Black People : WHITES WRITING ABOUT BLACKS

Discussion in 'Black People Open Forum' started by KWABENA, Sep 15, 2004.

  1. KWABENA

    KWABENA STAFF STAFF

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    Do you believe in the stuff that white folks indicate when they are talking about us? Do you read alot of books written by white folks who THINK they know our culture? I am not racist, I just want to know whether this family pays attention to America's views of African-Americans or not?

    Cedric Denson
     
  2. MrBlak

    MrBlak Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    I grew up around white people and know that even the freindliest, non-racist ones who are not out to harm can have veiws of our community that are WAY OFF. Also many who claim not to be bigots will make comments that ammount to "polite racism" and believe stereotypes. I dont take comentary on black people by white people very serious. On an individual basis, if I find one makes a good insight, I will pay some attention to that insight, but other than that, they dont get my attention.
     
  3. panafrica

    panafrica Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Well Said........
     
  4. AfroBoricuaRoni

    AfroBoricuaRoni Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    yeah man

    Ever read Miseducation of the Negro? All this world knows of Black people are the negative images.

    They publish things about us as if they know everything there is to us. They stole us from Africa, brought us here, brainwashed us into believing we're inferior and however we turned out was the way they assumed we naturally were.

    Not only can't I stand reading it but seeing it in movies like Malibu's Most Wanted and Fakin' Da Funk or whatever the latter is called. I don't remember exactly.

    It's bananas.
     
  5. KWABENA

    KWABENA STAFF STAFF

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    You mean they HOPED that we were going to turn out the way they brainwashed us to be. That is why strong blacks scare them today.

    I don't know about you, but after watching Spike Lee's Malcolm X, I stopped reading articles written and edited by white people thinking they know us. To tell you the truth, I will not read your book or your article unless I really know that you know hot it feels to be black. Nothing is as truthful as the black truth, because those who struggled through time have no reason to lie, especially those who were around in the 30s, 40's, 50's and 60's. Those are the people who you should believe in. We might read about it, but they have seen it. They do not need much reading. I might have to read about the assassinations, but they were there at the times of the assassinations, the witnessed rallies and sit-ins. They were there for the Martin Luther King Jr. "I have a Dream" speech. Those are the people that I believe in.

    Cedric Denson
     
  6. NNQueen

    NNQueen going above and beyond PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I think it's important to read a variety of material written about Blacks regardless of who wrote it. I also believe that it's very important to take what is written about us seriously, but that doesn't necessarily mean that you should believe everything you read either. Weigh your sources of information against what you believe to be the truth and always seek different opinions from people you respect. Discernment and adopting a questioning nature has always proven valuable to me. I would probably say that in my lifetime I've probably read more books written by white people than Black. In my early childhood education up to high school, the majority of books I read had white authors. Doesn't mean though that I believed everything I read and that includes the Bible. To me, it's not so much who wrote it but the content and context in which it was written.

    Queenie :spinstar:
     
  7. Isaiah

    Isaiah Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Queenie, you are so AWESOME! I'm so glad you're YOU! Independent thinkers in this world are so few!(smile!)

    Listen, Brother Cedric, this is an excellent question... I don't think some of the responses to you were well-thought out, but excellent question never-the-less... As Queenie said, you cannot just discount a book written by a Causcasian about African people... It would be a major error to believe that these folks ALL just spew venomous tall tales about our people... Let me put a few authors out there as an example...

    Wiliam Loren Katz, and his Black Indians/Black West books are superb, and do a lot to correct the mis-tellings and distortions of history in America...

    Herbert Aptheker, dispelled the notion that Africans never rebelled against their enslavers by documenting 300 Negro Slave Revolts in his book by the same name...

    Gerald Massey, wrote the classic Egypt, The Light Of the World, and many other books which are absolutely worshipful of African people and culture...

    Count Volney, wrote Ruins of Empires, and Ditto for his understanding of African people and our Culture...

