You ever have a conversation with somebody of another race and you find out that they’re intimately familiar with the ways, customs, and downside of your own? That happened to me one day. I was talking to somebody I work with and he freely mentioned that he’s ridden The Soul Train of Washington, DC’s Metrorail system aka The Green Line.
And yes, it means exactly what you think it means. I starts and ends in ye locale of color and runs through the heart of DC’s Black communities in NW and SE DC. It threw me for a loop as I realized dude was one of those chaps who might actually have seen a movie like Hot Boyz which starred (and I use that term loosely) Gary Busey – must have had a mortgage issue that month- and Silkk The Shocker. I came to find out that he only dates Black women and liked to use slang whenever possible. Nice enough chap, but he caught me off guard and I do not like surprises.
I like big butts. I cannot lie. But surprises? Not so much. It’s why I don’t mess with 3D television. It’s like things kept jumping out at me. I wasn’t ready.
What does that have to do with the price of square tacos in El Paso? Nothing.
But my former coworker is the type to watch movies that I’d be surprised if most white people had seen. It’s not because the movies are bad either. It’s just because, well, why on Earth would they be watching some of these movies. We can rarely relate to them so I can only imagine a bunch of elderly white people in a nursing home trying to differentiate between all of the Lil’ running around in any movie produced by a record company. But I’m not even mostly surprised by those movies since let’s be real, most of us don’t watch them either. Here are movies I’m talking about….and alas, some white folks have seen them.
1. Love & Basketball/Brown Sugar/Any movie with Taye Diggs
While I appreciate these movies, I also rap, play basketball and have a bald head. So I can relate. When I find out that a white person has actually seen Love & Basketball, it’s like I want to get to understand who they are and why. And I’m not talking the Michael Rapaport, N’Bushe Wright banging white folks, I’m talking Kevin James style. Taye Diggs knows how to pick movies that resonate with Black America and pretty much stop there. Which isn’t a problem mind you, I live in Black America so I get my resonation on. Hate it or love, Taye Diggs is a significant part of the Black movie going experience. I’m not sure what to do with that information so I’ll just smack it up, flip it, and rub it down.
2. Thuggin’ It And Lovin’ It (Part 1 or 2)
I’m almost afraid to even mention this. And do you know why? I’ll tell you why. Have you ever seen a movie so horrendous that you were ashamed of your race? I’m afraid that because I mention this, some white person outside of Louisiana will see this and then be able to justifiably judge all Black people. I watched it with my homeboy and we just sat silent after it was over and read a calculus book. To summarize: Troy Da Triggaman has money and nothing better to do so he allows ninjas from Baton Rouge to promote themselves with various weapons, drug paraphanalia, while repping their part of town and basically just talking about all the crimes they participate in. While holding firearms. Or booty. Yes, holding booty. Boi boi boi boi boi. There are also music videos for songs like “Thuggin’ It And Lovin’ It” which is about, you guessed it thuggin’ it and lovin’ it, “16teen” which according to the author really says “sixteen” not “sixteenteen” as it’s written. Either way, sixteen is when he married his block (ninja), but seventeen was the first time he shot a ninja. Poetry. Let’s just say, I feel confident in saying that Baton Rouge, Louisiana just might be the most ignorant city on the planet.
3. Spike Lee films that don’t star Denzel
Denzel is a box office draw so that kind of goes without saying, but when a white person tells me they’ve seen School Daze, I’m thunderstruck. Or She’s Got To Have It. Or the box office suicide flick, She Hate Me. Spike’s a little too complex at time for even me and I know its Black History Month. Though interestingly enough, I went to go see Bamboozled at the movies and the theater was extremely diverse. I’ll never understand that. And I actually think outside of Malcolm X, Bamboozled is Spike’s best movie.
4. Tyler Perry movies that star Madea
A long time ago, my boss came in raving to the admin in my office about a movie she had just seen that she absolutely loved. That movie? Diary of A Mad Black Woman. My boss? Old White Woman. Like Fried Green Tomatoes old. I didn’t know what to do with that information so I just crawled under my desk and sucked on my thumb in the fetal position for a few hours (I used sick leave). I wasn’t sure if it would help or hurt race relations but Obama was elected so maybe Tyler Perry isn’t the antichrist after all.
5. Paid In Full
This is a true story. In grad school, one of my professors told me he’d watched Paid In Full and was fascinated by the storyline and the depth of conflict in the hood. Just fascinated. He told me because…I was the Black student. The end.
Um, what about you?
-VSB P aka THE ARSONIST aka WHAT’S THAT SH*T THAT THEY BE SMOKIN’ – TICAL aka PERSEUS JACKSON aka GIIIIIIIIIIIIIIRL HE A 3
- Purchase our new book, Your Degrees Wont Keep You Warm at Night: The Very Smart Brothas Guide to Dating, Mating, and Fighting Crime on Amazon.com
- Get on the VSB VIP List to get all our event info for National VSB Day on 2/10/11 and more! DC, PGH, LA, ATL Bay Area, NYC , Chicago, Houston, and Miami/South Florida dates already announced!