OK, so you know how sometimes you’re cruising along in your life and you think. I’m doing good. Fuck it. I’m a _good_ person. Better than average! Right? We all think we’re just a biiiit better than average, which is good, that’s healthy for humans. But I went to a trivia event last night which absolutely kicked my penis right in the middle.
So round one – Mysteries of the Unknown! 85 points out of a possible 101. I didn’t realize virtues and principalities were angels but we guessed and it worked out. Creepy shit is good fun to learn about and not depressing for the most part. Good team effort all around.
Second round. Spin Off Shows – One of our team members just ruled at this. 102 points out of 102 possible. We are DESTROYING.
Third round… Black History Month. Uhhh. I’m… we’ll be fine right? Frederick Douglas. That’s a historical black guy. Dred… Scott? That’s a… thing. Bad thing? I mean as far as Black History goes it’s all basically bad things. We start.
First question! Frederick mother fucking Douglas. And I forgot to think of the white guy (Abraham Lincoln) as the other half of the answer, so that makes me a civil rights champion, I think. We move on. Which amendment abolished slavery? I forget. the 21st is about booze. We guessed and were wrong but no big deal. Amendments, schmamendments. Who remembers them other than guns and booze and the freedom to say dumb shit.
Then it’s just… sad emptiness. Not even the hope of an answer, for a very long time. Who held the civil rights movement together after MLK? Huh was it… Malcom Sharpton? Hrm. Boo Radley is not a real person. Nat Turner is and his name is definitely not Dred Scott. Those are two different people. I’m starting to feel a little bad about it and then… Right at the end… we get a question about black women.
I panic. My vision narrows. In my minds eye I see only two things.
A lithograph from my childhood history textbook of who I believe to be Harriet Tubman. But I cannot remember her name at all in the moment and label her — Jesus, Lord this is so sad; “Georgia O’Keefe?” in my brain with a confidence rating of “about two or three out of ten”. And another notable black woman whose name I cannot quite place, looking VERY upset at me. I think about the face and I try to remember the name, she’s clearly not the director of Selma but I gotta be able to figure out who this woman is right. As I try to piece it together – I slowly but surely remember to actually be…. Frida Kahlo with some kind of blackface filter my brain put on her. She is looking very terse at me indeed when I restore her skin tone to normal. Hmmm.
If I were as ignorant about white historical figures as I was about black ones I’d get laughed out of conversations. If I couldn’t think of a single modern powerful white woman’s name, NOT A ONE, if I couldn’t think of a single _HISTORICAL_ powerful white woman’s name, people would treat me as sub-normal. It’d be like if you asked me which woman was going to direct Spider Man and I answered, “Queen Emily or something of like… Belgium I guess. The cake eating lady?”.