    Leon F. Litwack wrote the book Trouble In Mind:Black Southerners in the Age of Jim Crow, as well as, other Pulitzer-Prize winning histories of African Americans... The guys writting is straight awesome! Take it from me...

    Martin Bernal, wrote Black Athena on Ancient Egypt, which he took massive criticism for because he recognized the recognized African and AFrican American scholars contributions to the study of Classical African Civilization... Again, sheer awesomeness - believe this!

    Dr. Melville Herskovits wrote The Myth of The Negro Past, in which he destroys the notion that African Americans have failed to retain our African traditions... He was taught by Franz Boas, who taught Hersokovits to do the field research that white scholars had, at that time, failed to do... Herskovits ultimately taught his pupils, many of them African Americans, to utilize these methods in their own studies...

    There are many more African scholars who, believe it or not, are not African, and their love for our culture is astounding... Dr. Robert Farris Thompson has been so taken with his studies of the arts of African people that he became initiated into the the Yoruba religion, and basically lives his life in an African context; in the way that he speaks, in the way that he relates to whites... What can we say about that... Whatever floats the man's boat...

    Nevertheless, I think it would be mad superficial and shallow of us to determine that based on skin color, there can exist not affinity for Africans or African people by whites... We could debate the numbers, or even the importance of it all, but to dismiss books written by whites about Africans as worthless trash is to cheat and do an injustice to yourself... Those Scholars that I mentioned up above are only the tip of the iceberg, too... I forget the cat's name who wrote The Iceman Inheritance, but this cat rips his own folks to holy shreds, and many of us loved it... We going to throw his book out because he's white???(smile!) I'm off to the bookstore, yall!

    Peace!
    Isaiah
     
  8. pdiane

    pdiane Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Might I add Richard Poe to your list Brother Isaiah. "Black Spark White Fire" even I read some white authors that tell the truth. Scared of me!
     
  9. KWABENA

    KWABENA STAFF STAFF

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    I don't discount white authors. Let me just say it like this.

    I like people writing about us if those people know what it feels like too be black, know what it feels like to struggle, know what it feels like to be discriminated against, and the whole nine. Then those who have struggled, have had Klansmen approaching them, have witnessed lynch mobs up close and personal, and all that. I just feel that when they are saying something about us, they can think back to their experiences in the struggle, and make their stories as true as possible. I don't care if you have read every single African-Centered book in the world to gain enough knowledge to write about Black folks; If you have experienced that, you were a victim of oppression, then I can believe it. The reason I might not be able to sound as true in terms of this thread as far as writing about blacks, is because I spend most of my time actually talking to people who struggled, battled Klansmen, and such. People who actually witnessed the violence.

    Sorry if I got out of place on this.

    CedricDenson
     
  10. NNQueen

    NNQueen going above and beyond PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Brother Cedric you don't owe us an apology for anything that you've written here. At least, that's my single opinion, anyway. And I understand where you're coming from when you wrote that the race of an author doesn't matter as long as when they write about us, they have had personal experiences about which they write, as a testimony. (My synthesization of your comments).

    But even that isn't all that critical to me either because how many of US have actually experienced slavery in the same way that our ancestors experienced it? How many of US have found something we are willing to DIE for and fight for it every day of our lives? How many of US have actually stared racial hatred in the face watching crosses burning on our front lawns? How many of US have walked down the street and not been able to look a white person directly in the eyes or speak to a white woman other than to shuffle our feet and say, "yes ma'm"?

    I think you get my point. I don't necessarily think that we have to live or experience something to be able to find truth in it. Discovering facts through extensive and honest research and not being afraid to report what you find is the key. We can discover and learn a lot even from those who hate us. Everything written is not always the truth and everything we read about us, whether written by Blacks or whites or people from any other race, should always be weighed against the piece of information we read next. At some point, we will settle on what we believe and hopefully, have facts to back it up, regardless of who wrote it.

    Peace,
    Queenie :spinstar:
     
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