Failing The Black Movie Test
You have all seen it. The Black Test. It’s when a Black person thinks that another Black person might not be racially socialized properly. I’ve failed it many times, but only because Black people seem to always use movies as test material. It’s not my fault. My parents were both immigrants, and they kept me at home a lot. So instead of seeing Harlem Nights, I had to listen to merengue with my folks. Few people know what’s it’s like to be at the other end of the barrage of slighting criticism that ensues.
It’s like having your character assassinated every time you say, “Menace To Society and Boys In The Hood; I can’t tell which is which”. Sometimes it’s cool when I haven’t seen a movie; like when I saw Harlem Nights last year. Now I love that movie. But God forbid I say, “No, I’ve never seen The Five Heartbeats all the way through. I’m an advocate for changing the channel from VH1″; then come the relentless questions about my “blackness” and people start asking me if I’m adopted…
But I recently realized that this is not solely a “Black thing”. White people do this shit too. My coworkers and I were talking about movies in the conference room. One of the guys said that he never had never seen Office Space. Everybody started going in on this guy.
“How have you never seen Office Space, when you work in an office?”
“Do you have cable? Like, do you get Comedy Central?”
“Where were you born?”
Going in. But then I started wondering to myself, “How hasn’t he seen Office Space?”. Then I asked him if he was adopted. I guess people just feel passionate about movies. Now you’ll excuse me, my girlfriend wants me to come watch Eve’s Bayou…