For the white person who wants to know how to be my friend- Pat Parker

Within the packet of poems that Dr. McCoy presented to us, a few of them stuck out to me immediately. Similar to what Analiese stated in her blog posts, I would not usually go for poems if I were. There are certain poems, however, such as Pat Parker’s that draw me in almost instantaneously. Parker’s poem gave me a conversational feeling which sparked more of an interest than poems usually do. I found myself making commentary while reading along because I could relate all too well and there were certain aspects of it I found to be humorous.

The first stanza of this poem includes the lines “The first thing you do is to forget that i’m Black. Second, you must never forget that i’m Black”. This comment was clear to me upon first glance due to my own experiences as a Black woman. For others, this comment may have not been understood as rapidly. In realizing this, I wanted to create a blog post explaining what this meant to me. This poem highlighted some of the limitations when befriending someone who identifies as Black. Most of these examples relate to the tendency of over sympathizing with Black culture. Some people will hear how Black people praise a certain artist and think that they have to appreciate the same artist just as much. Though this may have been intended as a means to establish a relationship, it can present itself as superficial. Personally, I prefer genuine relationships based on more than smaller similarities like these.  For me this poem was trying to highlight the many times that people think in order to be friends with someone who is Black, they need to not only appreciate but relate to everything within the culture. I do not expect you to relate to something you have not been through or a culture you were not raised a part of, however, I do want you to have an understanding of my background and life on a daily basis. Forget that I am Black, and remember I am a human being just like you. But, do not forget I am Black and realize we do not take the same path to reach the same goal.


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