How Black is Black?: Part One

How Black is Black?: Part One
Special Clubbing Edition!

Cut by: Davita Cuttita

In the introduction to How Black is Black I focused mainly on appearance and heritage to see how far appearances go pertaining to Blackness.

Now, over the Christmas Break of ’07 while I was still single and full of single-girlyness, I had the pleasure of going out with a friend of mine, her boyfriend and about thirty-five other people to celebrate his birthday. Everyone was White and I was the only Black girl, with the exception of a Latino couple and another Black guy that everyone nick-named “Hammy” for some reason after this Hamster on a children’s TV show but…fuck, I ain’t gonna let nobody call me the same thing they call no goddamn hamster.

Anyway, I am in total, agonizingly ecstatic love with the clubbing scene in Toronto. Especially when it includes things like this:

Or this:

Or even this:drink!

So of course, I HAD TO GO. I didn’t know most of the people I went with, which was fine; usually I’m the kind to observe quietly for a moment, slowly chit-chatter, then go absolutely bad-shit insane.

We ended up going to some club I’d never been to before that played nothing but heavy metal/rock/industrial music all night. I tried to dance and make the most of it because it was my friend’s boyfriend’s birthday, I am on great terms with the both of them, and I didn’t wanna be a whining, bitchy, asshole. So, I’m there doing my thing; dancing, drinking, mingling. I knew some of the songs and grooved extra hard because hey, Nine Inch Nails and Rob Zombie are the shit.

BUT, of course there is always the share of men on pussy patrol no matter where you go. This time it was…awkward. To say the least of pussy patrolling—I know! How can being a target of a pussy patrol possibly be MORE AWKWARD than it ALREADY is? Because of comments like this:

“You’re Jamaican? Oh man, that’s so cool, like, can you talk some for me?”
It’s as if the people who ask me that question expect me to talk like Bob Marley or the bullshit, watered-down version of Jamaican you hear in the movie Cool Runnings. I don’t talk Patois all the time around anyone for the exact same reason any other person sticks to English in an English-speaking country in the presence of Anglophones. You won’t fucking understand me!

And there’s a double-standard. While, a Sri Lankan, Chinese or what-have-you person moves around in their circle of race speaking their language it’s “rude”. How dare they not speak English! But when Jamaicans (or any other race du jour that’s “in”) talk Patois, which most people do not understand a lot of anyway; it’s cool. I’ve told people I was going to break all their bones in my language (“Mi a go bruk up yu ratitclatt!”) and been complimented and encouraged to speak it more EVEN THOUGH the person did not understand what I’d just said and I had to “translate” the sentence into proper English. They don’t give a flying fuck about my culture; it’s just a superficial interest cum cool commodity like Converse shoes or some shitty Indie album.

“Can you do the soulja boy? All my other Black friends can do it. DO IT.”
Regarding the soulja boy, YES, I can do it because my sister and I dance it with my lil’ bro-bro and it’s so cute when we can all get together and—YOOOOU!!!!!!! So when this motherfucker questioned my author-ri-tay outside the rock club, I flipped the tables on him and said I’d do it if he did it with me; which he agreed to. In conclusion, I effectively soulja-boyed the fuck outta that dude in front of the many on-lookers who laughed at him and that was that. Yah Bitch, YAH! (See? I can be ignorant too!)

“Do you know this song? ALL my Black friends love this song”
If you for ONE SECOND try to contest a “ALL my Black friends love this {noun}” phrase with rational intelligence like “Not all Black people do/sing/talk/eat/dance whatever” you will be stabbed in the fucking jugular with the worst sentence in the English language after “Nigger, (pick that cotton)” and “Exterminate the Jews”. You’ll be met with “Are you Whitewash?”

If you’re a Coloured Person I bet your blood is boiling. I can smell you marinating.

Yes, ABSORB that shit for a moment. Let me reiterate: “Are you Whitewash?”

The ONLY correct response to that question is, of course “Motherfucker, do you wanna die?!” followed by a roundhouse kick but in a circumstance such as the one I was in, I had to hide my rage and just go “NO!”

Ignorant, narrow-minded people seem to wrap a lot of their understanding of race around how a person talks, what music they listen to and if you’re Black; their dancing capabilities. Before we go blaming everything on BET, we must first remember that it’s only like, 45% BET’s fault anyway while the rest of the damage can be squarely placed upon the individual themselves.

I’m Black so I must be gentically PREDISPOSED to knowing all about Africa, being able to dance, talking like American Black people and knowing all the stuff that’s out and about in “Black culture”.

A friend of mine was born in Ghana and had to move with her family to Japan when she was six years old since her Dad found a great job there. She grew up there, is fluent in the language and was fully immsersed into the Japanese environment—making her culture Japanese. She moved here to Canada at 15 and began the process of learning English when she started highschool. She is the CUTEST thing ever (“Pimp? What is pimp? Can you tell me what is pimp?”) and used to visit me when I was sick and on my last days at work before the weekend. She also helped me with my Japanese lessons when I was learning it last winter for fun.

However, the girls at her highschool give her a hard time with the Black girls, sadly; being the worst perpetrators. Her idea of how to do her hair is different, her sense of humour is strange, and she isn’t familiar with all the slang or mannerisms people use. This all just makes me luverz her even more because it’s cute and unique but this “cultural gap” angers her peers. Obviously, I had to give her my speech of “If anyone messes with you again, I am coming to your school to FUCKING CUT THEM! Tell them I will fuck them up!”

To my knowledge, her circumstances have improved as she catches on to more and stands up for herself but it pains me to know she has to stand up to being stereotyped by not only White but Black people as well because she doesn’t fit into that neat little bracket of what people consider to be “Blackness”.

These things are hurtful because it’s narrowing the definition of a Black person. It is stereotyping at it’s worst. It’s racist when White people do it and internalized racism when Black people do it to eachother.

Are the Black People in Tanzania “less Black” because they don’t know Who is Mike Jones?

Are the Black people in England or even JAMAICA “less Black” because they talk with an English accent or in Patois and not in Ebonics?

Are the Black people in the Congo “less Black” because they don’t do the Soulja Boy?

Is my Black friend “less Black” because she is soooo “Nippon”?

Take these equations and multiply them—you will see they have a lot of variants.

Tell me: Where does Blackness begin and end? Where does Blackness come from?

I am tired of this bitch-assness. Up with this fuckery I will not put! –>Cheque, please!!


~ by davitacuttita on April 28, 2008.

2 Responses to “How Black is Black?: Part One”

  1. Aside from instant death, my other favorite answer to the whitewash question is, only if that means you’re stupid on the outside right? Or the dead stare, or even better speak really slowly and over enunciate. Do people do that to people they think are slow up there? It’s fun.

    I dig this one. And would be all over that club scene.

  2. Yeah, people definitely do the talking slowly and over-enunciation up here. I think the dead stare is cool, maybe we should work on it so it turns out like “Blue Steel” in Zoolander.

    If we went clubbing at the same time there would be an awesomeness overload in the force. I think it needs to happen.

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