Thursday, April 05, 2007

The Rise Of The Patio Negroes

Folks, I hope you don't mind if I introduce a couple of new words into our lexicon. I have been trying to come up with a way to describe some of these new crop of Negroes that have been popping up all around us lately, and until recently I could not put a finger on them. But all that has changed now that I can put a name to the faces.

Readers of this blog know about my frustration with the Obama phenomenon and my inability to blog about him, or take a strong position one way or the other about his candidacy. No matter how much I tried I could not find the passion to either endorse or disavow the brother. But now, thanks to a good nights sleep, and a eureka moment while sitting in court today, it hit me. Now I think I know what makes it so hard for me to size up brothers like Obama.

Now don't get me wrong, I like Obama. From what I know about him he seems like a decent guy and I hope he goes all the way to the White House. (Although I am pretty sure I have a better chance of going all the way with Lark Voorhies than that ever happening) So it's all good between the field and half and half man. Trust me, this is not a bash Obama post, but it is about the type of Negro he appears to be.

So let's look at these words I have coined for the Obama types shall we: I call them patio Negroes. They are not quite in the house, but they sure as hell ain't out here in the fields with us. So this makes them patio Negroes in my book, half way between the fields and the house. Wisely moving between both worlds and doing what it takes to fit in when they have to. Juan Williams is a patio Negro. I can't stand the guy for being on the FAKE NEWS NETWORK, but when he slams one of those assholes over there and calls them on their bullshit and I am forced to say: way to go Juan, you tell those mother f*****s. Oprah Winfrey, I guess, could be considered a patio Negro, for the same reasons that Juan is. Some days you want to hug her and say; Oprah is out here in the fields with us, and on other days you find yourself saying; that damn Oprah is in the house serving pancakes to Missy. Tiger Woods is a patio Negro. You will be cheering like hell for him to beat all those old white men this weekend at Augusta, but.....there is the white wife, the passionate obsession for being viewed as a color neutral icon, and all that white love. Condi was a patio Negro until recently. Now she is nice and comfy in the house.

For the record, patio Negroes can go either way. That's' one of the differences between a patio, house, or a field negro. A patio Negro can choose to become either a field Negro or a house Negro. A good example of this would be Harold Ford; who went from the patio right into the big house. Or, for the other side of the equation, look no farther than Bill Cosby; who left the patio and said f**k it, I am going to the fields.

Back in the day when Malcolm gave his speech it was so much easier. It was really black or white then. Either you were in the house or you were in the fields. If Malcolm had to make that speech today he would have to add yet another type of negro to the mix, and we would have had to incorporate this Negro into the debate, and change Malcolm's speech. But that patio Negro couldn't make up his mind if he loved or hated his master. When he saw master's house burning, he was torn between running to fetch some water or just watching it burn. When you told the patio Negro; let's run away from here, he would say: Can you give me a day or two to think about it, I am not sure if running away from Massa is the way to go.

But it's all good, the field won't rip the patio Negroes, at least there is hope for them. They can still come to the fields and see the light. House Negroes, like Clarence Thomas and Ward Connerly, on the other hand,will never come to the fields. Because to them, the house is theirs as well as their Master's, and they will be damned if they give that up.

Some notable patio Negroes:

1. Magic Johnson
2. Will Smith
3. Tom Joyner
4. Tavis Smiley
5. Colin Powell
6. Tyra Banks
7. Bob Johnson
8. Serena Williams
9. Lovie Smith/Tony Dungie
10. Beyonce Knowles

Some random toughts before I go:

I was wondering; is there a bigger prevaricator out here than Mitt Romney?
And how much do you think I would have to pay to get and Ambassadorship to Jamaica?
Seems one of the frat boy's friends just got a "recess appointment" by our sneaky ass President. This, after the guy dropped $50,000 to fund the "Swift Boat" smear campaign.
So if it took $50,000 to get the Belgium gig, do you think I could get Jamaica for say $10,000?


Anonymous said...

LMAO - Patio Negro...That's classic! What makes Joyner and Smiley PN?

MartiniCocoa said...

love love love the term
and the list is rich!

Unknown said...

field - you, my brother, got it goin' on. this is a great post. i can see that you enjoy this whole blog experience. stay strong. peace, Villager

Sonya said...

