Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Behold the Church of James Brown: Come Ye Negroes One and All, Confess Your Distaste for Things and Matters that All Black Folk Are Deemed to Love

Black History Month is an opportunity for respectable negroes to wallow in the muddied waters that is the politics of Black authenticity.

To that end, we live a lie. We pretend to like certain types and examples of music, culture, books, historical figures, etc. in order to be deemed sufficiently Black. Because of our love/hate affair with this most auspicious of months in the negro pantheon of holidays, we are forced to live a lie. No longer.

Behold! we have created a safe space where you can let down your guard. Here, in this most private and anonymous of spaces you can surrender, you can unburden yourself, and lay forth those secret shames that threaten to compromise your Black authenticity.

James Brown is the patron saint of all Black people for he is the one figure whose greatness we can all agree upon. Ultimately, James Brown is a unifier--a greatest common denominator--that transcends the diversity that is the tribe of respectable negroes and it is to him that we give our secret shames.

Come my brothers and sisters, enter the Church of James Brown and share your pain as you preface your offerings with the following prayer as we mark the end of Black History Month in the year 2009:

"Oh most amazing James Brown, greatest of all negroes, I offer you my lies and secret shames. All these years I have yearned to share those things which I have pretended to like and adore in the name of being authentically Black. I cast my words into the wind so that you can take our secrets and make these shames unintelligible as you sing them for all time in your unique and spirited language."

As an example for all of you, I will be the first to share three of my secret shames:

I, Chauncey DeVega, do not like black eyed peas.

I, Chauncey DeVega, do not like the television miniseries Roots.

I, Chauncey DeVega, do not like the Black Church.

Come my friends and unburden yourself!

**** It is day three of the James Brown Church and it is moving the negro Earth beneath our feet! Do you feel the excitement! Can I have an amen!****


Lady Zora, Chauncey DeVega, and Gordon Gartrelle said...

marci said...


my love of mayonnaise knows no bounds.. i have 3 different types / flavours in my fridge right now..
i mix my hot pepper sauce with mayonnaise... its' a taste sensation..
i just love it..
it goes with everything.. even my mother's rice and peas..
if i am peckish and really do not know what to eat.. i will have a spoon of mayonnaise to tide me over til i know what i want...
aaah the creamy goodness.. am salivating while typing this now..

there... i am done....

Anonymous said...

Thanks *so* much for this forum... I could rant for days on things I hate about my beloved black folks but:

I really despise when Madea goes anywhere. To jail, to the hairdresser, to the liquor store, to the psychotherapist's couch, to the toilet. I personally need Madea to stay her silly ass at home and out of the public spotlight. And Im going to need all black "theater," movies and tv shows of this similar genre to cease and desist. NOW

I cannot take Beyonce. Havent been able to take her since she's forced her presence onto black people (and the rest of the world) some 10+ years ago and won't leave us alone since. I mean really--she won't leave us alone. She's been shaking her butt and tossing her multiple hairweaves in our faces for so long... While she sings so many of black folks' national "anthems" that turns many a usually normal person into a stereotype on the dance floor, and has deemed herself an icon so much that many of us have collectively drank the kool aid and call her that too, Im just gonna call her a bama from Houston that can sing, or rather, oversing any piece of music that unfortunately falls into her hands. & I want her to take a 3-5 year vacay stat.

I have been in full-on hatred of "the black point of view" for at least the last 15 years, especially its particularly paltry rendering in the media. Now while I understand that many a black person in the struggle has been forced into some articulation of this messiness at various points in their personal and professional lives, as many of us have had the good fortune of also being the darkest face in the room, and we as a people should count ourselves 'lucky' that in this "age of Obama" many a usually all-white operation, from CNN to MSNBC to the NY Times to etc has figured out that some colored folk can actually marshal a thoughtful opinion, something inside of me still has a visceral reaction when the black person opens their mouth and you know what's about to come out is seen by everybody else in the room as "the black point of view." So really what Im saying then is I hate that white folks tag everything black folks say as "the black point of view." And this might not then qualify...

so a #4 for safety's sake- I hate vocoder music. This travesty has to stop now. I hate "creative" black names with more than 4 syllables, no discernible meaning and the sign of a lifetime of shame. I hate Bentleys and their Chrysler cousins. Theyre just big old gas guzzling cars, no style about them. I hate the popular version of black history which often means only black 'firsts.' A whole bunch of regular folk and a much bigger, more consequential story gets left out when we only talk about the first black person to use a q-tip for example. And I hate black preachers who think they can only get their point across by shouting, crazy gestures, and in a tacky suit. This should be self-evident why.

annum natalem said...

