My favorite Black comic book couple from the Big 2

Karen and Mal.

Bumblebee and the Harold.

You may not know about them, but if you remember watching Teen Titans and Young Justice, you’ve seen them. Karen is DC’s first Black-American female superhero, and Mal was around before Black Lightning.

Now, you may be wondering how I can love this couple more than Storm and T’Challa. 

They aren’t even slightly as powerful or as well known. But there’s a simple reason for my love.

They were written to be together, and maybe I’m just a hopeless romantic.

From the moment of their introduction, they were a Black couple, an intentionally written teenage Black couple, who got to grow up together. You may argue that couples being consistently written together in comics is rare. Which I would agree with, but it is done. Marvel purposely created a story about an interracial couple(Cloak and Dagger) who are dependent on each other. But still has yet to purposely create a black couple that starts of and end up being together.

Which is all I really want.

I don’t need a power couple to make me happy.This couple is even acknowledged by a lot of the Black comic-book nerds. Because they aren’t “relevant” characters in the DC universe.

 Which is untrue. They are my favorite couple because they were the first, and dare I say the only consistent Black couple I’ve seen in comics. Long before Marvel choose to put our Kenyan-Ameican weather goddess (Storm’s dad is from Harlem) with our Wakandan King. You had these two Teen Titans, that have been together for almost a half of a century now.

And are still together.

I make this post mainly because when we talk about Black love in comics they are never featured or even acknowledged. Which I think is kind of weird. Considering they’ve been together longer, than every couple on most people’s list 

How to be better Black elders than our elders were Part 1

By not asking Black women if they comb their hair or their hair is “done”.

The state of a Black woman’s hair is sensitive and is honestly no business of anyone but the woman who is growing it. I lose respect for anyone that asks me when I’m going to comb or do my hair. If I am out my hair is done. We already live in a world that tells us by default that our hair is unprofessional. The hardest thing is when it comes internally. 

You don’t get to tell someone that they aren’t taking care of themselves and expect a respectful response. It’s like me asking you did you brush your teeth this morning, but with an added layer of internalized self-hate. Don’t expect anything but me telling you how my hair is done,until you back off.

The older generation has yet to do is realize why they do this. They were brought up with respectability politics of Black hair. To the point where if someone’s hair isn’t “neat” or “presentable ” it isn’t done. They feel they need to tell you to get it done because that’s what they feel is needed for survival. They mean well, but they don’t realize how words leave scars.

Not my generation.

 We are working on breaking that generational curse. We’re done playing hair politics with White people AND older Black people. We’re not cutting our locs for a job. We’re letting our hair grow, we’re letting it curl,we’re perming we’re buying wigs,we’re doing it all and if you have a problem with that. That’s on you.

Apologizing to our kids.

How can we expect our kids and those younger to grow into responsible adults who hold themselves accountable when we don’t. You aren’t just right because you’re a parent, or because you’re older. If your child realizes the biggest people in their lives can make mistakes. Then they won’t feel so bad about making them themselves.

No more: “Oh I got food ready, I have Mcdonald’s money, or let’s go to the store and buy you snacks.” No, we’re showing our kids the kind of person they can be one day. One that holds themselves accountable. And never has so much pride that they can’t apologize.

Stop telling your kids they can’t do white stuff in your house.

Stop saying this to your kids. There is nothing that can separate a kid from their Blackness more than their parents and older Black people in their lives rejecting them because of what they love. Just because you don’t know Black people that do it, doesn’t mean it’s a thing we don’t do.

I as an older weeb, almost always compliment Black kids wearing nerdy shirts, especially when they’re with their parents. Because even if they’ve never met a Black nerdy adult, I need them to know that we are normal and that their hobbies are valid. And I want their parents to see adults that have the same hobbies their kids like. No, it’s not just your kid and their friends. We are Blerds, we are grown, and we are out here. 

You don’t want your kid to move out of your house and be so happy that they finally live in a place where they can enjoy their hobbies without your judgment. 

You don’t need to get it, that ok. You don’t even have to do much to encourage them. Treat their hobbies just like you would things that you’re more familiar with. Just don’t make them feel like an oddball in the only place they should feel comfortable, in their home.

That simple.

Ask them questions, show interest. Maybe watch a K-Drama with your daughter or watch a shonen anime with your son. Nerds love sharing what love with those around them. Do some research, how about taking them to a convention or to a random anime movie showing. 

Oh and leave Black alternative kids alone. You think Black kids should be into rock, just means you don’t know your own history. We created the style and a lot of the subgenres within it. The history of rock has been pretty white-washed. So just take it as your kid taking back their own culture. You should see rock the same way you see jazz. A beautiful style that we created.Regardless of who the forefront people are.

We have to stop saying I speak”proper English” as a deflect when someone says you talk White

Yes, someone telling you, that you sound white is definitely a micro-aggression. I understand, it’s annoying when you can’t just exist as a Black person. Even the way you talk is regulated. But your answer has a deeply layered micro-aggression level layered into it as well. And it’s intertwined with the idea that AAVE is slang, and it isn’t.

It’s a dialect.

We need to normalize this fact.

Why is it a dialect and not slang?

Because it has grammatical rules, vocabulary, and accent just like American English. Look it up or ask a linguist. Now there is a lot of negativity attached to it, but let’s be honest. What around Black American’s doesn’t have a negative stigma attached to it.

There’s also the main issue. Which is seeing American English as “proper English” . If standard American English is “proper English” then AAVE is Wrong English?

That’s the antonym of proper. If something is proper then the other thing you’re contrasting it with isn’t. It’s not what you mean perse, but those are the words you’re using. The negative connotation is there even if you don’t think about it. You’re literally saying that you speak correctly. Which means someone else isn’t. It’s us, who speak AAVE.

Just say “standard American English” and be done.

The microaggressions are tough and it’s annoying when someone has the gall to say this to you.Don’t worry though I gotchu. When people say this to you, here’s two easy stock reply’s.

Explain that dialect is not a qualifier for being Black. And that you are Black regardless of how you sound. (DONE)

Or

Ask them what they mean. What does Black sound like? And why would Black people as a whole all sound the same? (Let them explain themselves vs you justifying why you sound like you do.)

Why this?

I’m making stock answers, so you don’t have to put in the effort. Because we spend way too much time trying to justify and defend who we are as people. Defending our dialect, our interest, or anything we do that is not considered in the “normative of what people think Blackness is”. We need short answers so that you’re not like me, who spent way too much time explaining herself. We don’t owe anyone an explanation of how we sound, what we like, or what we wear.

I’m about to make a post about stock answers to Micro-aggressive people. Give me a couple of weeks.

But think about it, though many Black people may speak in AAVE, there is no proper way to speak English. Only a standard, and even that’s different depending on where you are in the world. Many dialects aren’t taught in school, but that doesn’t make them any less valid.

Speaking in AAVE is valid.

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