My race and ethnicity issues... Plus other stuff we don't talk about

Posted by Leticia, 25 Apr 08

Does anyone admit to watching television anymore? I just happened to discover a great thing while the writers were on strike...Internet television. I did not know you could watch shows on the web...now I'm hooked. However, I'm still not sure what this has to do with my latest revelation about white girls.

What I discovered on ABC.com is a new show called Eli Stone. It's about a guy who's an attorney, that hears music and gets signs that tell him what cases he should work on. It's a comedy with a message, kind of like Boston Legal, just not as good.

The first episode, Eli goes to an acupuncturist who happens to be Asian. During an unscheduled visit, "Dr. Chin" drops his fake accent and in its place, his real Californian surfer-dude accent comes out. His explanation is that people "don't want an acupuncturist named Frank Lee Bikowski". They want the incense the mystic, foreign accents they want the Dr. Chin's.

Your perfect partner could be online right now...

What are you looking for?

How true is this? More times than not we are caught up in the parsley and rose shaped tomatoes that we lose track of the main course. This then got me to thinking how many times we fall for the okey-doke. See, I've got this problem that really goes against everything that I've written about. But, it's how I feel. Enough sugar coating it...I'll just say it.

I have a big problem with white girls that teach hip-hop dance classes. There, I said it. I am not proud of this feeling, because deep down inside I know that dance like music really knows no color. However, hip-hop music is a very personal thing for me. It's about lifestyle, experiences about attitude and heart.

In this regard, I have yet to meet a white hip-hop dance teacher that comes across as genuine. This is not to say that they are not out there or that they do not exist, only that I have yet to meet one. I find it difficult to accept when I think of the inner-city kids that came up with this style of dance. That it meant more than where to put your feet; it meant the difference between living, eating and surviving. You can teach form, but you cannot teach passion or fake lifestyle. That is my point; hip-hop dance is all about passion and the past. It's more than music it's a true lifestyle.

For the record, I happen to absolutely without a doubt love Marshall Mathers aka Slim Shady aka Eminem. Not only do I think he is a creative artist he is genuine. He raps about his life and his experiences not his interpretation of someone's life and experiences.

I'm sure there are others that feel the same way. Of course, that does not make it right. It is what it is. A deep agonizing feeling, that you may say has a hint of prejudice. Maybe, but I never claimed to be perfect. I am a work in progress.

33 responses to "My race and ethnicity issues... Plus other stuff we don't talk about"

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  1.   fkoi says:
    Posted: 15 Aug 09

    I just re-read this article and want to applaud the author on the turn of phrase, "so caught up in the parsley and rose shaped tomatoes that we lose track of the main course." If I can figure out how to work it into a conversation, I've just stolen that line.

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  2.   Amy says:
    Posted: 10 Nov 08

    I agree with Leticia. I'm a white woman, and if I wanted to take a hip hop class I would pick a black woman to teach me. I also am part Native, but only about an eighth. I attend Native ceremonies that allow all races, but they are led by a full blood (or at least half-blood) Native who grew up in that culture. There are some part-Native white folks who "lead" ceremonies, but that does not feel right to me, even though they probably mean well. I am also part Scottish, and a poet. If I wanted to study Gaelic, the ancient pre-English language in Scotland, I would pick a white person of Scottish ancestry. I might meet a black person who loved Gaelic and was quite good at it, but I would pick the white person of Scottish Ancestry. So for me, it is about honoring the Ancestors. It is great to see white people welcomed at a hip-hop class (they usually are), and all races welcomed at Native ceremonies. And all races attending a Gaelic class. But it just makes more sense that the person "running the show" be of the same Ancestry as the show itself!! peace, stillahippie

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  3.   swiggie58 says:
    Posted: 30 Aug 08

