So working in the library allows me to encounter a variety of people not only students and faculty but members from the community as well. The other day I was about to put away some DVD’s when a woman in her late thirties and maybe early forties approached the counter to check a couple of books out for her research. I was able to gather that this woman was a graduate student and I knew this because a week before that day she came asking about checking some books and getting some things due dates extended because she was a grad student – let me inform you that this woman is black, African american, and person of color – I proceeded to check items out and as causal conversation starter because she had a considerable to amount to check out – I asked what the material was for and the woman with a stern face replied for an independent study course. While that information was specific it was still all to vague for me a person who took interest in the material she was checking out, which had to do with violence, media, and other social infrastructures in society, I immediately thought okay this woman is private about her research and would like to keep it to herself – which was respectable and weird all together because she could have easily given me the ISC name but I was not all to worried about it that day. Now fast forward it to this days event of her checking material out again, my co worker of a different race (Caucasian or white) proceeded to check the material out to the patron and I curiously watched because if you were to see this woman she was quite interesting to observe (as mentioned before she was black, stood about 5’5, wild hair, fairly tiny/skinny, and had an overall demeanor that wasn’t striking but as stated interesting) – my coworker struck the exact conversation – you would almost think I had instructed her to recite the lines I had a week ago – so anyway she asked what the material was for and to my surprise not only did this patron give the exact course, instructor, but also what she was specifically researching and why. Now maybe I was just thinking too much into the situation but her attitude and voice toward my white coworker was almost as if they were on the exact same level and her voice with me this previous week was like she expected me not to understand what she was studying or that I would have the same interest or didn’t “deserve the extended and in-depth conversation.”
Now before you think I am paranoid or over thinking things – I will have you know that the number of intellectual negro acting to their name out-of-place incidents are quite common. Okay maybe I do not have specific data or numbers but life has taught me that there are so many classifications of the African American that are either instilled by African-Americans themselves as attempt to distance themselves from stereotypes or instilled by non other than the white man dun dun daaaannnn. And this woman is the classic tale of the black woman attempting to assert her status in a predominately white setting – more power to you sistah but please do not automatically rule out your own race because just like the “other” who have oppressed who are continuing the cycle.
Ahhh now that felt good to get of my chest and you can guarantee that there will be MORE posts on the intellectual negro.
Astu Mengesha – stay down blaze up