Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Some of Her Best Friends Are White

I'm back or am I? Metamorphosed from a Spook into something else. Same intensity, but quieter now, because things are less safe, in this world. 

Notes From a "Post Black" America

Myra Greene is a local artists ( I have posted some of her work) who like numerous Black people have leaped into a world of whiteness.  In her case a conscious choice that she says is based upon her profession and her travels.  

This is strange because when I travel I always seek out those who "look" like me and although this is more difficult in a work environment, I would think it would be easier for a Black artist to find more, "people of color" to connect with. 

I suspect that Ms. Greene is in fact more comfortable around white people due to her historical lot in life. But this is speculation, well sort of, as her latest work is entitled "My White Friends"which is a series of portraits of 50 of her White friends, which certainly is a lot of white friends.  But this makes me appreciate her even more because unlike so many Black folk who are more comfortable in White worlds, she doesn't pretend not to notice, which drives me insane when Black people pretend other wise. 

Ms. Green is not only honest but uses her art to root around to strike that sensitive nerve of all conscious Black people.
"I'm always thinking about race" she says. "I recognize it when I'm the only black person in a room. My white friend will notice I'm the only black person, too. But they don't notice a room full of white people", she states.

Indeed, there are few "safe" spaces and times were Black people do not have to remember who they are, because often their legal freedom and even their very life depends upon this recognition. Trayvon Martin is a case and point, and lets go a little deeper with arbitrary barriers.  On July 27, 1919 a week long race riot was started in Chicago after an Black teenager was drowned in Lake Michigan after being stoned when he floated across an "established" barrier in the water separating the white beach from the black beach. The riot ended after being suppressed by the national guard, leaving 23 Blacks and 15 Whites dead with more than 500 were injured and the homes of 1,000 black families torched.

So I do have a few white friends who I consider more associates, but I notice that when I go to their parties I am the only Black person there and I do consider this a reflection of who they really are past their liberal veneers.

I remain,


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