We're post election, Donald Trump is President of the United States of America, and there is much to say. Now, social media can be a very informal platform to say the least, and people are voicing how they feel in a number of different ways - whether it be through statuses, tweets, memes, gifs or what have you; there is some self expression happening.
While discussing with a friend what she thinks the next steps for marginalized groups in America are from here on out, she stated that she feels as if [Black] people should be getting more serious about their efforts to impose change on the community. She and I both agreed that riots and acts of violence will not cut it and that in order for there to be change, our marginalized communities will have to be as passionate in real life as they are on the Internet. How? We don't know yet.
Moving forward, she also stated that she wishes [Black] folks spoke, and wrote, in a way to be taken seriously. Now, I am currently in the midst of reading Black Skin, White Masks by Psychiatrist and Philosopher Frantz Fanon, who, in his research and commentary, discusses the Black Man (and Woman) in a predominately White society.
He analyzes how the language of Creole is insignificant and interpreted as inferior to French in Martinique. In Martinique, many of the Black people can only speak Creole and Whites do not speak Creole at all, they speak French. Creole is only spoken by Whites in the event that they are speaking to a Black person who does not know 'proper' French. If a Black person wishes to be viewed as intelligent, they must aspire to learn French, which, in the end, would be aspiring to be less black and more white.
After connecting my friend's response to Fanon's analysis, my friend immediately retracted her statement and we thought about how to go about saying what we felt. Because it is true that in order for anyone to take our sentiments as valid or informative, it must be worded in a way in which proper English, the English that was taught by Whites, is used. But you can't tell people, "Articulate, nigga!".
Our discussion went off on a tangent as we discussed the identity of Black people in America and how blurry those lines are. Generally speaking, the Black community has no real identity or voice in this country. Those who wear suits, work in offices, and speak 'proper' English are essentially conforming to the 'White Man's' values, though they have to say "My nigga" every once in awhile to reaffirm their loyalty to the Black community. Then, there are those who totally reject the ideals of the White Man, but are seen as hoodlums, unintelligent, lazy, etc.
It's a very difficult position to be in.
There is a serious identity crisis within the Black community and this crisis is deeply-rooted and systematically perpetuated. So, how then does one wish for change without seeming 'Too White' but still holding on to our Blackness?
What are your thoughts?
producer / writer / artist