Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A Secret from the Secret Life of Bees

I went to go see The Secret Life of Bees this weekend with about one gazillion other people. I liked the movie and loved the book. I love the story and the actresses all gave really outstanding performances. I give it two thumbs up just for the fact that the film/book shows an alternative Black American story. There's a line in fact, where the little White girl says something like, "I never met such cultured negro women before." Too true little White girl. I wish more people, Black, White, Red, Brown and Yellow, would realize that there always have been and still are many a "cultured negros" roaming around.

But that's not why I'm writing. During the film, Dakota Fanning's character (she's the young White girl) shares an innocent kiss and some tender moments with a young Black teenager. I was sitting in a packed movie theater with mostly Black people and wouldn't you know, when the kiss happened, you could hear a collective harumph! A sigh of disbelief crossed with anger and a "no he didn't."

Why people? Are we always going to hate on the White woman with the Black man? Will we continue to condemn the Black man who falls for the White woman? Is this post-traumatic slave syndrome rearing it's ugly head or a side effect of the perceived shortage of eligible Black men? I'm asking because I certainly don't have the answers. Here we are in 2008 and we still can't get over this. What are we going to do?

Thoughts? Ideas? Answers? Let's talk amongst ourselves.



Andrew said...

Not totally related, but I've just heard that Yvette Smalls' documentary "Hair Stories" will be showing at the Blackwell Regional Library at 125 S. 52nd St. here in Philly on November 1st at 10:30. Ms. Smalls will be there to discuss: It's totally free. Should be fun!

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

How about I have black female friends who date white men (along with black men and other ethnicities) and even they get pissed when they see a brother who is a "catch" with a white/asian/latin woman.

When I ask them if they are being hypocrites the answer is always. "It's not the same situation!".

Anonymous said...

I think that sometimes its more about individuals' motivations for dating outside of their race that annoys many people, especially black women. I can recall an instance when I was on a train with a young black man and his son. The young man and I were having a good conversation to pass the time away and then suddenly out of nowhere he says to me that he is going to raise his son to date any kind of woman except a black woman. When I asked him why he would teach his son (whose mother I will assume is black) such a thing, his response was "because ya'll are no good." Maybe its a feeling of abandonment on the part of many black women. That if a black man can go out and get a white woman he will, because some how she is better. I'm not saying this is for everyone. Love is love. If you happen to fall in love with someone of another race, I think that is a beautiful thing, it only brings us closer together. My concern, again, is some people motivations for interracial relationships.

Anonymous said...

I think Anon1 is right about Black women wondering about a man's motives for dating outside his race--I must admit that I do.

Plus, these days it is really rather common to see images of Black men with White and non-Black women in the media (and the real world) but not the reverse. I'm not against seeing Black men with women of other races, in general, but I'd love to see more images of Black love, particularly Black men with brown-skinned women.

Anonymous said...

I just discovered this blog today 12/5/08 - so I'm very late to this post, but it intrigued me enough to comment. When I saw the kiss in the movie (there was a little reaction in the crowd, but not much - I live in NJ), what concerned me most was that I knew a black man kissing a white girl during the times depicted in the movie meant instant serious trouble for him (the story of Emmett Till came to my head as I was watching). In the scene when they went to the movies, I thought these young innocents don't seem to know what trouble they're getting themselves into - but I was most surprised at the boy because surely HE knew the trouble he was starting, even if she was too young to know yet. But I honestly didn't have a problem with the interracial angle other than surprise (at Dakota branching out) and fear that it could lead to trouble for those characters (during those times). But by way of background, I'm kind of indoctrinated to interracial matches as a Black American female married to a Male Arabic Egyptian.