There are stories of Germany and Black folk: on the streets, some Germans may want to take a picture with a dark tourist. Since I haven’t been to Germany, i cant really say what conditions have influenced this exoticism. However, I suppose that it can’t be too far from the exoticism that goes on here in America. Select non-Black teens can’t control themselves when in the presence of a Black person; such cultural “admiration” of a culture often leads to the performance of the utmost ignorance.
Earlier this past summer, some suburbanites asked me to take a picture when they saw me on the beach. In retrospect I believe I emulated LilWayne: my hair was in locks, I was wearing a tank top and shades, and to top it off, my shoes rested on my shoulder. The picture was permited, but I did not realize how much of a minstrel show I was. A photo–which is nothing other than proof of an experience–objectified me. My presentation-of-self allowed these suburbanites to probe the unknown, as if they were really in proximity of “the hood”. In other words, they were.thrilled by my reprensentation of the Black community, as informed by the famous stars of the ghetto, as oposed to being thrilled by my aquaintance.
It should be clear that exoticism gives folks the illusion that they can probe humyn beings, as long as the expectation is softened by cultural admiration. Unlike any monument or historical landmark, the scope of interaction with humyns should not be limited to photography. Left without any exchange of my personality, my photographers projected a significance on to my body that only reflects their misconceptions. Therefore, even though racsim seems to be eliminated in the language of a few laws, the conditions remain in the subservient expectations of people of color.