Tuesday, February 16, 2016

People say the Dumbest Stuff

Alternative post title: White man said what?

My husband and I attended a Super Bowl Party at my BFFs house with a bunch of her and her husbands friends when someone found a way to make the party awkward

Scenario: We were all settling in to watch the half-time performance. When Queen Bey stomped and dazzled us with her entrance. I was trying to contain my excitement. One of the Caucasian party goers says- "I'm not attracted to Black girls but BeyoncĂ© is hot." 

As a 'conscious' Black person who typically "stays woke," I struggled to control my initial reaction. After all I was guest in my friends house, surrounded by kindergartners and a lot of white people. 

I don't have a problem with someone having a preference. I just don't think it is something you announce at a party, in mixed company, with 2.5 Black girls in attendance. 

Actually I'm not sure that is a preference you tell anyone at all. I'm not sure there is a way to say "I don't like this particular race" without you looking like a racist. Or maybe a better word is prejudiced.  

When a white man says I'm not normally attracted to black girls it somehow feels like a slap in the face. It feels like Black girls are not good enough for his highness' penis. He might as well said Beyoncé is pretty, "for a Black girl." I felt like I had to defend the attractiveness of my race to this asshole. Why are black women over sexalized or under sexualized. Why can't we just be regular beautiful women? Why is our beauty always up for debate?

Maybe I'm being too sensitive. Who the fuck cares what this guy thinks? He isn't that cute and is dating a girl who looks like a stick. #noassatall

My BFF chastised the guy. His reaction...

"What?! I can say that."

Uh no sir, you can't. 

Because I can and it's Black History Month.... Black Women are beautiful

Update: The Daily Show did a video about this topic and gave it a name

Saturday, February 6, 2016

If I could do High School Over..

As a high school teacher I get to study my students and observe how they act. I admire how seemingly comfortable they are in their own skin. For the most part my students are confident. They seem to know their status on campus and can move pretty fluidly through the different groups. They can be super smart and the star basketball player. 

While I would never want to do high school over but if I could I would be braver, comfortable in my own skin and someone who put themselves out there.  

I had absolutely no confidence in high school. I had two gorgeous best friends. One of them I am still close with and she's still drop dead pretty. She is perfectly petite, looks ethically ambiguous, stunning eyes and a genuinely nice person.

I was curvy and I had a tummy. I was awkwardly taller than everyone;  a tom-boy from way back when. I didn't know what to do with my hair. I didn't know how to embrace who I was. 

Don't get me wrong I had a great time in high school. I had a tight knit group of friends. But when I think about why I only went to one day of tryouts for the volleyball team, or why I never joined the Black Student Union, or why I didn't have a date to Junior prom (I didn't go to Senior Prom [long story]) it pisses me off.  I could have had all those things and more. 

Basically, I needed some encouragement and support and I wasn't getting it at home. Nor did I have a mentor or a source of support. I had no idea how to get one or ask for one.  

For Martin Luther King Jr. holiday my Sorority started a letter writing campaign. We were tasked with writing a letter to a younger self and writing a letter to a young girl.  Writing the letter to myself was unexpectedly emotional. 

It said "I have a dream that you will be brave and confident. That you will not let self doubt and what others say plague you. That you are smart and beautiful. Yes you! That you are loved! Yes you! That when you follow your dreams and the path God had laid before you- no obstacle will stand in your way. It won't be easy don't give up."

I am really proud that I can say that I have embodied these principles. Maybe I am a stronger person because I wasn't in high school. However, my goal is to reach out and be that encouragement to someone. They shouldn't have to wait until they are in their 20s to finally be comfortable in their own skin.  


PS. For some reason we haven't had a high school reunion but I've been dying to go back and show people how cool and successful I am now. It will probably backfire but I love the idea.