Brad Pitt & Robin Givens (circa 1989)
So, I’m sitting at my daughter’s honor’s program with one of her best friends, Braves-game-ghetto-cheering for all of their ‘The Smawwt One’ buddies. I love this kid! He was all hugged up in the parking lot with his Sasha/Malia-looking girlfriend yesterday who is on her way to UGA to study pre-med, I believe. He plays in the inner-city high school band and was actually in a fairly popular snap music video for a few seconds (below).
When they all went to the Battle of The Bands college fair earlier this school year, they got stopped by members of other bands who recognized him from his cameo. Purportedly, “He got that fire!” Did I mention that he’s white?
That White Kid. Remember him? Not the Jamie Kennedy, Straight From The ‘Bu caricature kid who walked around “acting black” and only saw black folk on tv, one lunchroom table over and at his back door, but the kid who was very aware of his “whiteness” in a sepia-toned world and didn’t care.
Ya’ll know the icons. Paul Wall is charting this week toting on tour a stunning mate who looks like the corner A.M.E Church choir directress:
Says he knew the first minute he saw her that she would be his wife and cared not what anybody had to say about it.
I’m voting to keep Scott Storch simply because of his Philly. Repossessed cars and child support issues ain’t necessarily “black” but it is darn sure Philly, PA (I gots family there), one of the undisputed capitals of Black Man’s World….next to the “A” of course. He stays even if the Bentley don’t. Eminem and Asher Roth might need to sit at The Storch/Wall’s knees and get some lessons about maintaining in this world. Jury’s still out on them. Because it’s so small, has historically been so limited by the laws of the land at large, posers will eventually be revealed and shown the door in Black Man’s World. That true fire? It gets to stay at the party til’ six in the morning, til it’s all over.
That fire is not about “acting” black or white, really. It’s about being true to how and/or where one was brought up and acculturated, regardless as to bloodline. Many black folk are still asked to act contrary to their raising everyday in White Man’s World.
Do you wear them easy-peasy Patrice Rushen braids your mama first put in your head at 4 years old or the less glaringly ethnic Dominican Do-be to get that promotion?
If you were raised in a predominantly white area or taught to speak well back in old school days, have you taken unofficial Ebonics lessons a’la Obama in the “heezy” to “blacken-up”?
See, this highly-publicized, post-racial America isn’t necessarily a realized dream, even as it quickly becomes an Obamacized fact in terms of lineage. Day-to-day socialization? Cultural authenticity and acceptance? We’ve still got a ways to go.
I’m guilty of needing some tolerance lessons. See how I fronted on Asher & The Shady One? I’m guilty. Maybe they are being genuine. I’m skeptical, though, because I know and have experienced the difference. Plus Asher Roth’s ‘Nappy Head Ho’ comment didn’t help score him any points with me. Poor beginnings and/or lyrical endowment doth not equal “blackness” any more than correct speech or academic aspirations equal “whiteness.” True authenticity, that fire, speaks for itself. Ask Mishna Wolff…….and Paul Wall…….and Taylor.
While Taylor and I whooped-whooped Arsenio-style, I thought back to when I was my daughter’s age, when Atlanta was so North/South, White/Black, trying to figure out who the guy like that was in my life. His name is Dave, he’s still in The A and next week I’ll have some funny excerpts from our O.S.A.M.y conversation, a conversation about authenticity…………
Back In The Day In The A.
**O.S.A.M. is a weekly feature on StraightFromTheA.com. We will be turning back the clock each Friday to reminisce about Old School ATL. Are you an ATLien? You wanna share your crazy A-Town Stories? Hit us up at [email protected] with your favorite Old School Atlanta Memory. **