Good evening to those that are reading this now – and if you’re late and reading it at a time that does not rest in the bosom of the evening…then either wait to read in the the evening…or put on some shades.
It has been awhile since any writer for kennethology has written/submitted anything for the blog. I have not been hard pressed to request anything either. There have been times when I’ve made slight mention of wanting someone to submit something, but sense I hadn’t been writing anything…i just left it alone.
This was really because… as it pertains to social media, we were pouring out to the masses regarding all of the racial injustice and unrest nationally/internationally. It was just too exhausting. One of the things that became increasingly lame was having to repeat ourselves in the way of educating a huge demographic of whites that were completely clueless on terms and social behaviors that are backed by statistical data and personal experience. We are well-versed because it matters to us. They typically don’t know because it only affects them when we (the blacks) are accusatory to the power-holders in this country….then and only then do they want to chime in…and typically they’re shooting from the hip – and they’re shooting blanks at that.
While talking to Tina the other day we came up with a good idea!- the kennethology team will do our due diligence in adding a tab to address “FWRs” (frequent white responses) – so when people are poppin’ off at the mouth, we can just link them, let them catch up to a minimal level of knowledge so that we can at least have a decent conversation regarding race in America. This tab will include frequently used terms like: racism, prejudice (there’s a difference), micro aggressions, marginalization, cultural appropriation, gentrification, and prison industrial complex.
As much as i would hope this would help others become more knowledgeable…in the end I have little to no hope that anyone would read it and become enlightened. More often than not, they’ll read in order to manufacture a rebuttal – but at the end of the day, at least we don’t have to re-type everything…because at this point I’m standing at the finest of lines. This line separates the ken you’ve known, and a descendant of Seales and Newton.
This fine line created in black sand with with the white sand of an hour glass.
***don’t ask me what that last line means, it just sounded dope when i said it in my head***
I’m over the stigma of black people’s names being ghetto….and I admit that I used to be guilty of that mindset. If I came across a Marquise or a Jamesha, I would think “Why would their parents do that?” – This mindset of course powered by the thought that names that clearly reveal that you’re black are taboo and unprofessional. Which of course is birthed from the thought that blacks are unprofessional. We take lightly and laugh at the notion that some people don’t get hired for jobs or called back for interviews because they “sound” like they reside in the housing projects…THIS IS NOT OKAY. I have indeed had a great change of heart. This change is a result of me maturing and embracing who I am, and black american culture as a whole.
At work I had three young women that I had to work with from time-to-time. They’re names were Shanique, Tranesha, and Jameque. Two out of the three resented their names. They felt that their names were ghetto and that they wouldn’t be taken seriously. They’re feelings were valid – unfortunately the majority of you reading this post, if you saw their name on something, would write them off as “ghetto” – and assumptions regarding their personality, work ethic, and professionalism would come into play. ABC News actually did a piece on “Black and White Sounding Names” and research found that by names alone, white sounding names on resumes/applications were downloaded 17% than black sounding names….tsk, tsk, tsk. I had to encourage these young queens to embrace who they were fully, and if they’re names revealed that they were black – AWESOME! It’s better than being named Kenneth Bradley (me) and showing up somewhere and someone serving you a look of disappointment because you’re not who they expected. Believe it or not, that happens more than you think, and when it happens it makes me want to exude blackness and be Bryant Gumbel at the same damn time.
This piece goes out to all of the Dameions, Trayvons, Shawandas, Darrells, Keyshawns, Jamelles, DeAndres, Keyonas, …wait there’s a site dedicated to this that also makes fun by adding extremely stereotypical sounding names as well ( click here ). I mean, it makes me wonder if the “Pipers, Hunters and Apples” are being unfairly treated – or accepted as just hippie-sounding white people names that are ok.
I’m not crazy….I’m more like “Psycho Adjacent”
Seemingly always sitting on the proverbial fence of sanity is exhilarating. Who’s going to summon the inner Dexter today? No, no…I’m not a serial killer…in it’s literal sense. I’m more like a precision assassin with my words. Words that all too often do more than just injure….words that kill. Words that are the pure antithesis to life-giving. When I feel myself teetering to the side of tranquility someone or something keeps me on the fence. When I feel myself being pulled by the gravity of instability…the measure of God that is within me, keeps me balanced. Usually I’m one snide remark away melting someones emotions…especially in this season where race matters are heightened. I don’t know how long you’ve been reading “Kennethology” but even prior to Ferguson, I’ve been one to talk about and discuss the fallacy of “post-racial” America, and keep people abreast of actual datum, while attempting to not be subjective due to subject-matter.
I never knew how sensitive I was regarding injustice – until recent happenings have brought me to real tears. Until recent happenings have made me realize that I’m psycho adjacent. Recent happenings have brought me to a point of prayer for guidance regarding my part, and role in all of this. This is well beyond social media posts…my call to action has been made….and I’m answering it. If you’re interested – shoot me an email. Serious inquiries only.
Let progression begin.
The movie opened in select theaters nationwide on the 17th of October. I had been anticipating its release since social media got ahold of it, and inspired #dearwhitepeople tags on things blacks would point out that was either racist, or annoying that white people did. We haven’t had anything like this since Spike in the 90s – this to me was going to be “School Daze” meets “Higher Learning” (i know “Higher” was not a Spike joint too btw).
I got back to Washington – found 1 of the 3 places it was showing in Seattle..and got there early. After getting my popcorn and glass of Malbec (#78 of things bougie blacks love: wine in movie theaters), I found my seat in a very…very empty theatre…like, i was the only person in there…good thing 3 of my friends showed up to watch it, because it was only us 4 in there….period.
The movie got underway – it was filmed very well. The cinematic layout and timing was great. They slowly brought us into the narrative and then began to leak sub-plots. The inner-conflict that some of the characters were dealing with were displayed well. Tessa Thompson became one of my favorites, and I hope to see her in more movies. Whether it was her being Huey Newton’s first seed, or dealing with her relationship issues..she sold whatever she wanted, and i bought all of it.
Dear White People was a movie that needed to be made. It touched base on the modern racial-America. And if nothing else, would serve as a good place to start conversations on race, prejudice and tolerance. My boy that saw the movie weeks prior to me seeing it said that white people were actually getting up and leaving the theatre. I don’t really know what to say about that – because by the end of it, the movies laces were tied pretty well….and it spoke more to harmony than anything.
– Kenneth Seales