Reading Racism: The Black Experience as Discourse

Despite the influx to which the word racism surfaces in colloquial conversations, the depth of the racism remains a mystery to many. Racism is ever-present in overt yet failed attempts to veil a systemized mind set. Below I will highlight  racist moments from my week, with a description of the scenario and why this is racist. Feel free to share your own experiences in the comments.

  • Exhibit A: White man assumes authority over the black narrative in doing the following:  a.  refusing to yield the floor to black Women eager to give their own account of their own collective experience and b. speaking for Ralph Ellison, namely alerting Mr. Ellison’s  perspective as if he is the late Ralph Ellison himself.

This is an issue because as a white man, this individual is not Mr. Ellison nor the Invisible Man referenced in a novel of the same title. Therefore, he has no authority or competence to fully understand the text–a sentiment made obvious in the invisibility resulting from the white male dominating the black narrative.

  • Exhibit B: A non-black person of color features examples of black self hatred to substantiate his point.

This is a problem because again, as a non- black, this person, although a minority, reserves a position of privilege over members of the black collective. This privilege surfaces in the symbolic profit issued in examining the issues of another collective, rather than his or her own. This functions to ensure that both whites and non blacks persons of color maintain ideas of superiority over the black race.

Ironically, the footage shared was the doll test where black kids were asked to choose between white and black dolls. In sharing this footage as a non black person of color, this individual, although not a black child, is also selecting a white doll.

  • Exhibit C: “It’s okay.”

Every black person has heard this remark in response to a racist remark or racist behavior. I heard this response while overseas and a white child walked up to me and stared, when a white person shouted the n-word multiple times in my Master’s Thesis course, and most recently upon skeptically approaching a book translated by a white man. This functions in the same way as whites telling blacks who and what constitutes intelligence, success, beauty, education, etc.

This is a problem because it is only “okay” if a conscious person deems it so. It is the place of no white person or non black person of color to tell a black person what is or is not acceptable. This is oppressive, insulting, and inappropriate–and should not be pardoned by any black person.

  • Exhibit D: Redirecting the black conversation

This actually happened twice this week.

A. In speaking of Sojourner Truth, but unable to do so without intertwining the white woman who documented  her speech.

B. Redirecting discourse on black diasporic studies to talk about religious oppression of non-black groups

This is a problem becausewhites and non-black persons, namely many Muslims, the white LGBT community, and white women, implicitly and explicitly oppress black people, but remain adamant about claiming victim status. All groups commonly have an inability to eschew comparing struggles, and belittling the black struggle while doing so.

In Closing…

Tis very hard to navigate the world as a black person. But it’s perhaps more burdensome to view racism without the veil of ignorance.

Black Power ❤

What racism have you experiences this week?

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How Whites and Non-Blacks Talk About Race 

This post will implement the unisex name “Leslie” to avoid overuse, and the subtle passive-aggressive tone of the  pronoun “they.”  Leslie, will symbolically represent white and non-black collectives respectively.

Author’s Note: Leslie also encompasses the ideology of melanated individuals who are only black on the outside. Because these individuals, while dangerous, do not enjoy the systemic advantage of other factions, they are not the central subjects in the post.

  1. Leslie redirects the conversation in an “all lives matter” fashion, meaning he or she highlight the “struggles” of other factions.  Example: ” Blacks are not the only ones struggling. Consider the native Americans, migrant whites, women (insert any other subculture demographic).”
  2.  Leslie refers to blacks as “racist” or “bitter”
  3. Leslie references the fictive “black on black crime” as a justification for crimes against black people
  4.  A casualty of privilege, Leslie fails to see race’s role in every component of a person’s life.
  5.  Leslie inserts individual examples to counter a collective injustice. Well my (insert relative) came here from (insert non-African country) and they (insert material “evidence” of conventional success)
  6.  Leslie condemns Micah Johnson and Gavin Long, but make excuses for white terrorists
  7.  There will almost always be a reference made to a Toni Morrison novel, Tyler Perry film, or the latest movie by or starring black people as a primary source. This is not to say either source cannot be discourse for discussion, but that this individual references these in ignorance of Dr. Ben, Dr. Neely Fuller, Dr. Davis,  e.t.c.
  8.  There will be an attempt to alter the context of a racial dialogue because they said so.  Example:  “Don’t call them Africans, call them African-Americans.”  This act will be racist in both execution and content and only helpful in exposing whites and non-blacks as inherently racist.
  9. Leslie may seem to accidentally misinterpret commentary from blacks, but in actuality purposefully misconstrues your words to assert  a personal agenda
  10.  Instead of asking about the many blacks unjustly murdered by police, Leslie will redirect the attention to soldiers of white supremacy killed in the line of incivility–a risk made clear prior to their inclusion in the field
  11.  Many will not talk at all, and will objectify blacks like gorillas in a cage and watch them discuss race. The contents of discussion will eventually be passed off as “new” ideas by these spectators in a form of racist plagiarism

