I never listened to a Beatles song until I was twenty-three. I heard a few snippets when Across the Universe (2007) was advertised. And, I enjoyed the covers on American Idol. But, I never heard them sing their own songs until I was cornered by white coworkers shocked and amazed at my inability to name a singular member of the group or song.
Their puzzlement went from inquiry to harassment to public shaming as they paraded me around the office showing me off to other white people who were similarly shocked at my apparent “poor upbringing.” They had no idea that their projections of what constituted “good music” denoted their own simmering privilege. Meanwhile, they were discrediting everything I actually had grown up listening to.
It all started when a young white lady in the office was commenting on her favorite Beatles song. When asked, I responded, “Which group is that?” Then, ‘el shit’ hit ‘el fan.’ I got the Beatles mixed up with the Eagles mixed up with the Rolling Stones. They asked me to name them and I said “Well, I know it’s not Elton John. Bob Dylan? Maybe Billy Joel?” Shit everywhere. It was completely foreign to them that I could have possibly missed something so integral to their lives. So, they attempted to shame me.
Read the full article at Water Cooler Convos.