Thinking about Blackness and the News

Ugh oh, micro think pieces on Blackness…I’m swamped on travel this week and don’t get to see what’s going on in the world until the 30 minutes before my evening meeting starts. In the interest of decompressing I tipped over to the national and entertainment news rather than getting updates on Ebola and Isis. So, yeah, these are random, in no order of importance.

Raven-Symone rejects the labels African American and Gay. Oprah was right in saying that Black social media would bust a gut. Folks had already got in their feelings last year when she subtly came of out the closet after the DOMA ruling and said, great now she could get married. Black folks, my people, were up in arms!

“Little Olivia is gay?”

Sigh. Who cares? I mean really. I don’t care if she chooses to reject labels. These are incredibly personal decisions. I think a part of our psyche is constantly trying on identities and figuring out what and who we are and how we fit in the universe. Granted Raven is grown, but when I was a kid I decided I wanted to be Marie Osmond. Um, yeah, my parents had Afros and sideburns and picks with fists on them, and here I was trying on the identity of like the Whitest White girl in the universe at the time.

Black heresy.  Maybe Hope was right to snatch my membership card.

I also recruited some little boy, renamed him Donnie and dragged him around like a rag doll prop. At least he was White, so it probably wasn’t as traumatic for his family.

My point is, I do see Raven as a woman of color who subtly came out. She tends to lead a fairly private life for a public figure. I’m not offended that she’s turned in her Black card. For some it seems that it is a rejection of herself; it’s not. She’s just constructed a practical identity for herself that eschews a bunch of stuff that may be core to what we think is Black racial identity and/or sexuality

I have this saying in my on-ground life, ”She ain’t paying my bills, so carry on.”

Let that girl live her life.

A Black foster son was mistaken for a burglar in his own damn house. This story hit news waves in the last 24 hours and you can peep the HuffPost article through the link. Mimi and I talked about this on the “What’s Going On?” episode of the Add Water and Stir.

This story infuriates me. It hurts me so. I can’t imagine what went through the young man’s mind and heart. I can’t imagine what his parents thought.

It’s dangerous to be young and Black. There. I. Said. It.#yesidid

It’s a miracle that they didn’t shoot DeShawn Currie down in his own house. Mess. Foolish mess.

The article describes his parents as being upset by the “insult of the incident.” #understatement Article author Jessica Dickerson could use a swift kick, as far as I’m concerned. The incident wasn’t just insulting; it really speaks to the legitimate fear that parents of kids of color experience. Insult and fear are not synonyms; sure they could coexist, and I can get all huffy in my righteous indignation about being insulted, but fear? Oh that’s a whole different psycho-socio-biological response that may include me hiding under my bed while praying that me and my kid survive whatever misguided, bigoted activity is going on.

What is going on indeed…smh.

I finally caught an episode of Blackish. Hey, I take my co-host’s, Mimi, recommendations. It’s taken me a minute but I finally caught the pilot of Blackish on last night.

Ha! I like it. I look forward to seeing where they take it. There are some intriguing notes about it—Grandpa Lawrence Fishburn is playing the stereotype fussy grandpa who critiques how the kids are being raised and whether they know their Black history. There’s the kids who are trying to fit into their environment, which apparently doesn’t feature many other Black kids. There’s the bi-racial mom who, I guess is going to occasionally get Black carded. And finally there’s the dad who’s trying to break a glass ceiling while still keeping it “real” and living authentically. I think it’s got potential, and I look forward to catching up over the next few days. It was a nice TV follow up after the last episode of Add Water—Black and Bougie. You can definitely see how folks are trying to navigate the perceived struggle of the Black middle class.

I’ll be watching.




About AdoptiveBlackMom

I'm a single Black professional woman living in the DC area. I adopted my now adult daughter in 2014, and this blog chronicles my journey. Feel free to contact me at, on Facebook at Adoptive Black Mom, and on Twitter @adoptiveblkmom. ©, 2013-2022. All rights reserved. (Don't copy my ish without credit!) View all posts by AdoptiveBlackMom

One response to “Thinking about Blackness and the News

  • Future Adopter

    Somehow I missed the convo about DeShawn Currie in the podcast. I actually stumbled on that story yesterday right before your post. CU-RAZY….especially considering this is my neck of the woods. I read it and just had no words.

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