I Am That One Black Kid

I spotted this cartoon over at Racialicious. It was drawn by Keith Knight of the K Chronicles, and I immediately identified with it, especially with the third panel, and the one immediately under it. Except where I come from, it’s not just about not being into hip hop. It’s also about not being into soca, reggae, and dancehall. And if you’re not totally immersed in those genres, you might be considered an “oreo.” Yes, that word has been used to describe me in years past. And I love the cookies, but I hate the insinuation.

Listening to alternative forms of music besides the genre you were bred to love, doesn’t make you any less or more anything. (neither does speaking properly, wearing funky outfits, or being studious).

I’ve always had diverse musical influences. I grew up listening to classic country because of my dad — Willie Nelson was on regular rotation in my house when I was a three year old. When I was little, like nine or ten, I’d sneak downstairs after bedtime to watch Headbanger’s Ball on MTV. (This is pre-cable. For my Trinis, this was back in the days when TTT channel 13 and 14 would switch over to MTV late at night. Anyone remember that?)

In high school, besides listening to the expected calypso, reggae, and hip hop; I was also a total grungehead (complete with a Soundgarden calendar in my bedroom), who wept when Kurt Cobain died, and was totally obsessed with jazz age crooners, Sixties psychedelia, Stevie Wonder, Simon and Garfunkel and The Beatles. Musically speaking, I did not fit in with most of my peer group, and I’m quite sure lots of my classmates thought I was pretty weird. But you know what? I’m old enough now to realize that being “weird” has a way of working itself out. Being weird is cool, and it’s ok, and maybe, just maybe, the people who make you feel weird about being weird are in fact the weirdos. So think about that for a second and let your freak flag fly, high school weirdos! One day, you will rule the world.

The diversity of my musical taste continues to pay off in mysterious ways. In fact, one day you might just see your girl appear one one of those musical trivia shows like The World Series of Pop Culture. I think I’m that good. Just last week, I helped my brother answer a random Eighties trivia question when he called me up, all tipsy at his favorite bar. (The question was, who sang “Sunglasses at Night?” Click here for the right answer).

Once, in college a perpetual super senior kind-of acquainta-friend who had a crush on a major rap star with a taste for eccentric fashion, was going to meet up with him at a hotel on South Beach. She wanted to impress him, so she paid me money to make her the perfect mix CD to impress said rapper with. Through helping her pick songs, I realized that a.) she had never heard of Simon and Garfunkle. Or Paul Simon, even. And FYI, Paul Simon is amazing. Click here for a beautiful live version of Under African Skies with Miriam Makeba. And b.) She thought Billie Holiday was a man. This was no green teenager, homegirl was at least twenty five at the time. And she’d never heard a Billie Holiday song in her life. I played Good Morning Heartache for her, and she recognized it from Old Dirty Bastard’s cover version. (which for the record, I also enjoy). But still, damn. It’s BILLIE. You gotta feel her.

Making the CD with her made me sad. There are some people who just don’t really love music, they don’t feel it inside of them when they hear a special song. They’d rather watch TV than listen to a CD, they’d prefer to go to a movie rather than a concert. I never could understand that. I’ve always been totally musically obsessed, I need it like oxygen, and I’m always listening out for something fresh and new and alive, that makes me want to rattle my speakers. 7 times out of 10 it might be, but if it isn’t a reggae, hip hop, or R&B song, that’s cool too. I think having an open and widespread musical knowledge goes hand in hand with generally being a well-rounded person. So if you don’t listen to much besides the quote-unquote urban genres, explore our shared musical history and listen to some jazz, or feel the blues. Or try something new with me today. We’re gonna go a little out there, but trust me, it’ll be cool.

One of my new favorite speaker-rattlers is by the White Stripes. I think Jack White is a genius. (and yes, I’m aware that he’s dissed hip hop. For the record, I don’t think that makes him a racist. He’s a big fan of Son House, and I don’t think anyone who loves the blues as much as he does could then be racist. Just my opinion.)

