Here is a excerpt from one of my most interesting interviews. It was done by Tanya Manderson. She writes about women. She had a few questions for me…
Your oldest daughter is bi-racial. What do you plan on teaching her about race?
From day one, she used to ask me “Mom, why are you black and I’m not?” It’s about your cultural identity. I told her that everyone is just a different shade of black, so for years, she thought her dad was a light skinned black guy. (laughs) But the truth is, that we all came from Africa and we’re now different shades. So my daughter is golden-black and I’m chocolate-black. I took the emphasis off skin color and just told her that people come in different shades, but what you cling to in life, is what you do at home. My philosophy is “you do as your mom does”. We just live as black people do.
What is your biggest hope for your children?
That they are independent, happy and healthy.
What is your biggest fear for your children?
Probably one of the hardest things I’ve gone through is my father’s death. He died nine years ago. After that, I was like “what’s the point of loving someone so much?” You have to release them and you don’t want to. So there’s this huge loss that you feel. So loss is a fear for me. How will my kids deal with loss. So to combat that, I talk (with them) about the cycle of life a lot. I’m all into my kids, I read to them, I sleep with them under my armpits. So I hope when I’m not there, they will still feel me, feel my presence.
Are you political?
I vote. I have a political opinion. Many of the things that I embrace share the political space, like race, gender, business, healthcare; all things that help families survive are political discussions, so yes. I’m political.
Healthcare affects me the most; my son just broke his leg. It’s just so hard to stay healthy in this country. Organic food costs a fortune. (laughs) Also, education and the lack of help the government gives to small businesses.
How do you feel about America?
I choose to live here. I’m not forced to be here. I’d like to move to Ghana next, when my oldest daughter becomes a ripe teenager. (laughs) Here, you’re always faced with the question of what it means to be black. It might be a romantic notion, but maybe, I hope, you’ll ask yourself that less when you’re surrounded by everyone that looks like you. Like when I was at Spelman, we still talked about race, but it came up less. There will be more room to talk about other things when your whole world is black. Your vision is changed and you won’t notice all of the other subliminal bullshit that America feeds you.
Am I proud to be American? It’s like a dichotomy. There’s a lot of things I don’t like about America, about the way we behave and the message we give and the things we do. But the things that we do to the rest of the world give this easier life that we live here. I love my life here, I just hate how we came by it. It’s a toss up. I’m proud of my insular world, but the bigger world where I don’t have any say-so, like government decisions, not so much. I wish I could give world leaders my two cents.
Are you represented in pop culture?
No. When I open fashion magazines, I don’t relate anymore. I could care less about fashion trends. I like watching people on the street. In media, I don’t see myself, the images seem really frivolous. It’s not because I’ve matured, I don’t think they’ve matured. They speak to the woman in her 20’s who can’t wait to spend her money. I like buying clothes, but I also get excited about buying my new notebooks so I can fill them up with ideas. There doesn’t seem to be a vision of a full woman who is obsessed with not just clothes, but obsessed with travel, or is obsessed with her other friends and their lives. The conversation in magazines is just too small for me. I don’t look to media for cues on how black women are portrayed. I just look for them to entertain me. I don’t see myself on radio or on songs. I have to talk to my daughter about hip hop lyrics. She memorizes those songs and I want to see that she doesn’t incorporate it into her life. She’ll ask me what a threesome is. We talk about it and put into real context so it’s not glamorized. I don’t want her to make decisions on what Nicki Minaj is saying.
Do you ever feel invisible?
Are you lonely?
No, not at all. I’m surrounded by my family. I feel really able in the world, to do things that I love.
What do you want on your tombstone?
I want it to read that I was the most loving mother and wife and knockout beauty. An awesome mom, the hottest girlfriend, and just a knockout.
(You can read more at…http://tellmewhoyouareblog.com/post/5462373904/jodie-patterson)