blog.stuffblackpeoplelove.com is live!
In creating this blog, I’ve come to a crossroads. A list of things that black people like or love is an invitation to controversy. I knew this at the beginning. One of the things that keeps getting mentioned to me is that if I post things like Fried Chicken, Chitterlings, or Rap Music…it’s going to be perceived as racist.
I’m an African American Woman and racism is nothing new to me.
What I don’t understand is why Black people would say that the concept that we love fried chicken is simply negative? We do LOVE Fried Chicken!!! What is racist about that? What is so wrong with Chitterlings? These foods are part of our history, our entire history. When did they become demonized? Does your grandmother feel bad that she can make some delicious fried chicken? Was your great grandfather ashamed at all of the pork in his family’s diet? Are we now ashamed??? Do we think that our love of fried food is a secret? I don’t see a whole lot of Vegan or Thai resturants in Black communities. Do you?
Black People, what are our likes and dislikes, and what can a discussion about these things tell us about US? Can we take long hard look at ourselves? Are we just into popular culture, music, material things, hair care, gossip, and the lives of notable African Americans? If you use the internet and popular media as your ruler, that might be true. Would it be completely accurate to say any of the following:
Black People Love Black People
Black People Love Giving Back to their Communities
Black People Love Saving Money
Black People Love Sending their Children to Private School
Black People Love Investing
Black People Love Politics
Black People Love Healthy Food
Sure many Black People love all of these things, but there are quite a few who don’t. Each point could all be explained away or reinforced. However, none of these descriptions would be seen as racist. If we are really honest, some would say that most of these points are not true of the vast majority of Blacks.
I’m sure you have all seen the StuffWhitePeopleLike.org site (great site) and want to see something that mirrors that. Well, I’ve come to the conclusion in the short time that I’ve launched this blog that it’s impoossible to do that without offending some people or presenting a list that would not be much different. The uniqueness of SWPL, the thing that makes it interesting, is it’s authenticity. When you read it, you think of white people you know and the interactions you’ve had with White folk. StuffBlackPeopleLove.com would not be authentic without making note of things that some might feel are stereotypical or racist. Ask yourself, “When I think of things that Black People love, what do I think of?” I’m sure you’ll smile, but I’m also sure that some of the things that come to mind might not be the more positive aspects of our culture.
SO…I’m going back into the lab. I want to create something that ultimately helps Black people see ourselves in a different light and helps the world at large understand how complex and beautiful our culture is. I want SBPL to be an experiment in cultural exploration, healing, and debate.
Black people love…love! There is nothing more beautiful than African Americans loving each other. “Black on Black Love” is never a crime.
How fitting that this blog begins on Valentine’s day 2008. A day of love celebrated during black history month. Oh, the irony. In a world that has shown the African Diaspora so much hate, we love and we love hard. This is not meant to be interpreted to say that blacks always act in love toward their fellow human beings, be they black or otherwise. This would be a misnomer (that’s one of those big “preacher” words…we love those too. LOL) No, black people love to hate too. However, isn’t loving to hate still LOVE? Ah Hah! What is being black without irony? We love the N-word. We love our nappy locs. We love our beautiful chocolate skin. We love our Black leaders. We love Black athletes. We love Black history. We love. We love. We love.
I’m happy to explore this love here at StuffBlackPeopleLove.com.
Some examples of Black Love:
Love through cooking
There is just something about a home cooked meal that says I love you, especially if it’s reminiscent of the cooking of your grandmother, mother dear, or other great black family matriarch. I’ve heard some brothers note in barbershop conversations that if a sister is fine and can cook (can make a great biscuit from scratch) , she should not be single. LOL, lots of single black women might be looking around for that missing man on that point. One of the best places to see this example at work is Black family reunions and Black funerals.
In a time when slaves could not legally marry, African American slaves committed themselves to each other. Facing a very unsure fate wherein they could be separated by an owner’s debt, death, or whim, they loved each other and made what family life they could.
Helping Extended Family
African Americans are typically very welcoming of extended family, foster/adopted children and “adopted ” family (i.e. play cousins). The idea of nursing homes or allowing a child to go into foster care instead of the care of a relative is something that was not acceptable to many families in the past. However, this characteristic of Black families seems to be eroding. For those who have allowed family to live with them, you know how far love can be stretched and tried in the name of love.