Thursday, November 11

Crackers for Blacks

So I'm at a local fast food spot, waiting on my chili order and the Black Sister who brings it to me asks me if I want crackers. I say "no" to which she replies, "What? No crackers? Are you Black?"

There it is again - The Blackness question. I guess that it says something about my Blackness that I didn't even know that eating crackers with chili was a stereotype of Black folks. I didn't even have the option of pretending that I wanted crackers with my chili to validate my Blackness. That is what integration has done to me-deprived me of important cultural information like: Blackfolx like crackers with chili.

Anyway, I thought the shit was funny.

So then, seriously, the question becomes: What should we as Black folk be preserving about our culture and what do we not need anymore and should these questions be left up to chance? Should we just be ourselves regardless of the consequences? Or should our cultural development and preservation be a political project, a project with clear orientations?


Anonymous said...

The only thing that black people need to do is to stop racially profiling ourselves and love and take care of each other unconditionally as others do. We are too worried about how to be black instead of just being. Too many of us don't realize that to be black all you need is a little color.

Keturah said...

preserving our culture? essentially speaking, isn't race just a rhetorical construct based on a series of visible genetic characteristics? biologically speaking there is no difference. and as for race, well, there's no such thing.

through our harsh, unfair and unfortunate history blackness has been fed to us as some pretty shitty stuff. upon our consumption of that shitty stuff though, we have in turn labeled ourselves in sometimes even harsher terms than the historical white American has. what if changing our perceptions of ourselves and the perceptions of blackness on the whole were as simple as changing our rhetoric?

seems to me, a false understanding essentialism and the nature of differance (it's a french term) have been imposed on us. blackness, whiteness none of these are anything more than signifiers for visible genetic characteristics. our identity has always been more complex, beautiful and intangible than something perceived by sight alone.

integration then, has not deprived you of important cultural information (tho that was funny shit, i'll admit). integration has just made me more of what you are: American.