I love the White Stripes’ style, the simple urgency of their sound, their inspired covers of ancient blues and country classics, and the fact that they basically wear the colors of the Trinidadian flag as their uniform. I’ve been a fan since White Blood Cells and I’m seriously looking forward to copping their new album. If the title track’s any indication, it’s going to be awesome.

They take a strong political stance in “Icky Thump”, and I can’t help but applaud it. “White Americans, what? Nothing better to do? Why don’t you kick yourself out, you’re an immigrant too! Who’s using who? What should we do? Well you can’t be a pimp and a prostitute, too.” Oooh, Lou Dobbs ain’t gonna like that one bit. But I love when a band expresses a view on issues. I’m feeling the thump. Hope you do too.

This goes out to that one black kid, or that one outsider who doesn’t feel like they fit into what they’re expected to fit into. Be who you are and don’t let external pressure change you. There are more of us than you may think!

Happy Friday, everyone!

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Comments

  1. Patrick Jnr. says:

    Loved the post little sis! Thanks again for indulging me with my trivia question, even though I interrupted you at your Russel Simmons book signing, (still can’t believe I called you from Trinidad for that!) but I was nailing all of the songs we managed to hear over the din of the crowd much to the chagrin of my drinking pardnah! and he was convinced he knew the singer of that one! I knew he was wrong though so you know I had to call the expert! You know I still have some trivia talent too right! Wink! Take care lil sis I’ll have a few for you later in Trotters, maybe even a ‘Funky Bitch’ remember that one?

  2. Good morning Afrobella! I have been following your site for quite a while now and I love it because you have such diverse topics that I can definitely relate to. What made me write today was that comic strip. I totally understand where you are coming from, when speaking about “That One Black Kid.” From the hair touching (from everyone) to the Oreo. But all these experiences is what makes life very interesting…

    By the way, ever heard of Moody Blues: Nights in White Satin? Or Brian Hyland: Sealed with a Kiss? I know you have heard of The Time of The Season: The Zombies (everyone has heard that.)
    But I still love my Classic Soul music!
    They always say I am a old soul trapped in a young body.

    Talk To You Soon!

  3. islandgirl550 says:

    Bella, I saw this comic strip over at Racialicious too! I printed it out and have it hanging in my cube. I was totally that One Black Kid, that one West Indian kid, that one Black kid with the Funky hair, and that one black kid who spent summers with grandma and granny in Jamaica and Cuba… not South Carolina. I totally related. And… what you speak of about the music… I’m with you. My love of music led me to a career at a record company which is cool now, but it was hard being the only black kid who loved Phil Collins’ drum solo on ‘In the Air Tonight’.

  4. xcentricpryncess says:

    Bella…thank you!! I too have been called white or looked at strange because of my affinity for Sting, Nirvana, Radiohead, Soundgarden, Cranberries et cetera…and then called an old soul for loving Coltrane, Nina Simone et cetera…I wouldn’t change myself for anything…I also collect records and love the experience of realizing that an old track was used in something more familiar to me…music is my air..it gets me through…have a blessed weekend everybody…

  5. xcentricpryncess says:

    oh yeah, island girl…that drum solo is sick! one of the best of all time!!!

  6. Blackhoney says:

    Welcome back bella. Not to put my business out but I’m 34 and as a teenager I fell in love with Stax records and vintage soul. Alabama State University played jazz and reggae on Sundays and again I fell in love. Yes, I listened to Salt and Pepper, Heavy D, a and the earlier MC Hammer records (before he went mainstream. Only recently have I started to appreciate the work of RUN DMC and other 80′s rappers.

  7. GM Bella,
    I’m diverse when it comes to music……… I love it all.I don’t know how big a fan you are of country music, but do you remember Tanya Tucker’s (Delta Dawn) ,Billy Ray Cyrus(Achy Breaky Heart) or The Judd’s (Mama He’s Crazy)? I love Stevie Wonder (Do I Do), Etta James (At Last) and of course Billie Holiday (Strange Fruit). I’m always open to the “unknown”, like when you did a piece about “The Gossip”…..I called BeBop and ordered the cd the same day:) Let it be know, that when Bella speaks…Star does listen. This was another great post….Happy Friday and enjoy your weekend…..keep the “unknown” coming my way!!!!!!!!

