Saturday, May 16, 2009

An Anti-Stereotype: How Black I "Ain't"!

Here's a blog I've been sleeping on for some time now. This was something I wanted to do for ppl to get to know me a little better & to show how "Black" I'm Not. When I say that, it's in reference to how throughout the years, we have allowed ourselves to be put in a box & looked upon as monolithic sharing the same brain, the same food choices, the same lifestyle & mannerism. Like all sistas in the ghetto are hoodrats. All bruthas are dogs or hoodlums. All fathers are deadbeats. And so on. While rather than proving the obvious of these theories, I rather speak on myself on how "Black I'm Not."

1. The Fried Chicken Theory: In spite of Flavor Flav infatuation with fried chicken, that ugly cat looking straight from a Minstrel Show does not represent me. I like it to a degree, but I can go without it. The reason why chicken has always been affiliated with Blacks is not becuz it's THAT good. It was more affordable, & actually pretty good compared to the other affordable slop Blacks were forced to endure as slaves. But personally, I like baked chicken much better anyway. I every now & then try different varieties of seasonings..... lemon-pepper, garlic-pepper, honey & cinnamon, teriyaki, mesquite BBQ, etc.

2. Watermelon Theory: I liked it as a kid, but hated having to keep spitting out & picking through seeds. Honestly, the reason why it was even a summer thing for us was becuz it was big & enough to feed everyone. But I'll take a raw fresh uncut pineapple before a watermelon any day. Expensive, but good as hell. Naturally sweeter than that syrupy shit from a can. Hmmmm. Not just for mix drinks for me.

3. Hot Sauce: If I put hot sauce on a dish, it's not good enough to go without. LOL. Seriously. My mom's collards used to be the bomb. But I didn't start putting hot sauce on them until I would eat others. Including my own, since I try to eat healthier & not put pork products in my collards. But I much prefer jalapeños & recently (if I can afford it) banana peppers.

4. Slave Food (chitlings, fat back, black eyed peas)... As a kid, I loved fat back. To me, it was bacon without the meat. LOL The smell of chitlings while my mom prepared it on New Years back in the days turned me off from wanting to eat it. For the past 10 years, I cut back on pork tremendously. I only eat pork chops & occasionally eat pork sausages & ham (very seldomly), but I won't buy it. Only eat it when I'm at my moms & she has it maybe once a month. But as far as a lot of traditional foods (I call slave food, b/c it was the scraps slaves were left to eat & they made them in to delicacies.) I hardly eat them if ever.

5. Malt Liquor.... I didn't drink a beer until I was 19, when I worked for my uncle at his BBQ pit. But he didn't sell Bull or Old E. Instead he had the Millers & Budweiser. Bud was okay, until I started drinking Miller. After that I hated Bud. Back then, I didn't keep change for the soda machine, so on those hot days alone in a hot BBQ pit, you get thirsty & drink what's available. So it was more of a thirst quencher with a slight advantage. But in college, that's when I got into the Malt Liquor (among other liquors. LOL) My friends & I used to go to a convenient store across from the campus every Thursday & Friday & grab some Ol' E & whatever we could afford. But out of all the beers my lips have touched, I'd still take a Miller Genuine Draft over any beer, b/c of the taste & it's not as heavy as the others.

6. Loud booming Music..... I get irritated when I hear music too loud. Folks might say, "that's cuz you're getting old... blah blah blah." But truthfully, I always hated it. Even during the golden age in hip hop or before when cats used to have Miami bass rap music bumping through the speakers. I loved some of those joints back in the days at skating rinks & parties (e.g. Give It All You Got", "Drop the Bass", earlier Southern bass hip hop music.) But If I couldn't hear the melody or anything else besides the boom, I didn't see the point, except to impress the other cats roaming the streets. But I wasn't impressed, cuz I couldn't hear the actual music. I faked like I did as not to be "down."

7. Rocking Jewelry.... With the exception of my class ring & a fake thick gold rope I stole from my pops during the Slick Rick days (LMAO)... I've never worn jewelry, not even a cross. I don't knock anyone who wears a cross, but personally I'd always questioned why wear a symbol that represented death. I'm sure so one has a logical answer for that. But I had an issue with that back then. But over all, with the attention I got with the fake rope (some good... some bad... BUT MOSTLY GOOD) I hated a spotlight. And that's what made me stop sporting it & jewelry altogether.

