AFROPUNK

... the other Black experience

It's been on my mind for quite some time to start a discussion like this (if there's one like this already, sorry!), but I constantly wonder who else has gone through a similar situation: being told they can't do or be something because they're Black....by a Black individual/family member/etc!!


Speak out, rant, complain, whatever about your stories on why they said being Black "prevents" us from being who we really are.

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As a youngster, was told that we couldn't take showers, because "white people do that kinda shit."

Was told numerous times to limit my vocabulary by excluding things that "white people say." I remember a particular incident involving the word "kudos", which I asked about after seeing an episode of the The Simpsons.

When I got into the Misfits in high school, that became a problem at home. Back then, I never played my music loud (which might be why I'm prone to do so now), but I was told that my musical preferences were becoming dangerously "whitish"...

I was strongly discouraged from doubting the supposedly omnipotent presence of God, because I was inviting an exponentially large share of "His" wrath by not being a God-fearing black male in America. No matter who I questioned about the danger of accepting a set of beliefs without a doubt, I was told that only White people could do that, because Blacks couldn't afford the bad juju that was sure to follow. "We" don't have the right to have the nerve to question, I was told...

As a teenager, was made aware of an unspoken rule that Black males (specifically males) aren't supposed to smile in public. It was both "white" and "weak" to do otherwise...

The list goes on... Haven't gone out of my way to keep any of the friends and/or family from that era of life around anymore...
Wow, that's intense.

From the male perspective I really can't relate (especially because i LOVE smiling in public lol) but thank you for sharing.

I think it's kinda funny how ignorant people can be when it comes to change or doing something different :/
I've experienced similar things...I went to school with all white kids, played with all white kids, and was pretty much shunned by all the black kids at school for "talking white" and being "smart" and then never fit in quite right with the white kids because I wasn't white.

I never really fit in anywhere, growing up I was "different" because I was into art and was pretty much a loner. I'd constantly be harassed to draw or not draw Black people or White people. And oh God, let's not even talk about dating...

I've had family members tell me I'll never make it as an artist, I've had White friends tell me I can't go to parades or festivals with them because their grandparents were going and they were bigots. I've heard that rock music is the devil's music.

It's only been since college that I stopped caring what other people think and my family has become more open minded because of me. I have found the type of open-minded friends and people I've always needed to be around without feeling that I'm turning my back on my Black identity!
Thanks for contributing.

Yeh, i've heard the same shit when it came to art and music. My mom still, to this day, bugs me about drawing a black character. I started to not use color for a long time to avoid the conflict of what complexion to shade in blah blah blah.

I'm glad you've learned to tell everyone to fuck off. :)
This is a stupid age old issues that older teacher " Dr Clark", and many others with intelligence have already discussed. There is nothing you should ever limit yourself to doing. Imagine if the first pyramid builders "Egyptians (black people), said we shouldn't do this because we are Egyptians...... No they said we WILL do this because we are Egyptian.. ( And to glorify the King), but I'm sure you get the point. Same goes for rock music ( Which comes from us).
God. I've learned to bite my tounge on the subject (after all why should an Agnostic decide wether or not god exist etc.) and respect those people and their beliefs. When I was younger like, last year younger, I would go up and down everywhere bothering nice people and picking and prodding them about their faith. Granted I've ran into the typical "ooo You lie! YOu goin to hell" types, but I take a note from their own holy document and simply, now...turn the other cheek. I've been much happier.

Skateboarding. I've heard the typical "blah-blah, white people shit, wha nigga? You think basketball lame? Da fuck, yo parents white?" Most of this I heard from Grades 6-8 up until Lupe's "Kick Push" became the suburban anthem and everybody from bo to lil moe wanted to skateboard. Now the fads "over," I still see skaters roaming the streets and of course I still run into the occasional "Nigga, why the fuck is you skateboardin'?" , but more and more well interested questions like what type of board sizes and whatnot, wheels, tricks, do I know tony hawk (I love that one, makes me smile all the time) etc. So I guess all that "white people shit" is over for me I guess. Thank goodness, cuz that shit is retarded.
I've been told that waaay too much in my life! "Man, you black! We don't (fill in the blank) like that. That's what white people do" How not to dress, speak, act, behave, etc. Publicly admitting that I liked metal or rock was damned-near a Federal offense in NJ.

