Pop Culture, Race & Politics, Theory & Essay

Black America’s Secret Shame

As we all know, February is Black History Month. For the record, I’m not one of those people who complain that somehow Black history coincides with the shortest month of the year. Frankly, I don’t give a damn. It’s not like we (and by we, I mean those Black folks who complain that Black History Month is the shortest month of the year) really commemorate Black achievements all day everyday anyway. Besides, it used to be Black History WEEK, so I look at it like this…

…we got 21 more days to complain that America doesn’t do enough to celebrate Black achievements and accomplishments!


Anyway, being as its Black people month, and being as that I’m Black, I see it only fitting that I dedicate some posts in February to Black topics. Its gonna be on and poppin’. As well it should be since Black folks often get it on and poppin’ with things such as the bottle formerly known as Cristal, thongs, pills, and basketball. One could say we are a poppalicious people, though I prefer the bootylicious nature of Black women. And I don’t care how much you hate Beyonce, “Bootylicious” (written and produced/co-produced/conceived by Beyonce) was a great moment in Black history. Honestly…with lyrics like, “I don’t think you’re ready/for this jelly”, how could it not progress Black society. Kids everywhere were running around embarassing the sh*t out of us folks that can read talking about being bootylicious. Hell, even WHITE girls got into the act, further making me want to kill myself.

Okay, I swear that there is a point in there somewhere.

Ah yes, Black America’s secret shame. There are different kinds of Black folks out there. I know, shocker. Many have tried to paint Black people with one brush and say that we are all one and the burdens of my brother are my burdens. And I used to believe that until a strange thing happened one day. Can you guess what it was? Go ahead, take a gander.

*singing “I’m sexy and I know it”*

Done guessing?? Good. What happened to me was that I learned how to read.


That might sound messed up, but fret not, it gets worse. When I learned to read, a whole new world opened up to me. Butterfly’s in the sky, hell, I could fly twice as high like Aladdin and Jasmine! The older I’ve gotten and the more I’ve read, the more things have changed. Over time, I learned to not be afraid of information and actually seek it out causing me to do things that other Black men didn’t do like…go to college. Or even graduate. No Kanye.

So it was in this new world with new knowledge I obtained from reading new sh*t that I started to notice the differences between Black people. And just to be purposefully offensive, I’ll state some of the differences I noticed:

Some Black folks worked, some didn’t.

Some lived in suburbs, some lived in projects.

Some tried to assimilate into white society, some acted like assholes in public…almost seeming to be on purpose.

Some were reserved, some are just loud.

These are just a few of the differences. But that last one is the one that stands out to me. It brought to my attention and epiphanized a strange phenomenon in the Black community. It would seem that Black America’s Secret Shame is…

…hold on…

…it’s coming…

…wait for it…

…Black people.

Yes. Black people. Black American’s are secretly ashamed of other Black people. I know. It’s one of the most fucked up things you’ve ever heard. I hear you looking at me crazy. But it’s true. Black people that can read and write, and have gardens to tend, and garages that actually house cars, and have the OPTION to live amongst white people are ashamed of other Black people.

[***DISCLAIMER: These are fun, I swear. Which Black people am I talking about that are ashamed of other Black people??? You ninja. Yes you, the Black person that is reading this right now instead of in the projects affectionately known as WorldStarHipHop. The Black person who reads and writes. F*ck that, the Black person who ENJOYS reading. Yes, you. Does it sound elitist? Yes it does…but here’s the test: if you have at any point in your existence, been somewhere, and an unruly group of Black youth have come into your presence and you cringed and/or uttered the word “n*ggas” under your breath…then this means you. Mmkay pumpkin?***]

Believe you me, it’s true. It’s a sad reality yet one that exists. Take for instance young Black folks on subway systems across America. Now those youth don’t care about being loud and obnoxious. Hell, it’s what kids do. However, you care. You wonder to yourself , why the hell they won’t shut up. Then you do scan the audience the kids have attracted. You scan the white faces for disapproval, and then you scan the Black faces for disgust.

For some reason, both the Black and white people are upset at the ungodly display of the youths. White folks will just have their notions reinforced, and Black folks will be afraid that the white folks are having their notions reinforced. And somewhere shame comes into the picture. Black folks start to think, “dammit, why won’t they just act right, they are making us all look bad. F*ckin’ cockaroaches!”

