Party Like It’s 1979

Man, I’ve got to be better about writing regularly. My apologies to anyone who reads this on a regular basis. I have thoroughly chastised myself and will do better. I promise.

What sparked me to write on this day, though, is that in the last couple of weeks I have gotten notices that the 30 year reunion for my high school class in Southeast Texas is coming up this summer. (O.K. so I just dated myself badly. But oh well.) Anyway, the main reunion is this summer. Not sure if I will be going as frankly I’m not really into traveling halfway across the country to see some of these people who I have not talked to or seen in that long a time. My philosophy is that if we wanted to be in each others’ lives we would probably have been in communication without such an event. There are a couple of friends from my graduating class I still stay in touch with, and we do so without a planned, once in a while, event.

But here is how this whole thing relates to “No More Race.” There is a second 30 year reunion planned for the fall, this one for the “Ebony Class,” i.e. the blacks who were in this particular class. A separate event altogether. Mind you, the Ebony Reunion does not mean that black alumni will not be going to the main event this summer. But I am sure Whites and others will not be invited to the Ebony Reunion. You have to understand, first that this kind of separateness happened way back when I was in school with these folks. I believe there were separate parties and graduation events back in 1979. And I do remember there being an Ebony Club. But frankly I am just amazed that here we are in 2009 and we’re now talking about people who are in their mid-40’s, and we’re still talking about the idea of blacks organizing a separate event for blacks.

I remember that back then I was opposed to such separateness and didn’t partake in any event that excluded any group. And obviously I haven’t changed in that regard. I mean what would that mean for my family for example and my Mexican-American wife? Would she be welcome? I know people think differently in Texas than they do in some other places, but I am still amazed. And don’t get me wrong, certainly there is a place for black organizations, say an NAACP or a 100 Black Men type group. I am not denouncing such things. But the difference is, those are organizations committed to social change and the betterment of a group of people. That is wholly different than saying we just want to be with people like us for our social event. Clearly in the case of the Ebony Reunion, it is based on a feeling that blacks need or want an event that excludes anyone but them, an event I guess where they can let their hair down without whites or others around.

Wow.

The more things change in some ways, the more they stay the same in others, and this is particularly true in certain places where 2009 is just like 1979.

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2 thoughts on “Party Like It’s 1979

  1. Shirl says:

    I share the same views as you about reunions. If I wanted maintain and invest in those relationships I would have long ago. Never been to a reunion and have no plans to do so. (Class of 1974, guess I’ve dated myself badly too).That said, I think that separatism has been a major factor in not allowing either “side” to move forward, other than a snails pace. What purpose does an Ebony Reunion serve, except to further draw a definitive line that speaks of “us” and “them”. If my husband was invited to such an event, I guess that would mean I wouldn’t be “allowed” to go with him. Lastly, can you imagine the repercussion an “Ivory Reunion” would cause?? It certainly delivers a double standard message doesn’t it?

  2. Earnest says:

    I totally agree Shirl.

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