  8. I never understood the problem that my folks (aa) had with different forms of music. All the different genres are related, ask any music history teacher. As a kid I listened to gospel, jazz, country, alt. music, classical, R&B, hip hop etc. and I still listen to what I like. If amother doesn’t like it, kick rocks!! Hey, put on “Black Hole Sun” and a few other songs and I will sing the words, close my eyes and rock out. I primarily listen to R&B, Neo Soul, Jazz and Reggae/Soca but I am not adverse to any type of music as long as it moves me.

  9. Hey Bella!
    I completely agree with you…I think being open to many different types of music is important. It is good not to completely disregard something just because it isn’t what you’re used to. R&B and neo-soul are my favorite genres, but you can still find me rocking out to The Killers, Playing air piano with Elton (absolutely LOVE E.John!) and savoring the beautiful sounds of Andrea Bocelli. I am always looking to expand my horizons musically. Thanks for introducing me to The White Stripes!

  10. Trinichica says:

    Hey Trinibella, love the posting. I am newbie on the site but already I am addicted! Like you, I love all types of music..not so good at the trivia but most definately love my music; Stevie, Anita Baker, Billie, Etta, Smokie and don’t forget the Gospel! I have a co-worker who is 24yrs young that just loves Beyonce’s “new” song kissing you…she was so caught up with it and then I told her that it was a remake that was originally sang by Des’ree and another one of her beats were by Stevie Nicks, she could not believe it…it’s truly sad that some of these young folks don’t have a clear understanding of music or it’s history. Keep the great postings coming and enjoy the weekend.

  11. afrobello says:

    Islandgirl550, similar to yourself, I relate as the yankee who spent summers in the south as a youth. I’ve been “that one black kid” too, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Homogeneity is SO overrated! Even at the age of 14 when I was informed that I listened to “white people’s music,” pity for the person who said so came to mind. It seems people have more to gain by making us strive to be one dimensional.

  12. Bella I have been teased also for my music preference. With me, as long as it sounds good I will listen. I am loving the Smashing Pumkins right now but a lot of people in my circle just can’t get it. The good thing about blogs is you are able to meet all types of people who have many of the same interts that you have you.

  13. Bebroma says:

    Oh WOW, that like, totally describes me!! :-0

    Seriously, I was told the whole time I was growing up that I “wasn’t black” because of what I read, how I talked, what I listened to, the list goes on. Girl, Kenny Chesney’s song “There Goes My Life” just breaks me up everytime. As I grew older, I realized that there were actually LOTS of “weird” black kids like me. Thanks for the post today!

  14. Hey Bella, I was that one black kid too!

    As a kid people kept saying I wasn’t really black because I’m light-skinned, studious, well-spoken and friendly to white people. I was into all sorts of music because of my older sisters: they had me listening to Metallica, Guns ‘n Roses and Nirvana at 7 years old! Oh, and let’s not forget Bon Jovi: my favorite is “Bad Medicine” for sho’!! Growing up, I felt like such an outsider among my black friends because they weren’t as open-minded as I was. I remember when my friends were telling me about the song Mary J. Blige did with Method Man “All I need” back in elementary school, I knew it sampled Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrel’s song “You’re all I need to get by”, but none of my friends knew that. Recently I fell in love with an old Reba McEntire song called “Fancy”: some country songs contain the same essence of soul and, to some extent hip hop songs. The lyrics have the quality to expand beyond just the genre or the arrangements, by making you relate to the lyrics or to feel moved by the singer’s emotion. For many years I thought my sisters and I were the only weird black kids in the world who listened to different genres of music; it’s good to know that there’s about a million of us out there!

