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Wednesday, January 31, 2007

A Girl Like Me

If you haven't already, you absolutely MUST see this short video "A Girl Like Me" which is a seven minute clip from a critically important documentary that has re-ignited the controversy about race relations in this country.

The young African American woman who is the videographer of this film is 17 years old. You can purchase the entire documentary online.

Be prepared to be stunned. Please do watch this.

And then we have to get a grip, get up, get going, and start all over again.

If the above link is not hot, you may purase the film at


Suzer said...

This video reminded me of a couple of things. First, a law professor of mine, Judy Scales-Trent, wrote an interesting book called "Notes of a White Black Woman." I thought you might want to give it a look. Judy is a black woman who appears to be white, and the book is about her struggle to find acceptance in society -- as both white and black society do not fully accept her.

Second, I was reminded of an incident a friend of ours recently had. She has two young boys in elementary school. They were both raised with Southern manners, and say "yes ma'am" "yes, sir" "pleased to meet you" etc., etc. Their teacher commented to their mother something along the lines of "if I didn't know any better, I'd think your boys were white!" What a revealing comment, made by a black teacher about her black students.

Racism is insidious, and is perpetrated by all of us because of our assumptions and our backgrounds. Racism crosses all color and class boundaries. How in the world do we move forward, when difference seems to be all that is noticed and where diversity is not celebrated, but often condemned?

Jim said...

Suzer's comment about how racism infuses our culture brought back a memory. I was working very late on a hot August evening. About midnight, I closed the office, and left to walk to my car. A group of 4 or 5 pre-teen boys, all African-American, were skateboarding on the sidewalk. I should tell you that in poor neighborhoods, and this was one, it is common for folks to be out in August -- no airconditioning, and frequently no fans or electricity to drive them.

In any case, one of the boys came uncomfortably neark me on his skateboard, I thought he might not miss. As I recovered from jumping aside, unnecessarily as it turned out, the oldest boy (or at least the tallest) took the one who had scared me to task. He said among other unquotable things, "Act your age not your color!"

I stopped in my tracks. The boys and I chatted a bit, I sprang for sodas at the corner store, and part of what I told them was that white kids skateboard, and they sometimes scare pedestrians too. I made it clear I did not jump because the kid was black. We parted if not friends, at least on a friendly wave.

What do we say to a culture that is so inherently sexist, homophobic and racist that the victims believe it? Can a whole country, an entire culture, have Stockholm Syndrome?


Grandmère Mimi said...

Wow! What to say? I honestly don't know, except that this is sad, so sad.

That these young people absorb the racism of others and make it part of their own thinking and judgement is absolutely appalling. That's all I know to say. The video is a shocker, that's for sure.