I remember when I was first called a oreo. It was in elementary school. I was in the fourth grade. My classmate asked ” why do you talk white?” I responded ” what?” “never mind, I forgot you are a OREO.“
At first I thought it was because of the turtleneck I wore that day, plus I have always been a little chubby.
But when I told my older siblings about it, they told me that my classmate was referring to the way I spoke, and acted. I was a “oreo” because I was ‘black on the outside but white on the inside’.
I think making fun of my size would have been better.
Being called a “Oreo” or that I “talk white” has been a term used to describe my behavior for years. When I tell my melanated friends that I have never seen Friday or that I hate Chicken wings. My blackness has always been a question for other black people. Both black and white people find it hard to believe that I speak so well for a young woman from humble beginnings on the Southside of Chicago. According to my friends I do not know how to eat chicken right, it is weird that I never seen Friday ( or the sequels) or that I prefer my spaghetti diabetes ( sugar) free.
but nothing irritates me more to be called a name that provides a negative connotation to my education and upbringing. I am from what is considered the “ghettos” of Chicago. My family’s socioeconomic status has always been middle class but we have never been financially affluent. I knew before I reached high school that money was something that we desperately needed. Thus, my mother made sure all of her children were in program that diversified our options of higher education, networking opportunities and extracurricular involvement. I played the piano, did drama, learned about stocks, sang Opera, was a Junior Deacon at my church and many many more.
by the time I got to college my blackness was MORE than enough for white people no matter what proper syntax I used. I was defending blackness in a different way, to be accepted not just assured.
I was on the front lines for student activism preaching “Black Lives Matter”. I was educating all sorts of students about black culture, cultural appropiation….
there was always one person that commented that I was a OREO.
bruh, are you serious?
That word is triggering for me. It is a microagression. If using well grammar, syntax, is considered white… what is considered black? the absence of such? the ignorance of such? the antithesis to being educated? the negative to positive reinforcements?
Do we really want all of us to be the same? Do all black people truly have the same experience growing up?
I know culturally there are a few similarities but I think it would ABSOLUTELY be ridiculous to keep assuming that black people are monolithic. we are not all the same
Can blackness really be defined by cultural colloquiums, food and dress?
As Cady said in “Mean Girls” the limit does not exist when it comes to blackness.
you have your black nerds ( blerds)
you have your black goth babes
you have your unfriendly blk hottiez.
you have your ratchet blk homiez
you have your black know – it – alls
Why should we limit such a diverse culture? I understand that there are similarities among our cultures. Our food and music is definitely one of them. However, blackness does not stop there. There are many beautiful black pioneers is rock and heavy metal as there is in hip hop. There are black creators of great anime projects as well. Blackness is truly universal. It is more than words, music, food, clothes, it is all about who you are.
Whatever your definition of blackness is, be it. Be proud of it. I, for damn sure, am proud of my blackness. Lets leave the word “Oreo” in 2016.