  15. CJ Phrek says:

    I’m that one black kid too, and I’m proud of it because it is what make me who I am. This cartoon reminds me that, although the whole wide world is available to all of us, some of us can and will only see what is in front of them. It may be easier not to expand ones mind, but it’s still cheating yourself of all the human creativity that is out there – information and knowledge is everyone’s birth right.
    I love your site by the way, I appreciate what you share with the world and your attitude as well, keep up the great work!!! Thank you Afrobella!!!

  16. OMG!! I was that black kid!! Me to me too me too! I got the “You aren’t really black” comment ALL THE DAMN TIME. Every time they discussed slavery – everyone looked at me, every time they discussed crime and some dummy robbed a bank and they happened to be black you got it…all eyes were on me. My musical tastes are diverse too Bella…I think it makes us better people when we learn to appreciate everything that the world has to offer, food, music, culture etc. I am who I am because I listened to me and not what someone told me I should be.

  17. Hey afrobellas:

    I’m 46 years old – yes, I know old (LOL).

    When I was a kid growing up we had AM stations, which played everything – you may hear Sly and the Family Stones, Tony Bennett next, or Tom Jones to the Staples Singers.

    What a great way to have been exposed to different types of music.

    I too, am called a nerd – but you know what, who cares – let’s rock out afrobellas.

  18. PosterChild says:

    Hey Afrobella,
    Long time reader, first time poster. Just wanted to say you are awesome. I too am “that one black kid”, my parents are from the islands but I’ve never been… I grew up in southern cali and always felt weird when I sat under an umbrella at the beach rather than bake my skin like my white friends… I remember being chased home by some rough girls who said I thought I was better than them and “acted white”.. whatever that means. Growing up I was always a little confused and I can’t say this issue doesn’t still touch my life today but thank God for peace of mind! I know who I am, and I love my multi-faceted perspective on life so three cheers for the oreos ;P

  19. TheBeautifulOne says:

    Afrobella, you ROCK! Literally and figurtively!
    I have always been that “one black kid” and have always been proud of it! In elementary school, especially in junior and senior highschools, I was always singled out for being “different”, “speaking or acting like a white girl” when I was only nice and polite, well read and got along with everyone, black or white. Thank you so much for this latest entry. Thanks to my mother, father and brother I was introduced to great authors, great musicians, world class cities, etc. If I ever come back to the States, or ever visit Florida, I would love to meet you in person.

    God bless you and all of the “one, black kids”!

  20. afrobronxchick says:

    hey afrobella. thanks for the inspirational posts not excluding this one which brings to light the deepley conjured and dark wheps on my preceptions this past year as a sophmore in highschool. I am that one teenage all natural well spoken, well mannered non-mtv booty shaking atristically talented blackgirl whose been called a sell out all her life, had her hair touched by every and all caucasian classmates she’s encountered, been asked and been in auspicously marginalized situations where somehow my physical appearance couldn’t measure up to my physical resume, never lived in the right place (bronx), never listened to the right music or wore the right clothes…just never even came close to fitting the box for a black girl in america….Talentless= sexually advert and demanized=ghetto=loser and if you are the opposite talented=well-spoken=she thank she betta’ than us= ugly=gay=un-black=loser for a long time, probrably 10 and up I never understood why it was so hard for me to just be. Now I kinda have a better grasp on the situation, I’m one of the few whose starting a new trend for blacks and more importantly black women who don’t want to be pushed to the barren dessert and cracks of america….or atleast the bucket that’s only offered to us where we just pull one another down. I’m sorry for the long post…but this is a very deep topic for me…it’s still a new wound, and I would like to thank you for giving me the opportunity to reflect because
    I am that 16 year old black girl who never fit the box

  21. Just yesterday while shopping in the local Winn Dixie Garth Brooks “friends in low places” came on. I was bobbing my head and singing under my breath and was astonished that non of the other young folks knew this jam. Garths’ voice is extremely beautiful and sincere in this pool room classic:)

    Fellow music lover

  22. JUstMYwOrD says:

    Definitely could relate. Thanks for the post Afrobella!

  23. I knew I identified with you for a reason… even before this post. :0) After reading some of the posts I see there is a world full of people just like me and I find comfort in that knowledge.

