I don’t like Girls. Revolutionary thought, right? I know. Since the HBO show’s premiere two weeks ago, I’ve read all types of moaning about the show, the story of four twenty-something brown-haired white women making a way and doing slightly better than Florida Evans in seemingly homogeneous Brooklyn. The prevailing complaint about the show has been about all those people of non-color living, mating, and getting by in America’s biggest melting pot of a city. How could it be, many, many (too many) people have wondered, that they couldn’t find any color in Brooklyn?! I mean, besides the homeless Black guy that yelled at “Hannah” to “smile!” (There are people of color in Girls’ world, they just, well, color the margins life for the people of non-color.)

In all the Girls talk, there’s emerged a prevailing ideas that New York City proper, with inhabitants that undoubtedly rep every country and city on Earth’s face, is this place where people of all cultures gather around the Empire State Building and do some sort of collective kumbaya chant where we express tolerance for every race, religion, and creed. Nightly.

I’m almost certain where this lure of the New York melting pot came from. It’s a bunch of people from everywhere, living in close quarters, and so in theory, they would all intermingle on more than public transportation and then find common human interests like, you know, surviving this city and become friends. Surely that can happen, but what’s been my experience in application is it doesn’t for a lot of people. Of course, there’s potential for New York to be a melting pot, if you prefer it that way. But it can also be as segregated as a Jim Crow Mississippi, complete with the crazed police brutality, but without the separate but equal signs.

The crowded streets of Times Square look like the figurative UN (all tourists, so you know) and by convenience and for time efficiency, you’ll see people of all colors, including the Mayor, smashed together on the subway come rush hour. But for, dare I say, many New Yorkers, sharing a knowing eye roll across an empty aisle to whomever from wherever when the inevitable kid enters the subway car to sell M&Ms and recite the scripted speech about hustling on the train–”Not for no basketball team, but to have money in my pocket so I won’t be robbing you”–can be as meaningful as your NYC encounter with another race gets.

I will have lived here ten years come late August, and I have just one non-Black friend. She’s Puerto Rican, from The Bronx. Unlike Zoe Saldana and LaLa Vasquez-Anthony, she doesn’t claim “Black” even if she could be mistaken for such. I rarely see her, maybe once a year, as she’s a workaholic and a mother. We met when her husband was still her boyfriend, and clicked. End of story. Everyone else who I could call at 2 AM in the midst of a crisis and actually expect to answer and care is Black.

  • TheBestAnonEver, Part 2

    Agreed. I have, and have had, acquaintances, work/school friends of all stripes, but those I would call my friends in any meaningful way are all black. I grew up in predominately white cities, went to predominately white schools, and currently live in an overwhelming, predominately white city, but my closest friends are still black. They understand me and how I perceive situations intuitively; understand me in a way an overwhelming majority of non-black people can’t. Once I was past 25 years old, I was too damn old for buddies, I needed friends.

    I don’t understand the gripe with the show. This is one particular woman’s story and possibly she doesn’t have any close non-white women in her life. Do we really want to encourage people to accumulate friends of other races as trophies?

  • Unknown

    I do relate to this! I’m not looking to only have black friends but I just do. I even have siblings married to mostly white women and I swear we are like strangers. I tried; I did but I’m past that age where I’m yearning for friends. I would not say no to a genuine friendship but I would not force one neither. My friends just happen to be black ( from different countries ). No racism here just it just happened that I connect the most with some people. Coming from a cultural background where we were very friendly in school ( west Africa) I was extremely chocked when I came to study here. People act as if you were the best of friends in some situations and the second you stop taking a class or working together they stop saying Hi. So I have adapted and now I considered most people ( for some reasons there are always non-black ) I associate with whether in school or @ work just as acquaintances, business partners… I learned the hardway. At least I could be charming and courteous at work while canceling everyone out when I leave the professional place…

  • QueenofNew

    Where I live its impossible to have black friends especially black girls friends. There are just so few here and the ones that are here are not in my age range. My BFF is Chinese. We clash about so many things but we are still friends. She gets me as a woman but she doesn’t get me as a black woman. I sometimes long for a black sister friend. There are just so many conversations that I want to have but I just can’t have them with anyone else besides another black woman. I think thats why I spend so much time on Clutch.

  • tisme

    I heard their adding a black girl to the show Girls.

    Here’s her description “23-26 years old. Adam’s best friend. A tough, tiny lesbian. RECURRING. Likes: biking without a helmet, making her own soap and preserves, bar fights, Brigitte Bardot. Hates: needy girls, most of Manhattan, the messages her mom leaves on her machine, when Adam lames out and stays home.”
    Courtesy of Jezebel.com

    I think black people should be careful and stop expecting white people to include us in everything.

    The black girl on this show likes to fight.Are any of the white girls on the show violent?
    I also think it’s interesting that she’s a lesbian.
    I wonder how many, if any, of the white girls on the show are lesbian?It would come as no surprise to me if none of them are.Though I am happy for lesbian black women to be portrayed on television in my opinion them adding a lesbian black girl is a way for them to hire a woman of color who will not be a threat or competition for these girls in regards to men.I believe it was probably done to protect white womanhood and maintain white women’s desirability among the male population.

    I wonder how masculine will they make the black woman character in relation to the other women?Not all lesbians are masculine.

    Any way I think the responses to the show introducing a black girl will be interesting.

  • tisme


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