Tag Archives: black

We Be Hatin’

By Slim Jackson

A couple weeks ago I was out with the fellas at an east coast college. They were opening for a poppin and pizzlin hip hop artist that we all know, and I was there to support and hold my Flip video camera in the air to get some blog-worthy footage. Without going into too much detail, the show was great. I’ve been to a few shows they’ve rocked out at, and it’s been a lot of fun. After seeing them perform in front of primarily white institutions and crowds more heavily sprinkled with Black and Hispanic folk, I’ve come to a crucial conclusion…

White people really know how to have unrestricted fun. Black folks really know how to hate.

Let’s face it. We’re quicker to find fault with other Black folk than we are to give credit and accolade where it’s due. When I’m at these concerts, there are clear demographic differences. I can see the hundreds or thousands of white people throwing their hands in the air and having a good time. I can also see a significant chunk of the small segment of Black and Hispanic people watching first with a critical eye and looking for an excuse to say the show was wack. They’re usually the people with arms folded, staring up at the stage, and consistently whispering in the ear of whoever they came to the show with. Now this isn’t to say that all Black people are naturally haters, but sometimes it’s like something extra needs to be proved before people will just accept the fact that someone is cool, good at what they do, or whatever. This isn’t even a competitive circumstance! Competition? That’s a different story…

Don’t even get me started on how competition increases the hate exponentially. All we need to do is look at a group of women who are all interested in the same dude. Welcome to New Hate City….Welcome to New Hate Citttttayy! We can even look at the dude that’s baggin chicks without any reputable reason. “That negro just be out there munchin box or wearin Greek letters. He wouldn’t be baggin otherwise.” But yeah, we be hatin’. It’s kinda reckless. If people spent as much time looking at themselves as they spent criticizing others who are making moves in the bedroom, the world would be a much happier place. Then again, I guess there will always be crabs in the barrel…I ain’t tryna get pinched though.

Slim “The Plumber” Jackson

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Everyone’s Trying To Have a Swagger Like Us

Swag. G. Style. Whatever the word, either you either have it or you don’t. But for those of you who don’t possess any mojo, don’t fret. You could be like Dr. Evil, as well as most folk in America, and just jack it. Before swagger was printed on an Old Spice body spray can, before T.I.’s comeback song and before he ripped M.I.A.’s voice when she first said it on her track “Paper Planes”, Black folks had style. Truth be told, they had more swag back then. Partly because everyone else was so damn corny. As a result, they had folks jocking and clocking their every move. Hard body. Back then it was straight highway robbery, but nowadays with color and culture lines so blurry is it swagger jackin? Or just a little swagger appreciation?

Oooh That’s My Song! No Really, That’s MY Song.

America has been stealing our music since they realized it could make them some money. Jazz. Yeah, it wasn’t all Kenny G and elevator muzak. That used to be all Black folk. Same thing for Rock and Roll. Yes. There were the greats like, Little Richard, James Brown (yes, he was considered Rock and Roll), Chuck Berry, Jimi Hendrix. I could go on and on. They got their style jacked by groups that mainstream America loves. Luckily that doesn’t happen as much now since non-mainstream music is so readily available to everyone. Technology has made it slightly tougher to just rip someone off. Plus I have to admit, some of these White Chocolate cats are just inventing their own style and holding their own. Can’t front, Robin Thicke gets a lot of airplay and has definitely gotten us dudes a lot of play.

You Sure You Don’t Have Some Black in You? Well, Would You Like Some?

It’s a phenomenon that gives Black men one more reason to leave their chocolate covered counterparts for a lighter fare. White women with asses an extended gluteus maximus. No, I’m not the last to pick up on it. In fact, me and my crew submitted an article to National Geographic about it years ago. What is new; however, is the fact that White women are loving it. Eating more steak sandwiches and doing more lunges. Just take a walk outside. Go to your local Whole Foods and/or bar. Attitudes have changed. For the better. It’s cool to have a booty. Shoot, I could go on and on about this topic. I have tons of research documents I could provide you. And I’d love to, but I so much more to say. So I’ll just leave you with this. Jessica Biel. Yep, thank you and good night…

Can’t Be Mad When Other Folks Take Better Care Of It Than Us

When something gets big, people either steal it or try to add on (pause you dirty minded…). Our Hispanic, Asian and Indian brethren have gladly helped to do the latter with Hip Hop culture. I mean, some of them are the kids of those business owners in the neighborhood. That couple that had the grocery store, yeah, they had a kid. And he/she grew up with us. Once some of them got older, they entered the family business – entrepreneurship. Walk into a store to buy kicks and clothes. You may be surprised to see that it’s owned by Asian cats. (Shout out to Re-Up out in Boston!) Others go against tradition and just hop right in (pause) to our culture wholeheartedly. Like Big Pun and Fat Joe.  Well, more so Big Pun.  Or Miss Info and the Jabberwockys.

