Due to some happenings on a few forums recently, I’ve been on edge when speaking about race.
In discussion, I seem a lot more emotional than what I really am because when talking about race I refuse to be the Good Negro. That includes code switching *out* of my Smart Academic Feminist voice and into Just Me. And Just Me includes being Black.
When talking about race, my Blackness is the most prominent part of my identity. When we’re talking about sexuality, it’s being bisexual. When we’re talking about non-monogamy, it’s that. And so on and so forth. Which leads me to my next point:
Three or four years ago, I never would have engaged in any kind of discussion about race. On any forum. As the Good Negro or otherwise. Why? Because I was really confused about my racial identity. “Whutttt?” you say. “TJ you’re so sure of yourself! Such a strong personality!” Yeah, I took a lot of steps to get here. Including being constantly bullied by other black kids about my skin color. (See: colorism in African American community and Southeast Asian society) I’m open to talking about my journey to acceptance at any time.
Surprisingly, my blackness is never challenged by white people (some of my best friends are white — heh, heh), only other black people. (Pfft ask me about the girl at work that said to me “You look like you date white guys”). Anyway I’m getting off-topic. Where I’m going with this is that being Black on the internet (which may not be all that I am, but it is the *first* thing I am in our discussion about race) means that I am vulnerable to being assigned to negative stereotypes.
The stereotype that gets me the HARDEST (in life — as in the worst thing you could ever call me) is “Angry Black Woman”. When people are assuming that I’m offended (which has been said to me several times on the wall and on PM “I’m sorry you’re offended…”) and I’m really, honestly, truly only mildly annoyed I feel edged into that trope. Then I fear that people are assigning all the other attributed of ABW. Such as yelling, breaking shit, burning shit down, physical violence, &c. If you don’t know the stereotype 1) You’re probably lying. It’s okay. I get it; white guilt and all. 2) See this gif: http://goo.gl/NJqPK1
And that’s not me. I don’t want you to think of me that way.
I’m using my REAL experiences. It’s coming straight from my heart, blood, mind, childhood…everything that is me. And I am a lot. Obviously.
Peace and Love,