Black Power ❤

Things Blacks “not like other blacks” Say or Do

VSB (Very Smart Brothas) Writer and Editor Damon Young posted a hilariously brilliant article last month entitled “10 Signs You’ve Just Met a Black Person Who’s About to Tell You ‘I’m Not Other Black People.’” Check out the original article here.

This list, captivating yet colloquial, reminded me of so many people I’ve met in the past who exhibited similar behavior.

Here are my additions to this list. In place of the pronoun “they” this list will implement the unisex name Jamie to reference these fictive black anomalies.

Things Blacks who are “not like other blacks” say or do

  1.  “I don’t like soul food”
  2. “Who?” ( pretends to not know a popular figure that happens to be black i.e. Beyonce, Biggie Smalls, Tupac, Aaliyah)
  3. “No fried chicken for me. I’m vegan/ vegetarian.”  There is nothing wrong with being a  vegetarian or vegan, but this person is neither. They just say so because of course no black person is a vegetarian. 
  4. “People ask me if my hair is fake all the time” because black people, notably black women, are apparently bald. 
  5. “I’ve been told I’m not black for not playing spades.” All Black People Play Spades? Who knew?
  6. “People never believe I’m black on the phone” Right, because sounding “white” when you’re not is always a compliment.
  7. “When people read my name, they assume I am caucasian.” This is not complimentary, but a souvenir of colonialism. 
  8. This person often takes up an interest in alternative music, i.e. Taylor Swift or anyone who isn’t black, and mention it even when the opportunity does not present itself. Jamie often mentions “not getting” or “not able to relate” to R&B, soul, or rap music unless  Eminem or Macklemore. 
  9. Jamie imitates white people in the most bizarre and self-deprecating ways–namely, adopting white stereotypes. For example, Jamie may drink a PSL (Pumpkin Spice Latte)  in autumn, with the barista’s writing in plain view so that everyone will see.
  10. Jamie not a part of the black race, but the “human” race.
  11. Jamie consistently references not being “black enough” for black people. 
  12. Jamie implies that he or she is not like other blacks by mentioning how “surprised” everyone is when they talk to them. 
  13. Jamie mentions that when non-blacks discuss blacks they always exclude them. For example:  a.  David dismissed Tom’s ideas, but loved mine–John even complimented my outfit! Or they’ll respond favorable to a comment like: “Black people are so angry. Not you Susie, but other blacks are so mean.” 
  14. Jamie will typically not watch any film or movie with blacks in it, or read books authored by black people–not out of principle, but to illustrate their distance from blackness. If inescapable, Jamie will watch/read, but will pretend to be appalled and baffled by the black experience.
  15. Jamie references their appeal to whites and non-blacks as reflective of “how they carry themselves.” Because only superior blacks warrant the company of whites and other factions right? 

Wrong. Oh, so very wrong.

Can you come up with any others?

Disrespectful Moments from Insecure episode “Hella Disrespectful”

