People strive to better themselves and improve their inner self while people strive so they can fit in the crowd, be accepted and not be an outcast. Unfortunately some go to extreme measures to be included.
On April 25th 2016, Lil Kim was trending on social media. If you don’t know how Lil’ Kim is she’s a black Hip Hop Artist who had a relationship with the late Notorious B.I.G. I checked to see why she was trending and I noticed that from her photos that she has bleached her skin in order to have a complexion of a Caucasian white woman. When I looked at the pictures I was in shocked but also in disappointment. She looked fine how she was and she didn’t need to do this. However if you look at this tweet below you will see that black men is apparently the cause of Lil’ Kim bleaching her skin.
Also I have seen there’s quotes from Lil’ Kim regarding her low self-esteem and how black men felt about her.
Whether her quotes are true or not, unfortunately black men do talk down to black women. Black women are stereotype as an “Angry Black Woman” and they have an attitude. I disagree with that stereotype as all races can be angry and have an attitude and not just black women but unfortunately they are known as that and black men speak it about continuously . They also say that they are not attractive enough and so on. An issue I think that’s a big problem is the light skin/dark skin thing. I know some guys and women would rather to go out with a light skin person who’s in a mixed decent rather than dark/brown skin person. Yes it’s ok to have a preference but to discriminate our own kind is wrong. We all have black features whether we are light skin, dark skin or brown skin. With this into consideration, this has caused division for us black people as we don’t appreciate each other.
I was on a dating website and look at a black woman profile and she mentioned she will only consider Caucasian guys. Out of curiosity, I messaged her to find out more. I enquired on how come she’s not into black guys and she said she just not interested. There has to been a reason so I asked more and she said some black guys have hurt in the past which is why she wants to date white guys. I said she shouldn’t generalise black guys as we are not all like that. She replies “I know they aren’t all the same but for the sake of my sanity I’m not going there again.” I was dumbfounded when she said that and now I am thinking about it as I write this I still am. It’s not the first time I have seen a profile like this and won’t be the last but it breaks my heart when I hear these stories where a black woman’s confidence is dented by a black man.
On the other hand, I had a discussion with my close friend about black women last year and him and I feel that black women don’t want to date black guys. Maybe because we hear that some black women say that a white guy can treat them better than a black guy. I rebuke that statement. There is no scientific evidence to proclaim that a white guy can treat a black woman better than black guys. Black men can treat black women like a queen. It’s the same for Asian guys, Mediterranean guys and Latino guys. Every race can treat someone well. So if a black woman think dating a white guy will automatically mean that he will treat me better than a black guy will you are wrong as regardless of their race us men are unfortunately pricks.
When us black folks seen white folks being portrayed in the media or in the society, you can see they are successful in their careers but also see that white privilege is on point. This has made impressions that if we act in a certain way, talk in a certain way or be with a white woman/man, it will give us the opportunities to excel in life and better treatment in society.
As I mention that Lil Kim has bleached her skin, a number of black female celebrities have done the same thing. Mica Paris stated in her Daily Mail article in where she highlighted Beyoncé in where she has lighten her skin to be in a reflection of a Caucasian woman it imprint upon every impressionable young woman of colour the message that she is not good enough as she is, it also suggests that, despite her meteroic success, Queen Bee thinks she must alter the very fabric of her being to make herself more palatable to the masses. And with the rise of skin bleaching products, it’s been heavily used in African, Caribbean and Asian countries in where a staggering 70% of Nigerian women admit to admit to using skin lightening products.
But Hydroquinone which is common in skin bleaching products can cause side effects in where it can cause skin cancer. This is now banned in Ghana, as well in Australia, US and Japan but it worries me that some black people are willing to this as apparently in Africa, men and especially women with lighter skin are favored over those with darker skin, leading to better opportunities and treatment in society. However, this is a dangerous game if they think this is the case.
An abstract called Race, Class and ‘The Harmony of Dispositions talks about the identity of black middle class and their comparison to white middle class. Despite being middle class, from a study black people felt they have little control and power. This may because white people who are in the same class don’t feel they should be in the same category and as a result limit their opportunity.
This has led to mention this quote. “They engage skills from their ‘cultural toolkit’ (Moore, 2008: 498) such as code-switching and changing accent (Cassandra, Training Company Director) or speaking the ‘language of whiteness’ (Jean, College Lecturer) to fit into and navigate white space. This is risky work because while they possess ‘appropriate’ capitals (education, qualifications, accent, dress) and seek to deploy them to their advantage, recognition and acceptance (by whites) that their capital carries legitimacy is not guaranteed.”
In this world, White is deemed right and Black is deemed wrong and for some black people, they may have been told that to be accepted into this white world, we would have to lose our blackness and engaged in their whiteness. But is it worth it?
Beyoncé was a headline act during a half time show at the Super Blow 50 this February in where she performed a song called Formation. It had a political message as she made a tribute to Black Panthers. People praised her message while some was critical. Tomi Lahren is a TV host in where she expressed her views from a news platform called The Blaze. She made a commentary regarding Beyoncé’s performance and it received an uproar. Why? Because her views were deemed as a racist but I have a YouTube clip for you to see for yourself.
I don’t know if she thought of this but with lightening her skin to be in a skin of a Caucasian woman, Beyoncé may think no racist remarks from her white peeps. Well she was wrong as despite of this they view her as a black woman and a black person are known as being lazy, aggressive, uneducated and violent. Again I rebuke that stereotype as all races can have these traits and not just black people. But perceptions and stereotypes is something that will not go away and unfortunately the labels black people have will not disappear. It has been around for centuries as black people were forced into slavery and face discrimination and racial abuse because of the colour of our skin and still it affects us today. So really what we do in lightening our skin or changing our appearance or speak in an accent for validation, it won’t make a difference as to them we are not valuable and they don’t care even if we do change our lifestyle. In terms of education, I am not saying that you should not get an education. You should as it will open opportunities, but what I am saying is we shouldn’t change our personality, culture for anyone as if we do our effects may not be recognised. Also I know some white people who maybe reading this and think that I am demonising. Well I am not. I am talking about the struggles black people experience.
To conclude, black people shouldn’t be seeking approval from white people as what we do won’t make a difference. But instead of trying to impress, we should EMBRACE our culture, EMBRACE our blackness and EMBRACE our heritage. Be proud of the country you have come from whether you are from African country or from a Caribbean country. Don’t seek things to get acceptance by others as they will take advantage. We should not be consumers and not be used as a propaganda in terms of entertainment and instead take control of our being, our kind, our race. Unfortunately, being a black person is tough as we faced prejudice and discrimination and as result we lose our identity but being a black person is great. We are smart, intellectual and attributes that any person of race would like to have and embrace. Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, Malcolm X and Muhammad Ali are examples of great black people who wanted to make a difference. We have a wonderful culture as now the western world are embrace our culture although it’s now formed of cultural appropriation and at times some countries use it in a way from their own benefits. But the fact that our culture is being used shows something good is happening. Most importantly we should support for one another as frankly we are not. We are divided as the media divided us based on the news regarding blacks within the society. We shouldn’t let this happen and destroy our race. We shouldn’t talk down our race, not self-hate and instead show encourage, wisdom and use our strengths to show that being a black person is a great so we can be a role model. We should be proud of who we are and where we come from because Black Is Beautiful. I am proud to be a black person and so should you.