Teena Marie at the 17th Annual Trumpet Awards at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre on Jan. 25, 2009, in Atlanta (Rick Diamond/Getty Images
Alyson Stoner — and her tasteful Missy tribute after the Superbowl brought the Virginia native back into the spotlight — gives me hope for America. Because along with being everyone’s favorite random dancing White girl in early aughts rap videos, I appreciate it when someone has a genuine appreciation for something that we hold dear. It makes me feel good because someone who doesn’t necessarily have to know something about or love my culture does…voluntarily. Typically, in our schools and workplaces, minorities have to dance around cultural references and touchstones we know nothing about. EVERY DAY
So, thinking of Stoner, I thought it would be interesting if I compiled a list of Black America’s favorite White women. Not the favorite White women of retired Black athletes, but women who we love for being genuine a part of the culture…and I found it was a much more difficult question to answer than I initially thought.
An informal text message poll yielded a wide range of results from: “Wow, that’s a tough one I’ll get back to you” (They never did) to “ I’d have to think long and hard about that one” to, and I quote: “I don’t really like White women as people.” (This person also likes Big Sean, so I took that with a grain of salt.)
But, many of us do actually like White women as people, and this list of White women people we like includes…
10. The aforementioned and explained Alyson Stoner (and her Adidas tracksuit)
Do ya’ll remember Black Pink? Shoulder shimmy, left over TLC beat Pink? As soon as she could escape LA Reid’s clutches she became her true self. Nothing against Pink, but Jojo ain’t never lied. She grew up right outside of Boston (The Mecca of hood White people), and sang R&B as child. Her well documented label situation has held her back over the years, but during her brief period of teenage success she stayed true and had a Bow Wow feature (a prerequisite for the Early 00’s). This is who Miley and Bieber should have taken notes from. Her “Marvin’s Room“ Remix is also fire.
8. Detective Olivia Benson – Law and Order: SVU
For 16 years, Detective Benson has solved the grittiest crimes on the streets of New York, and lot of those special victims and their families were brown folks. More importantly, her never ending pursuit of justice has kept us entertained us for countless hours. Benson held it down even after Stabler’s departure. When there’s nothing on TV, SVU is always on somewhere. (TNT)
7. Gwen Stefani
Gwen Stefani is bad. She’s also cool. Cool enough to make this list even after “Hollaback Girl.”
6. Elizabeth Taylor
Liz was one of the few celebrities to hold down Michael Jackson after his child molestation charges, she championed liberal causes (including HIV/AIDS during the 80s when it wasn’t trendy yet), and most importantly, White Diamonds has been chilling on your grandmother’s perfume shelf for 55 years. This is almost enough to forgive her for Cleopatra.
5. Ellen DeGeneres
First and foremost, everybody loves Ellen. Ellen stays true to herself, which is one of the qualities Black people appreciate the most in anyone. Also, she dances. While we only deem her dancing serviceable, it’s solid for a 50-something year old White woman.
4. Marilyn Monroe
The definition of curvy has morphed a lot through the years but Miss Monroe’s figure obviously did not conform to the rail thin standard of beauty. In 1955, she helped book Ella Fitzgerald at the Mocambo club in Hollywood, personally making a call to the club’s owner. She also was sleeping with JFK, which people appreciate in a way I do not totally understand.
3. Mellie from Scandal
We all want Mellie to win on the low. While fictional Hilary has done her dirt, we can appreciate her struggle. And her blue work dress game is unparalleled.
2. Eleanor Roosevelt
The original ‘modern’ first lady, who actually genuinely cared for the struggle. (Cough, Hilary) In addition to starting her school for girls, Eleanor struck up a friendship with Mary McCloud Bethune, appointing her Director of the Negro Affairs or the National Youth Administration. She also arranged for Marian Anderson to perform at the Lincoln Memorial after the famed gospel singer was denied from appearing at Constitution hall in 1939. Oh, and she held down her man through Polio. Once again, we appreciate holding it down.
1. Teena Marie
Teena has been Black america’s favorite White woman for the past 30 years. Basically, if you don’t like Teena Marie we don’t like you!