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I AM my hair.

 I am my naps.  I am my African wooly hair.  I am every African woman who was beaten and told that she had to cover her hair or lose her life.  I AM every slave woman who loved her nappy hair and who had to see white women and mulatto slaves get preferential treatment for having straight hair.  I will NEVER as long as I live let straight hair define my beauty. 

The hair issue is unique to Black women because we are the only race of women who was kidnapped from our homeland and enslaved by a different race of people who used our color and our physical features to ridicule us.  Slavery in Africa wasn’t based on race.  It’s impossible to denigrate someone for their nose, their lips, for their hair, if they have the exact same features as you do.  White people used their diseased sense of superiority to tell enslaved Africans that everything about them was ugly.  There is no other race of women who has had to endure such psychological torture. 

Black hair care is a multi billion dollar business.  I’ve always said that if white people wanted to effectively disable the black community, all they would have to do is stockpile all the relaxers, straightening combs, fake hair, etc.  Within six weeks, Black women would be selling their souls for a fix, a hair fix that is. 

Think about who we consider beautiful.  Beyonce has a blonde weave.  Every time I see her on a magazine cover, I say, “Who is that white woman?”  We don’t love our Black skin, we don’t love our thick full lips, we don’t love our wide noses, and we sure as hell don’t love our natural nappy hair.  Is there any wonder why the state of Black relationships is so poor?  We have Black men trying to get women who look as white as possible and Black women denying that changing their hair to look white has anything to do with jumping through hoops to distance themselves from their natural blackness. 

If Black women woke up tomorrow, and they all said, “No more chemicals,” I love myself the way God intended me to be, white people would be terrified.  They would be terrified that we don’t ascribe to be like them.  They would be terrified that we are defining our own standards of beauty.  They would try to enslave us again, they would lose their fucking minds.  They wouldn’t be able to deal with an empowered people that didn’t think the world revolved around them.  They need to feel superior and they do as long as we are frying our natural hair, trying to mimic them.  That gives them their power.  If we were to stand up in mass and say, “I don’t think long blonde hair and blue eyes are attractive, I think that big thick lips and wide noses and nappy hair is gorgeous white people would start a war against us.  (Black people can’t even think like that we’ve been so brainwashed but it’s a nice thought) 

House Nigger versus the Field Nigger

I was discussing with someone recently about the phenomenon of slave mentality and I think it’s imperative that I share my thoughts on the phenomenon of pitting the house slave against the field slave.  Let me explain the phenomenon of the house slave vs. the field slave for those that are not familiar.  Malcolm X is the one attributed for defining the concept but I think he did us as a people a great disservice by not drilling home the point that both the house slave and the field were innocent pawns in a horrible game controlled by white people.  Instead, I think he set the stage for more division.  Most people, because of the perpetuation the FAKE Willie Lynch letter (http://www.afro-netizen.com/2003/09/willie_lynch_is.html), believe that white people sat up late nights and constructed this master plan to destroy black people for centuries.  That simply isn’t true.  The practices used by slave owners and white people were not well thought out plans to keep Black people oppressed for centuries, they were the actions of a narcissistic, sociopathic, mentally deranged people who needed to feel powerful so they enslaved people of African descent.  The fact that they destroyed the psyche of black people was just a lucky byproduct (for them) and simply a result of their fear, hatred, and evil practices.  Anyone subjected to those conditions would be damaged psychologically for generations unless treated radically and extensively.  (Which we haven’t had the luxury of, btw)

The unnatural rivalry between house slave and field slave was perpetuated in order for the slave master to have a slave that would be his ally.  He would choose a slave, give that slave more privileges, and move him into the house in exchange for him telling the slave master of plans for uprising and revolts of the field slaves.  In many instances, the house slave was the illegitimate offspring of the slave master but there were also instances of the master just picking a random slave and choosing him to work in the house.  What Brother Malcolm did was set it up to make it look like the house slave was a sell out and a traitor to the race.  Black people today are the first to say, “If I was born during slavery, I would NEVER be a house slave.”  That’s the most ridiculous concept possible.  If most people today had a choice between laboring in the sun for 16 hours a day, being beaten bloody, getting one burlap sack a year for clothing and no shoes, eating slop thrown out OR being in the cool shade, doing housework, being dressed in the same clothing as the people that are supposedly superior there would be NO choice.  There aren’t 3 human beings alive today that would choose the lesser of those options, especially not the material-possession obsessed generation of black people that make that claim so easily.   No one should have to choose the lesser of two evils like that.  The fact is, no one should be forced to have to make that choice because it was slavery itself, the capture and torture of Black human beings that made house niggers, not sell outs, not race traitors, not weak people, not flawed human beings who chose to stab their brothers and sisters in the back.