  24. AmiJane says:

    This article was great. I thouroughly enjoyed it. Expecially the info about the music.

  25. Wow, my two online faves have intersected. Keith Knight and Afrobella. Awesome. You should pick up his compilation books– his voice is fresh, honest, self-effacing, high-larious, grown and on-point. Talks truth about a lot of important issues with out preaching. I like McGruder, but I love Keith.

  26. AmiJane says:

    Oh and with being a black woman it us hard for us to fit in because there is so many misperceptions and generalizatins to what black is “SUPPOSED” to be. As a black women, I often find that a lot of black women don’t really accept you as one of them, unless you are constantly gossipping about another sista in some witty/flavorful fashion with a hint of malicious intent. I can tell white people expect the same thing. When I am the only black chick around they usually don’t expect a somewhat quiet and reserved woman that know how to keep her mouth closed sometimes.

  27. seattlegal says:

    Yep, Bella. Once again you hit a nerve in a good way. I have S&G deep in my heart. My parents bought and played white musicians in secret. Sad but I liked it too and didn’t hide sh*t. I rocked Phoebe Sno, The Beatles, Aretha, Stevie, The Police and Marvin. And the whole fam gave me the side eye when Bobbi McFeron played. Those folks made music. Not white, not black – just music.

    And if my music and speaking English with correct grammar and diction makes me white, my skin color did not get the memo. I’m black. If I’m sad, Billie and I spend time. If I’m feisty, well its all hands on deck! Muddy Waters, Phil Collins, Beatles, Missy Elliot. Depends on the type of feisty. But my Bob Marley is good for all occasions. Don’t care what is going on, Bob covered it. “One black kid” = me

  28. jerseybred says:

    Maybe it’s just me [I doubt it] but all of my friends like all kinds of music-I have never received a negative comment until a cousin of mine saw a former boyfriend singing a song [she couldn't remember the song] and said you and my cousin are just alike – you both like rock n roll [huh??] I didn’t know what to say so I didn’t response to it…
    Bella, you threw me off with the Good Morning Heartache cover by ODB- I never knew he covered it.

  29. jerseybred says:

    *off topic*
    Bella, I was checking out your blog roll a week or so ago and clicked on Working Lives and Top Black Models – I stayed up all night researching names and just anything I could find pertaining to the topics
    THANKS!!!!!

  30. Eni's Girl says:

    I so identify with this post. Right now, I’m into big band music. I love current day R&B music but I also like Miles Davis, Dixie Chicks, Sting, Tony Bennett, Count Basie, Sara Vaughn and the list goes on. I’m always open to listening to music — especially if I’ve never heard of the artist or the style of music.

    So to all the bellas (and bellos) who posted here, just remember we are not weird but wonderfully and fabulously unique. :-)

  31. damn its good to know i wasn’t the only one

  32. LBellatrix says:

    LOVE that cartoon! As soon as I get my USB problem fixed I’m going to print it out!

    I was so shy and introverted that although I felt I was the “one black kid,” now that I look back on it I’m sure there were others besides me…others who for whatever reason didn’t completely fit the so-called “black mold.”

    Here’s the interesting thing: There are more of us out here than we know. I used to assume that nobody else would “get” me…and now that I’m an old lady of 42 ;) and living in a college town, I see some of these black kids from these tiny-azz Midwestern towns who also have this weird arm’s-length relationship with ALL black people because they assume that they won’t be “got” (you know what I mean) OR they buy into all the negative stereotypes about black people and they buy into the idea that “positive” actions are somehow “owned” by white people and so by default they consider themselves “more white” or “less black” because they do more “positive” things. Which, when you think about it, merely serves to feed into white supremacist life constructs, doesn’t it? It bugs the hell out of me that certain beliefs, attributes, etc. are categorized by race.