  • Molly’s Wig (s): Yvonne Orji is a beautiful woman. Yet her gorgeous African figures succumb to the unstated tragedy of unfla24-molly-2.w710.h473.2xttering wigs. This proves that inauthentic hair, be it a wig, weave, or unnatural hair color, is simply an injustice and insult to black beauty. FYI, I feel the same way about Issa’s dyed tresses, as it suggests that natural hair is more approachable or attractive if an unnatural color.
  • The Hyper-sexual Black Female:  Black women on prime time television function as an SOS that states WARNING  MARRIED WOMEN!! Black women will steal your man and have sex with him in bathrooms or AV closets (Scandal) when you are just steps away. aparna-1920
  • Lawrence and his non-black arm candy to an otherwise all black event: The series depicts the black man as driven away from the black woman due to her hyper-sexuality—a depiction that paints the black female body as a catalyst for black male emasculation. This of course veils the acts of a villainous white male patriarchal system as the misdeeds of black women.
  • The cantankerous,  heavy-set black woman: Kelli, the full-figured friend performs a familiar caricature. She’s the comedic relief, she’s comfortable in casual relationships to which many interpret as “winning.” However, an alternative kelli-1920interpretation may deem Kelli’s actions an acquiescence to an inferior position in the social hierarchy. Is Kelli funny? Yes! Is she beautiful? Yes. But her beauty is betrayed by way of humor, doing little to advance or challenge the way we as black people view big black women.
  • Light=Right: It is not accidental that Tiffany, the black female character with fair skin and a blonde weave appears the most conventional in the series. Tiffany, the Beyonce of the series, is married, whereas her tiffany-1920darker counterparts have issues keeping men and avoiding self-sabotage. She’s also sexually liberated. In the previous episode, Tiffany gloated about her willingness to perform fellatio, referencing her performance as instrumental in landing her a ring—illustrating the fairer skin woman as incurring opportunity where the darker skin woman incurs objectification.
  • Colorism Part 2: It is also worth mentioning that Dro, Molly’s fair-skinned, childhood friend  also bears a disturbing function on the series. Dro is married to a chocolate woman who he said proposed the idea of an open marriage. Molly finds herself within their arrangement, creating a love triangle where a lighter skin male sexually  Dro-S2-E7engages with two women of a darker hue in a manner that resembles their plantation use. Although he seems gentle and sweet to both his wife Candace and Molly, Dro devalues black women in a manner nurtured and encouraged by the white supremacy that dominates the globe. 
  • A convo isn’t a convo without the n-word: The n word is used freely and frequently—present in nearly every conversation and argument featured on the series. This implies that use of the n-word is a colloquialism or accepted norm between blacks. Are there some blacks who use the term frequently without explication or much thought? Yes. Is this everyone. No. 

    issa-rae-inscure-omondi-sweatshirt
    If you look closely you can see Issa is wearing a “n*ggas” sweatshirt–deeming this racial slur a fashion choice of “urban” youth.

            It seems in the series’ desire to be edgy and “urban” foments a caricatured   performance of blacks by blacks—an image that validates not challenges white perception.

  •  The White Savior Figure

A predominately black series is unapproachable to a white audience without a white savior figure. Insecure implements this figure through Issa’s coworker, whose name will be purposely omitted from this piece to eschew affording this character any more glory. When the black principal restricts resources to only black children, the white woman deems his actions racist and holds Issa— a black woman accountable in ensuring inclusivity. gallery-1481654683-insecure-2

Sure, this act seems noble—but in reality this white woman is the epitome of a contemporary feminist–implementing anti-racist initiatives by ignoring or oversimplyfing their own racism in naming the oppressed racists  in a distorted perception of global racism. As a result, she acknowledges that her approaching a black man on a racial issue as a white woman counters her attempt at appearing antiracist, so she appoints a black woman to do her dirty work. Because it is of course, this is not racist (side eye).

It would have been a step forward in black portrayal to see Issa have an enlightened Review: ‘Insecure’ remains funny and topical in Season 2exchange with  the vice-principal, but instead she does not understand or contemplate his behavior. Issa’s white coworker of course does not understand the Vice Principal’s behavior, but she does seem to contemplate said behavior due to her internalized need to emerge as a psuedo “savior.” The white female behavior illustrated in this episode depicts a commonly ignored reality with regards to the white gaze. Namely, that much of black behavior functions as an informal anthropological experiment to white people.

But, Issa is a good slave, I mean worker, and she confronts the black male principal demanding that he include those who in their adulthood will probably view themselves as above blacks, and assume opportunities blacks fought hundreds of years to obtain.

Closing Thoughts

If it sounds like I am disappointed in the series, I am. But at the same time, I tune in to the sole series that addresses my age bracket to support a melanated woman in her creative endeavor. I also watch in hopes for improvement. Yet instead, by the end of each episode I feel as the title of this latest episode reads: Hella Disrespected.

Black Power ❤ `

What I Love About Black Men

A shared history

We may not have physically been there to witness the erection of the pyramids or the sphinx, but we hold hands across time to a shared greatness. This connection yields  a paramount and pivotal shared experience that runs deeper than the shallowness of present attraction.

