What’s your name?
Brittney Taylor a.k.a. Marvel Nikel
Where are you from?
Mount Vernon, NY
What do you do for a living?
I recently retired from being a student (which really means I just graduated from grad school and am still in search of a full-time job).
How did we rope you into be a part of Black Folk Don’t?
I like Black folk! And I feel a little iffy about stereotypes (some of them at least) so I thought it might be cool. Plus who wouldn’t want to contribute to a documentary about Black folks.
What are some things that Black Folk Do that surprise most people?
Ummm, some of us have never gone to jail. We can succeed in school. Some of us do go to jail, but are actually intelligent anyway.
After you left the interview, was there anything you wish you had said? Not said?
Nothing in particular, but it got me thinking: Stereotypes are risky business. If people are decent they verbalize them only amongst friends who already understand that they are just making generalizations and that they do not believe the stereotype to be true of everyone who is generalized about, or even most of them. However, I revealed stereotypes to strangers, who were recording me at that. So I hope I didn’t come off as a jerk.
I found out what black really meant when I was very young. I was very into coloring and had all the Crayola colors. So I proceeded to ask my mother, who is black but light skinned, what color she was because I know people around us were called “black”, but she was too light to be “black”. I asked if she was peach, burnt sienna, beige, etc. but then she explained to me that we were all just black and that label had very little to do with actual skin color.
One stereotype about Black people that frustrates you?
This one comes from both sides of the fence (i.e. from blacks and non-blacks), that black people aren’t intelligent. I hate being told I’m really smart (like its surprise) or I speak white, or whatever (I got this a lot more when I was younger, like in high school). And I also hate when people (all types of people, but I’m mostly talking about non-blacks here) are overwhelmingly impressed by the schools I’ve gone to. It makes it seem like there’s a cap on “Normal” black intelligence, and that is just utterly not true.
Here’s your chance to blatantly promote yourself or something you care about.
Ooo, I have blogs! If you go to MarvelNikel.tumblr.com you’ll find links to all my different blogs.