    Now, when it comes to music, I fear I am that “only kid” who’s just not as into it as I was when I was younger. I do have an iPod that’s a little over half full, but most of my music is stuff that was written YEARS ago: 1/3 classical, 1/3 jazz, and 1/3 “other” (just about everything except polka). Every once in a while I’ll hear a recent song that will make it onto my iPod (I liked “SexyBack” for example) but I don’t really follow today’s musical artists or genres. Don’t kick me off the site! :D

  33. THANKS FOR THIS !!!!

    ———————-
    Bella :
    And I love the cookies, but I hate the insinuation.

    Listening to alternative forms of music besides the genre you were bred to love, doesn’t make you any less or more anything. (neither does speaking properly, wearing funky outfits, or being studious).

  34. blackviolet says:

    I’m glad to see that there are others out there. I was/am one of the black kids that just didn’t seem to fit. I fought it for years, not truly embracing my Caribbean culture. My father taught us to love Led Zeplin, Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Rolling Stones, Genesis (old and new), Simon and Garfunkel, etc. Rock N Roll was my passion and I didn’t let anyone know it until I discovered the Beatles when I was 15. Thank God for John, Paul, George and Ringo! Anyway, I grew to except my uniqueness and decided to major in classical music as a double bassist, and now that I’m a music teacher, I take time to play rock too!

  35. I was called an oreo and told that “I wasn’t really black” in HS and it really bothered me. (Funny enough those comments came from non-black students….go figure…) But I learned to disregard what others say, especially the negative things, and just do what felt natural. I completely accept me as I am so other people have no choice but to do the same or move on. Thanks for posting about this :)
    Oh yeah and I LOVE CELINE DION!! lol

  36. hello i love this website i am a newbie natural well not quite i have cut all my relaxer out but i am still holding on to the weave (it is a curly afro weave :)) i love to see this and it gives me hope and pride on my way to being natural i will be letting go of the weave and rocking my own very soon. these websites are empowering.

  37. westindiangal says:

    It’s just the the last panel depicts… I’m not alone. I grew up in Grenada listening to top 40 and Indian music from Trinidad because my grandparents didn’t like reggae, calypso, etc. When I returned to the US, my love of music blossomed and branched out into all genres except Country music. Today, my iPod has all genres including a few country music songs – gotta love Johnny Cash song “Hurt”. My musical tastes keeps expanding and shifting.

    Thank God for music. There are times I listed to a song and it reaches that special place.

  38. islandgirl550 says:

    YOU GUYS!!! There are so many of us. Can we all do a COLLECTIVE HUG now?

  39. I LOVE THE WHITE STRIPES TOO!!!! Keep the posts coming, we need more of them. It is said when black folx fall into the stereotypes that are made for them, we are all different, there is nothing wrong with that and we need to start celebrating it more.

  40. nappygungun says:

    Ok let me just say great post! I love music so much. To me it’s an expressiong of who you are, where you come from and what you think. I love different genres: hip hop, r & b, neo-soul, rock, salsa I mean just everything and I also have my get crunk music lol! I believe back before 2000 music was fresh, laid back, and worth listening to now it has become a money making machine; people just want to see a pretty face they don’t want the lyrics to move them and mean something. I’m not saying all music is bad today cause I don’t think that but the good stuff is being pushed to the back burner and mainstream is all about the dollar and bling. So so sad! Billie Holiday was amazing. I can definitely related to being that “One black kid.” lol I was dubbed the “white girl” in my school because I didn’t “act black.”

  41. La-Shaun says:

    I can relate COMPLETELY. I grew up in Kingston, Jamaica. I still live here. I did not fit in in high school. I was the girl who listened to Alanis and Goo Goo Dolls. Even now my musical taste is just about all-encompassing. Whenever someone uses the term “white” to describe me I completely turn that person off. It’s ridiculous, why should I define my tastes because of the colour of my skin???

    I was the black girl in the Techno club in London. I was the black girl dancing like crazy to Cyndi Lauper at Quad. I’m the black girl with the AC/DC t-shirt. I’m the black girl who knows all the bands Eric Clapton has been in. I’m the Jamaican girl who speaks a little Polish, a little Italian, a little Portuguese and a lot of Spanish.