Discrepancies in Education

In a perfect, color-doesn’t-matter world, everyone is the same, everyone is equally handicapped by the monster of complacency that has let our children down, and the problem of miseducation is one of equal injustice.  In the REAL world, black neighborhoods get less funding, less qualified teachers, have lower standards.  For every four public schools where Black children are warehoused like cattle and whose curricula is made up of various gym and dance classes there is a private school too expensive for them to attend where white kids are learning physics and trigonometry.  In the real world, white teachers have biases and prejudices where they believe Black kids are less deserving of a quality education, compassion, and where they don’t have a clue as how to relate to children of color and could care less or respect that they have different experiences that require a more inclusive approach to teaching.  In the real world, Black and white teachers alike see dark skinned children as having less value and worth than light skinned children.  In the very real, racist world, Black children are expected to be stupid.  Our Black scholars and academics don’t come from the hood, not anymore.  Whereas in days gone by Black people could excel in a Black school system, today, those of us who excel are educated in a school system where we are the minority. 

In every conversation I’ve ever had about race in my life, and that’s been quite a few given my political and social leanings, I’ve yet to meet ONE white person that has said to me, “Yes, my ancestors owned and profited from slaves.”  I’m beginning to think that white people only know how to say, “MY family didn’t own slaves.”  Well … I’ll be god damned, somebody’s family had to own slaves.  Where are those descendents?  

If I use the barometer of white people’s assertions, slavery didn’t exist at all and it played no role in making the US the richest nation in the world. Apparently, the youngest and most violent nation is the richest because it’s inhabited by intellectually superior white men not because they stole the land, its resources, and enslaved free labor.

Then there’s the ever popular, “My ancestors were (fill in the blank with some obscure ethnicity), they were immigrants that arrived after slavery, and they were discriminated against too.”  Which is in essence saying, “My ancestors endured the exact same thing as slaves and they were able to make it.”  Which again is saying, “Blacks are just inherently lazy because if my ancestors were able to not speak the language, open a store, become successful, anyone can.”  Let’s not take into account that Black people were denied the right to read and write for generations, that they were treated as sub human for 100s of years, that they were beaten, raped, bought sold, tortured, and brutalized for generation after generation.  That has NOTHING whatsoever to do with our current standing, that’s just an unfortunate and uncomfortable fact that needs to be dismissed so that white people don’t have to think about the fact that the playing field isn’t really level as long as they don’t share the same history. 

"Whiteness" is a disease of privilege that has been created by a society founded in racism.  I didn’t say white people are inherently racist because of genetics.  White people have seen black people and people of color as inferior for so many centuries, because it has been so conditioned in their minds from birth, because it has gone unquestioned in their psyches that they are superior, that white people (the vast and overwhelming majority) perpetuate a lack of compassion for anyone’s else’s experience other than their own, they diminish the complaints of people of color because it doesn’t match their experience, and they discriminate against, oppress, and publicly disparage people of color while hiding and denying their low self-esteem and secret desires to submit to the Black race.  It’s why white people are look at Ferguson and don’t feel an ounce of compassion or empathy and why they only see rogue niggers causing disruption. 

My very existence is owed to someone who endured more than my mind can comprehend.  I am proud that my ancestors were slaves.  That means that I come from the strongest, most resilient people on the planet.  In addition to enduring the horrors of slavery, the descendants of slaves have gone on to contribute to this society in immeasurable ways.  We as a people have been able to excel, based on the strength and character of those slaves. That’s some damn good genetics if you ask me.  To my ancestors, I give you praise and honor your strength. 