Dear Saint James Brown, for the life of me, I cannot abide by Baby Phat, what I consider to be overly-ornate manicures, or ringtones of completely forgettable, bland R&B jams. Please forgive me if this is somehow seen by some to be indicative of my lack o' black. Amen.

Anonymous said...

- Incense
- Hip Hop considered some sort of paradigm or generation.

- Mega churches
- Medea
- "Dem" type of plays.

- How Cream of Wheat is considered superior to Farina.

- Grape jelly or soda
- The Best Man & Love and Basketball (At best, they might be considered good Lifetime movies)

- The overrated talent and beauty of Halle Berry
- Hell Date
- New Edition
- The "Blacker Than Thou" Bunch
- Excessive weed smoke
- Our lack of vision beyond Gucci and Louis Vuitton
- Talking that 1/3 Jewish, 2/8 Irish, 1/4 Cherokee when both parents are BLACK.

- 40 + who dress like they are 16
- "Run's House" and the spin off "Daddy's Girls"

gordon gartrelle said...

I, Gordon Gartrelle, can't stand Maya Angelou's poetry.

I, Gordon Gartrelle, never understood why we should be proud of the Buffalo Soldiers.

I, Gordon Gartrelle, am indifferent to Luther Vandross' music.

I, Gordon Gartrelle, will never celebrate Kwanzaa.

I, Gordon Gartrelle, hate hot sauce.

Jeannette said...

I elfredia never dug the black church
find rap ( and most recent R&B in general) to be an abomination
cannot double dutch
and most importantly have a serious issue with "soul food"-- most of it is deadly
thanks for the absolution!

Lady Zora, Chauncey DeVega, and Gordon Gartrelle said...

Oh my children! Keep sharing your pain, the Church of James Brown accepts and loves all of you!

Share your pain, unburden yourself and speak in the holy tongues that are the songs and words of brother JB!

chauncey d

Anonymous said...

I hate the black church.

I hate watermelon. And collard greens.

I hate black people who say they're Indian and all thatm mess when CLEARLY, they are black.

I hate R&B.

I hate black history month. It's a excuse for companies to run ridiculous commercials. And talk about the same 3 people: MLK, Rosa Parks, and Harriet Tubman.

I like BET. I know as a respectable negro I should abstain from BET, but I can't help myself.

note: I realize that some of these have been mentioned.

Anonymous said...

Hi there, I have another one to add in response to an inane forward that I got this morning about saving these now financially struggling publications--

I *HATE* with a passion Ebony and Jet magazines. The name, the useless content, the "beauties of the week," the continual worship at the altar of "black folks done good" with coverage of catering businesses that blossomed out of somebody's mama's kitchen or some fat black dude's multiple lincoln dealerships across the state of georgia... I for one won't be doing a damned thing to save Ebony/Jet. That's one publication in the universe of the "black point of view" that should die a natural death.

Im addicted to this church of James Brown. Sign me up to become a deaconess or an usher or something.

abundidi said...

Any Black man I abhor! That goes for Tyler Perry, Martin Lawrence and especially Eddie Murphy.

Anonymous said...

My secret shames: I have watched every season of Flavor of Love, though I've never watched a single episode of the NAACP award winning Bernie Mac Show; I love to eat fried chicken and watermelon, preferably together, though my great grandmother would roll over in her grave at the thought that I still cannot fry it correctly; Though I stopped eating pork years ago, I sometimes indulge in a rib or two during summer holiday gatherings; I love Madea movies; I will not travel to "the hood" by my lonesome; Maury Povich and his baby daddy shows are quite entertaining, though I cringe every time I hear the terms, baby daddy or baby mama; I voted for Ken Blackwell; Weaves are the DEVIL; Though I love his older hits, as of late, I have no earthly idea what Stevie Wonder is saying during live performances...

Heavy Armor said...

I know that some of these have already been mentioned, but here it goes:

I haven't listened to much rap made after 1993 and almost none of the sorry excuse that has become R&B since 1995. The talk of dealing drugs, clubbing/partying, shooting other black men (and women), and having sex tends to grate after a while. But when it becomes all you hear you start to wonder about the people who sing about this. Also, I hate artists that have names and song titles that would blow up a spellchecker in any $20 word processing program.

