Black White Man

My mother is black, and my father is white. I walk among you.

Archive for September, 2012

James “Rhodey” Rhodes, War Machine, as the “best” (aka worst) example of a Black superhero

I’m not just a Black White Man. I’m also a father, a web designer, and a big comic book nerd. Of course, that gives me a keen interest in family blogs, geek parenting, online comics, and every other combination of my interests — including the portrayal of people of color in comic books. I came across this interesting article about Iron Man’s sidekick, James “Rhodey” Rhodes, aka War Machine. At first I had the wrong impression of the article, since it calls Rhodey the “ideal” Black superhero. I thought it meant that he was the best possible Black superhero. But, it was actually correctly using the term to mean the best example of a Black Superhero — in other words, Rhodes has all the qualities that we consider to be typical of the Black superhero. In fact, I think the article is fairly scathing of Rhodes, and I would agree, that’s he basically a side-kick, and an “angry Black” outsider type. The comments further the analysis by arguing persuasively that Storm is the best written Black character in comics, and therefore the worst example of the type. Good article all around, both for comics literary analysis, and for an analysis of Blacks in the media.

Ironically, multiracial couples probably think I’m a hater

I am very glad for and proud of my parents getting married and having me, especially considering how much harder it must have been in the early seventies. So, when I’m out and about and I see multiracial couples (especially white guys with black women), I often end up staring at them, lost in thought, with a kind of blank expression on my face. Since I don’t look multiracial, and because of the dirty looks they give me, I have the distinct impression that they assume I don’t approve. Nothing could be farther from the truth! So, multiracial couples, if you get hard looks people, especially from a guy who looks Jewish, give them the benefit of the doubt. They may be thinking fondly about you an their own parents!

Oakland and San Francisco: an outsider’s view of race in the Bay Area

I love this country, and I’m very proud to be an American. But one thing that makes me sad in this country is to travel and see the same division between Black and White parts of the city wherever I go. You got East and West in DC. Bronx and Harlem in New York. Roxbury and JP in Boston. North and South here in Chicago. The list goes on and on. I haven’t spent a lot of time in the Bay Area, but it seems like the divisions run especially deep there — literally, since the division between Oakland and the Whiter parts of the metropolis is a big ass bay.

The thing that really makes the situation poignant for me, is that both communities keep up the segregation. White people speak in couched euphemisms about how dangerous Black communities are. Black people talk about gentrification and use afrocentrism and pride to villify the White community. And so, around and around we go.

Soledad O’Brien

I was recently thumbing through a recent copy of Essence magazine and noticed that Soledad O’Brien was on a blue ribbon panel, including the likes of the Reverend Al Sharpton, for example, talking about Race in America. Now, I know that she was on that show with the same name. But, it hadn’t occurred to me until then that she might be a light-skinned Black woman. In that particular interview she seemed to have a lot of edge; she really pushed the envelope in a way that I associate with minorities. She didn’t come across as the sympathetic white liberal, but more like someone who had personal feelings of anger of resentment. So, I dutifully checked it out on Wikipedia. Sure enough, her mother is Afro-Cuban, and her father is an Australian of Irish descent. I don’t know if she considers herself African American per se. I would, if I were her. But, she’s an interesting multiracial combination, combining White, Black and Hispanic, as well as four countries/regions of the world on four different continents.

Multiracial Olympians

I wasn’t overly interested in the Olympics, generally. That’s probably why this post is so late in the coming. But, my wife and son were really into it. So, I caught a few things in passing. One of them was the crushing second place finish of Lolo Jones, and then, adding insult to injury, the accusation that she had only done so well because of her “exotic looks”. In other words, she’s multiracial.

Here’s a pretty cool Yahoo Sports Gallery of Multiracial Olympians