OFF THE BLOCK
I’ve been struggling with this idea for a while now. Amidst the memes and social media scrutiny, I’ve remained silent. Perhaps, I didn’t find myself to be qualified to comment. Somewhere in this internal questioning, I’ve mustered up a voice. A voice that may or may not be received well, but one thing I have learned as an adult is that few people resonate with ideas until the masses concur. It somewhat makes people at ease with supporting an idea in unison.
Black Girl Lost
There have been many odes to Kamala Harris being the first black vice-president. Memes declaring what appear to be success for the black race. Conversely, naysayers fight the idea of her blackness all together. In fact some have taken it upon themselves to scream it from the mountain tops, peaks and valleys and wherever anyone will offer a listening ear. Black women seem to be at the forefront of this argument. As I mentioned initially, perhaps I am not qualified to even comment. I’m not a black woman or a woman at all for that matter, so I’m probably not seeing things from their perspective. It is peculiar, however, that her blackness is being questioned as if we are not dealing with a pandemic, an unstable economy, a socially awkward racial divide and a sitting president who is defiant in his departure. Yet, we are comprising our minds with whether she should be identifying as black because her parents were immigrants.
Sometimes, I think our extreme angst in denouncing someone’s blackness is our own toil with our identity. ADOS, a term I only became familiar with today, is the qualifier. American Descendants of Slavery. This term suggests that any other proposed or perceived black person that does not fall beneath this heading does not deserve to utilize or even acknowledge their blackness. I know right? It sounds asinine to me as well, but after many years of oppression and a yearning to belong to a culture that we can’t really identify with, we’ve become constant dividers. Of course I recognize there is a difference between products of immigrant parents and those derived from descendants of slavery, but is that enough to rant repetitively about the lack of blackness that Kamala Harris possesses. In all honesty, women have an ever-present deficit regardless of race. With this in mind, why are so many black women using their platforms to denounce the credibility of Harris and her position in black America?
It’s a Man’s World
James Brown said it’s a man’s world…but it’s nothing without a woman or a girl. We all know women are the pathways for souls entering this world, so with that comes great responsibility. I am proud of what our black women have accomplished, both those who are ADOS and those who may be products of immigrant parents. I don’t see the necessity of separating the two. It makes it seem as though slavery and poverty is the qualifier for speaking for the black race. If the voices of the downtrodden are the only voices that count, how will we ever succeed? But then again, that’s why I mentioned twice and I’ll mention it again….I may not be qualified to comment.