The Lipsnnamdi-asomugha

With lips full like the moon, and the African legacy, black men give you kisses that remain on your lips long after they’re gone

Their body

A beacon of beauty and strength, the natural physique of a black man is a ethereal masterpiece. From the shoulders, to the legs, to the jawline—the black man is perfect even in his imperfections.

97bf4da9e208d896b23b25443fc77e9cThe aura

The energy of a black man is one of a kind. Sometimes this energy is curious, sometimes seductive, other times intellectually curious.

The Potential
He could be good with his hands, a philosopher, or a teacher. The black man’s potential is as endless as his legacy.

 

The confidence  160604012743-03-muhammad-ali-0604-full-169

This is an attribute not encompassed by all, but black men who truly possess confidence are perhaps the most beautiful sight to see. Confidence is not loud, but a pleasant subtly known to all they encounter but solely referenced in the world “greatness.”

The conviction

A black man who understands and appreciates his blackness bears a conviction stronger than any mortal creation. This conviction converts non-believers and challenges the weak to be just a little stronger. 

The genetics

From the strong noses and hair, to bodies built to weather adversity–the black man bears extraordinary genetics that breeds outer beauty and inner resilience.  t_coates_credit_gabriella_demzuk

The talent

Although talent is certainly present in ancestors like W.E.B. Dubois who received extensive training, talent is also present in 1970s leader George Jackson and contemporary writer Ta-nehisi Coates who lacked formal training and reflect the talent of self-education. 

screen-shot-2016-01-14-at-9-15-37-pm-616x4401The voice
Whether it’s raspy, deep, or mellow—the black man’s voice is strong and distinctive.

The strength
The black man is physically capable of mastering any task, but his strength lies in his ability to dodge the destruction implemented by our oppressors.

The envy
Black men are the portrait of masculinity unsuccessfully imitated by countless other factions.

The focus
Examples like Nat Turner, Dr. King, Malcom X, Medgar Evers, and Fred Hampton prove that the black man can do literally do anything. His abilities make it so that no task is out of reach, and nothing is impossible. hamptonfred

The walk
It may be a stride with large steps or a swagger with a slight bop. Or it may be a business like saunter or slow, small steps. Either way, the way black men move is magical.

The Charm

There are some black men that are overt charmers blessed with the gift of gab or a forthcoming energy. I would say for the most part however, that the charm possessed by most black men is unspoken. It could be in the smile, or his gentle way of speech. Or maybe in how he treats others. But nevertheless the charm is ever-present and more gjintoxicating than any cologne.

 

Black man. You complete me..

 

Carry on Brothers.

Black Power ❤

Image Source: Google

What do you love/appreciate about black men? 

Things I like <3

Sammie’s “I’m Him” video: I like that the video features a black woman sans weave to showcase the natural beauty of the black woman. ❤

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Assata Shakur’s Autobiography: It reads like a novel.assatanew1

Malcolm X: “The Ballot or The Bullet” Speech

Dr. King’s A Stride Toward Freedom

Black Power by Kwame Ture

Mented Cosmetics Lipstick esp “Dope Taupe” and “Nude la la”

Eyes on the Prize Documentaries

Langston Hughes and Maya Angelou Poems

Ivy Park leggings

James Baldwin Notes of a Native Son essays

Shea Moisture Coconut Hibiscus Curling Enhancing Smoothie

8dab87_bfe5e1d55787476f82998f81f9baaf10_1024x1024
“Empowering” by Gold Label Cosmetics

“Empowering” Matte Lip Pen by Gold Label Cosmetics

Camille Rose Naturals Algae Renewal and Coconut Water Deep Conditioner

Public School’s women’s line

Bevel’s shaving cream

The sound of African drums

                  Beastmode Women’s clothing (namely the leggings and bomber jacket)0330-marshawn-lynch-beast-mode-ware-beastmode-4
Cornbread and Cabbage

August Wilson’s writing esp Seven Guitars

To the casual gaze, I am sure that these victories are small. But small victories have a huge impact on our collective esteem.

Black Power ❤

What are three things within our collective that you like?

Ten Year Predictions

Dr. King will continue to get lighter and lighter. In fifty to a hundred years, he will eventually be referenced and portrayed as a white man.
index

Whitney Houston’s legacy will be sullied to solely reflect her alleged drug use.

Beyonce will be like Houston was in her later years. 

The popularity of pseudo blackness would have dissolved well into the stratosphere.

