Written by Penelope Farthing
Last week, I wrote my take on the multiple women snatching pageant titles left and right, located here. A few days ago, Kendall St. Charles popped up on her social media page and shared her take on the whole black vs. biracial/woman of color designation that is being made with all the winners.
The video is gone now, but here is my brief summary. She was saying that black women should claim the win of all the winners, black or mixed, and keep it pushing. She said that we should make use of the double standard that is often applied to biracial women – in short, since they are black when convenient, we can claim them when convenient too. If no one else is playing fair, why should we? She also pointed out two news articles that contrasted each designation, to the effect of one saying “five black women take the major pageant crowns”, and the other describing the winners as women of color. The former looks a lot better for black women than the latter, and as such, we should claim the wins, and continue the black vs. biracial discussions in private spaces.
The point of this brief blog is twofold: to face my folly, and share that we should always be receptive, teachable, and willing to learn.
As passionately as I picked up the keyboard to share my thoughts, so too must I passionately share that I was wrong. I was not nuanced in my approach nor did I even consider another option, and for that I apologize. I am strongly opinionated on a variety of topics (this being one of them), and in that passion I failed to see that this is bigger than drawing lines of blackness in the sand, in this instance.
Black women should indeed claim these wins, and use this new attention on our unique beauty to capitalize on this moment. There was also a key point mentioned by a commenter whose name escapes me. She said something to the effect of not resting on our laurels. While these winners are ushering in a new standard of beauty, elegance, and grace for black women, the competition will be rearing and ready to go to take back the crown. This will be in pageantry, but also real life too.
Despite my passion, I still strive to be teachable. I don’t agree with every single platform on every single thing, but it only does me a disservice to let my feelings get in the way of valuable wisdom. Even people on opposite sides can make a good point. As the saying goes, a stopped clock is right twice a day.
I still believe that it is important to demarcate where blackness ends and biracialness begins. However, this is not the time. This is the time where I admit I was wrong in the same public arena, make use of the same double standards to my benefit, and urge black women everywhere to be teachable, even when you think you’re right.
And finally, a reminder. It is important to take anything you hear, from any platform, with a grain of salt and apply it to your life only if you truly believe it to be beneficial to you.
Disclaimer: This blog was written by me, Penelope, and my ideas are not necessarily reflective of Christelyn Karazin or other writers on this platform.