At Dance Off 2K3, a friend said that she was glad no white people were there to see our rowdy and loud behavior.
Maybe she was joking.
Regardless, her statement verbalizes a thought that others share.
Black people need to lose their paranoia of being “black”. We fear white people condemning our loudness, or choice of clothes, our hair or speech.
However, if I walked into a white frat party with a group of black people I doubt they would consider how to behave around me.
I doubt that whites at either occasion of Woodstock wondered how their black countrymen felt about what they were doing.
We need to determine for ourselves which of our actions best represent us. Hanging from rails in Embassy Suites makes anyone look ignorant.
A decision to be loud or quiet, walk alone or in a group, or wear my hair in a ponytail or braid should be made without consideration for how someone of another race will perceive it.
People who suggest the need for certain behaviors in front of white people are saying that black people lack the innate ability to determine proper behavior for themselves.
They are also saying that blacks don’t deserve the same respect as white people.
Raised as one of the few black children in a predominantly white neighborhood and school system I used to take note of the race of the people around me so I knew how to behave around them.
Others do the same by not talking “white” around black family and friends or by changing from their urban music stations before driving near their place of work.
How can black people continue to seek someone else’s approval for their actions?
The idea of individual determination is lost on people who refuse to take self-responsibility.Perhaps if a people fear being caught in indecent behavior they should not refrain from “acting out”.
Otherwise, as adults mature enough to act independently they need to be strong enough to accept a backlash. They should expect it and keep on going.
Toni Green, 19, is a sophomore English student from Brewton, Ala. She is The Famuan’s online editor and assistant Creative Mindz editor. She can be reached at email@example.com.