Ebony-n-Ivory Accepted Here?

Ebony-n-Ivory Accepted Here?

Mar09-1People everywhere celebrated the election of Barack Obama.  Others felt it was a terrible day and that they could never respect a black man as their president.  If we look at Obama’s background, we see that he is more diverse than many of us.  And while we all say we are accepting of it (to the general public he looks like an average black man), are all of us really?

Barack was born to a Caucasian American female and an African male from Kenya.  When we say someone is African-American, he definitely fits that description.  Outwardly it seems like the minority community is more accepting of interracial relationships, but are we?  A couple of weeks ago I received an email from an OnyxLouisville reader.  She attended a party and was very troubled by her experience.  I told her I would write about her situation and get the input of others.  Please help her out.

Her Initial email:
I just wanted to address some things I have noticed lately.  I was born and raised in Louisville and throughout the last couple years I have been so frustrated with how our “grown up” nightlife scene is. My frustration stems from the ignorance I have seen. I have many friends that love the music but will not step foot into parties such as the ones at Raw and the Winery based on the simple fact of the pettiness they have experienced. I thought Louisville would be more diverse by now, but wow I am shocked.  Why does my race have to be addressed when I walk in the doors? I understand I am Caucasian but why must the ladies always point that out with side comments and harsh looks? I usually just laugh at it, but now I am really trying to come to terms with why this is still going on. I hate that my city has to be so ignorant. What is up with that?

Her follow up email where I asked specifically what happened:
Aside from the deer in headlights looks I receive (and trust me I am not just being paranoid), as a woman I am sure you can relate. Between 5 to 6 females made it a point to approach my boyfriend and ask him why he was here with a “white chick”, much to their dismay we have been together for 3 years but I am a pretty private person so it caught me and him off guard. He said he had females coming up to him that he barely knew making comments. Disrespectful is an understatement. Also, my guy was introducing me to someone and she tried to pull him aside and ask if he was really with a “white girl” and then he went on to introduce me out of respect and she said “Is this a new one”? Like I was a new pair of stilettos! She later apologized to him saying she didn’t recognize me because my hair was up when she saw me last time. Do you think this is just a female thing or a race thing? I feel like it is a little of both and it’s such a tragedy.

So readers, what is your response?  Are you accepting of interracial couples?  Are ‘urban professional’ parties supposed to have an all black crowd?  When you disagree with someone’s choices in a mate, do you have a right to vocalize it to the person?  Would you still love Michelle Obama if she had blonde hair and blue eyes?  Is love really color blind? What would you do if you were in her situation?

M.Y. March 2009

Black is the New Possibility

Black Is The New Possibility!

Jan09-4I’m sure everyone remembers where they were this Tuesday at noon.  I was sitting in Fox and Hound surrounded by a room full urban professionals for our OnyxLouisville/Red Carpet event. I was full of emotion simply because of the history that was being made.  That level of pride increased as I looked around the room at the wonderful faces that were present.

We came out, we were proud and the tissue box made it’s rounds.  This was the moment we had been waiting for and the applause at the end of his speech was tremendous. Barack Obama is our president!

Jessica Taylor, Red Carpet Events, thought of a celebratory idea to have a toast. Of course!  I know nothing about the bubbly but know this event is toast worthy. I stood on a chair and asked if anyone wanted to give the speech – there was silence all around.  Crap.  I love to write, but now must speak! Obama told me change was coming, I just didn’t know it would be so soon!

So I held up my champagne glass which held one small gulp and said “This is for the past, present and the future.  Barack Obama is now OUR president”.  Plain. Simple. Yet, oh so true.

Driving home, I thought about what I would have said if I really had time to prepare.  Maybe it would have been the following:  ”This is a toast to our past. Our ancestors fought long and hard to make sure that our people progressed.  They never settled for less and encouraged us to keep moving forward.  This is for those remarkable individuals who, although not physically here, stand with us proud today.  This toast is for the present.  We did this!  Each of our voices and votes made a difference.  Obama has been named our leader, but we must be willing to be followers. This is our commitment to being agents of change.  This toast is for our future – that our current and future children and grandchildren will grow up with the reality (and not the dream) that they honestly can accomplish anything that they set out to do!

I encourage you to click on the link below and share you Inauguration experience and hopes for the future.  Whether in DC, Louisville or in between – if you remember the moment, it’s a moment worth sharing!