You have experienced…honest to goodness…


Shame for fear that those Black folks who aren’t like you are setting us normal Black folks back years and years. It is that same shame that occurs when you take a ghetto member of your family out with you who then proceeds to act a damn fool on purpose, proving why they are the ghetto member of your family.

But you know what, they are ashamed of you too.

Sometimes they are trying to prove a point, too. The point may be that you aren’t any better than they are. And they are just as ashamed because they feel like you sold out when they remember when you all used to sleep three to a bed. They are ashamed, and thus shaming your bougie ass into realizing that you aren’t any better than they are. Hmm, ironic isn’t it. The better off we are, the more reminders we get from folks who aren’t so well off that we ain’t sh*t and didn’t come from sh*t.


I’m not judging nor looking down on anybody. I’ve done more than my fair share in both worlds. As far as I’m concerned we all came from nothing. Essentially, I love all my Black peoples. EXCEPT those ignant somebodies who feel the need to make me look bad so that they don’t look bad by themselves. Crabs in a barrel are a b*tch. And it is those Black folks who draw my ire time and time again. The ones who are ashamed but secretly jealous of the Black folks who are doing well because those Black folks are sellouts and have no place in the hood. Those Black folks who are ashamed of other Black folks success because they don’t have it.

But it goes the other way too. Those Black folks who are educated and well to do, who are ashamed of their lower income brothers and sisters who may not have had the same opportunities that they’ve had. The ones who turn their noses up at less privileged Blacks with no provocation. The ones who talk about the ghetto without ever having been to the ghetto or lived there. The ones who laugh when some of us drink Kool-Aid. Hell, the ones who don’t realize that “red” is a flavor, and judge Black folks who know that it indeed is a flavor. Basically, Black folks who have the time to castigate other Black folks because they’ve made it and refuse to accept that making it where you’ve made it wasn’t solely on your own merit. Sometimes, folks believed in you enough to not let you fail. And it’s those folks that refuse to recognize or accept that, who are ashamed of lower income Black folks and their lot in life. Those Black folks piss me off too.

And there you have it. Black America’s secret shame is other Black people. From rich to poor, we are all ashamed of one another for reasons that are beyond me that will continue to keep us down. Sometimes we show out for white folks by showing them how comfortable they should be around us. We have a term for that…selling out. And sometimes we show out for white folks to show them that we don’t give a sh*t about them, except what we’re doing is furthering their own beliefs that Black folks have no damn sense anyway and are all useless. We have a term for this too…being a dbag. And they all lead to the same end…shame from some other member of the Black race.

And this is why we won’t make it as a people…and you know what…

…it’s a damn shame.

Ain’t it?

What say you?


For the DC heads, its time again for another edition of REMINISCE! at Liv Nightclub this Saturday, February 4th, 2012 from 930pm til 3am. It’s all 90s everything and anybody who has been will tell you this party is a motherf*cking monster. It’s FREE BEFORE 11PM WITH RSVP ($10 after) (click the link to RSVP), OPEN BAR FROM 930-1030PM (doors open earlier b/c people keep showing up MAD early) and no dress code. Supa Qool DJ Quartermaine on the 1s and 2s. Come on out and we’ll see you on Saturday night! Peep the FB event here!

Filed Under: ,
Panama Jackson

Panama Jackson is pretty fly (and gorgeous) for a light guy. He used to ship his frito to Tito in the District, but shipping prices increased so he moved there to save money. He refuses to eat cocaine chicken. When he's not saving humanity with his words or making music with his mouth, you can find him at your mama's mama's house drinking her fine liquors. Most importantly, he believes the children are our future. You can hit him on his hitter at panamadjackson@gmail.com.

  • Mo-VSS

    I’m ashamed of women who have multiple kids with multiple men. Not like two kids by two different men over a ten year time span. That sh*t happens. But, the woman who has 4 or 5 or 6 kids and each of those kids has a different father. There is not any reason for anyone to have that many kids and just as many fathers. Oh…and this isn’t gender biased. I hate those men with just as many mothers to their kids as the number of kids they have.

    Is that elitist? Maybe. But I don’t care. It’s hard enough being a two parent household or co-parenting with someone you’re not with any longer. Add 3 or 4 other folks to the mix and it’s disasterous. Don’t think these folks exist. I have former friends and some family members who fit the description, so it’s not like I have a “not in my house, nose-turned-up, outsider” perspective.