FN, you're killin' me. LOL! Patio Negro. Excellent imagery.

Brian said...


Copyright...Patent that $hit immediately....'re a lawyer. LOL

Otherwise... i'm going to steal this one.

Mahndisa S. Rigmaiden said...

04 05 07

heheheheh Now that is entertainment FN! Once again three adicity rears its head because we now have broader categorization of Negroes: 1 2 3 hehehheheh Happy Easter!

As to Mr. Obama, I have heard people bash him so much that I don't know what to do with myself. I realize you weren't bashing him, but to be honest I don't know that much about what he has or has not done in terms of community building etc. That is the problem with the media, even I watched part of the interview on Sixty Minutes but I don't recall them talking about his efforts to community build. Thus I can't label him anything because I don't know about his actions. It could be that he has many notable actions in the field of which we are unaware. But I still don't think I could vote for him because he has strong opposing ideology to me on a couple of very key issues. Yet it bothers me that so many people are on his ass like that.

I noticed that your post doesn't bash him, this was simply a tangent and might I add, quite hilarious!

Anonymous said...

AI, I won't bother with the copyright, just remember you heard it here first ;)

"llr" Smiley and Joyner for the reason I placed Oprah and Juan Williams in that category. Some days they are in the fields, and some days...well, you just don't know.

"mhandisa", you are right, I did not bash Obama, I was merely thinking out loud about him.

Woozie said...

So is Obama going to go Field or House? I say House, eventually.

Amenta said...

LOL...Field, once again this is fyah I was laughing and nodding yes as I read this post!!! Can we add Venus to the list please??? To IIr, Tavis, because he is the kinda brother that will talk Black and work white. Example; the second book he released, Covenant In Action, he dropped the Black publisher he used for the first book Covenant With Black America and went with a white publisher. He will set up health fairs and have McDonalds (the number one poisoner of physical health in the world) as a sponser. I am believing he is a HN hiding behind a PN mask. I believe Obama will eventually "bolt" for the house!!

I gotta use this, and always credit you Black man!!

Amenta said...

BTW, Field I don't think they Dubya will allow an FN to buy the ambassador post in JA! LOL

Anonymous said...

excellent post.

I think that most BLACK and LATINO Harvard Law School grads in public service fall into this category.

They are an interesting breed. The many I've worked with seem to float on an air of YOU ARE NOT ON MY LEVEL, I'm just hanging out here until I can redeem my Establishment ticket."

I know this is why I am unable to embrace Obama. I've worked with too many "Obama types" to get caught up in his "man of the people" hype(ocrisy).

This is genuinely not about envy or bashing; if anything, it reflects honest disaapointment.

dnA said...

Patio Negro. Classic.

Christopher Chambers said...

Hold up. Everyone in the entertainment or sports category automatically goes in the house, not the patio. Come on FN, have the duppies stolen your good sense? I'd keep Tavis on the patio. I'd send Oprah to the house unless she starts using that bully pulpit of hers to start educating thse dumbass white housefraus who watch her show about the world they ignore. Taking a payoff from Howard U (which doesn't have the money to give unless thsy keep begging from Uncle Sam) to be the Commencement Speaker does not a field negro make).

Plus, on the real FN, doing research for my upcoming historical novel re: slavery I found out yet another dirty little secret: that fn versus hn thing was largely a myth whipped to conventional wisdom in thr "Gone with the Wind"-1860-300 brothers in the cotton field-image we have of American slavery. Most white folks didn't own slaves and if they did, it was maybe two or three at the most. the modern analogy would be cars. House slaves were usually the ones the ofays feared the most because they were most intimately wrapped up in their lives, and if your are talking about the average white slaveholder either in places as far north as NY, or in the deep south at anytime before the Civil War, your "house" negro was usually also your "field" negro as especially if it was a dude rather than woman, they were doing all kinds of duties for you, from going to market to fixing your roof to weaving a basket to washing your clothes to dressing your kid to feeding the chickens to casting fishing nets. In cities the lines were even more blurry, and it also depended on the era. Plus when the migrations, settling, outright war and theft (of Indian, Mexican, French, Spanish land from Alabama and Florid to Texs,etc.) took place from the "Old South" (Va., the Carolinas, Maryland, blah blah) many of the first families to be brutally split up were the "house"-like slaves because they had the most knowledgeand skills, plus a little "piece of home" when you sent junior out to Mississipi to start a new farm. Then would come the field labor. Often a good groom/servant would cost as much as a prime field hand, or not. All of this crap is nothing I could expound in more than just a paragraph...

