I’m Black, You’re Black… Now Cut the Crap

6 Mar

I don’t hear this as often as I used to but I still hear it…
“What’s your nationality?”
“Well, I’m part White and part Cherokee which is why I got good hair, part Korean cuz my grandfather fought in the Korean war and got some kids over there… oh and part Black.”

Sit yo ass down lil Black girl! Yo ass is Black. Point, blank, period. Why do American Blacks have such a hard time accepting who they are? I understand the word “black” has some negative connotations to it, so if you prefer African American I’m all for it. I prefer to be called Black. Why? Because by the time the European massa was done sewing his oats between teepees and slave quarters nobody could possibly be pure anything. Black, to me, covers the conglomerate, while African American narrows it down to just two. Please do not misunderstand me. We should all find a way to educate ourselves on our backgrounds. Trust and believe it opens up a whole new world of understanding when you’re able to dig up your past and figure out how you got here. However, when you’re making small talk on the line in the supermarket, nobody cares about your lineage.

When asked what my nationality is, I just say I’m Black. First of all, I’m only about eighty percent clear on what my background is. I know everybody started off in West Africa and only the Lord knows what happened once they reached the Americas. What do I look like dealing out information I’m not even clear on?

Four things boggle my mind… Why does everyone want to be Cherokee and swear up and down their great great grandmother with the charcoal skin was a Cherokee princess? And why does everyone want to have good hair? And why does everyone want to have light eyes? And why does everyone want to be light-skinned? These may seem like dumb questions being that I know the initial answers. However we’ve come a long way and have had more than enough Black icons to show us the truth about who we are and how to take pride in it. So why are we still leaning towards European’s standards for beauty? Eh hem… Lemme rephrase that. Old-European’s standards for beauty. Because they’re loving themselves some black cherry skin these days.

Cherokees aren’t the only Native American tribe that existed in the U.S. and certainly not the only tribe Africans got mixed up with. Read a book people. Figure out where your ancestors were settled and whatever Native American tribe is in that area is what your family most likely mixed with, IF they mixed at all.

And what in the hell is good and bad hair?! Coarse? Perhaps. Unmanageable? Possibly. Kinky? Maybe. Nappy? Most likely. Good and bad should not be words to describe hair. Did y’all know that according to some African cultures, if your hair is straight or wavy, it’s referred to as bad hair, because it’s not easy to braid? I found this out in an African braid shop one day. A Senegalese woman used to braid me and my daughter’s hair and maintain my daughter’s father’s dreadlocks. One day all three of us needed our hair done. When I went to sit in her chair, she sucked her teeth and actually said “Ugh, you gettin your hair done too?” I laughed and said, “yeah.” I thought she was playing, turns out this was only half a joke. She actually said, “I don’t like your hair, you have bad hair. It’s too soft, too thin, don’t stay braided. Your baby and husband have good hair. Nice and t’ick. Very good for braiding.” Then she sighed and turned to eat her lunch. She seriously was not in the mood to braid my hair, but she wanted my money so she eventually got to it. That wasn’t the first time I’ve heard complaints about my hair in an African shop, just the first time it was said directly to me in clear English. There can’t be a such thing as good or bad hair because no texture of hair is perfect. Asians with bone straight hair don’t have the option to just lock their hair. They have to practically burn their hair off their head by over processing it with chemicals to get as close to locking as they can. Blacks with super nappy hair have to practically over process their hair as well to get it bone straight. Most Hispanics have to just endure the heat of overhead dryers, blow dryers and flat irons to get that bone straight look or cake their hair with gel to manage their curls. I’m not against perms, weaves, wigs or anything. I’m all about taking the hair on my head to the limit, experimenting and changing my looks for fun. But I said all that to say, the day I meet someone who can snap their fingers and their hair just shapes into the style they want all on its own is when I’ll use the phrase “good hair”. When I meet a person who tries to snap their fingers at their hair and it shapes into a hand that’s flipping them the bird, is when I’ll use the phrase “bad hair.”

Why are green eyes, grey eyes, blue eyes and light brown eyes considered more beautiful than brown eyes? Did y’all know that light eyes are actually a genetic defect? It’s considered a form of ocular albinism. In other words, those eyes are broken, the color is missing! Its okay, if you have light eyes, chin up… You’re just different. Haha… Actually, I never understood the big deal about light eyes. There’s nothing wrong with having a preference or liking what you like. However when a chick is breaking her neck to get pregnant by a guy because he has grey eyes, there are some serious issues.

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I felt I would need a disclaimer or something on the topic of skin. I have a raunchy explanation for why I prefer Black skin. Don’t get me wrong, all shades are beautiful, but if you want to stop me dead in my tracks and make me weak in the knees, you have to be black as hell. The blacker, the safer I feel in those arms, the warmer you’re gonna keep me and sweeter you’re going to taste. Oh yeah… I said taste. Chocolate has always been my favorite flavor. For some reason I associate light skin with the taste of strawberries… Like the strawberry ice cream that nobody eats from the gallon bucket of neapolitan ice cream. Again, don’t get me wrong, all shades are beautiful. The person I’m with now is nowhere near the color of tar but, they have other assets that make me blush like a schoolgirl and I would not ditch my gourmet meal for a little chocolate bar. I’m just emphasizing the beauty of dark skin. My daughter is about three shades from being yellow but she’s the most beautiful girl in the world. She has my face, so how could she not be the cutest thing walking, right? Hahaha… Okay I’m getting carried away. My point is all skin tones are beautiful, but unfortunately too many dark skinned children are being made to feel less-than, just because they’re dark. One of my little sisters has skin like black cherries, big brown eyes and jet black hair. To me she was always crazy beautiful and it broke my heart to find out that someone referred to her as a “spot” and a “shit stain” in school. I couldn’t believe it. How did they not see the beauty in those brown eyes against that dark skin, framed by that shiny black hair? Then I my “second think” came and I realized, not everyone is taught to see beauty in all different types of people. If you’re raised with the idea that “white is right” and “black should get back”, then you just don’t know any better and until you open your mind you won’t find beauty in such things.

I come from a really big family. I have five siblings, approximately 25 aunts and uncles and close to fifty cousins, in my immediate family alone. Out of all those people, no two are alike. My skin, eyes and hair don’t equally match up with anyone I’m related to. So it’s hard for me to find beauty solely in physical traits that fit a mold because the people who raised me and were raised alongside me, the people who love me and would lay down their lives for me are all different colors, shapes and sizes. The beauty that means the most to me lies within a person’s soul. A beautiful soul will win me over every time. And this is the type of beauty we need to strive for. Straighten your hair because you’re going for a certain look, not because you want to have “good hair”. Put on makeup to enhance the beauty that is already there in your skin, not because you’re trying to give the impression you’re something that you’re not. Work with what you got and then make it work for you. God does not make mistakes. Drop the stigmas and stereotypes and be proud of who and what you are. The first civilized nations were on the continent of Africa and if that’s where your ancestors are from, you need to be just as proud as those with European ancestors who took initiative to explore the earth.

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One Response to “I’m Black, You’re Black… Now Cut the Crap”

  1. Ms. Tee March 22, 2012 at 7:51 pm #

    Lmao…..u already kno how i feel about black skin!!!! Dark brothers can always come my way….dat is if i dont find my way to them first!!!!!

    Like

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