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 I also realized that it implies, of the person uttering it, a historical reference that A) is heavily influenced by pop culture, and B) stops in 1970.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.

Keep the conversation going - comment and discuss with your thoughts

  • barry irving

    …actually what the criticism is…is that you are of the White Culture in what you project. If you grew up around Whites or other African Americans who shun African cultural aesthetics out of preference or the absence of it…everyone knows it because American people are indoctrinated with these biases and beliefs. You just have to be who you truly are and you can’t have everything. If you really want to change the aesthetics that you project, then try living in the inner city . It doesn’t have to be the Ghetto, there are nice residences in the hood too…or close. Hang with some homies who want what you have or know how to get. There are Brothers like you in the heart of the hood and they go through it too!

 

Tweets by Michele Norris