Four Myths About Black People


One thing that sets a Vixen apart from the rest is an adventurous spirit and ability to go against ‘the norm.’  If you’re anything like me your spirit moves you to do things that typically are met by friends and family with statements such as “Girl, you crazy…you know black people don’t insert activity here” or “Please, only white people do….”  Thing is, black people do a lot of these ‘negro no-nos’ and have a great time doing so.  It’s time to debunk the rumors of “Things Black People Don’t Do!”

Black People Don’t Swim
Now statistically speaking it is true, plenty of black people, and minorities in general, don’t know how to swim *shamefully raises hand.*  However, that doesn’t mean that all black people don’t swim.  Yes we worry about sharks and maintaining our fresh Indique weaves, but we swim.  Even someone like me who can’t swim will jump in a pool and get my dog paddle on.  Don’t judge me!  There are even famous black swimmers, just check out Maritza Correia, who in 2002 became the first black female swimmer to break an American record and the first female black swimmer to make it onto the U.S. Olympic team.  How’s that for non swimming black folk!

Black People Don’t Do Anything Dangerous
For the record, when I say dangerous I mean in the legal sense.  You know, black people don’t sky dive, bungee jump, zip line, whitewater raft, go on safari or as my friend Jaime says “strap kites to their black a**es” aka parasailing.  Need I go on?  Ask almost any black person you know and they will tell you that all of the aforementioned activities are deemed “For Whites Only” and crazy whites from the suburbs at that.  Well, I’m not white and I’m a born and bred Brooklyn girl, but I have sky dived, bungee jumped, zip lined, strapped a kite to my a**, would LOVE to go on safari and go whitewater rafting almost ever summer with…wait for it….my black friends. Gasp!  Fear is what usually keeps people, not just blacks from doing things like jumping out of a plane and while it’s understandable, to put that fear on a whole race is ludicrous.  Time to step out of the comfort zone people and start living life on the edge!

Black People Don’t Travel Because…
Black people don’t travel because everything past the Bahamas is too far.  Every country outside of America hates Americans and black people.  The plane will get hijacked if it goes anywhere other than Miami for Memorial Day and wherever All-Star Weekend is.  Why go anywhere they don’t speak English?  Of all the “don’ts” this is the one that annoys me the most because the logic behind it never makes any sense.  I’ve been blessed with a circle of friends and associates, all black and mostly women, who LIVE & LOVE to travel!  We circle this globe with reckless abandon….black people “don’t” be damned!  There are even sites like Black Atlas that are dedicated to showing you travel experiences of a lifetime from the black perspective.  Black people do travel and love it, because please believe a passport can change your life in just one flight.

Black People Don’t Speak Proper English
This has got to be the most ignorant of all the black people myths.  I don’t know when it happened, but somewhere between slavery and Jay-Z it became uncool in the ‘hood to use nouns, pronouns, verbs and prepositions in complete and cohesive sentences that can be understood by the masses.  To do so meant endless teasing and jokes from family and friends saying you weren’t “really black” or were “trying to be white” because lord knows only white people are intelligent enough to speak clearly. *major side-eye*  The notion that I am less black or a better class of black (someone actually said this to me once) than my peers because I don’t solely rely on Ebonics is completely asinine.  So, let’s set this myth straight so that it is forever and always straightened.  Black. People. Speak. Proper. English.  Period.  Not because they want to be white or deny their irrefutable blackness, but because that’s how all human beings, from any ‘hood, race or financial background, with any kind of common sense, upbringing and education should speak.

What are some of the “don’ts” you’ve heard or experienced?  Are you living proof of the stereotype or do you live to change them?

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