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Forum nameOkay Activist Archives
Topic subject"Blacks are getting whiter every day..."
Topic URLhttp://board.okayplayer.com/okp.php?az=show_topic&forum=22&topic_id=3040
3040, "Blacks are getting whiter every day..."
Posted by ConcreteCharlie, Mon Nov-10-03 08:33 AM
This one old black dude that works with my dad says this all the time and from considering different contexts in which he has said it and thinking on my own, I got a number of different interpretations of it.

Run with it, I wanna hear what you all think on first impression, then add to it as the thread moves along...
3041, RE: "Blacks are getting whiter every day..."
Posted by Eli_B, Mon Nov-10-03 08:45 AM
>This one old black dude that works with my dad says this all
>the time and from considering different contexts in which he
>has said it and thinking on my own, I got a number of
>different interpretations of it.
>
>Run with it, I wanna hear what you all think on first
>impression, then add to it as the thread moves along...

By listening to mainstream (C)rap and "hip hop," you can definitely sense that these "artists" are preaching (European-invented) capitalism, and thus, materialism, to young children of color. Sure, it's nice to have things, but to have things is not the most important thing in life. Just my interp.

3042, RE: "Blacks are getting whiter every day..."
Posted by gtfloydj12, Mon Nov-10-03 08:48 AM

>By listening to mainstream (C)rap and "hip hop," you can
>definitely sense that these "artists" are preaching
>(European-invented) capitalism, and thus, materialism, to
>young children of color. Sure, it's nice to have things,
>but to have things is not the most important thing in life.
>Just my interp.

Isnt that just human nature?
3043, RE: Human Nature is subjective
Posted by blueology3, Mon Nov-10-03 08:54 AM
Just because something seems normal to you or a group of people don't make it natural universally.
3044, is it??
Posted by inVerse, Mon Nov-10-03 09:14 AM
>Just because something seems normal to you or a group of
>people don't make it natural universally.


I don't think this is a question of human nature... I think it's a question of cultural rhetoric and adaptation.


3045, RE: Yeah
Posted by blueology3, Mon Nov-10-03 10:23 AM
what alot of people consider to be huan nature is just a specific cultural norm.
3046, good point
Posted by imperial, Mon Nov-10-03 11:13 AM
and then they throw shit like what's wrong with dreaming and wanting nice stuff.

there is more to life

Lucid enigma
"Africa is my descent, and here I'm far from home" D angelo
3047, RE: i hate that
Posted by ConcreteCharlie, Mon Nov-10-03 11:17 AM
at what cost, ya know? plus more and more our goals center around stuff, OUR being americans on the whole. it went from having a family and a home and then an education (cuz you pretty much gotta pay a bundle for that shit now) to

"providing all the things my family needs. a huge house, six cars, a bunch of cell phones, designer duds for my infants to grow out of in a week..." and duhdaduhdaduh. My pops used to always say dont let your possessions own you but I was always collecting all types of shit anyway. Now those words take on a little different meaning when I see people drowning in debt, considering their acquisitions accomplishments and seeking to fill the huge voids in their lives with commercial trash.
3048, Music is entertainment Eli
Posted by CantCBob, Mon Nov-10-03 01:56 PM
its not meant to raise kids. its meant for people to listen and have a good time. end of story, its not the end of the world. white people don't look to the Nirvanas and Guns 'N Roses of the world to raise their kids, Indian people don't ask Ravi Shankar to teach their kids values, so why make black people do it? its just entertainment. and I'd argue that just as blacks may be getting whiter, whites are getting blacker. Everyone is just moving towards a cultural midpoint that reflects all of America. what's so wrong with this. should we really have groups of people all doing only the shit others in their group do?> that's bullshit. I think what's really happening is that people are slowly finding out that we're not as different as history and society would have us think.

"They say big men don't cry. but they didn't say it last week not if they watched Kobe Bryant speak publicly with a moist remorse that was almost Clintonian. "

"Eminem wants to go at Jay Z because everyone recognise Jay Z as the best in the game whether you faggots like him or not." The Source

"John Stockton, not just a great player, but one of the greatest stories of western civilization"--Bill Walton

3049, RE: fresh
Posted by ConcreteCharlie, Mon Nov-10-03 02:35 PM
I think that is a way of looking at it indeed, that we are getting to a cultural midpoint and in fact I think that is the legit conclusion that can be drawn from his statement about white/black americans and their similarities in the face of pretty different immigrant cultures.

As far as whites getting blacker, judging from garb, lexicon, and so on, that is pretty evident; and the fact they are suffering from many of the same problems in terms of losing culture, community and history are as well.

I didnt even really think about it, but just about every post here considers this a very negative trend and didnt mention the simultaneous phenomenon of whites looking to adopt aspects of black culture; although I think some of those efforts are very misguided (though blacks looking to emulate whites in ways may be as well).

And how about the class issue? In Sloshing Towards Gommorah (sp, mostly a wack book with some good points in the intro chapters), the author talks about how normalizing up and making behavior once acceptable seem deviant in law separates the lower and particularly middle class from the upper class. He also states that this is made possible by a prior movement of the middle class to accept some level of the "lower class's" behavior as acceptable (usually things that should have been all along, but that is my read, not his). If race defines class in America, as many believe this can be seen as ongoing in America. Even if it does not in one's view, the growing number of middle class blacks and the permeation of "ghetto" black culture deeper into middle class white culture evidence it to some degree as well in the face of an upper class that is ever-widening the gap between itself and the vast majority of the country.

But anyway, what do other heads think about this middle point? I got some of that from what Tom was saying but it wasnt really phrased that way by him or in my thinking...
3050, RE:No cultural middle point
Posted by blueology3, Mon Nov-10-03 10:11 PM
Hip Hop is urban culture that was mostly influenced by blacks, the mess that mainstream hip hop is now can hardly be considered black culture, especially considering record execs have the most influence. Blacks are more popular in mainstream entertainment but there is no real cultural miscegenation.

