kymberli ann Who are you?: kymberli ann

Kymical on Monday, February 14, 2000 - 11:19 am:

    i am a black female.
    i know this, but ever since i have been here at the parental hacenda, they keep saying "you might not want to belive this kym, but your family is black." or "tho you try to fight it kym you are black."

    how can i not be black? being black in a pure sense is having a skin pigmentation that is darker. i have done nothing to be lighter. i am not fighting the fact that i am black. i embrace the fact that i am indeed black. but i think my parents are refering to the fact that i don't have black friends. and that i don't listen to "black" music. what constitutes as "black" music? music made by blacks? then i do listen to "black music". Fishbone, Skunk A, Meshelle (can't spell her last name)
    or maybe it is just the fact that i didn't choose a black college and i don't do "black" things. i am not interested in black men. i don't wear black styles.
    i am proud to be black. i am proud because i am the only black punk rock cellist i know. i am proud because i am unique and being black makes me that much more proud. to be black and be involved in things that black people have let themselves be steretyped out of, that gives me great joy.
    but at the same time not being black enough hurts me. i would love for everything to be easy and that i could just lust after all black males, go to a black college and not feel their stares or hear them stiffle guffaws at the way i dress.
    i think i liked being in new york partly because i wasn't such a freak there. the people, no matter who they were, didn't see me as some sort of failure to my race. i met this guy who was playing steel drums in the subway, and i thought he was really cool, and it was like i had found kinship because he was playing classical tunes, and he was black too. and i thought it was neat.

    so why is it that when you are black, you have to act a certain way? why is it when you deviate from that way you are a race traitor?

By Patrick on Monday, February 14, 2000 - 12:02 pm:

    "not being black enough" ????????

    what does this mean?

    You are (substitute real name here) first and foremost, right?

    i know i could be more of a green-eyed individual at times, i know i am not a very good green-eyed person all the time........

    you see my point?

By semillama on Monday, February 14, 2000 - 01:01 pm:

    God! There was an article on this very thing a week or two ago in newsweek! This kind of thing annoys me for some reason, even though it doesn't affect me personally. (Can you imagine the horrors of being told to act "white"? 'ok, son, now go put on some plaid and tight pants. Now go out and take advantage of some less powerful group. Oh, yeah, here's your Garth Brooks albums.')

    Anyway, that kind of attitude seems to me to reinforce stereotyping.

By Jina on Monday, February 14, 2000 - 01:27 pm:

    You know it's funny. That you have to "be" black in America; it's some sort of identity crisis here. But to be black in Britain is to be like any other bloke there. They could care less.

    Not to mention that they have some of the greatest black comedian actors around.

By Rhiannon on Monday, February 14, 2000 - 04:19 pm:

    I don't know about the Britain part. I say this because we got a new book (a thick one) about the problems with racial integration in Great Britain. That's my evidence.

By mistaswine on Monday, February 14, 2000 - 06:29 pm:

    i lived in london off and on as a child/teenager.

    england has the same problems with race that america suffers from. possibly to a lesser extent, but they exist nonetheless.

    last time i lived there (holland park, '86 to '87), paki-bashing was the media's racially-based social ill of choice.

By semillama on Monday, February 14, 2000 - 06:41 pm:

    Everyone hates their neighbors and look for any excuse to justify it. Irish vs. Irish, Ethiopian vs Etrirean, Sunni vs. Shiite, American vs. American. It's all a crock.

    It's important to know your culture, but in America, you end up haivign all sorts of sub-cultures before you're through. Ain't none of them any more important than the others.

By Kymical on Tuesday, February 15, 2000 - 12:58 am:

    my belief is that i am indeed kym first and foremost.
    but it is something of a threat to the african american culture that i do not always participate in the things that have been deemed black.
    it is like being a gay black male (i heard this on the radio) that the gay black male has no real social group. within the black community they are not embraced, because the black community is very interested in the continuing of procreating the race. so gay men are not at all liked or respected most times, and in the gay community, they are seen more as a novelty off-handedly speaking. where is the gay black male to go? the r&b and hardcore rap that a black male enjoys is littered with anti-gay messages. what music do you listen to?
    i think that by being a black female and not fulfilling me (what feels like a predestined) role, it is taken as disgrace to my elders. i am breaking down the probability of procreating the black race. i am of no use. my mother has a stronger view of it than my father. he merely works to get the point across that they feel this way. it is a strange feeling when your family is adamant in telling you that you need to "have more soul" or to "act black, stop acting so white." automatically because i don't act white and i have some mannerisms that have been associated with white people, i am "acting" white.

