Saturday, May 16, 2009

Black By Default

Let's say that Tiger Woods,
And Lenny Kravitz,

And James Stewart,

And Venus Williams,

And Barack Obama (After 2016),

And Neil deGrasses Tyson all moved to a new all Black enclave in Lake Arrowhead, California.
Would they still be seen as "Acting White"?
Or would the definition of what Blacks are expected to do and how they are expected to live change? (C'mon... you know Tiger is "Acting Black" by marrying a white woman.)
Isn't doing these things making them "Black Things"?
Since someone Black is doing these things, aren't they now just Black by default?


FreeMan Press said...

I don't know if they would be seen as acting white but they might be seen as acting crazy. To be labeled Black it has to be popular and it has to be innovative. Them forming a enclave of super blacks is innovative but do you want to move up there with them? So it lacks the final stamp of popularity to become a Black thing. They will just be those rich blacks doing some bourgeois in Lake Arrowhead. Shit, I bet you people will think it's a new vacation spot like Vail!

Big Don said...

South Park had a good one along these lines: "The Cash Chuckers"

Ian said...

See why you gotta mention "44" and Tiger in the same post? Shoot!

I have strong feeling on Tiger Woods and the only thing black about him is his skin. Period. At least President Obama has an understanding of his heritage and wants to connect with the African American community. Tiger's running so far away from us it ain't even funny.

As for Lenny and Venus, well they have their moments. I love Lenny, so you won't hear me say anything bad about him. Venus, um....searching for something, anything. LOL.

brohammas said...

I understand what "acting white" and all that goes along with it but in the name of fostering discussion (in other words there is no need to explain to me the implications or perceptions of a black persons actions by either thier own or by others)
but when will we know society has progressed far enough to no longer burden successful POC with some debt to thier people. When will an individual be able to represent only themselves?
White people, for any number of reasons, feel no need to represent thier people, or anyone but those who share a last name. Sure this is allowed by privelage but NOT allowing a POC to do the same entrenches the idea among the "others" that they are in fact "others", else they would have no need for representation.

Its a case of "we didn't make it this way, but we are keeping it this way." It can be counterproductive.

Citizen Ojo said...

I don't think that the perception would change. It would just be known as the new spot for the black elite. Most of the people you put on that list are truly black by default (even though one or two of them try to downplay their blackness). When black folks move to the suburbs that was suppose to give folks in the hood hope but I guess it didn't work out that way...

RunningMom said...

Lenny Kravitz, sigh. lol

When POC proclaim that anything associated with education or success or something they haven't done before, is "acting white" they are reinforcing the false image that white = the standard of success.

At what point should you (regardless of race) say to yourself: "this is where I am, this is where/what I want to be, this is what I am willing to do to get there, this is who I am taking with me and this is who I am leaving behind." Let the haters hate and the people that want to help me get where I am trying to go help. Anyone who wants to come up behind me, I'm willing to help them too, but if someone (anyone) is willing to lend me an honest helping hand, I'm not turning it down.

Ian said...

Well said Running Mom!

uglyblackjohn said...

@ FreeMan - THIS would be the problem with an American Black Mecca.
Those who couldn't acquire such a life would just complain that those living the life (even if surrounded by all Blacks) are just "Acting White".

@ Big Don - Yep... South Park tells it like it is (or would be).

@ Dark - But Tiger doing anything IS a Black experience. He's just expanding the definition.
What this post was meant to point out is that the limitations of "Blackness" are largely self imposed.

@ brohammas - White people do it based on nationality (Irish, Italian, Greek, etc.) or religion.

@ Ojo - Wasn't Atlanta (or Baldwin Hills or the old Striver's Row) supposed to be the same thing?

@ RunningMom - Yep.


FreeMan Press said...

UBJ - Of course I disagree because the ABM is not people running to establish something away from folk it will be amongst them. You have to remember the Gold Rush was started on the promise of riches. So if the goal is set up as something all can attain then the masses will come. Now starting with a couple of people in some way off area might become what you think.

Atlanta is not a place for the Black elite and I don't think it has ever been billed as that. It was billed as a great opportunity for blacks and that's why the population went from 1.6 to currently 5.6 in 10 years.

uglyblackjohn said...

@ FreeMan - When I first moved here, my idea was to uplift the race in any way that I had the means.
I knew and worked with several other Blacks with the same idea. We owned our businesses and would hire all Blacks.
But those with whom we worked treated us worse than they would a white boss. They expected us to "hook them up" whenever something went wrong in their lives. They couldn't understand that our businesses were still Businesses.

I'm not saying that the idea can't work - but don't make the same mistakes of those who have tried it before you.
Make sure that everyone knows that you are the boss (and eventually - an Uncle Tom Sellout" because you will be seen as one of those in power by those who chose not to exercise theirs).

Make sure that you surround yourself with those you respect (So everyone can take criticism without egos getting in the way).

Make sure that everyone is going in the same direction - WORKING to the best of their abilities to improve their own lives (from the janitor to the VPs.)

If your goal is acceptence by the majority of Blacks - you've already failed.

FreeMan Press said...

UBJ - I hear you loud and clear and that's why I am not trying to make a black anything. I'm applying regular exploitable business rules while funding black pursuits. I'm not the Jesus guy so I am not going with the hope and one on one inspiration. I'm not here to hook anyone up as my goal is to make money first.

Business is business whether I run it or a Jewish guy run it. The difference is who do they decide to give charity too? If you look over the plan the only thing that can be construed as Black is maybe the school. Other than that I am just outlining a business plan and telling you how we can do it.

I know I have to surround myself with a circle of people who are focused on the goal. I don't plan to come in and be the messiah as much as I just plan to build profitable businesses. Look, everyone takes advantage of our folk from the liquor stores to fast food. The difference is I can exploit the same things and return the money back to the community.

Carl said it best "I think the question you have to decide on is are you out to make money which can then save the people or are you out to save the people and hopefully make money?" I know which way I am going about it!

uglyblackjohn said...

@ FreeMan - I just wish I would have been asked that question by Carl a decade ago.

FreeMan Press said...

UBJ - I agree that question made me really think about things. It made me stop and wonder what I was really trying to accomplish. Sometimes the answer to bigger questions comes from other people even when we were just talking about pork rinds!