Now the regular readers know how Skippy Gates gets the side eye from me over his obvious and deep-abiding hatred of his blackness. How ironic then for such an insightful interview to emerge for his Faces Of America series (PBS) with Malcolm Gladwell. Of course, that has to do with Gladwell being a thoughtful and innovative person.
I want to highlight this segment for a few reasons. Gladwell is the author of Outliers, The Tipping Point, Blink, etc and it was his discussion of how we apply ourselves to be excellent that grabbed me at the beginning of my blogging venture. I would concur that anyone who spends 10,000 working towards a goal will become proficient, successful and be a changed person.
This is how more black women can eventually learn to disengage from the dead black community (but seriously…hurry up already). One minute at a time until days, weeks, months and years go by. That’s time that can be spent improving the quality of your life and immersion into a new way of thinking – which will generate untold opportunities. Some may refer to it as “luck” when our preparation and seizing a moment converges.
Back to the video series. Gladwell is the product of an interracial couple. His mother is Jamaican and his father is English. He grew up in Canada (in a Mennonite community) but lives in the United States now. He discusses the skin shade privilege of his lighter-complexioned mother and how even her experiences are so vastly different from his own. Let’s face it Gladwell and Charlie Kaufman could more or less be siblings.
He also mentions how the determination of race and ethnicity of West Indians is so vastly different than the experience of African-Americans. Yet, they flock to live here for a better life and may often be considered the “model blacks” even as many apparently don’t refer to themselves as black. Interesting. This only reiterates the need for AAs to get it together.
I appreciate his acknowledgement and his own awareness of his privilege as a white-skinned person who is rarely impacted by the negative aspects of race. He has noted that the issue of race was far more focused on here (for those that would label him “black” as seen through the lens of the US).
How does this pertain to black women (esp AAs) vetting men? To remind everyone AGAIN that shared melanin is not enough of a tie to bind yourself to someone. Shared history of fighting against white hegemony won’t make a man who hates his blackness and feels disempowered love and honor you. Being the Sista Soldier/Slayer of Evil White Men will just eliminate the largest pool of available men from contention. Besides, Gladwell specifically mentions how his Jamaican grandparents had no issue with their daughter being with a white man [who was devoted to her, offered legal marriage and all the privilege that affords].
Gladwell goes into detail how similar his parents are in temperament and values. That is a core capability. In fact, they’re still married. So at the end of the day you need to be feminine, use your Charm Offensive, behave differently from the vast majority of women (more on that the next Vetting Men post) and keep your special brand of black girl cool without all of the self-limiting, indoctrination nonsense and go get yours!
Here is the link to the PBS series Faces Of America/Gladwell – where you can view at your leisure.