    I have no opinion on white girls teaching hip-hop dance classes; per se. But I'm not into hip-hop,anyway. What I DO hate is seeing middle-class white kids trying to talk and act "ghetto" or "thug"...simply because it is so phony and insincere, or un-real. I just cannot respect insincere, play-acting people; though I realize that it is part of youth culture and rebelliosnes for most white kids. I think that the writer is entitled to feel however they feel; and it took some guts to raise the subject. We're all on our own journey. You need to realize though that hip-hop has left the ghetto and become part of the mass popular culture. 25 years ago you had to go to an authentic Mexican restaurant, run by real Latinos, to get Mexican food. Now you can get it in the grocery store freezer. Not the genuine article, maybe; but it's available. What you're saying though is a little akin to saying that black or afro-american dance instructors shouldn't be allowed to teach salsa lessons because they aren't from Latin America; or be allowed to teach or dance ballet because they weren't born in 18th century Europe. You can't control culture. You don't "own" it. Mick Jagger always refused, in interviews, to interpret or explain his song lyrics, because he felt that people should have their own interpretations and find their own meanings; and that once you have recorded a song then it becomes part of the mass consciousness...takes on a life of its' own, and, in his words: "you just have to let go of it". And besides all that, trust me: I have MUCH more important things to worry about than who is teaching dance lessons down at the local gym or disco.

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  4.   sneika says:
    Posted: 09 Jul 08

    By a show of hands how many black people feel this article is ridiculous? Ok, put your hands down... Now, a show of hands of how many white people, unfamiliar with racism, feel this article is insane and her feelings are simply a figment of her imagination? While I can't "see" these meager results I'm gonna have to say that the majority who showed anger and threw "we are all humans" around are white. I'm not a betting woman, but I would put money on that. @ Princess, being black REGARDLESS of class is an experience in and OF itself sweetheart. Once again, someone commenting and speaking without thinking causes division. If you've neve been there, don't assume you know how we should feel.

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  5.   Princess says:
    Posted: 11 Jun 08

    I think this article is just plain ridiculous. Living in America I have seen and heard black people complain about racism but for some reason think it's okay for them to be racist. You seem to claim in your article that white girls should not teach hip hop dance because they did not go through the struggle but there are many black hip hop teachers who also did not go through the struggle you claim. So now it's okay for them to teach moves because of the color of their skin? As long as black people feel and think this way they will always be in bondage by themselves. You said, you are a work in progress and i hope you have progressed from this kind of thinking since writing the article. The color of your skin should never be an issue, now if you see a hip hop teacher who is messing up the moves big time in the name of re-inventing hip hop, write an article about that.

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  6.   Benzo says:
    Posted: 10 Jun 08

    I understand where this is coming from a specially since i was born in the us grew up in europe and now i am back. One of the problem is that the us history is so segregated in ways of living thinking and talking and nowa days just mostly transformed in to being politically correct and i mean do yall know any other country where u go to the doctor school job interview or what so ever and u have to put down your race? Why is that nesecary any ways. So prejudice is even enrolled in the system. It is a mind set that been put on people over centuries in this country and practised, mind controled by the society media and govt. That caused a segregated thinking, this is a white thing this is a black thing etc. Where as i have to say i seen in europe some white girls and boys dancing that if you be color blind you would never see any diffrence and thats because young tenagers over there have been breathing and soaking up the american hip hop culture and aply it to their life and form their own way of living hip hop but far ways from the american way of thinking its a black or white thing. Cuz hip hop started out from expressing feelings strugle and life stories from an opressed african american society. But to me thats what hip hop made it so great that people all over the world can identify them selfs with it. Aplying their own struggels and problems they face in their society. (which is real hip hop and not that bling bling no having lyrics young hoe virus stuff of the mainstreem society what they call hip hop nowa days). And most def made it fare beyond racial thinking, no matter if they black white yellow brown purple for what ever else God has created in his own image. It needs open minded ness just like Obama is not black or white he is what those two races unite. Biracial love. Peace one luv and unity Open your hearts and mind america Obama is not african american nor white he is Unity, what we all need in this country.

