Streams

Touré on What It Means to Be Black Now

Monday, September 26, 2011

Commentator and journalist Touré tackles what it means to be Black in America today, at a time when racial attitudes have become more complicated and nuanced than ever before. In Who's Afraid of Post-Blackness?: What It Means to Be Black Now he examines the concept of “Post-Blackness” and tells how race and racial expectations have shaped his own life and the lives of luminaries such as Reverend Jesse Jackson, Cornel West, Henry Louis Gates Jr., Malcolm Gladwell, Kara Walker, Soledad O'Brien, and Chuck D.

Guests:

Touré

Comments [34]

jim from nj

Udo Dirkenschneider from Fort Greene
You miss this basic point, as do all the scentific pontificators with all their studies, which is, race is a concept, originally promulgated four centuries ago in an attempt to classify animals and birds.
Even for this original intended usage, the concept of race for animals and birds, has long be found to fallacious and inaccurate and long fallen out of scentific usage. The point one must always remember is this, this flawed conecpt of race for animals was taken by racists to use a means of oppression, classify one group of people as a different race, that much easier to subjegate them. Theses racists four hundred years ago didn't know squat about genes or dna of these folks get colds in the summer more than these folks, that was not what the concept of race was ever about for them, it was only a way to invoke division and explotation.
Race is a invalid concept and does apply to human beings. Tell Me, what 2 or 3 genes, are the pre-requisite genes to be somoan? How much DNA in common is required to classify one group of people as a race? There is no answer because one cannot define what constitutues a race. Let me repeat that, there is no answer because one cannot define what constitutues a race, got it? All this psuedo genetic psuedo dna talk, pusedo as oppossed to acutal, is all just a new wrinkle on the 1 drop rule.
race does NOT exist, RACISM DOES.

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Udo Dirkenschneider from Fort Greene

Hi Jim,

Are you denying all claims linking race and propensity to certain illnesses?
No one who is familiar with this research can take such an extreme position.
Take e.g. Dr.Ware Jr from University of Mass Medical school who has linked propensity to respiratory deceases to race and sex:
http://works.bepress.com/john_ware/75/
or take any other of 1000s of studies -how can you be so SURE that they are ALL faked by "big Pharma"?
You are most likely wrong on this issue.

Sep. 27 2011 12:07 PM
James from Stone Mountain GA

I found it interesting how Touré could struggle with the subject of what it means to be black but simply dismisses the subject of "post racial." Post racial is a reality for some, not for me, and for some that is a uniqueness in blackness.

Sep. 27 2011 01:34 AM
anonyme

People around the world are still so impressed that we elected Barack Obama as more proof of the greatness of America.

Sep. 26 2011 03:17 PM
John

Is it just me or did Toure mispronounce "chimera"?

Sep. 26 2011 03:11 PM
Fuva from Harlemworld

@ Dark Symbolist: Back atcha! Specifically, race-ignorant. You obviously don't understand the cause of the effect/ phenomenon you bemoan. This doesn't bode well for solution.

Sep. 26 2011 01:48 PM
Udo Dirkenschneider from Fort Greene

Hi Jim,

Are you denying all claims linking race and propensity to certain illnesses?
No one who is familiar with this research can take such an extreme position.
Take e.g. Dr.Ware Jr from University of Mass Medical school who has linked propensity to respiratory deceases to race and sex:
http://works.bepress.com/john_ware/75/
or take any other of 1000s of studies -how can you be so SURE that they are ALL faked by "big Pharma"?
You are most likely wrong on this issue.

Sep. 26 2011 01:46 PM
Fuva from Harlemworld

So the poor white and the poor black experience are the same?...That the two strike economic alliances is absolutely critical, but....race unawareness all over this segment and this page...

Sep. 26 2011 01:33 PM
DarkSymbolist from NYC!

@Fuva from Harlemworld
Yours is one of the most ignorant comments I have ever seen on these boards (quite a feat!)

@ Ash in Chelsea
I agree, INDIVIDUALITY is to be applauded. Being told "Black people don't do..." is nothing but oppression...self-imposed oppression at that.

@jim from nj
"Race does not exist, racism does." I couldn't agree more, unfortunately our culture has a long way to go to catch up to what genetic science has proven to be a fact. I mean just look at some of the comments on this board.....we have a long way to go!

Sep. 26 2011 01:33 PM
The Truth from Becky

It is ALL an illusion..while we seek to demean one another based on melanin, the real truth is we are swiftly dividing into TWO classes, rich and poor....they are laughing at us.

Sep. 26 2011 01:25 PM
jim from nj

Udo Dirkenschneider from Fort Greene
your comment, "In the future it will become accepted that race is a real biological concept" needs to be rejected for the moral bankrupt, eugenic, explotative, ignorant, yap that it it.
Big Pharam is salvating and spending billions on research, looking to exploit the concept of race. Race does not exist, is was a concept created by racists to demean and deny the humanity of one group by another for the purpose to exploit them. Race does not exist, racism does.

Sep. 26 2011 01:18 PM
Ash in Chelsea

As a black man of a certain age (71), I listened with interest to this segment.

In my family, there are young people whose parentage is racially mixed. One of the most painful moments I have had in my long life was when one of them told me that she was being criticized for not being black enough (her mom was black; her dad, Italian/French/Mexican).

As Udo from Ft. Greene points out in Comment #22, I knew that that meant that this charming young relative of mine did not behave like most of her black peers. She survived this difficult period in her life (high school) and, as far as I know, has gone on to live her life as productively as possible despite this psychological bullying. She has a college degree and she is not an unwed mother.

