Being “Black”

So many times we think of this idea of double consciousness as being referenced within differing races (i.e.: black and white).  However, so many times, I know that I have had that awkward feeling of double consciousness within my own family.  The reason being, is that my dad’s side of the family would be considered lower class (in SES), and my mother’s side would be considered middle class.  My mother raised me to speak “proper English.”  However, whenever I encountered my dad’s side of the family, there was that challenge of my blackness.  To my cousins, I spoke “white” when I enunciated––appearing educated.  They would challenge my desire to pursue higher education as though all black were reduced to blue collar jobs and low income housing.  The mental battle of my blackness was constant because of the exposure to different economic cultures.  Furthermore, being younger and I my prime stage of influence, I knew what was true but had to alter my conduct in order to feel loved or accepted.

This challenge within races due to varying economic standings, I believe, have continued to develop.  Personally, that’s probably why we have shows like “Black-ish,” if anyone has seen it. The show kind of shows that battle of double consciousness within wealthier blacks.  Take a look on abc.com if you want to see a glimpse of what I’m talking about (specifically episode 1).

3 thoughts on “Being “Black””

  1. I think that is a really great example of double consciousness. Personally, I do not know what it is like to experience what you did. I have seen similar situations among a few friends. I also see this battle where I have an internship in a poverty stricken area of Richmond. Here there are those who want to find away from the area of their neighborhood, while others considered it ‘acting white’. This is also seen in the way they speak. I have heard people who live there saying they don’t want to speak proper grammar, because that means white people win. It is interesting and sad that language is seen this way.

  2. This was a really interesting and eye-opening read. Making it personal is the best way to understand any material brought up in the classroom. Thank you for sharing your experience!
    It isn’t really something I would consider. This kind of cultural rift (if I may refer to it as such) has been brought up briefly in various movies I’ve seen, but it’s easy to forget that things like this really happen to real people. I personally find the language example fascinating. How much we value the way someone talks says a lot, I’m sure, but I don’t know exactly what.

  3. Hey Cymone,
    I know exactly what you’re talking about. I’m also mixed and had to go through the same thing growing up. I think it’s interesting what mixed people have to think about regularly being in different environments and having to alter the way we speak and our mannerisms in order to fit in. It took me many years to become comfortable with the fact that yes, I’m black AND white, but both sides of my family are just going to have to except me for who I am, even if I do talk like a “white girl” lol

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