Acting White / Not Black Enough?
[1:07:20 to 1:16:42]
Black Is... brings us people who claim they were regarded as "not
black enough" because of how they spoke, the schools they
attended, the clothes they wore, where they lived or the money
they made. But can there be a standard for measuring blackness?
- How many different speech types can you identify among black
people you know?
- Michele Wallace claims the words "You're acting white" is a
charge that can always be leveled against any black person. Has
the fear of "acting white" ever prevented you from doing something
you wanted? Which behaviors and types are held in high regard
among your peers and which are not? Why?
- Do you agree with Essex Hemphill that the lifestyles of ghetto
teen-agers have become the standard or definition of blackness?
What are the ideal characteristics of masculinity as portrayed by
rap and "street" culture? What about "punk"? How have these
models influenced your behavior? Why do you think so many men
adopt a tough, or macho pose?
- What do you think about successful African Americans living in
the suburbs? What pressures do they face? Should they move to
the inner cities?
- How did you react when the 13 or 14 year old gang members said
it's too late for them but they must teach the "next generation"
not to follow in their footsteps? Is there anything our community
can do to help inner city youth take a different path?