Not the Typical Black Person

I have heard this comment from black people (bp) and white people (wp) alike. Whenever, this statement is issued it is offensive no matter the race of the person. When a wp issues the comment they (I think) mean it as a form of flattery (as if) however, when bp issues the comment IT IS meant to question your blackness. In all fairness I have to admit that this comment is infinitely more hurtful when other bp addresses it to me. My husband for years used to say this accompanied by a headshake and additional comments such as you want to do what, you really believe that, or don’t you see. Comments like this one and others along its ilk only succeed in stereotyping or placing people in pigeon holes (which at times I am guilty of both; so please feel free to call me on it anytime).

As far as the typical black person, who is a typical black person, are they the reflection of the media or the newest rap video, or maybe a newer version of the Clare and Cliff. It is so easy for the minority to be stereotyped by the ignorant behavior of the few (which the media takes every opportunity to play up). Do bp have certain idosycnrosises that are distinct (but not exclusive) to their culture? The answer is yes, but those idiosyncrasies go well and far beyond (and often have deeper meaning) than the gold teeth, do-rag wearing people you see scattered across your local nightly news.

I know its going to be difficult to being to value people for who they are because the first thing we see is physical we don’t (and never will) see the interior of the person until we make a concerted effort to engage that person. Stereotypical comments only strain race-relations among the color lines and within color lines. People are inherently a product of their surroundings. I grew up in the country I like country things my husband grew up in da’ hood, at times (in private) he regresses. Surroundings usually will depict the behavior of people and not their race. However, their race can and usually will depict their surroundings.



Reader Comments

Good post! Welcome to blogdom.

Thank you so much Abagond. Keep up the good work on your blog. I really enjoy reading it everyday.

OMG We must do lunch! I was thinking the same thing as I was youtubing one night( I do this ofen)! But in this case it was the picture being potrayed of a "typical" bw(black women). The publisher of the video kept referring to the "typical" bw and hip-hop culture. Oh my...what a poor example of a "typical" bw! What a bunch of wacko's!

@Go I completely understand! Heaven forbid you have a penchant for riding horses or going to the museum. First and foremost women are going to have to keep their clothes on and the legs closed and stay out of the rap videos. It’s hard enough for black women to receive the respect that is so freely given to women of other races without some of us showing all that we got. All we can do is keep proving people wrong.

@Go Thanks for stopping by!

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