The bi-racial collective will be fighting for “rights,” “representation,” acknowledgement of biracial heroes and the option to not “choose” an identity. 

Malcolm X celebrations in now completely gentrified areas will be reduced, eliminated or intercepted by whites “disrupted” and “alarmed” by large congregations of black people. 

Migrants would have appropriated themselves as the new “oppressed” group using terms like “American privilege” and casting themselves as those truly  disenfranchised by the American government. 

Slavery will be regarded as a fantastical event that many are “not sure ever really happened.” The term will become intertwined solely with migrants and their American plights. 

Kemet will be depicted as detached from Africa on globes and textbooks.
dish-012915-porsha-williams

Non-migrant blacks without white parents, will become circumscribed to reality television—ostracized from starring roles in scripted dramas that go solely to biracial blacks—most who have a white mother.

Former President Obama will be remembered as a Mandela-like figure

Dick Gregory, Mari Evans, J. California Cooper, and Derek Walcott will only be known to a small few.   

la-me-j-california-cooper-20140928
The late author and playwright J. California Cooper

Kim Kardashian would have divorced Kanye and taken a good chunk of his money.5842644da1587_apart3

Migrant blacks will outnumber non-migrant blacks in the states and there will be more non-blacks in Africa and the West Indies than black people.

The black collective will remain subject to racial terrorism, but these actions will take place stealthily with no coverage by the mainstream media, who depicts racial issues as “dissolved” with Trump’s exit and former President Obama’s so-called “race-baiting.” . 

The current “leader”  of the free world will be far more dangerous in his or her neutrality–a truth veiled by the white supremacist media.  

There will be an increase of prisons in black neighborhoods. 

BET will become “Entertainment Television,” and like OWN will become a platform for whites to author series about the black experience. 

In about a decade, the once historically black colleges or universities will be at least sixty percent white.

Less blacks will be in college, and even fewer will pursue advanced degrees.

The weave industry will continue to flourish, with new inventions to escape black hair. 

Computers will replaced many trade jobs like train operator, bank teller, etc…

We will experience another “natural disaster” that will conveniently uproot another predominately black area. 

The few roles allotted to melanated people will be reserved for migrant blacks and not extended to those who mirror the particular experience.  This trend  can be seen in HBO series Insecure and the recent film Selma. 

Many of the black male celebrities currently married to black women will divorce them and marry a white or non-black woman, as seen with Sidney Poitier, O.J. Simpson, Michael Jordan, and Eddie Murphy.  

hero_Selma-2014-1

Many currently successful black- owned businesses, will fold or will be transferred to white ownership.

The black church will continue to flourish, and there will be an increase in Joel Osteen-like pastors. 

The current organ harvesting will yield a means to extend the lives of wealthy whites, and enhance their physical attributes.

 

What are some of your predictions for the world 10-15 years from now?

Twenty-One People You’ll Meet on Your Stride Towards Consciousness

The road to consciousness is a long journey composed of many situations and people. These people and situations afford the conscious body an opportunity to evaluate their own behavior and actions—ultimately providing a chance for the individual to choose a collective ideology they'd like to adopt as their own, and those which they'd like to discard.

  1. The  "exceptional" biracial This person is not conventionally exceptional, but believes that their multi-cultural heritage gives them an upper hand. This person often seems cool, until they're called "black," "dark" or any term that aligns them with what they see as the detriment of blackness. This person often implies that others are jealous of them and puts blacks down for any traits the black individual shares with the racially ambiguous—as the interchangeability between themselves and non-biracial blacks proves damaging to their pseudo superiority. 

2. The physically black individual determined to “un-blacken” himself This person bears all the attributes of an unsullied bloodline. From the rich complexion to the full lips to the beautiful coiled hair, this individual is a portrait of the motherland–much to their dissatisfaction. Due to an inability to change their aesthetics, this person will try to mimic whites in speech, dress and customs. They will often solicit white or non black mates to appease their low self worth and esteem. 

3. The black friend who swears she's mixed Like the individual mentioned above, this person bears attributes that imply an unsullied bloodline. Understanding the impossibility to reverse their genetics, this person constructs a fictive bloodline that grants esteem in its proximity away from blackness. 

4. The multi-cultural person who plays both sides This person has "mixed" ancestry and employs every component of their identity to reap benefits from multiple angles. This person bears no allegiance to any group, and instead seeks to not be too much of anything.

