questions just started to stack up once I noticed this. This is the main reason I started this project. As an African-American woman with children from a Latino father, I wanted them to celebrate me as well as their father. Somehow if I just throw them into the box of “Afro-Latino” there are several open-ended questions of racial classifications that would leave my children’s identity up to another person’s experience and perception.  This is also why I chose “other” so many times and then decided to start a conversation for the infinite questions there are about “other.” Who checks this race box and why? If you’d like to chime in with an answer or opinion type away.  You can also email me at info@wecheckother.com.  I always love to hear for you.

XOXO,

MarjorieIam

An African American in the Global Community

Good Afternoon World Wide Web,

I’m interested in sharing a story.  I want everyday people to view this blog and think, “I get it.”  With that being said I’m going to tell you about my morning so far and bring a little of my life experiences and questions into the blog.  I went to a forum this morning where there was representation from countries around the world.  From a color perspective, the majority of those represented were in the beige and white family.  They could easily check “white” as their race, assimilate into society and if they lack an accent would enjoy white privilege without a problem.  Everyone went around the room introducing themselves and stating their countries of origin.  When it was my turn, I stated my name, occupation, and why I had an interest in being there.  There were a few items that I noticed but the most important was, there weren’t any African-Americans present.  I’m not saying that there should or shouldn’t be.  I’m stating what I saw.  There were several white American born people in the room.  Actually, the person moderating the event appeared to be white American and he even had white American constituency present.  I thought, WoW!  In a growing economy, where the world is becoming increasingly diverse and expanding across borders, there aren’t any stakeholders from the community present besides ME!

I have to admit when I say my first and last name, there’s somewhat of a pass because of the Latin origin.  There were several representatives from various parts of Latin America present.  The un-chartered waters that I meet when I walk into a room and can speak another language is interesting to explain.  I’m a sell out to my community at times, and I’m Latina to others….It’s the life and times of the mixed experience.  How can you explain in a parochial society that you have an interest in both places? How do you help people who have no real reason or interest understand that you are a stakeholder in both places?  We’re still getting there.  I imagine that after the world has given “everyone else” no choice but to accept that, “the world’s transactions and interactions are now GLOBAL” people will be more accepting.  The truth is, by that time the rules to engage will have already been created by the stakeholders with a seat at the table and everyone else will be following them.

I can’t make you understand how it feels when I go somewhere and there’s a surprised look or receptions when I say, “I’m African-American” but speak another language yet when I see someone who is an immigrant speaking proper English as their second language, it’s accepted makes me feel.  It reminds me of the dual consciousness that still plagues the community.  The homeless diaspora; where Africa is far away and America is beyond reach.  To explain that I  have an interest in the international conversation just furthers spaces me away from the collective “Black or African-American” community.  There’s a tendency for white people and even some immigrants to believe that if there is a native of Africa in the room that means “Black American” representation.  Although the country of origin is the same, there’s a disconnect in many cases.  There is language. cultural barriers and so much more.  Moreover, immigrants from Africa tend to speak multiple languages.  They even get a pass because on a larger scale, more people expect that they will at least be bilingual.  I’m sure that this isn’t the reality everywhere.  I believe that more culturally diverse places around the world have people who are active and participating on a global scale in business and conversations.  I’m bringing attention to a confederate south and other less progressive leadership pools where those changes haven’t begun to take place.

What do you think?  How does your city look?  Chime in below.  Progress happens in the details.

Until the next,

-MarjorieIam

Let’s Talk Race! Conversations Post Ferguson

 

Good Morning World Wide Web,

There are several conversation going on.  The conversation in this YouTube video ended well, but can Talib really walk into a room of reporters or scholars and give his insight?  Will they listen to him?  If you go to any news outlet now and type Ferguson MO into the search bar, there will be some results.  What took place with the shooting death of unarmed black teen Mike Brown has sparked conversations across race, cultures and the color lines.  It’s good to see the dialogue.  Some of them have great points.  Others not so much.

I think we can all agree that a real conversation is overdue. Personally, I attempted to find some key stakeholders and bring people together almost naïvely hoping that through a series of talking we could get started.   I don’t expect that a simple conversation or a series will change anything immediately.  The one thing I know is that a conversation will be a step in the right direction.  Real conversations.

In my neck of the woods we’re calling on the collegiate community; the scholars.  I’m not opposed to the participation of people who’ve chosen to mount up their debt and excel at standardized testing for cramming 12 weeks of material about an array of subject, but I think conversations need dichotomy.  Instead what you find are important narratives become more political in nature where there’s a top down approach.  Listen, I get it!  Your student loan bill, title and socioeconomic status places you higher on the food chain, but where you go home and the person who has a tomorrow interest in what happens today aren’t equal.  Ideally Ferguson should be discussing Ferguson and inviting who they’d like to the table.   Instead societal norms and “buzz words” have created efficiency in not having conversations but hosting trends.  I’m literally getting in line for a title myself.  I respect the process.  We have a great country and some of our greatest leaders have advanced education.  I don’t want to sound as though I’m discounting education.   I’ve decided to go back so that I can make a difference.   I can’t rap,sing, play football, basketball or any of those other groovy sports to get a platform quicker.   I’m about 18k in now and counting.  I’m assuming my voice will cost me another 10k just to get in the ring.   Reality is not a 3 month class.  It’s real, and until there are real stakeholders at the table, it is my opinion that nothing will ever truly be resolved.  A combination of knowledge and experience are the perfect bowl of punch.

-MarjorieIam

MultiRacial, MultiEthnic, MultiCultural Community! "PEOPLE" without RACE boxes.

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