My pet peeves- the race edition

Sorry readers that I have been slacking in getting back to a regular writing schedule, between a slow recovery and returning to work, blogging has fallen to the bottom of the to do list. Hell, I am still not cooking, so you know if I am not cooking blogging is just not a priority.

However I enjoyed some of nature’s best medicine today on this gorgeous May Day and decided to share some of my thoughts…things that just irk me. I like to call it my pet peeves, the race edition. As a Black woman living in Maine, race is one of those issues never far from the surface. I was born and raised in Chicago so even though I have more or less settled into life in Maine and accepted my fate as the only fly in the buttermilk, hey I am sista and I do still have race on the brain.

I admit some of what I am about to say is not for those who are easily offended and while its hard to read tone online please be aware that I am trying to be light. Imagine if we were face to face kicking back with some drinks.

First up, now I don’t see a lot of Black women here in Maine but I do see Black men. Nine out of ten times they are partnered with white women. Often I will be in a shop and see a brotha and the brotha and I will hit each other with the nod. You know that acknowledgment that says I see you playa. In most cases the white partner is completely oblivious to what is going on, but there are times when the white partner of brotha man sees the exchange and rather than understanding that as we used to say in the early 90’s, it’s a Black thang. The white partner gets a nasty look….yo girl, I do not want ya man. Yep, I am going there. In almost all cases the brotha with the white chick wouldn’t be my cup of tea if we were on a deserted island and he was the last man standing. So please stop giving me stank ass looks. You see I am with my man and kid so back that shit the fuck up.

Next up how come when one black woman sees another black woman instead of coming with a spirit of sisterhood and solidarity, we have to give each other that stank eye. Now this shit used to happen all the time in Chicago, but when it happens in Maine, it really pisses me off. Sistas we need to get it together, next time I see you don’t act like its going to kill you to say hi. There is a biracial sista I see in my area all the time, she rocks some fierce head wraps, I have never seen her with anyone other than a man I presume is her husband and her kids. Instead of giving me the side eye maybe you could just say hello.

By the way in big cities, do brothas still try to holla at chicks and get salty when they don’t speak back? That was another one that used to irritate me back home, of course that rarely happens here since there ain’t no brothas to holla at a sista. (though I saw a man so fine the other day, maybe I was delusional, if Taye Diggs mated with Idris Elba, that’s what this man looked like..he was a fine piece of chocolate, still wondering why he was here but that’s another story) Though it sill happens when I am in the city…brotha, yo when out of style a long time ago playa.

White folks, I really don’t care if you adopt Black kids but dammit for the love of Ray J, please learn how to groom ya child. I am so damn tired of seeing Black kids with white parents running around with jacked up hair and ashy legs and arms. Just today I saw this at the festival I was at and goodness gracious this chile was ashy, hell you can go in the kitchen and rub some damn olive oil over the kid. For most black folks, the average lotion is not enough for ours skin, learn the facts. And please don’t put a relaxer in a little kid’s hair…seeing a young girl with limp processed hair and edges that are starting to recede sends me into rage.

Speaking of hair, if you are a Black woman with a Black child and you relax your child’s hair, you need your ass kicked. I am not even kidding, you are a lazy heifer and I mean that shit. I recently watched Chris Rock’s Good Hair and the clip of a 4 yo girl getting relaxed nearly sent me over the edge. Comb your damn child’s hair…this was a skill the Mamas of yesterday had, learn it and learn it quickly.

Sistas, stop saying you won’t ever date a white man but bitching that you are man-less. Most of the reasons I have heard for why sistas don’t date white men are pretty damn stupid. I admit it can be hard to overcome the racial and cultural differences but look if you link up with a man who hails from the same class as you and shares other similarities you probably will connect. Besides no one says you must marry the first white man that asks you out but shit why be dateless on Saturday night besides love can overcome a lot. Sistas saying shit like you won’t date a white man because they are less endowed and have no soul…well you just sound ignant as hell. Sure you must know not every brotha is hung like a horse and lets be honest many things can be taught. So if you really don’t want to date a white man at least pick up a valid reason for doing so, not some bullshit you heard from someone else. Just saying.

Lastly how come some of us get mad when we are in places where we are the only folks of color and white folks are looking at us? Seriously? Look, you can stare at me all you want, long as you don’t put ya hands on me or say some crazy shit, I really don’t care. In most cases clueless white folks who like to stare can be disarmed with a big smile and a hello, nine out of ten times, it moves the situation along and everyone is happy.

As you can see I think about some crazy shit, its been one of those weeks for me and I figured I’d share with you, my dear reader. Have a great weekend!

Yes, there really are Black folks in Maine

I originally wrote this post in 2008, but considering the number of people who find my blog by searching for Black people in Maine, it’s still worth reading. Hope to have some new posts up soon, but work and life are kicking my butt!

I was recently surfing and reading other blogs as I do almost daily, and I posted a comment on another blog and some idiot actually questioned whether I was really in Maine, after all there are no Black folks in Maine or New Hampshire as the not so enlightened poster told me.

Anyway being that its Monday and I getting back into my weekday groove, I figure that I would let that comment launch me into a post for today.

Maine is geographically large but population wise its a small rural state, in the northeast corner of the United States, we border the ocean, Canada and New Hampshire and while it it is one of the whitest states in the US, there are Black folks here along with Asians, Latinos, Native Americans, and a host of other folks.

When I moved here 6 years ago from Chicago, it used to amuse me when I would either be back in Chicago or traveling someplace and somehow the fact that I lived in Maine would come up… honestly no matter the race of the person I was talking to, they would look at me like a space martian with what I call the does not compute look on their face. At first I used to get a kick out of that look but a certain point, it just started to irritate me. I mean really, what the hell is so unbelievable about a Black woman in Maine? Yes,its cold here and it snows a lot. Then again I am from the mid-west where it also gets cold, actually in winter its colder back in Chicago then here, that said Maine gets more snow hands down.

The next best question is what do you do in Maine? Um… I don’t know, what the fuck do you do anywhere? Seriously, I live life, I work, manage my home, tend to my kids, catch a movie occasionally, eat, you know shit you can do anyplace. Really life does not stop when you are Black and you cease to live in areas with large numbers of other Black folks. That said, I am also not the only Black person in Maine, I have Black friends here, most who have been here a lot longer than me. There are also generations of Black folks here, many whom are very involved in the Black community. Oddly enough I think living here makes us get involved in a way that I never would have done when I lived in Chicago.

Now I will admit that I did not willingly move to Maine, there were a lot of pressing reasons that I had to move here but after 6 years, one house and one more kid, I can’t say that I am rushing to leave at the moment. Yes, I do occasionally deal with racism but the reality is when you are Black in America you deal with racism, no matter where you live. In some ways what I deal with here bothers me less than when I was in Chicago, to some degree I can excuse someone who don’t kniw better over the many liberal white folks I used to know back in Chicago who did racist and thoughtless shit on a daily basis.

In the end, I wonder why is it that folks both Black and White continue to see Black folks as this monolithic group steeped in stereotypes hence when they see someone not in the Black box, they can’t figure it out. Maybe its because we are all individuals in the 21st century so really Black folks in Maine, Black folks playing golf or tennis or hell Black folks running for POTUS should cease to be seen as exotic but as part of being individuals doing their thing. After all I know now that not all white folks are rich nor do they all smell like wet dogs (see those are also some silly stereotypes). Its this type of thinking that just keeps us focused on the shit that divides rather on the things that might make us realize we share a lot more in common, especially in the age of financial struggle.

All that said, at the moment I am cool with life in Maine, after all when you live a few minutes from the ocean how can you not dig on that?