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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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Black Models| Italia Vogue 2008

The European standard of beauty has become so much an axiom that black beauty is nearly “lost in translation” for good. I see people searching for black models and black beauty constantly on search engines and the likes and coming up short with a few they can count on one hand. That could change.

Of course, black women are beautiful on or off a magazine, on or off a catwalk, whatever and wherever. I think the problem is relying too much on main stream to get ourselves out there when we can BE main-stream.

Why is it that almost every time I see a beautiful spread in a magazine featuring a model, it’s in white mainstream media?—-Do blacks not have the same ability? Of course they do, that was a rhetorical question. It’s well known that most of the people who bought the Italian EnVogue magazine were black, and it sold well. Blacks support blacks’ period—especially in incipient business ventures. If things are done right and professionally with class etc….support will double, and maybe even come in unlikely places, because it will not be about the fact that they are black owned but that their work wreaks quality.

Here are some of the pictures from the “all-black” Italia Vogue: From Left to right (Alek Wek, Arlenis Sosa, Iman,  Karen Alexander, Naomi Campbell, Noemie Lenoir,  (2)Toccara Jones, (3) Tyra Banks,  Ubah)

Between the continent of Africa and the other majority black countries who are having similar issues of black model’s not getting work—we could ubiquitously take the world by storm because there are some undeniably beautiful black women out there; that’s veracity. Where are the black photographers and the black modeling agencies? Hiding? I am not talking about those photographers that do borderline porn; I’m talking professionals.

I know Ebony and the likes have modeling agencies and there are plenty of blacks who have their own clothing line, some not so well known but classier than those that are well known, and that is an issue–they are not put out there. If Ebony along with other more recognized black modeling agencies monopolized around the world—made this not just an African American thing but a Caribbean thing, and African thing—a black thing, I really think the potential of this is prodigious.

That gives more diversity, more exotic looks, more style, and flare. That makes the problem of not being well known obsolete and a broader audience to which one can appeal. When white, main stream starts noticing a decline in their sales, which means their avarice is not satisfied— I assure you they will take notice but by then, they will not be an issue, merely a side note.

Myth|about HIV/AIDs & |the True Origin|of Mankind

So the story, in a nutshell, bascially goes….Out of Africa..into the Middle East..into Asia, then into Europe  (Map)

 Evolution A gradual process in which something changes into a different and more complex or better form. See Synonyms at development. The process of developing. Gradual development.

Perhaps evolution does exist, but perhaps its definition, especially in this case, is flawed. What, exactly, is more complex or better with seemingly unbeneficial mutations? Lighter skin, straighter hair, different color eyes, and different color hair—how are any of these things more complex or in a “better” form other than the myth of European features being aesthetically appealing more so than African features.

18th century anthropologist Christoph Meiners, who first defined the term, characterized the “Caucasian” as having the characteristics of “lightness“, “beauty” and being “handsome” with the “ancient Germans” having the “whitest, most blooming and most delicate skin” because they were the most racially pure Caucasians.

18th century anthropologist Johann Blumenbach, the second person to define the term, considered Caucasians to be the top of “racial hierarchy” he organized where,

 the white color holds the first place, such as it is that most Europeans. The redness of cheeks in this variety is almost peculiar to it: at all events it is but seldom seen in the rest.” and described Caucasians as, “Color white, Cheeks rosy; hair brown or chestnut-colored; head subglobular; face oval, straight, its parts moderately defined, forehead smooth, nose narrow, slightly hooked, mouth small. The primary teeth placed perpendicularly to each jaw: the lips (especially the lower one) moderately open, the chin full and rounded.

Further definition of evolution: Change in the genetic composition of a population during successive generations, as a result of natural selection acting on the genetic variation among individuals, and resulting in the development of new species.

Of course, Europeans are not a different species, considering the fact they have the least genetic diversity which makes them much more susceptible to harmful mutations only invalidates this definition more. Moreover, all humans share more than 90% of their DNA with each other, so the genetic variation that does exist is very minute to their genetic commonality, with people of African decent having the most genetic diversity.

