Tuesday, July 25, 2006
Black Men Bare All About their Inner White Boy!
They say two is a coincidence and three's a trend, but My AmericanMeltingpot is going on record and calling this trend before it is official. Black men who don't fit the stereotype of keepin' it real, homeboy, from the streets brutha' man, are coming out of the closet to tell the world that indeed there is more than one way to look at a Black Man.
Earlier this year, Joseph C. Phillips (You remember him as the guy who played Denise's husband on the Cosby Show) wrote "He Talk Like a White Boy: Reflections on Faith, Family, Politics and Authenticity." As you can imagine from the generous subtitle, the book is a memoir-esque collection of essays, with the primary point being that Black men (and by extension women), don't come in a one-size fits all category. In fact, (gasp) some Black people vote Republican, listen to classical music and like George Bush!
Next up is the just released, " Not a Genuine Black Man: Or, How I Claimed My Piece of Ground in the Lily-White Suburbs," by Brian Copeland. Copeland is a California based radio host and performer and this book was first a successful stage show. Also a memoir, Copeland details his life as a Black kid growing up in an all-white suburb and his subsequent relationship with the Black community. The show/book was actually a response to an angry letter he received accusing him of not being a "genuine Black man." That kind of taunting is enough to get a man to take pen to paper apparently.
Of course there are other great books out there by Black men who are challenging the Black community to get it together (Do I even have to write Tavis Smiley and Hill Harper here?) but I am particularly pleased to see this idea of Talking/Acting White and not being Authentically Black put out there in the public domain for mass discussion. It doesn't hurt that both of these authors are already public figures so they will get their message out there more readily than say I would if I just launched a blog or something and tried to preach the gospel of individuality.
As a Black woman who has always been accused of being a get-over, bourgie, wanna-be, not Black enough, bad-dancing Oreo, I say thank you to these men and more power to ya. I can't wait for the day when being Authentically Black means being yourself!