I just left a high end cigar bar that’s inside of a palace that has been converted into a five star hotel. I went with my friends/brothers. I enjoyed the superior customer service, the varied drink selection and the clean smelling cigars. While they smoked, I sipped. The drink called “tropical” was perfect. The fresh apple and ginger was really refreshing. We chattered away about everything with culture, politics, education, relationships, and women dominating the convo. We even managed to get copies of the major newspaper, which had the US-Cuba deal on the front page.
Apparently, my guy friends relish in the attention latin girls give them. They enjoy it when men and women ask to take pictures with them and they are shocked when people bombard them with questions. To some of these women, my guy friends represent the ideal fantasy. My friends say it’s never this way in America. In America, they may also be Sally’s fantasy but Sally would never admit that to her boyfriend,Johnny, or her parents. The black man, then,is often a white women’s forbidden fruit.
One of my guy friends blew out the smoke from his cigar and said how surreal it was to be in a Latin American country the day the President of the United States announced a renewed policy with Cuba. We all agreed. Then I mentioned how we wouldn’t even be able to sit in this same bar 50 years ago. No way. No European would wait on us. The man who so kindly stood at the palace door and ushered me inside tonight would have turned me away 50 years ago. My brown skin and kinky hair would have been looked at with disdain. But tonight I was there flaunting my tanned skin and rebellious curls. We smiled and laughed without a care. We didn’t worry about who was around us nor the fact that we were the only black people there.
We humbly admitted that us, as young, educated and successful black people have a burden to bear. Whether we like it or not, we do represent other black people in our predominately white universities, jobs, and when we travel to countries where people are not used to interacting with minorities. Everyday I thank God for my ancestors and those who sowed good seeds so that I can now prosper.And with that thought, I joined my friends as we raised our glasses and toasted to the “good life.”
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