5. The Educated Fool This person consummated  their journey to an illusive whiteness, be it in buying a home, obtaining an education, or any other material item attributed to conventional success. This person represents a demographic who believes because they "made it" any other black who does not "make it" is lazy or incompetent. Their conventionality distances them from the truth of black struggle, and they eventually (figeratively) stand beside their oppressors in castigating blacks for their systemic disposition. 

6. The envious non-black womanThis person most likely sought out the friendship or acquaintance to magnify superior feelings towards black people, but became immersed in an unanticipated inferiority that accompanies juxtaposition to black brilliance. 

7. The male friend that does not date black women This person may have liked a black woman at one point, but used this experience to fuel a dating life that eliminates black women as an option. This friend now restricts himself to the less intimidating and often less aesthetically pleasing non-black significant other— as a symbol of their upward mobility.

8. The fair-skinned woman who carries her skin color around like a designer clutch This person feels that the only thing going for them is their skin color, despite diligently working to prove otherwise. She'll drop her skin color in the most inappropriate ways, so that you remember she's light skin, because to this fair lady–light is right. 

9. The black friend unhappy with her blackness that tries to makes you feel badly about your own.This friend may not like their hair or her body, so they'll thrown digs at you in attempt to make you feel as bad as they do every day. 

10. The non-black man who is attracted to you but does not see color You'll see him looking at you from across the room. He'll make small talk, but if you say anything cultural he'll be immediately turned off at the reality of having to encompass the totality of your being. 

11. The non-black who is insulted by your brilliance This person might be a coworker, supervisor, or friend of a friend. This person thinks lowly of blacks. He or she views black people as base, and is completely thrown off course by any black person who challenges this thinking.  They will incessantly put you down to convince themselves that you are inferior, while they imitate your moves. 

12. The non-black who loves you for not being white This individual may be a teacher, coworker, colleague, or person encountered in everyday life, appreciative or fascinated by black culture. They see you as the epitome of blackness and often tokenize you in a genuine (but objectifying) effort to encapsulate your greatness. 

13. The black man or woman who takes you under his or her wind fearful for how you'll turn out without their guidance This person may not be the blackest person, but he or she appreciates your journey to an elevated consciousness and seeks to guide and protect you from the adversity that awaits. 

14. The confused black who things the white man's ice is colder This person is  scarily misguided, but often sees themselves as remarkable. They speak confidently in defending whites and ideas of white superiority, while vehemently supporting blacks who have either consummated white success or appear white in appearance. These are the same individuals who will say the fatal slaying of Bakari Henderson was an isolated incident, but the crimes in the black community reflect a hanus mindset. 

15. The pseudo activist who is using black consciousness as his or her claim to fame This person is an individual seeming to uplift the collective but in actuality merely seeks to appease their own insecure need to feel better than others.

16. The non-black person who thinks going to a black history assembly or calling enslaved Africans "African Americans" makes him or her a revolutionary These are the same individuals who mistake hurt feelings for oppression in a bizzare ignorance that distorts perception. 

17. The migrant black who thinks non-migrant blacks appropriate black culture  This person has no Pan- African understanding and therefore sees blacks (or displaced Africans) as "Americans" and not Africans. 

18. The confused black who aligns Obama with Dr. King or Malcolm X 
This person reflects a collective ideology that is in such desperate need for a leader that actual contribution or action is optional. Thus, they do not appreciate Dr. King or Malcolm X for their contributions, but for their image of strength. This makes it easy to compare President Obama to King and X, despite Obama allowing what King and X died trying to prevent.

19. The so-called black conscious person who lusts after non black men or woman 
I call it Cognitively dissonant coonery. 

20. The conscious black who shrinks in “mixed” company

This person is often extremely conscious in private. They quote powerful black thinkers, and oppose the status quo. In public however, they avoid saying anything that can be viewed contentiously.

21. The conscious soul who “gets” it
This person may be the strong silent type, or outspoken, but they live and breathe black. They see the unseen, and exist in the isolated state of cultural enlightenment. Their circle is small but dynamic. Their brain is in constant motion, their curiosity solely satiated by the thoughts and experiences of our ancestors and the enlightened few. This person is receptive to any invitation to be blacker, and will anticipate your gradual strive to a higher consciousness in the silent demand of their purposeful presence.

