I had to laugh at the idea of someone taking a magnifying glass, staring at
a face, and trying to guess what race someone is.
To me, what is more important is maintaining family ties, preserving family
history and traditions. Especially for African Americans. It makes me sick to
think that the music industry will have you believe that African-Americans are
those stupid rappers or the scary people from the ghetto. Alot of the
media buys into this hype too, especially the media focused at children.
In American history, I think African Americans are unique because surviving
slavery also meant having so many of the African traditions and identity beaten
out of you...and there was no place to reconnect. African Americans had to fight
for their freedoms, and create their own traditions. America is so diverse that
there are many traditions to African American people, to the way we express
ourselves and the values important to us. I think some people still struggle
with finding their identity, and bringing together African Americans as a
community. In that struggle, some try to exploit or stereotype African
Americans...and often African Americans themselves buy into the exploitation.
As I look at my life now, and all the freedoms I enjoy and then look back
on what my family endured so I can be who I am...thats where I draw from my
ethnicity. You won't see those experiences or the lessons provided in the
texture of my hair or the color of my skin or the shape of my lips.