Tag: black history month

Oreo: The Modern Day Uncle Tom – Part 1

Source: ethiopiannewsforum.com
Yeah, in a very blatant way, this is what your typical Uncle Tom charge is referring to.

Hey y’all

So, instead of just basically defining what an Oreo is, and why it`s absolutely a sign of self-hate and self-prejudice, I decided instead to do an in-depth look at exactly where this term most likely really comes from, as in what the driving force behind it really is, and to understand the very complex nature behind this extremely confusing obsession with calling successful, educated black people Oreos. Why is being educated a white trait, exactly? Come along on this two part special with me, and we can explore this new racially charged and highly offensive terms origins together. Let’s get right to where it alllll started… With the Uncle Tom.

All About The Uncle Tom

The term Uncle Tom, for those of you who don’t know, actually originates with a character from a novel that was later made into a movie. Harriet Beecher Stowe published her novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin in 1852. As an avid abolitionist, Stowe penned the novel as an anti-slavery message, highlighting the horror, cruelty, and inhumanity of slavery in the hopes of making the reasons slavery should be abolished tangible to millions. Her mission succeeded, and it is even said to have been one of the major catalytic forces behind the Civil War. In her novel, Uncle Tom was a placid, ever humble and ever subservient slave, who also happened to be quite (more…)

Slam Sundays: Proud to Be ME – Whatever That May or May Not Be

Source: http://www.funnyjunk.com

This slam poet will knock your socks off, and boy am I happy to introduce him to my slam series with such a bang! This Black History Month, I’ve been on a journey of discovery. Not just to either learn or to reacquaint myself with the history of black people within North American Society, but to explore in-depth the issues that a black North American faces in today’s world. In this process, which I have shared with you step-by-step, I have also gotten a chance to learn a great deal about the many, many opinions you guys have, and the variety of reasons behind those thoughts and opinions. I am always so honoured when you choose to share a little piece of yourselves with me. Not only am I getting the chance to share in your insight, but you often give me a chance to further reflect on whatever topic of discussion we have at hand that day. So thank you all for that, and I look forward to hearing from you all on the rest of this journey.

So back to this Slam Sundays featured artist. His name is Boonaa Mohammed, and I have had the pleasure of seeing him perform in person. His style, his flow, are smooth as butter. But more importantly, there’s a raw, genuine honesty to his (more…)

I Only Date White Girls, but I Would TOTALLY Sleep With You

Source: blogs.indiewire.com

“I don’t date black girls”. Good to know, I think, as I close my eyes. So I can roll them without him knowing. No need to actually make this tipsy conversation outside of the bar any more awkward than it needs to be. After all, I know exactly what’s coming next, and considering I met this guy all of thirty minutes ago when he asked me for a light, and while we’ve politely chatted about the recent smoking room ban in bars and strip joints, we haven’t gotten to anything so deep and meaningful as a name exchange. Oh, yeah, and my boyfriend is just inside, which he’s well aware of. Since, just after part one of our 30 minute smoking-alarmist discussion, he asked me if I was dating the black guy, who just so happens to be the only black dude, and the only other black person, in the bar. And who also happens to be on the other side of the room from where I’d been standing with my boyfriend while carrying on some vapid conversation on music or some crap that I usually lose interest in after about 35 seconds. Oh yeah, and did I mention that the black dude is a complete stranger I hadn’t even noticed, let alone spoken a (more…)

Slam Sundays: Regression to the Mean

Source: http://www.thbook.org

Hey y’all,

So, I think I’ve come up with a MAJOR way to help race relations in North America. In research, Regression To The Mean means that eventually, the more tests you do, you’ll find your results will tend to be closer to average than to any extreme. After you’ve read this post, and watched the videos, I’ll explain how this concept could help society, as a whole.

Spoken Word, for me, is the only true way of bringing written words to life. The words, alone, are animated and embodied by the poet, and the experience is the same as being sucked solely through (more…)

Being Black is Not a Choice

Meanimated1I wrote this story almost a decade ago. With all of the discussions and commentary that I’ve gotten lately, I thought it would be a great time to just present you with a little personal story. I hope you enjoy it. 

I was 16 before I truly learned that being black wasn’t a conscious decision one could make, that it wasn’t about a way of life, but that it is a part of who you are no matter what else you do. There were only 5 other black children in my grade school, although race was never an issue. At least not at school. Of course there were those times when my race was most definitely an issue, times when I would walk into a store and the clerk would stare me down as I looked through the aisles at the toys and candy for sale. Yes, I had had times where a clerk would accuse me of trying to steal, for no other reason than because I was black. One of my best friends in grade school was told I was not allowed to come over to her house, or she to mine, because I was black. My grandparents had next door neighbours who used the word nigger rather frequently. But I always thought they were only a few ignorant people still stuck in the 1800s (more…)

Disagree With Black History Month? Want a White History Month, You Say?

image

I was born and raised in Canada. When I was a child growing up, there was no such thing as Black History Month (it was not official until December 1995, and so it’s first appearance on the Canadian calendars was February 1996- I was in Grade 6 at the time). Nor was there a place in the school curriculum where we learned black history. And there was no magical internet for any child to do an easy “Black History” search and see what came up. As far as I was aware, the only Black slaves to ever exist were the ones who ended up in the U.S., and all the black people in Canada immigrated at some point from the Caribbean, Africa, or the U.S. some time after the last documented war because otherwise, why was it that there were literally no black people in history? In fact, as far as I was aware, there was no such thing as slavery in Canada, either. That was an American thing. I got this understanding because, of the little I was able to retain about slavery from movies like Roots and books I had read, the saving grace to the slaves was the underground railroad, whose final stop was in Canada, where the slaves could be free. Therefore, Canada did not have slaves. It was quite simple to me at the time. And how very, very wrong was I? (more…)

Everyone Sees Race: Pretending You Don’t Is Ridiculous

erase race, make us all shades of gray
Is the key to erasing racism just erasing race? Erasing acknowledgment of the differences that make us unique? Would the world be better in shades of gray?

I hate when people say they don’t notice race. Of course you do. You’re not blind. Not only can you see the tone of someone’s skin, you can see the differences in their facial features, eye colours, hair textures, heights, and weights. You can hear the differences in tone of voice, accent, inflection, and word choice. You can look at 2 different people with generally the same skin coloring and guess that one is from East Asia, and one is from The Caribbean. There are cues and indications of race written all over us.

Why is it that some people think that saying “I don’t even see race”, or “I don’t even notice the colour of someone’s skin” is somehow complimentary, and is an indication of their lack of racist thoughts? I generally despise when people say that everyone is the same to them. Like somehow, any differences in people’s ancestry or cultural beliefs and values no longer exist. Are you so desperate to be seen as not racist, and so confused on what the definition of racism is, that you’d prefer for the concept of race and/or culture to just be eliminated all-together? Not only is that silly and naïve, but it’s downright insulting.

Race exists. And whether you want to condemn someone based on their race, or make their race disappear because acknowledging it makes you uncomfortable, you’re still expressing prejudice. What is your problem with acknowledging that someone is different from you in some ways? Does the fact that they are different in some ways make them lesser? (more…)