Define black culture outside of hip pop and then see if the culture middle point theory works.
3051, i agree totally with this statement..
Posted by clarion, Tue Nov-11-03 02:30 AM
the "black culture" and hip-hop is emulated not only here but also in Eastern Europe and especially Asian. I'm glad that individuals are tryin to be themselves and not get caught up in cultural identity.
3052, RE: i think these are both valid points
Posted by ConcreteCharlie, Tue Nov-11-03 06:08 AM
blueology articulated some of the problems I was talking about better than I did; there are definitely some very negative aspects of distorted black culture being adopted by whites and vice versa as has been explored at length (basically capitalism running rampant in both cultures).

that said, i dont think you can completely discredit the notion of a cultural middle point because even though it has a LONG way to go, I think that higher educational systems are making an ongoing effort to create awareness through cultural studies being implemented into a variety of disciplines. Considering that such reforms only began following the Civil Rights Act in any widespread fashion and even then they were dissimilar to today's programs, this movement is still in its infancy compared to the structure it is combating.
3053, RE: i think these are both valid points
Posted by blueology3, Tue Nov-11-03 07:14 AM
that said, i dont think you can completely discredit the notion of a cultural middle point because even though it has a LONG way to go, I think that higher educational systems are making an ongoing effort to create awareness through cultural studies being implemented into a variety of disciplines. Considering that such reforms only began following the Civil Rights Act in any widespread fashion and even then they were dissimilar to today's programs, this movement is still in its infancy compared to the structure it is combating.

I don't want to get caught up in debating this point because only time will tell, but I feel like this infancy stage of cultural homogeneity is more so an illusion than anything else. If blacks in this country seriously made any attempts to build cultural and political ties with say Ghana, this would be directly against the pseudo acculteration notion that is embraced here and would be attacked as ferociously at the BPP movement was.

Anythony Wallace wrote an article called Revitalization Movements , his research was all about classifying and analyzing different movements so that the government could create the best policy for stamping them out. The best way is to control the leader ship, worse case scenario domestic warfare on the group.

Basically what I am saying yeah there can be progress towards a middle point only if we continue to march towards total westernization and become isolated to our brethren on the continent and the rest of the diaspora. This is what makes us a troublesome group, the only thing that is keeping blatant hostility mild is our Identity Crisis.

Check out Anthony Wallace- Revitalization Movements and Edward Shils Centre and Periphery and Colour: The universal intellectual center and the Afro/Asian intellectual. People like to say you've been reading too much of those "Afrocentric" scholars who just want to be "mad" about something and that's the general attitude of many people who want to ignore reality. The thing is the same thing them cats are saying is exactly what top euro "social scientist" scholars who are advisiing the gov't are saying.

If you wanna check out the articles I mentioned I can give you the info to access them online. Another book is American Dilemma it's all about how to deal with (policy) this troublesome group in America.
3054, RE: i am definitely interested
Posted by ConcreteCharlie, Tue Nov-11-03 08:04 AM
I would be VERY curious to read that Wallace literature; sounds fascinating since I know for a fact that US does such research in order to control and stamp out movements here and abroad. The US seems to have employed it in South America where their methods of quelling insurrection have changed over the years.

however, i gotta say that the back to africa movements/diaspora unity movements are pretty suspect and unfeasible IMO. I had an extensive debate about this with a professor once when we were discussing, ugh, some Bell parable about this mystical land where blacks could prosper and establish their own nation that was inhospitable to white people (which completely ignores other things in critical race and justice studies like mixed race/cultural identity, biological constructs of race etc, but thats beside the point of the story as it turns out). Anyway, in the story once everyone is organized to go the place sinks into the ocean or some tragic shit like that and everyone has to return to America. The morals come in where 1) what happens beforehand (sort of white bashing, but mostly accurate) and 2) that the unification towards a goal gives the people strength to get together in America. That seems suspect because of the short memory thing, but nevertheless I can see that cat's point

Anyway, she made this to be a big issue where "would you go to this mystical place and leave the US forever?" if you are/were black? All but one white girl said no (I suspect she was kissing ass), meaning 100% of the black students almost all the white students said they would stay. The professor, whom I suspect is a lunatic for reasons aside from this, ardently said she would leave pretty much no matter what. Knowing that she was one of those people who basically appeases white people to stay in a job but genuinely thinks they are all totally clueless save for Joe Feagin and a few "good ones" I shouldnt have gotten into this with her, but I made the obvious points that African Americans are now such a separate group from black Africans and have become so mixed culturally and biologically that they would have a damn tough time going back to say, Africa, and moreover, should neither be forced to leave nor wish to leave a community and culture in which they should take pride. I am surprised she didnt bring up institutional warfare against blacks because that is a damn good point, but her whole thing was this cut and dry systemic racism stuff that I suspect comes straight from some factory that manufactures jargin for ethnic studies courses (if they are too "b(U)y-the-book, I feel like they are missing the point/mark).

Incidentally, Frederick Douglass staunchly opposed return to Africa sentiment and following slavery it was mostly confused and frightened whites, Lincoln included, who were shipping former slaves back to Africa. To ligthen things a bit, it's like what Eddie Griffin says "white people are like, why dont you go back to africa?...What the fuck am I gonna do in Africa? Get there and say 'where Mumbotu's house? Past the huts, by the elephant hang a left and there it is? Aight, cool." Obviously that's oversimplifying and employs a sterotypical view of Africa (images at least) but it makes the point.

I think black Americans are in large part, stuck here; physically AND mentally. That they are experiencing many problems white Americans are (though often in unique ways) means that both sides should join efforts to combat them. That is what I was getting at a couple of weeks ago when I was talking with zorasmoon about the similarities between black/white troubles despite numerous social disparities. Yes, foreign consciousness should play a factor for both, but I do not necessarily think it would cause a rift between the two. The process I am talking about is removed from the all together westernized unity through greed; it is one of educating oneself about various world cultures and not limiting oneself based upon race. If you look at Huey Newton, dude studied African, classical European, South American and Asian literature and Philosophy. That type of inquisitiveness is what can kick open doors and lead to unity beyond wearing the same Jay Z reeboks.