I also hate "rap-video" girls/models. They inhabit the same space as Penthouse Pets and Playboy Bunnies and Black Women are exploited enough as it is.

I don't watch stand-up comedy anymore. Alot of the current comedy speaks to a life - and a narrow point of view - that I don't live or share all that much.

I can't stand any kind of media released (movies, TV, books, comics, and so on) about thugs, "the hard life"/would-be gangstas, baby-mama dramas, or black men who cross-dress or put on fat suits for comedic effect. At the same token, I stay away from "Sassy" women, too.

Will Smith, Chris Tucker, the younger Wayans brothers, Tyler Perry; in fact, much of so-called "Black Cinema" could stop making movies and I wouldn't miss them at all.

I would never be caught anywhere driving a Chrysler 300, an Escalade, a Navigator, a Crown Vic, or any other vehicle marketed heavily to African-Americans.

The Black Church can leave. It is a hollowed-out shell filled with hucksters, con-artists, and televangelists on par with the likes Jim Bakker and the 700 Club; who seem to make enough money to construct a large building with all the amenities, make videos whose production quality rivals that of major Hollywood studios, and allow the preacher (and some of his "chosen") to drive around in large cars while wearing a wardrobe that makes NBA players look poor, but apparently cannot be bothered with starting or funding anything that could possibly help the very community these charlatans leech off of - unless they need the "good" PR.

I should stop here.

Anonymous said...

O most soulful and holy St. James Brown,
If a rapper's name starts with Lil' or Young, he is DEAD to me.
I hate Black themed romantic comedies with Morris Chestnut or Gabrielle Union.
I could give a damn about rims. I want to dance a jig because I realized today that spinning rims played out and nobody is doing that shit anymore.
I hate "model minority envy" in our conversations about what black people need to do. The same brotha that proclaims that we need to stick together like the [fill in the blank non-white ethnicity that came to this country of their own free will]-ese, but has a younger brother that he hasn't spoken to in years over a cigarette.
Don't get me started on music. Talkbox is not a genre.
I have a master's degree, but any piece by Toni Morrison makes my head hurt.
I will never be caught dead in a throwback jersey.
I loathe most black straight to video movies, but especially the ones with misspelled names for street cred (Park Boyz, Braggin' Rightz).
All trend followers (authors & producers) who mimic Tyler Perry or Zane.
I love seeing Obama on TV taking care of business, but I am a little creeped out by his nigh-deification in the minds of many respectable negroes/negresses I know. If I don't like his foreign policy, I am not a hater. I am just paying attention to the actual issue.
Oh, another thing.
I don't feel Kanye West or Ray-J.

MilesEllison said...

I never watched Roots.

I never listen to rap music. There was a time when young black musicians would argue all night about chord progressions. Now the discussion is about which James Brown sample to steal.

I think Tyler Perry is setting black people back 100 years. House of Payne and Meet the Browns are the Amos N' Andy of this generation.

I haven't been to church since I was 14.

Black popular music after the 70's is a disgrace, for the most part.

I can't dance.

Anonymous said...

I am so tired of going to clubs and seeing women waiting on line with a bubble coat...

I am so over the whole Beyonce "Freakum Dress" what works for her doesnt work for everyone (fat asses)

I also hate when people use the word "preggers"
It just drives me crazy....

Anonymous said...

Say it, now, say it! Make it plain! PREACH!!!

I really HATED Family Matters and never understood the whole Urkel phenomena. Flipping the channels and seeing it on TV makes me re-live the trauma.

Nor did I care for Martin (The TV Show, not The King).

Neo Soul. Not original. Just because you sample TRUE legends or try to sing like them, it does not make you an artiste (as JJ from Good Times would say). Let's let go of the '70's and try to evolve. Yeah, I'm talkin' to you John Legend and crew!

I never had a crush on Tootie.

I prefer Coke over Pepsi

The term "Newbo". And why, O Sweet Father James, can you tell me why these people have so much money and no taste? It disgusts me how these less than sophisticated have become the representation of culture and progress.

Having Keri Hilson and Dawn Richardson thrown down our throats as the next big things. Sorry, but neither is "The Hottest Chick in The Game" to me.

How people think peach pie is synonymous with peach cobbler. THERE IS A DIFFERENCE!!!

