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A valuable lesson learned from Toni Morrison and Starbucks
Reviewed in the United States on February 27, 2016
One day, i was working on contract in Northern CA, many years ago. I was walking into a Starbucks to have my Saturday morning tea before heading over to the gym. I am athletically built, but will not "flaunt" my physique in public. Thus, i always wore over-sized sweats which were comfortable.
A tall skinny black guy was heading toward the same Starbucks door on foot, like myself. He looked at me. He had with him his prize possession. A half-dressed, skinny asian female with him. She was cylindrically built, flat chested, no butt - but half naked. A far cry from the physique of a professional athlete. But they didn't see that. All they both saw was a black chick - probably overweight- in baggy sweats. *ugh*.
Upon seeing me, his lips pressed into a thin line, his eyes went flat with absolute hatred. I've seen that look my whole life from young black men. Then suddenly, he grinned. He knew we were going into the same Starbucks, so he grabbed his lady-friend's hand and started walking quickly. So quickly that he opened the door for her, then swiftly turned around, smiled in my face - and SLAMMED THE DOOR before i could grab the handle.
Everyone in Starbucks saw this action. I held my head up, walked into that Starbucks and stood in line right beside that couple. He gave me a belligerent stare wondering if i was going to do something to his "property". Though i was furious? I did not show it. Though i was ashamed. I did not show it. I ordered my tea when it was time, sat down and drank it. People were still staring even after that couple left. No one knew what to say. Regardless i did not sink that child's level. I held my head high, and sipped my tea.
This bought back so many humiliations in the past of how black people treat each other. I saw it within my family, school, my jobs, everywhere.
And believe it or not, i once wished for blue or green eyes as well. Anything but my liquid deep brown, big, round eyes. Having blue eyes would have stunned so many that i thought were my enemies into silence. I would have been treated better by not only my own counter-parts - but by white people as well.
Actually, that turned out not to be the case. Blue eyes don't mean anything if you don't love yourself. Just like that black guy who had attained what he considers a "prize" asian female. If you hate everything about yourself, nothing is going to change that. He was projecting everything he hated about himself - onto me. If it wasn't me? It would have been someone else of his culture.
Toni Morrison shows us, in this novel what the consequences are, if we seek "physical attributes/objects" to overpower the mental insufficiencies. I, and so many others could have gone the route of Pecola. In Toni Morrison's novel. A very valuable lesson is taught. Regardless of how blue your eyes are, if you're insecure? They will never be blue enough.