I hate when I embarrass myself, but it tends to happen frequently. Like on Tuesday, when I accused a black woman of being a white drag queen.
As I wrote here a couple of weeks ago, I’m a fan of “AngryBlackBitch,” an anonymous blogger in St. Louis who kicks it with style and wit and an edge, whether the topic is President Bush (a.k.a. “Scooter B.”), sexual mores or the tao of “bitchitude.”
She goes by the name “Shark-Fu.” And in lieu of a photo (because a bitch seems to value her privacy), her blogger profile has an illustrated logo – a silhoutte of a hugely afroed soul sister with the blog title superimposed; color scheme is red, black, green and gold.
So the other night, I’m Googling to see who all has written about this bitch. And I come across an October 2005 piece in the Riverfront Times, a St. Louis alternative weekly. It hailed AngryBlackBitch as the “local blog o’ the week.” But then, check this out:
“Author: Shark-Fu and Rob Thurman
“About the bloggers: Shark-Fu is the title character. Rob Thurman is also angry, but white and male.”
Now, doesn’t that make it sound like “Shark-Fu” is a fictional character, and Rob Thurman is the actual author of this blog?
My head started to spin. Had I been suckered by some white guy?
I recognized the name “Rob Thurman” because he’s mentioned occasionally in AngryBlackBitch, as Shark-Fu’s close friend, former co-worker and “blogfather.” I figured: If Rob Thurman is actually AngryBlackBitch, it would make sense for him to mention himself as a separate person. Maybe it was all part of the joke.
It so happens that Rob Thurman has his own blog, so I checked that out for more clues. I found out he’s gay. A drag queen, in fact. And among his other personal revelations is this:
Growing up in the 70's, I was amazed by afros, platform shoes and women's lib.
My southern upbringing had a somewhat liberal twist to it..and I would spend some summers with my sister in Ohio.
Her friends were Black Panthers and Drag Queens.
When I saw Foxy Brown for the first time, my youth became alive again.
Oh shit. It all fits together. The huge afro, the red, black, green and gold. If any white guy would go through the trouble of creating an elaborate alter ego as an angry black bitch, it’s Rob Thurman.
In retrospect, a couple of AngryBlackBitch’s posts did make me scratch my chin. Like when she saluted Dolly Parton. (“[T]his bitch adores Dolly Parton. … Shit, she’s fabulous!”) And when she wrote that she longs to be in a John Waters movie.
Well slap my ass and call me Martha! I like to think of myself as someone who’s not easily fooled. Now, I felt like the one dumb straight guy who wasn’t in on the joke.
So I emailed “Shark-Fu” and asked flat out: “Is ‘Angry Black Bitch’ a fictional persona? … Are you Rob Thurman? If so, do most of your readers know? Or, like, do half know the truth, and the other half think you're a real black woman? And is that part of the fun for you, part of your blog's reason for being?”
Her reply came the next morning. “Oh my!” she began. “Rob Thurman and this bitch are not the same person, though we are great friends.” During the week that the Riverfront Times singled out AngryBlackBitch for praise, she explained, Rob Thurman happened to be guest-posting (under his own name) while Shark-Fu was on vacation. (I checked out the archives; it’s true.)
“I am as I have always been,” she continued, “a black woman who enjoys some Dolly, Funk music and soul food.” And she promised to post a picture of herself on her blog, “just for you.”
Sure enough, in yesterday's post titled “Clearing shit up once more…,” Shark-Fu dealt with my inquiry. Quite politely, too. Rather than use her dagger-like wit to carve me an auxiliary rectum, a bitch took mercy and didn’t even identify me by name. She blogged thusly:
A bitch is black… well, actually I’m more of a warm Hershey brown color (wink)… and has been since birth.
I am a woman.
I’m not always angry, but something pisses me off at least once a day which is a good thing since a bitch doesn’t have time to fret about content for this blog space.
No, Brother Rob Thurman is not playing the part of an AngryBlackBitch on-line. Lawd, y’all think that man is clever as hell… which he is… but St. Louis is a rather small town and even Brother Rob couldn’t have pulled that shit off for more than a month… two months max.
And she did post that photo: a kiddie shot of her with Spider-Man. She’s rocking the afro puffs, cute as a button.
Good to know a bitch can be taken at her word.