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  7.   laughsailor says:
    Posted: 06 Jun 08

    It's sad and sometimes tragic to watch cultural traditions die (It's a huge problem in my (sailing) community: I've got stories that will wrench the coldest heart.) or become diluted past recognition in our melting pot. We can learn from each other. Most teachers are not serious students of their subjects. Students will pick up some and not all of what we have to teach. We can be proud to nudge our world in a kinder, more inclusive direction - One dance invitation or class at a time, in spite of being painfully aware that we can only communicate so much and so much more will be lost. This struggle to help others, to give back, to pass on as best we imperfectly can, is what makes us human. It is sympathetic with hopes of future empathy, heartfelt and above all, there is love in it. It's good and important to grieve dying traditions and ways of life. Life goes on, however and though we can only do our daily best, we can take pride in giving back to our society as we can. There are many outreach organizations dedicated to this subject - Just Google and get involved: Make our world a little bit better.

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  8.   fkoi says:
    Posted: 26 May 08

    I applaud the author for opening herself to the kind of criticism that this article has engendered. A lot of people have a secret bit that is not pretty, and that they might not act upon in any way and that they can't explain, but there it is. Most folks don't have the vehicle to express it and most wouldn't even if they could. Two bits I'm not ashamed of and willing to share: 1. teaching a class is not the same as being an artist, hence a dance teacher may or may not be expressing their inner soul. In my experience, generally not. Moving to music is not the art of dance. 2. If not for being so popular among white suburban kids, hip-hop would never have had the impact that it does. The music business is not in the art or culture business. It is, if I may, all about the Benjamins. And most of what comes out of that machine, in any genre, does not qualify as art any more than the paintings sold for "less than $20!" on weekends at airport Marriots. Much of popular culture is decorative. That doesn't make it art. And that takes us back to the top of the article, TV...

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  9.   girlsixdiva says:
    Posted: 24 May 08

    hmm ok...so you think people who aren't Spanish shouldn't teach Spanish, or if you aren't French, don't teach French, etc? I agree with Melissa; this article is on the ignorant side.

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  10.   Fala says:
    Posted: 18 May 08

    Would white people go to a black square dance teacher?

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  11.   Khila says:
    Posted: 14 May 08

    I guess I will keep to ball room dance and hope that Muhammad Ali's daughter realizes she cannot do ballroom dance and only perform hip-hop due to passion and circumstances in life. I do respect the music you call hip-hop but realize without old school. hip-hop would have never come involved and if I remember right that was a black and white contribution as well, with great passion.

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  12. Posted: 11 May 08

    This is a conversation that has been had for many, MANY generations, just the new incarnation of an age old question. I also feel weird seeing Causasians teaching hip-hop dance. But then I also know that hip-hop isn't the SAME THING it was when the movement began in the late 70's(yes, hip-hop is a lifestyle, not a trend). It incorporates music(rap, soul,club/dance music etc.), dance, art(grafitti, murals, etc.)hairstyles(from the high-top fade to locks and braids), clothing, language, and even to a certain extent, location(after all, it was born in the inner cities of the New York area). The same musings in the article were said about Motown music(remember a movie named "The Big Chill"? A group of white baby boomers in the 80's dancing and reminiscing about their youth and playing "their music" ie. Motown?), how about rock and roll of the late 60's? Groups like Cream and the Rolling Stones sitting at the feet of black bluesmen like Bo Diddley and revering Robert Johnson to take those same chords and melodies and make hits like 'Brown Sugar' and 'Strange Brew'? How about Pat Boone, who made his fame by singing the 'santized' versions of Little Richard and James Brown(r.i.p.)to eliminate the sexuality of the songs for older white people? How about Elvis? "The King" did nothing but sing an old blues song by Big Mama Thornton and it made him a international sensation(that would be 'Hound Dog' btw). Today's hip hop is no different than the greatest 20th century African-American contribution to American music; jazz. Every contribution that has been made by ANY people of color to American culture(food, language, clothing, music) has been passed through that particular community, some Caucasians are there to see it, it's taken, filtered(some would say sanitized)and deseminated through the country, then exported out to other people and places, who then put their spin and passion into it(Latin jazz, Reggeaton). Hip-Hop is now a worldwide thing, just like jazz, blues, and rock(which comes from blues, country and soul music). Looking back onto the last 30 years of hip-hop(I call myself the 1 1/4 generation, as I was not even 10 when it started. I feel glad that something I was a part of is so worldwide and that a lot of people of all colors "get it", the struggle of poverty, the passion of the beats of the music and the dance steps, the words to describe the heartaches and joys of the hood, the emotions that come from the art side, the African movements that come from rituals lost to American black people, the expression of my culture that shines through. Hate to say it, but a lot of the African-American community has lost that sense too! But back to the essay. All the people who down it are really the ones who need to read it! Conversations can only be had if something is said or written. Just because the feeling isn't agreed with or considered 'wrong' is the very reason to say something besides "this is so wrong"! We can't stop the "race thing" Nadira, because NO ONE WANTS TO TALK ABOUT TRUTHFULLY!!! The minute it gets too hostile or tempers flare, it stops. Instead of taking those 'time outs', it just stops and people walk away more frustrated and angry as when they started. How about this, acknowledge the anger and hurt on both sides, and just listen. Not think ahead on how to answer or rebut, not interrupt when someone is making a valid point, thinking truly about some life experiences others DO experience instead of just belittling it or dismissing it entirely. Only then can there be a NATIONAL understanding, not just pockets of it here and there. Just my $.06(inflation, you know! ).

