Friday, June 4, 2010

the unthinkable

The "unthinkable" after a while becomes the norm - after enough brave souls challenge it - progress occurs and we move forward. The other night after having a long discussion about impression - racial stereotyps - and police brutality - after Phil got pulled over for stopping on a yellow - I turned on the t.v to the movie little rock 9. I know the story well it was one of the first books I read at a really young age and I had never seen the movie. All the pictured scenes of the harassment those brave young students face were visually captured.

In my life time I have seen nothing of the sort - especially not in the Bay - or Oakland to be more specific. But I have seen division based on race - or the the block you claim - the color you wear. I had the privilege and curse of always being mistaken for the other. When every latino person had to sit on one side of the cafeteria - and all the black folks had to stick together or their character would be questioned - I was the other - as long as I didn't shine to hard or snitch on nobody I was reasonably safe. Safe as in run towards home base. Everytime someone saw my light white face as a threat I had an awareness it was not me but all the messed up folks that looked kinda like me in history. Because of the MLK speeches, Harriet Tubman poems and to kill a mockingbird Little Rock Nine books I had read due to my activist family and Oakland Public Schools - I had an awareness before the age of 8 that many struggles I was spit with were backlash to the history of injustice in this country.

I think just based on Mathematics I have not had a huge amount of white friends - or partners. So my experience with the dating world has always been interacial. There has always been the talk about if either of us has a family member that would not approve. Just in the way that I identify as the other - the people I have chosen to date - have almost always been a mixture and thus had the similar feeling of disconnect or difference from their community - based on their culture at home and the way they look.

It was unthinkable to a lot of folks 5 years ago that we could have a Black President - that was actually somewhat down. It was unthinkable 50 something years ago that the norm would be de-segratgated schools - I often never have the "look how far we've come" mentality - because I know there is a lot more (work) we must do, but reference is good motivation for me to keep pushing.

At first glance I thought this was just another visually appealing video by miss Alicia Keys - but I guess the head space I was in after this week I saw something more in it. I have often imagined what it would have been like to live in a time less progressive, its one of the reasons I feel so blessed to be alive right now. I like her vision for the video and how it travels through time and even though society has changed it is still - Unthinkable

1 comment:

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