    it hurts. my mother has told me in the time i have been here that she feels she has failed in raising me as a "black female."
    what does that mean? how could i be a disappointment? i have a high i.q. i am good with people, i make friends easily. i am kind natured. i haven't been too promiscuious. but these parts only fulfill half the bill, being a strong female.
    to be a strong black female i need to do something else.
    all i have ever tried to do in order to stop being black is trying to get my jobs and other opprotunities because i am able, i am best suited for the job, not because i am a black female. i have done everything in my power to be the best at the things i go after, because i don't want it to be given to me out of pity or out of some stupid quota. i want to earn it.
    the whole black college thing my father made a comment about saying that "if you didn't spend all your time trying not to be black....."
    this man raised me to not care about race and to above all be true to who i am....not who the black race is or the white race is. who kym is. being black is a part of it, true. but that isn't the only thing that defines me.
    it pisses me off the longer i am under this roof, because i can not make any comments about it to my parents.
    i always want to ask them "what will it take for me to finally be black enough for you?"

    as far as the isle is concerned, they do have the same issues with race as we do here. i had a friend from Africa and she told me that her cousin was not allowed into the country to visit her aunt who lives there, for 3 weeks. they kept him at the airport asking his bussiness in the country, and trying to get him to go back to africa, while nothing hostile happened, it isn't exactly the treatment you get if you are a black-american coming into the country. cause there you are just an american, nothing more. so they treat you like they treat anyone from the colonies.

By Daniel ssss on Tuesday, February 15, 2000 - 12:59 am:

    "Ain't none of them more important than the others." Yep.

    I get grief from white guys here in the US MidWaste that I look like an old hippy biker, and when they find out my post doc was in medical and legal documentation and that I am an international consultant, they guffaw. And the Harley riders don't like it that I've not been on a bike since 1972. The suits don't like the way I braid my hair.

    Then there are the wannabe Indians I have met all over the world who question why I wear my hair down to my waist in the eastern Cherokee tradition, and they object to my being Black Irish and not Indian enough, or Swedish and not blonde enough.

    Then there are the Cherokee who ask, if I grew up with the Seneca, how come I don't know any Seneca Indians. And the healers who don't question what I do or who I do it for or why I do it; they judge me on my actions and results. But I will never fit in because I wasn't born in a tribal setting.

    And my boss, untreated codependent social worker that she is, asks: how come if I am a psychotherapist and not a pharmacist or MD, why am I giving inservices on herbal medicines interacting with pyschotropic meds, and what is this about you drumming and doing soul retreival work? Did I mention I never took a counseling or social work course in my life?

    Lastly, there are the sorabjites who question what the hell I am doing here...

    Ah the paradigms you'll climb, to paraphrase Dr. Zeuss. Let's make a whole new one, one without walls or obstacles, one without pretense and prejudice, one without hate and fear and abject poverty of spirit. We can, you know, we can.

    A red man at Acoma told me "Daniel! that's my name too." My friend and chief of the Flandreau Tribe in Dakota told me "Daniel, you are a wonderful child of the creator." And these meant alot to me. Respectfully, Daniel

By Gee on Tuesday, February 15, 2000 - 01:12 am:

    one time my mother went to see a "healer" and he told her she couldn't stay because she wasn't a Real Indian cuz her skin was too pale. She was devistated and totally turned her back on all things injin for a while.

    luckily she came to her senses. She knows who she is and that's the most important thing.

By Patrick on Tuesday, February 15, 2000 - 11:03 am:

    "this man raised me to not care about race and to above all be true to who i am....not who the black race is or the white race is. who kym is. being black is a part of it, true. but that isn't the only thing that defines me."

    tell you folks this, if you haven't already.

    also, i think you and/or your folks might be confusing personality with cultural heritage. This whole, "be more black,white,gay,straight" is a fallacy to begin with. If anything, it denies you the freedom, individuality and identity your culture and many others have strived to obtain.

    Fuck the mannerisms, thats about the silliest thing i have ever heard. It's almost like they are trying to get you in-line much like oppressors of the past sought to get blacks to behave appropriately for the white culture. Cultural heritage can be celebrated regardless of how one individual combs his or her hair.

    You don't deserve this kind of guilt for being who you are.

By Jina on Tuesday, February 15, 2000 - 06:04 pm:

    I had no idea the British were just as cruel. I should have known. I guess I've just never seen any evidence before. Thank you. Never would have thought they would have a social constipation towards black people. Hmm. Black people are so beautiful when they have those Startling blue eyes.

    Patrick's right, you don't deserve the guilt.

    My skin color is light olive. I've never received any grief by it because it's not as noticeable, I just look tan all year around. I kind of know how the parent thing is. Some things are impossible to get across Kym, and that's how it'll probly remain. My mom will never understand that in order to receive respect, she must give it. I've tried, but I know it'll never happen. She'll never give in. She holds that shield that shouts 'I am mother, and that breaks all the rules'. I don't know how your parents are, but maybe their ignorance is doing to them just the same.

