Let us review this sepia brown-skinned young woman’s fight to self-acceptance. Fruit from the poisonous tree sewn from unexamined, escalating black-on-black hatred is ruinous. Not everyone will survive. She is within her rights to only focus on her protection, because of the intra-racial politics women her complexion and appearance do bear the brunt of erasure and demonizing from other blacks.
When the Onion thinks it within their satirical arsenal to refer to Quvenzhané Wallis as a c*nt during the Oscars telecast. When some idiots who didn’t bother to read the book, decry Amandla Stenberg’s portrayal of Rue as “wrong” in The Hunger Games. When Keke Palmer chides a few so-called fans of TLC via Twitter who think she’s the “wrong” choice to portray Chili in a movie biopic on the group, by ‘apologizing’ for not having the ‘right’ baby hair texture.
When you have selective amnesia over what black male singers/rappers/comedians/relatives/neighbors/strangers do to and say about black girls but get fauxrage when some white person or entity does it. Or when black women are denying, excusing, dismissing or being active participants in each other’s demise.
This isn’t anything we haven’t discussed here before. Cause and effect.
When one (c)rapper says he’s retiring his diss of black women in referring to them as a b*tches because he
already made his millions now has a daughter (how nice). When another dares to speak for all of us in supporting some privileged white woman celebrity in her flagrant use of a black racial slur, knowing if we took similar liberties with her heritage there’d be hell to pay.
I’d love to be a fly on the wall when her daughter refers to one of theirs by the sanctioned slur for kicks. While some adults debate concepts that have deep ramifications for the unprivileged masses this mother is rightfully concerned about the damage done to her black sons, which mirrors the concerns many of you have.
…and he left me worrying about the effects of hate speech that we tell ourselves isn’t hate speech. We’re raising a generation who thinks nothing of using the word–and they learned it from us.
That generation starts slinging arrows that wound emotionally and physically at even younger ages. Well, the conditions within Blackistan don’t fester in a vacuum. Advocacy alone will not save your daughters. There are and have been numerous people who sought to address these wrongs, but were vilified. Now, many outsiders think it’s a free for all, but that will change when blacks clean up the virulent racio-misogyny currently permitted. Will they? It’s possible, but don’t stick around exposing yourself and black children to toxic environments in the interim.
“Society” is implied as substitute for white in that video. Yes, but look a little closer to ‘home’ first.
The original draft of this post focused on what celeb mom Jada Pinkett Smith has to do for protection of the daughter whose lighter complexion and status would seem to imply such efforts unnecessary. But we know better – as shown by the other examples. This was posted on her Facebook account last year in response to criticism of Willow cutting her hair super short. You know what some black women think about “nappy” hair in service to appeasing self-hating black males.
Update 2/16: Watch this clip of Viola Davis on Anderson Live briefly discussing her hair texture/skin shade ‘shame’ that comes from within the toxic attitudes of the black ‘community’ and maybe you’ll begin to understand how long this type of hatred has gone unchecked. Along with the damage to black girls’ self-esteem. This is why even Jada has to step in.
A letter to a friend…
This subject is old but I have never answered it in its entirety. And even with this post it will remain incomplete.
The question why I would LET Willow cut her hair. First the LET must be challenged. This is a world where women, girls are constantly reminded that they don’t belong to themselves; that their bodies are not their own, nor their power or self determination.
I made a promise to endow my little girl with the power to always know that her body, spirit and her mind are HER domain. Willow cut her hair because her beauty, her value, her worth is not measured by the length of her hair.
It’s also a statement that claims that even little girls have the RIGHT to own themselves and should not be a slave to even their mother’s deepest insecurities, hopes and desires.
Even little girls should not be a slave to the preconceived ideas of what a culture believes a little girl should be.
This is true empowerment. Let the (r)evolution continue.