Once again for the cheap of seat and slow of mind, all people of African descent are not a monolith. I've said this several times to various audiences and unfortunately, I have to repeat it not just to other races but to my own as well.
Sitting in a spa for mani/pedi time with BougieMom, a white woman in her mid-20s sat in the pedicure chair beside me and perhaps in an attempt to make conversation turned and asked if she should go see the new Tyler Perry movie. I affixed her with a confused why-are-you-asking-me look and replied, "I don't know. I haven't seen it." To me, that's a conversation ender, no? Like the most polite hint that I had nothing more to say on the topic. Instead of taking that hint, she spoke again and this time rather loudly, "Well don't your people love Tyler Perry? I thought you all LOVED Tyler Perry!"
At this point, Ms. Nellie put down her Bible Study book and sent girlie a look that every misbehaving child knows well. "We are black, Southern, upper middle class, female, educated, employed and proud - which people are you referring to?"
That shut the conversation down right there. 2013 and still with the "your people" shiggty? Ooookay.
But as I tweeted a few days ago, I don't have a sweeping desire to see TP's new film. I'll catch it on cable if I hear enough good things about it. I was admonished to support it since we have so few "black" movies being widely distributed. Others scolded that I wasn't "down for the cause" if I didn't support black artists. (Which cause is that?) One person even went so far to say that as a black artist myself, didn't it behoove me to support others? Simply? No. I'm not required to blindly support an artist or entertainer based on the color of their skin.
Take for instance the tale of two TV shows. One being Scandal and the other being Deception. I tried like hell to like Deception. Why? Because it featured African-American characters during prime-time on a major network. (Plus Laz Alonso, you know. Anyway...) I wanted to support it in the hopes that more shows targeting that demographic would follow. Unfortunately, the plot, premise and performances did not hold my attention. I watched the first episode of Scandal last year for the same reason and was hooked. All things are NOT created equal. Was I required to support the entire season of Deception even after I fell asleep on it twice? No.
Did black folks get together and vote on the things we must support? If so, I missed it and never saw the absentee ballot. As frustrated as I get when people of color bash Obama, it's their right to do so. Just as it is my right not to support Tyler Perry blindly, not to listen to anything Chris Brown has to say or sing (ever), and not to be wowed by the majority of self-published urban street literature out there.
We don't all love Moscato (no shade, I've been know to imbibe freely) or Cognac. Some people even choose to watch golf over March Madness this month. Some enjoy reality shows, some watch NatGeo. Do I really have to go on?
There is no "black-think" - no train of singular thought that all folks of African descent must unanimously agree upon. With the exception of staying black and dying, there is no experience uniform into which each and every one of us fit. Yes, for the most part, we'd all like to see the continued "advancement of colored people" but does that mean the same thing to each and every one of us? I think we can all agree that the answer is no.
In short, people should support what they like for whatever reasons they have and allow others to do the same. Let's not assume that there's an inherent commonality of preferences. And that's all I have to say about that.
Thoughts, comments, insights?