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3:07 PM

53sonnenuntergang-m181It’s amusing. The very same people who vigorously shake their heads YES, obviously in agreement concerning white’s (white people’s) “blind eye” to racism, has that same sort of “blind eye” concerning colorism in the US along with other things. The response seems to come to an abrupt stop or somewhere around “No, let’s focus on other people” or “Black folks don‘t have issues with color”. In realizing myself, I quickly realized others around me. For the past, I’d say 8 months, I’ve seen an increasing number of “hits” for “white power”, though I can’t say I’m surprised with a black man as president and all. What comes to mind besides the obvious burning crosses and Ku Klux Klan, is black pride. Yeah, the real black pride. I don’t mean the artificial black pride that comes with trying to pretend everything black is great and that black people have no issues, because that’s just foolishness.

Some things are just too obvious to address, and when you know that, you know these people are lodged somewhere between trying to defend something they know little to nothing about or blind patriots of blackness kind of like blind patriots of America. Black pride as little to do with pretending everything is great with black people, and more to do with acknowledging the good with the bad, that’s black pride because if you don’t acknowledge it, you are just ignoring it which shows a lack of concern or an inability to address the issue at hand; it’s like knowing you are sick and not going to the doctor to figure out the problem—the problem will likely persist. It’s not going to go away simply because you say it has gone away.

 

I remember growing up in MS. My family never really had much but I never felt it. My parents made sure I never felt it. I had a wonderful childhood, a sheltered little black girl, who in at least my sister’s eyes, was spoiled and full of potential. I never felt wronged by the word black, in fact I felt it was something that was more or less a part of me simply because it was just as I was and not because it shouldn’t be.

My immediate family is a range of shades of brown. My father, brother, and I of a darker hue and my mother and sister of a lighter hue. Though this was the reality, in my family, the range in skin color was not discussed but our common blackness was, and it was almost always a pleasant conversation or at least one full of humor.

I can recall looking in the mirror as a young girl and admiring who I was physically and mentally. Again, I had a pretty good childhood, family always around, and again…a pretty sheltered childhood as well. Then into society and away from my family’s protective words, hugs, and kisses, things changed. An unsuspecting child that thought that every other black person more or less had the same ideas about blackness as myself. Wrong. WRONG.

Wow, did I quickly get the low down and dirty on the many divisions that exist between black people by personal experience and through others’ experiences from skin color and class to black Americans and Africans who came to America—not useful things, not productive things, but hurtful things. I don’t want to go into too much detail then this entry would be entirely too long, but Africa, which is now divided up into countries is divided because some colonialism, took place at some point, with that being said color would by virtue play some part to that exposure, just by virtue [skin bleaching, perms, etc]. In America the same sort of thing but much worse, and the same can be said for the Caribbean and for similar reasons. It use to really bother me a lot all, today in my mind, it’s just another ill of this world.

Black pride to me is the same as it was 17 years ago, black people, regardless of where they are from, who share a common blackness, though different cultures because the one thing we can not change regardless of how rich, poor, smart, the language we speak or the language we don’t speak, African, or African American–black is the color of your skin, and that’s not a bad thing–not at all. It makes me wonder when I hear black people say “She/he thinks he/she is too good, or he/she says they are mixed with Indian, well, he/she is just plain ole black like everyone else”—wtf is plain ole black or plain ole anything dealing with blackness? Is black a step down from everything else? I’m going to need people to think first, speak later. Now, I have a letter to write.

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6 Comments»

  thelegacymaker wrote @

Is there a difference between racism and colorism?

I think Black pride has changed drastically in the last 17 years….its meaning is very much different now than before. And not only that it changes across ethnicity.

African’s, Jamaican’s and African-American’s I think all have a different view or feeling about Black pride. And I’m not even comfortable with the term Black because it divides people on the color of their skin???? Arabs and Mexicans have the same color skin…do you call them yellow? No attack on you…I still use the word myself…I just think all in all the connotation has changed throughout the years.

  indigoblu wrote @

Is there a difference between racism and colorism?

Yes, there is. Colorism and racism are two separate entities, but they are, in sense, in the similar. Now, I have no problem with the word black, so you’ll just have to pardon my using it. Colorism is the difference in skin tones among a race of people (light, medium, dark brown) and the implications that sometimes go with having lighter or darker skin. Racism is based solely on different races of people.

I think Black pride has changed drastically in the last 17 years….its meaning is very much different now than before. And not only that it changes across ethnicity.
African’s, Jamaican’s and African-American’s I think all have a different view or feeling about Black pride.

Well, I for one can not and will not even attempt to speak for everyone in regards to how they feel about what black pride is. I was only speaking about myself and what it means for me. However, I do think there is not much pride in anything you can’t see the negative along with the positive; I think it then becomes something like blind devotion with little to no improvement. I don’t really think there was ever a set standard of any sort, even when the term “black pride” first emerged or now. In regards to how I have known others to view this term, I have come across many from many different places who have no concept of what black pride is and more of a concept of pride in themselves, their tribe, or maybe wherever they come from—not necessarily the black race, and yes, there is a black race….is that, in of itself, not a means of division?