Natural selection is the process by which favorable heritable traits become more common in successive generations of a population of reproducing organisms, and unfavorable heritable traits become less common, due to differential reproduction of genotypes. Natural selection acts on the phenotype, or the observable characteristics of an organism, such that individuals with favorable phenotypes are more likely to survive and reproduce than those with less favorable phenotypes.

Favorable by whose standards–defiantly not mother natures.

 More than this, what happened to the extinction aspect of evolution in this case, if everyone else ultimately evolved from Africans, why is the African populations not dwindling on the point of extinction? Just how much time is required, it’s been about 100,000 years. In 2007, the population of Africa was 965 million, while Europe has 731 million. Of course not everyone in Europe is of European decent and the same can be said for Africa, however, most are actually of the origin of the continents –give or take a few.

Those who try to argue about AIDS playing out the role of natural selection on the African population (which is by the way, very unintelligent) —you’d have to say that Europeans and people of other races are not able to contract the virus—and everyone knows that they are just as capable as anyone else of contracting AIDS. If they were somehow evolved, as a “better developed breed”, so to speak, they’d have immunity to this OR somehow adapted in some way. I just wanted to address the stupidity before it came.

Why would one think, and be justified in thinking, that AIDS, or HIV is a man-made disease? Two very simply reasons..maybe three–besides the ones listed on the above mentioned site.

  1. The fact that this virus has two strains in such a short amount of time, and it just sprouted up all of a sudden, out seemingly no where. Monkeys were discovered to have the virus parallel to the time it began to spread in the (African) human population. As many experiments that monkeys and apes have been subjected to since the breaking age of science, it is highly unlikely that scientist, all of sudden found out those animals had HIV–at least they would have noted a decline in the population much earlier than the time it took to spread in the human population.
  2. The way the virus works, turning the immune system against itself, is unnaturalin its entirety. There is no other disease or virus known to do this.
  3. There are occurrences of two women from China who were exposed to the HIV virus AND actually showed immunity to it.
  4. Magic Johnson is alive and well (almost 20 years) and it is pubically known that he has/had HIV/AIDs.

Fishy stuff, huh? Everyone’s life is affected and at risk by AIDS. Start asking questions, seeking information, and demandig answers—real answers. I’ve noticed how many people just take whatever the media/government feeds—much like jumping of a cliff because someone simply told you to jump”. 

Other Helpful links: http://rense.com/general67/viru.htm  http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/AIDS3.html         http://www.aliveandwell.org/

Unspoken “Rules”|Color Complex

In general, there is this idea  that some black people have…….. that there is actually something wrong/negative with having dark skin (see Mental|Black|Bondage), which is all together unintelligent considering that dark skin is the ultimate “blackness”; it is the foundation, root, and therefore life source of all the different array of colors seen in the black tree (race) . See (Skin Deep|REALLY Deep

 Simply put:  A tree (the black race) without it’s roots(the black element) does not exist.
The first step is acknowledging that there is a problem.

Common Ideas:

  • Light skin is more attractive than dark skin

The key word here is skin, determining someone’s beauty solely based on the color of their skin ….obviously, there’s a little more than just “preference” at play.

– Many blacks resort to skin bleaching for lighter skin

 -I have personally heard and know of blacks who have children by  white, mixed, or very light skin guys/women to increase the probability of having a light skinned baby .

-I have personally heard and know of blacks who would not have a child with a dark skin man/woman for fear of  having a dark skin baby

Comments often directed to attractive dark skin black people:

“She/he is pretty/attractive to be dark skin”| “She/he is pretty/attractive to be a black girl/guy

Comments often directed to attractive/unattractive light skin black people:

 In AmericaRed-Bone” is a name given to light skin blacks– like something different from being black all together. In Jamaica they are called Brownin” .

Dark skin slurs:

Blackie”|“Tar baby”|”Tar”|“African” |”Skillet“|” Shadow” (All referring to dark skin tone)

African” is used in complete ignorance with the mindset that all Africans have very dark skin.

