Race’s Proverbs

I often review the statistics for my blog but I’m not just interested in the numbers. While it is encouraging to know how many persons have read my posts, I am also interested in what led them to the blog. For this answer, I check the word searches. Sometimes, it’s the name of the blog or questions regarding race but sometimes, the person searches for something that I do not have a post on. One example would be the word search “nigger, proverbs.” Now, I can’t be certain of what she or he meant but it is, at least for me, an interesting choice of words. And it inspired this post.

What are some of the proverbs, the so- called wise sayings of race? What warnings does race give us about other socially colored groups? What insight does the social construct provide regarding the social coloring of skin and our interaction with it? What wisdom literature do we associate with race?

I’ll share with you one that was passed down to me: “The blacker the berry, the sweeter the juice” (This is another example of race discussed using food; see “You Are What You Eat: Race Is Not A Food Group” for more discussion on this topic.). This saying was used to suggest that there was something good about being dark- skinned, perhaps used to counter the negative associations that were/ are often linked to darker skin. This statement turns the world of race on its head, making the darker skin the better one to possess. This was consider dating advice according to race. Some sons may have heard from their mothers, “Don’t bring her home if she can’t use my comb.” This saying was used to enforce the rule of no “interracial” dating.  The thought was that dating a socially colored white woman would only bring trouble. I asked one of my uncles why he had never dated a socially colored white woman and his reply was, “I have enough problems.” Unfortunately, this sentiment of dating across socially drawn racial lines as difficult continues to be shared with generation after generation. I hope that we can change that.

I’ll be back to check your answers and your word searches.

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