So I don’t know homie. In the past, folks just straight bit our style. Now the lines are blurrier than my vision after a few Jack and Cokes. What do you think? Are folks jockin us or is it just a sincere form of flattery?

Seattle – Sometimes I Wear Shades At Night Cuz I Shine So Bright – Washington

Can’t Get a Job Cuz My Name Is Too Black

By Slim Jackson

Every now and then I have the conversation with someone about names. Not nicknames, but government names. Slim Jackson is an alias. If you knew my real name, you’d expect me to perhaps be a preppy white guy that wears polo shirts and khaki shorts. Well, you’d be fairly accurate except for the fact I’m a light-skinned and clean shaven black dude that only intimidates the most suburban and rural. When I was younger and in the inner city public school system, I was often teased for how well I spoke and my name. I sometimes had to break my English and listen in for the coolest slang to be accepted within certain circles. I often wished my name was Ramel, Jamar, Lamar, Jalah, Tayshaun, and you probably get my drift. That was “cool”. At some point, black parents began to move away from “slave” names like Michael, Jeffrey, and Thomas so that they could differentiate their children from their SPF-needing counterparts. I spent time angry at my folks for naming me something so simple and well…white.

But now that I’m a miserable office dweller corporate professional, I couldn’t be more thankful. I’m a recruiter. I look at a lot of resumes and I notice the names. I anticipate an accent when I see certain names on paper. I make that phone call and sometimes I’m actually surprised by how well the person speaks. I know. That’s awful. I shouldn’t stereotype people from other cultures, countries, and continents, but it almost happens naturally. Now if I, as an educated black man, still fall victim to the innate urge to stereotype based on name, I’d figure that it has to be even more elevated for people in the majority. What do you think a job recruiter envisions when he or she sees Funqueefa Taneesha Jenkins or Tang Too Pac on a job application? Rap, 40s, attitude, computers, sweatshops, bad driving? You probably thought a few things yourself when you saw this. No offense if you actually happen to have either one of those ficticious names.

For employers trying to add “diversity” to their companies, the distinct names probably make their jobs a lot easier when they are looking for some pigmentation. For others, who aren’t so fortunate, their names can quickly have them filtered into the unqualified file. I sometimes wonder if my life would be any different if my name were something more “ethnic”. A lot of you will argue life is what you make of it. To a large degree, that’s correct. But in 2008, these names are still in the minority and belong to minorities. Did you change how you sign your name or present your name on paper? Have you went from Shimeek Smith to S. Charles Smith? Do you rock a traditional name like Jeffrey Adams? Do you even think the name is important? I’m curious.

Your Favorite Chocolate Skin Delegate,

Milk in their Coffee? How About Chocolate Milk?

By Slim Jackson

Sowhatiff made you take it, so now it’s my turn to give it to you. It only hurts for a second. Pause…and breath…and Pause.

To date, I haven’t been a man that discriminates. Though I’ve refined my taste like a triple distilled vodka, I still don’t pay too much attention when I see an interracial couple. Black Guy with a White Girl? It’s whatever. Appears to be pretty common. White Guy with a Black Girl, ehh…maybe she gave up hope, was adopted by white parents, or went to a very liberal college, but that’s OK as well. I was in NYC recently and noticed an abnormally large number of interracial couples. Yes, NYC is huge. It is indeed a melting pot. But when I walk less than a half mile and see 5 interracial couples, I do wonder what’s changed over the years.

One thing that has gotten to me is the level of attention and unpleasantries that Black men receive from Black women when they date White/anything other than Black or Hispanic. Sowhatiff has already introduced the subject. Special thanks to her for that. But honestly, what’s the big deal? Most of us, male and female from wherever, want to find somebody that we love and can vibe with. We don’t want to come home and fight everyday with our significant other. That’s simply not the move. Lets face it. Men naturally have more options. That’s not even a horse worth beating while it lays on the ground twitching and etching closer to being reunited with its family in that big farm in the sky. It’s only natural that we will see what’s swimming in the sea, because more times that not, we can do what we want. Women can exercise these same rights if they/you so choose, but for whatever reason don’t. I guess it has something to do with self-preservation of one’s people? But even that is beside the point. I wanted to take some time to refute a few misconceptions.

