Black Women Are Not Your Plaything

Black Women Are Not Your Plaything

There's nothing trendy about suppressing black women.
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I've spent a majority of this summer frustrated, annoyed and even furious. It's not because of personal issues or anything, but more so because of the diminishing of black lives and the reduction of our existence to bull's eyes for target practice or racially inflamed entertainment. As a black man myself, one critical aspect of that frustration stems from a particularly jarring case in which black women have had their bodies reduced to nothing more than sexual playthings and items that can be hijacked by white people, often like a customizable toy.

There's been a strange trend about "white girls evolving" where there are pictures and videos of white women with large butts (often twerking, horribly). There's even an entire Facebook page about it. Now this may seem like harmless fun, but if you really understand the implications behind this messy rhetoric, you'll see that there is nothing harmless about it, and it's actually extremely demeaning to black women. Black women have been made to believe that their curvaceous figure is unattractive and twerking is disgusting behavior, but once the same is done by a white woman, it's automatically seen as attractive. So I pose this question.

Why is it that black features are seen as the standard, but black people are left to suffer?

I am still trying to discover an answer to that question, but for the time being, I just want to address the severity of this phenomena. Black women spend a majority of their lives believing that their hair is "dirty," "nappy," or "unkempt" and that they'll never prosper if they keep these features. I've seen black women forced into drastically changing their appearances just to because their own skin was deemed unworthy by society. Excessive behavior that often leads to damaged hair bleached skin and different colored eye contacts. It's something beyond a simple aesthetic choice and an entire shift in identity because they are pressured into adhering to a Eurocentric look. And then the paradox comes when white women do things like this:

I see you, too, sis.

This problem is that white women are never criticized for their hair or their curves, and are even lauded for adopting "urban" styles (which is a thinly veiled buzzword for "black"). Allure Magazine even went so far as to write a piece about Afros, without any mention of Black women at all. This is hijacking and erasure at its finest.

Some people, especially fashion designers, think it's incredibly chic for them to use pieces of black females and paste them on white women to seem progressive. But time and time again, we've told you that it's not cool, edgy, chic or flattering. It's downright disrespectful. Box braids can be traced back to ancient African civilizations. Afro surged in popularity in the 1960s as an answer to white supremacy (see?) and in contemporary times, Bantu knots, cornrows, and twist-outs are an affirmation of the immense pride that black women have in themselves. The fact that a white woman wouldn't know any of these things but still would don these styles is headache inducing.

Appropriation of the bodies of black women has existed longer than we think. Crinoline dresses of the 19th century were made to emulate the figure of black female slaves who were more voluptuous and caught the eye of their slave masters.

"But what about if a black girl straightens her hair or dyes it blonde? That's white appropriation!"

Hey, Becky-Ann. If you referred to our girl, Ms. Google Dot Com, you would realize that there is a clear distinction between appropriation and assimilation. Pressured by nonsensical standards set by a Eurocentric society, black women are forced to model their appearance after y'all in order to be accepted and progress somehow. There is no history or tradition behind blonde, straightened hair. This is assimilation. There's been more than enough articles in the past few years detailing this, yet it still doesn't seem to get to y'all.

Amandla Stenberg, the actress who played Rue in "The Hunger Games," outlined the thoughts of Black people perfectly in her video, "Don't Cash Crop On My Cornrows." Watch this video several times in a day, and then a few more dozen times before 2015 ends so you don't make any mistakes about black culture in the coming year.

On the flip side, black women are made to be hyper-sexualized simply because they are black.

I once had a (white) friend, who made this strange oath that he would no longer date white girls and only date black girls. I was (and still am) perplexed to this day about this attraction to black women. Our conversations often went like this:

Him: I only date Black girls. White girls aren't doing it for me.

Me: Why are you only attracted to Black girls?

Him: They have the nicest skin, the nicest waist, and the nicest butt. You can't get that anywhere else.

Cue my disturbed side eye.

Magazines and the fashion industry often glorifies black women simply because of the color of their skin. Yes, Black is beautiful and Black girls rock, but the simple fact that my friend is attracted to them because of that singular attribute is outright wrong. This is indicative of a larger issue that has existed for decades and has only become worse over time – that black women merely exist to be considered sexual playthings for society, for their "sass" and "ass" to be a turn on, and for their struggle and suffering to be ignored.

We as a society need to get over this mentality. It places a perception on black women as sexual deviants who are only appreciated because of their "exotic" features. While you may believe you're being "open" about other races, you're simply viewing attraction with tunnel vision and demeaning and inherently racist ideology.

Black girls rock, not just because of their looks.