...nevertheless, you've known where I've been coming from so you no I got nothing but yardie love for your blog and what you're doing, and I truly endorse your current usage of the hn and fn labels for your purposes. I just wanted to inject a little historical reality at this point.

Do your thing and do it well!

Amenta said...

Christopher I fully concur with your statement. I have been doing research on American Slavery and most of what we believe about slavery is not true. Most slaves were owned by large businesses and government institutions. Everyone should read Sex and Race by J.A. Rogers Vol 3. Blacks Law Dictionary 4th edition for the legal difinition of a Negro and The Only Land They Knew, for another view of what a Negro is Chapt 11 I believe, just look up Susan and Judge Mills Lane of Nashville in the back of that book. I could hit you with more but this will be a start.

Anonymous said...

I've always considered the distinction between the 'house' and 'field' negroes to be one of identity versus access. Whereas the house negro's political will and self image having been perverted by access to privilege, but (ironically) that privilege not translating into more influence or authority to act than his counterparts in the field.

In other words, when Chicken George uses his access to the slaveowner to slide a sister some extra food or hook a brother up with a job training horses, he gets to keep his Black card.

Sonya said...

Breaking House Negro news: Ward Connerly still hates black people, even when they make the grade.

C-dell said...

I just knew that that is what Patio Negro meant before I read it. Very good post.

Francis Holland said...

I laughed out loud when I read the term "patio negro". I think this is very important because we Blacks all too often completely disown people by calling them "house", when, in fact, they have one foot in the house and another in the field, and spend much of their time on the patio.

Ron Brown was a "patio negro". He worked very effectively within white institutions, but also was Washington Director for the Urban League, worked with Jesse Jackson's campaigns and constantly fought for the inclusion of Black people in various arenas.

Unlike Justice Thomas, when Brown became Secretary of Commerce he brought a lot of Black people into the government with him.

So, the term "patio negro" adds an important sublety to our language. Although Barack Obama is not Malcolm X, I think whites' willingness to embrace him does represent progress. Most whites acknowledge that Barack Obama is more intelligent than they will ever be, and that's progress.

Thanks for defending me and the importance of the Blackosphere in the debate over at MyLeftWing!

Anonymous said...


Patio Negroes.

I am LMAO at this post, FN.

I will be back later to post more, but I disagree with you on some of your Patio Choices.

I still can't get past you calling him Half-and-Half Man.

That still makes me LOL

Anonymous said...


I love the term. It cracks me up to no end.

Oprah owns the whole plantation, FN. She can be wherever she wants..LOL

Now about your list of Patio Folks:

1. Magic Johnson
I don't know why he's on your list.

2. Will Smith
I feel you on this one; but Jada's in the field..LOL

3. Tom Joyner
4. Tavis Smiley

Sorry, FN, can't be down with you here with these two. I think they're definitely in the field.

5. Colin Powell
I can back you on this one.

6. Tyra Banks


7. Bob Johnson

Oh HELL NO. He's been in the House for so long, he won't even hire US to work in the field, FN.

No way has he ever seen the patio. What he did once BET was bought by Viacom should have convinced you once, and for all, that he's been IN DA HOUSE for forever.

8. Serena Williams

Not feeling you on this choice.

9. Lovie Smith/Tony Dungie

Lovie, ok. Tony, I don't think so. I think Tony has ' fieldish' tendancies.

10. Beyonce Knowles

She's already decorating the House, FN.

This term is going to spread, FN. And when I see it elsewhere, I'll know where it began. :)

Anonymous said...

What about Tyler Perry? He makes us all look like house negroes.

--Chris Chambers is right about the slavery categories and who owned slaves, the jobs they had. I think Field and House are more accurately states of mind than physical reality.

Anonymous said...


