Fifty Shades of Black: Some Random Musings

Fifty Shades of Black: Some Random Musings

Musing #1 Fifty Shades of Grey Book Review

I finally read Fifty Shades of Grey. Here’s my synopsis of what happens. Virgin and broke college girl meets super rich and attractive man who turns out to be into really kinky submissive/dominant/bondage sex stuff. She loses her virginity to him. He buys her a bunch of expensive stuff and wants her to be his sex slave. He’s moody and mean. She agrees to try the kinky stuff. She likes it but she wants more…she wants a real boyfriend/girlfriend relationship. They have sex like ten times a day. References to yeast infections and bacteria vaginosis were omitted though the college girl does meet with an OBGYN for birth control pills because he’s tired of wearing condoms. He gets nice, then mean, then nice, then meaner, then he buys her more stuff. He beats the snot out of her. She breaks up with him and gives him back all his stuff. The sex wasn’t that hot and the book was disturbing. I didn’t like the message that women should stay with men who beat them and then buy them stuff. There are two more books in the trilogy that I won’t be reading. I’m sure they will include them getting back together, him buying her more stuff, and more sex. Fifty Shades of NOT!

Musing #2 Obama Black

I was at a get together last weekend and a friend was telling me about his student teaching experience at a predominately black high school on the south side. My friend is a black male teacher and he’s excited about being able to make a positive impact on black teens. My friend has a fair skin complexion (he’s yellow), is well-spoken, and witty. Actually, he’s the male version of me. He was talking to a class of students about their upcoming ACT exam and said he was upset that less than 20% of Chicago Public School students pass the ACT. (I’m not sure what the exact statistic is, but it was something dismal like that.) Then he asked the class how they felt about that. One girl raised her hand and said, “I don’t know why you’re upset cause you not black.” He was flabbergasted. He actually grew up in the neighborhood around the school where he was teaching. When he was growing up, it was called the Low End and the title was well deserved. Now it’s called South Loop/Bronzeville and when he tells the kids he grew up around there they look at him like he grew up in the suburbs. They don’t know how much the neighborhood has gentrified. He asked, “If I’m not black, then what do you think I am?” She shrugged her shoulders. A young man in the back of room spoke up. “See, we regular. We regular black. But you…you Obama black.”

At this point, I stopped him. “Wait, Obama black? So that’s a race now?” Then I exploded into laughter and fell out of my chair. Since he’s the male version of me, I guess that makes me…Michelle?

Musing #3 Mirror, Mirror

I don’t watch a lot of television and I didn’t see much of the Olympics. The few times I watched the women’s gymnastics, I was extremely proud of Gabby Douglass. I also remember thinking, “I wish her mother would have done something to her hair.” Yes, I did. I wouldn’t have posted it on Twitter, but I did think it. Just like every morning when I go for a walk and I’m behind a young man whose pants are sagging below his butt. I don’t want to start my morning looking at a stranger’s underwear. I don’t understand why some black men think it’s cute to have their pants falling down. I think, “I wish his mother and especially his father would do something about this wardrobe malfunction.”

Our young black children need some serious help in the appearance department. I’m not talking about Gabby because I have low self-esteem or hair issues as I have read many a blogger and commenter claim about anyone who speaks ill of the young woman’s hair. I have high self-esteem because my parents and grandparents instilled that in me. One of my favorite memories of my grandfather was the time he saw me about to leave my house in a wrinkled shirt. He explained to me that his grandchildren don’t do that. I represent him, my family, and myself every time I leave out my front door and that means I have to look, speak, and act like a lady. A lady doesn’t wear wrinkled clothes. So I changed into a t-shirt and my grandfather and I ironed my shirt together. When I changed back into my pressed shirt, I felt different. I held my head higher, my shoulders squarer, and my back straighter because I wanted to represent my grandfather well. Growing up, there were times when my mother looked at my hair or outfit and she said, “You aren’t going outside looking like that.” I marched right back to my room and fixed myself up. I wish the parents and grandparents of our youth today would look them over before they come outside with messy hair, satin bonnets, and inappropriate outfits. Mirror, mirror on the wall…HELP!

Deanna Burrell is the author of the dynamic novel “Single Girl Summer.” Described as the healthy, bouncing baby that would be produced if “Waiting to Exhale” and “Sex and the City” procreated, Single Girl Summer is available in paperback and ebook download. Visit for more information. Your summer won't be complete without it!

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