Monday, March 2, 2009

Squirmin' in my Seat

Two weeks ago, I went to a lecture of historian C.R. Gibbs, a specialist on the history of the African Diaspora. The subject matter, "Black Presidents Before Obama", was a speech concerning historical black heads of state in Latin America and the Caribbean, supplemented with the seemingly unfounded belief that this region's governments have denied the African descendancy of their citizens, past and present. During the Q&A, I was the first to shoot up my hand to inquire about the differing perceptions of race in these countries as opposed to the U.S, especially regarding the one-drop rule. The convoluted answer I received, stating, in effect that these things do not matter, only served to solidify my understanding of and strength in my dual heritage. Although there were certain points on which I agreed, specifically concerning the effects of colonialism on populations of color, I take great issue with distorting history to further one's agenda, especially when it appears to denigrate those who don't fit into the confining boxes we've invented in this society.


  1. I know exactly how you feel. I live in the Middle East where things are more in terms of ethnicity, rather than simply one drop rule kind of stuff, and it is sometimes hard to try to explain to this people back in America where so many things revolve around the one drop rule. I think a time goes on that will fade away with more stories of mixed people coming to the forefront.

  2. Ehav, I apologize, but I just noticed your comment, so thank you. I hope you're right. I feel that part of being in the human family is respecting others' cultural viewpoints, including their personal identity.

  3. No problem. It happens to me also on my blog. (smile) I agree with you. I think it is easy to disrespect people when all the facts are not on the table. And the current media infrastructure, worldwide, if often about painted people into small boxes. Yet, now with Blogs and Vlogs we can flip the script so to speak.