The ‘Whitest’ Black Guy I Know

20121212_183929Leon Anderson Davis,
Dallas, TX.

This is by far the most offensive compliment I can be given. I have heard it since my early teens, growing up in suburban Dallas. Somewhere around the age of 25, I realized that this statement presupposed that being intelligent and well spoken were attributes of white people, and that I should be flattered to be considered on the same level. I also realized that it implies, of the person uttering it, a historical reference that A) is heavily influenced by pop culture, and B) stops in 1970. Anyone with a knowledge of history, pre-disco and blaxploitation flicks, is aware that being educated and well spoken were common values and aspirations in the black community. I am not, nor do I aspire to be, MTV’s version of a black man in America.

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