"There are notes between notes, you know." -- Sarah Vaughan

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Black and White

Just wanted to introduce you to a new blog I'm following: Isolated: Stories of a Black Professor on a White Campus.

Here's an excerpt from one of her posts:
"Well, I probably shouldn't say this ... (and we all know when someone prefaces a comment with that statement, some bullshit is about to follow) but what if (another colleague's name and another colleague's name) and I came to the office one day in blackface."

I can't even begin to describe what my expression was at that point, but you know how it is when you twist your face in that "what the fuck????" kind of way? Well, that's what I did.

So I said, "And why would you do that?? Oh, I see; to make me feel like there are other black people around me?"
-- Isolated Black Prof
Yep, lots of fodder there for interesting Interwebz conversation.

The other night I was out with some people and was one of two black people in a group of about 25. There were no other people of color and I didn't know the other black person. It didn't bother me at all.

It's always struck me as odd that in a city populated with so many black people my friend/social circle would be dominated by white people. It's not like I've been surrounded by white people all my life with no access to black people outside of my family. There were no white people in my neighorhood growing up. My high school's nickname included the word "chocolate" in it. I attended an HBCU and I'm a member of a black greek-lettered organization.

But I've just bonded more in this city with people who don't look like me, whether it's common interests or just personalities meshing well. I guess.

On a random note, I am reminded of the time a former newspaper I worked for kept taking the newsroom staff group pic over and over because they couldn't get all five of the black people in place at photo time (um, hello, we were out REPORTING. There is no news in the newsroom!) and they wanted to use this photo in recruitment materials for the major media company that owned the paper. We were all finally ordered by the executive editor to show up and be in this picture.

Which also reminds me that my current employer is the only one I have worked for that is diverse enough that I wasn't called on to recruit at the journalism conferences this summer. First time in 10 years.

1 comment:

Use your inside voice ... or I'll put you outside. -- SingLikeSassy