Unfortunately, slavery left us damaged.  It stole from us the things that made us whole.  Children of the Diaspora, descendants of slaves, suffer the emotional, psychological and spiritual chains of mental bondage.  The chains that rattle about us are no longer iron and steel.  They are the chains of complacency, misogyny, materialism, disdain and apathy.  Our masters have become the almighty dollar and emotionless pleasure.  The overseer need not hang us from trees any longer for we kill ourselves with poison in our veins, and bullets for our brothers.  The auction blocks have become the maternity wards, pregnant themselves with bastard children and immature mothers. 

We’ve lost our community to narcissistic desires.  We inflict our own punishment with our willful criminal behavior.  Education need not be held from us any longer, for we voluntarily turn our backs on it.  What purpose does it serve for massa to give us his hand me down clothes, we actually believe that some designer’s clothes and shoes make us better than the next person.  Our men find it perfectly acceptable to use women indiscriminately, to be emotionally unavailable and to abandon their heirs. Our women serve the designer pocketbook and some Asian woman’s hair.  So deep are our wounds that we call ourselves degrading and vile names and defend the right to do so.  Rather than call ourselves Kings and Queens, we vehemently support the right to be Niggers, bitches, and freaks.  Slavery created a monster that roams the earth seeking it’s own self-destruction.   Let us stand up and break the chains that keep us oppressed

Africans who were enslaved were guilty of absolutely no wrongdoing.  But for the color of their skin, they were faultless in their victimization.  Enslaved Africans endured the most horrific of tortures and atrocities to survive, so that I might have life this very minute. Enslaved Africans endured being ripped from their homelands, families, communities, and environments only to be subjected to being beaten and chained and raped (both men and women, adults and children) denied medical attention, and were separated from those that spoke the same language.  They were fed slop not fit for animals, not to mention that it was completely different than their normal diet.  Restricted movement under heavy chains and physical abuse was common to break the will of the strong Africans. They lived with the smell of piss, shit, blood, vomit, filth, and probably the most paralyzing, the smell of fear. 

Once on these shores, slaves labored tirelessly.  They were treated like animals, beaten, abused, humiliated and subjected to the most horrific way of living, as that of a beast.  Castrated, hanged, attacked by dogs and villainous white people, they survived.  Denied the right to read or write, to worship their own religion they survived. They survived.  Burned, disfigured and maimed, they survived. Babies ripped from mothers loving arms, families separated at the whim of the massa, given provisions enough to barely live, they survived.  THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU to those that continued to endure such pain and suffering that I might live today. 

White people expect us to behave like niggers, so calling ourselves that, ESPECIALLY in front of them, does nothing but reinforce to them that we are inferior.  To carry yourself like royalty, to walk with dignity, to boldly declare that you are not only equal to but better than white people with your speech, your actions, and your intellect is FAR more threatening to white people than calling yourself a nigga.  Want proof?  Write a blog calling yourself a nigga and talking about cars, drugs, guns, rap, sex, sports, and how much you love living in the ghetto.  You won’t get a response from white people.  Well that’s not entirely true.  You might get a response or two asking you to fulfill their sexual fantasies.  Then, write a blog, grammatically correct and spell checked, that talks about the greatness of black people, our strength, and our ability to excel despite racism, oppression, and bigotry.  Write about how our true history of greatness has been distorted with white lies and deception.  Discuss, academically articulated with footnoted and documented proof, advanced African civilizations and how white people re-wrote history to make themselves appear superior.  White people will crawl out of the woodworks to tell you that Black people are ignorant and that you are nothing but a nigger. 

You have to ask yourself, what benefit do you get from calling yourself a nigga?  If calling yourself that makes you feel connected to other black people, consider yourself a slave on the plantation.  If you do nothing else this year, decide to stop using the N word to describe yourself, to describe other black people you want to look down on, or as some sort of synonym supposedly meaning Black person.  It’s negative, unenlightened, and stupid. 

hairhattedghouligan asked:

you basing intelligence on "standard" English is the problem. no matter how proud to be black you are, you're still equating intelligence with a really racist, classist colonial standard of speaking and that's what people are trying to get at. do black people need to know standard English to navigate the world? yes bc whiteness is the standard but to say that black folks are uneducated bc they don't know standard English is classist and inherently ties to those racist colonialist standards