All pretty much pipe dreams though, better stick to
"GET $"
3055, first of all
Posted by Jagunjagun, Wed Nov-12-03 01:18 PM
I want to say that this stuff is mainly just your perspective and not necessarily the reality of other people. The main problem I have with many people that are against repatriation/back to African-ing is that they think too monolithically (new word, ha). Don't get me wrong, I'm glad that it is Black folks discussing OUR people collectively and OUR destiny but unfournately the end result is that there is no collective answer - just personal view.

Meaning you cannot to control the reality of all Black people and say "were Americans, not Africans" or vice versa because no matter what logic you come up with or how many arguments you make against it, there will still be Black people who believe otherwise. This is not like religion where we are all searching for one truth - there will be those who are for it and those that are against it. And even at that, everyone wont lie on those two extremes but varying INDIVIDUAL views. There will be ones who want to go back and completely rid themself of this western way of life, those who have an interest in their African ancestry but still want to maintain an American identity, those who are not for it but still see Africans outside the US as kin on some level and have somewhat of an interest in the continents modern politics, those that just want to be "BLACK" as a microcosm of America, and those that want absolutely nothing to do with Africa and desire total assimilation into this country.

A few weeks ago on Def Poetry Jam, Smokey Robinson did a big performance on this topic and said the same stuff you are saying but the end result is that his feelings and views do not fit everyone elses. And no matter what you say the willing repatriates will still desire Pan-Africanism because there are no other options that they take seriously. Black people just have to RESPECT each others feelings on topics like this where we draw lines. We cannot afford to throw around weight and non-Black people definitely have NO authority to define us and what our identity and our destiny should be.

So to me this should not even be a debate. Those who desire the Cause of returning should act and those that want to remain in America should do so. We are still a people even so (there would still be obvious ties) so there is no point in debate. My belief is that if we made a solid foundation and a standard of life higher than the average Black American and then welcomed them then many would return anyway if the US was still effed up, but dealing with the issue before then warrants an individual opinion only.

>I would be VERY curious to read that Wallace literature;
>sounds fascinating since I know for a fact that US does such
>research in order to control and stamp out movements here
>and abroad. The US seems to have employed it in South
>America where their methods of quelling insurrection have
>changed over the years.

That is why our cause needs to be under the radar. Hardline political rhetoric in the public atmosphere will only cause our demise.

>however, i gotta say that the back to africa
>movements/diaspora unity movements are pretty suspect and
>unfeasible IMO.

Maybe they do not appear to be feasible to people that don't see the vision, I do not see how they are suspect though. Some folks just do not agree with the intentions.

I had an extensive debate about this with a
>professor once when we were discussing, ugh, some Bell
>parable about this mystical land where blacks could prosper
>and establish their own nation that was inhospitable to
>white people (which completely ignores other things in
>critical race and justice studies like mixed race/cultural
>identity, biological constructs of race etc, but thats
>beside the point of the story as it turns out).

Well if it were up to me there would be no social definition of "mixed". You are one thing and also another. In other words, I do not think anyone has to ignore one part of who they are just to affirm another part. There is a guy named 40thStreetBlack on this board who is Ethiopian and Irish, could he not repatriate to Ethiopia and share its rich heritage and still acknowledge his individual Irishness? Or go to Ireland and still acknowledge his Blackness? I do not think there would a problem as long as the "mixed" person was emotionally trained and had an understanding of BOTH their identities as two wholes and not two polarized halves. But then again, this works with my idea in that the nation would not be as inhospitable to a small minority of individual whites as it would be to collective white dominance. I guess if it were inhospitable to any individual deemed "white" then as you say that would ignore people from more than one background.

Anyway, in
>the story once everyone is organized to go the place sinks
>into the ocean or some tragic shit like that and everyone
>has to return to America. The morals come in where 1) what
>happens beforehand (sort of white bashing, but mostly
>accurate) and 2) that the unification towards a goal gives
>the people strength to get together in America. That seems
>suspect because of the short memory thing, but nevertheless
>I can see that cat's point

I do not get this part, can you explain further? If I was already on the continent and the thing fell apart I would just move to somewhere else on the continent, not back to America. But that may not have been what you meant.

>Anyway, she made this to be a big issue where "would you go
>to this mystical place and leave the US forever?" if you
>are/were black? All but one white girl said no (I suspect
>she was kissing ass), meaning 100% of the black students
>almost all the white students said they would stay.

Well, this was a hypothetical question based to some school students. Living realities are different because no one can honestly say what they would/would not do in a situation that has not arrived yet. Especially if there are circumstances or reasons as to why they would leave like being on the fringe of this society (as many Black folks are) and not just an elective move.

The
>professor, whom I suspect is a lunatic for reasons aside
>from this, ardently said she would leave pretty much no
>matter what. Knowing that she was one of those people who
>basically appeases white people to stay in a job but
>genuinely thinks they are all totally clueless save for Joe
>Feagin and a few "good ones" I shouldnt have gotten into
>this with her, but I made the obvious points that African
>Americans are now such a separate group from black Africans
>and have become so mixed culturally and biologically that
>they would have a damn tough time going back to say, Africa,
>and moreover, should neither be forced to leave nor wish to
>leave a community and culture in which they should take
>pride.

This is your opinion/perspective though, not absolute fact. There are plenty of both Continental Africans and African Americans that do view each other as kin to one another. Maybe not a majority, but enough for a catalyst in beginning to forge ties across the Diaspora. Pan-Africanism is not a new ideology, nor is it shared only by crazy professors. There is a long-standing tradition for it and plenty of people on both sides of the atlantic in history and in the present that stood and stand for it.
To ignore this is to be in denial of one part of African American history.

As far as culture goes, yes there are many differences but in my opinion it is a mistake the separate the two completely on culture for the following reasons:

1) there are aspects of varying African cultures in African Americans that have gone untold.

