Mama nodded. 'You and your sisters will be walking around here nappy-headed with rings through your noses and the next thing you know Brother Kambui will be marrying some blonde.'"
From "Coffee will Make you Black", by April Sinclair.
I've been reading this book (a little coming of age tale set in the late 60s), and so many parts of it have just made me laugh or grimace. The self-hatred we had as a people that is STILL so very prevalent today, the "Black is Beautiful" movement that was all hot air and no progress (because if it was, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't still have folks look at me cock-eyed for having natural hair), just....I don't know. It stirs up a lot of good things, makes me think, and makes me want to talk to my mom.
Not that I'm hating on interracial relationships, mind you. The part about being nappy headed and having a ring through your nose just made me laugh, because I can only imagine that's how I look to the older generation.
...Well, at least my grandma. My appearance drives her ape shit. Like, seriously. Back when I had an afro, she told me that colleges wouldn't accept me with hair like that, and she calls the tips of my hair "dyed orange."
Most other older folk, I've noticed, just write me off as being from the Islands or something. Funny, because I have nary an accent to be found (except for a country/ghetto drawl when I get going. Chris is fond of my saying "THAT AIN'T SHIT" when I get mad), but my mom's often accused of the same thing. We really should take a picture together so people can see the comparison. She has her hair natural, too, and dyes it this golden brown color. My hair's more red in pigment and has layers that have been sun-bleached.
Oh, black people. Whenever we fight to get ahead, it just seems like we hide behind the achievements of people in the past and then make fun of the ones trying to move ahead. For serious.
Talking in bed the other night, I told Chris why I didn't want to teach American history. For how wonderfully interesting it is, for such a young country, America has been brewed in hate from the get go. Yes, we are not the only country to have had slaves, but the affects of it on this country and the utter utter vileness of it still taints everything. Our racism here is such a unique brand because it continues to thrive on ignorance.
To quote Ann Coulter as she appeared on Boondocks (this was not the real Ann Coulter), "There's no money in trying to save the world." It's true. It's easier to turn a profit on keeping people ignorant, scared, and hateful.
I secretly (not so secretly) think that Christianity and the formation of this country has a lot to do with the hate we've been simmering in. As much as I am loathe to throw the baby out with the bath water, my biggest problem with monotheistic (not just Christianity) religions is that they are so isolationist and like, strive to prove that one culture is better than the other. Going back to our conversation last night, I was telling Chris that the appeal of Classics to me was because race itself wasn't an issue. In the Roman empire, you weren't black or white. You came from one part of the empire or the other - you either had money or you didn't. None of this "Well, you're black AND poor - sucks to be you!" Older religions were respected and absorbed. I research it because I want to know what happened and how we can get back to that point. We're stuck at the bottom of the circle, marinating in hate, piling pebbles upon pebbles of why I shouldn't like you or why I should live away from you, and I'm hoping we can at least get back to the point where skin color was at lease irrelevant.
Because let's face it, the world boils down to sex. At night, ALL cats are black.
....Double entendre meant.
I know it's human nature to separate like water and oil for the stupidest fucking reasons. Even this doesn't stop me from thinking, "Maybe one day, if I have a mixed race child, I won't have to worry about people saying he has good hair or he's hot because he's fair, but they'll look at him as another human being." I feel in my marrow that I won't live to see this - and what bothers me the most about feeling like that is that it stops me from even wanting to have a child, period. Something that is innately written into my genetic code!
The world's a funny place.
A nappy headed negress with a ring in her nose.