Friday, February 19, 2010

Our Family Wedding with America Ferrera, Forest Whitaker, Taye Diggs, Regina King

I'm not one to give my opinion on anything I haven't seen yet, so this is not to comment on the movie itself, but in the trailer America Ferrera said something that I'd like to appeal to interracial couples to stop saying and that is any variation of the phrase, "I don't see color".
To that end I'd like to leave you with a  1995 quote from Harlon L. Dalton;

"I really don't think of you as Black."...
The erasure of my Blackness is meant to be a compliment, but I am not flattered.
 For when I am e-raced, I am denied an identity that is meaningful to me
and am separated from people who are my flesh and blood."

Our Family Wedding opens 3-12-10

In the beginning

My first crush was a blue-eyed blonde kid named Joe, he looked like Macauley Culkin
from his "Home Alone" years. My first boyfriend was a kid named Joe (seriously, this is
not a typo), he looked like Michael Jackson from the Jackson 5 years.
I'm thankful to my parents that I was raised in an environment that was multi-cultural
from the start. I didn't know how important that would later be, growing up with an
appreciation for those who were of a different race that I am.
In grade school, my "play cousin" was Mexican, my friends were European, Asian,
Latino, and African-American, of course. I'd never felt "different" in school, sure I knew we
all had perhaps, different origins, cultures, and religions, but I'd never felt that it mattered
to the extend of "better or worse than", I'm thankful to say I still don't.
In middle school, my boyfriend's name was John, he looked like the rapper, Nas.
In high school my "first love", Sam, looked kinda like the singer, T-Pain, dreds and all.
I grew up a Prince fan and that, I think, shaped my creativity and my love for rock, house and alternative music ;and all things eccentric. You can't be a Prince fan and not be drawn to
every type of music! And I first loved what I consider to be the greatest years of hip hop,
the late 80s-early 90s, then there was also a fusion of every type of music, style and
Remember Public Enemy, LL Cool J, Salt-n-Pepa, Run-DMC with the Aerosmith
collabo? I've been an Aerosmith fan ever since! In the 80s everything seemed to crossover,
everyone listened to the same music...Madonna...Michael Jackson...Prince,
we watched the same shows...The Cosby Show...Wonder Years...Family Ties...Fame,
re-runs of Three's Company, Good Times, and The Jeffersons, Miami Vice, what?!
I was in loooove with Philip Michael Thomas and had a soft spot for anyone who looked
like him for many years. In my childhood memories, it all seemed good, as all childhood memories should. But then, remember that pail I mentioned earlier?
Well, the drops started coming.

Helen Willis, the Zebress

If you believe in colorless love please feel free to email this to someone special.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

As Children

As children we learned in school about the lowest common denominator;
America is about the highest common denominator.
That is why Dr. King loved this country. He often spoke about "the glory of America, with all its faults.

VP Al Gore, 1998 

Racism, unfortunately

Racism, unfortunately, is not the monopoly of a single type of personality structure.
All kinds of people can be and are racists:
 normal and abnormal, paranoid and non-paranoid, aggressive and passive, domineering and submissive.

Alexander Thomas M.D., 1972

No child

No child is born prejudiced. His predjudices are always acquired, chiefly in fulfillment of  his own needs.
Yet the context of his learning is always the social structure in which his personality develops.

Gordon Allport, 1954


Predjudice is not automatically and immediately eliminated by changes is social institutions, people cling to ideas and behavior that are clearly not only in conflict with reality and developing knowledge, but are also destructive to themselves. 

Alexander Thomas, M.D., 1972

Friday, February 12, 2010

The Specter of Color

The specter of color is apparent even when it goes unmentioned,
and it is all too often the unseen force that influences public policy as well as private relationships.
There is nothing more remarkable than the ingenuity that the various demarcations of the color line reflect.
If only the same creative energy could be used to eradicate the color line;
 then its days would indeed be numbered.
John Hope Franklin, 1993


Race is the least reliable information you can have about someone.
It's real information, but it tells you next to nothing.

Toni Morrison, 1998 

And Don't Call Me A Racist!

I suppose it was naive of me to think...
that if one only searched one's heart
one would know that none of us is responsible
for the complexion of his skin,
and that we could not change it if we wished to,
and many of us don't wish to,
and that this fact of nature
offers no clue to the character or quality
of the person underneath.

Marian Anderson, 1956

Monday, February 8, 2010

Twitter account Zebress

Zebra says what?

Isn’t the zebra a beautiful creature? The perfection in its stripes...the harmony of its very existence should make one marvel at the splendor of our Lord God. I wonder what His thought was.
Why He decided to make this animal so different from the others like it.

And everyone knows this attractive mammal is sometimes used to refer to people who are bi-racial or in interracial relationships. That’s fine with me, I like zebras and Oreos, besides I’ve heard worse.
So that’s why I chose that name as my title, I’m not an overly sensitive person, I can make fun of myself, just don’t you do it! Just kidding (I think).

For those who don’t know, I’ve borrowed my pen name from the fictional character of Helen Willis, played by the late Roxy Roker (Lenny Kravitz’s mom and Al Roker’s cousin) on the Jeffersons who was also infamously called a zebra, along with her husband, by George Jefferson. She was the one of the first black women to have a white husband on network television, I can only think of 2 in total but I could be mistaken, if you know of others besides Helen and “Toni Childs”on Girlfriends, please feel free to let me know.
But Roxy was elegant and fun, classy and sophisticated and I thought it’d be kinda cool to pay tribute to her groundbreaking role by using her name.

It wasn’t my intention to write a blog like this in the year of our Lord two thousand and ten.
I didn’t intend to make a “thing” out of my relationships with white men, given they were so few. Now let me say from the start, I have not experienced a lot of negative experiences nor do I expect to and I don’t want it to make it seem as though I have.

But the ones that were negative or questionable always seem to stick out like a sore thumb.
I wanted to disregard them and never think of them again but I want to tell this story;
I want to be in this fight. I didn’t want to do a “race” thing, not now! We have a black president! I thought, let’s turn the page on this mug! It wasn’t as easy as I had hoped.
I suppose what the election of president Barack Obama means to me is that this is the new day we as blacks were waiting for, yes it is, it is the day that the stubborn demons emerge like the serpent of Eden, like the light that caused the roaches to flee, here they are…let’s expose ‘em. And like roaches, (I hear they will survive the end of the world), there will always be ignorant people, some people live and thrive off of ignorance and would hate to see things change, even if for the better. But that’s okay, just as long as they will always be outnumbered, I can live with that. I present this project generally for the experience of black women in interracial relationships because that’s a part of who I am; I have never spoken for men of any race, in any situation because that’s not where my experience lies.

But I still speak of the tragedies, triumphs and trivialities regarding this thing called race.

In closing let me say this, Melba Patillo Beals-almost 40 years after she risked death as a teenager to integrate Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas - writes in her memoir of that experience: “The task that remains is to cope with our interdependence - to see ourselves reflected in every other human being and to respect and honor our differences”, this is the message of this blog, to wake the human spirit to reevaluate our own commitment to racial peace, respect, and tolerance. Because ultimately, our experiences speak to us then they speak through us and a mistake uncorrected is doomed for repetition.

Tell me what do you think?

Helen Willis, the Zebress