Dark Sith Ford has been in The House for forever. The only time he steps onto the patio is to BBQ for his House friends...LOL

Ridwan said...

Making Bono an honorary field negro bespeaks a little confusion on what a FN represents within anti-establishment and revolutionary ideology.

As a "third world" African (who among revolutionaries still uses this descriptor?) I can tell you we don't need that white boy selling his image on our backs.

All that debt relief is mostly debt the colonial world heaped on African states. Now if he was agitating to bring back all the stuff hos ancestors stole from our continent then maybe we could be talking here.

But he ain't cause Bono, and Geldof too, are prime examples of establishment player.

This white boy burden shit has nothing to do with real struggle and real revolution.

The same is true for tying your politics to a narrow range between the field and the house. The patio being no exception.

Bono makes Africans invisible. He gives creedence to establishment orgs (IMF, World Bank, UN) that posture white agency while keeping us as in the "third world" backward in their imagination.

We on the continent exist for real and struggle without having to be tied to the manipulative shit of Bono, Geldof, Boy George, Madonna, Jolie, etc.

I like your stuff here but giving a shout out to Bono is mypoic and just plain fucked up.

Peace and struggle through revolution,

Anonymous said...

ridwan thanks for your perspective frmo the motherland. I will certainly reconsider Bono as an HFN.

Chris you make some good points about slavery and the historical context of the field Negro. Still, I think the modern day house negro does more damage to the cause than good. Historically you may be right, they (the HN and the FN) may have been closer than we think.

rikyrah, you might be right, maybe Magic doesn`t belong on the patio given all the work he has done to put business in the neighborhoods. But Serena, and Tyra, I still can`t quite put a finger on. And honestly, I can`t honestly tell you I can`t quite yet embrace them as FN`s. Call it just a gut feeling. I may be wrong, but my gut usually tells me the right thing.


FriĆ°vin said...

I love your "eureka" moment. patio Negro is brilliant.

And while Obama is currently a patio Negro, I'll bet you any amount of money his eyes are on the house and not the field.

Liz Dwyer said...

House. Field. Patio. I'm just thinking about which one I am, let alone where, Barack "The best looking candidate" fits. (Yeah, I said it.) He's fly and his wife is black! Whoo hoo! We all do so much code switching, are we ever really sure that we are truly out in the field? And would some of the heroes and heroines of, for example, the Civil Rights movement, think those of us that say we're field really are in the field?

And by the way, I'm glad to see Bono put in the fields. He's doing a heck of a lot more than most folks (black or white). He's not just bitching. He's not just putting money in a tin at church and then hoping that the African baby being charitably fed doesn't end up living next door. Bono's doing more than I am for Africa, (my red iPod is a mere drop in the bucket) more than most black people I know. I can't player hate if I'm not stepping up. And I seriously doubt his Irish ancestors were taking anything from anybody because they were getting the sh** kicked out of them by the British, just like everybody else around the world. Yeah, he's Irish and hello, Irish people haven't always been considered white. Ever hear that ni**as of Europe terminology? Folks need to read up on history before casually dissing and calling someone a "white boy".

Anonymous said...

As for Romney, I'm sorry, but even if I was a Republican, how the hell could you trust him?

He was for abortion before he was against it?
He was for gay rights before he tried to ban gay marriage?

Come on.

It can't be because ' he found Jesus', because he supposedly already knew Jesus.

The gun thing is frigging RIDICULOUS. I support the 2nd Amendment, but have never hunted anything. I'm sure there are millions of us out here. What was so wrong with him saying, ' I support gun ownership, but no, I don't hunt'.

He too slick for his own good, and he creeps me out.

Brian said...

I'm firmly in the Fields. I don't think I would even be allowed onto the damn Patio....

Right now i'm p*ssed at the House Negro LaShawn Barber for deleting all my messages.... when I only asked a question.

LaShawn has to be the biggest House Negro that I have run across in quite some time. Ward Connerly or Clarence Thomas MIGHT come close....but she definitely takes the crown.

I just asked what she thought about comments made by her friend Ann Coulter... which made fun of the Darfur Genocide. Next thing I comments were deleted.

So I take that response to mean that LaShawn Barber supports Ann Coulters point of view.


Time Bandit said...

