I have been living in Los Angeles for a month and a half now and so far, I have yet to make one Black female friend! I have encountered several Black women so far, and there is just no love! I’ve gotten so desperate, that’s the right word I suppose, that I am practically begging every Black woman that doesn’t give me a mean stare, to be my friend.
I even, relatively forcefully, I should add, gave my card to this Black woman I met at an interview. As soon as she sat next to me, I popped the conversation off (something I pretty much never did before moving here) asking her whether she was from LA and kind of rode it home from there, lol. I legit might have to admit that I may have been forced to adopt dating and picking up habits to meet Black female friends, which btw, hasn’t worked either (she never called =/).
For some reason, it seems to me that I am only receiving “cool” responses, if any, from the Black women I’ve met, which by the way, I find to be an astronomically small number for a city I was convinced had way more Black people. So apparently, LA has approximately 9.9 million people, in which almost 10% of the population are Black, equivalent to a little under one million people. Far less than the 25% of Black people in New York’s metropolis of 8.3 million people.
So here I am, a New York City girl that’s seen Los Angeles on television her entire life and is thus, convinced that since I’ve seen far more movies about Black communities in Los Angeles than I have about Latino communities, that there had to be a comparable population of Black people in LA to Latinos (a subconscious means of rationalizing the disproportionate movie and television portrayals).
It’s eye opening to think that as aware of the general effects of television and media on our perception of reality as I am, this very subtle and quite powerful false message that LA has a big Black population still managed to penetrate my thought process and kidnap my expectations.
So where does that leave me? Well, through writing this, I have come face to face with the fact that there really aren’t that many Black people in LA in the first place! When you add the factors of proximity, transportation, non existent pedestrian culture and the very understated yet, overwhelming neighborhood enforced racial segregation, my chances of meeting my Black Queen sister friend seem quite bleak.
Yet, the most significant key to this complexing puzzle of racial interactions lies in the things it seems no one says out loud in LA, or anywhere for that matter. There is an unmistakable class wall in LA, that I will argue, is far more divisive and piercing than race. As I write this, the thought dawns on me that the “cool” responses I’ve been getting from my Black sistahs is likely in part, due to apparent class difference.
I stick out in LA, like an NFL players’ swollen finger on an infant baby hand. In essence, I am as different looking as it comes in LA and that means, to the Black people, that I look like I appear to be in a different class, and thus, unsociable to them. This, of course, is result of the major unspoken rule that permeates throughout LA that screams “NO CLASS MIXING!” It’s mind altering, dude! I have a better chance of being friends with a White man from Wisconsin (literally) than a Black woman from Compton, while living in LA.
Now, I understand that this may not seem like a big deal or rather, more like a mundane, overanalyzed thing to many folks, while to others (namely LA folks that redefined the definition of racism to be everything that isn’t racist, leaving much room to openly reinforce what actually is defined as racism), this may seem a tad “racist”, so to speak. I mean, I just wrote an 800 word plus blog post about not being able to find a Black woman friend, as if having White, Asian, and Latino friends is any less of a prestige to hold! That, of course, is not the case at all.
I just recently acknowledged (like five days ago) that I am in withdrawal of Black female friends and it’s taxing on my emotional makeup. I never realized the value of sharing relationships with people that can connect to your cultural landscape as much as your spiritual and mental landscape. I got so caught up with wanting friends to share educational conversations and artistic appreciation with, despite their race, that I forgot the simple joy in sharing culturally related hair, make-up, and romantic tips with someone that has those things in common with you.
It’s definitely fun and exciting to share relationships with folks that are culturally different from me, as I am able to learn from and embrace culturally eclectic experiences. Yet, there are those things, the little things, that every person I believe, just wants someone to freaking get. And, it seems, culture can be a major factor in finding people that just, get it, whatever it is.
#FirstWorldProblems #BlackGirlProblems #LAProblems #MovingCrossCountryProblems #MediaBrainwashingProblems #CultureInAmerica #FindingBlackGirlFriendsInLA #IMPOSSIBLE #LOL