2) the culture of Continental Africans is in itself different and varies with different nations and ethnic groups. You would have to seen "Africans" as a monolith first to conclude how different African Americans are. Because Africans themselves have strikingly different cultures (many just as mixed with European and other cultures as Af. Ams.) yet it doesn't make them any of them any less African to you, them, or anyone else.

As far as biology goes, EVERYONE in the world is "mixed" - the only people that are 100% anything in the 21st century are isolated, inbred peoples that have not been exposed to anyone else on a large scale, like in the Amazon or on an island off the coast of India. You forget that the entire Continent of Africa was under colonialism from 7 European nations. obviously there was and is mixing and in a country like South Africa with a 10% white populous im sure but not certain that the majority of the Black people have European blood in them on some level. Or in countries like Ethiopia and Somalia where there is admixtures of semitic people that came from the north. Or in the countries like Kenya and Mali that have had mixtures with Arab-Islamics over time. Saying African Americans should not acknowledge their African heritage based on the fact that a number of us probably have distant Native American and white ancestors is a cliche argument that doesn't make sense since everyone else in the world has other stuff in them too.
Does Moorish blood make Italians and Spaniards any less European?

Knowing this, I don't think our movement should be based on biology anyway but culture. There are too many complications regarding science that can lead to caste systems and Nazi-like outcomes if you try to make a homogenous nation out of biology. Since many African Americans AND Africans are Europeanized in their cultures there would of course have to be a growing consciousness that starts with a small number of people and moves into a notable minority and goes on from there. But culture is not an absolute thing, it can be changed or reconciled.

Finally, no one is forcing African Americans to do anything, this is not some arbitrary thing but a voluntary movement for self-determination. And I do not think unifying with other people of African origin means we have to forgo our microcosm. For me it means going back to Africa but never forgetting our peoples legacy on the North and South American continents. Getting back home does not at all mean washing away our struggles and accomplishments here, but washing away American mediocrity. Although if you are referring to geography then I suppose you would have a point. I still think a lot of Black people would leave given viable alternative though because it is not like our collective situation here is or ever has been anywhere near comfortable. It is just complacent.

I am surprised she didnt bring up institutional
>warfare against blacks because that is a damn good point,
>but her whole thing was this cut and dry systemic racism
>stuff that I suspect comes straight from some factory that
>manufactures jargin for ethnic studies courses (if they are
>too "b(U)y-the-book, I feel like they are missing the
>point/mark).

Are you referring to WHY she wanted to leave? I could probably name a plethora of reasons besides just systematic racism.

>Incidentally, Frederick Douglass staunchly opposed return to
>Africa sentiment and following slavery it was mostly
>confused and frightened whites, Lincoln included, who were
>shipping former slaves back to Africa.

This contradicts itself. Obviously Douglas was opposed to returning to Africa because in that time it was a tool by white people to get rid of us. And even then the continent was beginning to be put in even worse shape than America by Europeans who were beginning to take over. If returning was a VOLUNTARY goal for self-determination influenced by strictly Black people to get back to our ancestral heritage then I doubt he would have been as opposed. This is like comparing apples and oranges.

To ligthen things a
>bit, it's like what Eddie Griffin says "white people are
>like, why dont you go back to africa?...What the fuck am I
>gonna do in Africa? Get there and say 'where Mumbotu's
>house? Past the huts, by the elephant hang a left and there
>it is? Aight, cool."

Umm of course Eddie Griffin would have that view because he is a dumbass. Are you really basing your view on what an ignorant and unfunny comedian thinks of a continent he has never been educated on? This is actually part of the problem. Black people have been trained to view ourselves in America in this manner--as ghetto buffoons in the media, and Africa as one giant jungle where people ride their pet zebras to school and have only bush shrubs to cover their bottoms. THESE IMAGES ARE BASED IN WESTERN IGNORANCE, NOT REALITY. This is part of what causes the "cultural divide" you were referring to - BLACK PEOPLES RELIANCE ON ENTERTAINMENT AND MEDIA FOR EDUCATION IN THIS COUNTRY. And here you are just reinforcing it by perpetuating an unlearned PERCEPTION of the African interior instead of INDEPENDENTLY EDUCATING yourself on its VARYING COMPLEXITIES which INCLUDE elephants and "Mumbotu's House" but are not at all LIMITED by it.

These images of Eddy Griffen-types are also in seen around the world, creating an illusion of Black inferiority for immigrants that come here (including some African ones) that creates more divides and problems. It is a cycle of ignorance that PAN-AFRICANISM attempts to alleviate!

Obviously that's oversimplifying and
>employs a sterotypical view of Africa (images at least) but
>it makes the point.

It makes the point of how confused MANY African Americans are. That's about it.

>I think black Americans are in large part, stuck here;
>physically AND mentally. That they are experiencing many
>problems white Americans are (though often in unique ways)
>means that both sides should join efforts to combat them.
>That is what I was getting at a couple of weeks ago when I
>was talking with zorasmoon about the similarities between
>black/white troubles despite numerous social disparities.

I do not buy the argument that is pro-oppressed/desperate people uniting instead of people uniting based on their BIRTH-GIVEN HERITAGE. One is natural and exists in a vacuum, not because of an external problem. What happens when the problems between the people are alleviated? They are still two different people. I doubt this country would ever fully accept Black people as it exists now, otherwise we would not be having this discussion.

I just think uniting people based on a mutual identity and culture that exists regardless of anything else is more substantial than uniting people based on an oppressor or on social conditions. Besides, there are many many issues faced by our people that are unique to just us. Trying to eliminate the ethnicity factor sounds like either class warfare/socialism or we-are-the-world/colorblind/rainbow idealism, which you have to admit is even more suspect and unfeasible than Pan Africanism could ever be.

>Yes, foreign consciousness should play a factor for both,
>but I do not necessarily think it would cause a rift between
>the two. The process I am talking about is removed from the
>all together westernized unity through greed; it is one of
>educating oneself about various world cultures and not
>limiting oneself based upon race.

How is acknowledging ones own heritage and ancestral background and wanting self-determination for people in their culture limiting themself? This doesn't even make sense.

