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Because cultural experience is determined by the colour of one's skin.
Can the last politician to go out the revolving door please turn the lights off?
On the one hand, I still believe what I said was right, in some way. I saw her as this amazing human being, and compartmentalizing that amazing person into a box labeled "Black Woman" seemed like such a reduction of who she really was and who she could be. On the other hand, who am I to tell her that she should abandon -- or "transcend" -- her black identity? How could I -- a non-black man -- possibly understand what her experience was like, much less judge how she decided to view herself? Virtually abstract questions for me, but very concrete, urgent questions for her.
Truth unfolds in time through a communal process.
But the overwhelming difference between me and "real" women is cultural. I simply don't share their cultural assumptions and aspirations. Nor can I undo the "training" I received in how to be a man enough to mimic those assumptions with becoming some ghastly parodic creation. Assuming the superficialities of female behaviour without having the deeper cultural understandings that make them whole and complete would show disrespect to the project of womanhood.
But being "black" was how your firend identified herself. We all lable ourselves to some extent. But it's important to use these as as roots for our questing and not as prisons to limit us.
That's what's so infernal about the dance teacher. She is imprisoning her culture, marking ghetto territories that are off-limits to others.
keep to the Fen Causeway
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