What it means to be black is a debate built upon limits

For all the talk about whether U.S. Sen. Barack Obama is "black enough" to win the support of African-American voters, one question that has barely been addressed is this: Just what does it mean to be black? To ... Full Story
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BobL

United States

#1 Oct 28, 2007
To "code switch": Amen, brutha!
gina calinda

Mishawaka, IN

#2 Oct 29, 2007
Bravo!
So well stated.
Thank you for a Clear Resounding Message, from the people, by the people, FOR the people!
Finally.
RAC

United States

#3 Oct 29, 2007
Your editors should do a better job at screening such pseudo academic claptrap
from your newspaper.No matter how good the message is,when the reader has to suffer through "fictive" , and "construct" as a noun,the alleged "writer" 's efforts are wasted on this reader. He/she may impress their eager to learn college students but such syntax is reflective of someone who is seeking the attention/approval of the intelligentsia.
M P Jr

Buffalo Grove, IL

#4 Oct 30, 2007
Awsome article and right on point.
Aisha Massey

Romeoville, IL

#5 Oct 31, 2007
Excellent article! Very powerful and positive insight.
don

Glenview, IL

#6 Oct 31, 2007
As long as the congressional black caucus and their liberal supporters in politics continue to insist that race should be the basis for set-asides, affirmative action, college acceptance preferences and other priviledges, the question of being "black enough" will still be important.

Obama had a wealthy white parent and family, and yet was given special treatment in Occidental, Columbia and Harvard admissions. He deserved it no more than my kids would. But those of you who codifed the importance of race will have to live with it now - although it is absoutely wrong.
Denise

Peoria, IL

#7 Oct 31, 2007
"Blacks" as other races were created for social constraints only.

"The black community" did not have the power to make terms,'black' and 'white' terms to be used in the US.

There is no 'black' community than there is a 'white' community. There are millions of people that have different views.
MJH

Columbus, GA

#8 Oct 31, 2007
I agree the article is poorly written, riddled with clichés and stereotypes, and debates points no one is arguing (nobody cares how Condeleeza Rice speaks or dresses--she is simply incompetent, which I must admit I find somewhat embarrassing.)

The point the author misses is this: Does Barack Obama champion issues specific to the black community to the degree that will allow us to overlook his lack of experience and qualifications, and give him our support and our hopes that he will work effectively for our community. I will not just give him the benefit of the doubt because of the color of his skin. I could not overlook Clarence Thomas' lack of qualifications either, just because he was black.

Obama does not campaign as the black candidate--which is good. He is a reasonably intelligent, personable man and an effective speaker. However, if he were white, everyone would have dismissed him long ago. The insult is expecting us to support him just because he is black. That is not enough.
Harriette Holmes

United States

#9 Oct 31, 2007
Bravo!!!!!

For too long people question Blackness just because you are smart and educated. Children are ridiculed for being smart and praised by their peers for being acting dumb. Often we mistake purchasing the new Nike's, Apple Bottoms or Baby Phat accessories for a sign of being Black instead of looking back to our historical genes for a definition of where Blackness should stem from. We do not teach about Booker T Washington, Malcolm X, Richard Wright, George Washington Carver, Garret A Morgan or Dorothy Dandridge. We do, however, teach Andre 3000, Big Boi, Ice Cube, Ice T, Lil Wayne, Chris Brown and so on.

We celebrate a person such as T.I, who currently is a convicted felon and facing felony weapons charges in a federal court and is on house arrest. Our young children desire to emulate his lifestyle. Something is seriously wrong with that. We, however, degrade and continuously disrespect persons such as Oprah Winfrey and internationally acclaimed mezzo-soprano Jessye Norman for not being black enough or using the more popular sayings of being oreo’s or wannabe’s. Something is wrong when we rush to see Denzel Washington play a criminal in the movies and say that is one of the best roles he has played.. Something is wrong!

When we as a race of people (culturally or ethnicity speaking) begin to realize that we already lost one generation and are in the process of losing another maybe then we will realize that only through education can true Blackness be expressed
Karen Johnson

United States

#10 Oct 31, 2007
Thank you. I feel the same way.
Karen Johnson

United States

#11 Oct 31, 2007
Maybe Mac needs to read something else! How about Fun with Dick and Jane. Listen to the message. In the article.
BEM65

Chicago, IL

#12 Oct 31, 2007
I totally agree with this article.We as african americans need to stop this foolishness of stereotyping ourselves on how to be black.I enjoy and speak the correct way of speaking english and I enjoy doing some of the things that quote on quote white people like to do.And we ought to stop with shunning of our own people because they do not speak,dress,eat,drink,travel,a nd etc.etc.the popular way or traditional way of things.
WAKE UP MY PEOPLE,AND HATING ON EACHOTHER!!!!
PEACE....
tnachtrab

Elmhurst, IL

#13 Oct 31, 2007
"Because of segregation in the United States, a separate black culture has developed beyond the national culture."

True. Sad. Segregation's not over yet. Its end is not in sight.
Slavery isn't even over yet. We are all still heir to its human trauma.
Bill Douglas

United States

#14 Nov 1, 2007
This is a well written article. It is my prayer, that someday soon, we wan't have this issue with color, among our selves. I'm not nieve. I just believe that, as a people, we are destine to be better than the way we currently see ourselves.
A Fellow Notre Dame Alum

AOL

#15 Nov 1, 2007
Yan: Congrats on the article. You have really made us Notre Dame alum very proud. It was a very poignant and much needed article and I will make sure as many people read it as possible.
Sharon Jackson

Alsip, IL

#16 Nov 2, 2007
Very Nice. Well put.

“Blinded By The Right”

Since: Aug 07

Long Island Sound

#17 Nov 2, 2007
don wrote:
As long as the congressional black caucus and their liberal supporters in politics continue to insist that race should be the basis for set-asides, affirmative action, college acceptance preferences and other priviledges, the question of being "black enough" will still be important.
Obama had a wealthy white parent and family, and yet was given special treatment in Occidental, Columbia and Harvard admissions. He deserved it no more than my kids would. But those of you who codifed the importance of race will have to live with it now - although it is absoutely wrong.
But you have no problem with President Bush being accepted to Yale because his father and grandfather were alumni. If you believe in no special treatment, then please be consistent with your outrage!
Carmen Shanell

Chicago, IL

#18 Nov 2, 2007
I think this was beautifully written. I have found that many non-blacks have a very linear idea of what black is. I once did an image search on yahoo, and the images that came up were all negative and not what I had expected. Actually it was offensive and disrespectful. I was disheartened by the fact that anyone around the world could do an image search and be made to think that we are all of these negative stereotypes.
I am glad someone too the time to open the discussion on what black is.
keshawn

Alsip, IL

#19 Nov 3, 2007
I agree
Necole Muhammad

United States

#20 Nov 3, 2007
Great Article! Great Timing! Those that took the time to criticize the article instead of embracing your reason for addressing this critical issue are examples of the problems that exisit in this country. I would love to read their "well written" perspective and see their leadership on such a topic. Stay focused and know that your identity, perspective and individualism as a "black man" radiated as you wrote this article!

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