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EffieBlack

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Member since: Sat Feb 3, 2007, 12:43 AM
Number of posts: 14,195

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An important lesson from the Royal Wedding

Those of you who regularly interact with black folk, follow Black Twitter, read the Root, etc. probably know this already, but for those of you who don't, I'm telling you that black folk have lost their damned minds over the Royal Wedding. I mean completely spinning out of control ... in a good way.

And there's a reason for it. As I've noted elsewhere, black folk so often - almost always - are made to feel that we don't REALLY belong. Usually, when the country is going Gaga over something, it doesn't include us or there is something about it that makes us cringe a little because our memory or experience with it isn't always pleasant and is often painful - which might not be so bad if that unpleasantness or pain were recognized, but it rarely is.

So the Fourth of July is a big deal to some people, but it doesn't make us feel all tingly and patriotic (but the barbecue part is cool). Columbus Day, meh. It's kind of like being a 13-year-old girl going to see Gone With the Wind with her girlfriends and spending the first half mooning over Rhett Butler only to realize that the "political meeting" he extricates Ashley from is a Klan meeting to plan a lynching of a black man and immediately feeling completely separated from her friends who still got to love the movie because it didn't weigh down their baggage

Royal weddings and similar events (President Obama's inaugurations being major and notable exceptions) have always been like that - they didn't affect us, didn't include us, didn't look like us. We WANTED to be a part of it. But even if we were welcome to watch it, we were never made to feel a part of it. But if we said so, we got blamed for ruining all the fun. So we just grinned and bore it - but didn't feel it and had a kind of sick sense throughout - or just stayed away from it altogether, promoting criticisms for being "divisive."

But then came Meghan, our beautiful black American princess and her dashing and very woke prince. They didn't just have a wedding. They threw a party and made sure we were all invited. And not in a "you're certainly welcome to come, but don't be all black about it because race has nothing to do with it."

Unh-unh. They made sure that race had everything to do with it because they had centuries of crap to make up for and saw this as a perfect place to start. They also knew how important it was that Meghan not just be welcomed into the "Firm," and expected to just assimilate and fade in to fit in. They embraced her into the fold but let her bring her black with her. And then they made sure the world knew that they were cool with it.

And black folk saw and felt that and we knew that when Meghan stepped in to that space, with her dredlocced, nose studded mother by her side and her black flag waving high and proud, that she not only represented us but we were representing her - which meant, we were REALLY a part of this, just like the white folks.

And we are totally representing. We even have a #RoyalWeddingSoBlack hashtag. When you move into the honorific "YouSoBlack" category, you have made it. (You should check it out - it's a straight up hoot. My favorite: #RoyalWeddingSoBlack, one of the carriage horses was named Tyrone." )

This is an important lesson. Black folk are often seen by some whites as not wanting to participate, always messing everything up by saying we don't feel included. We were invited, so why not just appreciate it and get with the program already?

But Meghan and Harry showed you that it takes more than just opening the door and whispering, "You can come in." When people have been excluded and marginalized and ostracized and always made to feel "otherized," it's important to take extra steps to make sure inclusion really means inclusion, not just immersion and assimilation. It's important to recognize and respect that we bring our own culture and history and traditions and perspectives and want those respected and preserved, not swallowed up or papered over.

And when it's done right and we feel as if we are truly a part of it because we are, we will meet you more than halfway. We'll be all up in the place, as enthusiastic members of the team, cheering everyone on because everyone is us, too.

My Tweet of the Day

https://twitter.com/vaughn_hilton/status/997857200163971072

When did you last socialize in the home of someone of a different race than you or vice versa?

Bernie Sanders said today: "It's too early to talk about impeachment."

So can we NOW stop trashing Nancy Pelosi for saying the same thing Bernie Sanders just said?

Please?

#RoyalWeddingSoBlack is now a thing, y'all

https://twitter.com/malcolmkenyatta/status/997812252005806080
https://twitter.com/cam_acker/status/997821157087756289 https://twitter.com/stephaniej_dc/status/998052217771970560
https://twitter.com/kendyanne/status/997802836946759680 https://twitter.com/lescyoungblood/status/997861369931358208

One reason I'm over the moon about the Royal Wedding

From the time I was small, I enjoyed things that many little girls did. But growing up black, I also felt a separateness, a sense that these things could be seen but never really touched. I could hang up the Beatles and Bobby Sherman's pictures on my wall, but I knew that I was never REALLY going to marry them. Of course, my white friends also weren't likely to end up marrying them, either, but imagining they COULD didn't seem crazy. And I knew I'd never really grow up to marry a prince (at least not a non-African one).

I also knew that the reason I wasn't going to marry one was based in some ugly stuff. I knew that royal families were all-white and off-limits to people like me. I knew that whenever I saw photos of the family, their retainers, their friends, etc., there was never anyone anywhere near them who looked like me. And even though I continued to be fascinated with them - don't ask me why, I just was - that fascination always came with a little twinge of guilt that I was that interested in people who probably thought that people like me were inferior to them, who didn't want us anywhere around them, and who probably just didn't think of us at all. It felt like I was always on the outside looking in, watching other people do interesting things that really had nothing to do with me and that they didn't care that what they were doing had nothing to do with me. I just didn't matter to them.

So, today was an amazing experience. Not only did I watch a black woman marry into the royal family, I saw it happen in a way that totally connected with me, that made me feel like I was included and respected. The royal family didn't just accept this black woman into their family, expecting her to assimilate, to be absorbed into their fold, without adding any of her own uniqueness to the mix.

No. She brought ALL of herself into the equation. She was proudly and unequivocally black and made sure we all knew it. From the black pastor, to the black choir to the gospel songs to her beautiful black mother who didn't straighten her hair to fit in but rocked her naturally kinky locs, it was clear to all of us that all of us were a part of this. It was beautiful.

This may not seem to be a big deal to people who have always been a part of something, who are accustomed to most important things being filled with people who look just like them and, thus, are comfortable looking at it askance or even disdaining it. But to many of the black former little girls who were always on the outside looking in, this was beyond awesome.

Black women watching Meghan Markle get married this morning



I finally stopped crying about 5 minutes ago.

Oh, dang! I need to go to bed so I can be fresh as a daisy for the Royal Wedding in a few hours!

So excited for the two crazy kids.

And let’s not even talk about my hat ...



Nighty night, y’all!

When was the last time you discussed race and racism face-to-face with a person of another race?

With whom did you discuss this - a friend, an acquaintance, a neighbor, a colleague, a stranger? What did you talk about? How did the conversation go?

Armed, actve shooter taken alive in the immediate aftermath of a mass shooting

So, tell me again why a naked, unarmed black man was sufficiently threatening that police needed to shoot him dead in the street?
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