I recently went out to a movie with some non-ADOS but melinated friends and they were poking fun at
their unabashed following of their culture. That is politically correct for : I went to the movies with some Mexican friends and they brought hot sauce for the popcorn and was not ashamed to have done so .(Yes Hot Sauce for the popcorn. [fyi: our Mexican brethren put hot sauce on everything. It’s wasn’t bad,just not for me.] *However, I do love hot sauce on chicharrones*)

The first thing in my mind was “that is so ghetto.…Bringing hot sauce for the popcorn…. Black people
would never, we’d be so embarrassed”…Then
I thought to myself – Why?
Why would we be embarrassed? Why would we be scared to express our cultural idiosyncrasies? Why
do I never ever,ever, ever order the watermelon with my omelet? Have we been boxed in by our own
paranoia to be excepted?

Think about it…. What would black Americans have felt if we saw Barrack and family on the west lawn BBQing some ribs chomping fried chicken collard greens and a pigs feet…. We’d had been so embarrassed, and the jokes would have never stopped (they would probably be hilarious too, keep it 100!).

But we definitely would have felt like we took a step back. Why?
Pride in our Blackness is “how we get free,” to quote Black feminist scholar Keeanga-Yamahtta
.From kidnapping and enslavement to rape, lynchings and prison — African Americans have both
endured and resisted centuries of oppression. But through all that ADOS have salvaged hope and resurrected joy and even had some fun.

Blackness in America is greater than the sum of its parts, crafted from struggle and resistance, birthing joy in the process.One cannot fully understand Blackness and whatever successes Black people have earned in the U.S. without understanding the joy that Black people derive from being Black.Calling joy into existence through resistance. You know,fight the power. So why NOT celebrate that fight, struggle,triumph,and the idiosyncrasies?

I guarantee you that when the first non black/white president is in office,they are going to celebrate their culture as much as they do the country. I see fiestas on the west lawn ,Holi celebrations on the
great lawn, a Totem pole on the front lawn. Special addresses anytime the culture is being highlighted in the country. New additions to their immigrant story with new heroes to praise and emulate. And don’t be surprised if some public addresses are bilingual.

No anger in this observation, in fact I implore the next black President (if there is another one, fingers crossed) to
embrace OUR heritage as well. A little bit more than singing Al Green before a speech( which was cool, but not enough). But really embrace our culture and all of it’s differences and ‘oddities’ that it flavors this great country with!

I want a ‘Family’ BBQ on the great lawn every Juneteenth; I want to see the President at the HBCU Fraternity/Sorority step competition; a push to fund ‘double-dutch’ teams in inner-city schools across the country (low resources high results sport);make ‘hip-hop music production’ an elective in high schools; and definitely be seen on the regular going to Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles.


So family the next time you are given a chance to express your culture don’t be afraid to do so. Bring fried
chicken and collard greens to the company picnic; play that Mary J. Blige song you really want to year on the bar jukebox instead of Jonas Brothers;go ahead and walk around with that ‘good ol’ Louisiana’ in your bag(Our hermanos y hermanas & Hillary Clinton do it) and I will follow my own advice and the next time I am in La Buche Restaurant in Quebec City I will ask for the watermelon with that amazing omelette. Love yourself,love each other, change the world – Peace.

Here is a link to a similar discussion about Black/ADOS culture and the misconceptions of what exactly ‘Black Folks’ don’t do. Give it a look. #killdaecho


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