By Isolde on Tuesday, February 15, 2000 - 06:39 pm:

    Thank you, Patrick.
    My cultural heritage is so mixed anyway I've never even bothered to try and "be" one race or another. It's pointless.
    You should be able to define yourself as who you are, Kym, not by your colour--it doesn't matter how you act or what you do/wear/whatever. What matters is you, not the stereotype. You don't need to fit that.

By Daniel ssss on Wednesday, February 16, 2000 - 09:20 am:

    Gee, did you ever get any flowers? Just wondering.

By Gee on Thursday, February 17, 2000 - 01:32 am:

    Why are you asking me that?

    No one ever gave me any flowers. But I'm confidant someone will someday and I will be happy to receve them.

By Daniel SSSS on Friday, February 18, 2000 - 12:27 am:

    Gee, I read your post saying you thought it would be cool but had never received flowers -- some time ago -- don't recall when -- and I was curious. Why? I recall thinking it so different from my younger days, for a woman not to know the scent of flowers sacrificed for her as a gift of fleeting beauty. Flowers were such a part of my college years and have been ever since.

    I've read your posts and you're a nice write, sincere, tasteful, and smile provoking. And I'm happy that some reasonably tasteful allegedly sincere comment from an unknown voice makes me smile, and think, in the middle of midwestern night, "That girl has spunk and smarts." When I read your "soul/substance entry" reply to my posts yesterday, I just thought I'd ask about the flower thing.

    No harm intended. Didn't mean to cause such a controversy. I am confident you will receive flowers -- and much more -- someday. If I had yr email addy I would have asked you that way. After my disclosure to the networld of Manny's street address, I doubt anyone will give me an address to send flowers to...

    You say your mum is Indian above. Thank you for responding to my posts in a humane way. It sounds like you know who you are too. That's refreshing. You're not all self-absorbed. I deal with controversy all day long, and don't need it here, don't want to provoke any either. J thinks I was being cruel and Sarah thinks there's twisted subtext.

    I'm lost by these comments.

By J on Friday, February 18, 2000 - 11:18 am:

    I just said I was sorry on another thread about this I,ll say it here too,I,m sorry I misunderstood what you meant when you posted to Gee.I am sincerely sorry.

By Daniel SSSS on Friday, February 18, 2000 - 06:43 pm:

    Accepted. Thanks.

By Kym on Friday, February 18, 2000 - 08:47 pm:

    kym would like flowers!

    but then again i have gotten them before. but sometimes i wish that i was more selfish when i actually had money and sent myself flowers. because the flowers i have gotten (twice) looked kinda like ones you would send to someone in the hospital to get better.

    i would send myself cali-lillies or irises...i like sleek elegant flowers and gladiolas.

    i have never been able to accept the thorny beauty of the rose. so iam glad that valentine's day i remain single. i think i should start making that more of a thing that i strive to do rather than happen to do.

By Gee on Saturday, February 19, 2000 - 03:25 am:

    roses are what I would like. Simple red roses. maybe half a dozen as I think a full dozen would be too overwhelming.

By Daniel ssss on Sunday, February 20, 2000 - 03:04 am:

    in undergrad I lived opposite a small truck farm where I could get a handful for 50 cents and an armful of fresh flowers for a couple bucks, and Mrs. Webb the gardner might wrap a little ribbon around the bundle if she liked you. I never stole flowers from her, always paid her, and always got a ribbon. She'd sometimes ask what my lady friend would like, and I would like to recall she picked flowers based on my description of my date, but may be that's just how I remember her interest.

    that's at least part of the reason flowers are meaningful to me. The farm was paved for the much needed parking lot a year after I graduated, and I don't know what happened to Mrs. Webb.

    Kym, on my first trip to Tucson for a soul retrieval workshop with Sandy Ingerman I was gifted with an exotic flower of a variety I can't recall, just one, a long stem and absolutely gorgeously huge gonna eat your cat type blooming thing, that was really special. I like desert flowers but know little about them.

    I actually like flowers for dessert too, as on a cake. Careful what you eat though, esp with the sprays on commercially grown. I only eat what I grow or pick from my herbal teacher's farm. Pansies are wonderful cake decorations and great food. Some others I make tea. Calendula and rosehips and rose petals and pansies and red clover and german chamomile and sheep sorrel are my favorites to eat. Blue iris with heather are my favorites to look at. I like the salmon and yellow roses - used to grow several different varieties back in the 80"s when I used to grow many different *things*. No garden at all now, but I wildharvest some things.

By Daniel SSSS on Sunday, February 20, 2000 - 03:07 am:

    There's the screechowl outside my bedroom again tonight.

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