“A Black man that dates anything else is lookin’ for the easy way out.”

I’ve heard this one many times. Even Sowhatiff has had the thought cross her mind. The logic is inherently negative. Anyone who says this is conceding that Black women are more difficult to deal with, and that it takes a real man to forge a long lasting relationship with a Strong Black woman (You’d think Barack would have bigger muscles and chest hair given who his wife is). Who wants to enter a relationship knowing it’s going to be a Siberian Death Match before one sees the silver lining? It shouldn’t start off as an uphill battle, and if it does, it’ll probably go downhill pretty quickly. That whole “he ain’t a real man” logic is bogus ladies. You need to erase it from your database. We just want to be happy like you do, and not limit ourselves in the process if we should decide to date elsewhere. No, you don’t have to do our laundry, but Katie and Becky are willing to help us maintain a tidy apartment (Who said stereotypes couldn’t be fun when used properly?)

“That n*gga ain’t really Black. Must be from the ‘burbs. Carlton Banks lookin muhfugga”

We’re a product of our environment. If a Black man should happen to be from the suburbs and frequently dates outside of his race, it’s possible that it’s because that’s what he knows. It probably means his parents are fairly successful in whatever they do. You know that if you were married and making the big bucks, you would not be livin’ in the hood. Let’s be real. Your kids would be in a good school and you would have to ingrain “find someone who looks like you” from a young age and hope they stick to it. And any time you try to beat something into a kid’s head, you always run the risk of having them rebel. i.e. Julie with the racist father sneaks off with young Alonzo late in the night for a hotel party. Alonzo is later arrested in Georgia for statutory rape.

“He doesn’t really think that he’s Black. He needs to recognize where he came from.”

This one is kind of a rehash of the first and 2nd points. Difference is what people perceive his standpoint to be, compared to what others think of him. Who you date is not a representation of what you think of your race. It doesn’t matter if you’re a professional athlete, actor, model, lawyer, doctor, or whatever. This isn’t to say that when Black men become successful (How do we define success for that matter?) they all go straight for the White women. It happens that way sometimes, and I know better than to won’t speak on that. However, I can say that social status changes who you are around on a regular basis. Consequently, if you are highly successful and are constantly surrounded by successful people, you will probably have an interest in one of them regardless of race. And before you start trippin’, yes…there are a lot of successful Black women out there who deserve exquisite treatment. I appreciate your hard work. I did watch Something New.

My word count for this entry is gettin’ out of control. If you don’t agree with me, fine. Voice it in your comments. Slim Jackson is only one man. Hopefully you can appreciate my perspective. If not, I know where to find someone who doesn’t look like me that will…just kidding. Luv ya!

Milk in Their Coffee

By Sowhatiff Jenkins

We’ve all seen it. Some people don’t like to talk about. Others will rant and rave for hours. Many people have mixed feelings about it. Some folks could care less about it. Our next president is a product of such a couple. Yep, that’s right. We are talking about interracial dating folks, a topic that is somewhat taboo in the black community. Your faithful writers here at Three Ways have come to give it to you raw. Pause.

Mixed Feelings

**Sowhatiff note: I am not speaking on behalf of all black women…just the coolest one ever. My intent is not offend, but to share. So back off. 🙂 **

Hi. My name is Sowhatiff and I have mixed feelings about interracial dating. There it is. Feels good to get that off my chest. I’m not sure what it is but, my blood boils a little when I see a black man walking arm in arm with a white woman. Ok, I lied. I do know what it is. Rightly, or wrongly so, it is somewhat of an insult when Tyrone chooses Kaitlin over Tyesha. In a world where spotting eligible black men are as rare spotting a bald eagle in, say…anywhere, it makes one wonder, “Why her and not a black woman,” “Are we not good enough,” or, “What happened.”

Seeing a black woman with a white man though, doesn’t evoke the same feeling. For me, I am more curious than anything else, just because I love a big manly black man. I generally chalk it up to her running out of options, and stepping outside the box. For her, its ok in my book. (Yes, this is a double standard. Sue me.)

Why It Hurts

I love black men. I love the idea of marrying a black man and being by his side. Because I am a semi-professional student, my pickings are quite slim. Single, eligible brothers aren’t lining the halls of my university, or anywhere for that matter. As such, I already know that I face tough odds. So when I go to Starbucks, or a local night spot, and see a fine black man hugged up and dancing off beat with a white woman, it feels like the educated black woman has lost again. That “so many fish in the sea” line doesn’t fly here.

