Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Obamas present a new kind of Black family  

There's a really thought-provoking article on, about how our new first family is presenting an entirely different image of a Black family than what we, as Americans, are used to. Think of how Black people are presented in sitcoms - they are often the comic relief, placed ever so carefully next to White characters so we can laugh at the contrast between Ebonics and the Proper English Language. Jamaal Young, a New York Press columnist, was quoted in the article:

"They are not here to entertain us," says Young, a New York Press columnist. "Michelle Obama is not sitting around with her girlfriends saying, 'My man ain't no good.' You're not seeing this over-sexualized, crazy black family that, every time a Marvin Gaye song comes on, someone stands up and says, 'Oh girl, that's my jam.' "

The Obamas also challenge existing stereotypes surrounding relationships between people of color, despite stupid comments from irresponsible news stations (ahem, Fox News). There are prevailing notions in our society that all Black men are irresponsible and violent bastards who beat their wives, knock them up, and then leave. And Black women are unintelligent and hypersexual beings to be fucked, but never married.

But Barack and Michelle are the model image that Black is beautiful. They force ignorant Americans to challenge the racist stereotypes that they cling to so dearly. CNN writes, "Several black women actually sighed as they talked about how much Obama seems to touch his wife and exchange soulful glances with her in public. They said Obama will show young black men how to treat women -- and young black women how they should be treated."

What next?

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2 comments: to “ Obamas present a new kind of Black family

  • January 22, 2009 at 7:59 AM  

    Excellent post! The Obamas are a model family for all of us, black, white, straight, gay...we all can learn from their example of treating one another with love, respect, honor, and dignity.

  • October 21, 2009 at 1:06 PM  

    "They said Obama will show young black men how to treat women -- and young black women how they should be treated."

    I must say, that as a young man, it somewhat disheartens me to read that line. Okay, so the men are supposed to learn how to treat women, and the women are supposed to learn how they should be treated? Because of course, the way they treat men is just fine! Women don't have to change anything at all! They just need to sit back and get treated rightly without any sort of initiate action from their side!

    Why can't both sides learn how to give and get respect?