If you look at Huey
>Newton, dude studied African, classical European, South
>American and Asian literature and Philosophy. That type of
>inquisitiveness is what can kick open doors and lead to
>unity beyond wearing the same Jay Z reeboks.

Huey P. Newton was studying different cultures to educate himself about the world, not to disassociate himself from his own Black identity and the will for self-determination for Black people. While I agree that everyone should study about the ENTIRE world, your own culture is first priority because you have to know yourself and your own background before anyone elses.


"Tongue is lightening"
- Luyia

3056, RE: first of all
Posted by ConcreteCharlie, Wed Nov-12-03 09:05 PM
WOW, that was a huge response, I will try and get to it all but no promises.

Of course this is my view, isnt that what we are supposed to write here? Not to be defensive, I just wanna answer your question and state emphatically that I never claimed to be dictating anything to anyone nor do I feel that ALL members of any race or social category are to be expected to act in one way. By the way I think monolithically is a word, I heard a dude use it in a play earlier this evening (very weird coincidence). I couldnt agree more, if you wanna repatriate go ahead, if you wanna stick around you agree with my hypothetical opinion (I am not black myself). Debate is great but I think imposition of either view is not; and I think you concur there from the sound of things.

I agree completely about flying below the radar; "the revolution will not be televised" wasnt just a Nike slogan, it used to mean something and that is just it!

I think they are suspect because of some of the motives and that often people dont have enough info about Africa. I am however in the process of checking out some very informed afro centric scholars and changing my views a bit; actually as a result of this post. Dialogue does produce things, so while I agree that individuals can excercise choice, I have to disagree that this should not even be a debate on a larger scale.

I am totally in favor of multi cultural identity, even for people who are necessarily born into a culture. I was making the statement about mixed Afro-Americans there because in the Bell story there is some biological component that makes the island totally inhospitable for whites, I mean like they die on contact and fine for blacks. That seemed fishy to me, but hey, willful suspension of disbelief is always an option and it was sort of beside the story's moral anyway.

As for the utopia, it wasnt actually Africa or even a continent. It was an island and the whole thing sunk, thats why they had to go back to America. The rest of the details are fuzzy, this was a while ago. The book is entitled Faces at the Bottom of the Well, you have probably even read it at some point, its very popular in black studies and soc sci programs.

Obviously I dont feel that the class survey was comprehensive, I am just stating that for the most part people shared the view of African Americans as being Americans. No doubt there is some kinship across diasporas; it is very evident in Semitic, Asian and other cultures and I am certain it has potential within black cultures. I would point out the key difference is that often those other groups have contact with family members in those nations or recent immigrants from them whereas the atrocious history of slavery mangles that for blacks, but that's merely a difference and possible dilution, nowhere near a total negation.

I think the fact that African nations, which I am aware of, in general sort of convolutes identification with Africa; though knowledge of various cultures there could be highly enlightening. Perhaps knowing one's ancestral background as to what region one came from could help in this matter, which I doubt is impossible.

Points about being "mixed" are well taken, I am not looking at my original post and there is no quote there so I am not sure if that is in response to my original post. Certainly it is irrefutable that much of the world is comprised of mixed people although some scholars would argue blacks are a particularly hybrid race. Personally, I cannot comment, would need a lot more data to draw such a conclusion.

I also hear what you are saying on defining a group in cultural terms; colorist hierarchies and eugenics BS would be enormous detriments to a movement.

As for why she wanted to leave, um, I think I am going to leave that one alone, if personal opinions arent that important here I will shelve both hers and mine, it's really not a big deal here.

I hear what you are saying about Douglass's comments in historical context, obviously I am aware of the potential contradiction since it is plain when his statement is juxtaposed with Lincoln/white action. If you read the oration though; it's pretty clear in his rhetoric that he means permanently although one could argue that he was posturing because of context. Personally, I will take his word at face value because he is one of the few historical figures who I feel has earned that right to be read thusly.

I was throwing in Griffin for a little comic relief, but I do agree that his view of Africa is unenlightened, obviously it is based upon western depictions of africa in film which I have bemoaned elsewhere. That was probably misplaced, but it does show how a lot of people feel. After I visit Africa, I may feel differently, but for now it just seems to me like the average person couldnt just pick up, move there and adjust seamlessly.

Birth-given heritage is an assumption a lot of people are not willing to make but there are definitely no simple answers and I am not under the ridiculous presumption that things are wonderful for black folks in America, no one is.

Knowing one's OWN culture solely is limiting because it narrows one's view; if this were an Israel-Palestine post we'd have a clear cut example. I am all for cultural education but I think it's important to get a breadth of knowledge about as many cultures as possible. If you seek to focus on your own, that is understandable, but avoid that being the sole focus. That is why I brought up the Huey example. Certainly he was seeking advancement and education for his own people and means of achieving them in other cultures. Still, he is just an individual, others might have different motives and arrive at different conclusions from the type of studies he undertook. While not everyone is as brilliant/inquisitive as Huey, we can all try; he did it all with dyslexia (sp) I believe which makes it even more incredible.

Anyway, yeah, certainly that post was my opinion as were most aspects of yours; I thought that is what we were supposed to offer. Your points about subjectivity are shared and many others well taken, which is not to act as if my judgement of your opinion is in some way validating because I am sure its not that important at all. I hope I responded to everything; it was a task at 2 in the morning here...
3057, RE: Quick note on Douglass
Posted by blueology3, Wed Nov-12-03 10:30 PM
He was very popular in his time because he was a dynamic brotha and he was side by side with many of the big white abolitionist like Garrison, but he was mostly into slave narratives (he spoke to a white audience for moral persuasion)

When looking at that time perion you can't ignore Martin Delaney. He worked with Douglass on his first two newspapers but he had to break away because basically what it came down to is he thought Douglass was a "fool" Delaney had thousands of blacks ready to go back to Africa and many did go but the Civil war interrupted his plans in which he served in. He did go after the war along with others.

