Posted tagged ‘black folks’

news that doesn’t make the news

May 17, 2009

I always wonder why stories about Britney not wearing panties are on the evening news, but not stories like these:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/romania/5273654/Scientists-reveal-face-of-the-first-European.html

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/scienceandtechnology/science/sciencenews/5299351/African-tribe-populated-rest-of-the-world.html

this is what i mean

January 22, 2009

This is what I mean when I say that the election of President Obama and the image of his family on television (both his wife and children, and his extended family) makes me feel like I’m no longer invisible. My whole life has been spent in a loving, nuclear family with a great extended family that loves and cares for one another. My father and mother have been married for 35 years. Both have advanced degrees and have always provided a loving, supportive home for my brother and me.

My cousins are managers, in fields most haven’t heard of, lol, teachers, lawyers and Ph.D.’s. 99.9% of us hold advanced degrees of some sort, and we are the third generation (at least) to do so. None of us have been to jail. None of us have children out of wedlock, but all of us feel the pressure of the past on us. Us girls can’t find husbands. The boys (now men, lol) are worn out by the way young women carry themselves. I don’t mean they don’t enjoy looking, lol, but my brother once told my Mother how glad he was that none of us had fallen into the stereotypes that plague our culture.

But those stereotypes are made truth when that’s all you see. Thankfully we had the foundation to protect us from them, but most kids don’t. Slavery technically ended in 1865. Jim Crow (especially for my family being from MS) laws were passed through about 1965. My grandmother was raised by a former slave. All of my family prior to my generation grew up during the Jim Crow era in the heart of its culture. Yet these are the people who in their own time and one generation later have managed to overcome all they have been taught about what they are capable of to raise the family that we have today.

I grew up one decade removed from being told I couldn’t eat at the same counter, drink from the same fountain…that I was not good enough, smart enough, or even human enough. Do you ever stop to think what that must be like? We have a way of believing that today is all that matters, that there is no cumulative effect from the past.

Even as supported as my life has been within my family, I have had times where I’ve had to mentally correct myself on thoughts that have crept into my mind about who I am, what I can achieve, or how I should live.

Seeing a new image of what my people can be and feeling exposed for what we are is an amazing thing. I’ve seen my co-workers looking at me a little too long these past few days and I wonder what are they thinking (I’m a black woman managing two teams that are majority white and older). My friend C. says she feels like white men speak to her and look her in the eye in ways that have never happened before. Our imagination? Maybe. Our psyche, probably. A reality? Perhaps. But even if it is just a little of either, it is a wonderful thing.

finally

January 20, 2009

Oh God! All day I’ve needed to let these tears of joy out, but couldn’t. It’s good to finally be home and let this day sit in my spirit and to have the tears of joy flow.

in the memory of all the saints…

January 20, 2009

God bless Rev. Lowery for bringing it full circle…

“Lord, in the memory of all the saints who from their labors rest, and in the joy of a new beginning, we ask you to help us work for that day when black will not be asked to get in back, when brown can stick around, when yellow will be mellow, when the red man can get ahead, man; and when white will embrace what is right. That all those who do justice and love mercy say Amen. Say Amen”

President Barack Obama

January 20, 2009

Words cannot express how I feel today as Barack Obama is sworn in as our 44th President. When he was announced as the winner in November, I felt pride, a sense of visibility…joy. Today I feel a kinship across generations with my fellow African Americans…not just black people, but those who have the experience of slavery, cotton fields, crowded inner cities, crime, discrimination, marginalization, segregation, fear, sadness, powerlessness, and brokeness because of the color of their skin in this country, in America.

I watched President Obama’s inauguration with my friends C. and F. Together we sat silently as we watched President Obama ever so nervously take the oath of office. We willed him to shine on this day in a way that only those who know, you sometimes only get one chance, if you get one. We rejoiced in his words that not only touched on the spirit and history of our country, but also the spirit of the people he represents, if only ever so slightly, if only because his skin is brown. His brief acknowledgement of segregation and the recognition that only a generation ago, I could not have eaten at the same counters or taken a drink from the same fountain because I was seen as less than made my heart sing. Because while in this moment we celebrate, we can not forget the depth of his election to office. Only in the worst of times could the best attributes of my people be allowed to shine, as they always have. I can’t help but think that in a better situation, Barack Obama might not have been considered. Yes, I have faith in my fellow man, but I’m from Mississippi. I hold no idealistic beliefs regarding how some see me or my people. I see the destruction of the past in my people every day and I know how we are interpreted by some.

Today I feel joyful that some one like me, with a family like mine shows the best of who my people are. I rejoice in the spirit that has swept this country. I celebrate the resilient American spirit. And I pray that I never experience my parents’ and grandparents’ dispair at the loss of a man only seeking to make the world better.