And I’m not even comfortable with the term Black because it divides people on the color of their skin???? Arabs and Mexicans have the same color skin…do you call them yellow? No attack on you…I still use the word myself…I just think all in all the connotation has changed throughout the years.

Arabs and Mexicans do, indeed have similar skin tones but the 1% that makes us who we are and different from everyone else is entirely different between the two and their origins are also different. Black people all over the world, on the other hand, do have similar origin and genetics–which the exception of two or three groups (Ethiopians and the those on Solomon Islands) I don’t really want to go into genetics and all.
Beyond this, the term “yellow”, I’ve heard black people being described as such because of how light their skin color is, so I don’t really get your point. This entry had little to do with how people feel in terms of “black’ and “white” and more to do with how black people view themselves and how they view other black people regardless of where they are from. I didn’t feel attacked. Your input is appreciated.

  thelegacymaker wrote @

Do you think Black people from different parts of the world feel a stronger sense of Black pride depending on their location?

One thing that I will add….I think African-Americans should spend more time traveling to African countries as well as those countries where there are large populations of “Blacks” like Brazil. Not to focus on the disconnect…but I feel that Black pride has to be cultivated…within our own society and outside. Black people in general are such a unique people. We would deprive ourselves the benefit behind our experiences by not interacting more.

  M. Anderson wrote @

It’s funny because I was having a similar conversation with my cousins this Christmas. I feel where your coming from. I too believe that “Black Pride” exist, but not in the manner in which it did when there was more joining us together.

It’s almost like we have to struggle, fight for some type of equality, or there has to be an injustice for us to come together. That’s why it was so beautiful what Obama, did for our community. Even though it wasn’t exclusively for us, it gave us a common goal to reach for and to unite us.

Not to go into depth of my conversations over the holiday, but my whole argument was based on the fact that as African Americans there is a divide in who we are & what we can be. Because we are lumped in a “black” category with anyone of darker complexions, it is harder for us to see the common bond. Again, that is until we are fighting an injustice, voting for a president, or searching for some type of equality. That is the glue that holds our current view of “Black Pride” together.

The truth is, we struggle differently then our distant cousins (Africans, Jamaicans, etc..). Like the person above me said, there are different senses of “Black Pride” based on locations, experiences, & treatment.

As for the term “blacks”, it’s just the only way to include anyone of darker complexions and African descent. You say, “yellow” but there are truly too many different groups that fall under that category. Asians, Hispanics, Arabs, etc. We are the only race that is visually noticeable. If you have that drop of black, you are “black” despite your origin of birth, what your mixed with, or what you identify yourself as.

  Keri wrote @

The Black pride to which I think Kris is speaking is an individual thing. An ignorant Black man’s pride will be different from the pride of a Black Man who associates with Sumerians, different from Black people who know there history as opposed to a history that started when they landed. None the less an ignorant Black Man will still see examples of successful Black Men and know of the basic human rights and will feel they too deserve all these rights and rightfully so, but there is still a difference. I’m Jamaican and pride here is measured in a different way because we are predominantly a Black country as opposed to pride in the states where the diversity and demographics differ significantly. Colourism exists here in Jamaica also, sadly so but it does. They sayings are all there, “Yuh Black like” for example and instances where the older generation will encourage their granddaughters to marry light skinned men to make their kids skin tone better. The fact is we cannot really feel the pride we really should unless we know. Unless we know it all began with us and our birthright was stolen and Africa was raped. Unless we know the facts our pride will be watered down and we will feel satisfied with our false freedom.

  indigoblu wrote @

Do you think Black people from different parts of the world feel a stronger sense of Black pride depending on their location?

Legacy:

I have been away for a while, so I don’t even know if you’d still be reading this, but I will reply anyway.

I think that you are right in a sense, as it does depend on their location (in terms of regions of the world) but it also depends on their environment and the way they were bought up to feel about their blackness or maybe even other people’s lack of blackness.
From my experience, it was much more a “regional” or “tribal” pride more so than any kind of “black pride” unity march.

One thing that I will add….I think African-Americans should spend more time traveling to African countries as well as those countries where there are large populations of “Blacks” like Brazil.

There are many African Americans who have traveled to other countries with a population of mostly black people, and most of them travel there merely for the experience and to see other black people of the world, different cultures, etc. The experience of everyone is always so different, so I don’t necessarily think this would help or hurt anything—it’s just an experience like everything else in life. Some people say they were treated badly because they were African Americans, other say they were treated well (of course varying from what part of the world they were in), others found it to be a spiritual connect to their heritage.

Black people in general are such a unique people. We would deprive ourselves the benefit behind our experiences by not interacting more.

Agreed. At any rate, I think it should be a mutual thing, not just African Americans going to other places trying to learn about other black people, but the interest should also be there in fellow blacks not from America—and to be frank, on both sides of the fence–the interest just isn’t there for the most part and I dare not even put that on a scale. We just have to change our minds about something simply by staying open minded.


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