Sardonic Sistah Says

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FYI’s Bride and Prejudice

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I’m not gonna lie, I watched the whole first season of Married at First Sight and part of the next season of their first year.

Yeah, I was watching TV instead of writing. What?!

Okay, maybe I could spend a bit more time in my feelings with my fingers on a keyboard.

But back to the point, FYI has a new show called Bride and Prejudice, not to be confused with the favorite Aishwarya Rai movie that is a take on Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.

bride and prejudice

Nope. This one has modern day couples dealing with the racism or homophobia of their families.

To promote the show they used three different couples which they didn’t use in the show (what’s up with that). But at least the promo gave us the cute Raquel and Justin.

https://www.fyi.tv/embed/652493891539

They both do Muay Thai, they are both adorable. Maybe FYI will catch a clue and give them their own show, maybe in one of those little tiny houses they are always house hunting for people.

I guess if you watch it use the #loveislove and let’s get these cuties their own show.

Written by rentec

14 April, 2016 at 1:09 pm

Casting Pearls

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It has been hot.  It has been speak-in-cliches-that-compares-the heat-to-hell/Miami/Lucifer’s balls kind of hot.  And I, of course, have been ringing the death knell about how the warm winter coupled with this even warmer summer is signaling the beginning of global warming.

Not that I am a scientist, but I do like to play a scientific alarmist in real life when it comes to the environment.  I don’t wish for a new millennium dust bowl or for people to fall out from heatstroke but my interests gets piqued when the burning hell I was foretold would consume the earth might soon come to past when the thermometer starts to creep up.  Years ago I got into a heated debate about whether global warming was indeed true or just a government conspiracy (which he believed it was) and I retorted that the best bet for his future progeny would be for him to marry someone like me or darker so they can survive the coming heatwave.  Two weeks later he brings to me an article that hypothesized the earth was heading into a second ice age and that the best bet for my future children would be to find a hirsute pale male like himself to give them a fighting chance.

As I swelter in the heat I smile as I think of how I am winning this debate.

It seems that someone else has had that same apocryphal outlook and has done what anyone would do with such an idea:  write a dystopian teen book about it.

Revealing Eden: Save the Pearls Part One by Victoria Hoyt tells the story of Eden Newman.  Newman lives in a post-apocalyptic world where global warming has left the world dangerously hot.  In the U.S. the racial class system has been turned on its head with the fair-skinned whites, referred to as Pearls, now on the bottom and the darker skinned Blacks (coals) on the top. By the age of 18 the young women need to be matched with a mate.   Thought of as genetically inferior, no one wants a pearl for a mate.

I’ll just let the character speak for herself:

As you can see Eden tries to pass herself off as a “Coal” order to marry up.  She has two potential suitors who are black.

Back in November, before the release of the book a blogger for the Huffington Post gave the “Revealing Eden” a favorable review.

Eden is smart, funny, feisty and fearless. Ronson Bramford is her Rhett Butler and we watch them fight and fall in love all while they deal with “The Heat,” humanity’s probable demise, and the experiment that may allow humans to adapt. While reading this I felt like I was watching an Avatar type film. It’s very visual and futuristic with a tender love story at its core.

Foyt covers interracial issues, what beauty means culturally, and environmental destruction, all while entertaining the reader with one twist after the next. Although the book is young adult/fantasy/sci-fi/romance, I, as an adult who mostly reads non-fiction, loved it!

Irene Rubuam-Keller, Huffington Post.

I have yet to read the book myself, but with just a cursory look over the synopsis and reading of a couple of reviews I have a few quibbles.  One: the choice of monikers for the racial groups.  I suspect that in a world where blacks are on top and whites are on the bottom, we are going to think of something better to call ourselves than the Coals and something more derogatory for whites than the Pearls.  When you think of Coal you think of something dirty, that get’s on everything and if you touch it, it leaves a mark.  A pearl is something precious, elusive and rare.  Even the other racial groups get analogies that compare them to gemstones with Latinos being Tiger Eyes and Asians referred to as Amber.  But blacks are coal?  As my daughter surmised we can’t even get Opal?

Okay.

My feelings are similar to the questions that was raised on this blog:

Turns the tables on racism. Really now? How’s that exactly? Because it sure seems rather exploitative to me and it makes me wonder if they really understand how racism works. Sure put the Black people at the top in your story and the White people at the bottom. Then call the White people pearls and the Black people coals and explain to me how exactly that turns the table on racism.

