The Borgo Sisters

I used to take dance and gymnastics lessons when I was little. I took them at the Borgo Sisters School of Dance and Gymnastics. I think every little girl in Royal Oak, MI did some time there. My sister just told me that one of the Borgo sisters, Virginia, died last week.

I used to think the Borgo sisters were old and spooky. We’d almost never see them except at recitals. But they provided me with countless hours of entertainment in the studio on Washington or in the basement of the First Presbyterian Church. Except I hated gymnastics so the Salvation Army gym can bite me.

Apparently it took years for my natural sense of rhythm to emerge. My mom likes to remind me of how she asked if there was a difference between learned rhythm and natural rhythm, because I didn’t seem to have any. (Don’t worry, I’m good now.)

I have fond memories of my teacher. Miss Leslie was the bomb. I loved her to death. I think there might have only been one year when she wasn’t my teacher. Miss Patty, Miss Pam, and Miss Carmie were all cool, but none of them could hold a candle to Miss Leslie. I still wonder from time to time how she’s doing. I remember when my class threw her a baby shower at McDonald’s when she had her first kid. McDonald’s was significant because my whole class would go there for lunch after class every Saturday. We did that every week for years.

It was particularly exciting when I got to be old enough to dance in the Christmas Show, which just meant I had to dance for everybody’s Christmas recital and not just my own. I wish I had stuck with it longer. I stopped after 10th grade when the demands of sports got to be too great and I was starting to think dance class wasn’t cool anymore except as an opportunity to show off my newly acquired varsity jacket.

But the costumes. Lawdy, the costumes. Let’s not go there.

Blogging and Identity, Part 3

[Part 1] [Part 2] [The P6 Collection]

Here ya go, Lauren.

What It Means To Be White

We all know by now that I’m biracial. Half black, half white. I thought about trying to answer these questions as they are. As if I’m white. And it’s not possible. Because I never think of myself as white. I think of myself as half white, too, ya know. Sometimes. If the questions were about being black, it might be easier, but only a little. Mostly I just think of myself as being mixed (or swirl). Because, as I believe Halle Berry said her mom told her, you look black and the world’s gonna treat you that way. I see brown skin in the mirror. Most times, people can’t even tell by looking that I’m mixed. I don’t think. It’s not like people ask. So my answers come more from the standpoint of what it’s like to be biracial. Neither black nor white.

Continue reading Blogging and Identity, Part 3

Blogging and Identity, Part 2

I mentioned before that the subject of black bloggers is going around. It’s morphed into more of a “blogging and identity” discussion. As an offshoot of that ms lauren at feministe has written an essay entitled Whiteness, As I Know It. The idea here is that if black people can explain what it is to be black, can white people do the same? It’s long, but it’s good. Really good. That is one smart woman.

UPDATE: I’m moving this back up top because I feel really strongly that these should be read. I’m adding aldahlia’s essay. It’s every bit as interesting as ms lauren’s.

Interestingly, the more I read, the more people seem to say that their economic status had a bigger impact on their identity. I’ve heard it proposed that using socioeconomic status is a better way to ensure “diversity” on college campuses than using race.