Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Subculture Adaptation?



I've been enjoying my break and this is why I have not posted anything in quite a bit (just in case my few, but appreciated readers wanted to know where I was).

While reading comments from a past post, I was inspired to go into an aspect of this whole 'subculture' thing. An anonymous poster (sorry to call you out) brought up an interesting question. He/she asked why a black girl would be interested in Black metal or even more particularly-what he/she was basically asking-music that draws roots from traditional European instruments as well as having a heavy focus on European folklore, culture, language, etc.
I understand the question but it still never ceases to amaze me that black folks are always but into 'the box' and there is no way of getting out of the box even if the people in in consider you out. Let me explain-
The box is EVERYTHING that has to do traditionally with black culture-be it African American or just African. The contents of this box is the black community. The dilemma I'm trying to point out is that every other race is given an opportunity to have some wiggle room in the box. I mean that there are Asian b-boys, Latino metal heads, and white folks into reggae all over the world- my point is that this is considered acceptable and normal.
But if a black person is into anything outside of that suffocating box it's weird or unique. Why is it strange to take an interest in another culture? Or for that matter, subculture? Tons of people of other races travel and explore this giant planet and listen to different music, eat foods, learn the history and language but we somehow aren't allowed because the media portrays us as not being culturally inclined?
Can't I be proud of my nationality and race yet take an interest in the music and culture of another? I think differences are cool and interesting and I've always hated being predictable so I look outside to better understand who I am.
I'm not one of those people who hate who they are and where they come from and are desperate to adapt so much to another culture that they become like them or totally slander their own and that's what I seem to get from a lot of people who don't know me or my views.
I'm not in denial-I'm just interested.
And I refuse to deny what interest me.
Whether it fits in your box or not.
I think the problem is that everyone else seems to be allowed a sort of individuality in their communities that us black folks aren't allowed because we will ALWAYS be whatever we get labeled or filed under in that box.
When will I and the millions of us just be individuals instead of 'that black girl/guy'?

7 comments:

Narsilion said...

You cross the bridge. Black people need solidarity. They don't like it. All people are racists.

KY. said...

I totally understand where you're coming from. Its hard for us to be accepted just because we don't follow the stereotype that people get programmed into their minds by the media. I also feel that there are many black people that long to be diffrent but are afraid of what there fellow race might think so they shut down and do what they think is acceptable. Not me. I'm black and lived around black people all my life. Since I was a little kid I listened to hard rock and nothing else. When I was younger the other kids ridiculed me for my musical taste and other intrest I had. I got to the point where I literally sat down like a fool and tried to listen that crap they called music. I almost lost my mind. After that I didn't give a shit what they thought of me. (Sorry about that.)As I got older (I'm not really that old I'm only 18.) I begin to feel great that I was diffrent especially when I saw how the media portrayed us as...Sorry I told you my life story, just thought you should know...

classical one said...

I must admit I've never met a black metal head very interesting.

The Black Girl into Heavy Metal said...

@Narsiliion-All people are racist-this is very true. No one wants to admit it though.

@Ky-Yes! There are tons who want to be different but can't or have to hide it. And it's because of this corporate mindfuck of a country that wants to imprison our individuality. Keep fighting.

@Classical 1-Hopefully I'm not the last one you'll meet.

Narsilion said...

You should not merge, heavy metal, black metal, death metal, hard rock. It’s different.
I have a question :
Don’t you think that if black people don’t have a lot of individuality, it is because they are minority ? Don’t they need solidarity, and not marginality ?

Bobbie said...

I can't say that there are a lot of ethic women in metal, but considering the growing number of females in metal, there are probably a lot more than you think. Veronica Freeman of Benedictum is one of my favorite metal singers and she is partially Black and Native American (I think).

Yes, the mainstream "metal" bands who are starting to promote women in metal a little more equally, usually only show skinny, pretty, white girls (some of them a European, some American). But keep looking. There are actually a good number of metal bands out there with Black, Hispanic, Middle Eastern, and even Japanese girls singing or playing in them.

If you live in the states, check out what some of us a doing to promote a greater variety of female fronted metal - www.myspace.com/femalemetalfest.

darknessofqueen said...

You're absolutely right! the worst part is that the one puttting themselves in the box are black people. And if you want to get out the box the one rejecting you are mainly black people, the funny part is that white people are even more accepting. But anyway I don't care about being black female metalhead and being rejected, I won't listen to crappy music, wear clothe that I don't like just to fit in!