Also many blacks was for going back to Africa in the 19th century they just didn't trust the efforts of whites in sending them their under colonization status, James Forten talks about this tremendously. Prior to the forming of the ACS, Paul Cuffe and other Liberated Afrikans sailed back to the continent under their own volition. Pan Africanism was alive in well back then, David Walker's Appeal was to Afrikans all over the world.


3058, RE: Quick note on Douglass
Posted by ConcreteCharlie, Thu Nov-13-03 06:47 AM
wasnt sierra leone founded largely by former slaves; in contrast to lincoln's liberia? i am a little fuzzy on this one.

yeah douglass is certainly not the end-all; life and times is perhaps the most famous slave narrative out there though his persuasive powers as an orator and writer cannot be undermined.
doctrine's like walker's appeal had more far-reaching benefits for blacks. i knew delaney worked with douglass and later served in the civil war before heading to the motherland, but had was unaware he was an organizing any sort of mass exodus; will have to check that out...
3059, :+)
Posted by Jagunjagun, Thu Nov-13-03 04:01 AM
n/m

"Tongue is lightening"
- Luyia

3060, RE: More westernized
Posted by blueology3, Mon Nov-10-03 08:57 AM
Western ways is opposed to alot of traditional beliefs and values.

People had to be enslaved and colonized to adopt things that go against their engrained cultural essence.

So yeah... when black families can't get together like we have always done because we'd rather make money I'd say we're pretty whitewashed.
3061, RE: More westernized
Posted by ConcreteCharlie, Mon Nov-10-03 09:07 AM
yeah, i have to agree that in fact this is one way i definitely think it is the case and also how he describes certain phenomenon, dude's name in Tom by the way.

i think that commerical culture is huge and it didnt used to be in black culture. it has to do with some increasing affluence, but that cant be the only thing can it? what do you all think?

plus, history is decreasingly important to black folks, they are getting the same short term memories as white where 30 minutes ago might as well be 30 years and the events of neither period are significantly valued. Commercialism as a stand in for culture has an immense deal to do with this too I think.

There are a bunch of other things too and I am sure MANY more I havent even considered, so keep em coming...
3062, RE: More westernized
Posted by blueology3, Mon Nov-10-03 09:42 AM
>>>>i think that commerical culture is huge and it didnt used to be in black culture. it has to do with some increasing affluence, but that cant be the only thing can it? what do you all think?

Mosdef. I don't want to think to simplistic but I think Harold cruse in Crisis of the Negro intellectual is becoming more and more like a prophet with his analysis. You've had more of a integrationist mentality for the past 150 years atleast. So if people want to be included and the corporate vultures are fusing hip hop into everything and controlling it the popular culture is only adding fire to the delusion of integration.

>>>plus, history is decreasingly important to black folks, they are getting the same short term memories as white where 30 minutes ago might as well be 30 years and the events of neither period are significantly valued. Commercialism as a stand in for culture has an immense deal to do with this too I think.

Man history is key, if these wanna be artist knew about Paul Robeson and what he went through, how cats couldn't even go into the Cotton Club... how the Harlem Renassiance was Uppity negroes saying "hey massa look at me" then we wouldn't keep doing the same stuff over and over again.
3063, RE: Value of black history
Posted by ConcreteCharlie, Mon Nov-10-03 09:48 AM
Yeah, most definitely, but I think on the flipside a lot of intellectuals now too are acting like all that suffering and struggle went for naught because the hierarchies are the same. That is true to an extent, but dont they think that the fact the history is still FAR from common knowledge in black America, let alone America as a whole is affecting that? People are giving up too soon on education, edification, shared but personal responsibilities and a host of other things which, despite setbacks and being lights years from utopia, have created progress and fading into whiny postmodernism. too many of the people that KNOW history are choosing to ignore or devalue it.
3064, RE: So true...
Posted by blueology3, Mon Nov-10-03 10:02 AM
it seems like the people who are devaluing history are the people who only use history as a means to self advancement through doors opened by the struggles of the 60-80's.

An Elder by the name of Anderson Thompson state that we need to develop a African Historiography, a study of history. A history that will serve the purpose of unifiying and make us progress through future generations.

When developing a history we have to do so with a grand vision of the future. It's like history deals with the future, and then you tie it to ours past and then deal with the present situation.

Like if you see a woman the first thing you might thing is damn how can I get with her, sleep with her, marry her, or just get to know her (future) from there we have to pull on our past experience, a bro might remember this one joke I said in approaching my ex girlfriend was very successful(history). The once you have your vision for the future and you know from past experience you analyze the present and say well the joke I told was in a different situation so I might want to tailor just a bit for the now (present)
3065, RE: So true...
Posted by ConcreteCharlie, Mon Nov-10-03 11:29 AM
that's a cool analogy

yeah, i think people do look at it as self advancement and say well, its gotten us as far as we are gonna get. but in line with what you said, that is ignorant. a lot of past reforms are being abandoned and ignored by society, just look at the terrible state of educational segregation which is being effectively repealed by a number of court decisions as well as in practice by white flight phenomenon (just look how hard it is to buy a house in the suburbs and what people are willing to pay from maryland to cali). those are not failures of past efforts, they are failures of a contemporary lack thereof.

"if i dont know where i'm coming from, where will i go?"

but then you got the universal problem that people have talked about beyond race; social problems that exist anywhere. one is the overstratification and complication of society, adding levels of complexity as patchwork solutions to the point of collapse (I can amplify on this if anyone wants, but i'll try to keep this kinda short). also, there is the problem of lack of patience, this is often pointed to when considering the abandonment of liberalism. hayek talked about it in detail in the road to serfdom, and even though I think he ignores key social factors in his work that basically points to free market forces as the best way to shape society (why he is so popular with libertarians) his commentary is prescient at points. He talks about the death of liberalism )and liberals, both still ongoing, a movement towards socialism (compares US and Germany where he also lived) and, most significantly for our discussion about abandonment of principles in favor of short term gains

That is destructive in his and my view. Once we make serious advances, the less significant things that were once pretty much accepted become so annoying that we have to assert a knee jerk reaction to quell them. In doing so, we often forget about the past and fail to continue to attack larger problems which can be only maintained by constant change in progressive goals(things change in order to stay the same). Basically, its like a token hiring, appeases the half concerned but down the road people think, man, hasnt shit changed. Then there is a whole discussion about symbolism but I'll leave that for some awkwardly written parable by Derrick Bell.