When people pre cook food before putting it on a grill. If you know what you are doing, you will know that you CAN actually cook something all the way through. Also hate people who burn up the outside of the food with the flame at a cookout. Learn the method of outdoor cooking, people.

The praise of Harlem's Sylvia's.

Every notes the significance of The Cosby Show but no one gives merit to the character Denise Huxtable.

Al From Bay Shore said...

My secret shame: I've fantisized about having a threesome with NeNe and Kim from Housewives of Atlanta while Jodeci was playing on a boombox nearby, and in this fantasy,.... [sigh] I was wearing a jheri curl.

Kit (Keep It Trill) said...

This is good! Love reading what others wrote too.

Braids done well cost me $180 and looks good for 4 weeks. Dr. Miracle's Hair Relaxer costs me $9 and looks better for 8 weeks.

I'd have more passion about Kwanzaa if it didn't use those hard to pronounce and remember African words.

I'm an old Star Trek - Dr. Spock fan. This made it easy for me to vote for Obama.

LoloBloggs said...

O, our funky James Brown,

I can't stand kool aid, never have, never will, wouldn't give it to my enemy.

I think most of DefJam comedy is an abomination to mankind.

And sin of all sins!!!! I do not think Barack Obama is the best thing since sliced bread. Yeah, I said it and I'm black..wot?!

Al From Bay Shore said...

The Good Reverend Dr, you are my hero!!! First you said this:

"Neo Soul. Not original. Just because you sample TRUE legends or try to sing like them, it does not make you an artiste (as JJ from Good Times would say). Let's let go of the '70's and try to evolve. Yeah, I'm talkin' to you John Legend and crew!"

For the last three years, I have noticed the commercialization of the "Neo-Soul" genre. A lot of garbage has been coming out or rather, commercial radio has been pushing these pre-packaged forms of "canned" neo-soul. In a way, it has been nothing but a scam devised to give the jheri curl crowd the momentary illusion of sophistication before they revert back to Mary J. Blige and Young Jeezy. This brand of "pop" neo-soul is nothing but a repeat of what happened to the good folks in Seattle when their local Rock Scene was invaded by the commercial record industry and Dinosaur Jr. was supplanted with Counting Crowes. But I digress...

Then you say this:

"When people pre cook food before putting it on a grill. If you know what you are doing, you will know that you CAN actually cook something all the way through. Also hate people who burn up the outside of the food with the flame at a cookout. Learn the method of outdoor cooking, people."

Man oh man! Anyone who boils their ribs and then grills them ought to be banned from cooking entirely. Its called barecueing people! Low and slow with a little hickory for taste. Get yourself a nice cooker with a firebox or use indirect heat and you too can make fall off the bone tender ribs without "parboiling". I do however like to carmelize a little bit of sweet sauce on the exterior of my 'cue to create that barbecue taste - but just a little bit.

Here is another gem:

"The praise of Harlem's Sylvia's."


Sylvia's is overpriced and awful. I once went to this hole in the wall soul food spot in Ft. Greene, Bklyn, Miss Annes. It was the best soul food I've ever had in the Tri State area. Richard's in South Jamaica is another spot that was highly overrated - much like Sylvia's.

And lastly, these comments:

"The term "Newbo". And why, O Sweet Father James, can you tell me why these people have so much money and no taste? It disgusts me how these less than sophisticated have become the representation of culture and progress..."

"Every notes the significance of The Cosby Show but no one gives merit to the character Denise Huxtable."

This is the proof of the existence of a Cold culture War in Black America. The Newbos have infinitely more money than a Denise Huxtable type however, if you were to ask both entities to hold a wine and cheese affair, the differences would be startling. Newbos are likely to go to Publix, buy the prepackaged cheese cubes, some toothpicks with those plastic frilly things on the end, and a couple bottles of Riunite (they would curse the store for not having Canei). The Denise Huxtable type would go to Publix (because its too dang far to go to the cheese monger at the farmer's market), get a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc to pair with a nice briny Feta and some tapenade, along with..... see where I'm going with this?

Bravo Good Reverend. In my moments of despair, when I feel like I am about to be overwhelmed by the mega-churches and Jet magazine subscriptions, folks like you come along and reassure that we, the bourgeois negro breed, are not alone in this destitute Fort Apache-like outpost known as popular black culture. Thank you.

Lady Zora, Chauncey DeVega, and Gordon Gartrelle said...

We have so much pain and so many secrets my people! And Brother James in his infinite greatness and love can handle all of it. I truly feel the presence of his spirit in this Church.

