Black Women and Their Sh!tty End Of The Pop Culture Stick
This blog isn’t long enough to tackle the question of Black self-loathing, and the White America that got us here, but I am going to talk about why I think Black women get the shit end of the Pop-Culture Stick.
Looking at this ashy morning skin of mine, I’m guessin’ that back in the days of the civil rights movement, I could have passed a paper bag test. In slave days, maybe I could have even been a house nigger.
Thinking about this makes my stomach hurt a little bit, and rightfully so. The color of your skin should not dictate anything in the quality of your life. But it did, and it still does.
Really light skinned folks are favored over darker skinned folks and almost glorified in the Black community, and many times it is attributed to not being fully “black” (whether it’s true or untrue).
I grew up in an economically impoverished area of Chicago, known as Englewood, so I’ve played this game before, and with my own people.
At one point in my life, I was telling people I was 1/4 Mexican. Now, there are Mexican folk in my family, who I see very rarely, but my mother and father are both Black. So I’m black.
As far as the darker shades go, it has been my experience that if your complexion is dark, and you’re unattractive, then you’re “black”. Re-definition, I suppose. If you are attractive and darker, then you’re something like “sexual chocolate”. Fucked up, right?
We all know how objectified women of all races are, and in my community it is no different. I can’t name very many Black women on TV/Internet that don’t make me cringe, and video “vixens” definitely don’t count. They are honored because of their bodies, and that just reinforces the objectification.
Yung Berg, a once-trendy rapper who had a few decent songs, referred to women as “butts” and said he would never date “dark butts”. Li’l Wayne, an always-trendy rapper who makes pretty bad ass songs, for the most part, said recently that he’ll never date another black woman unless she looks like something “else”. His first born daughter looks like him. I feel sorry for her. I don’t care if she’s a millionaire, she’s gonna have the worst self-esteem issues. We won’t even get into the caricature that is Nicki Minaj.
As a youngster, I battled weight. I wasn’t as aware of the battle of skin color as I am now. One of the darkest skinned people in my family is my very own Mother, and I think she’s beautiful. It never occurred to me that her skin color might be looked upon as something undesirable.
And then there’s the kinky hair issue. As a younger lady I used to wear a ton of chemicals in my hair. I got my first relaxer when I was 9 years old. Damn. That’s a lot of chemicals. Chemicals ruin the natural strength of your hair, I don’t care what you say.
Why do Black women need light skin and straight hair? That was a rhetorical question, but I will tell you one thing: In the Media, “Nappy-Headed Hoes” are not getting the respect we deserve.
Now, I am not a hoe. I am not promiscuous, and I certainly don’t walk the stroll and fuck for money. Don Imus called black girls on a ball team Nappy-Headed Hoes. I am a Black girl who used to play basketball, and I just yanked the last bit of death perm out of my hair. Possibly forever. So I definitely fit the description.
But fuck all that. I am beautiful, with my brown paper bag skin and my freshly nappy hair. My mom is beautiful, with her darker skin and dreadlocks. My grandma is beautiful, with her silvery-white permed hair and her pinkish hue. Back in the day, she even passed for white. I believe our family even took pride in that. And now I’m gagging more. My mother wore perms and color and all kinds of crap to make her hair look different, for decades, and now her hair is almost down her ass, because she let it dread up naturally. This, to me, is true strength in identity.
When you look at the majority of Black women in the media, we are portrayed as either angry, with tons of attitude and no idea of how to please a man, or just nasty freaks. Chicks with lighter features, “good hair” and all that are what you see mostly in videos and movies and such, if you see black women at all. And then there’s Oprah. But Oprah is an exception to the rule, and I love her for it.
And yay for preferences. OchoCinco prefers non-black women, so does Wesley Snipes, Kobe Bryant and a ton of other successful (and unsuccessful) Black men. Whatever. Personally, I prefer Black Men because I find that culturally it makes me feel beautiful and safe (but I honestly don’t discriminate). I would never NOT date someone based on race or skin color, because I find that to be moronic.
If I want you to come away with anything after reading this, it’s that we need to understand what we’re up against when we start speaking of people’s worth in terms of how they look, especially if they are trying their hardest to be something they’re not. A White woman is not more desirable than a Black woman *just because*, and a light-skinned Black woman is not more desirable than a darker-skinned Black woman *just because*. My nappy hair feels just as sexy in your hands as some limper, processed hair. All Black women are not full of bad attitudes, nor do we all have fat asses and several kids.
Open your eyes. This color shit is blinding us more than ever.
Get FamiliarJ. Kennedy
Meet Midwest-by-way-of-SD MC/producer, J. Kennedy, and check out the premiere of his brand new project, ‘California Dreaming’.