Oh it absolutely is (tied to our ascendance from slavery) unlike most African Americans I can trace the rise of my people off of plantations in Virginia. Kentucky and North Carolina. You are right that I am painting Southern blacks with two broad a brush.
But you have to acknowledge, CLEARLY, Malcolm X and MLK had very different approaches toward civil rights. I have always been of the Malcolm X persuasion. I have always had southern blacks discouraging me from this strategy ad naseuam. They want to be patient, and ask nicely, and say pretty please, oh please, massa please be decent! That is not my style. That is just not how I work. I understand how Southerners work, the decisions they have made, and why they have made them. They want to LIVE. I totally get that. BUT, being from the Midwest, and having a different racial and cultural experience, I am culturally ill-equipped to play the reindeer games with Southern whites that that southern blacks want to play. i don't even know the rules of those games...and white southerners who tried to play them with me...learned that i wasn't the one.
This is my work. You're not going to tell me what my lived experiences have actually been...generally black clients don't understand, nor do they trust legal proceedings. Can you blame them? I don't. I get it. But it doesn't work when my clients try to tell me how to do my job, and white clients- certainly white men, never do. They see clear that I know what the f*ck I am doing...and they help me...they are intellectually the best clients...emotionally? Dear God that is a whole other issue. I wish I had never met some of them.
But this is what my white male clients understand: What I do gets results and gets my clients heard.
In my lived experiences, Southern blacks are afraid to speak out and be heard.
Where the North meets the South, (Washington DC) Southern blacks have a tendency to tolerate extreme racism with a smile (noose on the locker) whereas urban blacks will go apeshit...understandably...if you come to work to find a noose on you locker, Houston we have a mfing problem!
I will say that, to white and black managers alike. Urban black professionals will back me up on this, (quietly) Southern black professionals tend to want to avoid the conflict and play docile and dumb (when they are anything but.) Southern blacks, in my experience (have acussed me of starting trouble, being a perpetual trouble maker, causing problems for them (and this was undoubtedly true from their perspective.) But I would tell them, "look I am just doing MY JOB.
And that was true. It didn't help them much, though, when me doing my job caused the nooses on lockers to triple. I get it, but I was not the problem. The noose hangers were clearly the problem.
But clearly, an uppity, high-yellow house negro, pushed the racists buttons, for sure. Let's be honest about the intra-racism, amongst us...and I haven't even touched on the whole light-skinned/dark-skinned thing. (and being as high yellow as I am I HAVE TONS to say about that.) I'll link my article Thick Like Me, so you can see just how thoroughly I UNDERSTAND my own family's crawl off the plantation...THAT I UNDERSTAND, very well. And we rejected that white southern mentality...we had to. A book was even written about my family's crawl out of the South (After the Klan burned down their house for being too uppity) I GET IT. ThIS IS MY CULTURE, MY HERITAGE...all of it.