Scrolling down my timeline, I noticed a thread quiet a few people were joining. The rule seemed to be to tweet your name, age, height, “what you are (race/ethnicity/nationality)”, state, likes and dislikes. I checked out the thread and of those that said they’re Black, it came after a list of four or five other nationalities or ethnicities. Whether it be Indian, Italian, Dominican, or Caucasian, I noticed that these were listed in most cases from greatest to least in order of the amount of praise given by society. From most exotic to least desirable. Black was always last. Now, it is absolutely possible that these were ordered from greatest to least percentage in their blood. However, I couldn’t ignore the clear pattern.
*Insert anything but Black* *Repeat* *Repeat* Black
It reminded me of a conversation I had with a family member a couple weeks before.
“I’m not Black,” she said. “I can’t say I’m Black because I have Indian and White in me. I’m mixed,” she boasted. Now, our grandfather was of the lightest shade of colored there is. The Native American part…possible. I think every African American family claims to have a little Cherokee in them though. Plus, I’m sure most of us are mixed somewhere because of the unfortunate effects of slavery.
I was so frustrated with her because being black is something to be proud of. Denial of what you most clearly are isn’t a sign of a healthy self image. Society doesn’t necessarily care about what’s in your blood. If you look Black, you will be looked at, treated, and stereotyped as such. If you can be identified as racially ambiguous, it is your responsibility to recognize the privilege that comes along with it, and make certain that your complexion isn’t used as a cop out to ignore who you are. Be an example to others by showing that even though you do not have to own being Black or part Black, you do because it’s something to be proud of. It is something to brag about.
I’m Black. Blackity-Black.