Wednesday, November 19, 2008

One state...Two State...Red State...Blue State

Well fam, I am in my last days here in Da Bean. I must say that my time here has been everything. It has been good, bad, happy, sad, I've had joy, pain, sunshine, and rain. I think I have brought a unique perspective to a city that is in some places still covered in past racist residue. Its been a unique journey as a black woman who comes from a place where the residue, well its not residue it still raining quite hard. When you come from a place with lots of cities like this its hard to understand the excuses that are made. However if you are able to live in this city awake and not unconscious you can appreciate it and it can both break your heart.

I went home the weekend after the election and I have to tell you folks who are not from a red state or from a large metro area, there is still sadness. The day after the election my coworkers and I, a white guy and a Indian chick were elated and happy and discussed the historic victory and that day I could FEEL the hope from the time I stepped out of my brownstone. When I returned home back to South Park in Jim's meat market there was no hope. I overheard conversations about how things were going to be worse for us before they got better. Crys text me that she saw an unusual number of people being pulled over. I figured that was the Red State reaction, better get all these niccas rounded up for THAT ONE the uppity nicca gets in office and stops all of this. Red states are playing lots of doom and gloom and calling lots of names and refusing to let children talk about President-Elect Obama in school, it really is sad. However its the little bit of reality that allows me to NEVER FORGET, much like Jews and the Holocaust.

I think blacks from the south who migrate to the bluer parts of the country have a unique view. It's funny because many blacks from more progressive states look down us, don't understand how we live in places where the racial tension is sometimes hostile. They don't understand why we don't get our black gloves on and show these white folks a thing a two. However I think it is the southern black that often realizes the humanity in all. When you grow up black in the south and plan to expand your world the first thing you learn is that there are good folks and bad folks and not all folks believe what the majority does. Or at least that is how it was for me.

I grew up getting back handed compliments, about not being thought of as black. It wasn't until I was older that I really got what that meant. I grew up learning how to make the best of the chances that were given to me. I grew up learning how to confront folks yet retain a certain southern gentility that we southern folks, especially women, are known for. Anyway enough about that these are some of the more random differences I have found living here in a blue state. Some I will expound on others well not so much.

Less eye contact
I knew it was gonna be a fact. Not as bad as NYC but it's not the south. I still smile, I'm a southern girl what can I say!

Easier to get to where you're going
Mass Transit...although I have noticed more access and better service in the less urban black parts of town. However to be fair they're in places where there WAS economic growth before this recession.

Walking is king
I think I will miss this the most. Boston metro is a walking place. Its easy to walk almost anywhere in the raised part of the city, also know as the original city. And its a beautiful walk especially as the seasons change. So many things blooming and looking beautiful. If you have the time you can walk pretty much anywhere in the city. In my part of the city, The South End, I rule the world as a pedestrian. When I even look like I am thinking about crossing the street, cars SCREECH to stop so I can cross the street. Not so much in Roxbury.

SEASONS!! well except winter
I come from Houston, where there are two season hot and rainy, so being able to experience the thaw into spring, summers made for yachting, and the most beautiful vibrant brisk fall I have ever EXPERIENCED has been the best experience ever.

My place
I loved my Boston apartment and neighborhood. I honestly believe IT is why my experience here has been so positive. Location...location...location.

Live and let live
Here there really is a live and let live mentality and while there are people who still harbor prejudices, you feel they are truly relics around here. As opposed to where I from, the hates seems to not get handed down and accepted by the younger generations.

The class divide between blacks.
Its a bit troublesome, but I do see that here. In a place where blacks have been free so long we see some of the same human dynamics we see across the world. We see that money and class will work its way in to the game some way. I'm a girl from the working class who has worked and studied her way into a class, that I'm not so enamoured with. In the south there seems to be less of the talented tenth versus the corner, but here I feel it and well its one of my least favorite thing about being here.

