In Jabari’s blog, I especially like his most recent post. The prose is eloquent, succinct, and (I don’t know if this was a conscious decision or because the subject of this post is something Jabari is personally attached to) poignant. He says:
My name isn’t Jabari. It’s Parker. And Ahbleza. And Lorenza. And Sonny. And Andrae. And Hashim. These are some of my closest friends, and in many ways, we are all one in the same.
I don’t mean that in a loving “we’re all united” way, I mean that I’ve been called all of their names and they mine on more than one occasion. Why? Because we look alike. Yep. My friend who is three shades lighter than me and has braids that reach his shoulders looks just like me. My brother who weighs 100 pounds fewer than me and who couldn’t grow a beard to save his life, is my identical twin! I’ve had so many non-black friends, teachers, and colleagues call me the other black guy’s name that I’ve lost count. Instead of getting angry, I most feign utter disgust and as whoever has made the mistake if all black people look alike. The guilt and shame on their faces makes up for any hurt feelings. But in all seriousness, do we all look alike? If not, then someone needs to inform about 90% of all comic book artists.
The opening statement of the post is complex. It is not until one reads the whole post that one sees that the opening statement is at one true and at once false. The statement is wistful, but also truthful. Jabari is linked to his friends through friendship but not through superficial surface qualities that other people (choose to) see.
Emily’s blog takes a different, yet still personal, tone from Jabari’s. I particularly liked Emily’s post, Magical Lies. The writing is fluent, conversational in tone, but still professional, and interesting to read. Here is a good extract:
Well it seems as though I should not be so judgmental of the Ancient Greek civilizations. To this day, people tell lies or tales or whatever you want to call them all the time. All it takes is a talented, charismatic speaker or a handful of easily manipulated people to turn a couple of lies into a truth. For example, have you ever collected those Tootsie-Roll lollipop wrappers that have a star and a Native American shooting at it? Well I did–as did a ton of kids in my city. We were all told if we collected a bag of them, we could exchange them for free tootsie pops. I don’t remember if any of us actually ever did this, but we would always try to save a bag full and then lose them all. Either way, cashed prize or not, there was no prize! Tootsie never made the competition as 1/3 of their lollipops have that design. Apparently it was something created by local stores to promote sales of tootsie pops. I am quite distressed to discover this….
But these lies, these misconceptions, whatever you want to call them, they’re everywhere. We tell them for all sorts of reasons. To make up for the fact that we don’t actually know the answer. To sell a product. To just look out for your family and friends. No matter the reason, it’s no lie that we do it. It spreads like rapid fire, almost to the point where the truth can get lost. Makes you wonder what you’ve been told is a lie doesn’t it?