3066, RE: Value of black history
Posted by sankofa, Mon Nov-10-03 10:05 AM
I read somewhere that any member of any ethnic group...let's say mexican...will be mexican in "name only" after three generations spent in another country. this can only be avoided if people are resolved to stay close to their roots. We're all gonna get sucked into America's machine eventually...unless we actively fight against it.
3067, RE: Sankofa
Posted by blueology3, Mon Nov-10-03 10:09 AM
Return to the source!!!!

Anything outside of that will be in vain.
3068, RE: Nice dialogue y'all
Posted by Mercy, Mon Nov-10-03 11:51 PM
engaging, rich and clear writing. There's my meta-post for this night.
peace

"..in days of frustration,
spark the education..." -bt
3069, Harold Cruse
Posted by Brooklynbeef, Mon Nov-10-03 10:16 AM
Is a must read. I'm startled and frighten how accurate some of his conclusions are.
3070, RE: Harold Cruse
Posted by blueology3, Mon Nov-10-03 10:21 AM
I know right... I would Build a whole social studies curriculum off that book alone.
3071, RE:
Posted by alamo354, Mon Nov-10-03 10:57 AM
I feel the old dude on what he is saying. I interpret his point, placed in the context of this discussion, as the distinction between integration and assimilation. I think that with access to institutions that have traditionally barred Blacks from participation we have confused integration with assimilation. Instead of using access to the system to reform it we have adopted the ways of our oppressor. It is the Pualo Freire argument of the oppressed becoming the oppressor.
3072, It means we're slowly co-opting what was once considere
Posted by Cocobrotha2, Mon Nov-10-03 11:11 AM
We're slowly enjoying more of the finer things once attributed to white-ness (financial success, education, etc) but also inheriting the negatives too. The relegation of certain feelings or actions to a certain color was misguided and slowly we're seeing that our abilities and capabilities are identical. Saying we're becoming "whiter" everyday is a meaningful to me as saying a kid is "acting white" by speaking a certain way or doing well in school.
3073, gold star... n/m
Posted by faust_hoch, Tue Nov-11-03 11:52 AM
*-_-* sig *-_-*

read about her blues in black & white... May Ayim (Opitz)
3074, the doors of access are starting to loosen...
Posted by obsidianchrysalis, Wed Nov-12-03 04:47 PM
like you said the benefits and consequences of becoming more common participants in mainstream culture are stretching the culture, sometimes turing it's ear on practices or involvement in practices (clarence thomas, ward connelly, dr j owning a nascar team, denzel and holly winning an oscar) that 30 years ago might not have been acceptable. there seems to be a freedom of expression that wasn't possible or acceptable in years past, but it also brings into question the validity and the potential negative consequences of being free...it's life as an american in the 21st century....

maybe the values of the culture might see more similarities if the lines were drawn according to class than race. i guess another question is are blacks and everyone else starting to understand each other or are we just taking images of each other that are caricatures?

just a thought

obsidianchysalis
3075, RE: seemingly, but...
Posted by ConcreteCharlie, Wed Nov-12-03 08:20 PM
doesnt it show our lack of progress when so few blacks have been honored thusly to date? and how about the situations in which they received those honors?

Thomas was clearly a token move to replace Marshall and a conservative pawn at that; then he got an embarassing pass on the whole pre-Clinton sexual harassment stuff that REALLY made it clear. I dont see too many black folks walking around screaming and shouting for him.

I dunno a damn thing about Nascar but I can tell you that racism in sports, the greatest possible example of a meritocracy in America is still rampant on every level, in every sport and also in the media/culture surrounding it. If you want examples I'd be more than happy to provide a whole bunch.

As for the Oscars, I will just briefly restate what has been said a million times. Denzel should have won the award for a ton of other flicks, the foremost of which being X. Not that he wasnt good in Training Day, dude made the film without a doubt, but he pretty much got a token oscar to quiet people crying about minorities in film and TV. Berry was great in Monster's Ball, but the very fact that is the first black actress win the award and Denzel is only the 2nd (people also think Pottier got a political oscar since it was not for one of his best performances) says something. To me, more than even overt discrimination, it says that good roles arent there for black actors and isnt that the fulcrum of the very complaints they are trying to silence?

I dunno, I do think some things are getting better but behind a lot of supposed signs of progress are piles of horse shit.
3076, RE: I'll throw this out there too
Posted by ConcreteCharlie, Mon Nov-10-03 11:34 AM
so this cat and my dad work in the office of this furniture company and "naturally" (socially so) most of the cats in the factory are Mexican. So another way in which he says blacks are becoming whiter is the experience of otherness to a growing population of immigrants since blacks have been here forever, do not speak a common second language and are all US citizens

I dunno to what extent I agree with but the shit he says can't really be disputed on a fact-by-fact basis. Of course on the flipside, everyone is benefitting from immigrants in the same way, though that would be yet another similarity.