    And I didn’t need to click on the link to know that Corey Hart sings “Sunglasses at Night”. I listen to it all the time.

  42. I feel fortunate that at the high school I went to, we were all kinda “left of center”, so the cliques in school weren’t based on that at all. I grew up with a broad appreciation of music thanks to me parents. Their record collection has everything from blues to The Beatles and everything in between. I was just having a convo with my best friend the other day about the “box” most of us black folks put ourselves in and that it was pitiful that if I was in another town on vacation and wanted to know about interesting things to see or do, I would ask a white person first because we are so particular about where we “won’t go” or “don’t do”. I try to impart openness and a sense of adventure with my younger relatives so they can at least be exposed to a world larger than their block.

  43. deevinej23 says:

    I have been lurking your site for a couple of months, and this post has really struck a cord with me. I was definitely that black kid who was just a little too shy for the norm, and didn’t quite fit the all black female crowd at a catholic high school, but preferred diversity. Those who pointed out my differences didn’t really want to be my friend, but wanted me part of the group for whatever purpose. Oh yeah liking Duran Duran was a problem. I used to walk around with buttons of them as well as baseball players. Now if you really want to get to know me, you would found out that I was weaned and raised on soul/R&B, funk, disco, and gospel, which never changed. The older I got the more I expanded my horizons. I never thought my ethnicity needed to be questioned because of interests. My true friends appreciated my eclectic taste, some tease me, but I don’t take it personally like I did in high school. I’ve even influenced a couple of friends to be more openminded. These days I get called old-school because I can spot the sampled and remake songs of today, or because I relish the great music of the 70′s and early 80′s of various genres. Plus radio back then wasn’t as polarized. Sure there were a couple of R&B/Soul stations, but there were also a couple stations that played practically everything. I rely heavily on websites like Pandora and Live 365 to continue to foster my interest in different styles and artist. What does it say about us when we limit ourselves and each other in the name of so-called racial solidarity. Oh and high five to those who mentioned Soundgarden. I didn’t really listen to their music until after they had broken up. I love Chris Cornell’s voice, and I was in heaven for a few years when he and members of RATM got together to form Audioslave.

  44. Adrianna says:

    I was the weird kid for being into all music.I think music transcends race,class,culture. All music is my music! I’ m a citizen of the world.

  45. Selina S says:

    I too can relate. My Dad is Garifuna (afro-Honduran) and my Mom is English by way of Jamaica. I was born and raised in the Bronx. I love all kinds of heavy metal and was always made fun of for it. I loved this post because i am not the only one. Icky thump is ill!

  46. deevinej23 – were we twins?? I swear you sounded EXACTLY like me in high school. They called me Liannie The Durannie…oh yes they did. I had the white jazz shoes and fedora to match John Taylor’s…LOL!

  47. deevinej23 says:

    Lianne – Hey you never know, altho I didn’t get that deep in terms of imitating their outfits. I couldn’t afford to do that lol! Listening to their music got me in trouble at home. My mom used to think that Duran Duran was borderline to Satanist music or something because of titles such as “Save A Prayer” and “New Religion.” Not that I understood the lyrics all the time, but I knew it wasn’t anywhere close to being that extreme. She accepted my obssession many years later. lol!

  48. you too girl? me and my friends went out the night kurt died and got utterly smashed… it was my worst hangover i was sick the whole next day, never got as drunk ever again… but i never felt out of place, maybe it was different neighbourhoods? i didn’t even realize i was supposed to only listen to certain genres til i went to the states for college… well i ignored that with my Doors GNR and Nirvana posters hahaha :)

    and OMG I think Jack White is the MOSTEST … sigh ..

  49. woah, i click on the comments button and i find females just like me.

    i went from school to school, and in one particular school i was the only black girl in the class which meant i had to endure months of people touching my braids and my hair, and people weren’t racists because Ella was their black friend.

    And on the music thing-I love everything! The Arctic Monkeys, the Klaxons and The Gossip hold a special place in my heart, evenmore so than certain RnB and hiphop artists. I think this is because my parents used to and still do play a lot of African, gospel, country, ska, soca, reggae, etc… music. i also realised a few years back that i really like nirvana when i discovered that they were the ones behind ‘teen spirit’ (i’m only 18 so i was too young when they came out on the scene).