I'm kinda old, but does anyone remember when 'eating out' was taboo in the black community?
I know that some of the social restrictions were put there to define/maintain our cultural identity. But, for awhile I couldn't do shit without my blackness being questioned. It was/is frustrating and limiting.

Things are changing, just not fast enough. I still hear kids refer to getting good grades as acting white. It's 2010, black prez, non-athlete black tycoons, and folks are still feeding into that "because you're not white" bullshit.

RRRRAAARR!! Makes me wanna holla!
"As a youngster, was told that we couldn't take showers, because "white people do that kinda shit." "

omfg- you too?! I thought that was just my crazy ass ignorant ass family.

I was told not to watch wrestling, swim, do theater, dye my hair, ride a bike after age 12, "use big words", paint my nails black among other petty things because I was black. And sometimes because I was black and female. "Girls can't do what boys do" was all I heard.

The biggest thing to me is that I would get slapped or screamed at whenever I questioned things- especially big things like why worship Jesus if he's white and the religion is for white people and it kept us enslaved (the bible as propaganda).
And questioning why it's okay for certain things to happen to girls/women and why no one does anything about it. Meaningful discussions were/are non-existent, it's all pointless babble that atrophies the mind and does nothing for anyone. They've chosen that and it's sad.

That really made me hate my family and being black. I no longer hate being black but I hate the self segregation and self enslavement. I hate how we do the oppressor's work long after the oppressor has moved on. And I hate being around large groups of ignorant negroes because of the pain their words cause- physical and mental.

I still get discouraged from doing a lot of things I want to do from my judgmental-ass family.

Oh and the MUSIC; "I blame the white kids you hang out with for you listening to white music" said with a solemn face.

Learning Chinese was white- my former friends that did so are now living there. ..so what, now? Enrolling in AP classes was white. Studying was white. Being smart was abnormal, I was encouraged not to raise my hand in class by my girlfriends. ..."what would the boys think?".
being a vegetarian once upon a time seemed to have a few people confused i have no idea why. But you're black?? is one of the dumbest things i've had said to me, if your not a stereotype your a confused coconut.

I remember when there was "no such thing" as gay black people
wow, let's see....

my step-father, in particular, had MUCH shit to say- "stop using them big words...like 'vague', 'ambiguous', 'smug'"
"you listen to that heavy metal. You aint gonna have Black friends. I aint NEVER gonna buy a record by a White man."
"STOP leanin your arms on the sink when you wash your face. You aint WHITE!"
"Mustard??!! Who puts mustard on their sandwich? White folks do that!"
"What you talkin bout you don't eat pork? Nigga, you BLACK!"

I even had a roommate in college say to me- "damn, nigga, why you puttin lotion on your hands like that??! Being so neat. Put that lotion on like BLACK people."

lol
Help me, does anybody here know how Black people put lotion on?
lord knows lmao :']

Golem_3 said:
wow, let's see....

my step-father, in particular, had MUCH shit to say- "stop using them big words...like 'vague', 'ambiguous', 'smug'"
"you listen to that heavy metal. You aint gonna have Black friends. I aint NEVER gonna buy a record by a White man."
"STOP leanin your arms on the sink when you wash your face. You aint WHITE!"
"Mustard??!! Who puts mustard on their sandwich? White folks do that!"
"What you talkin bout you don't eat pork? Nigga, you BLACK!"

I even had a roommate in college say to me- "damn, nigga, why you puttin lotion on your hands like that??! Being so neat. Put that lotion on like BLACK people."

lol
Help me, does anybody here know how Black people put lotion on?
@ Mille : I've had similar experiences with my peers when it came to education, gladly though, my family pushes me toward being well educated,using "big words", being different--to an extent. I still get, from kids at my high school, that I'm a disgrace, that I'll never fit in blah blah blah. It's a shame that we're still held back by our own "people's" ignorance and fear.

@ Conspicuious Green : I've gone through that too!! I decided I didnt want to eat meat for a while, and my grandfather snuck chunks of beef into my stew. When I questioned him about it, he said "Ahh, youre Black, you dont really want to be a vegetarian."

@ Golem : It's the same thing in almost every "alternative" Black person's home. Don't feel too bad lol

@ PoetryPowerPistols : It seems that way, but in reality, a lot of times it isn't just a joke. In my family there's a lot of joking around, but it makes me uncomfortable, but i've learned to shrug it off and just forget about it. It's still idiotic and ignorant, no matter how you put it. :)

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