When I listen to other people speak or read other information online dealing with labeling of ethnicity, I realize how much I’ve been in a box in my thinking. At one point I used to feel that it was important for us to keep African in front of American because of the fact that we didn’t want to lose where we came from. I felt it traced us back to our beginnings. I would get in my feelings when people would say things to push the label off because they aren’t African, never been to Africa and probably never would because I felt it was them turning their back on their history. The reality is, there is truth to the things that they have said and I think more than anything it’s just more important to be human while accepting that you produce more melanin than your friends who produce none.
Of course I love Karen Hunter and listen to her as often as I can on Sirius XM. Yesterday she got into talking about not wanting to be categorized and often times not selecting African American on different documents that always require us to distinguish ourselves by nationality. Her cousin actually said that she wants to be waited on so she won’t select it just in case it discriminates her in places like doctor’s offices or on job applications. I feel some type of way about that simply because I feel that there is no need to hide behind a white paper so that people will appear to take you more seriously. I mean, that’s kind of how I felt she was delivering her point. I could be wrong but that’s what I heard.
I hear people say as well that they want to be human. They don’t want to be a color. I disagree with that as well. No matter how people may or may not feel about our past as Blacks in this country, we have one and hiding behind the unity that some people may feel with other races, that said unity won’t erase the past. People went through a lot for civil liberties and I don’t ever want to separate myself from that. That doesn’t mean I want to run around with a Black Panther sign on my shirt and scream Black Power at the top of my lungs. But it does mean that I’m proud to be a Black woman in this country and I don’t mind checking that box on any paper or census that comes around in the mail. That doesn’t make me less human in my opinion. It makes me proud. It allows me to take ownership of what comes with me and I’m okay with that.
I believe that we live in a country that will never allow us to forget about where we came from. Having a half Black President has definitely revealed how important race is to millions of people in this country. They will always distinguish us because we are a nation built on division and separation. I don’t say that to say we should stay there, but take for instance the case where the kids in North Carolina took the controversial KKK picture http://thegrio.com/2015/01/07/kkk-picture-north-carolina/ These kids are still being raised with separation in their thought processes so how do we get beyond the labels? As a kid you don’t even see the severity in something like this and what people who were terrorized by radical white Christians who believed that Blacks weren’t as worthy went through to have rights like theirs. So when does the labeling actually stop? Do we live in a country that will allow that in your opinion? (Another blog for another day)
I’d rather not feel that everything I did required me to set myself apart and maybe I am not African American (derived in 1988 when Rev Jessie Jackson was running for President without him taking into account that you can in fact be African American without melanin………..because White people are from there as well) or Negro (Spanish origin and most of us are not Hispanic, Spanish or Mexican), but I’d like to be something that allows me to show pride in my culture. It is not about being a part of America or being Pro Black. It’s really about self acceptance and self awareness. I’m okay with that.
Until Next Time Lovies!