I attended Dardanelle High school. A school with a White origin, but over time has developed into a predominantly White and Hispanic school. In preschool I had a boyfriend who was White, Brice was his name. It was just puppy love, it couldn’t have gone any further, right?
It wasn’t until sixth grade when I just really noticed race. I dated another white guy in sixth and seventh grade, however it wouldn’t be until eighth grade when I realized dating a white guy could be problematic. I met a guy, we talked for a while, and one day I was informed that we couldn’t date or anything due to his parents and their “beliefs”.
For Christmas I was given the movie, Something New. Automatically, I loved it because the two main characters were of opposite races, Black and White. But it wasn’t your typical black and white couple (black guy, white girl) it was a black girl with a white guy! So completely idealistic! The movie was comedic based.
In the movie the couple stumbled upon a conflict. “Black Tax” was the issue. The business firm Kenya (the main character Sanaa Lathan) worked for was one of the top firms in the state. She was a candidate for partner at the accounting firm. However, one of the men she was chosen to work with didn’t want to work with her because she was black. Hints, the “black tax”, in which a black person has to work twice as hard to get what they desire or to prove themselves. She was from a family with all professional backgrounds. She was also a graduate of top schools. Kenya was everything the typical black girl isn’t known to be. She then met Brian (Simon Baker) who was a landscape architect. Brian didn’t attend college and he had no preference regarding race like Kenya did.
Something New, highlighted things that we, the people seem to overlook. Brian was white and everywhere he went with Kenya, he was reminded that he was white (kinda like I was being the only black girl in my class). Brian experienced a little bit of prejudice dealing with Kenya and her friends. That’s something that the Black community does, not even realizing that we are doing it. It’s almost like in essence we’re all one and the same. When Brian went with Kenya to a comedy show he was the topic of all the jokes (white jokes). I feel that’s something the Black community should realize that we are doing. I live by the motto “treat people how you want to be treated”. I for one, am very pro-black so I hope I’m not coming off as knocking my people but change starts with acknowledging things especially within ourselves.
Brain and Kenya had to learn to deal with the racial tendencies from both groups of people. That’s something I’ve always wondered. How interracial couples, particularly Black people, deal with the racial tension around them. In the news today, it shows a lot of cultural division and police brutality within the Black community. I met a White guy recently and I mentioned the news to him. I asked him if he saw the racial tension within the news and he told me no. My first response was to quit communicating with him! I figured we could never work because I was Black and he was White. He would never be able to understand my pain because he’s not living in color. My situation put me in the mindset of this movie, Something New. Until we learn how to communicate effectively and understand each other’s pain, we will be forever divided.