Is that the negro ground beneath me I feel moving?

Anonymous said...

Oh Brother James,
I hate "black" movies with a hot and burning hate. I hate that only one kind of black person gets to be "real." Why, your funkiness, why won't Beyonce just die? I confess that I am more happy that Michelle Obama is in the people's house than I am that Barack is. Why do I have to protest because the product of generations of inbreeding and incest makes a watermelon "joke"? Whycome I can't just ignore the fool, whose existence is his own punishment? Although it's been said many times, many ways, Tyler Perry needs to burn in the sulphurous depths of hell. Amen.

Anonymous said...

Been looking for a church home for some time now and I think I found one with you Zora, Chauncey DeVega and Gordon Gartrelle. Love this sermon!

@ Al from Bay Shore-
Glad you enjoyed and could relate to my testimony. It is scary what you said about the cheese. I just experienced that recently. I attended a party and that group served that kind of cheese. They really thought they were so sophisticated and avante garde with their board game themed party. Our hostess, a sophisticated lady, was wondering why Zane was not on Oprah's book club because she found Zane's writing deep real and maybe so modern.If Zane wasn't talented, why would Showtime turn her writings into a series? I was looked at strange for thinking that the best blk. shows in recent history are/were Wanda Sykes Show & Everybody Hates Chris. It fell on deaf ears to this UPN bunch. Some guy then asked me to join them in a game of Scrabble. I did not even bother to challenge some of the words they came up with. However, I was forced to challenge this group of players when they started to place letter tiles on top of one another to form new words. I exclaimed that this was Scrabble NOT UPWORDS! At that moment we read the game's instructions and they realized I was not being "uptight".

I say this because it is nice to correspond with like minded people. It seems that some of us colored folks are assimilated or just not up to speed.

Al From Bay Shore said...

The Good Reverend Dr.,

I'm definitely on board with the spirit of your commentary. The cheese scenario is a metaphor of the two main criteria by which people judge something to be refined or of high quality. There are those who do things because they HEARD that the practice of serving wine and cheese was "sophisticated". Then there are those who take the extra step of carefully pairing a particular cheese with a wine because the taste is delectable. I believe the issue is about making the effort to build on experience in order educate oneself. I believe there to be a cultural civil war in Black America and Black folks who are disdainful of less socially and culturally refined Black folks feel that way out of frustration. Our percieved snobbery is naught but a simmering contempt for what we believe to be their reluctance to advance beyond these trite and contrived expressions of refinement. It seems that many of our people are stuck in the blissfull ignorance of pop consumer culture and show no awareness of anything beyond it. As an example, many alleged "neo-soul" fans will continue to listen to Tom Joyner to fill their appetite, hoping to catch the latest John Legend song or watch the newest Tyler Perry film thinking they are viewing the latest in black cinema.

This is not to say that such rubbish is to be shunned. For example, had your friend who was enamoured with Zane had said "I must confess that I love me some Zane. She ain't exactly Nella Larsen but dammit, I can't help myself..." That is refinement because it acknowledges possibilities beyond the common and popularly acceptable. Once again, my frustration with popular black culture is that it is profoundly insuated by severely limited forms of expression and these forms of expression arise exclusively from consumer culture. This is what made the Denise Huxtable character so profound for its time. She was an aspect of the Black counter cultural reality. You knew she was a HUGE village head. She wouldn't be caught dead shopping on Jamaica Avenue.

I think our politics is part of the problem. Go with me on this. There is a popular obsession with depicting black folks as positive and flawless all the time without regard to the complexities of human nature. For example, The Color Purple is one of the greatest all black films of all time. When it was released, it encountered massive controversy because of its percieved negative depiction of black men. When "She's Gotta Have It" debuted, once again critical attacks resulted. It was attacked because the Nola character was seen as a negative portrayal of black women. Let us fast forward to the last 15 years. The most most popular films for black folks have been of the Tyler Perry/ Terry McMillian sort. Films like "Love Jones" and "Have Plenty" have been relegated to underground cult status (maybe that isn't such a bad thing). What we are seeing with with the rise of commercialized "Neo Soul" contemporary rap (not true Hip Hop, as it does not exist anymore) is merely the replication of this pattern. In short, black popular culture seeks to be "positive" without consideration of the fact that human complexity and the rigorous pursuit of quality are important ingredients in actualy being positive. This is why your friend reads Zane because, to her, merely reading text is a positive thing that black people do. Or better yet, serving any cheese with any wine is a way so display the notion that black people are positive people.