Light skin slurs:

High yellow”|“House nigger”|“Conceited” (All referring to light skin tone)

House nigger” is in a historical context when the lighter skinned black slaves were allowed to work in the house with the white slave owners, while darker skin slaves were forced to work outside in fields.

  • Dark skin people should not wear bright colors like (cloths, makeup, etc): Yellow, orange, red, lime green etc.

                       (Oluchi)

In truth, however, when darker skin people wear brighter colors, it makes their skin tones more appealing, as it brings out and complements their skin tone. Try colors like turquoise, peach, soft yellows, bright yellows.  It’s really a plus for anyone to wear color, but a double plus for people of darker hue because it makes your skin more noticeable.

  • Speak “properly” around whites /Speak “ebonics/street” around other blacks

This is a classic, some people have their “white cent” and their “black cent” and they use them when around either white or black people respectively. Just stirve to be a better you everyday and be yourself around everyone!

  • Many blacks are considered “stuck up”| “Sell outs” etc. and such if they go against things…much like the ones I’ve already stated. You’re not black or you’re stuck up if you….

Don’t go “clubbin

Don’t speak “hood

Don’t support some of these ridiculous, almost blackface… black “parody” movies

  • Bad hair

Bad hair is seen as basically the natural state of mostly every black person’s hair–small, tight curls; it is often called  “nappy” or “kinky

  • Natural hair/dreads is seen as being “Afrocentic

So I suppose relaxed/chemically altered hair is “Eurocentric

  • Relaxed/chemically altered hair

Chemically alters hair, straightens hair, even burns scalp/hair

Female children usually start getting their hair relaxed at age 5& up

Check out India.Arie’sI am not my hair

  • Good hair

Good hair is seen as soft, loose curls, straight with the texture is more stringy and Caucasian-like

– I know of people that have children with someone of another race or the same race who supposedly has “good hair” so that the child will have a higher probability of having supposedly good hair

The next step is dealing with the problem by loving who you are, directly and indirectly, inside and out. There are beautiful black people, dark and light. There are beautiful black people all over the world who are not light skin and are as dark chocolate as wet sand lit only by  moonlight (another post).

  Top: (Josephine Rukia) Bottom: (Kaone)

             Skin color —some black people argue— is preference, but is it really? Then I ask….preference for what? For maintaing a white is right attitude?…because…if someone is attractive, they are attracitve with or without having light or dark skin. Free yourself from slave-like mentality lest you press your children and future generations with the same burden many of us already have. Embrace your blackness by loving yourself.

 

Taking Care|of Self|Loving Self|Free Yourself

         Take care of yourself and actually indulge in taking care of yourself whenever you get an opportunity. Instead of taking a 15 min shower, take a 30 min luxurious bubble bath with music, candles, beads and all your favorite things. Instead of grabbing just anything to eat before heading to work, stash some of your favorite treats, drinks, foods in the refrigerator to grab that are actually enjoyable and nutritious on your way to work. Instead of jumping out of bed and rushing to work everyday, get out of bed stretch and take the world in by taking a walk outside, enjoying the morning and fresh air, listening to the birds, relaxing for a few minutes, then get ready for work while listening to the radio. On your lunch break, instead of gulping down fast-food, eat some fruit, something that is salubrious, yet something that you actually enjoy. Instead of watching TV when you get home or getting on the internet, take a nap, do something fun and exciting with friends or family, or try something new to you.

 Although work, family, friends, school, etc are all things that need attention, it is important to remember that YOU NEED ATTENTION as well. Make the time! I think it is especially sagacious for everyone to make room in their lives for themselves. This is especially essential for women. Often times we find little time for ourselves because we are always taking care of someone else or something else. With school, work, friends, and family, it can be hard finding time for self. Women new and old to motherhood suffer mostly from this. More than this, when they do take out time for themselves, some even feel guilty for having done it. There is no need for guilt, you as a mother and as a woman….but more importantly as a human being need to take time for yourself…breath…look around you…rest….and appreciate the beautiful things in life, the things that make life truly worth wild and the beautiful things within yourself that doesn’t involve anyone else but you. This should be done often, if not everyday, not just on Mother’s day! Plan and make time for yourself and during this time… it’s all about you and what you want to do. Don’t neglect yourself!

