I have been trying to locate a document for some time now, and I have been unable to find it. I cannot find anything close to it. So I am desperately seeking everyone’s help in finding this important document.
I am looking for a law. You know, a set of rules and guidelines that tells what we can and cannot do. Anyway, I don’t know if the law that I’m looking for is on the local, state, or federal level, but it must be out there somewhere because I’m often called out on certain things.
I am looking for the law that says that just because I am a black female:
- My natural hair should not be shoulder length, otherwise people might think it’s a weave.
- I should always be prepared to convince people that my hair is not permed/relaxed because it’s “so soft” and “pretty.”
- I have to like Beyonce
- I have to watch Tyler Perry movies
- I have to watch basketball wives reality tv shows. (I don’t even know the name of the show. All I know is something about Atlanta, basketball, and wives.)
- I have to listen to “black music”
- I am expected to cuss and use slang in my everyday vocabulary
- I must gossip. ALL THE TIME.
- The farthest I can travel for a vacation is the 4-5 hour drive to Illinois for the Taste of Chicago (food festival) and the Cincinnati Jazz Festival. Florida and the Caribbean are a no-no.
- The only channel I can watch is BET (Black Entertainment Television). CNN (Cable News Network) is not allowed.
- Under no circumstances am I supposed to read comic books and attend comic conventions.
Whew! That’s a lot. See why I need your help?
Stereotyping. We are all guilty of it. What I listed are just a few of the stereotypes that I encounter on a daily basis.
I was chastised by a black female for not liking Tyler Perry movies. I tried to explain to her that I don’t dislike his movies, it’s just not my preferred genre. I am into horror, action/adventure, fantasy, and sci-fi. A white female overheard the conversation and said, “YOU don’t like Tyler Perry movies? I like Tyler Perry movies.” I didn’t feel the need to further explain myself, so I shrugged my shoulders and walked away.
Back in the fall I was chastised and belittled for watching Thor: The Dark World (IMAX, 3D of course) instead of The Best Man Holiday at the movie theater. Yes I know that the handsome Morris Chestnut was a lead character, but I chose to put my love of superhero and action/adventure first.
I won’t even tell you how several black females got on my case for not watching Precious. They were mad at me because I refused to watch that movie. But what they don’t know is, I don’t care for black drama. My life has been full of family drama for as long as I can remember. Why pay to watch it at a theater when I get it for free all the time? I didn’t tell them any of that because it’s none of their, or anyone else’s, damn business.
Do I need to tell you that people wonder why I read comic books? And the suggestions of books I should be reading because that’s what they’re reading? I find it funny that people recommend shit for me to read, although I have never seen a book in their hands.
I am going to end my tantrum here because I’m starting to type bad words. Remember, cussing is expected of black females. I think.
I am going to search for this law until I find it. If and when I do find this set of rules, I am going to read them. And then I am going to continue breaking them.
2 thoughts on “I Need Your Help”
Hello Words By Me, I read your comment to “20/20 Hines Sight” and after reading your post I thought what I wrote to 20/20 Hines Sight would be appropriate after reading your post.
I have long dealt with people from my own race and many others critiquing me on my choices, from the race of women I have dated, the type of music I listen to and so on. I have come to appreciate my loves and likes that are different from most Black Americans. I have also come to appreciate my distinctiveness in individuality.
Most people don’t see me visually as their perceived idea of a black male, To help them appreciate who I am I use the term, “I’m just average”. I travel freely where most Black Americans would not imagine, consider or conceive and while at these location I receive startled looks wondering why?
I hike, I bike, I kayak, I geocache, I’m a retiree, practicing the beach bum life style, and while I have toured the US from Alaska to Key west by motorcycle, and soon to become a full-time RVer. I love my distinctiveness and that I’m not like the others, yet their many like me.
My family and friends have come to accept my love of life and the great outdoors, but I still encounter people of many races, cultures, and ethnic backgrounds who are awe struck in seeing a 275 black-male touring locations around the US where they have not seen people of color.
I look at myself as an ambassador to those simple minded people that anyone can do what they love and like. It helps them understand their mental perception of people is within their mind and based on stereotypes and preconceived ideas.
So together lets go forward and show those with little or no sense of the world that we can do anything no matter who you are and where you live.
Thank you for such an inspiring message. There is not much for me to say, because you pretty much said it all.
I have always loved the outdoors. I’ve always wanted to horseback ride, but never got around to it because I grew up in the city. I also like boating and hiking. I love to travel, so I’m thankful I have a husband and children who share that passion as well.
I have been critiqued on my choices for as long as I can remember. From my choice of hobbies (especially reading comic books) to dining, vacation destinations, and people I associate with. Black Americans give me the most problems, including my own family members. I’m “too good” for them. The comments I hate the most are “trying to act white” or “talk white” or that I don’t make a good “black girl.”
I knew, as a young girl, that I was different. I stood out. I knew that I was not the ideal black girl, and that I would not be the ideal black woman. But unlike you, I don’t have family support. My mother and siblings have always belittled me. I have a great time with my husband and kids, so I’ve been pushing all that nonsense aside over the years.
I don’t have a problem with other races and ethnic backgrounds. I’m usually greeted with a smile no matter where I go. I’m going on a solo vacation to the Rockies pretty soon. I’m going horseback riding, hiking, and I may even try rafting. I can already hear the snickering from the small-minded people. There is no set of rules that define who has to do what and where. So yes, let’s step over the preconceived ideas and move forward.
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