The Label vs. The Reality

Brown on the Outside, Pink on the Inside

Racial Nerd
Posting Access:
All Members , Moderated
Are you Black, but not "down"? Are you used to being accused of "trying to be white?" Have you looked around the LiveJournal (or done a web search or two) to find others like you who don't fit the mold and had trouble doing so?

Sometimes, we're called Junior Mints. In Britannia, we're known as Bounties. One gentleman referred to himself as an Almond Joy ("black on the outside, white on the inside, with two big nuts"). Sometimes we get classified as a subgroup of Buppies (Black yuppies) or Bohos (Black bohemians).

But, generally, we're known as "oreos".

Perhaps you lived in a culture where quotes from Martin Luther King Jr's I Have a Dream speech shaped your outlook on life:
'I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day the state of Alabama, whose governor's lips are presently dripping with the words of interposition and nullification, will be transformed into a situation where little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls and walk together as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today.


When we let freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual,

"Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last."'
... and to this day you remain baffled at the hostility you face when you live out that dream by default.

Perhaps your family is of the upper classes, concerned with "our kind of people"? Or maybe your family struggled, and raised you to "talk properly" and not "act a fool," and you risked being an outcast to honor those wishes? Are you a punk? Into all things Celtic? A vegetarian? Into Yoga? New Age? Hinduism? Earth religions (Wicca, Paganism, and the like)? An agnostic? An atheist?

Are you far more likely to tune in to 80's or alternative stations than you are to listen to the local R&B, hip hop or rap radio? Are you highly selective about what you watch on BET, or not watch it at all because it looks like crap? Are you as likely to rent Say Anything as you are Love Jones? Do both Woody Allen and Spike Lee hold charm for you?

Do you tend to be one of the few, if only, black faces at a concert, support group or alternative fitness class? Do you get looked at like you're an alien because of how you dress? When you do have a black clique of friends, do you usually bond because you're geeks, nerds or some other type of misfit?

From Nobody Weird Like Me*:
Your favorite color is black, most of your clothes are black, and you mostly likely have natural hair. You were friends with everybody in high school, but you didn't really belong to any set clique. Your 8th grade best friend probably worshipped Robert Smith. No matter what your gender, you're a total feminist. That, combined with your unfortunate affinity for "vanilla", has probably left you pretty lonely.

You are familiar with the term "oreo" and know that it's not just a cookie. Most of your life you've been the one lone raisin in a huge bowl of rice pudding. You probably grew up in a predominately white school, college, and now workplace. Not on purpose, it just happened that way. You've often wondered if you have an identity crisis. You long to connect with other's like yourself, and get more in touch with your "Blackness" -- whatever that is. [...] You feel like a quadruple minority, and more than once someone has said to you "You speak so well." (Which of course made you mad!) Most likely, someone else called you a wannabe or accused you of being standoffish in those awkward middle school years when you tried to feather your hair. Unless you had a Jheri curl, of course!

Wanna talk?
* (quoted with permission)

Perhaps some of this applies to you, and some of it doesn't. Or perhaps none of it does, but enough sounds familiar that you're intrigued. If you're tired of being told that there's just one way to be black (yeah, right: as if there's only one way to be white), of being told that you're trying to assimilate rather than just wanting to find people similar to you, please join us.

Community created by byrdie and maintained by akademikmami, spiderskein, angelofsaturn, deimos_rising and pradagirl. If you'd like to join, please use the link at the top of this page. If you'd like to be able to post comments as well, please add the community to your friends list.

And some other resources to look at include:
LJ Communities
fbglr ("for black girls who like to rock")

Yahoo & MSN Groups

Other online communities
  • African American Wiccans and Pagans
  • Afro-eccentrix discission board
  • Afrofuturism
  • Afro Punk discussion board, courtesy of highyellowproductions
  • Black Rock Radio
  • Othello's Revenge webring, for Goths of color
  • RainbowDharma discussion board
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