Do you think of your momma or grandma as an “inarticulate black welfare mother with 19 children?” If not you might be surprised to learn that certain–largely white–gays are paying big bucks to have one of their own dress up in drag and black-face as Shirley Q. Liquor, to be the MAMMY they never had but always wanted. What you are about to see is real and apparently this guy makes 75K—to—90k a year off of racism, classism and sexism—masked as satire—of an alleged childhood beloved black nanny.
Lady Gaga’s second full-length album Born This Way opens with “Marry The Night,” one of the most epic pop songs you will ever hear. Clearly aimed to kickstart the album with the kind of massive statement MJ nailed with Thiller‘s ‘Wanna Be Startin’ Something,” “Marry The Night” opens with somber church organ and decidedly pensive vocals before erupting into a blast of synths, and never lets up. It sounds like classic Whitney Houston produced by Max Martin, and it is arguably the best song Lady Gaga has ever released. It’s that good.
Born This Way should crumble under the weight of such a masterful opening salvo (not to mention unbelievable hype), but it doesn’t. Not by a long shot.
So it has come to mind lately that sexuality begins with responses to someone else’s arousing actions. Completely dependent on the first occasions of sexual excitement, sexuality also stands before us freely, not committed to hetero or homo orientations. When we talk about molestation and refer to it as a crime, we talk about adults that pervert the innocence of a child; or applying similar words, we talk about adults that interrupt a child’s normal path to sexuality, while sickly achieving easy sexual satisfaction. Contrasts between deviant routes to sexual activity (molestation) and normal routes interest me because, if I think about it, sexuality is never individualistic. We cannot think about our sexuality without the encouragement of other people to use our bodies in ways suitable for privacy. At best, our disgust with molesters prefers that children develop their sexual personalities with others that are equally impressionable and curious, but they cannot avoid being acted upon.
In 2008, when I first read “Gay is the New Black” on the cover of the Advocate, I CRINGED at its implications. Even as I write, “Gay is the New Black,” it is unsettling because it elides, obfuscates and erases many tensions and concerns. You may be asking, “Why speak about it now, three years after the article was published?” The answer is simple—I feel the need to talk about my concerns and fears on the matter because of the Obama Administration’s legal/political move to position/add gay people as a protected class of citizens.
Dear, Womyn at Irving Park wearing Bert’s Bees,
Over a year ago one of the greatest times of my life came to a close. But closure hasn’t delivered until a year and 8 months later (now). I had the time of my life riding around Lakeview with someone I adored, listening to sexy beast (a neo soul mix), making the seasons romantic. She left softly; spoke little words—gave me a song actually—and left me without understanding. So I listened. It all makes sense now; “I had to set you free, away from me, to see clearly, the way that love can be, when you are not with me.”
Oh no! The folks back home will never stop smacking their lips over this one. As African American Studies grows across the nation, its scholarly diversity does not fall behind. Could white professors be added to the “things keeping Black people down” list? Possibly, but the fall of Black academia shouldn’t be instantly expected. Many of you, with folded arms right now, have already made the fatal mistake of pitting experience as the only knowledge of struggle. Did you hear me? I said that a white teacher can understand why Langston Hughes has to say he knows rivers; or similarly, scream with Nina Simone in Mississippi.
It’s six in the morning and I am asking myself the question, “How do you have a more nuanced conversation about Eddie Long’s sexual indiscretions and misuse of power without demonizing the Black Church or silencing the three young men’s stories by wholeheartedly denying the acts ever happened?” Honestly, it appears as if the conversation is either two extremes.
The first being: “[Most scholarly tone] See, Eddie Long is why I left the church . . . I told you the Black Church was homophobic . . . I don’t do organized religion,” and the second conversation being: “[the voice of my grandmother] We all have our Crosses to bare and just like Brother Paul thorns in our flesh . . . we will pray for Eddie Long.” On a whole, I am trying to figure out what is gained by such a conversation besides hurt feelings and thrown liberal and fundamentalist daggers of self-righteousness.
How do we have a more nuanced conversation
Some of my closest friends are gay, but the pastor is telling me that “God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve.” AIDS is the leading cause of death for African-American women between the ages of 25 and 34, but the pastor tells me that using condoms is a sin because it’s a form of birth control. I live in a world where women are the CEOs of successful businesses and hold high positions in the government, but within the walls of the church, female leadership is often absent. Only 10 percent of churches in the United States employ women as senior pastors. These sexist, homophobic and conservative attitudes of the church are what is causing young people to question their faith, causing Gen-Yers to abandon the church in increasing numbers. Taken from Brandee Sanders’ article on the Root
So, like a “doubting Thomas,” I read Brandee Sanders’ Are Millennial Losing Faith with a somewhat skeptical eye staunchly believing that Black youth do attend church and that they do believe unerringly in the Bible. The saying goes, “You can talk about my Mama . . . you can even talk about my Tyler Perry, but nooooo-body better talk badly about my Jesus.” Of course, in all fairness to Sanders, she does not specifically say she is talking about black youth, but about all Gen-Yers irrespective of race. However, because the article is featured on the Root which is dedicated to telling the stories of African Americans, I think many of my friends and I assumed she was writing about Black youth which prompted me to check her sources—The Pew Study.
Do you remember back in 94’ when you were about 13 years old watching Jason’s Lyric for the first time when you probably shouldn’t have been because the movie was rated ‘R,’ and you were suppose to be cleaning your room? Do you remember the feeling of preteen girl giddiness, one hand over one eye, watching the scene where Jason Alexander intimately rubs Jada Pickett’s feet on the banks of the river? Do you remember feeling not quite right about watching the scene because it was sexually graphic—sex on the banks of some Texas’ bayou—and because your momma specifically told you not to watch the movie, but, being a hormonal sexually curious preteen you watched one hand over one eye anyway? Yes, I remember.
And I remember feeling the same way as I watched the movie, Just Wright, starring Queen Latifah, Common, and Paula Patton. Honestly, I felt not quite right watching Queen Latifah and Common make-out on the silver screen. When Common kissed Queen Latifah, I felt as if I was once again a pimply pubescent girl giggling senselessly with one hand over one eye at a sex scene. It was weird and I know for a fact that I was not the only one in the movie theater who cringed, giggled, shifted in seat, placed one hand over one eye when they kissed . . . saying to yourself over and over and over again, “Something about this is not quite right.”