The Creator of Mankind…

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Last week the founder of the B.E.L.L.A. (Doria Barnes) and I hosted a Twitter conversation call “Ladies Chat”. The chat was geared towards addressing concerns and issues of African-American women. There were so many well-thought-out questions, answers, and statements from the participants, that I could barely keep up with the conversation.

There were two topics that generated the most conversation though. The first one was Colorism. Colorism is something that was embedded into our brains with the separation of the slaves. Fair skinned slaves worked inside the house. The browner slaves worked around the house and the darker slaves with more African like features worked in the fields. That behavior within itself created a divide that is still plaguing us today.

Now you see girls bragging about having “light skin”, and you have men telling darker skinned women that they are “pretty to be a dark skinned girl”, as if that’s a compliment. I have hope and faith that we are approaching a phase in our culture that will allow us to embrace our blackness no matter the shade. One complexion isn’t better than the other and doesn’t make either one more or less pretty. We have to look within our examples of beauty and not allow society to make the decision for us. Once we accept our many beautiful features, we’ll be in a better mental space.

The second topic was stereotypes of Black women- specifically “Angry Black women.” A huge stereotype about African-American women is that we are “angry.” Even a journalist wrote that Shonda Rimes had another “angry black woman character.” The media tends to play on the negative stereotypes of African-American people as a whole, but specifically I’m speaking of anger in African-American women. There are so many dynamics and complexities that make up the DNA of Black women that it’s easy to confuse seriousness with anger. Yet with all the things that we are often accused of being (promiscuous, bitter, bitchy, and not relatable), don’t we have the right to be angry about those things? Don’t we have the right to be angry? Why are Black women asked to suppress their disdain of a subject or situation? We are entitled to our feelings and being angry is certainly a feeling that should be displayed. Maybe if we too were viewed as the delicate, feminine, beings that we naturally are, we would be treated as if our emotions were valid and we wouldn’t have a reason to be angry. Maybe?

We can’t allow others to define who we are, how we should look or how we should feel. Remember: You birthed the WORLD, and that alone represents grace and power.

Stay tuned for the next Ladies Chat…..

5 thoughts on “The Creator of Mankind…

  1. I love this because it is the beginning of us taking our identity back, not looking at white women and men as the standard of being. If we feel a certain way why is it wrong for us to express ourselves? …Because it’s not wrong, however, society wants us to believe everything Black is bad.

  2. It sucks that we as Black people and Black women have to be hyper-aware of what we are doing, how we are acting, when we are just acting as other humans. But one thing I’d like to suggest is holding each other accountable as it comes to colorism. Many of us were raised with somebody making some implication of our skin color, whether it be good or bad. Now I make an effort to say something to people when they say something regarding my skin color or my daughters.

    The other day a friend of mine said to my daughter “ooh girl you must be mixed cause your hair is long” and I told him not to say that again. he meant it as a joke but it evokes the stereotype that black women cant grow hair or that being mixed is somehow better than being just black.

    I’m glad many of us (or maybe just the people I talk to and that are like-minded lol) are consciously making steps to correct our learned behavior that we know is detrimental and we are seeking to educate others.

    1. I’m so glad that you addressed him. Behind every joke of that nature is really how a person feels. I’m afraid that we as a whole will never be over the hair issue.

  3. The color of skin issue is also experienced within the Indian culture. They come in all shades just like our culture and experience the same issue, that lighter is better. The only difference is they have not experienced slavery as in our culture. I believe the color aspect comes from the dictionary, whereas white is defined as pure and black is defined as dark, sometime associated with negativity. I’m not overlooking what our culture endured during slavery but it is more on a psychology level, the intentional mental abuse from the slave Master to divide our culture based on the color of our skin. The down side is unfortunately it worked. As a people, we have to learn to mature in our thought process and grow as a culture.

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