Black Suburbia

I’m not from the ghetto, I’m from the Black Burbs, and oh yes there is a difference. Growing up in Black Suburbia or the Black Burbs(from here on out BB), is quite an experience.  Let’s rewind for a moment. There’s a small setup to this story…

So I’m hanging with a bunch of people and we’re all carrying on and getting to know each other. Well this one girl, was explaining how, in her school from home, there were only like 3 other black people in the whole entire school, and talking about her shock when she came to college, just from the sheer amount of minorities(Hispanic, black, Asian etc) on campus.  Ok nothing that I haven’t heard before from other various cases.  But this chick has the audacity to ask me, “how was it growing up in the ghetto”. I replied back with “I woudln’t know”. She looked confused, slightly constipated, like she she didn’t understand my answer. Oh you know I to educate…

I didn’t grow up hearing gunshots, sirens, or tons of screaming and shouting.  I’m thankful for that I grew up in a safe and engendering enviroment.  So many people have to worry about making it home from school safe, I blessingly did not.

I guess I need to be honest here. I didn’ grow up the Suburbs Suburbs, I did, but  I’m from the country and Country Burbs(white or black) are different, than say, Mega City Burbs.  The major difference of the available of un-developed land( I know, what a concept!!)  We had plenty of neighborhood land to go exploring, make hideouts and fish for tadpoles and such.  Another big difference is the proximity of the house to one another and the backyard space, both of which are much greater.  Also the houses tend to be farther back from the street, thus giving you  a larger than normal front yard as well.

Growing up in the BB are pretty much like growing up in the WB.  Everything is family based, and people are normally friendly and social. But don’t be fool there is a difference between white suburbia and black suburbia.  For instance of decoration of house for hoilday and festivities.  We are less likely to put lights on the house, place snowmen in the front yard, stack hay bells, or erect a 10 foot bunny on the side of the house. In BB, being the coolest kid on the block meant having the coolest and latest sneakers, or the “hottest jacket”, not shiniest bike, the “most awesomest” skateboard.  Cookouts become a neighborhood event, with everyone nearly pitching in.  You also have a great deal of people sitting out on front porches, just relaxing.  Also the landscaping of  theBB is very different from the WB.  I can’t explain it, it just it.

MY BB was quite unique, because at home I personally have grape vines, apple, plum, pear and peach trees in the back yard, along with a real clothes line(some people don’t know what that is..).  Although Wal-mart is about 4 miles away, there was always a lady in the community that sells popcicles and sodas.  There also was system of delaying the bus if one child got left.  For example if I got left by the bus, my mom could call 10 stops down the tell them, so make sure their child, walked slow the bus, thus giving my mom time to hop in the car to catch the bus. Anywho, I guess that’s enough for today..



9 Responses

  1. WB sounds like they’re all riding their shiny new bikes with thermometers up their butts. I had to laugh when you described that girl that thought you grew up in the ghetto. Did you think that her perception of you, i.e. your behavior, was that of a ghetto bred male… and if so, wouldn’t she think that you would not be alive if you had?

    Good post… and btw, I DO know what a clothes line is. Had one growing up… and planning to put one in here as soon as I can get the line and get the landlord here to get it up there. One thing I really love are clean, breeze-drenched clothes.

  2. So, how was growing up in the ghetto?

  3. @DM–No she just assume I was from the Ghetto, as in All most black peple are from there.. She’s the type of person that would get paid top dollar on looks but loose a great deal on other factors.. for being a surrogate wife, see last week’s post LOL..Pretty but not yet cultured..

    -Whore. It’s comments like these that keep me in therapy, but its comments like those that makes me love you that much more.

  4. My only understanding of the black experience is Elvis’ “In the Ghetto”–I’m just that white.

  5. Oh man… Can’t they just shut their mouths BEFORE they speak?

  6. Interesting. I am sure there are some cultural differences, however I think you would be suprised how much similarity there is between the WB and the BB.

  7. For some reason have the movie The Burbs in my head now. And now there’s an image of sardines from thinking about the movie The Burbs. Great.

  8. Hi guys!
    Do you know where the word “ghetto” comes from? As a pointer I can tell you it originated in Europe. Dragonmommie, do not pick up your dictionary, that would be too easy!
    Wherever you are, people have this propensity to classify you, either for thir own needs or to try and prove they are your better…
    Justin, just to make you feel better, when I was a primary school student back in France, I used to be called n….r although I’ m white (and pink, and brown..) because I tend to suntan very quickly in Spring and Summer.
    I left France 31 years ago, but visit my home regularly. Unfortunately racism and inuendo are at their worst there these days. As you can see, nobody is spared.
    Even in Japan, where mixed bloods were called “half” until someone was clever enough to point out on TV that in fact they were “double”!
    I suppose we just have to take it and smile.

  9. Robert… Who needs a dictionary when I have LOL… I won’t cheat, but the only thing I can think about is that the word “ghetto” was referred to the areas they forced Jews to live in during the war. I suspect that answer is too easy, but it’s all I have.

    All too often we are penalized for not being within a “norm” that is determined by the mainstream “what or whoever”. What people do not realize that true peace and happiness is most often found outside the chains of what is considered mainstream. Not being accepted by society has it’s blessings. It frees us from living a characterless life… a life devoid of inspiration and creativity. How’s that for perspective?

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