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  13.   Starthai says:
    Posted: 09 May 08

    The author is very on point, I agree with your observation. Have you also noticed in the "R&B" world that black women are being replaced with the pop type of singers that are trying to have the same type of soul rhytme. I like the Aretha Franklin, India Aire, Janet Jackson and so many of the other soul singers from way back when. Lisa Marie is an exception :) I think they need to bring the black women back, in order for the soul to come back with this type of music, why replace them for the wannabe soul singers, who do not posess the same passion. It is definitely different, however I do think there are a few that understands the history of it and can bring it with the help of some of the great R&B singers I mentioned.

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  14.   Caroline says:
    Posted: 07 May 08

    Personaly I grew in a very poor neighbourhood. I went through hell and misery and hip-hop meant a lot to me because I could relate to the struggles my favorite artists sang. The neighbourhood I grew up in is multi-cultural. My two best friends were black. I am white. I once was a dance teacher. I think it's a matter of culture and not of skin color. We usualy associate skin and culture but some black people I know are whiter than me culturaly talking. I agree though that a lot of white folks in hip-hop are just sticking to the culture without really knowing what it is or mostly, what it was. Hip-hop is far from what it used to be these days so we can't blame anyone, let's just get out of those old mindsets always associating skin and culture. I get so much hate from lots of people too. They don't know me so think I am not genuine in what I do, they see the skin and make up their minds. What's funny is that I wouldn't know how to be any different, that's just how I grew up. There is, of course a factor that changed me a lot, I gave my life to Jesus Christ and it changed me so much. It showed me life ain't about a neighbourhood of a music style or a culture. Life is way deeper than that. So for those who are talking about people they don't know, I'll keep praying the Lord opens up your eyes on the soul, what's inside and not the envelope. I am color blind when it comes to humanity. We are just so much more than that! The body and the skin is just temporary, we are eternal, now that's a way better subject to consider.

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  15.   kisambrskin says:
    Posted: 04 May 08

    I can't say that what the author feels is is right or worng however, I do believe she was brave to say how she felt. Today, people are too afriad to say how they feel period. I mean, how can we ever move forward if we don't want to be honest about where we are as a country and people. Yes, black culture have been stripped of nearly everything for centuries. Yes, white people as much as you would like to be able to say " I from there" I know people" and yadda yadda, you will never know the feelings of a black person or how it feels as a professional to be reminded daily that you are black by your coworkers, store clerks, and everyone else, simply by the way they respond to you versus people of ethinicity. I do believe the author expressed this feeling simply, because looking at a white woman teach a dance that can be traced back to African cultural ceremonies and expression, can have an impact on you simply because the honor in passing that skill on to others she may not be worthy of holding. I don't have an issue with white women teaching hip-hop dance, but I do have to wonder how can she convey or attempt to communicate soul of this dance form to her students, without ever knowing how it came to be truly. maybe I am wrong, but it just seems I think that is where the true issue lies, the honor in teaching it versus actually being able to do it is another topic in all. Thanks for helping me confront my own issues and I welcome any other insight on my views.