Sometimes, I want to ask him, don’t you like black women? You don’t want a strong black woman? Can you talk to her about your plight? Then I catch myself burning a hole in the back of his head looking at him and shaking my head and say, “She can have him, we probably don’t want him anyway.” Or I chalk it up to him being a punk, and that he can’t handle all of this woman.

Let’s Take It Back

Its no secret that back in the day, it was illegal for a black man to even look at a white woman with a flicker of lust in his eye. At some time in history it seems (or feels) like white women became a trophy. I remember when I found out that Sydney Poitier married a white woman…boy was I shocked. James Earl Jones. Taye Diggs. Seal. (its ok, you can giggle at that one). This list could go on, but I’ll stop here. Why? Just cause.

I do understand that socialization plays a part. The demographics of the community you grow up in influences your development. The music you like, clothes you wear, the way you speak, and possibly, the types of people you are attracted to, can be linked to this socialization process. Thus, if you grow up around a homogeneous group (or a diverse group of people) your tastes in the opposite sex may reflect this. But for the everyday brother, what happened?

I know, I know. Inherent in my asking “what happened” implies that something is wrong with interracial couples. And this is where my struggle comes in. I was once challenged by a professor of mine on this very topic. I expressed my issues with black men dating white women, and she said, “I am the product of a black man and a white woman. If you have an issue with them dating, then in essence you have an issue with me.” Then I stuttered and stumbled and tried to explain how it wasn’t the same, and I couldn’t. Sigh.

So instead of me trying to figure out and resolve my conflicting logic, I’ll just take the easy way out and turn it over to you, the good reader, to hash it out. Go.

Are Black Women Really that Stank?

No, not stank like funky.

This past weekend, I braved the lameness that is Philly night life and went out with some friends. It was a little before midnight, but the place was starting to get a little packed. I was standing against the wall watching some Olympic event on one of the clubs fly big screens, when I made I contact with the relatively well dressed black man. He smiled at me, I smiled back politely and nodded, and then glanced back up at the screen. In my supersonic periphery I noticed homeboy still glancing my way, with a look of astonishment on his face. He leaned in and said “I didn’t know black women smiled at black men anymore.” I smiled again, and said something witty about mean-mugging. He laughed and went back to chatting with his boy. A few minutes later as he was changing post up spots, he extended his hand to me, smiled and said “You made my night. Have a good one.”

As I continued to watch the pretty TVs, I thought about what this man said. (At this point in the night, my thoughts were more entertaining than the crowds of people shamelessly dancing off beat.) Are black women really that stank? I know I have to catch myself sometimes and snap out of my tight “don’t say anything to me” grill. But I thought this was something relatively unique to me.

Now that I am maturing and becoming more self aware and such, I have started to pay attention to this. But like dude said, are black women like this across the board? Or is just at the club when we are trying to keep the snaggle toothed busters away? Do we only smile when we are trying to get men to buy us (and the army we came with) dranks? Does the stank look cross all situational barriers?

If it does, something may be wrong here.

First, lets not assume every man is trying to get in those jeans or dress pants. (please see “No Girl, It’s Not that Deep). We are quick to talk about how we can’t find eligible black men and all that. While this may be a reason for the “I smell something nasty” face in theory, it is not that man’s fault he is an endangered species. No I am not saying every man could be Mr. Right, or the next Mr. Right Now, but loosen up a bit.

No one (male or female) wants to talk to a sour puss. Pause. I used to adopt this “I am going to look as stank as I want to because a real man will see past that and want to approach me anyway.” Girl, please. You know you and your girls talk about the broads across the room that are looking all ug and bitter. Sadly, you often do too. So imagine how a group of dudes see that. I can just hear them now talking talking about how silly we look.

Please don’t think I am saying walk around with a Kodak smile at all times. Where I’m from, those smiley faced people get got. Nor am I saying every black man warrants a smile just because. That dude with the tattered pants and non-gangster lean licking his lips at you…you shouldn’t smile at him…or maybe you should just so he doesn’t crazy and charge at you…you make that call. I’m just saying, if someone nods and smiles at you in a respectful and decent manner, it is only polite to do the same. All the eye rollin and neck snapping is not necessary all the time. It makes you look nicer, even if you’re not, and it could serve some positive end. Your smile could make his day. Maybe now he wants to exchange business cards or myspace account names. Or maybe it’ll end there and that will be that.

-Sowhatiff