Mothers that typically take care of home, children, husband, and seemingly everything else and everyone else while working all at the same time often find it a daunting task to find time for themselves because at the end of the day, she is simply drained—often forgetting and neglecting her mind and body’s daily needs and attention. Her hair is often not kept, pajamas and “around the house” cloths  began to be normally worn outside of the house, and all together fatigue is set in her face and around her eyes. It’s the same old sad song— the husband complains that she is not as “attractive” as she was before. Uh, Hello! Perhaps she’s overwhelmed with things you (as a husbandbarely think or act to give a helping hand in. Is a marriage not supposed to be a partnership where you help each other? Now a days, it seems so alloy.

Simple guide that anyone can follow (Just do it!):

  • Give yourself time and space just to think
  • Make it a habit to get up early in the morning before anyone else, before starting your day, allowing time for yourselfalso do this in the evening or before going to sleep. During this time, it is important to be away from  all disturbances—so that means be alone. (30-60 mins).
  1. Take walks
  2. Do relaxing exercises (Mediation/Yoga)
  3. Read some pages of your favorite book
  4. Write down positive thoughts while in open, clear, clean space.
  5. Write poetry
  6. Take long, luxurious baths/showers
  7. Enjoy the sun rise/set, fresh air, gaze at a stand (group of trees) and the rest of nature
  8. Get and maintain a garden (flowers, fruit, other food, etc)
  • Sometimes, even though you can get a few things done, it can be fatigable even irritating trying to relax while having to watch kids, so sometimes leave them with their father, grandmother, or babysitter for a while and bring them back a treat.
  1. Drive to or lock yourself in a quiet space and get some things accomplished
  2. Go to the spa
  3. Go shopping…
  4. Go to the hair/nail shop…
  5. Go out with friends every now and then to relax
  6. Go to social events/take up a hobby (swimming, salsa dancing, instruments, belly dancing, etc) that you commit to once or twice a week
  • Eschew overwhelming yourself, if you need help doing something or a break, tell someone!
  • Having to cook, clean, and take care of kids everyday after pulling a 8-5 job can be tough try sometimes…
  1. Letting your children and husband do the cooking  (breakfast, dinner, or lunch)
  2. While you are cooking, let your husband wash the dishes or vice versa
  3. Cooking with your husband/boyfriend (breakfast, dinner, or lunch)
  4. Letting your husband/boyfriend cook for you (breakfast, dinner, or lunch)
  5. Letting your husband get the kids ready for school
  6. Letting your husband go out with/spend time with the kids

  • Take real vacations and travel, not vacations where you will be at home having to deal with cooking, cleaning, etc. Get away for a while either by yourself, with your husband/boyfriend, or with the whole family.
  • (Personal favorite) Watch/walk into/listen to the rain as it falls to earth
  • Sometimes just enjoy doing nothing…take reverence in just being alive.

Envious|Nature|of Women

 

 I realize this title may seem to some like a sweeping generalization or even a hyperbole. However, from my own empirical experiences, I’d beg to differ.  To some, it may even seem like a good thing to have people envious of you (Usher Raymond’s “Pop Your Collar”), but in truth envy and jealousy is never a good thing for the person who is envious or the person who is being envied; it can easily turn into fuel for hate (envy-er) and vain self-importance (envy-ee). I’d like to point out a few things about this envious nature in case you are confused. Let me note, age does matter, typically younger women, or women who still consider themselves to be young mostly fall into this category and it isn’t everybody but it’s a lot of bodies in my experience—it doesn’t matter state or city.

  1. TypeA who is gregarious and loves attention sees typeB who’s not into the “spotlight” mentality getting…with little to no effort…the same attention if not more attention than typeA— typeA now feels relegated and is now upset with typeB; it doesn’t matter if they know each other or not.  
  2. You’re out  (mall, movies, grocery store, etc) …you don’t have to be dressed up over the top or anything..you have an extemporaneous look, maybe even dressed down… just handling your business and you pass a female stranger (white) and she looks at you with annoyed intimidation mildly glazed in her eyes…starting from your face…then down the rest of your body and then stares into your face again. The look says, “Just who do YOU think you are?
  • For another woman (black American)…the motion is the same, maybe just staring into your face or looking up and down your body, but the look is different. This look says “You ain’t ALL that”.
  • From another woman (Asian, Latina, African, other) the look is stupefied disbelief, like “Impossible….”

