This here is another case of not being "Black" enough for the African-Americans and not being "Spanish" enough for the Latino's. I discovered this at one of the colleges I attended some years back (a brief stint), where the majority of the student body was mostly Latinos and African-Americas with sprinkles of everything else. I being a dark-skinned Latina am no stranger to people assuming that I am African-American, that is until the Spanish language started spilling out of my mouth. Once that had happened, I was no longer a valid specimen and my Latino counterparts did not find me to their liking due to the fact that I did not speak English with a Spanish accent. It's true, I don't say jes; I say yes. I'm not saying that to knock anyone, simply that's just me. Can I be an individual? Can I be me?
This here is a rant. I don't know why I let down my guard. It appears that letting down my guard is only good for letting something or someone bite me on the rear. So here it is again. Years later after having mentioned the upcoming release of the movie "Black Dynamite", all hell broke loose and that all too familiar spasm of "I'm Black and your not" has resurfaced.
Fuming, I would first like to say that anyone can go to the movie theater and watch whichever movie they so desire regardless of race, color, creed, national origin, ancestry, sex, marital status, disability, religious or political affiliations, age or sexual orientation (in case you didn't know). Second, I would like to remind you that some of the smartest people on the planet never sat a day in their lives in a college classroom, yet college graduates walk around absolutely clueless on a daily basis. You may be one of them. Therefore, my lack of sitting in a classroom that discussed Blaxploitation films does not mean I am beyond understanding the "real" meanings laced in movies like "Black Dynamite". I can understand your wanting to claim certain things under your ethnic group, trust me I do. I myself am guilty of said action and am always happy to say "and she's Latina" or "she's one of us" type remarks, to show pride and ownership of things I feel proud of. So yes, I get where your coming from. However, that does not give you the right or the pass to act the fool. This Latina is quite aware of the ghetto, drug dealers, ethnic slurs, and yes, even pimps. Believe it or not, I too watched Foxy Brown and I too know about the "five on the black hand side". But those truly are trivial things. I would like to think this wasn't as big a deal as you had made it. I was simply talking about the release of a movie come this Friday.
And yet that is still not enough.
You tell me that I don't know what it's like to be Black in America. Oh but how I do! When most people see me, they see a Black face in America. They do not think that this dark-skinned woman is Afro-Latina (and take note: the 'Afro' in Afro-Latina, but I won't go into that). They do not see a Mexican in America. They do not see a Panamanian in America. They do not see a Colombian in America nor a Puerto Rican in America. The see my skin and there have been times, many in fact that I am treated unfairly because of it. I never attribute this to being treated Black. I attribute this to being treated lesser than. I attribute it to being treated like the minority. While I am not telling you that you should see it my way, I am saying that I do know what you are talking about. I am saying that I do get treated like I'm "Black", but what the hell does that have to do with the type of movie I decide to watch? What planet do you hail from that you would believe that the Japanese are the only ones going to see anime or that the Russians are the only ones that go to the ballet? Do you really believe that belonging to a particular ethnic group means you automatically have a complete and thorough understanding of your own culture? Really, do you?
Finally, I do want you to understand that I am not boxing in your ancestors struggles or your struggle or the struggle of the Black person in America into the one huge box with that of the Latinos. I am aware that there are differences, but just keep in mind that the struggle, each struggle of each "minority" (minority being quite debatable in this day and age) group should not be working against one another, but working at least towards the same goals. I dare take you back some years and remind you how this idea isn't new nor unheard of. As a matter of fact, I dare say it's still worth it's weight as far as being an excellent strategy. Remember the Black Panther Party (Oh yes, I know about that too), it at one time was the only organization that Latino's knew about. It was and became the model for the Young Lords Party. While separate, they fought the same battles. Hence, I dare you to do the same and put aside the petty thinking of whether or not a Latino or Italian person can see a movie such as Black Dynamite and join in on the bigger issue at hand.
Side note: I never intended on seeing 'Black Dynamite'.