Proud To Be Mexican

Walter L. Hilliard III

One day I happened to catch Eva Longoria of “Desperate Housewives” fame on CNN’s Piers Morgan’s show yesterday.  Now I’ll be the first to tell you that I was not a fan of her or her show; however, I became fascinated with her during the interview when she mentioned that she had gone back to school to get her masters degree in Chicano Studies and Political Science.

My first thought was: is there a Black female entertainer equivalent, someone who has ever done anything like what Longoria did?  I couldn’t think of any.  I mean, never, ever would you hear that, say, Beyonce or Halle Berry returned to school in the midst of their careers to study African American studies –- never.  In fact, Beyonce said she wished she had been born Hispanic.

I really try to love this broad, Beyonce, but she seems so superficial and, well, dumb.  I don’t like to call people dumb but when I think of how oblivious she is to all things Black or her lack of social consciousness, I cannot think of anything else.  Beyonce’s dad used her fellow group members (maybe with the exception of Kelly Rowland), took their money, then threw them out on the street, while Beyonce, who was supposed to be their friend, sat by, batted her eyes and seemed to play some sort of victim role.  Yes, she can sing, dance and shake her booty but why is she really a star?  There are better singers.  But, well, okay –- I don’t think there’s a better booty shaker with a face and body like hers.

But I digress.

The point is that Black entertainers, as well as Black people, spend most of their time trying to imitate White folks, straightening their hair, narrowing their noses, looking for pats on the head at work, and watching television shows with casts full of people who don’t look like them.  So when you see an actress like Eva Longoria talking about how proud she is of her Mexican heritage, it’s refreshing.

Black people have been in America for 400 years, and even the Black colleges can barely keep their African American studies programs open.

So, yes, I wonder when you’ll see any of our entertainers going back to school to study African American culture?  Some go to Africa — but never back to school to study Black people.

It seems most Black people are in love with the “swag” of being Black but could care less about the foundation of what it means to be Black and proud –- the history, the desire to help others, teaching our children to be Black and proud –- and profess their Blackness anywhere, anytime, and in front of anyone.  I know I was listening when James Brown said “Say it loud!  I’m Black and I’m proud!”  And so many of us love the “show” aspect of church and showman like TD Jakes, Eddie Long and those less well-known.

But what about loving Blackness?

Enough said.

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