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  16.   unme23 says:
    Posted: 04 May 08

    THAT SHOW WAS WACK.

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  17.   Nadira says:
    Posted: 04 May 08

    we all need to stop this race thing.

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  18.   Cocokisses says:
    Posted: 03 May 08

    I understand the article, but I think that show "So you think you can dance" totally killed my stereotypes in dance. You see all races of people doing everything from ballroom to hip hop. It gives new meaning to the word diversity. It does not bother me at all...not one little bit. See what wonderful things the races can learn from one another?

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  19.   sweetnes20 says:
    Posted: 02 May 08

    well put Val!!

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  20.   lisa says:
    Posted: 02 May 08

    I think I understand how you feel; as a white person I can not know how you feel. I find it sad that we can not discuss these issues without people getting hostile. FEELINGS sometimes are not rational; but to rise above how you feel and behave in a responsible and kind manner is something you can control. While these teachers may lack the "cultural passion" you feel is necessary to fully understand the origins of the dance; they still are passing on, to other people, a living tribute to your culture. While I disagree with Val about these conversations perpetuating division; because I think if we act responsibly they can help us understand each other, I do agree that the arts should bring us together. Listening to black gospel music fills my heart with so much joy I want to want to go to church. And I am not a christian. The white european culture have contributed too...we have the polka...square dancing...line dancing...achey breaky heart...and twinkies(my favorite) I am glad you posted your feelings; I am glad you felt you had a safe place to be honest. Just for a second can't we be happy for how far we have come?

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  21.   Nikki says:
    Posted: 02 May 08

    "I'm sure there are others that feel the same way. Of course, that does not make it right. It is what it is. A deep agonizing feeling, that you may say has a hint of prejudice. Maybe, but I never claimed to be perfect. I am a work in progress." ============================== Maybe you guys need to go back and re-read the article or listen to the audio. Are you going to sit there "behind your computers" and say that you've never had a bad thought or feeling that had absolutely no merit or foundation. It was just a feeling? You've never loved someone that everyone else thought was no good for you - but you loved them anyway? You've never avoided going into certain areas because you felt "unsafe" despite the fact that nothing had ever happened to you. This is supposed to be a site about inclusion, and yet some of you are quick to exclude & judge someone based on their "feelings". What continues to divide us is NOT our feelings it's our ACTIONS! Like you guys that choose to write a negative comment to someone else's "feelings" instead of just expressing your own "feelings" or offering a different perspective that others can draw from and gain some understanding. Personally, I think that it takes guts to admit a flaw and try to help others see something in a way that they've never looked at it before, in hopes of bringing about a change in ones heart. Damn, it must be great to be perfect? Why isn't there a link to your profile, I'd love to see what perfection looks like?! That's how I "FEEL".

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  22.   DWAR says:
    Posted: 02 May 08