Anonymous said...

I read some of the people here and it makes me feel a lot better about things than I thought.

1. I'd never heard the term "Newbo" until a few days ago. But surely it's someone's bad idea to paint a photo that Obama + rich athletes = No moar raycism!

2. The need to create a black alternative everything. Can I get a web 2.0 startup that's run by black folks that doesn't try to do something urban this, designed like a 4th grader did it and tell me that it's targeting some supposed monolith?

3. I despise the Congressional Black Congress a lot more than I dislike Tyler Perry.

Anonymous said...

Oh so many...

I hate grown ass men , over 20 in matching hat, top, pants and shoes.

I hate people wasting money they don't have on rims.

I hate gold /platinum teeth.

I hate a culture that embraces trying to make money by schemes, and not by working hard.

I HATE hair weaves; and wierd unnatural hair colors like blue, pink, purple...etc.

I hate the messages of many Black churches that encourages 'prosperity salvation', tolerance by women of all kind of crap by males, and the promotion of ignorance as salvation.

I hate the numerous people that think that happiness is based on marriage.

I hate the people that refer to their s/o as their 'fiance' without a ring or plans to marry.

I hate the fact that too many little children know all the lyrics to rap/popular music, but don't know their full name or their ABC's.

I hate that too many people think President Obama is their saviour, or the other extreme where his accomplishment hasn't inspired them to change anything.

Spinster said...

Oh High Priest of Soul:

- I can't deal with church people.

- I can't deal with many religions.

- I hate the words "wifey", "jump-off", and "chickenhead".

- I hate feeling like the only one who thinks and feels the way I do.

- I can't deal with "conscious" brothers and sisters.

- I can't deal with Beyonce. I need her to disappear yesterday.

- I can't deal with the yearly Covenant with Black America special on C-SPAN. I haven't watched it in a few years.

- I can't deal with BET.

- I want everyone to enjoy life without worrying about going to hell.

- I can't deal with Gabrielle Union or Genevieve Jones.

- Please forgive me for taking a liking to Southern rap music and gold/platinum fronts. It started last year. Please let me live with that one shameful thing. I'm a pretty straight and narrow human being otherwise. As a matter-of-fact, I would never be with someone who had them in their mouth.

- I abhor "urban" literature. Please forgive me Oh High Priest of Soul. But "Every Thug Needs A Lady" titles and Zane-like authors don't appeal to me.

- I can't deal with "black man shortage" conversations. Please forgive me for this indiscretion against you. I know sisters are hurting, but I can't take it anymore.

- Oh High Priest, please save me from weaves and wigs and chemicals. I know it is an abomination to denounce them, but I can't take them anymore. Save the 90% of sisters who continue to use them.

- Please forgive me for not being that sympathetic to the "endangered black male". Young girls/women are ignored and pushed to the wayside, Oh High Priest, all the time, being blamed for abuse and all kinds of maltreatment. I hope that by wanting to work with and empower them, that you'd forgive me and take this out of your book of indiscretions.

- I have a potty mouth Oh High Priest. Please ignore that and look upon my positive attriubtes.


Spinster said...

Forgive me please.....

I ask these things in your name Oh High Priest.

Amen Hallelujah Jah Rastafari Ameen Ommmm.........

Anonymous said...

I hate unemployed, gov't dependent adults who make it seem like I am some type of fool for working

I am tired of people beimg shocked that I have no illegitimate children

I am tired of every white person i know thinking I can answer for all 40 million other black folk in this country

I am tired of "black" conservatives (larry Elder, Jessie lee patterson, juan williams, ECT) that hate us more then the grand poohbah for the KKK

I am tired of BET

i need to calm down, please help me your funkiness!

Lady Zora, Chauncey DeVega, and Gordon Gartrelle said...

Shai said...

I, Shai, am fully aware that despite me wanting to work within the system that has been constructed and do what most low-income urban blacks get enraged over and repay the home I came from, I understand that I am just the "too white" black female that doesn't/ well never understand the dynamics of the old neighborhood. Thus I am done pretending that I will go home and help the people who sent me out to make something of myself. I'll quit pretending for a second that they even want to look in my eyes or I theirs and see fallen dreams. While they look in my eyes and see everything they think they want and I hate to deal with. In that second is the only time we will ever have a opportunity to have genuine conversation, but it's also the time when I'm most scared to address the issue.

