Ask the Black Guy

I said I’d start one of these in jest, but now that we have an opposing thread, I figured I might as well proceed. About me briefly: Employed, Married, 3 Kids.

So any questions?

Note: I rarely post at night, so if I haven’t responded by 7pm PST, look for your response in the morning.

Would you describe some instances in which you feel you have been discriminated against?
Did you enjoy the TV show Seinfeld?

To be honest, I only can remember one time where I suspected it(fwiw, it was for a job I was seeking), but was not really sure. I didn’t make a big deal of it, as I’d already accepted an offer elsewhere, but it was the dismissive quality of the interviewer which led me to think it.

I could describe some scenes of overt racism if you like, I’ve experinced plenty of that.

I’ve seen a few episodes in syndication. Seemed funny enough to me, but I don’t watch a lot of TV. I like drama and Sci Fi when I do watch, so the list of sitcoms I haven’t seen is pretty large.

Hey stuffin, how’s it going?

Which thread is opposing? What’s going on?

BTW, are you still in California?

Okay, here goes. I’m from Flint MI. (Read economically depressed and mostly black) I was fine with this. Got pinned to a wall once by some strange guy yelling about my supposedly racist and bitchy tendencies before my bf tugged him off and told him where to shove it. (Probably didn’t hurt that my bf was black.) My classes were always about half and half. And 99% of us didn’t really care. (The few who did on either side, well…we didn’t have much to say to them.)

My littlest sister is a sweet dearheart of a theatrical genuis. One of her dear friends back a few years ago was this great kid. Smart as a tack, read The Phantom of the Opera with my sister, generally a cool, cool kid. Had this proud bearing, like nothing could keep him down, sparkly and talented…

Fast forward five years. He’s growing up. He’s not stupid, but his family is. They, like most of Flint value education about seven steps below buying lottery tickets. He’s grown sullen, his prince like attitude dark and with an edge of danger to it. He’s gifted in a system that can’t handle it. Firmly entrenched in the knowledge that he can’t get out of teh downward spiral of what is around him. (I believe otherwise, but what I belive isn’t going to change things.)

The fight against racism has come a long way. Any ideas on how we can get it done? Get the idea that it matters fully out of the trenches? On one hand, I’m real proud of my school there, where color really honestly didn’t matter. On the other, the major politics of the city cater to the idea that all white people are still horribly racist. And some of the parents listen. And some bright, beautiful kids get lost.

Individually, I want my little sister’s friend back. On the whole, I want my city to grow healthy and clean. Any ideas from where you sit?

Oh I meant the Ask the Straight White Employed Guy thread, somewhere here in GD, should have linked to it. I’m still in California, for the moment, we’re still evaluating the competing areas (still leaning towards Asheville). I’m leaving for Newport next weekend, and I’m pretty sure we’ll make a decision shortly thereafter.

Medea’s Child

I know it well, I’m originally from Detroit.


I wish I had fast easy answers, but I don’t. However I won’t let that stop me. As post on this board can attest to, it’d probably help if someone gagged Jackson, Sharpton et. al. It really annoys me that the news media likes to broadcast assinine statements from those I’d consider to be on the fringe of the civil rights issue.

I’d like to see a better investment in inner city communities. Better educational opportunities, english as a second language courses (for Hispanics mainly but Asians and others too)job training. More jobs closer to public transportation. All of those things would help to instill more confidence from that community towards society at large. Moreover a sense of self worth in the young of those communities.

You want to know how I really feel. Rent a copy of “Lean on Me”, it’s also running on Cable I think. A lot of the the things you hear Morgan Freemans character (Joe Clark)says in the film is similar to my thoughts and said much more eloquently.

I’m really thankful that my Mom wasn’t the type of parent you describe. I’ve always felt I owe her for most of my success. About the only thing that I think would help this individual is a change a scenery, be it College or the Armed Forces. Poverty (yes I’ve been there) is hard, finding your way out when surrounded by it is harder, but not impossible.

I hope the best for you and your sister’s friend.

Hey stuffinb. That’s for making this thread. I have a question that I’ve asked people before, but they get all upset.

Here goes:

Now I know you do not prepresent all blacks nor can you know what goes on in their heads so I’m going for broke here.

Why so some non-Jamaican blacks speak with Jamaican accents?

I do not ask with question in a hateful manner by any means, It is just something that I want to know as it bothers me personally.
Here’s why: When I was in high school, by best friend was black. We were as close as thieves and did everything together. Then, when Grade 10 rolled around and I saw him on the first day of school, he started to hang out with blacks only and they all suddenly spoke with these accents. (My buddy was from Montreal Canada and had no trace of ANY accent the week before.)

After that, he no longer hung out with me and, yes, it hurt. I asked him once and he got extreamly angry with me…boardering on starting a fight, so I fet it at that.

I hung out with most of these guys after school hours, but they only had the accents when they were together.

Any idea why some blacks do this?

(I have a feeling I’m going to get flamed for this, but please everyone…this is something I have experienced personally and just curious as to why.)

I can answer questions if anyone would like a female perspective, if Stuffy doesn’t mind. I’m a black and Hispanic (and other things). Employed, married, 2 kids.

That should read, “Thanks for making this thread”.

