As someone who literally wore an ‘Angry Black Man’ t-shirt during his college days, I feel uniquely qualified to drop my two cents on this one…
First, here’s the truth about 90 percent of the ‘angry black people’ you see…
Now, I know anger. My blood has boiled red hot, especially in the younger ‘trying to figure life out and where I fit in’ days (though most of that was frustration). Like most black folks who know their history, there’s a latent anger in my bones that goes back generations.
But let’s make the distinction: being less playful/serious at times is NOT the same as being angry.
Exhibit A (as in Aziz): You’re reading him.
Exhibit B (as in Barack): he lives in the White House for 2 more years.
I don’t believe this will happen (he’ll still have way too much political capital if he doesn’t have the same political power), but I would love to hear Obama admit how many times hourly/daily/weekly he wanted to absolutely ream somebody, but like every brother alive he knows he has to be VERY smart and careful about when he chooses to show his teeth so to speak and be threatening.
(Because even when we’re not trying, we know the idea of being threatening can be fatal. No, not covering that again today, not specifically. Just a reminder.)
How is this resolved? I believe this is one of those ‘not in my lifetime’ solutions, but I also said that about a black President of the United States. Saying it more on the nose, (one of the positives of) information becoming more democratic is that slooooooowly not just the artists but everyone being a little more available to each other breaks down preconceptions faster. One of the things I already admire about the kids who are coming up behind me is there seems to be a higher demand to be your authentic self to fit in, than to fit in under false pretense and be exposed as a phony after the fact. That could very well be an L.A./Hollywood thing though.
So we understand each other? Good!
(Just don’t make me angry. You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry…)