Curious to see what people think of and about this...
3077, RE: I'll throw this out there too
Posted by Cocobrotha2, Mon Nov-10-03 03:55 PM
>so this cat and my dad work in the office of this furniture
>company and "naturally" (socially so) most of the cats in
>the factory are Mexican. So another way in which he says
>blacks are becoming whiter is the experience of otherness to
>a growing population of immigrants since blacks have been
>here forever, do not speak a common second language and are
>all US citizens


That's basically true. The lines of demarcation of "us" and "them" are fluid. Not saying that White America is accepting of blacks, but like your dad's friend implied "at least we speak English." The lines are bullshit of course bc they're based on the subjective valuation of what defines a group of people. One day "We're" all Americans fighting against terrorism, then "We're" all Americans fighting for the destruction of Affirmative Action, then "We're" all english speaking Americans fighting for a common language.
3078, RE: true
Posted by ConcreteCharlie, Mon Nov-10-03 03:58 PM
yeah, the goals around which we unify are usually set by politicians, commercial media, etc, another problem with the modern state of non-culture. i mean that 9/11 bullshit lasted about 2 weeks before we were back on the grind and at each other's throats...
3079, Assimilation....
Posted by Whateva, Mon Nov-10-03 11:51 AM
That's all he meant. Think about it. Now the trend is Black girls flocking to White guys. Hair that isn't coarse is still considered good hair. Light skinned guys and girls will always be "prettier". Now we forcing ourselves to like some of things that Euroworld delights in(Hockey, Golf, "Friends"). It's really hilarious. I guess you can only expect stupidity like that from one group of people in the USA. I just loves being Afro-American.
3080, RE: Assimilation....
Posted by ConcreteCharlie, Mon Nov-10-03 12:05 PM
yeah, thats certainly part of it but there is a little more to do it than that

hockey is cool, i used to think it was lilly white but its not really, the same way that white fools who only dig hockey and golf are racists, black people that only dig basketball and football could be thrown into the same boat

but otherwise i agree with what you're saying about assimilation and hued hierarchy/colorism. i thought i was the only one noticing a lot more black girls with white dudes. oh well, i cant cry about that trend but i suppose its part of the grander assimilation movement...
3081, The trend..
Posted by Whateva, Mon Nov-10-03 12:15 PM
Dawg that's happening all over America. It's the fine ones too. They just flocking that way. I've talked to them. It's like a white dudes can pretty much take their pick.
3082, so how would you 'stay black'?
Posted by justin_scott, Mon Nov-10-03 10:23 PM
what is the definition of 'black' anyways?
3083, um
Posted by mE__again, Tue Nov-11-03 05:28 AM
but arent african americans westerners? my question dosent address the comment tho.

my opinion is the comment is very vague. what you could have asked him was his definition of white and black?
3084, RE: well...
Posted by ConcreteCharlie, Tue Nov-11-03 06:12 AM
like i said, this is like one of the dude's catch phrases, he says it in a variety of contexts. dont get so caught up in finding a singular, literal meaning because it's sort of purposely left open to interpretation here.

no, i didnt ask him his definition because how could anyone come up with a short enough answer or even a concise one? it deals with cultural identity, not a specific set of activities which is why listening to hip hop/following the NBA as white cat isnt becoming black and bumping radiohead/watching hockey as a black cat isnt becoming white. it's more values and intangibles and I suppose you can form your own interpretation of what those are...
3085, ok
Posted by mE__again, Tue Nov-11-03 07:14 AM
another question then is:

how does a "regular" african american have different values (and what have you) with a "regular" white american?

just asking ur opinion
3086, RE: Look at religion
Posted by blueology3, Tue Nov-11-03 07:40 AM
Also look at blacks as a whole in the western hemisphere. Look how the blacks in Brazil implemented african traditions and values in Condomble, Blacks in cuba with Santeria, Blacks in Haiti with Voudoun, Blacks in America with various denominations of Protestant Christian religion. My grandmother was a Christian who performed rituals that was African, it was just a shame that other familymembers stigmatized it by calling it Voudou, but she was the one who kept the family together, keeping 12 of her children tight was so important because it was part of her values that I wouldn't dare associate with westernization. Now I know alot of bros and sistas from the continent who practice religion as dry as catholicism who will disregard any spiritual aspect of themselves that is not condoned in the catholic religion. The MAAFA has played out in black virtually the same on the continent and the diaspora, with the difference being geographic location and the ability to preserve our traditions.
3087, excellent question dodging
Posted by CantCBob, Tue Nov-11-03 12:34 PM
"They say big men don't cry. but they didn't say it last week not if they watched Kobe Bryant speak publicly with a moist remorse that was almost Clintonian. "

"Eminem wants to go at Jay Z because everyone recognise Jay Z as the best in the game whether you faggots like him or not." The Source

"John Stockton, not just a great player, but one of the greatest stories of western civilization"--Bill Walton

3088, RE: Thanks Bobby
Posted by blueology3, Wed Nov-12-03 09:54 PM
.
3089, RE: I can ask
Posted by blueology3, Tue Nov-11-03 07:27 AM
Did colonization and post colonization on the continent westernize blacks there as did slavery and post slavery westernize blacks in America?

The reason that blacks from the continent can come here and adjust and do well is atleast somewhat contributed to westernization?
3090, ...
Posted by 7Shy, Tue Nov-11-03 08:51 AM
I've noticed that many of us have to put on a different mask in our white dominated work place to sort of be able to "fit in" well, if you will, with our counterparts. I don't think that it's "turning white" or assimilating, but merely playing the game with them.

I will say that in speaking with persons of older generations, that it seems that the unity and black pride is not what it used to be. You'll find that many ederly people whom lived in an age that was segregated, actually prefer those times over nowadays simply because blacks seemed to have a better hand in controlling their own; there were more black havens and buisnesses, and despite the obvious hardships, the all black atmosphere was marvelous.
3091, RE: ...
Posted by ConcreteCharlie, Tue Nov-11-03 09:11 AM
yeah sense of community is what most older black people tell me is missing. i recently read, i think it was in barkley's book talking about alabama, that he thought one change that occured in poor communities was that people who did fuck up (drunks, criminals, drug addcicts etc) used to try to motivate people to do better than them whereas now they think it is the norm and try to drag people into it. I cant assess that statement because I'm neither really broke nor black, but judging from some folks I know and what other people who say, it may be very true.

whites are losing community too. as far as control over business and even parenting/mentoring; they are losing it just as fast to the same faceless if not invisible systems.

as for the faces, sure, a lot of it is pure faccade, same with whites "acting black" or even "acting sympathetic." maybe there is some "fake it til you make it" in there though since the more you act a certain way or say certain things, the more you begin to entertain the notions seriously or even buy into them. that's a stretch though, i'd tend to agree more with that it's just "playing the game" which is particularly sad that white people front about such things since they are often more serious issues that require much beyond lip service