It’s the expression on their faces that tell all and I don’t even think they are even aware of their expression, but obviously me looking back into their faces, I can plainly see it for what it is.

Of course, I’ve had more positive experiences with this as well (white, black, other) they would look, and nothing is wrong with that but, guess what? They don’t have that look of annoyed intimidation of their faces and they speak  or smile  (an authentic smile). It’s a look of admiration, if nothing more. Some will say they appreciate your outfit or your beauty; some will simply say hello. I mean seriously, it is rude, to look and stare and have an ugly expression on your face all at once and not even say “Hi” or have some better acknowledgement.

  • Just to throw another out there because there are many, you have females of any and every race and background that are with their boyfriends/husbands, and as you pass, she all of a sudden, holds him close or literally moves his face to another direction, some even dare him to look your way and again gives you the “look” (laughs). It’s really sad and onerous. It’s mostly insecurity about self. Get beyond that by loving yourself, first.

Some women don’t have a lot of female friends, some not any because of this envious nature and I can relate. Also as a result, most of them have more male friends than female. Yes, just friends not friends with benefits. They may say things like,” They are jealous of me” or “They start too much drama”. Now maybe some of you, who were fortunate enough to find true sisterhood (love, unity, and honesty), may think something is wrong with the person who says any of those things. Maybe it is them and not the other woman they accuse. Well, maybe you are right, but can that be true in every situation? It’s highly unlikely. I have many personal experiences with people I actually knew and was close to, but that will have to wait another day in  another blog entry .On a higher note though, I’ve always believed that having a few good friends, male and/or female,  is much better than having 15  lousy “friends”.

 

Exotic|Beautifully|Created|Music

Ayo

 “Life is Real”|”Down On My Knees”

Born to a Nigerian father and gypsy mother; Ayo’s stylish and flavorful music and sound are a very unique mix. Her name simply means “Joyful” in one of the many dialects of Nigeria. Her voice has a bold yet shy and sweet quality to it that is all together halcyon and redoubtable.   “Life is Real” is defiantly one of my favorites; it reveals a beautifully crafted spirit that is not afraid to be herself and face all the things life has to offer, good and bad. One can’t help to respect that because it shows much respect for self and a love for life. It’s no wonder she’s a beauty not only physically but intrinsically.

Artists she can be compared with:

I really can’t think of anyone; the lady’s got her own eclectic style.

 

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Zeritu Kebede

“Yenem Ayne Aytoal” |“Endaygelegn”

Rough translation: “My Eyes have Seen”|

 “Please Don’t Break my Heart”

Ethiopian born singer, Zeritu Kebede is one of a kind. Her voice is strong, confident, and consoling to the mind. The style and music of Ethiopia is very rich, diverse, and embedded in the culture. However, Kedebe offers something eccentric, fresh, and different to the scene. Most of her influences are of English origin (Classic/RnB). Even if one does not know Amharic, which is the language she sings in and the official language of the country, she will undoubtedly pull you in as it becomes unmistakably obvious that she is very talented.

Artist she can be compared with:

  • Mariah Carey
  • Celine Dion

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Les Nubians

“Makeda”|”Temperature Rising”

These two stunning Cameroonians singing in French, the official language of Cameroon since French colonization, spew soulful, African flavor, neo-soul, jazzy, urbane and most certainly beautiful music. Their smooth sound is like a soft, steady rain on a summer afternoon. Like Zeritu, their music is clearly English influenced, but they are more in tuned with Jazz and soul music genres.”Makeda” is in reference to Ethiopia’s Queen of Sheba.

Other artist they compare with:

  • Floetry
  • Goapele
  • Jill Scott
  • Other neo-soul artists

(I  will have a separate post for these and other artist)