There has been a lot of talk on the Interwebz this week about the ESPN 30 for 30 sports documentary about the University of Michigan Fab Five. Jalen Rose, who played for Michaigan as a member of the Fab Five ,and who had a fairly sucessful career in the NBA and is now a basketball analyst for TV made comments alluding to the fact that at the time, he was jealous of Grant Hill and thought he was an “Uncle Tom”. Grant Hill responded via the New York Times.
Michele Grant over at Black n’ Bougie wrote a related post on Saturday that is a must read.
Those viewpoints were from a more macro level in my opinion and I’d like to look at it from a more micro level, at how intraracism and classism affect us and how we deal with our families and friends. I’ve never been called an Uncle Tom (at least not to my face) but I have been called ‘white girl” and told ” I talk too proper”. I’ve had members of my own family tell me I think I’m better than them because I live in Houston and they lived in a small town. I had my uncle’s common law wife of 30 plus years (prior to my marriage) tell me that since I wasn’t married, I might as well have a baby. But I’m not immune to dysfunction. I have a half brother who has been to prison and even now, “hustles” to get by. He’s still my family. How could I not claim him??
I have a good friend who at our age, still gets told that she’s pretty for a “dark skinned girl”. I could go on and on with the intraracial baggage that black folks have to deal with. And it’s not just us. All cultures and races have similar types of intraracial beef. I can only speak about what I know about.
So my question to the commenters is: Have you had to deal with family or friends who are jealous or intimidated of the sacrifices and choices your parents made to better their family? If you have come from more humble beginings and have “made it out”, so to speak, how do you handle your family and friends who have not?? I’m curious to hear your thoughts on this. Please share in the comments.