Dreams of Equality

And I will confess, I have not read the book.  We haven’t purchased it in my library system and usually we get galleys of pre-published books and I checked to see if we had been given one.  None was on our shelves but then I remembered we have given away a lot of those books to teens over the last few months because our free book shelf runneth over.  I wonder if a teen had picked up the book and how would they interpret it?  Would they see this book as a racialized Hunger Games with Katniss in blackface?

To me it’s coming off more as a new Birth of the Nation.  Fight Global Warming or Your Daughter will either have to marry black or be cast out into the sun!

It’s not just the names of the two separate groups or that the main character darkens herself up to pass, but I also have an issue with the way two of the characters are handled.  Spoiler alert (although no one gave me the heads up to this spoiler) one of the black males that decides to pursue Eden undergoes surgery to become a human/animal hybrid.  I am cool with WW/BM swirling but WW/BM -self-imposed wolverine?  Black men are often portrayed as subhuman and unrelatable creatures in the media.  And even though it seems that this is a guy who is nice, sweet and gentle, my initial feelings is to feel uncomfortable with anything that is going to sell black men (especially those black men) as anything other than human.

I gotta get my hands on this book.  I don’t want to buy it, but I feel I should read it before I reject it out of hand.

But for now I guess I will just try to not fry in this heat and urge my children to marry black; I guess the blacker the better.  Because when us Opals or Onyxes or Blackberries take over the US in the first major decision we will have to make is what to call ourselves because I guess just being Black or African-American or human will be so passe.

Written by rentec

29 July, 2012 at 6:38 pm

Something New… But Not Really

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Sandra "Pepa" Denton and Tom Lo: the new face of Blasian Coupledom

  I received a couple of emails about Sandi “Pepa” Denton and her new boyfriend Tom Lo on the television show “Let’s Talk about Pep“.  I’ve seen the show’s premiere episode and I liked it; I would describe it as a reality slanted black version of “Sex and the City”.  But after the first episode I never got a chance to go back to it because I’ve been, for lack of a better word, “consumed” with the final season of “Lost”.  But I am hoping that VH-1 follows these ladies a 2nd season and keeps the first season online for people to watch.

 Suffice it to say, I haven’t seen the episode where Tom woos and courts Pep so I don’t know if it is a real romance or a showmance, but does it really matter?  For may women just watching an AsAm/AfAm couple like Pepa and Tom on-screen is a bit revolutionary.   Not only can a professional sister like Zoey Andata (Gabrielle Union)  hook up with Demetri Noh (John Cho) on FlashForward but if a down chick like Pep can cross a line to date a Chinese brother then maybe there aren’t as many blockades as we thought there were.  The “Nothing but a Brother” brigade might be losing members.

 AM/BF love connections aren’t really new.  They might seem like something new because they aren’t as ubiquitous as BM/WF or WM/AF but they exist if only in small numbers. 

 A few years ago blasian groups were all  atwitter with the AsianWeek cover with an Asian man and black woman.  The impetus for the article was writer/former AsianWeek editor Sam Cacas’ book “BlAsian Exchanges”.  In the interview Cacas says, “BlAsian relationships only started happening in the late ’90s and are regularly verified on the Internet in Yahoo discussion groups like PowerCouples_AMBW with 300-plus members — mostly black women—which I co-moderate, and YouTube videos like the one showing the BlAsian couple in an IKEA commercial. The image of black women and Asian men needs to be broadened beyond their archetypal racial uniforms of accepting notions of white beauty.”

  I found this picture on my new favorite blog, B. Vikki Vintage.    The Wedding announcement is circa the late 1950s. 

 Taking it back further, after the civil war Chinese coolies were invited into the south to help keep down salaries of poor whites and newly freed blacks.  When some Chinese put down roots in their new cities they married black and white women (1).

 Something new really isn’t something new and probably surprises each generation when it comes around again.  But I guess if you haven’t seen it then it’s new to you.

 At one time it was new for me and I haven’t seen myself reflected back in the couples around me.  But back in January I was running errands during lunch saw a young AM/BF couple walking towards me.  I stopped and looked , trying not to appear too shocked.   As I entered the building I stopped to talk to a friend and I saw a different AM/BF couple come in holding hands oblivious to their surroundings.

