Saturday, December 19, 2009

ABW--Not Again!

Just when I thought it was safe to put it away, I had to don my Angry Black Woman cape today.

There is this larger-than-life stereotype of Black women as always being angry, but no one ever stops to ask if our anger is valid. And while I wasn't the hand-on-hip, neck-rolling, finger-pointing, snapping off kind, I was vocal in my distaste of what happened when I decided to take in a couple of movies today.

Problem #1: I went to the theater and purchased tickets for two different movies. I used my debit card so I had to show my ID. I only have to show my ID at this particular theater. I can go anywhere else and simply present my debit card, but not in "da hood" because we all know that black people steal, so the theater has to make sure that I am the actual owner of the card that I present.

Problem #2: I finished watching one movie, dipped out to the bathroom before the second movie started. On the way back, this 20something, ponytail wearing security person told me he had to check my purse. I asked him why seeing as that I had just left one theater, and he said that he started checking purses at 3:00 o'clock. I obliged him, but not without telling him how I felt about the action. He told me it was for my safety. Of course. Silly me! I forgot that black people are violent.

That was it; that was the last straw. I tied up my cape and went to see the manager who tried to explain to me that the policies and procedures were for my safety. So, I explained to him that they made me feel like a criminal and that if I have to show IDS and be searched before I sit down to watch a movie, then maybe I need to go watch movies elsewhere. I also asked him for a business card, so that I could give my complaint some leverage by putting in writing.

I'm sure that there are those who feel like it's not that big a deal. Just go to the show somewhere else, but I want to say that it is a big deal! Expecting to be treated with dignity and respect is not an option; it's my God-given right, and when that doesn't happen, I need to let it be known that it's not acceptable.

With card in hand, and my cape flapping behind me, I left the theater. When I'm done with this post, I'm going to put my cape away, but know that it is within reach if I need it again.


  1. I really feel your pain and know how the black community can seem harsh on its patrons. From a black business man's point of view, I understand the policies that had to be instituted. Policies are just not put in place because it is a black community. They are put in place because of what has happened to that particular business in the black community. I'm sure they experienced some detrimental incidents that caused them to take additional precautions to safeguard their business and those who patronize it.

    Let's look at a real life scenerio. The Taurus Flavors on 85th and Stony used to have an open counter until other black people held up and even killed an employee. The solution was to put the big bullet proof ghetto glass up. There have been no more robberies or killings since. So, now you have people who moved out into the suburbs and haven't been to Taurus in years. When they decide to come back, "surprise," ghetto glass. The first thing they complain about is why we always have to put the big ghetto glass in our neighborhoods. If they knew a son no longer has a mother because of a senseless killing, maybe they would think twice. It only takes one incident to change policies in this sue happy society... (How about airport security?)

    The problem is not the establishment, but with the types of patrons that dictate the course of action for the establishment. We don't have to change the color of the community, just the behavior.

  2. This is a very thought provoking post. Thanks for your perspective.