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Losing Your Culture Or Identity by Stocktonmac: 6:35pm On Dec 07, 2017


In this entry, I will be addressing the argument that interracial relationships means “losing your culture” and clarifying the post title.

I’m going to state something that I took for granted would be obvious, but that certain Black people seem oblivious to: there is no "Black culture." There are many Black cultures, however. Aside from the U.S., there are large Black populations in African countries, the islands of the Caribbean, most if not all Latin and Central American countries, and a sizable one in the UK. Each country has its own culture. Actually, in the case of Africa, there are multiple cultures within each country. Pre-colonialism, there were probably far more cultures in Africa than on any other continent – and as each ethnic group, or “tribe,” was typically separated from the next by mountains, volcanic calderas, grasslands, savannas, rainforests, etc. that hindered intergroup communication – there was a greater amount of diversity between groups as well.
 
Therefore, it’s inaccurate to suggest that all people of the same color share the same or even a similar culture. Culture isn’t skin color; it’s a way of life: the language or dialects, arts, traditions, values, history that members of a society are indoctrinated into from birth.
 
Since there is no such thing as this generic “Black culture” that all Black people share, then it follows that there is no such thing as "Black identity," either. It is an illusion. "Black Identity" is a pattern of thinking and behaving that a small group of  people have decided that all people in the world who physically resemble them must adapt in order to be acceptable Black people.
 
According to these Blacker-than-thou individuals, they have the key to Blackness. Black people from every corner of the globe must forsake their own cultures and blindly follow them, adapting their mentalities and joining their movements in order to be “real” Black people. They know how a “real Black person” should wear our hair (you’ll find most Blacker-than-thou individuals are obsessed with, of all things, hair and hair movements, making it the number one way to determine whether you are a “real Black person”); clothes we should wear (that can mean Black-owned brands like FUBU, clothes that scream “Black power” – sometimes almost literally – or garbing yourself in kente cloth, depending on which Blacker-than-thou person you ask); the right music to listen to (“conscious rap” that forces the same generic Black culture on us and probably urges us to rise up against those with less pigmentation than ourselves); what to name ourselves; how to speak (apparently there’s an objective way to measure how “White” speech is); where to live (the ghetto is where “real” Black people live, and if you move out after becoming successful, you’ve betrayed the community by not putting money into it – though if you stay, by virtue of your success you risk yourself and your family becoming targets of robbers and burglars); that you shouldn’t be interested in getting a “White man’s degree” or in striving for success (that makes you “uppity” and a “sellout”; real Black people always stay oppressed so they can defiantly call themselves “strong” as they struggle to feed themselves and their children or to stay alive in filthy, crime-infested neighborhoods); where to travel (there are some places Black people “just don’t go”), what hobbies to have (there are just some things Black people “just don’t do”), who to help (if you’re Black and rich or famous, you’re a demon sellout if you haven’t given away all your money to help Black America – and in the exact way they think you should), who to trust and befriend (they should have the right amount of pigmentation and self-identify as “real Black people”), who not to fall in love and spend the rest of your life with (a real Black person should be mainly concerned with breeding babies of a particular color); how to raise our children and what to teach them; that we should all forge our identity around slavery and devote every waking moment of our lives to figuring out ways to conquer and avenge ourselves against those with the same skin color responsible – in between the time we spend analyzing what Black is, what it means to be Black, that is; and we should live in fear that anything unpleasant or against our sensibilities is part of a vast conspiracy by this particular group or maybe every other group in the world to destroy us or hold us down.
 
Judging by many Blacker-than-thou individuals I’ve observed, there’s often a paranoia that a deliberate mass tragedy targeting Black people may occur, and they feel helpless to stop it. Like most anxious people, they create rituals in order to deal with the anxiety. They convince themselves that if they and all other Black people closely follow this rigid system of Blackness, they will have a predictable, desirable outcome. Just think of anyone you’ve known who’s excessively controlling, i.e. an overprotective parent. That parent was filled with fear that some harm might befall you, so in order to ease their anxiety, they forbade you to do almost anything, constantly hovered, reminded you repeatedly of all the possible dangers of a given action. Having people micro-manage your life takes away your freedom to explore, to laugh, to learn, to love, to grow as a person. It turns you into a miserable, fearful person who has been reduced to a physical expression of someone else’s idea of “Blackness.” The rest – the ones who harm Black women with words and/or deeds, yet tell Black women that members of other groups are the real, the only, threat to you as a Black woman – are more like an abusive spouse: "In order to increase your dependence on him, an abusive partner will cut you off from the outside world. He may keep you from seeing family or friends, or even prevent you from going to work or school." Keeping you in isolation keeps you under the abuser’s control.
 
This “Black identity” is repressive and suffocating to me as a unique person who takes pride in my individuality. I am courageous enough to strike out my own path in life and don’t need the confirmation of Blacker-than-thou individuals to feel worthwhile. I do have a culture, however…I am of Caribbean heritage. All family and relatives I know of and most members of the church I grew up in were West Indians or the children of, I was raised eating dishes from my parents’ country, told their country’s stories and traditions. I am also American, as I was born here, and have adapted certain values, such as having a dream, believing I am responsible for my own destiny, and striving to get what I want out of life. That is to say, I have blended two cultures. My guy has blended even more, as he’s an American of French, English and Italian heritage. He jokingly calls himself a mongrel. We plan to blend cultures right from our wedding day (we’ve only exchanged vows, we haven
Re: Losing Your Culture Or Identity by eyinjuege: 6:44pm On Dec 07, 2017
Hmmm...
No truer words were ever written

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