Thoughts Lead To Appreciation
From what I heard and saw on the Saturday nights I spent hanging around in the Black district I knew that race-mixing went on in Lansing.
Every African* ~Black in Lansing, I guess, knew how white men would drive along certain streets in the Black neighbourhoods and pick up African streetwalkers who patrolled the area.
And, on the other hand, there was a bridge that separated the African and Polish neighbourhoods, where white women would drive or walk across and pick up African men, who would hang around in certain places close to the bridge, waiting for them.
Lansing’s white women, even in those days, were famous for chasing African men.
I did not yet appreciate how most whites accord to the African this reputation for prodigious sexual prowess.
There in Lansing, I never heard of any trouble about this mixing, from either side.
I imagine that everyone simply took it for granted, as I did.
“Alabama Peach”, a blonde, would tell her life story; how in whatever little Alabama town it was she came from, the first thing she remembered being conscious of was that she was supposed to “hate niggers.”
And then, she started hearing older girls in grade school whispering the hush-hush that “niggers” were such sexual giants and athletes, and she started growing up secretly wanting to try one.
Finally, right in her own house, with her family away, she threatened an African man who worked for her father that if he did not take her, she would swear he tried rape.
All you had to do was put a white girl anywhere close to the average Black man, and he would respond.
The Black woman also made the white man’s eyes light up – but he was slick enough to hide it.
A few of the white men around Harlem, younger ones whom we called “hippies,” acted more African than Africans.
This particular one talked more “hip” talk than we did.
He would have fought anyone who suggested he felt any race difference.
He even wore a wild zoot suit, used a heavy grease in his hair to make it look like a conk, and he wore the knob-toed shoes, the long, swinging chain-everything.
And he not only would not be seen with any woman but a Black one, but in fact he lived with two of them in the same little apartment.
I never was sure how they worked that one out, but I had my idea.
About three or four o’clock one morning, we ran into this white boy, in Creole Bill’s speakeasy.
He was high-in that marijuana glow where the world relaxes.
I introduced Sophia; I went away to say hello to someone else.
When I returned, Sophia looked peculiar – but she would not tell me until we left.
He had asked her, “Why is a white girl like you throwing yourself away with a spade?”
The white woman wanted to be comfortable, she wanted to be looked upon with favor by her own kind, but also she wanted to have her pleasure.
So some of them just married a white man for convenience and security, and kept right on going with an African.
It wasn’t that they were necessarily in love with the African, but they were in love with lust – particularly “taboo” lust.
The white woman with a Black man would be with him for one of two reasons: either extremely insane love, or to satisfy her lust.
From The Autobiography Of Malcolm X ~ El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz.
* African or Africans throughout this publication applies to persons of African origin whose nationality is American.