So... is Lark Voorhies house or patio?

Ridwan said...

A reading suggestion for 'folks' who think Bono is not a "white boy":

Noel Ignatiev. How the Irish Became White.

The argument againt Bono agency is complicated by history and not edutainment based opinions that think he merely goes about his business quietly.

Those who do go about the business of development of our continent quietly are not even known to commentators.

Bono is just another version of the great white hope ... the one whe serves racism more than it does Africans.

Our continent is complicated yo, more complicated than not tipping the church can and borderline regrets about red Ipods.

And I am bitching because shit like this makes Africans and our struggles just side-conversations.

Geez ... I am still coming to terms with an opinion that sticks up for Bono on a blog dedicated to FN issues ... !

DuBois' double-consciousness critique comes to mind.

Wonder whose history I should be reading field?

Cause I been reading mine and avoiding "Disney World" induced politics.

South Africa

field negro said...

So... is Lark Voorhies house or patio?

That`s a trick question right? You must be new to this blog.

Let`s put it this way; if she is in the house,it won`t be for long, because I will be bringing her ass right out here with me:)

BTW, great discussion on Bono, and his history, and concerns for our struggle.

Unfortunately, I am in Montreal trying to comment, and I can`t figure out some of the sh** on the keyboard I am using. (lap top on the blink) so I can`t really engage as much as I would like to.

Anonymous said...

Field, this patio negro thing is genius. What could be a better description for the hybrid black american? i'm sure we can find more but the ones you listed are classic. Here's my take:

1. Magic Johnson - On the patio for now but on the threshold of housedom. To be fair, i think he still could be reachable if the field slaves could convince him to
come have another look at whats going on in the field.

2. Will Smith - standing next to Magic on the the patio on the Welcome mat by the front door.

3. Tom Joyner - not sure what i think about this dude.

4. Tavis Smiley - on the patio but probably only there to steal a jugful of lemonade to bring back to the field..and to get a look at massa's pretty white daughter.

5. Colin Powell - may have been born in the house. After a long run in the house may have had a look back at his legacy and wondered if it was worth it. He cant evr go back to the field becausethe field slaves will never forgive him for joining massa and assisting him in the slaughtering of their sons..

6. Tyra Banks - on the patio of Oprah's house on Oprah's plantation down the road, where black slaves work the fields and white indentured servants works in the house.

7. Bob Johnson - longtime house resident. Has proven himself to Massa time and time again, by helping him develop new ways to control the minds of the field slaves' children by convincing them that being a slave is something they should strive for.

8. Serena Williams - dominating Venus on the patio ping-pong table. They just know that they're not very comfortable in the house but the field is too hot..

9. Lovie Smith/Tony Dungie - on the patio with headsets,staying current on whats going on in the field just in case they're sent back.

10. Beyonce Knowles - still too young and naive to know the difference. She probably doesn't want to be in the house with her parents because she wouldn't be able to play in there, but in the field she'll have to do chores.

Liz Dwyer said...

So curious to know your thoughts on this. Ridwan, I've already read "How The Irish Became White" and there wasn't much new news in there for someone that grew up in Chicagoland surrounded by tons of Irish, Italians and Eastern Europeans who adpoted American racism in their efforts to get ahead. And yes, did the Irish learn to be better oppressors as the result of penal laws in Ireland? Probably so. What does that have to do with Bono? Maybe something and maybe nothing since he's born and raised in Ireland, not Illinois...and there is a difference, just as there are plenty of differences between a black person born in Mali and one born in Manhattan.

And, can I keep it real and say that I and many of my black American brothers and sisters get really annoyed by Africans trying to come over here and do the exact same thing that the Irish did back in the day...distancing themselves from black Americans and sitting around acting like they think they're better than we are.

I don't think Bono's a saint and I'm sure he's got his own issues with race and class, like we all do. Unfortunately, because of the way the world works, people are going to listen to him over less famous black people who have tried to call attention to the same issues about Africa. While I don't like that fact and it's annoying, to me, I'm glad that Bono's standing up for something he truly believes in. I know there are folks who dislike Bono precisely because he's asking for something for black people. But I admire him for saying there's a problem, and that he's calling for what he believes is morally right.

