[burden of a black man] john’s story

ed. note: one thing i love about this series is the wide spectrum of voices and stories. today’s comes from one of my fave twitter peeps, who doesn’t let his blindness stop him. kinda makes me feel like i can do anything. *puts on cape. it also reminds me that race isn’t as color blind as some people claim it is/should be. 

reading this reminded me of Papa Pope reading his daughter Liv on Scandal about needing to be twice as good, just to be seen as basic. it’s a sentiment that resonated with many black folk i know. sadly. 

these are john’s words.

Many years passed before I was even able to conceptualize the idea of blackness.

People often talk about being “color-blind” to race, but I am actually, totally blind. Therefore, I had been simply unaware of the differences until approximately age 8 or so.

Oh I was aware in some ways that I hadn’t thought about, the sounds of people’s voice being the most pronounced of these. My family, and especially my parents, are some of the most country people I have ever known. And I am sad to say, these accents caused people to think less of them.

For instance, my mom was once trying to get a library card at the Southern Pines public library. She approached the white woman at the counter.
“Where do you reside” the white woman asked.
“Sudden Pines” mom replied.
“I’ve never heard of a sudden Pines” the woman snidely replied.
“Oh well, Sutterin’ Pines” mom said in an attempt to more closely
approximate the correct pronunciation.

I just thought that whole thing was completely unnecessary. That woman clearly knew what my mom meant, and was just being a deliberate pain.

This taught me that I too would be judged by my speech and mannerisms,
and perhaps lose out on opportunities/experiences because of them. Because I had grown up in a household that spoke in such ways, I would often address professionals by saying things such as “yah” and “nah” instead of “yes” and “no”. I just hated the way those sounded!

My sisters constantly grilled me on the importance of talking in a more standardized tone to such individuals. I don’t think I have ever found myself in a life-threatening position as a result of my speech though. I am well aware that it can happen, and if I have a son I will try to make sure he knows these things as well.

Better yet, I hope somehow that we reach a point where people are not mistreated on the basis of their racial/cultural background.

I would say that the highest degree to which I have experienced such mistreatment would probably be in dating. I have and will always have an open mind with regards to my selection of partners. Of course, the world in which we find ourselves might not be so open-minded.

I have been in two different relationships, neither with a black person. In the first, the family subtly encouraged her to find someone of her ethnic origin to marry. I can’t say this is entirely why it ended, but doubtless it played a part. The second was even more complicated, as many of her friends actively dislike me and tried to plant ideas in her head to get her to find a richer, white man. I guess I’m coming around to the fact that if I don’t wish to experience such craziness constantly, it would be best for me to find a member of my own race. Not that I have an issue with dating black women, of course, I’d just rather have a choice about the thing.

So those are some of my, admittedly, disjointed thoughts regarding race as it currently stands. It’s a hard concept for me to ever fully wrap my hands around, even though I know it has an impact on just about everything I experience.

Difference is good and should be celebrated and enjoyed. I guess I will continue to hope that we eventually learn to stop fighting about and hating each other for it,
though.

-john. you can check our his blog blind travel here.

the black, white and grey of loving Scandal

Amy Juicebox:

i only countdown for NFL season, so i can’t say exactly how many days it’s been since the Scandal season finale – but the day that Gladiators have been waiting for is finally here!

it’s funny looking back on this post and seeing how much times have changed in a short period of time. i’m no longer as obsessed with the show as i once was, (sorry. blame House of Cards), the fever pitch surrounding the show took a slight dive after storylines got muddled and network hiatuses broke up the flow of following the show – and somehow, there’s another show with a black woman that has worse morals/values/scruples than Olivia Pope. (according to some BBM).

but it’s still a force to be reckoned with, and it’s return is highly anticipated on both the network itself and the twitters. Shonda will always have something in store for you with season premieres (she’s earned that trust by this post) and well.. i kinda want to see how it’s all going to end.

so grab some wine, some popcorn, check your official Scandal watch guide twice and get ready to get scandalous!

-amy

Originally posted on [now a word or two]:

my new obsession (besides watching my kid’s adorable face) is the hit ABC show Scandal.

it’s a US political drama centered around the President and his relationship with campaign worker turned press secretary turned professional problem solver.

i have a job that sometimes had me working evenings, so i haven’t allowed myself to get hooked on a primetime show in a while (yes, i could get a pvr…but those cost money). now that i’m home, i decided to give it a shot based on the twitter buzz. (and im not alone auntie Oprah said the same thing!). i watched both seasons in like 36-48 hrs.

im hooked.

it’s fast paced, 3D version of clue. it’s got drama, great cuss scenes, wardrobe to die for, eye candy, romance and did i mention drama? if you’ve ever watched a show by Miss Shonda Rhimes, you’ll know her style of…

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the mom zone: letter to my unborn son

Amy Juicebox:

four score and seven years ago…(ok more like 2 years and some odd minutes ago) – a tiny human being made his way into the world. i didn’t know at the time what human would be – but 2 years later…i can’t remember what life was before him.

lots has been said by me about how i feel about raising a black boy. trying to ensure he grows up to be a great person, despite some of the roadblocks and obstacles. but nothing will be as important as this letter i wrote to my son, before i knew who he was. before i know who i was.

it remains as true today – as it did when i wrote it. and likely will forever more.
-me.

ps: ok.. so about the NFL team thing…you get to chose your own when you are old enough to do so. until then #FlyEaglesFly. LOL.

Originally posted on [now a word or two]:

so thanks to all those for their well wishes!

i know there are those who still want to read from me during this time, so i thought i’d share some posts from the baby blog i started way back in week 7 of the pregnancy.

welcome to the mom zone. lol.

originally written april 23, 2012

I’ve read a few blog posts about what someone plans to tell or teach their unborn sons or daughters.

Some of which contain very good information, that I too hope I remember when rearing (raising?) my offspring.

From VSB

  • Take good care of yourself physically– it is the little things that go along way like making sure your nose is clean, nose hairs trimmed, your mouth is crust-free, and you don’t have butter in your eyes. You may find you need body spray, deodorant and a little cologne.
  • Be about your business– women love…

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