Check out this awesome video I found while cruising around watching old clips of Soul Train:
Now, please take note that I am what you would consider “Hispanic” or at least partially so since my grandparents on my mom’s side came to America from Mexico while my grandparents on my dad’s side came from the Midwest. As a result I have fairly brown skin that can get pretty dark if I get enough sun. Despite this, when I was younger, I watched Soul Train now and then because I thought it looked fun and, being a kid, the colorful lights, colorful outfits and dancing were kind of cool.
This lady is really cool in that she was the first non-black dancer on a show that featured all black dancers. What’s amazing is that:
1) No one at the time was complaining about there not being non-black dancers on the show, the show was FOR black people, BY black people, FEATURING black performers, yet tons of non-black people watched it and appreciated it!
2) She acknowledges that when she was brought onto the show that the black ladies didn’t like her, but guess what? SHE EARNED THEIR RESPECT BY SHUTTING UP AND DANCING! Imagine that! I have no doubt she likely talked to someone about the issue, and maybe, MAYBE that someone talked to the cast, but she didn’t sue or make demands, she just did her job and, since she was good at it, I’m sure most everyone became friends with her.
3) When she talks about her hair and the remarks made toward her by some men she doesn’t get all feministy about it but instead decides to grow her hair out because that’s what men found attractive and she wanted to feel attractive to men, and not be mistaken for one! Now, I may not be much into Asian women, but I can almost guarantee Cheryl had her own little fan club of admiring men back in the day.
Pretty amazing, isn’t it, that one culture can admire another culture, and even participate in that culture, without said culture feeling like something is being taken from them but instead celebrated!
Now if we can just get back to that.