I, Shai, was a poster child puppet for my college and the very people that I wanted to stand for hate me. I fled the position, because I hated taking on the burden of the blacks students as their personal "house nigga." Although, the position almost pushed me towards insanity, I didn't even bother to train the girl I picked as my successor. A part of me believes that a huge part of her struggle is important to gaining the skin for the job, which is being the voice of the group, but the vision of the majority.
I, Shai, have a southern accent, but I'm from MI. I tend to grin and bear it when white coworkers or other northerners assume I'm stupid, but when I'm angry, I slip right back to my accent.

I, Shai, am more than a little angry.

March 2, 2009 5:54 PM

Anonymous said...

Dearest Unifying Father of Our Lives, Generations, Genres, and Blacknesses:

1. I HATE Black folks who hate weaves. Why do you? What's it to you? My friend's hair is going, going, GONE because of a hormonal condition. She teaches at a Black school. She can't wait to start her new job at a White school. Why? One personal reason for her: her Black students spend more time trying to detect her weave than read their assignments.

2. I hate proudly stupid and arrogant Black people. You are not "real." You are an EFFING IDIOT.

3. I hate Black men. I'm sorry; they're sorry. Now, don't get me wrong. Based on my age/upbringing, I have always been and (am still very attracted to a few Black men) dearly admire some Black men (e.g., President Obama, Rep. Clyburn). But the rest of 'em (including males in my family, all of whom are -- by the appallingly low standards applied to Black men -- wonderful and "good men") are THROUGH. Black men hate Black women and I am one who's confident enough to hate 'em right back. They have done nothing to uphold the race, women, or children ... unless the race, women, or children are non-Black.

4. I hate Black beatdowns of Blacks considered not Black enough.

5. I hate grown folks submitting to the Black beatdown to gain Black acceptance. I'm Black. I'm accepted (well, kinda; finally, I guess, some days) by a number of Black folks. Trust me: such Black acceptance ain't worth much on the open market.

6. I hate the equation of ignorant with Black.

7. I hate the equation of Black with the "n" word. I sailed on a WONDERFUL Black cruise, on an exquisitely beautiful ship. I visited the women's restroom, just to see what was doing therein. It was one of the prettiest areas I've seen for the purpose of serving one's needs. Another Black woman entered, proudly declaring "this is an 'n' ship; this is a 'n' ship right here!" That occurred two years ago. I still want to kill her today.

8. I hate being forced to remember that we come from slaves and have no long histories, native language from old civilizations, traditional dress/adornment, practices, or consistency in "rites of passage" such as marriage. I have become recently envious of, e.g., my South Asian/Indian friends around such rituals. I feel absolutely impoverished in the face of not only their rich heritage, but their utter clarity about it.

Dearest Patron Saint of We Tortured Negroes and Negresses, thank you for taking my pain and sin of difference and discontent unto thine breast. I will not burden you further.

Anonymous said...

i, the empress t...
only learned to speak slang in college as it was completely unacceptable to my highly educated, very proper british west indian parents... i would get "licks" for any colloquial infraction.

am getting weary of being the one who could at least try explain black america to white and caribbean folks.

can't stand overly manicured dreadlocks or clean shaven faces on black men.

don't think every black person with light eyes is automatically beautiful.

want to go to india much more than anywhere in africa (except maybe egypt or morocco.

love cornbread and greens with hot sauce as much as i love curry and roti.

both love and hate what it means for obama to be president and is also both uncomfortable and glad that the hatred continues to surface as folks show their true "colors".

does not need one more "obama family portraits" email to enter her inbox.

and finally... i pray today that black expression will transcend "the struggle" and that more of us will recognize we are legitimate by birth, thus have nothing to prove and that our death grip on social conservitism will be loosened so that everyone may express thier truth... not just the artsy/tragic mulatto girl on black sitcoms.

in your soulful holy name i pray, hit me one time with an amen!

Anonymous said...

Oh, I'm the anon you recognized, don't know what happened there.

I absolutely HATE naming your child Princess, Classy,,Heaven or Neveah and they don't fit their name. I HATE accent marks or apostrophe's where they don't belong in a name. I HATE a soft vowel like 'a' pronounced in a name like a long 'e'- and then the parents in all these cases looking cock eyed at you because they don't know the rules of pronounciation!

Anonymous said...

