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Guests of the Inner Sanctum

BB&W Crew Member, Harleyq2 Drops Knowledge! “Throwing Out the Black Card”

Check out Harleyq2’s blog, Single Christian Women.
American black culture is one of great perseverance since the time of slavery. The men and women of that era fought for something better and found ways not to settle
for the imposed societal status quo. Today, their gumshoe has allowed many to have an advanced education and extended opportunities in the US. Unfortunately, for the current black American culture, they have done a 180 degree and imposed restrictions on what it means to be black.

Coming from an island, the image of black Americans on TV shows were severely distressing. The black centered shows of the 80’s until today predominantly featured blacks in one position-poverty and violence. I can remember that the “Cosby Show” and a “Different World” as the only recurring views of black Americans as normal, educated, well-spoken, non-gang affiliated affluent people. The Cosby kids were not roaming the streets and they had goals. Those shows gave an image of normalcy not
depravity. There is an understanding that film producers wanted to show the difficulty of the AA population but in their tunnel vision, they did not show images that pushed the black population to aspire to more and to get out of their comfort zone in order to achieve success. The power of television is astronomical. Consider this, most images of certain places like Africa, India and China were of the poverty stricken cities; many people came to believe that this was a true representation of these countries; however, there is more to these places than what is broadcast. This is the same skewed views of black Americans that people have come to believe to be true and even AA themselves have been stunted by not being able to envision life outside ‘the neighbourhood.’

Today, the issue of carrying and defending one’s black card has become very stifling and depressing. In today’s society, carrying the black card means sticking with your own kind instead of exploring and learning about others. The black card means gang affiliation instead of Harvard affiliation, the black card means wearing one’s pants at your knees instead of a business suit, the black card means speaking slang instead of using proper grammar, the black card means baby mommas and daddies instead of marriage and family. The black card means loud, vulgar and “I will cut you” instead of classy and assertive. The black card means never traveling too far from 80% black environment. The black card means only listening to rap and R&B and never include classicals or country. The black card means house parties and hanging out instead of theatre and fine dining. The black card means flashy and spend excessively instead of 401Ks and college funds. The black card means playing basketball and football
instead of aspiring to be lawyers, doctors, engineers or a corporate professional. The black card means middle class and upwardly mobile are bad and ‘ghetto’ is normal.

The black card is analogous to a small square with high walls. A black woman who steps outside of that square has to vigorously defend her blackness. Really? How did
things become so twisted that being black is equated with settling? Who died and implemented a law that someone is no longer 100% black when she marries a fair skinned blond blue-eyed from Sweden, a black-haired tanned Latino from Puerto Rico, a smooth talking Spaniard, or a brown eyed medium height scientist whose native language is Mandarin?

The American black community has used the black card as an oppressive measure. If
you step outside the box, then you give up the “I am black” rights. Somehow, you are moved to the ‘sell out’ aisle in the black grocery store. If your hair is too “good,” then you are not fully black, if your skin is too fair, then you are not fully black, if… (fill in the blanks), then you are not fully black. Oprah is a sell out, Halle is a sell out and so on (this is reminiscent of a Dave Chapelle’s hilarious sketch in which different AA were assigned to different races). The black card has been tarnished. Dare I borrow the phrase, “what the cuss?”

However, instead of cussing, challenge yourself to step outside the box, waym outside the box and embrace life outside the black Berlin wall. Being born and
raised outside the US, I was never saddled with the modern black American box, so anyone who cries foul on my life choices does not affect me in the least. Women are able to discover quite a few things when they are not being inhibited socially, romantically, and professionally.

During my college days, my blatant avoidance of the group of black students who stuck together and my out-of-the-box multicultural associations did not go unnoticed but that was irrelevant to my life then as it still is now. Just to note, I did
not ignore that group on purpose. People do not recognize that even though black people share the same skin colour, we do not share the same culture. Two-three specific people in that group were always the loudest wherever they were and I was taught that such behaviors are vulgar and are not acceptable. They were a large enough group that congregated in the cafeteria and I hated crowds. One could say that my behaviours in college were egregious enough to bar me from every getting a black card.

So what should one do about carrying the black card? Hold on to it and pull it out whenever someone dares to criticize your black loyalty because you like skiing and is dating Vladimir? Frankly, any self-respecting and confident black woman does not need a card or a reason to defend who she is and who she wants to be. She does not need to defend or argue with anyone for her wanting something more than the black community acceptable status quo. She just needs to look ahead and embrace her freedom, live her one and only God given life, and be true to herself after tossing the black card back over the black Berlin wall.

It is about time that black young women of this generation have better role models.
end.

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