I haven’t thought much about although yesterday as I was working the desk I was approached by a Chinese man and African woman.  I helped them find the book they were searching for and couldn’t help noticing the love taps that kept going back and forth, the shy smiles and the furtive glances.  A smirk came over my face and I had to ask, “Are you two a couple?” 

“No,” said the man.  “We are students.”  I told them my husband was Korean American and I just thought I saw something there.  We began to talk about visiting Asia then he thanked me for the book and as they left they jostled and touched on the say going out. 

Mmm hm, I thought.  

Then later that day another young Chinese male came in to use a computer and of all the empty computers around he chose a table that had a few pretty young black females.  I slyly watched their interactions; he smiled at one particular dark girl with long black hair.  She seemed to be a bit attracted to him, too, because she kept smiling back and answering questions that I’m pretty sure he knew the answer to.  I left the desk not knowing the resolution to their mild timid flirtation.  Maybe they exchanged numbers or maybe they have other connections that might keep them apart.   Who knows whom likes whom?  How does one approach blank and what do we have in common?   The modern dating dilemma is not something new, color withstanding.

Written by rentec

6 March, 2010 at 8:04 pm

Black Women, Go to the Chapel and Get Married

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A few nights ago Nightline aired this short story about Black women and the single life:

So this is what educated black women have been reduced to: a segment on tabloid television?  Yes, it’s tabloid; Nightline hasn’t gone into  depth on a story since Koppel left.  One question I wish a reporter would have asked for this story is why don’t eligible, educated black males want to be married?  One woman even said that a lot of black men put them on the low burner for later and referred to them as back pocket women.

And then they used Steve Harvey as the expert on this story.  Yeah… okay.  If they say so.   I think a better expert would have been Karyn Langhorne Folan whose upcoming book, “Don’t Bring Home a White Boy” is slated for release in February 2010.

Maybe the women who appeared on Nightline will read Folan’s book and get inspired to check out the Black American Brides website.  I know it’s the second time I’ve mentioned it in four weeks time, but it’s not a shameless plug.  I just know the ladies of the site are determined to reduce the number of single black women.

Written by rentec

3 January, 2010 at 3:14 am

Very Lost in the Translation

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I really like the show Love in Asia although I can’t really understand the stories because it’s Korean.  I have been hoping they would translate the stories into English.

Well, lo and behold I found the Love in Asia website and found a story that interested me (of course a Zambian (black) female/Korean male so I go to Babelfish to have the story translated.

I’m not really sure how it was translated from this:

■ 아프리카에서 온 미리암의 백점짜리 엄마 되기~

학교 영어선생님으로 맞벌이를 하는 미리암 부부

아침 6시만 되면 눈코 뜰 새 없이 바빠진다!

학교에선 여중생들에게 인기 만점 선생님으로~

집에 돌아오면 가족들을 위해 김치찌개를 요리하는 주부로~

예류, 예원이 두 아이를 키우다 보니 해야 할 일이 한둘이 아니다.

하지만 그녀에게 어려움이 있을 때마다 나타나는 슈퍼우먼이 있으니~

바로~ 한국살이의 가장 큰 버팀목 시어머니!

한국의 해 뜰 무렵, 해가 지는 나라 잠비아 가족들이 그리울 때도 있지만

한국에서 더 큰 사랑을 배워가는 미리암 가족의 일상 속으로 들어가본다.

To this.

From ■ Africa in advance, ~ where becomes the full mark mom of the cancer

Conducts working together with teacher English school the cancerous couple

Morning only 6:00 will become and the eye nose will float and to be busy without new comes! where

From school in woman second birth with teacher popular perfect score ~

Returns to the house and for the families with the housewife who cooks the kimchi stew ~

The example type and example circle raise two children and sees the work must do is not one or two.

But in her being been difficult, every when, the super right which appears is distant and this is ~

The different meaning which ~ Korea will live rightly the biggest prop mother-in-law!

Korea will do and the time when will float, when the country Republic of Zambia families where year falls are longed for, is but

Learns a bigger love from Korea and tries to enter with the ordinary inside of the cancerous family in advance.

But it’s very funny.  Until I can get a good handle on the Korean myself I’ll just have to content myself with looking at the pictures. Oooh, nice pictures.