8. Music.... I'm definitely a hip hop head til death. However, before rap, during the 80's when a lot of respectable Black artists started doing more poppy tunes (e.g. Aretha's "Pink Cadillac", Whitney, "How Will I Know", Lionel Richie "All Night Long") I started liking the music of the white artists (e.g. Police, Simply Red) on those same pop stations more than I did the black music. Of course that was b4 BET & before New Jack Swing brought a little more excitement & soul back into Black music. Even today with hip hop going stale in the past decade, I find myself liking the videos on VH-1 over BET. Pink always come with some dope shit. That "Please Don't Leave Me" video is dope, playing off the movie, "Misery". I love Cold Play, Gorillaz, (some) Björk, Maroon 5, Linkin Park, Amy Winehouse (b4 she went crazy), John Mayer, & a few others. ANd it's a new group called MGMT who has a joint out called "Electric Feel" that I think it's tight. Reminds me of some Prince & The Revolution 80's vibe. Their videos kinda cheesy, but it makes me like it more cuz it has that old psychedelic vibe.

9. TV Shows.... Some shows that may be considered as corny to the stereotypical Black person, I can watch with no problem. Shows in syndicated such as "Friends", "Seinfeld" (after the Kramer incident I stopped, but recently started back after being out of work..... Besides George Castanza was my favorite character anyway. LOL), "Everybody Loves Raymond", & a few others. I actually watch "Save By The Bell." Although I'm tired of it. It's nothing else on when I wake up. Plus it comes on after one of my all time favorite sitcoms.... "Married WIth Children." Another favorite after Bernie Show (R.I.P.) is Malcolm In The Middle (love the theme music too) & That 70's Show.

10. Athletically Challenged..... Yeah. I said it. LOL. For the record, I can play football, volleyball & some sports. But I cannot play basketball. I'm one of those cats that passes, but never shoots. LMAO. I'll also foul like a mugg. I'm 5'9" 200 pound (short & thick), I sweat easy. LOL. All the gym & running can't help my game. I'll just sweat less. Baseball, I could play a little. (on the street). But in school, I used to choke & felt like Charlie Brown. If I was on outfield, I'd pray the ball wouldn't come my way. And damn!!!!! My issue was my left hand was much stronger & I could catch & throw with that one, but weaker with my right. If I caught the ball, I had to take off my glove to throw it or risk getting laughed at for throwing like a girl LMAO. But I eventually learned to catch with my right hand, which made me better. But still, those bad memories made me shy away from games.

ANyway.... That concludes this blog, which is not meant to depict what's Black & what's not. It's instead of destroy the myth that Black is an action word, when it's just simply what Cecily Tyson said on "Brewster Place".... Black is just Black.

What Stereotype Do You Not Fit?


(MIAAR) Muhammad the Harlem Sk8rboi said...

I really feel the sentiment of this blog George. There are so many myths we allow ourselves to get swallowed in & for the life ofme I wonder why we all just simply go with the flow. I know the myth that all Black People drink Kool Aid is alive & well. As a child I NEVER drank that stuff unless I was at my Aunt Linda's house. My parents always gave me water or juice as refreshment (often prune juice). To this day I prefer powdered iced tea mix to Kool Aid.

Phellah G said...

Wow. I coulda been in my top 10, b/c I feel you. My mom only bought kool-aid (the generic brand), b/c it was cheaper than soda. (10 packs for $1). But even back then, I preferred lemonade & my grandma's iced tea. Kool AId was just there whenever there was nothing else to drink. I hated water back then, unless it was from a water hose. lol

Jay_fever said...

I think Chappelle said it best when he said "Who are these people who don't like chicken? There isn't anything wrong with me...THERE IS SOMETHING WRONG WITH YOU! chicken is delicious."(addendum...when prepared "right")

I dig this post PH. Stereotypes are crazy because as much as the people being offended hate to hear people outside their "experience" use them...unfounately there is usually a little bit of truth in all of them.

I used to like Kool aid as a youth but when I became an adult became really it left my regular diet.

Also I never put to much weight in that whole black people music/white people music thing.I listen to whatever pleases my ears.

Phellah G said...

What up Jay. I've only met one person in my life that didn't like chicken & only becuz he was allergic to it.

I used to be caught up in that black/white music thing as a kid, especially in the 80's. I secretly used to nod my head to Police, Michael McDonald & so on. Now it's no secret, especially since nowadays, it seems the white musicians on the radio got more heart than today's trendy Black artists. It's really sad.

Tony Blogtana (aka Don E. Dangerous) said...

Malt liquor used to work for me when I didn't know any better. But, that stuff makes me wanna hurl now.

Phellah G said...

What up Tony? I feel you there. They shit started just settling in my stomach so bad, there were times I had to make myself vomit just to get it out my system. Budweiser still does that to me now.

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