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Monday, December 12, 2011

Bougie Girl Classic Essay: The Black Community

 (This post was written over 7 years ago and published on my original Bougie Girl Blog.)

She is a heavier set gal in her late teens possibly early 20’s. She has on a decidedly primly cut navy blue pantsuit on and her demeanor is strictly no-nonsense. She has a small notepad in her hand.

Upon closer inspection the notepad looks to actually be a ticket book. Not unlike the type that police officers carry. She motions toward me for my to approach.
She is furiously scribbling in her ticket book.

When I am a few feet in front of her she extends her hand and gives me a couple of pieces of paper. They are citations for behavior unbecoming to a black woman.

Citation Number one is for actively dating outside of my race. Citation Number two has been issued in relation to the fact that my hair relaxer is not straight enough.
The third and final citation is for not supporting self-appointed leaders of the black community.

“How much are these citations going to cost me?” I said whipping out my checkbook.

A grim expression crossed her young face.

“Do you think that your money can buy you out of this?” Her voice was filling with anger.

Before I could respond, she handed me another piece of paper with an address of the courthouse.

“Be at this address at 9 am tomorrow. Your fate will be decided by a panel of your peers.”

The next day I showed up for my day in court. I walked into the courtroom and found a panel of “my peers” waiting in the jury box. My peers consisted of a middle-aged Auntie, a girl from Round the way, a militant black man, a baller and Big Mama.

They started firing questions at me almost immediately.

“Why is that Bougie sistas like you only go with those white boys.” That query came from the baller whose eyes were roaming shamelessly over my body.

Most black men look right past me anyway. I’m a mocha china with full African features. Guess, I am not what they are looking for. Everyone’s entitled to their preferences.

The young woman from around the way piped in with a question:

“Girl, why don’t you start using a Super Duper Relaxer. Then your hair would be all silky and straight.”

My hair is not meant to be silky straight. I use the bare minimum of chemicals because my hair is a natural mass of waves, kinks and sometimes curls. It’s not perfect, but it’s mine.

Then the militant Black man cut in with his question:

“Why are you always dissin’ our current Black Leaders? Are you too removed in your own world of privilege to reach out and lift up your people?”
Black Leadership these days is a joke. They are too busy posing for the camera and trying to get book and TV deals to lead anyone. I am a part of the Black community. I do my community service on a smaller scale. I have helped both young and older adults to fill out college applications and give them an encouraging word along their journey.

Big Mama made a statement on my behalf:

“I can’t believe we dragged this nice young lady into the courtroom for this nonsense. Her behavior isn’t adversely affecting our race at all.”

Auntie also piped in on my behalf:

“We have gangsters and wannabes who shoot up our neighborhoods. We have young women who are actively trollin’ for their next baby daddy and other black folks inflictin’ their bad behavior on the world at large. Where are they? Why aren’t they in this courtroom?”

I couldn’t have said it better myself. I was asked to leave the room, so that the panel could discuss my case.
After two hours, I was let back into the courtroom.

Big Mama stood up and declared:

“By order of this panel, we find the defendant not guilty and all of the citations will be expunged from your record. “

I smiled broadly and let out a grateful breath.

Auntie spoke:

“Keep up the good work young lady and I hope your maltreatment by us hasn’t negatively affected how you feel about bein’ Black.”

Don’t worry Auntie, nothing could do that. I say to myself as I turn to leave.


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