I think, from the artificial intelligence translation, that the Korean man went to Zambia to do cancer research and met a Zambian woman who, I assume, was also is a researcher.  Or maybe they both have cancer and that is how they met.  I’m unsure, but whatever it is it seems like a sweet story.

Written by rentec

11 December, 2009 at 4:01 pm

Cornbread and Dim Sum

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I’m not exactly sure how I discovered the book Cornbread and Dim Sum: A Memoir of a Heart Glow Romance by Jacqueline Annette Sue but I knew I wanted to read it. 

Cornbread and Dim Sum is an autobiography of a black woman who marries a Chinese man during the height of the Civil Rights movement.  After two failed marriages (both to African American men) Ms. Sue is a single mother working in the Post Office when she is asked out by a fellow coworker who is Chinese American named Frank Sue.  At first she thinks to decline but on second thought she decides to take him up on the date which begins their 40 year romance.

While dating the Ms. Sue encounters racism from her black male co-workers and her black female landlady.  It was the impending eviction from her landlady that was the catalyst for the elopement of the Sues.  Ms. Sue also had to deal with racial barriers with her in-laws which she always didn’t understand and sometimes feared didn’t like her because of her race and color.

The book does have a few problems, like the way her daughter Khedda from her 2nd marriage is at one moment a shy girl and then the next moment a rebellious pro-black teen who drops a bomb on her parents three weeks after her high school graduation.  Ms. Sue tries to set up the story but in a way I feel let down from it.  I guess I’m looking for more since I am in a similar situation (although my daughter is now past the high school graduation age).  But as a black woman with a monoracial black daughter who decides to add to the family biracial children (either mixed with white, Asian or Latino) I can respect the the issues Ms. Sue went through, which is why I would want to know more.  How does one have two daughters positioned at two different color spectrums and raise them to feel comfortable in their own skin and beauty when the American culture will want to pit them against one another? 

One thing that definitely comes through in the book is how the Sues cherish one another. Ms. Sue was able to advance far with the postal service and she cites it was her husbands love and devotion that helped her to succeed.

Frank and Jacqueline Sue

Frank and Jacqueline Sue

“Ever supportive of me, never competitive, no matter how disturbed he might be about this move, he would eat his soup and keep our home a safe place for our relationship.” pg 275

I think that was the main point of Ms. Sue’s book, how her relationship with her strong silent husband became the well that she drew from.  Many times in the book she cited her fear, worry or disappointment but when she looked to Frank he quelled the uncertainty that was rising in her.

I think women who are in AM/BF relationships would love to read this book because it shows what our fore sisters have gone through before us.   I can’t fathom encountering some of the things that Ms. Sue has gone through.

The book can be purchased from Amazon.com or from Ms. Sue’s website.  Proceeds from the book will be donated to help fight leiomyosarcoma cancer.  The Sue’s youngest daughter Candace was diagnosed with the condition.

Sparkle in Your Eyes

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When I told my friend Reesie that I was dating a Korean man she was a bit leery about it.

“Has he introduced you to his family?” she asked.  “Do they accept you?”

Yeah, we’re cool, I told her.  It helped that his family was white, I’m sure.  She was happy for me, but sad at the same time.  My story would be different from hers for which she was glad for me but sad for herself.

Reesie is a small five foot three inches chocolate brown black woman, about a size 2.  She has curly dark reddish brown hair and small features.  Most people find her attractive.  She met Kwan while she was out one night at a bar with some friends.  He flirted; she flirted back.  They exchanged numbers and began to date.  He was an engineer at a local company and she was still trying to figure out what an English degree was good for.  They both wanted to go to grad school, they both wanted kids, they both had the same values and morals.

“I’m going to marry him,” she told me after a month of seeing him. 

“Isn’t that rather soon?” I asked.  “It’s only been a few weeks–”

No, she didn’t believe it was too soon.  When you know, you know.  She dropped a few hints but he was slow on the pick-up until finally she spelled it out for him that if he wanted her to stick around he needed to make it permanent. 

“He never even told his family about her,” my friend Lynn told me years later.  Lynn told me Reesie would come into work lamenting how Kwan was hesitant to introduce her to his parents who lived in another city. 

“She told me he wanted her to meet his parents,” I said.  I had asked her during month five, when Kwan still hadn’t proposed anything to her except a trip to the Virgin Islands, his treat.  She was still thinking of marriage and when I asked if she had met his folks she said she wasn’t worried about it and Kwan would introduce her to them if she really wanted to meet them.  She wasn’t worried about that now, she said. 

