Post Number: 23
|Posted on Wednesday, June 01, 2005 - 01:51 am: |
I'm reviewing Frederick Smith's novella "Down For Whatever" to be released in July 2005 with Kensington Books. It's about four gay men who are friends and what happens among their relationships. I'm about 3/4 through the book and when I read this passage I just thought of Kola's "Nigger Nirvana Dream" What ya think ?
Two of the main characters are black and one of them is Keith. Keith's dating situation is not going well, so he's thinking aloud:
"Problem number 3: no matter what people say, race matters in L.A. In the ethnic hierarchy of gay L.A, black and African American most often finishes last. That's unless you're one of the following 1) light enough to pass for being mixed with something other than black, even if you're just pretending to be biracial, which raises the value of your romantic stock dramatically, since being one hundred percent black is a liability and being mixed de-emphasizes blackness;2) thuggish enough to pass for a gangbanger or a rapper to being able to fulfill someone's colored boy/bling bling fetish and stereotypes of black men; 3) muscular enough to pass for a professional athlete, hopefully a basketball player, because everyone wants the long legs and torso pressed against their bodies;4) mainstreamed or assimilated enough to blend in with the majority of white crowds of West Hollywood, laugh, smile and buffoon yourself and your people for their entertainment, and spout off well-rehearsed lines such as "People are people and I don't see color" when they really do, or "I grew up around white people and I don't feel comfortable in all black settings" when they really grew up in South Central, South Bronx or South-side Chicago and know the only white people they grew up with were an occasional teacher, a mailman, or their mother's supervisor who gave them hand me down clothes for the next school year. I'm not about the join the Afro-Saxon clique to get a man.
And if you're African American or black-well let's just summarize it with my experience in L.A: too dark to be the tragic yet mulatto boy, and not dark (or homeboy")enough to be the black mandingo fantasy. Face it, I'm in the minority in this town. Except for the pockets of talented tenth in Baldwin Hills, Leimert Park, Ladera Heights, or even Altadena, there are not many black men to be found in L.A. I mean when has anyone seen more than five black men together in one setting in L.A? Especially black guys who like other black guys, whether it's in friendship or more-than-friendship context. This makes for a lonely and sad dating life for me.