    Loud, obxious folks don’t bother me too much. I’m sure my friends and I were once that excited about life and loudly proclaiming it to anyone within earshot. The thing I hate is that when a group of “us” is loud and wrong, it’s reflected back on all of us (at least that’s what I’ve been told…by other black folks…I wonder if that is really what white folks think, but I digress…) but let a group of “them” come along doing the same thing, it’s just THEM…not all white folk. I’ll be very happy when we can be looked at less as of a collective and more as individuals.

    I’m sure I’ll die before that happens though…

  • Mel – The Bone Collector

    I’m so guilty of being ashamed of the “other” Black people. BUT I am not shamed for being ashamed


    **I’m bourgeois and I know it**

  • LadyLark

    mmkay…It’s late and I’m ’bout to head on over 2 da pj’s priviously mentioned… as they are the dang devil…

  • LadyLark

    n Yes I meant privy (or outhouse)

  • nodramacici

    I’m guilty of feeling ashamed. I hate loud as teenagers! I was riding on the bus one day and 4 loud-ass, unruly black teenagers cursed this lady out for looking at them wrong. If they weren’t so damn loud she wouldn’t have been looking at them. But, of course, the rest of the adults on the bus, including me, sat idly by and didnt say anything. Hell, who wants to get beaten up by teenagers after a long days of work.

  • anechoic

    While you’re not wrong (whenever I see a headline about some stupid shit, my first reaction is “please don’t be black, please don’t be black”), I’m just afraid that the twenty-something white male demographic that makes up the Reddit readership are going to point to this post as evidence that it’s okay to use the word “nigger” to separate the “good” black people from the “bad” black people. Sigh.

  • “Add to the Negro intelligentsia who have no firm cultural base in the reality of either the black world or the white (even when they have achieved recognition), a large fluctuating contingent who make up the bulk of new aspirants to integrated cultural achievement. The result: a rootless class of displaced persons who are refugees from the social poverty of the black world. At one time, the black world was rich in the pristine artistic essentials for new forms in music, dance, song, theater and even language; then, the black ethnic identity was seen as a unique advantage. But today the style has become a negation of that identity, in pursuit of cultural integration or assimilation. Today the failure of the black bourgeoisie as a class, to play any social role as patron or sponsor of the arts, is all the more glaring. For now the new Negro cultural aspirants are making vocal and specified demands for integration in cultural fields where the black bourgeoisie has never paid the piper, and therefore can call no tunes.” — excerpt from Harold Cruse’s The Crisis of the Negro Intellectual chapter Role of the Negro Intellectual—Survey of the Dialogue Deferred

  • SweetSass

    Everyone has this moment but you move past it. You eventually realize what is going on in your head is the internalized izms that have you even worrying about what white people think. The ones who are racists were racist before they met a black person and would still be after they met a perfect, Black Superman a.k.a Obama, (see how dirty he gets treated.) Aside; Wayne Brady… universally liked? History’s mysteries.

    I don’t have time for shame… righteous anger at injustice takes enough of my energy.

  • Dope post Snowboard P. I was going to bomb this with Harold Cruse quotes. I’ll just do 3 instead.

    The quote below and conversations I’ve had in real life among those within the Black Diaspora are reasons I have been irked or hated Black people. The sneering non-US Blacks to us bothers me to end.

    “During the 1950’s in the Greenwich Village interracial scene, it was noted that certain West Indian males formed themselves into a semi-exclusive social club from which camp they competed with American Negro males for the favors of white women (mostly Jewish).The West Indian women on the scene were hardly ever seen at this club’s functions, for the usually consorted with white men, as did most of the American Negro women. Most of the West Indian men were ever alert to emphasize that they were “not American Negroes.” The West Indian women, though fewer in number, reacted similarly, and one remarked, “You Negroes have contributed nothing to the United States but jazz music.” When asked what the West Indians had contributed to the British Empire aside from calypso and labor—both slave and cheap—she replied, “Oh, that’s different.”

  • naturalista88

    I dislike anyone who is loud & extra for no reason, regardless of race/ethnicity. Like, wtf do you have to be so f*cking annoying & asinine when there is no reason to be?? Do I feel some way about black people who act foolish in public w/out giving not a damn or f*ck? Yes, but I don’t reserve those feelings for just them. They apply to anyone who acts douchey, especially if you’re a friend of mine. So while I may feel shame, it’s equal opportunity shame for the masses.

More Like This