    Ok, I do believe that the author of this article did give a disclaimer..."See, I've got this problem that really goes against everything that I've written about. But, its how I feel." She is being honest though she knows that it is not the way to racial utopia. Being honest is the only way to get there. However, Val, TJ, Melissa, if you can get past your initial anger and distain for what the author is saying and try to understand where she is coming from then maybe we can have an honest conversation. I think Susan is actually on to something. "Could some of this stem from a possessiveness of the music..." That is it! Hit the nail on the head! I being born in the first generation of hip-hop and growing up a black man, I can tell you that yes, we are possessive of it. For those that want to date us I feel comfortable in saying that on average we "black people" are possessive of the culture that we have. Keep in mind that from our point of view so many of our styles, trends, music, clothing, dance, lifestyle has been bastardized, and diluted and in many instances marginalized. Only to be reclaimed or proclaimed originated/given credit to some white person that has some black people as advisers. So please make sure you have an understanding of that view point. And yes, some of us get angry or irritated. I am also a dancer. I have had some good choreographers that were white and some not so good. I will say this though out of the many that I have met and worked with, only one was truly genuine and lived the lifestyle and had a passion for the dance and even knew the history. Now this is not to say that all white people in hip-hop are fake and just trying to cash in on a good thing. But if you know anything about hip-hop you know about "BITING! Now that's an old school term that means you either stole or copied a rhyme from someone else. Plain and simple you didn't create it yourself and you're not original. It applied to dance too. I know a lot of "Rappers" nowadays don't always come through as original with all the sampling. But alas, the culture, the dance is ours! Another point Susan said, "if anyone takes something from one race or culture and incorporates it into their lifestyle - that is a compliment and not a detriment.", but when you're dealing with a group of people that has had so much taken, i.e., freedom, family and their previous culture then maybe you will understand the possessiveness of the culture they have now. Big ups to Rick Ruben! Co-founder of Def Jam records! The home of hip-hop! A white/Jewish guy! He helped to put it out to the masses but he still didn't create it! Much love and respect to him though!

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  23.   dancergirl says:
    Posted: 02 May 08

    I had to go back and read the article again. I thought that I missed something. No where did it say that white folks shouldn't teach hip hop - it stated that the writer had a problem with it. One that apparently even she knows is wrong. What now people aren't allowed to have feelings or express them? you think that these conversaions perpetuate division - NO the lack of conversation does that. Everybody dancing in the damn street together wont change a thing if people's mindset is still stuck on stupid. Change your thoughts change your life. Not ignore your feelings and hope that they'll go away or better yet, just keep it to yourself. Yeah that works! How about we focus on our own thoughts and feelings and leave the interpretations up to the professionals - oh yeah that's right you got with a black man before it was hip & run a "multi cultural" center so, I guess that makes you an expert on blacks folks and racism. You could have married the first black man on the planet and you will still never understand what it feels like to be a black woman. Yeah we should all get a life - like yours no doubt? You sound a little bitter! And I know that I sound a lot mad right about now! Ok, now that i've gotten that rant out of my system, for those people who do not have a love for that culture HIP HOP (knowing the history & orgin), I would expect those responces. I think the article is simple trying to hit on the history of destroying or bastardizing the African American culture in the US. I agree it would be great if we could all join hands and sing America the Beautiful and mean it. But we are not there YET!!! I don't know about the writer of this article but I have personally known several hip hop instructors that happen to be white girls and they taught it because 1) they thought it was cool or 2) they were trying to impress their black boyfriends and really didn't care less about the history or current culture of the music. I don't have a problem in the world with white women & black men...I have a problem with any race of people that steal and take creative liberties with another's culture and try to pass it off as their own. without giving it its due respect. I'm sorry - guess that was a sore spot.

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  24.   2ute4u says:
    Posted: 02 May 08

    I do understand the heart of the issue,there isn't any art form that belong to black culture that white society has not commodified,and when they do do this, it no longer belong to black folk,but seen as part of the (pop)ular culture.

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  25.   val says:
    Posted: 01 May 08

    keeping it real... i believe these types of conversations perpetuate division and racism...the very thing we do not want. it's as though this conversation reinforces and continues building the wall which should never exist!!! the message should be.. EVERY ONE...EVERYWHERE...simply, DANCE...together!!! it could and should be simple, but we seem to always complicate everything!!!...even who to dance with, how to dance, and what separates us. music and dance should bring us together... the way it should be. please let me know when i can dance, what music to dance to, and how i should dance... white girl with color

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  26.   Adria says:
    Posted: 01 May 08

    You know what. I feel the same way, and I know it's wrong. Melissa, trust me, if the author is anything like me, she KNOWS how wrong it is to have those feelings. But it's almost like I feel like white girls can't TRULY understand hip hop... then I think OMG.. I'm racist, and I'm MIXED! Then I shake my head and bury those thoughts deep in my Psyche. I realized that those thoughts might be from this deep seated belief that white people have taken so much... and now HIP HOP TOO? (I'm native and black, so I IRRATIONALLY THINK; first the land, my family, my culture, now HIP HOP???) I recognize how irrational these thoughts are and try to rise above them. I try to realize that music is to be shared, it may be part of who I am, but it is also a gift to the world.