They rock because of their determination in being recognized for who and what they are.

They rock because of their pride in both their natural hair and their weave.

They rock because they have the ability to drastically shift our culture.

You can either get with the memo or get lost.

Cover Image Credit: BLACK IS BEAUTIFUL: A COMMENTARY ON BLACK FETISHIZATION

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37 Things Growing Up in the South Taught You

Where the tea is sweet, but the people are sweeter.
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views

1. The art of small talking.
2. The importance of calling your momma.
3. The beauty of sweet tea.
4. How to use the term “ma'am” or “sir” (that is, use it as much as possible).
5. Real flowers are way better than fake flowers.
6. Sometimes you only have two seasons instead of four.
7. Fried chicken is the best kind of chicken.
8. When it comes to food, always go for seconds.
9. It is better to overdress for Church than underdress.
10. Word travels fast.
11. Lake days are better than beach days.
12. Handwritten letters never go out of style.
13. If a man doesn’t open the door for you on the first date, dump him.
14. If a man won’t meet your family after four dates, dump him.
15. If your family doesn’t like your boyfriend, dump him.
16. Your occupation doesn’t matter as long as you're happy.
17. But you should always make sure you can support your family.
18. Rocking chairs are by far the best kind of chairs.
19. Cracker Barrel is more than a restaurant, it's a lifestyle.
20. Just 'cause you are from Florida and it is in the south does not make you Southern.
21. High School football is a big deal.
22. If you have a hair dresser for more than three years, never change. Trust her and only her.
23. The kids in your Sunday school class in third grade are also in your graduating class.
24. Makeup doesn’t work in the summer.
25. Laying out is a hobby.
26. Moms get more into high school drama than high schoolers.
27. Sororities are a family affair.
28. You never know how many adults you know 'til its time to get recommendation letters for rush.
29. SEC is the best, no question.
30. You can't go wrong buying a girl Kendra Scotts.
31. People will refer to you by your last name.
32. Biscuits and gravy are bae.
33. Sadie Robertson is a role model.
34. If it is game day you should be dressed nice.
35. If you pass by a child's lemonade stand you better buy lemonade from her. You're supporting capitalism.
36. You are never too old to go home for just a weekend… or just a meal.
37. You can’t imagine living anywhere but the South.



































Cover Image Credit: Grace Valentine

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8 things that can easily offend a black girl

This also applies to many minorities.

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I surveyed different black girls from various backgrounds and here are their responses!

1. "Is that your hair?"

Please NEVER ask a black girl this unless you wear hair extensions or you happen to be GOOD friends. If you dare to be so bold, you may be cursed out or slapped! Fair warning!

2. "Can I touch you hair?"

Just how dumb it looks!

Solange and Beyonce have said it ENOUGH! I think it's safe to say that hair is OFF LIMITS, unless you're a lady of color or wear extensions. FYI women of color are NOT your personal petting zoo! So do NOT ask to touch our hair. It's very degrading and this could also lead to being SLAPPED!

3. "What are you mixed with?"

For those of you who don't know, women of color come in MANY different shades. Just because a girl has a lighter complexion doesn't mean that she isn't fully black. This also means that just because a black girl has fine textured hair, light colored eyes, or common euro-centric features doesn't mean she is not fully black!

4. "You're pretty for a black girl."

Did this bitch just say that?

If this sentence, or any variation of this sentence has ever left your lips, please PUNCH yourself! Although, the intention is meant to be a compliment, it is also a way to say that most black girls aren't beautiful! Such a statement would reiterate a stereotype that it is uncommon for black women to be beautiful.

5. "You are very articulate." ( Often said with such SHOCK)

DUHHHHHH

​YES, black girls do attend school. It is actually required by law, and although our culture partakes in ebonics and slang, we are also very well aware of how to speak proper english. This is also a great time to point out that proper english does NOT BELONG TO WHITE PEOPLE. Minorities can speak english too!

6. "I have a black friend."

For some odd reason, people tend to blurt this particular statement out when surrounded by women of color. I would like to first say just because this comment is said or is true, doesn't mean you're not prejudice. I believe such statements are meant to make us feel more comfortable, but they actually do the opposite. In fact, this statement would only be said by someone who is actually trying to hide their prejudicial feelings behind their ONE black friend!

7. "Oh, well, you're different."

This statement often comes up after a racist comment was made. "Oh, well, you're different," only implies that other black people are not, and stereotypes are facts.

8. Singing/rapping N**** in a song is still WRONG

If you are NOT a person of color do NOT sing, rap, hmm, text, or even write this word. THANK YOU.

Cover Image Credit:

Oprah Winfrey Instagram

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