Janet Stickmon has succeeded in writing an interesting book of essays, poems and short stories. The book centers on challenges encountered searching for her identity growing up bi-racial, ( African American and Filipina.) She arrives at the end of her journey with Blackapina, a blend of both. Janet Stickmon’s work is interesting and informative, leaving her readers with much food for thought.
While, I embraced this book I must take Ms. Stickmon to task. In her chapter Blackapina she makes the following statement. ” I became aware that phenotypically I looked Black and therefore regularly reminded others that I was also Filipino, being sure to use the few Cebuano words I knew.” “This was done partly to show pride in my Filipino side, but also to show myself off as not-your-average-Black person-someone with an “interesting” twist.”
She has single handedly insulted an entire population of people with her remark. Please enlighten us Ms. Stickmon. What is your average-black person? Being of African American heritage does not give you a free pass to insult an entire population! There is nothing average about non bi-racial blacks as individuals nor as a population!
In the midst of a capitivating read she suddenly bitch slaps and sucker punches her black audience. There is no superiority, nor special twists and turns being bi-racial as opposed to being black, it simply is, what it is! Ms Stickmon’s remark is insulting, insensitive and leaves me to question her motive(s) for this statements inclusion. Ms. Stickmon has not convinced this reader she has come to terms with identity and has no axes to grind. Is this an attempt by Ms. Stickmon to avenge perceived wrongs? Perhaps, she is expressing feigned feelings of bravado, failed attempts to mask her feelings of inferiority, envy and insecurity?
Ms. Stickmon please read and meditate on your words found in the chapter Beauty Revealed: Bringing Out the Best in Others!
“If you harmed someone intentionally or inadvertently, it is not enough to feel bad about it in the privacy of your bedroom or office. Own your mistakes, your shortcomings, your failures and redeem yourself using the formula above. And remember, the recipient has the freedom to accept or reject your apology ( or any other attempts to be redeemed or forgiven). When justice isn’t achieved, this can yield skepticism, distrust, and hyper-vigilance amongst the victims. Justice is served by honest communication. Honest communication breeds trust and facilitates the process of “bringing out the best qualities in others.”
The more interesting chapters of her book are her life experiences and suggestions for living a more complete, productive and rewarding life. She shares thoughts for having an experience where love and respect for self and others are major components for living this journey. A life where we live fully in the moment.
I hope Ms. Stickmon takes her own advice thus truly discovering self acceptance, love and healing. In doing so there will no longer be any need to disparage others .
© Lorraine Currelley 2012. All Rights Reserved. Unauthorized duplication of this material without express and written permission from the author is strictly prohibited.