So, I had a VERY interesting conversation yesterday with a good friend of mine. She works in the hip hop industry and was telling me how Burning Man (which I have been to many times) was about to "cross over" with the hip hop community. Apparently a bunch of prominent rappers are interested in going out to the annual festival.
And then we got on the broader question of what was hot, who we were listening to, etc. And she said, "You're my white black friend" — meaning that I listen to rock as well as rap; and that I circulate among folks of many hues.
So I lit that phrase on fire. "Black people invented rock 'n roll," I said. "And being diverse is part of the black tradition. Think of all the black internationalists from W.E.B. DuBois on."
After a while she started laughing, saying, "I knew that would get a rise out of you."
And ... the kicker is ... her father is black; her mother is white. She's had to tote the bale of other peoples' cultural expectations of her. She loves rock. She used to be a COUNTRY DJ, for God's sake!
But still, although she was kinda/sorta joking, she clings to a bit of the idea that idea that being broad minded is "acting white"... feh, I say. Feh!
But, what is white anyway? Tomorrow we're going to tackle the topic of how kids learn about race.
And we came across an interesting, entirely unscientific survey that asks people to mark whether people from certain countries are white. The most interesting thing, to me, is looking at other peoples' responses.
Meanwhile, while I am stamping my black card for the millionth time, this is one of my favorite comedy scenes of all time, from the movie CB4.