A few days ago I was sat with Mich, my sister and a friend of hers. We chatted about random things and then the topic moved to DVD box sets. We began to question why we never see box sets of black british/African American TV shows such as Desmonds, The A-Force, The Cosby Show etc. My sister’s friend joked that it would be financial suicide to do so as one black person would buy the box set and then make mulitiple copies to loan, give and even sell to other black people. We then carried on to joke about some of the crazy/daft/stupid black people do.
This is not the first time I have laughed at and ranted about my people but in all the times I have engaged in this type of conversation I have done so in the company of other black people or on a few occassions in the company of an all black group with one or two white people who are racially aware and sensible enough to understand the nature and context of the discussion.
What has always been a source of confusion for me is when I am the sole black person in a group of white people and someone makes a comment such as the DVD box set one. Most times the question will be directed at me and I am always unsure how to deal with it.
Should I handle it in a jokey manner like I would when with my people? What if this person takes my jokey answer to heart an then uses it to base a whole heap of other racial stereotypes (you know the ones….”even my black friend said so!”) . Should I go the soulja sister route and question why they directed the question at me and only me? Will this in turn lead the person to think that I think they are racist? Will they become fearful about talking about race in the prescence of black person?
Of course I am well aware that I am not responsible for my people and their actions all of the time but thanks to Bill Cosby I also realise how seriously we value the unwritten code that states that we should not air our dirty linen in public (public = white people). Herein lies my confusion. How am I supposed to reconcille the two views?
Am I the only one faces this dillemma? Any suggestions?
Note: I live in a town whose black population is no more than 50 people – the sooner I find a solution the better