Maybe you'd be happier if he was being just another rock star, busy snorting his father's ashes with cocaine like Keith Richards?

Ridwan, you have the right to reject Bono. You're in Africa and I'm not and obviously, our experiences are incredibly different. I went to school with lots of fake Afrocentrics, folks who thought wearing a dashiki was cool but wouldn't have dated an African if someone had paid them to do it because they were afraid of having a dark-skinned baby with nappier hair. We black Americans can be as confused about our allegiances to Africa as the average American eating fortune cookies and acting like that's Chinese culture. How many black Americans are really thinking about Africans on a regular basis? A good question is, has Bono raised that awareness in the average black American? (I don't know if Chris Tucker counts.) I'm not talking about bloggers or celebrities or a college-educated conscious class. How many black Americans really care about Africa or have had awareness of Africa? Sure, we know there are reasons behind that lack of consciousness about Africa, but I applaud anyone who attempts to raise that consciousness.

And by the way, Ridwan, if you came over to my blog and are now trying to passive-agressively diss me for taking my kids to Disneyland, please don't be like that. I'm very opinionated, as we all are, but I'm open to others opinions if they're offered in a true spirit of wanting to further our collective understandings.

Ridwan said...

Liz I am not trying to "diss" you and certainly agree that we should move toward "active understanding".

I think the book has a lot to do with Bono. Whiteness is not contained by borders. He parades the "white man's burden" which is an active system of privileging.

The he accepts a knighthood from the Queen to anoint his role as saviour. Geez!

The Queen is representative of our racist colonial past, and its neo-colonial consequences.

I have watched Bono visit townships here and sing for the locals. His entry is racist because it is built on his structural privilege.

While there he does not draw himself into grassroot struggle (he can't cause he will sideline himself by doing this). Instead, he strolls with the massa(s) through the fields.

And by so doing, Africans remain invisible. Mere marginal objects.

Folks in the field, to borrow here, are not expecting to be freed by massa and his agents.

I am therefore stunned by your persistent support of him (more of what he represents though).

He is not our agent. He uses us to lighten his (and whites by implication) guilt at best.

It is the same quintessential
neo-liberal racism that Jolie represents/expands.

Our oppression(s) in Africa is not about any white man/woman, or their agents, anywhere.

We don't need white saviours who hover strategically above our struggles.

Why then should we care that he may make Africa 'friendlier' for Black/white Joe/Jane in America?

I have met a few of those Africans who are not 'close' to many US Blacks. I lived there for 24 years.

However, why contain all Africans by saying we "get really annoyed by Africans trying to come over here ..."?

Should we be staying over here? Should we be no more than symbolic constructions of diasporic imaginings?

But also allow for the Will Smith's/Jesse Jackson's of the world to kiss and greet Mandela (the friendly African) when a return to roots/the motherland is conjured?

I am not saying that there are no problems between our people.

But damn, to compare us 'over there' to the Irish is just problematic.

I heard the same critique levelled at Caribbean Blacks when I studied at Howard. (Also, remember the tension between DuBois-Garvey and their folowers?)

OK, enough space for me. I will sign off on this topic and hope that Bono will be appraised more radically by Liz and others.

Thanks Liz. And thank you field for the topic and space.

Peace and struggle,

Anonymous said...

You are right, Ridwan. I think Africa should continue to be burdend by debt. How dare anyone white try to rid Africa of it's debt or help with AIDS. Let Africa deal with it. It's no one else's business. What an insult.

field negro said...

ridwan, I understand that people are shaped by ther experiences, and mine are probably closer to Liz's on this issue. I too think that Bono has done great work when it comes to putting the issue front and center to many people who would not have noticed it in the first place.

Still as someone who lives on the continent, I understand your concerns, but we can't "cut off our noses to spite our face." I think we need al the help and awareness we can get, and Bono has at least tried.

I get the whole colonialism the white man thinks he is the savior thing, but I don't think that's the case with Bono. I really don't. Somehow my bullshit meter is just not on with him.

AI don't worry about LeShawn, I swear that's the only time she can really get off. (when she can ban someone from her blog)

She must have a lonely life.

Anonymous said...

