Experiences Define Us, Not Stereotypes

This past week, Buzzed released a video titled, “27 Questions Black People Have For Black People.” The video has been the topic of discussion because it plays on stereotypes of Black people instead on genuine experiences. The questions vary from: Why is it so hard to be on time? Why do Black people look at your shoes before they greet you? Why do you chant ‘Black Lives Matter’ then tear each other down in the next breath? Why is growing up without a father so common within our race?

As I watched this video, I refused to believe the questions were from Black people. The amount of anti-blackness really invalids every argument. I will run through the questions above to show why these questions are problematic.

Screen Shot 2016-02-09 at 1.22.37 PM

Why is it so hard to be on time? This whole concept of Black people constantly running late is a stereotype. Black people do not have a internal clock that makes them 30 minutes late for everything. Some black people can be late but, not all black people. Their lateness is not dependent on their skin color.

Why do Black people look at your shoes before they greet you? Now this question is filled with assumptions. Yes, Black people are fly, fashionable and poppin’ but, not all Black people are materialistic. The idea that Black people are only concerned with material objects is BEYOND problematic. I like looking nice, but I am also tied to the understanding of working hard, giving back to communities AND having nice things.

Why do you chant ‘Black Lives Matter’ then tear each other down in the next breath? OKAY, chanting ‘Black Lives Matter’ is a community statement about coming together to recognize that Black Lives are subject to police brutality. Personal differences mean nothing in times of crisis. This is a crisis that we all are collectively involved in regardless of our personal differences.

Why is growing up without a father so common within our race? This question really irks me. Growing up fatherless is not a choice Black children have made. As a Black woman raised by a single mother, I am disgusted. Being fatherless is not synonymous with being Black. Black people are not the only ones growing up fatherless. In many cases, not all Black people are fatherless. It is possible for Black children to not have a relationship with their mothers but have a present father. The more important question should be: Why are children regardless of race growing up parent-less?

My thoughts are not solely mine. They echo through the black community. Black people are not stereotypes. Situations, experiences, and ideals of Black people are not accurately reflected through stereotypes. So, relying on them ignore the invalids unique experiences of Black people. Black people have similarities but we are not cardboard cutouts with the same personal traits and experiences. Black people are unique individuals and should not be diminished to stereotypes.

An opinion I do value also chimed in to critique the video as well was Evelyn from the Internet (she is a feminist friend in my head). Take a look and see for yourself the golden nuggets of wisdom flowing her.


One thought on “Experiences Define Us, Not Stereotypes

  1. It disturbs me that sh*t like this is still being put out by generally decent sources like BuzzFeed…Wonder if they sifted through many questions and chose the ones related to stereotypes to showcase those? Thanks for posting about this & bringing it to our attention.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s