I think Udo's comment is insightful: All these criticisms really mean is that one is not behaving like many others in their ethnic group. So what? I applaud individualism -- especially if I consider it positive and not degrading.

But I am from an older generation...

Sep. 26 2011 01:17 PM
Udo Dirkenschneider from Fort Greene

In the future it will become accepted that race is a real biological concept. Mainly because of new medicine - different races have different propensities for illnesses, and respond differently to treatment.

Here is an article explaining this:
http://www.lrainc.com/swtaboo/stalkers/jpr01.html

Sep. 26 2011 01:07 PM
Udo Dirkenschneider from Fort Greene

When people say that Blacks don't do x!

They sometimes simply mean that it is less common for blacks, as opposed to whites or browns or yellows, to x.
Certainly that is sometimes completely correct. I can e.g. say that blacks don't go hiking or to heavymetal shows. That obviously does not mean that NO black goes, only that less blacks proportionally understood go.

Sep. 26 2011 01:02 PM
jim from nj

question: what makes a group a people distinct.
answer: history

Sep. 26 2011 01:01 PM
Steve

I was on the train with my black girlfriend, I'm white, and two of the "black jews" or whatever they are started talking, feet away from us, about how black women who go outside of their race should be murdered.

My girl and I refused to stand for it, and we spoke up, got into a big verbal confrontation with the two of them, one of whom was wielding a large stick. Eventually, some of the other passengers chimed in on our behalf and the two black men walked away from us, taking a seat elsewhere in the car, where they continued to spew their racist hatred, albeit a little less boldly.

Sep. 26 2011 01:00 PM
Sophie from Poughkeepsie, NY

@Fuva from Harlemworld

Oh we'll never get along. That's why the class divide will fully take over as we look more and more alike. It's happening now (IMHO).

Sep. 26 2011 12:59 PM
Amy from Manhattan

I never thought it meant they think you're a monster--it means they think you're inferior.

Sep. 26 2011 12:59 PM
Sady

Check out Black Folk Don't web series:
http://blackfolkdont.com/

Sep. 26 2011 12:59 PM
Peter

When anyone says "N-word," they are shifting the word onto the user, making us fill in the blank. It's a subtle way of saying it anyway.

Sep. 26 2011 12:59 PM
Bernard from Bronx

If there are 40 million ways of being black, then there is no such thing as black. What is it about the 40 million individual black behaviours that make those behaviours black?

Sep. 26 2011 12:58 PM
Maaza from Johannesburg, South Africa

I chuckled through Toure's whole skydiving story. I have lived with these ridiculous comments (mainly from other black people) my entire life: black folks don't hike; black folks don't scuba dive; black folks don't have dogs... It's sort of a relief to realize that people are experiencing this sort of idiocy all over the world, but is also pretty disappointing.

Sep. 26 2011 12:57 PM
ben from brooklyn

Are you SURE that Toure isn't really being stood in for by that karaoke judge and former very white former Rolling Stone editor that championed him so much??!!
Except for the positive God reference,sure sounds like it to me!!

Sep. 26 2011 12:57 PM
Udo Dirkenschneider from Fort Greene

Toure is very good in saying that "being black" should not decide for you how to live.

But that IS post-racial. Post-racial is when you stop thinking of yourself as black or white etc. even if some would want you to.

Here Toure is self-contradictory: if you stop letting the stereotype of black or white influence your actions, then you are post-racial.

Sep. 26 2011 12:56 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

Hey, O'bama is half IRish! Let's give the Irish some credit for him, eh?

Sep. 26 2011 12:56 PM
Fuva from Harlemworld

Interesting self-indulgent exchange between two indoctrinated, over-assimilated, adrift black folks, undoubtedly far-removed from the everyday reality of the black masses, and who are not ashamed of it.

Sep. 26 2011 12:55 PM
jim from nj

Black is not a race, fool.
Race does not exist, racism does.

Sep. 26 2011 12:55 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

Before there were minorities anywhere (except maybe Jews), societies made distinctions based on something called "class." What mattered was what "class" you belonged to. The main minority in most western countries was the Jew. However when the transatlantic African slave trade began, and particularly in the "New World," black Africans were brought to work for, and take care of European whites, and "class" mostly became replaced by "race." especially here in America.

But the main point is, humans will always divide themselves based on something or other. Whether it is skin color, or religion, or other racial or ethnic differences, divisions will always be created. Every group has its own subliminal tribal affiliations.

Sep. 26 2011 12:55 PM
DarkSymbolist from NYC!

Good subject. As a person of color, I totally relate to the experience of having been on the recieving end of that same ridiculous notion that "black people don't do..." this or that. Stupid.

The only thing this kind of self-defeating, self-stereotyping thinking serves to do is hold the African American community back.

Sep. 26 2011 12:54 PM
john from office

Interesting subject and speaker. I will read this book.

Sep. 26 2011 12:51 PM
Nostrand

This is a good example of Post Black and not Post racial.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tTXrmtBrIWs&feature=feedu

Sep. 26 2011 12:51 PM
Fuva from Harlemworld

If we must look alike in order to get along, Sophie, then our problems will surely persist...Particularly given the reasons "more of us may start looking more alike."

Sep. 26 2011 12:50 PM
jim from nj

Racism exists, race does not.

Sep. 26 2011 12:50 PM
The Truth from Becky

"Who's Afraid of Post Blackness?" All non-Blacks, that's who...it is a daily battle of wits, an intelligence test everyday.

Sep. 26 2011 12:47 PM
Sophie from Poughkeepsie, NY

The two class system is what we really need to be focusing on. The color divide will fade as more of us start looking more alike.

The haves and the have-nots is where it's going.

Sep. 26 2011 12:46 PM

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