Now for the real scoop

Hmmm the men here in Boston, well the black men, I'll expound on that one in just a bit. They are not as aggressive as where I come from or many of the other places I have visited or just passed through on a travel lay over. I've been quite a few places around this country from New York to Florida to Minnesota to Washington to Hawaii to California to Illinois and so on and so forth. I have to say Boston black men are not that aggressive or maybe I'm just not what they like. I was told by a few dates its because the women here SHUT IT DOWN that they are hard not sweet or gentile or lady like. I think that's kinda a cop out, but I do feel a coldness between the opposite sex here that was new to me. I prefer my country boys (did I mention TOM A is from a small little country town like me, actually smaller than my town if you can believe it.

The other thing is that in Houston I enjoyed a bit of what I call sexual invisibility when it came to white men. Very rarely did I have to deal with flirtatious men from other races well not counting the Pakistani convenience store owners Or maybe I was just so oblivious to Houston white men flirting. Its funny why the black men here seems almost scared the white men left no doubt when they could smell what I was cooking! *lol* That has been fun. I liked it.

For the most part the men have provided me with many colorful stories. I can't wait for TOM A to come up here and weigh in on what he thinks about this place in his short visit here. Should be fun.

That's it for now, although I am going to miss being mistaken for Puerto Rican, Dominican, and Cape Verdean. No one really ever walks up to me speaking Spanish in Houston. I'm not exactly your typical looking Mexican but apparently I fit right on in with these Hispanic and West Indian blacks of Boston real well!

Have a great day and let the countdown begin. 5 days til LIFT OFF!! Houston you about to have a solution...not a problem! The prodigal Glamazon returns!!

Be EZ,


Torrance Stephens - All-Mi-T said...

we menz too aggresive in the douth - but that just the way i am

and the migration and belioefs of folks from south to the Blue - well thats true

and let me know where them road blocks are i cant get pulled over no more

Anonymous said...

I love your summary of the Northeast especially because while I am not from the south, my folks are so even beibg raised in Chicago, its clear to me now that a lot of southern ways were prevalent in our family.

I must admit the uppity factor up here between us Negroes drives me mad. Like you I am a child of the working class and its simply who I am no matter where I live or how many letters are after my name, I still retain that flavor.

So moving to Maine where there are Blacks whose lineage goes way back before my folks were ever free is crazy at times. It has made me adjust how I deal with us since I quickly learned that the niceties I usually extend to us, didn't work up here.

Boston is a great place for walking, when I first moved to Maine, I went to Boston a lot and just loved how I could walk everywhere like I was back home. Even taking the T is an adventure!

As far as the men factor, all I can say is I am so glad I am married because the mens up here leave a lot to be desired. LOL I swear but in almost 6 years here, I haven't even seen 6 men I would consider decent looking much less worthy of talking to if I was single.

Raven said...

Girl...I am always mistaken for many times have I been at Don Bravo's back in the day in Alief (now called the SWAT...WTH) and someone would speak Spanish to me!!!

I once met a woman from Canada that was attending school (Rice) that was saying how aggresive the men were here compared to her home. So you mean up there you don't hear, "Psst...say Red lemme' holla' at ya' for sec" while they grab your wrist? UGH!!!!(Do guys really think that mess works?)

And yes...we are seasonally challenged, but hey...this is H-TOWN!!!!

Um...walking? What is that? mean that thing us southerners do to get to the bathroom and the 'frige?


The Black Barbie said...

Random but I think its so funny that you used something from Dr.Seuss...I randomly said something from Dr.Seuss today too hahahahah

leva said...

Come on home know I'm having a bday party. lol Welcome Home said...

Hello there!

I am sure you will LOVE the move and creating a new chapter!

As for the white guys, honey, they are getting BOLDER and BOLDER about proclaiming their availability to black women!! *LOL*


CurvyGurl said...

Safe travels, girlie! Looking forward to hearing about your new spot when you get settled.

OG, The Original Glamazon said...

Well CG its not exactly new, I'm going back to my home in the H.


Keith said...

Hey OG...Stop by my blog tomorrow,
I gave you an award...As far as yesterday's tag...Stop by on Saturday..I'll have seven random facts listed.

Now for your post...My family was
from Florida..South Florida about as southern as you can get...and even though I was born in Philly, all of their southern ways are ingrained in me..I feel like a southern guy transplanted in the city..Kind of like Clerow.