24th February 2014, 09:02 PM #1
African-American Culture and me
Over the years, i've learned a few tidbits about African-American culture (my culture) in school (or at least the accomplishments and trials and tribulations of other African-Americans). But for a while, i never saw myself as one of them, it wasn't until i was 13 that i actually asked my mother if we were African-American. This fact played little a role in my life afterwards though (sans only an African-American conference i attended in Middle School), but in my freshman year in High School, a classmate of mine hit new nerve within me (and he was already one of my least favorite people). You see, for whatever reason, this classmate of mine was counting how many black and white kids there were in the class (I don't think he was being racist, but still) and when he got to me, he said that i was Caucasian. I found that to be insulting, no matter how i looked at, especially since he likely only made that conclusion based entirely on the fact that my skin is a lot paler and not as dark as his was (never mind the fact that i have the more rounded nose, the wool-like hair and the pronounced lips).
This issue also happened in the next High school i went attended (my family used to move around a lot); a student there (another one of the people i still hate to this day) also made the assumption that i was white, most likely based entirely on the fact that my skin isn't as dark as other African-Americans. Please don't misunderstand, i am not racist towards Caucasian people, in fact, some have been my closest friends, which actually brings up another related problem; admittedly, i did not encounter the whole "You're not black" problem after the second time, but over the years i spent in Virginia, i've noticed a pattern. From where i stand, a great deal of the issues i had while in Virginia were from other Black kids who treated me like dirt and/or expected me to fall into the basic stereotypes of Blacks and teenage boys (by which i mean; talking like i grew up in the "hood", braiding my hair into dreadlocks and being girl-crazy).
On that note, it really feels like i don't fully embrace African-American culture; I only find a certain amount of it soulful, I don't eat soul food (with the exception of Chicken), I don't get many of the Black-related jokes and in terms of movies and shows; I've somewhat lost interest in "That's So Raven", "Proud Family" and "The Cleveland Show" and i can't really get into Disney's "The Princess and the Frog" for the African-American aspects of it.
By the powers that be, i am not trying to be racist to anyone, I'm just trying to find answers to my plight
Even now, it's nearing the end of Black History Month and i don't think that i've fully embraced it. There just wasn't enough time; not enough for me observe Black History Month and get into the mood for Valentine's Day. In fact, my attempts to get into the V-Day mood took up most of my February time, i tried to get jump on Black History Month by thinking about it last month, but now it feels like i've wasted my preparation time.
Tell me there's not something wrong with a Black man who fails to fully embrace a month dedicated to the legacy of his culture.
I was hoping to watch the movie "The Color of Friendship" (which was released on February 5th by the way) for Black History month, but at this point, i'm not sure i'm in the mood to even try.
24th February 2014, 09:20 PM #2
Re: African-American Culture and me
I think this would be better be suited as a blog, instead of a thread.