Blackness: Tearing The Stereotypes

What a diffrence there is being from a small town and living in a small town compared to being from a big city and living in a big city. I have found that the difference between the two is open-mindedness and closed-minded. It is interesting how sometimes many close friends and family members in your hometown may never truly know who you are and may only know a certain part of your life but not everything. Some people are content with what they know while being close-minded while others choose to expand their knowledge to obtain a view perspective that is different from their own and many times that is how one grows outside of cultural norms. This is an article that will come against stereotypes and as you read the article by Lady “K” thanks for understanding that this is a personal perspective. Real Life Real Truth is an opinionated view blog that gives viewpoint perspectives from real life and truth experiences.

Many of us are guilty of making statements when it comes to questioning a person’s blackness. Some jokingly state “if you do this your not black or “if you do or remember that then you are definitely black”. It seems that some people equate being black to actions and experiences, if you have been part of the black struggle then your black, but unfortunately many feel that just because a person may have the melanated skin tone of being black that they may not be black at all. I understand that some would never be able to understand this concept because they may never look at skin tone any different than your either black or white but that is not always true because there are melanated individuals that actually consider themselves white when it comes to identifying while having melanated skin. Some individuals with very light skin tones actually deny their culture by stating the fact that they are of entirely different ethnicity. I understand that “other” is a boxed category in many forms when one is of mixed ethnicities. I also once took notice in wondering why a box category of “Non-White Hispanic” was placed on many forms. On social media, I once started a conversation on the differences between a person growing up in the inner city and a person growing up in the suburbs and although many thought it was a black and white thing as if all whites grow up in the suburbs and all blacks grow up in the inner city the keyword to this difference can be “assimilation”- a manner where a person may change themselves to migrate or fit within that majority dominating culture, assimilation can occur when a person may adopt the norms of the majority or host culture, often losing (intentionally and unintentionally) aspects of their own culture to co-exist. When new members do not assimilate to a surrounding culture they can be talked about, bullied, segregated, or marginalized and that same concept can be actually be applied for a black person that grows up in the suburbs, as a middle-class black family and not the hood? Many immigrants that come to the United States may find themselves assimilating into the American culture where they now reside separating from one’s own individual culture. On social media, someone mentioned that being black is not about skin tone but a heart’s posture. A few believe, stated, and feel that they have experienced a white person acting more black than an actual black person does, and the term I recalled in hearing this was the use of the term “wigger”. Once in an all-white suburban high school, an article was written about white students acting as “wiggers” and many may not be aware but surprised to learn that more young white students today are now calling themselves and each other the “N” word. In truth, you can actually have whites grow up in the inner city with blacks and be totally different than a white person only growing up around whites in the suburbs. You can also have blacks that grow up in the suburbs and can not relate to the many struggles of blacks growing up in the inner city or the hood. I once had an urban-inner city white teacher tell me that she wished she had the opportunity to grow up or be more exposed to inner-city children so that she could better understand or relate to them. I believe she thought having some experience living or growing up in the inner city could make her a better urban-inner city teacher for the population she served. Working in an urban school district was great because it was always more of a mission for me (to help and look out for as many urban students as I can and the push back I received while once working in a high school most times was unreal) but challenging sometimes whenever trying to reach difficult students that may have had issues I never had and sometimes coming in love was not always received if a student did not always understand what that means. So many times a black person can be judged by other blacks on “blackness” depending on their experiences and how well they may relate to other blacks. Many black and white mixed kids may deal with the issue of “blackness” depending on where they have grown up and some black and white mixed kids may have heard or was even told they were not black enough. The battle of a black child growing up in the suburbs and then interacting with other family members, schools, or friends that may live within the city or the hood can create issues for the black child to the point where they may be always constantly trying to prove they are black. Contrary to what some may think or believe, not all rappers in the music industry grew up within the inner city with having issues, some of them come from families that have mothers or fathers that are educated and professionals but yet they have chosen to identify, relate and rap about the many experiences of being black from the inner city. Some equate being black on dealing with matters of the heart when it comes to black people and where one stands when it comes to standing up for blacks on issues of systemic racism, equality, marginalization, and police brutality affecting the black community. Not all blacks stand up for the black community while being black and with that, some blacks say “all skin folk is not kinfolk” because the black person may not be speaking out or taking a stand for the very issues that may be affecting black people. Some may know but not all that I personally have postured my heart to take a stand for what I may consider being the betterment of black and brown individuals (looking out for the best interest of brown and black students while working for an urban district, taking the initiative to provide reinforcements for young black and brown students regarding their reading levels, speaking up for issues affecting my daughter and all other black or brown students at her school on racist teachers and academic acknowledgments; writing a proposal with other black women for cultural support and more positive image exposure for urban students; joining a coalition and coming up with an idea of a co-op grocery store in the inner city; taking a stand for someone talking to me while using the “N” word in the workplace with stating that she and her black boyfriend do it all the time). My heart posture identifies with being black and I am sensitive to the many ongoing issues that do affect black and brown people and have never had a problem with speaking up or out on them and not everyone can say the same. Some may also think that the many differences in being black can also depend on one’s circle of friends, financial status, education, mindset, and tokenism (once considered a term for being hired as the only black person in a group but now many blacks look at the term for any black or brown person that may not stand up, speak up or represent black or brown people) or sell-out is most times used by blacks if a black person becomes educated and their financial status or mindset change to expend themselves but it does not mean they are not black even if they have grown and no longer find themselves with the same mentality. Not all blacks think alike and if you think outside the box some will say that you are not black. Not all blacks grow up in the hood and with that aspect, some blacks will tell you that it makes them no less black than anyone else especially for how they been treated and still may be treated when it comes to some whites.

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