Friday is the day of the Feature! This Friday welcomes Ramón to the Controversial side, as he explores perceived hate within the black community…
It’s the year 2017 and black culture is, for better or for worse, fashionable.
It is the source that inspires fashion, music, artistry, dance and nearly every form of interaction and way of life you can think of. Logic would dictate that during such a renaissance of culture in mainstream society, the acceptance of being black or coming from a black background is a lesser taboo then it was in say the 50’s.
This isn’t the case.
You may think to yourself when reading this, “obviously it’s still taboo, our people are still dying,” however that is an aspect I won’t touch on now. I will, though, focus on black on black discrimination, specifically amongst black women.
What is a black woman?
Is she dark skinned with thick bushy hair.
Is she light skinned with softer curly hair.
is she thick in size with curves.
is she slim with a broad nose.
The answer is simple: all of the above and many, many more iterations. They are all black women and should be accepted as such. So why is it so hard for our own to accept these iterations, amongst our own people, in our own communities? Only in black communities is it acceptable to disregard, downplay, and shun a fellow black woman for being lighter, or having straighter hair. And who are the biggest haters? Black women themselves.
It’s as if, in their minds, unless you are thick in size, have big hair, a broad nose, and have dark skin, you are not a black woman. It’s sickening.
Recently, one of the most talented artists in hip-hop – and a firm pro-black individual – Kendrick Lamar, released a new song with accompanying video titled ‘Humble’. The single was the first from his newly released album, DAMN., the follow-up album to To Pimp a Butterfly – arguably one of the most beloved and unapologetically black albums ever. In the song, Kendrick says:
“I’m so fucking sick and tired of the Photoshop/Show me something natural like afro on Richard Pryor/Show me something natural like ass with some stretch marks,”
At this point in the video, a black woman with stretch marks on her rear walks past, unashamedly showcasing what is a natural occurrence for women who have grown in size. Here, Kendrick is saying he wants a real woman: a ‘born and raised by nature’ woman who has not been subsumed by the fickle, ‘barbie doll’ women of Hollywood and show business today.
Amongst rational people, this was a fair thing to say… Kendrick likes his women natural.
However, social media blew up with outrage from black women, claiming that Kendrick only cares about black women as good marketing for his music. His fiancee, Whitney Alford – a woman he has been with dating back to high school – was attacked for being ‘lightskin’, with Kendrick being labelled a “sell out”.
Here we go, the usual attack on the lighter variant of our own people.
A woman who has been ride or die with him since high school must be discarded because other black women feel, I don’t even know what the word is, threatened maybe. The whole point of the lyric has been lost. It was promoting women being comfortable in their own skin and being accepted as such. The consequential outrage is unjustified and uncalled for, and the attack on Whitney Alford was foul.
This Kendrick Lamar outrage showcased an underlying hatred for light skin women in our black communities in particular. Enough!!!
Such attacks have happened before though, and are in fact quite common. Black women do not like the idea of a black man being with anything other than a dark skin woman, and are ready to lash out and attack at every/any opportunity.
This begs the question.. do black women even like black women?
Evidence would suggest not really. If they consider only dark skinned to be black, then they are throwing away all of the unique attributes of our race that make us beautiful. All of the the attributes that make people of colour stand out amongst the others: our adaptability, the variation.
In a way you could say its self-hate. Self-hate that forces you to not accept that black is more than dark skin, and self-hate that makes you think you need to push yourself in a corner because you are dark skin. It needs to stop.
This Kendrick Lamar outrage highlighted an underlying hatred for light skin women in our black communities in particular. Enough!!! They are black. They are our sisters and lovers alike, we need to be one people.
Delving deeper, I do not believe that this is a problem amongst all black communities, but more a problem for a specific community of troubled black people – African Americans. But that is a topic for another day.
I’ll end by saying this. Black women, stop discriminating against your sisters. They are you. And you are them.