Your funkiness,
I hate to hear/see black people who have been to college and university trying to pretend that they are "really" from da hood. Black people used bravely to risk mutilation and whipping and slaughter to learn to read. White people had to work hard, making laws, wearing sheets, burning crosses and people to terrify our people away from knowledge. Why are we doing the racists' work for them, telling each other not to "act white"? I confess that I cannot abide the use of the words "nigger" "nigga" or any variation thereof out of the mouths of black people. There is no rationalisation that will ever persuade me that the use of these words by black people somehow reclaims/cleanses them. Oh holy brother James, why have I got to love and defend black men when they hate black women so much? I confess, I confess, I long to brutally murder light/white-skinned black people who try to tell me how to be authentically black. Please take away my guilt and my shame, I ask this in thy funky name. AMEN.

Anonymous said...

This is the best. blog. ever. I love this.

And I hate:

Tyler Perry movies and tv shows and stage shows;

Urban "literature" and every trend that gives mediocrity a forum--including most "reality" television and American Idol-- because "everyone deserves to be able to express themselves." No, actually, they don't;

Righteous, Black Bohemian Hippies and their mission to unite us, save us, cleanse us and stop us from eating pork and straightening our hair (and I have locs). Long live bacon, snitches!!!!

Black social conservatism and propriety;

Xenophobia! i.e., the EX-boyfriend who in response to my love of travel wanted to know why I wanted to "go over there with those foreigners." I need all the xenophobes to just go away, go away yesterday!

Loud ass girls from 'round the way;

People who give their children ridiculous names. No, it's not subjective. Some names are RIDICULOUS. Naming your child after a car or a luxury brand, unless you have, by chance, married into the Gucci or Armani family is ridiculous. Naming your child after a liquor is ridiculous. Naming them names that are spelled with random letters that you like stringing together but which have no relationship to the pronunciation you ridiculous. Get hooked on phonics, people!

All the crazy weaves in the world;

I could on but now I'm late for work.

Thank you James, thank you.


J L said...

I hate myself. I didn't vote for Barack, and since I didn't support him I must not be right with me... It has nothing to do with not agreeing with his policy...

I hate that Barack had to get elected for you people to believe that you had a chance to 'make it'.
It speaks to a lack of self-confidence and the myopic vision of you people. I knew as a child that I could one day be president. If it weren't for the hoes and the guns and the drugs, I could be in the White House getting brain from an intern...

I hate liberals. I love my guns and my weed and powers that reside with the states and the states alone. I don't want to bail out the car industry. Or the airlines. Or your broke-azz uncle who bought a house he couldn't afford...

I too hate Beyonce... and her sister...

I hate organized religion. Nothing against JC or his Pops... but they don't need 10%...

I loathe Tyler Perry...

I hate that I can't listen to Prom Queen, even though I've been a fan of Wayne since Lights Off...

I hate that I'm the only black man I know that can count his sexual partners on his hands...

I hate that ya'll think I should have another child just so the first one won't be lonely... Why? So I can be broke and exhausted for another two years...? Phuq off... I want some sleep...

I hate the black family. We don't all have to prosper together. You just do you... Imma do me...

I hate that this link exists... This should be regular conversation... But ya'll don't like discussion... Just leaving the voting booth to dap off pastor who's playing Beyonce out of his Escalade in front of the polling place texting Sister Mary whose sister he hit last night...

Anonymous said...

1. Church. Hate it. Hate the way black folks are always looking for a god-damn savior. Think your white Jeeeesus is waiting for your "homegoing" celebration? And don't get me started on "have a blessed day".
2. Tyler Perry. Flip Wilson covered that shyte years ago.
3. Ghetto culture. Nothing good about it.
4. Pressed, broken-off, dandruffy hair! For chrissakes, ladies! As much as I hate perms, get one!
5. Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson. Please go away.
6. NAACP Image Awards? Who cares? And I feel sorry for non-white folks who get invited. They'd better show up, or else!
7. Aretha's inauguration hat. W.T.F.
8. Any song, oversung. Think gospel.

Anonymous said...

And another thing... I cannot listen to Tom Joiner. There's some loudmouthed, ignant-sounding woman they're always talking to (don't know her name).
And I hate being asked if I listened to Tom Joiner today.

Anonymous said...

Oops, I meant non-black in my previous post. @11:06, March 8th.
And I guess it's spelled Joyner?
Let the choich say amen!