Written by Nicole
Now more than ever, black women who are of a certain mindset need to make sure that they are separate and apart from more dysfunctional aspects of the community. Call it divestment, call it elitist, the name doesn’t really matter. I am hesitant to ascribe a name to it, because once it has a name, it will get misconstrued. The fact remains that a critical mass of black people, both the men, and the women, do not act in the collective’s best interest, which has ripple effects throughout the community, and even the wider diaspora.
This week alone there have been a few incidents that made me raise my eyebrows, featuring black folks. What incidents am I referring to? Here are just a few:
Beyonce’s latest visual album premiered earlier this week. I haven’t seen it, but I’m sure, given Disney’s budget and Beyonce’s talent, that it was something to behold. You know what I did see, though? Once again, people insulting Blue Ivy’s looks.
Remember when Blue was still toddling around, and there was a petition made demanding that her hair be combed? I do.
So now we have a repeat a few years later.
Blue Ivy is a very pretty girl. It is very concerning to me that grown adults have no qualms about attacking her looks. I think this visceral response to attack a phenotypically black little girl is born out of severe jealousy – jealousy that this 8-year-old child has done, earned, and featured more in under a decade than every single one of her detractors combined.
But it does make me wonder if they will say and do that to a girl they don’t know and will never meet, what do they have to say to their own family members, not insulated by wealth or privilege? Remember when that little black girl went viral for saying how ugly she was?
Who do you think was making her feel that way? Quite possibly the very same types of commenters who fill comment sections with vitriol directed at a third grader. Or, the children of those online commenters. It’s all related.
If black women who date interracially are made to account for the breakdown of any and every BW/WM relationship, then in the name of reciprocity, the Black Love Brigade has some explaining to do.
The above photo caption (names removed to preserve their anonymity) has gone viral this week, of a black male patting himself on the back for stooping so low to fall in love and propose to a dark-skinned woman. Imagine that, someone darker than a paper bag being loved. Who would have ever thought that could have happened!
The absolute nerve of him is galling. Imagine announcing to the world that you don’t find your betrothed attractive, but rather, you’re with her like you’re doing her some sort of pity favor.
Colorism has been around for centuries and we know the reason. But hundreds of years later, with the entire history of the universe being able to fit in our back pocket, we are still perpetuating this nonsense. Is this Black Love? To be someone’s consolation prize because the more desirable light skinned woman was not available? Far too often I see sentiments like these expressed, and it makes no sense. You’ll have heard it before:
You’re pretty for a dark skin girl.
I don’t usually talk to dark skinned girls but for you I’ll make an exception.
And so on.
How can people cheerlead for Black Love, but hate the children Black Love produces? Blue Ivy is a product of Black Love and even being rich and only eight, she is not immune from ridicule stemming from her black features. This young woman is a product of Black Love, and based on this ridiculous caption, the Black Love she has found is not ideal. How can people lambast interracial dating (but only for black women, obviously) because he might see you as a fetish, when far too many from the current camp only see you as second place? If this is your Black Love, please keep it.
For the final entry we hop over to Jamaica, the land of reggae, the fastest athletes to grace the Olympics, and culinary finesse. I saw a news article floating around about the Jamaican high court ruling that a school can ban dreadlocks. Jamaica, home to Rastafarianism, and pretty much synonymous with dreadlocks…has banned a girl from wearing dreadlocks to school. Like the kids say, “How Sway?!”
The fact that a majority black country thought this was a reasonable ruling to go through with just boggles the mind. Even in nations where black people are the majority, and have the opportunity to truly make some changes…this is the result?
I bring this up because this isn’t a new phenomenon. Every year, a black child here in the States gets embroiled in some hair issue, culminating in either not getting their school pictures taken, or not allowed to graduate.
How does this relate? Aggressively prioritize yourself and reduce the chances of falling to the whims of terrible decision makers. To black women who do not want to date interracially, but want to find a potential suitor from the Caribbean, it is important to note that the same undesirable behaviors you might see in your local contingent is very likely to show up in the diaspora too. Systemic hatred of black hair knows no geographical limits, even in places where black hair is the vast majority.
Why does any of this matter? Because whether national or international, intentional or unintentional, there remains a significant section of black people whose actions can undo not just you, but your children and livelihood as well. As black women, our image on a collective level has been tarred and feathered, and the misogynoir is coming from inside the house, before we face external challenges. This year in particular has not been great as for black female imagery, as more often than not, we have been portrayed as riotous race warriors or destitute and poverty-stricken with very little mainstream positive images to counteract it. As such, it is very important to move strategically and carefully and intentionally choose everything that you allow into your life.
The internet may not be real life, but the thoughts and attitudes seen online can show up in person. Be aware of what is being said (from all sides), and use it to your benefit. As has been said for many, many years, knowledge is power.
Disclaimer: This blog was written by me, Nicole, and my ideas are not necessarily reflective of Christelyn Karazin or other writers on this platform.