There has been quite a bit happening lately that has been kind of astounding me. I work for a young people’s organisation and whilst I may seem young to some, I suppose I am now moving out of the ‘youth’ bracket and getting a little older, a little cynical, a little jaded, a little old-fuddy-duddy. So here are my thoughts on some matters:
1. To be a Blackfella does NOT mean to be African American. I grew up in the 90’s and Hip Hop and R&B was my vibe – I listened to ATCQ, LL Cool J, Xscape, Guy, Blackstreet, Wu Tang Clan, Bone Thugs, Mariah Carey, Usher back when he was a boy, New Edition, Tupac, Biggie Smals, Bell Biv Devoe, Deborah Cox, Zhane, Naughty By Nature, Coolio, Keith Sweat, Janet Jackson – the list goes on of all the Black American music that filtered through to the ears of young blackfellas growing up in Australia. As I got older, I connected with other blackfellas around the country and discovered that they all listened to the same tunes I did – it’s great now to reminisce over these ‘old’ songs and how they made us feel as young Black people. So I wonder where things went wrong? I can’t pin point the moment, but at some point it feels like young blackfellas stopped being young blackfellas who liked Black American music and became young blackfellas who want to be Black American and started to copy cat. Maybe it’s just my perception, but the music, the dancing, the images – it’s like everything has become a copy cat rather than what is real, making it our own, keeping our own culture involved and alive within it…and that makes me sad.
2. “Nasty get your clothes on, I told ya!” – I was reminded of this song today. Ironic that it was written and performed by Destiny’s Child – I feel like singing this song to Beyonce now and telling her to get a clue! But on a more serious note, from the mouths of babes I was asked why I was getting my hair cut when “no men would get to see it anyway” (referring to my hijab-wearing-ways). This sentiment has stuck with me and I want to remind all young women everywhere that your beauty is about YOU not about others and whether they find you hot or not. More than this, beauty is not purely about sex, it is about a mix of femininity, grace and sex appeal. P.s. I’m glad to discover that increasingly I’m not the only one to notice that Beyonce has become whiter and whiter in looks as her career progresses…what the?!?!
3. Sex sex sex – why is everyone doing it so damn young? God, I feel like such an old prude lol.
4. You are owed nothing as a young blackfella – yes our land was taken away and we deserve acknowledgement and some kind of compensation (however that comes – let’s debate that some other time) BUT if you don’t work hard you don’t deserve much out of life in return. Harsh, I know!
So those are just some of the thoughts rolling around in my head as someone who is kinda young, working with the actual young (and the very restless it would appear)…