To me, acting like you are white would be to be ignorant of other people’s history and culture.  Acting white would be diminishing other people’s pain, using your skin color for unearned privileges, trying to oppress people in order to make yourself feel superior.  Being barely literate and uneducated doesn’t make you more Black, it doesn’t make your Black experience more authentic.  The more we as a people ascribe to the notion that acting white is to be informed, intelligent, and articulate, the more we assert that being “real” or being Black is to shun education, the more we are playing into the hands of EXACTLY what white people expect us and want us to be … dumb.  Educating oneself in an institution of higher learning does in fact make you smarter than stopping your education at the 12th grade.  How much smarter is up to the individual but to assert anything different is absurd.  Mastering the English language doesn’t mean you can’t fight for the revolution, it simply means you can address multitudes of people in a way that everyone can understand. 

To act Black is to behave in a manner where we excel despite the circumstances.  Acting Black is to make a way out of no way.  White people can excel in life because they have inheritances, nepotism, institutionalized racism that allows them to get a foot in the door for no other reason, with no qualification other than their skin color.  Acting Black is excelling despite the fact that we have to work twice as hard to get half as far.  Acting Black is carrying yourself with dignity and grace when white people try to belittle or demean you by making racist comments and then excusing it by saying, “I’m just joking.”  Our Blackness is our strength, our ability to survive, adapt, and shine.  Shine on Black man and Black woman, shine on. 

I got your anti-blackness right chere.

nikki-michelle84:

afroerotik:

The Original Man

The power of a people reside in how they tell their stories. For descendents of slaves, African Americans, we don’t have many written records of the powerful stories our ancestors. The voices of those whose blood courses through our veins were effectively silenced by the system…

I get what you’re saying, I do as I try to get my brothers to speak properly all the time. But this wasn’t our original language. We took it and made it our own. A lot of our young conscious youth don’t want to be told to assimilate. We’re tired of being told we have to look, think, dress, act,  and speak a certain way to be respected as human beings. I’m not trying to be rude or disrespectful at all. Just offering a different view on things. 

I have never said to assimilate.  EVERYTHING I write about is about not assimilating.  I fail to understand how using standard English is assimilating.  Language, whatever language we speak, is a tool.  I use it to communicate my outrage.  If people can’t use the language we were given, we didn’t take anything and make it our own we had no choice in the matter, we aren’t using the proper tools to speak out.  So I appreciate your different view but I still respectfully see it as flawed logic.

punyhoomans asked:

I was reading your 'I "be like" confused' post and I was wondering if you'd ever read David Foster Wallace's Consider The Lobster? It includes an essay called "Authority and American Usage" that relates (in part) to what Wallace refers to as "Standard Black English."

I was reading your question and I wondered if you were at all concerned about the Black people who can’t compose a sentence the way you can.  Does that mean that I’m anti-Black that I’m concerned that an ever-growing percentage of our population not only can’t communicate effectively but that an ever-growing percentage of our population doesn’t see that as a problem but that associates in-articulation with Blackness. 

The answer to your question is no, I have not read that particular body of work.  I can only imagine that it mirrors the other linguistic texts I’ve read that have said, in that Black English evolved out of our lack of access to education and African speech patterns.  That’s all well and good and I’m fine with the origins of our language but AGAIN, I am still completely confused as to the objection to using standard English to articulate our plight, our struggles, our rage against the racist machine. 

metaphysical-technicality asked:

I get what you're saying; there is a system in place that largely keeps black people from achieving the same kind of education as white people. But your phrasing and how you come across in your original post make it seem as though you look down on black people for using AAVE and do not respect the evolution of this way of talking. It's like you're conflating critique of an institutionally racist system w/ critiquing something intrinsic to black Americans. That's what folks are reacting to.

You don’t get what I’m saying if that’s what you are interpreting. This is not about me being anti-black, it’s about people defending anything and everything that is identified as Black culture whether it’s detrimental or not.  Being under and mis educate is not intrinsic to Black people.  Being strong, being resilient, excelling despite the odds is intrinsic to Black folk.  Not reading, not getting an education is intrinsic of the racist system I’m fighting.  Looking down on education is intrinsic to the mentally enslaved.  Denigrating people for speaking well and claiming that means they are anti black, that’s just baffoonery. 

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