When I was a kid, in Junior High, there was a teacher I had that was a racist. This wasn’t secret knowledge. Where and when I’m from, being a racist was something that you could verbalize and no one would really care all that much. You were in good company. Anyway, she gave me a side-ways look once when I said that I wanted to be a scientist. I wanted to put chemicals together and make smoke come out of bottles and all that cool stuff. She looked at me, this was after school, when I was headed home after a meeting with the Junior High newspaper staff, after I told her I wanted to be a scientist and she said, “Maybe.”
Then I saw this picture.
If you read my blog, you understand my sometimes conflicted, sometimes obtuse feelings about President Obama. I don’t have much of an opinion of Jay-Z. Not really. I enjoy Beyonce’s music and videos and the way her booty can shake around. But, other than that, I don’t have feelings individually for these people as I do for, say, Halo video games. Individually, these people aren’t that big a deal to me. Collectively, though, this picture almost moved me to tears. Three brown-skinned people, all of them extremely and impossibly successfully, all of them doing what they want to do with their lives, all of them alive and healthy. All of them are married and all of them have children. All these people are pretty, well dressed, poised and collected and wonderful.
People toss around terms like “post-race” and “trans-race” and how we have moved past racism and how Blacks are finally equal. I agree with this. Completely. But, we have to remember that this wasn’t always the case. Very recently, I was the little boy who was sitting in his newly purchased used car, trying to decide if I wanted to work and get my own place, go to college for something I didn’t know what, or move to the beach with my friends and wing it. It wasn’t that long ago that a little Black boy didn’t have a whole host of options. That’s not true any more. That’s pretty awesome.