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  27.   TJ says:
    Posted: 01 May 08

    If you are going to say white people can't teach hip hop what is to say that black people can't teach kickbox? are only asian people okay for that? I am the director of a large multicultural fitness center and have all races teaching all types of classes,. should Steve Nash 07 MVP stop playing basketball just because she is white and canadian ? that attitude is why we have some much racism still just fyi i married a black man 30 years ago before it was popular and hip my kids have to best of both worlds one day hopefully stupid petty things like this article won t even be read but then I guess it is easy to have the attitude when you can hide behind a computer go to a class and talk to the instructor!!!!!!! you do not know their history. you say you like and respect marshall mathers perhaps some instructors grew up in the same circumstance and even if they did not who cares get a life

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  28.   Susan says:
    Posted: 30 Apr 08

    I am 59 years old and have been into R&B since I was 17 - used to sing and was told "white people can't sing blues" I now have a daughter that sings hip hop, R&B, blues, jazz - writes music and can dance so well that she attracts a crowd at a bar . She also has been criticized for "trying to be black" when in truth she is half Puerto Rican and just happens to look white - I am a natural blonde so what can I say!!! But, that's not even the point here. Music is not about color, it's about heart and soul. Could some of this stem from a possessiveness of the music and more misunderstanding that we are all people with thoughts, feelings, heart, soul, rhythm or no rhythm and if anyone takes something from one race or culture and incorporates it into their lifestyle - that is a compliment and not a detriment.

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  29.   chris says:
    Posted: 30 Apr 08

    As a black woman I completely understand where the article is coming from. I love art,music,and dance, and I don't think art,music, or dance should be bound by color, but I can't help how I feel when I see a white girl teaching a hip hop class either. I know it sounds like I'm contradicting myself, but I think you have to be black and from the inner cities to truly understand. The author of the article is right, it's not just about the dance itself, I don't get up set or annoyed when I see all white people danceing to hip hop music, but I often wonder do they know where the moves truly came from, do they understand the history of hip hop and it's impact on the black culture. Do they know lots of the dances they are doing come from some form of African dance, or do they just think, oh hip hop is in now and it's cool to talk the slang and dance like black people, cause black is the new white (until the cops show up lol). The question isn't if you can dance the dance it's do you understand the culture?

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  30.   Jonnie says:
    Posted: 30 Apr 08

    I get the gist of the article. Stereotyping like this will die a natural death in time. Are any readers here old enough to have seen the expression of shock, or surprise on a white persons face once they learned that the black nurse or orderly was actually their doctor or neurosurgeon? We humans are creatures of habit and expectation. The sooner we drop our connection to these, the less affected we'll be by things we don't expect or understand.

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  31.   sandrale says:
    Posted: 30 Apr 08

    your article is what it is i think people shall teach,sing and dance about their life their pain and their past take m&m he did it his way and the counrty singers take a min a listen to their music it their life they talking about,, read this book by Bebe Moore Campbell call Your Blues Ain't Like Mine it about a black and white woman,,,,

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  32.   melissa says:
    Posted: 29 Apr 08

    I think this article is terrible. I think you have it all wrong. I think anyone that teaches dance teaches it because it is an expresion of how they feel when they dance does it really matter, so are you saying white girls should only dance to white songs? how are you going to put race into dancing? do people have to relate to the music to listen to it or dance to it? i just think that is really wrong and why is everything a color issue? if a woman can dance and loves hip hop why cant she teach it because black woman don't think it is right. maybe that is what she feels in her soul and she did not have to grow up that way to feel the music! i think this is wrong!

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  33. Posted: 29 Apr 08

    What you say about hip-hop dance is interesting. I have the same reaction when I hear white guys using slang that I usually associate with black people.

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