Have you considered adding one more category? Beyond the house, the patio, and the field, what is there? THE OUTHOUSE. Yes, OUTHOUSE NEGROES. I'd define them as the type who is full of...s**t.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and I'd start by putting most of these so called "gangsta rappers" in the outhouse. (like "Fiddy Cent")

field negro said...

Mmmm violette, I like it :)

Anonymous said...

yeah, field you really hit this one out of the park!(would use the equivolent phrase for cricket, your native sport, but you'll have to educate this La. brother on cricket) yeah field, i am in south louisiana and its hot out here in these sugar cane and cotton fields, as well as the crawfish, catfish, oyster, shrimp, ponds, swamps, lakes, rivers etc.
and yes, you know we have house negroes and you and i know quite a few of them, but patio negro opens up a thoughtful appreciation for all of those UFOs we have come to know.

hey, try this on for size field, UFO= unidentified field obamas, or unidentified field opportunist, and kudos to violette with coming up with outhouse negroes! maybe i can mention them as unidentified field outhousers! man, do they smell!
well field, this is my first time writing you, well ok, you know that may not be true, but i have long been a fan. keep up the good work!! maybe we can swear in some honorary field negroes here in la.
look soon for my top ten toms in the boot state, i just have troub le keeping upn with them cause they are always crawfishing each other to get to the so called top, only to meet fake, psuedo acceptan ce from massa or house, just for them to push them back in the bucket, opps i mean't on the patio.
in closing, theres a lot of porch negroes too, front and back...well later for to you soon field, from the swamps!

DivineLavender said...

Patio is nice...I am think more of a stup?

Maybe even the weather worn wooden steps?

Just thoughts...but patio works.

plez... said...

i heard it hear first! and got quite a laugh... but damn that hit close to home. thank God i spent so much time down on the beach last week working on my tan (or heaven forbid what my fellow bloggers would be calling me)...

yeah! yeah! i'll admit it, i've glanced lovingly out there to the patio on occassion! *smile*

...and i am supporting Barack Obama for president!

Anonymous said...

Great term and concept but would appreciate greater analysis. I also disagree strongly with applications. Are you defining the difference by psychology or merely by placement. I think psychology is the only true measure because in the real world we all may be found at any moment in a "house placement." I believe there is useful distinctions to be made between the "spook who sits by the door" and the field negro of Malcolm's observation. One is a subversive.

I can't understand how you, for example, group Tiger and Beyonce together. Though they both may have success in the "white world," I cannot understand at all placing Beyonce in the "house negro category"---especially if one excludes her hair style. I know people love to hate on Beyonce, but Beyonce identifies completely as a Black woman. All her mentors, sheros, and handlers appear to be Black. She has never shun association with Blacks. She appears to project just to a Black audience unadulterated black music. Nothing about her music appears to cater to whiteness (w/ remote exception to the new Shakira song--which really still can be black as many Latinos are also black.) She exclusively dates black. She dresses black. She appears at all the black shows. She was reared black. I don't see this.

Contrast that with Tiger Woods who doesn't even want to be identified as Black--and but for a darken skin color (not even as dark as Singh) he wouldn't have anything notable about him that is Black.

So, how are Beyonce and Tiger both "patio negros"--one black loving--the other black shunning-if not black hating?

Anonymous said...

This is nonsense.

I understand the distinction between house and field. It hails from the history of house slaves and field slaves. Its fault is that both house slaves and field slaves were black and slave and in the fact that both had authentic black experiences. Both were subjugated.

Beyond this, both house negroes and field negroes were subjugated in the era of segregation, and surely both contributed to the civil rights movement that helped bring an end to that era. Was it only field negroes who marched, who were hosed, beaten and killed? Didn't house negroes maintain the Montgomery bus boycott, and before that the one in Baton Rouge?

So it is simply a perversion of a perversion to label as betwixt and between - patio negroes - those of us who have managed to gain prominence in the world at large by virtue of being very, very good at what they do.

This sort of labeling is just a step away from labeling such people as "not authentically black." We live in a big tent, and it is not exclusive. We are all authentically black, and the key to black progress is that we encourage all of us to work for the common good. Most of the people named in this post on patio negroes have made demonstrable contributions to the common good.

So I repeat, the post is nonsense. Shame on you for it.