Friday, November 10, 2006


How ironic is this---that some granola white people are teaching ME and my kids how to do African Drumming?? My girls and son and I went over to the Hollywood library where a man and woman duo did African drumming with a slew of percussion instruments for a bunch of little kids. It was great.

I have to get them major props, first off, because they were truly great. It was exactly the kind of thing I want my boys to experience. All the kids got to participate, and it was really, really fun. I just couldn’t stop thinking how ironic this was! And even more ironic was the fact that of course (I’ve mentioned this before) my kids and I were the ONLY people of color there. I’m not even going to go there again. That irks me to no end.

When I first came in the door, there were several white moms who were glaring at me, as if I was crashing their cultural event. I’m not kidding. And if that’s NOT what they were thinking (because it could’ve been just my perception), they shouldn’t have been staring so hard . If anyone was out of place it should have been them.

What’s even more ironic was that at the end, the duo encouraged everyone, kids and parents to get up and shake their instruments and dance to the beat. But me, the only black adult in the room, and probably the only one with any Soul (e.g. real dancing skills) whatsoever, was the only one NOT dancing. I encouraged my boys to dance, but I just wasn’t feelin’ it- shaking my booty with all these white people. It was like that Sesame Street sketch- one of these things just doesn’t belong…….


Pyo said...

Hello Black girl,
I see what you mean with those hard stares at you, my interpretation of those is that they believed you had nothing to do there because it's already a natural skills of yours. You know, you're black so you were born knowing how to cook cassava, braid hair, hunt lions and of course play drumms. So why learn?
At least that's the way I felt when experiencing the same reaction from white people in situations akeen to this one.
I promised myself next time I will just ask them why they're staring, if it's because my nose is misplaced or something... lol

Aly Cat 121 said...

Or they could have been lookin cuz they thought you were one of the most BEAUTIFUL women they've ever seen. You know we do tend to have that affect on folks. ;-)

D said...

On the totally flip side of this...

The town where I live has a "drum corps", and it's based out of a school that's in a heavily minority part of town, so most of the participants are African American. On days they are practicing, you can hear them from miles away.

And they sound really good. It's amazing what you can do with fifty percussion instruments.

Anyway, a few years ago, some kids that hung out at my neighbors' started playing drums on their back porch. There were three kids, I think, and it sounded good. Loud, but I didn't mind. The three of them were practicing the same thing over and over for about two weeks, and what they were playing was a really complicated drum solo from a Led Zeppelin song. Three black kids were playing "white music". And it sounded great.

Black people joke all the time that they've got more musical talent than white people, and statistically, matching the number of records sold to the percentage of population, it's true. Black music is a lot more prevalent than the percentage of population.

I thought it was a little ironic and funny that three black kids were playing white music. The fact that they were making it sound good was not related - everything they played sounded good, white or black. So the next time I was outside and they were practicing, I gave a thumbs up, and said so.

Three minutes later, they weren't playing any more, and I never heard them play again.

I show some appreciation for their appreciation of my music, and they promptly stop forever? What's up with that?