How Zora and Jay Dilla Helped Me Claim My Crush

This one is for T.dot and Black girls desire.

A month ago, I read There Eyes Watching God in one sitting, in Oakland.

I hadn’t read the book since I was a 16. At that time I appreciated Zora’s use of language, but I didn’t have the life experience to appreciate the beauty of the ways in which Janey left her husbands but wasn’t crushed, the ways in which Janey held on to her humanity and to desire, and the general importance of seeing a Black woman’s interior life on paper.

Given the fact that I have been learning about centering women’s subjectivity, perspectives and experiences in my Women Studies course work, I immediately saw the significance of TEWWG. I also developed a critique of WHY Richard Wright didn’t get TEWWG. He didn’t understand the political significance of Black women’s voice’s, the importance of claiming desire and the distinction between speaking up and being voiceless in Black communities.

The origins of the US are rooted in Black women’s productive and reproductive labor in this country. So, if someone is affirming our interior lives,? it is most certainly a political act.

Wright wrote, in reviewing TEEWG,

“… The sensory sweep of her novel carries no theme, no message, no thought. In the main, her novel is not addressed to the Negro, but to a white audience whose chauvinistic tastes she knows how to satisfy. She exploits that phase of Negro life which is “quaint,” the phase which evokes a piteous smile on the lips of the “superior” race.”

Richard thought Zora was perpetually cooning, apolitical and setting the movement back.

Zora was affirming our humanity.

So how does this fit with my crush and Dilla?

A couple of weeks ago, my homie J-boogie invited me to a party at the end of February. Yeah for slowly? making new friends who invite me to stuff! WoOter. I learned that a friend of his, that I had recently peeped would be there, so I asked if he was single, liked Black girls and whether he was a raging misogynist. The answer was yes, yes and no, so I said, word? Crush Bears!

Silver leggings, green eye shadow. Outfit planned!

Fast forward to this past Saturday night. I walked into a function with Ms. Nikon Jawn and who would you know, my crush, KB is there.

I have a bit of a rubber face, so I was stuck, because my face said what my mind thought, which was “What ‘chu doing here, is that really you?” I had to collect myself. I didn’t know what to say. It wasn’t suppose to happen like this.

I had already mentioned to my homie Ms. Nikon the deal, so she insisted, “YO, go say something.” I was like, furrowed eyebrows, “NO!”

So we danced, chilled and danced and I kept an eye out for him.

Couple hours later, Ms.Nikon Jawn I are taking a breather,
and KB walks by. I stare, he waves. He comes over and introduces,
Ms. Nikon bounces upstairs to check on the time and I gather my courage to speak my piece:

KB: I saw you looking at me earlier, like you were mad at me.
R: Naw, I wasn’t angry, I was just surprised to see you, see
I know who you are, you are my crush, we both know J boogie,
and I planned on introducing myself at his function at the end of the month.
KB: He having a party? I didn’t know about that. [wow]
R: Yup, end of the month.
KB: So why me, not every day pretty girls come up to dudes, and say they have crushes.
R: I am at a point in my life where I am interested in being around people who are comfortable being themselves, and you strike me as one of those people. Your performance of Black male masculinity, is comfortable and eccentric. Me Gusta.

He nodded.

We chatted more.

We decided to leave and eat.
I checked in with my girl, said good bye and said,
“I see you, ummm hmm.” Told her to text me when she got in.

KB and I left to get something to eat.

I felt like Janey. Not letting the fear of rejection polarize me, choosing desire,
stating my piece and giving the outcome to God.

As we sat there waiting for our snacks to arrive.

He teased me, calling me Renina Jenkins. I was like stop or imma poke you.
Asked me how old I was, I handed him my ID, people
always ask me that ish, ‘cuz I read young but sound old.
I never show anyone my id. But I did that night.

Vulnerable y Fearless.

We talked about the fact that I have an old snow tubing tag
on my coat.
At one point he was being a little sassy and hurt my feelings
and I was like, yo, why you talking like that…he responded, I was just trying to impress you and be funny. I was like just be yourself, that’s good money as is. We were cool again.

We talked about his art.

Then somehow the Slum Village song, came to my head, it goes:

Le feeee, leee faaa, ohhh hhh aha aaaaaaaaaaaaah.

He was like, “They are saying, Don’t Sell Yourself
to Fall in Love
.”

I was like “REALLY? Wow, I kill rap lyrics.”

“How you know which song I meant?”

He said, “I could hear the melody, what does your hair look like?”

Done.

Two hours go by, talking and I realized that I enjoyed the conversation
because it was just that, a conversation.

Not where do you work, live, study? etc. After three questions from someone, I be feeling like am being interrogated.

On the real, sometimes, I be feeling like I want to hand people a resume when I first meet them just to get all those questions out the way. It was simply affirming to kick it with someone who didn’t act hella confused by my usage of “love bear” language, or the other eccentricities that entail this #blackgirlfromthefuture.

In fact, I mentioned to him that #blackgirlsarefromthe future.

He responded, “You should put that on t-shirts.”

“Its already in the works.”

In the end, I don’t know what will come of it.
We will may not ever see each other again. While I don’t wish for that I am cool with it.

You see, on Wednesday, I saw a conversation on gmail buzz that kinda had my heart in my throat. This crush experience was a nice recovery because it reminded me that, life is cool and that things happen on Gods time, not mine.

It also reminded me that yes, there are people in the world that feel me and can keep up, with they eccentric selves.? Umm hmm. I just have to be patient and remind myself that Change and Love are always possible.

#Crushbears2010!

You have any crushes lately?

You tell ’em ? Why or why not?

Zora and Dilla in the same post = #somuchwin

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Comments

  1. admin says

    Sasha!

    I work hard at it. Some days are better than others. It was kind of serendipitous.

    Trust, I was shook, then I mellowed out and went with it.

    Soon come. Soon Come.

    I wish vulnerability and fearlessness for you in #2010.

    ~R

  2. Intisar says

    Wow,

    I love this. And also when grown folks aren’t afraid to say they be crushing. When does crushing end?
    Gutso!

    I

  3. says

    Yaaaaaaay! First of all, I think it’s awesome you connected Zora and J Dilla in a fairly seamless way. After all, isn’t one of the themes in TEWWG that Janey didn’t sell herself out for love? Second of all, I’m glad you just put everything out there and it seems like it worked out for the best. I’m working on being fearless y vulnerable for 2010 and beyond as well. Stay tuned…

  4. admin says

    Danielle.

    Ummmmm. Im not gonna blow your spot up, but can I just say how awesome that night was….geez!

    That Zora and Dilla just kinda happened.
    It worked out for the best, just on the strength of the moment that when I did it, I had to let go of the outcome, which is something I practice struggling with, it don’t come natural. Luls.

    You like your nickname?

    ~neens

  5. says

    Hee! ‘Ms. Nikon Jawn.’ I dig it! I had a big Kool-Aid grin on my face when I read that. And yes, that night was awesome indeed. πŸ˜€