Keeping Up with the Jonzee still at the right spot.

Friday, June 13, 2008

And yes, they are with me

My 'brother from another mother', Ink, waxed philosophical about his lack of friends of the paler persuassion and why. I get where he's coming from. Absolutely. I have had white friends over the years who were my friends 'for that moment'(college class, table waiting), but looked at me like I was a foriegn creature after the moment was over. It was like they were slumming it or something.

For instance, one of the young women I considered to by my closest friend in grade and middle school, one day was just like, 'we don't have anything in common.' based on the fact that the popular crew didn't do black folks. Next.

Then there was college. My half-asian friend and I were thick as thieves. I helped her lose her 'bowl' haircut and coke bottle glasses, navigate the Big Bad City, and tried to help her find a man. Then a couple years ago, when leaving DC to return to NYC, she told a mutual friend that I was simply not at her level(community developer, harlem living, natural hair sporting, etc). She was too busy trying to look the part of 'Sex in the City' Manhattanite, and trying to keep up with another schoolmate who married rich and was apart of the Donald Trump crowd. Funny thing though. This crowd of friends she so thought I was 'too black' for dissed her and invited me and a few others to the Donald's Christmas party. Next.

So, admittedly, over the years I have grown weary of making white friends. Sometimes it has felt as though being the 'black friend' is 'entertainment purposes only' I'm the sassy black girl on the sitcom. In the past, with some folks it seems like they are looking for me to be the Jaun Williams of their Fox Friends Network.

But, I have three white women in my life who are straight up 'my nuccas'. No doubt. They like me for the content of my character. They approach our culturally and social differences with open arms. They often humbly approach trying to understand my experience as a black woman compared to their own. They don't approach the subject of race relations with the 'Don't you think...? Now tell me what I want to hear.' that often crops up in mixed company. I am not a novelty. I am a confidant and a shoulder to cry on. Someone to get stoopidly drunk with and flirt with the fellas. They are not looking for me to roll my neck or nothing. And they don't for seem to believe that because I am a 'sista' I can fight or some foolishness.

Its a mutual decision to take the road less traveled. We invokes the inevitable stares when we go to the 'black happy hour', or when we meet at the the Irish pub on the whitest side of town, or my 'white friend' comes home to Thanksgiving or I get invited to their cousin's Bat Mitzvah. My 'white' homies, try understand how I feel when someone says something 'ignorant' about black folks. Sometimes they chose to break it down to said person in a way that 'can forever and consistently be broke'--just cause they have had just about enough of the crap just like me. My 'White' friend may not understand my experience and will sometimes debate me about it or present a different view. But its always out of love.

At the end of the day, my kids will probably by calling my white friends 'Auntie' or 'Uncle' just like 'Nee 'Nee and 'dem. And that is the way it should be.


  • At 11:32 AM, Blogger La said…

    I have a relationship like that with one of my closest friends, whom I affectionately call My Favorite White Girl. It could have to do with the fact that she isn't really your typical "white" girl (she's Ghanian, Lebanese, and German). We've never had one of those moments of awkwardness between us. We experience it plenty, like when we went with our other friend (who is also black) to the hood club on the south side of town and thought we were gonna have to fight because all the brothas was checking for her (MFWG got ASS) or when we went out for St. Paddy's Day and all her friends from college stared at me like I just escaped from a plantation (until I started doing jagger bombs with them). It happens. The important thing I think about maintaining these relationships is keeping that open mind about each other's experiences as well as indulging in an extra strong dose of Fuck It. You can't do anything about anyone else's ignorance. You love who you love, whether they get it or not.

  • At 10:18 PM, Blogger So...Wise...Sista said…

    2 of my closest friends, including my best friend since '85, are white girls. And yet I have exactly zero white friends in Bmore. I'm in the market. lol

  • At 1:49 PM, Blogger MacDaddy said…

    All my friends find out right away that I don't take any b.s. from people, especially white people. So the ones who hang with me, whatever color or ethnicity, are the same way. They're what we call back in Georgia "Good people."

    Ultimately, that's all that matters to me: is he or she good people?


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