So Stereohyped had their two editors do a couple essays exploring what "the black experience" means to them. I personally think all editors of blogs, certainly ones that rely on the subjective tastemaking skills of the writer/editor, should indulge this exercise, it's great.
I left a couple comments because both raised interesting underplayed, in my opinion, questions w/ regards to the black experience.
Lauren (who I've interviewed), raises the dynamic of gender and sexuality in relaying her first out-of-black-body experience. In a moment when she's trying to look pretty/cute she is felled (scarred?) by the whole white beauty image issue.
When I jokingly wrote about the Mediocre Black Chick Conditioning Program, some of the feedback/comments made me think about significant differences in the "black experience" for men and women. The universal condition of gender/sex/sexuality influences how we receive and respond to our "blackness".
In other words, I think black women have the blackness more tied up in the american beauty complex. But you don't hear as much about black women, say, going to jail for holding a DVD. Which opens up a whole other bag of worms.
I was also struck by Cord's essay, one which he says was triggered by repeated questioning of his "blackness." Of course, for the most part, that "indictment" being tossed at educated "assimilated" black people is a familiar trope. But while Lauren raised the question of gender differences, I thought Cord raised the question of ultimate comfort level with said "blackness."
We all deal with existentially questioning ourselves, but black people can often have that framed in the context of their "blackness," and since the existential angst goes away, i wonder if being resentful of your black experience[s] can be permanently problematic, forever unresolved.
Anyblack, check them out if such explorations intrigue you.
Lauren Asks, Am I Black Enough For Ya [Stereohyped]
Cord Asks, Am I Black Enough For Ya [Stereohyped]
True Negro Confessions