When A Black Man Loves - a romantic journey

Clair Huxtable, Just Where are the Ladies At?

Zachary M.C. Harris
Saturday, July 25, 2015

To say that the past month has been interesting is an understatement, and my monthly horoscope for this month leads me to wonder some interesting things.  But to the subject at hand, there is this wonderful song by a group named Louis York called “Clair Huxtable.”  As soon as I saw the video, I had to google them, pre-order their album and shout out to them on Facebook.  The refrain goes like this:

So many girls I see are wild and lovable,
But I'm looking for my queen, my Clair Huxtable
The Black American dream, it sounds so wonderful,
The only thing I need, is my Clair Huxtable

And many of us who grew up in the 80s know the goddess he is talking about.  Claire was in shape, gorgeous, cultured, educated and intelligent.  She carried herself in a dignified manner, which is something you rarely see these days.  She spoke a second language.

In the video, the members of the group go through a series of encounters in which they see ladies whom they initially find attractive, only to be repulsed when these women turn out to really just be the typical females ensconced in a ratchet subculture.  The women have to dress scantily and gyrate themselves around like they are strippers trying to get money.  It’s sad on more than one level.

Segue to yesterday as I am going to the supermarket.  Across the street from it is a movie theater and there is small wall where people normally can sit either after or before a movie.  Sitting on the wall was a guy whose pants were so damned low, that he was essentially sitting on the wall in his underwear.  There was a woman sitting across from him who in some way was with him (friend, lover, who the hell knows).  What was sad is that she found this behavior acceptable, or accepted it enough for his company.

At this point, I remembered something that an older friend [who was an administrator] told me while I was in college; that I was either born thirty years too early or thirty years too late because my mindset was far more advanced and concerned than my peers.  I pondered this for the rest of the night, wondering who I would be if I were born earlier and fearing where I would be if born later.  I smile as I remember the stories one oldhead of mine regaled me with about his wild endeavors when he was in his youth. 

For me, I have been dating older women for years, and I can remember being attracted to older women when I was in my teens and even younger than that.  The truth is that I learned to walk by chasing an older girl’s legs.  Seriously.  Clair Huxtable was who you wanted, she was the prototype/archetype of the best in African American women, and sadly there are very few examples of that type of woman in mainstream media for other women to pattern themselves after.

Now, I will admit that with the fact that I live in Philly, with its predominantly blue collar mentality and rather substantial lack of black entrepreneurship/commerce – please don’t even mention some multi-level media hustle – and forward progression, that I can’t speak for what the norm is nationally, but I see a severe underrepresentation of women who remind me of Clair Huxtable.  What I see an abundance of are females engaged in following the crowds and trends that are currently considered hip, but of course in the future will be quickly abandoned.  The problem with this is that tattoos are permanent and anything that you put out on the internet can never be erased.

The reality is that there are a humungous amount of things that easily allow us to not be the best that we can be, and because of that, there are some people who are really pushing that {our destruction} as they make money off of it.  I am at a point in my life when I can look at the foolishness of my previous actions and things that I once embraced, seeing the extent of their impact on the community as a whole, while there were only a few people who didn’t get sucked down on it.  It’s the music, the movies and the television shows which are not only pitting us against each other and telling us that we’re not all that – I find it ludicrous that some rappers are making songs talking about how much better they are than everyone else because of the money and material things that they have, while they wouldn’t have those things if the people they are putting down didn’t support them – but also showing us the worst behaviors and attitudes that ultimately other people are picking up.

I am reminded of Eddie Murphy’s bit in which he talked about getting a woman from the motherland because she wasn’t tarnished by some of the attitudes and beliefs that others in this country are.

And I can realize that just like the news always interviews the person who can’t speak properly, has disheveled clothes and is usually missing a few teeth as well as class, it’s the images of Black women that we really don’t want that is constantly being presented to us.  My only question is, will the real ladies stand up?

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