Biggirl, if you can give me any insite into this, please, go nuts.

Thanks. :slight_smile:

I love Lean on Me Weee!

I’m also always on the look out for new ways to fix my city. Next to shooting the mayor and his cadre, I’d like to get some city support for the branch of U of M we have. They want to build it up, get dorms, be a real college, make Flint a college town. The city planners are … less than helpful.

Getting the boy to college is a must, I just hope he makes it. He’s only in fifth grade. weep Okay, you can go back to the regularly scheduled thread now.

Well Double, I think that’s more of a trying to fit in thing than a black thing. Fake accents range in color from Michael Flaterhy (or however you spell that flaming feet guy’s name), to Madonna, to tenth grade boys trying to see where they fit in.

Are you really interested in his fake accent, or the reason he started hanging out with the black guys?

I’m more interested in the accents. He can hogn with whom ever he wants.

We both knew these guys and hung with them on many occasions…(I’d known him longer and they were just aquatances)it just seemed that when we started school, they only hung with each other, alienated all their other non-black friends and started with the accent.

I thought they all sounded kinda silly speaking like that. (And I guess Madonna does to, now that you mention it.) Not that the accent is silly, but them putting it on was.

I’m Scottish and if I suddenly came to work (Or school at that time) and stared in with a thick Dundonian accent, I’d look kinda silly. People know that isn’t how I talk.

I mention all the other guys we hung out with to show it wasn’t just him, but the other blacks in the school. Then I started to notice this trend more and more around where I lived. (This is going back to the early 90’s)

I know it sounds wimpy and all, but I took me a while to get over the fact that I lost a childhood friend because he had to pretend to be somthing he is not. And our old friends were all doing the same thing.

I guess it was a ‘trying to git in’ thing. I guess I thought there was just something I wasn’t ‘hip’ to.

Thanks for mentioning the Madonna thing…I had forgotten about that…even that seems silly…coming from someone who IS British.

I guess people feel better about themselves by ‘pretending’ to be something they are not and that any type of person seems to do it.

So, stuffinb and biggirl, I’m a dark-skinned PR who grew up in a black neighborhood. Started collecting records (45s) when I was 8. 1965. First record I ever bought was The Four Tops - Standing in the Shadows of Love. I think something like 80-90% of the records I bought up until around 1968 were Motown records, after which I began to “grow up” and branch out to others - like The Delfonics. Only record by a white group I ever bought in those early days was completely by accident - Expressway to Your Heart by the Soul Survivors. (Also not a Motown record. But then Aretha wasn’t Motown either. Not by a long shot.) Everybody thought they were black, then it turned out they were white. My intro, anyway, to the idea that someone from the other side of the street might want to hang out on our side of the avenue.

Are you old enough to have started out with these guys? Or did you begin with others, or were you one of the few who listened to something else? And how do you feel about The Beatles?


I think the Jamacian accent thing may be uniquely Afro-British.
Here’s my ask the black folks question:

I’d like to go out to the hiphop club sometime. I hear the rap channel broadcast from there on the weekends and it sounds like fun. My girlfriend has been there a couple times and she says it’s a bad idea because she has never seen any white boys there. So my question is, if I do end up going, is the running man still cool? cabbage patch? how about that “smack the booty” move, that’s still hip right?

Seriously, do you think such places could are dangerous? If it is true that absolutely no white kids go to these clubs (which I find hard to believe), its seems to me that its likely because they wouldn’t feel comfortable there, and not because of the risk of physical danger.

Have you been to these sort of places? If so have you ever seen any white kids get harassed there? Does the “this is our club, go somewhere else” sentiment really exist? I think us white folks are probably making a bigger deal out such things than we need to. Opinions?

I’m a bit younger than pantom and a bit older than sleepyhead. The first record I ever bought was the 12" Rapper’s Delight. I had Queen in my record collection and am going crazy looking for Willie Colon and Hector Lavoe on CD. I think you can describe my musical tastes as eclectic.

Who doesn’t love Motown? Who doesn’t love the Beatle’s? Good music is colorblind.

Alas, my clubbing days are long gone. I’ll go dancing every now and then, but I wouldn’t call any place I go to “hip”. My advice, if you have to get patted down to enter, steer clear.

Do you generally socialize inside or outside your racial group? Do you behave differently in either circumstance? Which is your true self?

How often do people “notice” that your black in a way that makes either them or you uncomfortable?

Is it true that once you make a white friend he/she will inevitably want to have a “frank” discussion about race with you?


Besides black, and hispanic, what “else” are you?

I do have a question. Been wondering how to ask without offending. I’ve e-mailed snopes, but no response yet. Here goes;
Is there really such a thing as the “Paper Bag Test”?
I’ve been to a lot of social gatherings hosted by black people, and never encountered such a thing. But I still hear about it every once in a while. I’m aware of some color bias in the black community ((high yellow, etc), but I suspect that the test is a UL. Or at least very rare.

Actually, I prefer The Rolling Stones to The Beatles. Did you know that Ray Barretto played the congas on “Sympathy For the Devil”?
Was “Rapper’s Delight” by Curtis Blow, by the way? He was the first “rapper” I ever heard, with the possible exception of Gil Scott-Heron, back in my teens. Which makes rap a lot older than some of these youngsters think it is!