The Black Identity.

Is it a desirable thing to be “black”? Should it be? Should people be proud of their skin tone?

Then again, being black is a lot more than just a skin tone. People care a lot more about a particular complexion more than they care about the color of your shirt. There’s people with dark skin who aren’t considered black. As it stand now, It’s a form of identifying yourself. It’s a subculture.  It’s not an identity you can get rid of. (unless you happen to have light skin and never tell anyone about your ethnicity). For the most part, You can’t wake up and say, I don’t want to be black anymore. It’s not like your clothes which you can change. It’s a permanent status even beyond the grave when your skin is long gone. You’ll still be black then.

What does “black” actually mean?

It used to mean that you were three-fifths of  a human and happy to be enslaved. It was to your benefit.

It also used to mean that you were a violent,white woman raping, subhuman or if you were a woman you were a promiscuous sex desiring subhuman whore.

That’s not the meaning given to blacks these days.  It’s hard to describe it. Before just being black meant you couldn’t have a lot of things. Today you can have most things. America has tried to make being not as much as inconvenience as it used to be in the past. Now blacks can intermingle with all the races.

You would think after integration, skin tone wouldn’t matter. Isn’t that what we’re aiming for? We don’t want people to be discriminated against because they look a certain way.

But that’s not the case. Blacks still very much have a black identity.

Now close your eyes for a minute. (After reading the next sentence.)

I want you to picture in your head, the average American.

Now I want you to do the same and imagine the average black person.

Compare and contrast this.

There’s a certain way that people think black people act despite our integration. In high school, whenever I would eat chicken, somebody always made a “funny” joke.

I think those kind of jokes are fine. I’m not offended by them , but they made me notice something. I had a friend who would eat chicken everyday and nobody every made jokes about him. The difference between us? Skin tone. If I wasn’t black, I would have been treated differently. They saw me as a black man first and a person second.

I’m not saying that they thought I was inferior or that they hated black people. They didn’t. However I was treated differently. I’d have friends who’d make the comment that I wasn’t like other black people. Or that I acted “white”.

They had an idea of what black people were.  Black people acted a certain way. They dressed a certain way and they did certain things. If you step out of line of these assumptions, then you’re different.

I was told by some people in high school that I was their only black friend. I could never tell how to take this statement. Is that a good thing? Should they get more black friends?

Another example.

When I walk around my college campus, random black people I have never met, say hello to me if I make eye contact. Why do they do this? I would never have done the same to a stranger. Students of other skin tones don’t do the same.

Here’s another.

I frequent a wrestling discussion board. One of the prominent posters put up a picture of himself. Some of the posters were shocked that he was black. Why were they shocked? Why did they think that he wasn’t black beforehand?

This idea of being black has always bothered me. My mother tells me that I need to get more black friends. She tells me that it would be a good thing for me. Am I missing out on something by not completely embracing my black identity? I’ve never taken much pride in it. It’s just there.  I’d include it on a top ten list of things I can identify myself by, but that’s only because it’s hard to come up with ten things.

If I had to join a club and the options were black or wrestling fan, I’d pick wrestling fan over black.

Am I missing out on some great thing?

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