The issue of Black folk and class has come up several times in the past few months. I admit, I've been curious, but asked for folks to give me an angle. Give me a jumping off point.
Trumystique has done that today:
The pearl/bead comments just reminded me of something.
You know those super upper crusty cotillion-debutante ball black folk? Yeah them. It occurs to me that on some level they are fuming that Michelle and Barack are making it to the White House. You know these people are GENERATIONS OF MONEY, and generations of black money, while Michelle and Barack are new money.
Old money never likes new money. So I am sure that the Obamas and especially Michelle are going to get rolled eyes, hmmphs and lots of under the breath comments of "thats so declasse!" or "thats the Southside for you" for whatever they do. Because I guess none of those old money black folk would have ever invited the Obamas to their functions back in the Chicago days.
Middle class black folk like to look down on poor black folk. And old money black folk REALLY like to look down on new upper middle class folk. Dirty little class secrets we rarely talk about.
This topic pushes a lot of buttons.
But, I don't think it's as black/white as it seems. The Obamas have been embraced by some of the Our Kind of People crowd. What do you think Valerie Jarrett is? or Desiree Rogers? She, and more importantly, her former husband, is pure Our Kind of People. Though, I do wonder what will happen with the entire D.C. crowd, who are entire PhD study unto themselves. Though, I believe Valerie Jarrett has already been greasing the wheel for that too, considering that Ann Dibble Jordan - Vernon's wife- is family. Of all the Black folk in Camp Hillpatine, it was very interesting that Vernon never clowned for Hillpatine, a la Andy Young, Bob Johnson, and others.
I think that this is a generational shift, too, for the younger crowd, even those who grew up in the Our Kind of People world, are more inclusive than their elders.
And, sigh, I know it will come up, so let's just put it out there: Michelle Obama would NEVER have gotten into any of those organizations a generation ago, and we know a big part of the reason why. Hint: paper bag.