Black people under Racism: Evolving or Devolving?

Dark Girls: Preview from Bradinn French on Vimeo.



Watching the video clip from the Dark Girls [above video] documentary truly hurt to my inner core. It hurt because as a people, we seem to be devolving while other races are evolving.  What the hell is wrong with us? How can we perpetuate this nonsense into the 21st century? Back in the ‘60s we shouted, “Black is Beautiful”, but obviously that was just a slogan. It looks like we didn’t buy into the reality of it all.

I look at these women in the clip, some of them in middle aged, and the hurt remains with them.  When we should be supporting and encouraging each other, we find ways to hurt. Are we brainless? We excuse this behaviour by saying it’s a remnant of slavery when progeny of the slave master and slave were deemed better and ranked higher than the 100% black slaves. Hence the deferential treatment back in the day. For God’s sake, we have moved beyond this period in time. We have had time to evaluate what we hold dear and what defines us as African descendants.

How dare a mother describe all the features she likes about her little daughter but then lash her with the comment, “if only she any lightness in her skin, she’d be gorgeous.” Where is the pride of race? How could you even form a thought like this furthermore give it voice, making your daughter feel like she is somehow inadequate because of the colour of her skin? What negative racial stereotypes are being reinforced in our children so when a black child is shown a series of images from light to dark and is asked to point out the ugly child and the bad child, she picked the picture of the darkest image?  This is disturbing.

How much longer will we do this? To the lighter-hued man who said he does not like dark skin girls: If you take a trip back in time, do you think you could like your black fore-parents who toiled on the plantations? Or would you be embarrassed by them and embrace the master who enslaved them? Here’s a little secret: when we denigrate each other, not only do we give comfort to those who dislike us, we look like damn jackasses. We also make it known that to us, all other races are better than we are and we, to be better, need a splash of cream in the coffee to be as good as other races.

Instead of pulling each other down and seeing ugliness in our skin colour and natural hair, we need to do some serious introspection and grow the hell up. Our behaviour is so infantile it is embarrassing.  I acknowledge skin tone issues transcend cultures. There are cultures that won’t be caught dead in the sun without an umbrella because sun-kissed skin would render them too dark.  Others opt to have eyelid surgery to appear Caucasian and some Caucasians use enhancers to plump lips and other body parts. Yes, skin tone and body image are issues across races however, we seem to take the obsession and self-loathing to new heights. Until we look deeply within ourselves to understand why we dislike what we see reflected back in the mirror, we will continue along this path of self-loathing and destruction.

Don’t tell me we are still suffering for the effects of slavery. Slavery happened; don’t ever forget it did, but it’s time to kick this damn crutch out from under us, stand straight and face reality. It’s time to start seeing the beauty of black people and loving, encouraging and supporting each other.  If we choose to remain in this negative mode, we have to look no further for the negative results than in the video clip.

I love my people, but I am much aggravated by our negative behaviours. I must believe that at some point, to avoid further descent into irrelevance, we will believe we can no longer have negative history dictate how we see ourselves. Black is Beautiful.

About the writer:

Cecile Haynes is a self-professed Political junkie, liberal, mother, cat lover. Check out her blog for more entries.

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