Black = possibility!

M.Y. January 2009

Lift Every Voice

Lift Every Voice

Jan09-3I first want to wish a safe trip to everyone traveling to the DC area of the inauguration.  For those not going, join OnyxLouisville and Red Carpet Events at Fox and Hound to watch the Inauguration speech (see Hot Spots for more information).

For some odd, random, reason I was sitting in church and decided to look the words up in the hymnal to Lift Every Voice And Sing.  It’s one of my favorite songs.  We always sing songs that we’ve memorized, but how often do we really take the time out to analyze what the words mean.  Once I read the words, I realized how important they are to the events occurring next week and in the future.

Obama’s presidency is not the end all, be all.  It’s not the beginning.  It’s a continuation.  We are one step further to accomplishing success in all areas.  I don’t know if it will be ‘politically correct’ but I hope at some point during the festivities our anthem is sung.  I’ve listed the words below and hope you will really think of it’s significance in your life (past, present and future).

Lift Every Voice and Sing
Til earth and heaven ring.
Ring with the harmonies of Liberty;
Let our rejoicing rise
High as the listening skies,
Let it resound loud as the rolling sea.
Sing a song full of the faith that the
Dark past has taught us,
Sing a song full of the hope that the
present has brought us;
Facing the rising sun of our new day begun,
Let us march on ’til victory is won.

Stony the road we trod,
Bitter the chast’ning rod,
Felt in the days when hope unborn had died;
Yet with a steady beat,
Have not our weary feet
Come to the place for which our fathers sighed?
We have come over a way that with tears
Has been watered,
We have come, treading our path through the
Blood of the slaughtered,
Out from the gloomy past,
‘Til now we stand at last
Where the white gleam of our bright star is cast.

God of our of weary years,
God of our silent tears,
Thou who has brought us thus far on the way;
Thou who has by The might
Led us into the light,
Keep us forever in the path
We Pray.
Lest of feet stray from the places,
Our God, where we met thee,
Lest, our hearts drunk with the wine
Of the world,
We forget Thee.
Shadowed beneath Thy hand,
May we forever stand,
True to our God,
True to our native land.

M.Y.  January 2009

Michelle for 1st lady – no make that president!

   “Michelle for 1st lady – no, make that president!!”

Oct08-2For the past several months I’ve wanted a “Michelle for 1st lady” shirt in support of Michelle Obama (and all the Michelles in the world)!  But the more I’ve watched tv recently, I have decided to set my goals higher.  Heck, it’s not even feasibly possible to be single and a first lady (hence being 1st lady requires your hubby to be the prez).  Now, I too want to be VP.  Keep reading for some of my highlights:

Education:  My grandmothers were teachers, my parents worked on college campuses, I was taught by teachers, I was a teacher and now I help teachers.  Next question.

Risky photos:  I have been spotted in a one piece and two piece swimsuit recently.  My talent is fitness and there is video of my one arm pushups.  There are also plenty of cheerleading photos with short skirts or high school photos with daisy dukes.

International affairs: On a monthly basis I receive emails from various people in Nigeria.  They claim to be my relatives and often seek money for assistance or are proud to tell me I’ve won a large sum in a lottery. I’ve also taste tested guinea pig while traveling through Ecuador.

View on gay marriage:  Who has time to think about if other people should be married?  I’m focused on getting myself married.  I’d require married men to have their rings permanently glued to their finger so they can’t parade around town acting single.  Men and women would both wear a light on their forehead.  If you first meet someone and both lights flash green – there’s potential.  However, it one person’s light turns red – run, run as fast as you can!

Healthcare:  Dr. Lagerstrom is my primary care doc, Dr. Crawford my GYN, Dr. Shuler my chiro, Dr. Hakeem my dentist and Dr. Schrodt my dermatologist.  Too many doctors in too many locations.  I’d make doctor’s offices like malls.  All are in one location so you can get in and get out.  There’s be sales on certain procedures and they’d be open on the weekend and until 9 during the week.

National relations:  I once bought a Toyota Corolla across the bridge in Indiana.  I had to work hand in hand with those Hoosiers to get the best deal possible.  I can see IN from many parts of Louisville and even party there most Derby Friday evenings.

My name is Michelle Yeager and I approve this message

M.Y.  October 2008