Being introduced to the parents is the litmus test for many interracial couples, but it can be hairier when the couple is an Asian/Black couple.  In the interracial world such unions are a rare occurance and for black women and Asian men it’s smaller than that. In a SFGate article, writer Jeff Wang cites recent statistics that show the AM/BF combination to be  0.01 percent of all interracial marriages across the country.

There are many reasons for the low rate in coupling between the two groups.  Lack of attraction between AfAms and AsAms is the biggest reason, although the interest may be slightly higher for black females if any of the online groups are an indication.

Black member of Azn Lover Alicia Powell told Jeff Yang: “I think Asian men are brainwashed to want white women. And it’s too bad, because I’m attracted to Asian men, and I think black female / Asian male couples are beautiful. It’s messed up that many Asian American men dismiss women of other races. But they see stereotypes of black women in the media, and they see white women depicted as glamorous, so that’s what they think is right for them.”

For the few Asians who have decided to go black many cite problems with family acceptance.      According to a lighthearted on Asian-Nation if given a choice of mates for their children (an Asian gangter, a Caucasian, a black person, a gay person or a sloppy dresser) the black person would always be the worst choice.  “To them, dark skin=BAD while light skin=GOOD,” reasoned H. Tse, the quiz’s creator. “Therefore, according to this absurd reasoning, a Black person is the worst possible date. ”

In many Asian/Black online communities both Asian men and women complain about becoming pariahs in their families because of their choice of mates, saying that the families have threatened to disown them if they didn’t drop their significant others.  In the Asian Men Who Love Black Women group two Asian males confessed that they stopped seeing the black women they were dating because their of their family, with one guy who ended up marrying a white female.  Some black/Asian couples have not only worried about being ostracized but have encountered threats of violence from Asian families when the families find out about black partners.

No story better illustrates that than the current news headline of Sparkle Reid Rai.  Sparkle met her husband Rajeev (Ricky) Rai when he hired her to work at the family hotel that he managed.  They fell in love, had a child and then married against his parents wishes.  Before the marriage he told his young bride and her family that his parents had died.  A family member of Sparkle’s found out that his parents were still living and called his parents told them about the wedding.  Sparkle’s parents confronted them with the news.

“We said, ‘Rick, isn’t there something you want to tell us about your parents being alive,’ ” said Donna Lowry, Sparkle’s stepmother and a reporter with WXIA-TV. “‘ Someone talked to your mom earlier today.’  He continued to deny it. We continued to press him and he finally admitted that his parents were still alive.”

On 26 April 2000, Ricky came home from work to find his wife stabbed to death.  After years of being filed as a cold case new evidence turned up that Ricky’s father, Chiman Rai, allegedly paid 10,000 for hitmen to kill his unapproved daughter-in-law.  It was said that the elder Rai, former math teacher at an HBCU located in Mississippi, disapproved because his daughter wasn’t Indian. 

A witness to the murder said that everything happened so fast that Sparkle didn’t have a chance to process it.  “She was gagging and blood started coming out of her mouth,” the witness said, noting that Sparkle reached out for her daughter as she was being murdered.

After Sparkle’s death, Ricky gave up custody of his daughter Analla to his in-laws.  He completed his degree in business at Northwestern University and is re-married to an Indian woman.

But back to my friend, Reesie.

After nearly a year and a half of dating, Kwan announced his intention to attend school in another state but he didn’t want to take her with him.  He loved her, he said, but he just couldn’t see how it could work out.  In trying to extricate himself as smoothly as he could from the relationship he offered her a couple of thousand dollars but no hint of his new phone number or address.

Reesie was furious.

“I should call the university and tell them he has a drug problem,” she fumed.  “I should call his parents and tell them about what he’s been up to.”

“Does he have a drug problem?” I asked.

“Yes, he does,” she said, although I highly doubted it.  If he had a serious drug problem she never would have stayed with him.   “Don’t make any phone call,” I said.  “You’re better than that.  If he’s not strong enough to defy his parents, then it’s not meant to be.  Just let him go.”

Slowly, she agreed I was right.  Then we wondered what she should do with the money.  Perhaps take a trip to Europe, Italy maybe, where it is rumored the Italian men love black women and no disapproving parents stand in the way.

Written by rentec

21 June, 2008 at 6:24 pm