Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Brown

I’m brown. No one knows what the hell nationality I am, and when they find out they are usually disappointed, because it’s never anything as cool as they guessed. I look like I could be very exotic, all sorts of different countries could be my native land. But when people ask, “Where are you from?” I say, “Sacramento.” And they say, “No, I mean like nationality.” And I say, “Sacramento.” And then I disappoint them with the fact that I am not anything exotic at all. I am a mutt. From Sacramento.

Basically I am what everyone is going to look like in about 100 years, if the world actually makes it that long. I’m a French Canadian (eh), Italian (EH!) and Portuguese. But I get my brown from Portuguese. Which always leads to, “Do you speak Portuguese?” To which I answer, “I can barely even find Portugal on the map.”

I tell you all of this to lead into a story about my evening. I am helping to put together an urban comedy magazine (because I am so urban (don’t mind the fact that I graduated from a high school that actually had cows and horses passing by it on a regular basis)) and tonight we had a pre-launch party. At this pre-launch party we featured several Black stand-up comedians and had an audience that was probably about 95% Black. And then there was me and my Jewish friend and a sampling of other white people scattered throughout.

This is far from the first time that I have been the minority in a situation. So much so that I didn’t even really notice it tonight, but sometimes I wonder how I end up in these situations. How exactly did I go from Hickville to launching an urban comedy magazine? I really have no idea. But it might have something to do with the fact that Black people love me. I’m serious. I do not know why. But it is true. Black men? Hit on me all the time. I do not know why. But it is true. Black women? Say, “Girl, you are so crazy” all the time to me. And that is a compliment. I think.

I think my bond with Black people stems from the fact that I’m not a fan of BS. If I think something, you’re probably going to know it. I don’t really care who you are, if you ask my opinion, you are going to get it. Honestly, I think I am a Black woman caught in a brown woman’s body.

But then there is the brown thing too. Sometimes I think I’m embraced by every race because no one knows what the hell race I really am. Because I am brown all of the minority races assume I am a minority too. I always tell my extremely white mother that she can’t let anyone know she’s my mom or she will ruin my street cred. So for now I introduce her as my adoptive mother and hopefully no one notices that we have the exact same chubby cheeks. Also, I’m going to figure out where Portugal is, so I can at least claim someplace besides Sacramento as my native land.

3 comments:

Patricia said...

i hope it doesn't take us the 100 years, but i believe you're absolutely right. once the ability to easily label and prejudge is gone, acceptance comes much more easily.

Harris Bloom said...

Hey there,

Still curious how you came to starting an "urban" comedy magazine.

If interested, I have a black (actually, he's half-white) comic friend here in NY who does some writing and has very strong views on comedy.

Good luck!

Chunks said...

I was a visible minority at a Bingo hall once. You've never felt like a bigger dork when you are trying to play the speed round and a table full of Natives say "Look at the white girl trying to play bingo!"