Archive for TWiB

Expanding Black Identities

Posted in anthropology with tags , , , , , on April 17, 2009 by Sunshine Superboy


From my delightful buddies at TWiB!:

Rare Species of Non-Urban Africanis-Americanus Discovered; Scientists Hypothesize Some Blacks May Not Even Be Christian

You know how humans can get born somewhere – a rainforest, or a desert, or a small island in the middle of an ocean, or on a tall mountain – and they learn how to live in that place and they end up producing new humans who also live in that place, or maybe the newer humans move someplace else and adapt to that new environment, maybe learn new customs or a different language or something? Black people are kind of like that.

On the Root, Kenneth J. Cooper asks, “Is anything black about the American West?”

He writes, “You see, too many African Americans – you know who you are – believe real black folks are from the South or the urban North. They’re not from the West, not Oklahoma, not Colorado – where I was born – and certainly not Hawaii, though there are exceptions made for California and L.A. I’ve been hearing it for the 30 years or so I’ve lived on the East Coast
This narrow-mindedness results in part, I think, from our creative imaginations of the black experience, in fiction and film, almost exclusively in the South or North. Historically, African Americans have been concentrated in the South, but major migrations have taken us not just to the North but to the West. By taking a geocentric view of blackness, we cut ourselves off from parts of our history – and even some of our heroes. With a black Hawaiian in the White House, it’s time to embrace an expansive view of the black experience in its full diversity.”

The black frontier experience needs its day in the sun ASAP. For the fashion we’d see on the street, if nothing else.

Right, and what happens when we complicate what blackness even is, or add in expansive perspectives of gender, sexuality, mixed ethnicity or any other category? And wasn’t the first American cowboy a negro? Black cowboys and gay cowboys aside, I appreciate how Mos Def and Talib crack this shit open. Why we limiting blackness to meta-narratives of a particular experience? You know who else is a black star???

Sunshine Superboy


“That Thing”: a white privilege pre-quel

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on February 2, 2009 by Sunshine Superboy

ummm…. What to do when a Jewmaican is too overwhelmed to kvetch??!

… So we have to have a chat. Nah, its not you in particular (unless, maybe it is), I’ve just had the thing come up again and again in the last week and figured its time to broach the subject here. (Ahem, not THE Thing, mind you, since he’s pretty much got his shit together since buddying up with Storm and the Black Panther in the NEW Fantastic Four…)newfantasticfour1 A different thing. And not Lauryn Hill style, either. You know the talk I mean, about that nasty little thing that some of us are better at identifying than others, called white privilege. Sure, its a heavy conversation, so why not lead things off with a little chuckle before I get all People’s Institute on yr asses.

consider this a pre-quel, and I’ll catch you on the flip.

catch ya on the flip,
Sunshine Superboy

Our Year in Blackness (oy! eeeb!)

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 21, 2009 by Sunshine Superboy

Toward the end of 2008 I found myself at a Winter Solstice party which, despite being overwhelmingly white, was really a lot of fun. I say overwhelmingly white cuz it was like myself, two or three negroes, and an arctic sea of white people. And I know that technically not all white people are the same just cuz I can extrapolate from the fact that not all black people are the same

I only really knew one of the other black kids, but we all got to talking in the kitchen, having a black geekout about, ya know, science, politics, sci-fi, comedy… and after swapping recommendations for things to read and watch and sing, one of my new friends told me about This Week in Blackness (TWiB). You can check out the first webisode here I know most of y’all are probably too lazy to click on the orange link, so I’ll just embed some shit here for you to get the vibe of the endeavor. Seriously, I think its a pretty fabulous blog and I think its approps to share it with you Black Mappers. The webisode below is from like a month ago, though I believe its the most recent edition. You can read Elon James’ blog here.

Black Maps Obsessional Black Caucus, what do you think? (post comments below). Oh, and other folks of color and white people, you can chime in too. I just don’t want Black to hold back, but that doesn’t mean brown can’t stick around, and yellow can’t be mellow, nor that the redman can’t get ahead, man, but really we all just waiting for white to do whats right (its called anti-racist praxis. get into it).

(the fun begins at about 4:30 into it. If homeboy had me sayin amen, I’m sure you can enjoy this!)

For now enjoy.

Yr Humble Commodore,
Esteban Sunshine Superboy