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Monday, March 17, 2008

Stereotypes Folks Love

There is an ever expanding number of blogs about "stuff" various people love. The most high profile is the fairly young (less than four months old) Stuff White People Like.

Black folks were not to be left out. We now have

In that spirit Fly Funky Diva compiled two lists; Stuff Educated Black Women Love and Stuff Educated Black Women Hate. On her list of Stuff Educated Black Women Hate, she lists:
Tacky Christmas decorations, Tiffany “New York” Patterson, racism, video vixens who write tell-all books, any music/movie/television show that sets the race back several decades, rain, baby mama drama (maybe a baby mama, but definitely no drama), Black female reality tv characters who perpetuate stereotypes, gold teeth, singledom, technicolor weaves, Black men who exclusively date non-Black women, being labeled as angry, stereo types, chitterlings, run over shoes, anything that can be labeled as trite, ‘bama, or ghetto, men who have no business approaching them but do so anyways, BET (with the exception of the BET awards), gangster rap, kanekelon hair, condoleeza rice, war in Iraq, genocide in Sudan, HIV/AIDS epidemic, Nelly’s “Tip Drill” music video, the “down low” phenomena, any EBW who is flyer than them

On her list of Stuff Educated Black Women Love ( she wrote an entire paragraph for each item on the list, too much to list here, so go read the whole thing over at Fly Funky Diva):

28. The ‘Two Step’ (and not Ciara's version)- You will never find an EBW “bustin’ out” on the dance floor, “droppin’ it like it’s hot”, or laying on the ground doing the “cry baby”.
27. Africa- EBW’s are in love with Africa the romanticized idea, the unrealized fantasy, and the Motherland.
25. Exclusive Affiliation- We don’t like exclusive organizations. We love them! We swear by Black organizations with rigorous admission standards as a means to validate our status in Black Society. Exclusion is a time honored tradition amongst Black Women.
23. Black Weddings- An EBW loves herself a Black Wedding! Black weddings celebrate all the values and joys in life that she holds dear;
21. Sushi-EBW’s love sushi. It’s cosmopolitan, light on the waist line and sooo delish!
17. Travel-
16. Paying Exorbitant Prices for Ordinary Things
15. Bohemian Men
14. Financial Independence- Despite the fact that for some of us EBW (NOT ME), our secret ambition is to marry a well-off Educated Black Man, quit our job, have babies and become a PTA/Jack & Jill/ Soccer mom, until then, we are wiling to climb the corporate and academic ladder.
13. Negro Geography- Forget Monopoly, an EBW’s favorite game is “Negro Geography”!

11. Competition-
10. The Arts
7.Black Gay Male Cameraderie-EBW’s are open-minded. Not only do we accept a Black Gay Man’s sexuality, we love having them as friends.
5. Networking- If an EBW goes for a week without networking she feels a little queasy.
4. Michelle Obama- Barack Obama is an awesome candidate, but despite his honorable stance on the War in Iraq, health care, and the economy, what an EBW likes best about Barack is his wife Michelle.
3. Their Mother’s Opinion-
2. Flowery Language
1. Educated Black Men- This requires little explanation. What an EBW loves best next to God and her family is an Educated Black Man… that loves an Educated Black Woman

I can find a few things on all of the lists that I disagree with( do we still actually use the word "Daps? and I actually prefer wasabi to tabasco sauce ). That is the thing about stereotypes, they may have a foothold in truth, but that is usually the truth of the person holding the stereotype. If there is anything I have learned from coming into contact with thousands of people over the past year is just when you assume that something is an absolute Gospel truth, someone comes along to shatter it into tiny little pieces.

What happens when you're an exception? What happens when a bunch of folks are the exception? What happens when the majority of folks are the exception? If anything, these blogs are an interesting discussion point and fodder for anyone wanting ideas for a screen play or television series, they thrive on stereotypes. What say you? Are these "Stuff People Like" blogs good, bad, neutral?But it is something different to have a competing set of stereotypes. I don't think I would have as much of a problem with popular culture if the range of types the powers that be elected to display, promote and reinforce weren't so narrow.