Rose Bondoe - photo by Kristen Griffith

Rose Bondoe – photo by Kristen Griffith

By Rose Bondoe (Whetstone Staff Writer)

Because of continuing negative stereotypes African Americans in movies, television shows, magazines, and everywhere else, we African Americans can never be seen as just human – to much of the world we’re just another black person who is probably ghetto and doesn’t know much.

If I took the time to hate and judge every individual whom I’ve met or am going to meet in my life who believes those stereotypes, I’d be like those people who judge me by my appearance.

Because I am an African American female, I must walk with my head held high, because many are watching and waiting – waiting to see you fall.

I must explain my race to some because of I’m not as dark as some other African Americans.

I must ignore the judgmental looks I see on others’ faces.

I must keep my hair straight because straight hair is the “best” type. I must not let others see my hair in its natural state, not the afro-kinky tight curls, which is not accepted as a standard of beauty.

Keeping a smile on my face lets people know that I am okay to approach, and not the scary monster they may envision.

The stereotypes say that I should not speak properly, because “speaking proper” would be deceiving you about who I am. In movies and television shows, black people don’t speak proper English, only slang.

I’m told that I can’t listen to classical music, rock and jazz because the underlying lyrical content is too complex for African Americans. Rap, Hip-Hop, and R&B are the only genres of music that are allowed to define our taste in music.

Please be patient with them, my fellow black people.

For they are all lost souls seeking guidance.

Let them know your cultural background. You are more than your complexion. Let them see that you are a force to be reckoned with.

Please don’t be afraid to walk in a room filled with different kinds of people because you will show them the power you have and not the stereotypical black person they envision you to be..

Show them beautiful individual soul that you are.