    I’ve lost count of the times my (black) friends have laughed at me because i have pronounced the T’s at the end of words like “at” instead of “a’”, “that” instead of “tha’” and the “h” in the beginning of words like “having” instead of ‘aving, and “house” instead of ‘ouse (it’s a British thing). I also have white friends who are so surprised at how much i differ from the stereotype.

  50. LOL i was that one black kid not too long ago

    check out my blog

    http://babesblingandbooze.blogspot.com/

  51. MzNikki says:

    *sigh* I feel like I have found my real people! Group hug!

    Seriously, I was that one Black kid… listening to ZZ Top, Aerosmith, Zepplin, The Doors, Fleetwood Mac, Janis Joplin, but then switching it up and jammin’ to some Stevie, Lutha, Aretha, Marvin, Prince, MJ, JJ… all the greats. Duran Duran was my fave group of the 80′s and Bon Jovi still makes me smile when I hear the opening strains of “Wanted Dead or Alive”. Metallica is always on heavy rotation in my iPod and “The Unforgiven” is the story of my life. “Fancy” by Reba McIntyre is one of the best songs ever, and The Judds will live on forever in “The Good Old Days”.

    I love music… life to me is a song, but the melody changes with each beat of a heart. So many songs from so many genre’s have defined moments in my life, that I would be remiss to say that there is any one genre that I don’t listen to (well, I don’t like death metal, but meh). Music is so much more than words over a melody or a hook… music is alive

  52. I read that same comic strip on Racialicious also. I was that one black kid. I went to a school in a small Louisiana town that was split down the middle race wise. I was seen as weird by my black counterparts because I was not into the same things they were. I remember really being into Weezer, Green Day, and Oasis. My first big Hollywood crush was Ewan McGregor after I saw him in Trainspotting and Velvet Goldmine. I was always seen as weird since junior high. It has changed some but I still get treated like I am not a “real” black women because of some of the choices I make.

  53. Wow! What a timely post. It’s 2pm EST and I’m still high after completing my regular morning run today to my newest classic rock mix. (I swear – running to The Eagles “Hotel California” or Aerosmith’s “Dream On” feels a lot like flying!)I am a lover of everything from old school country music (Alabama, The Oak Ridge Boys) to Motown-era R&B to pop. Variety really broadens one’s horizons. When I think about young kids these days and some of the crap they are led to believe is music, I actually pity them. They don’t know how deprived they are.

  54. I have totally been there sista…I also have and ear for all types of music. Recently at a work function we were asked to tell the type of music or artist that we liked the most (seemingly to expose that white like “white music” and black people like “black music”). When it was my turn I truly could not pick just one. I said that I liked all kinds of music. When the instructor threw out the country music card, he was sure that I would say “every thing but country”. I think I shocked him, and based on the eye rolls of the black females in the room (who have taken to ostracizing me)…I threw him for a loop. I like good music and if it is telling a story that is true and saying something with value and meaning, then I can vibe to it. Thanks for the great blog…Keep it up.

  55. WildMagnolia says:

    All I can say is, “Me too!”

  56. so glad to hear about others that grew up just like me. it was definitely a learning experience when i lived in all-white rural tennessee and whites tellin me my hair wasn’t hair, but actually fur, or tellin racist jokes about my skin color bein a mistake. then, i finally move to predominantly-black new orleans and have to deal with black kids callin me “white” cuz i played soccer, spoke correct english, and listened to pearl jam. (apparently, growing up on prince, anita baker, jeffrey osborne, and al green, etc. wasn’t black enough). i’m proud of who i am now, but i definitely don’t miss bein the butt of every ignorant person’s jokes. why do black people make it so much harder on each other?

  57. Thanks for another great post. Where else could anybody get that type of info in such an ideal way of writing? I’ve a presentation next week, and I’m on the look for such information.

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