It may take years to find this person, and when you do you may never actually meet. But just knowing that they are out there makes the rough and unpaved road to consciousness well worth the while. 

Who have you met in your strive towards

consciousness? Tell me in the comments.

Black Power ❤

Going Natural: Things That Happen on The Journey to an Elevated Consciousness

When most speak of going natural they mean freeing African hair from chemicals. This. liberating journey can be long, draining, and discouraging. The results however are unimaginable. Yes, returning your hair to its natural state is a tedious and gradual process, but even more so is freeing your mind from the chemicals of white supremacy.

Here are are 41 things that happen on the journey to a higher consciousness.

  1. You begin to question your insanity. It becomes quite unclear whether you are unwell, or if others around you are sick.  

”The hot dark blood of that forefather—born king of men—is beating at my heart and I know I am ether a genius or a fool.” WEB Dubois.

dubois285
2. It becomes very hard to purchase anything that is not a necessity, from.a white or non-black establishment
3. Things like going to the movies, or going out to eat are not the same. Notably, they do not provide the intended purpose to escape to the conscious mind
4. Individualism becomes a thing of the past. You care less about being exceptional, beautiful, smart, successful as conceptualized by the western gaze, and more into achieving a collective greatness
5. You become more alienated from people and things of whom you were once inseparable 
6. Working with whites or non-blacks becomes extremely challenging, if not impossible
7. Living through purpose is not “an” option anymore, it’s the only option

 

9672258. You’re called racist a lot.
9. Being called racist makes you laugh in its ignorance and impossibility.
10. Finding love isn’t about romance, it’s about finding that person that proves a gateway to deepening a collective black love
11. You become less judgmental but more observant and strategic
12. Down time isn’t for television or idleness, but creation and collective uplifting
13. You become very critical of celebrated blacks, and create your own heroes, most of fannywhom are obscure to most
14. Material and money are not as desirable as time and purpose
15. You see the difference between true blackness and those with just black skin.
Annoyed woman, stop it16. You regard whites with an indifference that paralyzes their need for hyper-visibility and reassurance from blacks
17. You do not have to look in the mirror to see your African beauty
18. You feel a sense of pride in supporting your own and inspiring others to do the same maxresdefault
19. You gradually start to increase water consumption and cut downs on breads, cheese, sugars and all other foods unnatural to the African body
20. You view praise for the African entertainer or athlete as an insult to black potential
21. You find yourself spending more time alone—often deemed insufferable by whites and pretentious by blacks not yet on a journey to consciousness

22. Your thirst for black culture becomes insatiable. You find yourself buying books incessantly and devouring them like water, listening to old speeches and looking at old pictures77fa1514e62d3e8a3efd85e564fa0987
23. You notice others often “put on a show” of black pride in your presence

24. You find yourself disinterested in any western holidays 

25. You become indifferent to birthdays, vacations, and other tokens of western conception used to induce vanity and distraction 9acd2e3f597297dffc77c19ac8d0a114--black-women-quotes-black-women-art

26. You no longer apologize for possessing and articulating a  black state of mind, or feel the need to dilute your blackness in “mixed” company

27. You have one melanated friend who calls/texts just to get your perspective on “black” issues

28. You regard every “death,” “murder,” or incarceration of blacks with suspicion150717-sandra-bland-01_501031590f7638412a10ec28ab8ea9ef.nbcnews-fp-360-360

29. You know that proof is a means to ease questions, so you take it at face value. Proof isn’t proof in white america, it’s hush info 

30. Your biggest fear is not unemployment or even death, but being an Uncle Tom or Aunt Thomasina, or any weak representation of blackness

31. You don’t see whites who adopt black children, or take on black adults or children as projects as generous, but self-righteous white saviors 

tumblr_inline_mngo5dsXbQ1qmqjtx32. You become more empathetic to the burdens facing black people 

33. You are turned off by the “Divine 9” and see it as weakness if not one of the many forms of contemporary slavery

34. You find yourself laughing less, and thinking more

35. You know that gay rights, the muslim ban, and feminism are all means to deflect focus from blacks and racism 

36. You laugh internally at those who use the term “woke,” because often these are the most unconscious 1*jCmq9xNkwjcDVXjv6nolEw

37. You shirk most social media—seeing it for the mental poison it is 

38. You don’t align “natural” hair, dashikis, “hotep” language as signs of blackness. Looking black is fashionable to some, but a lifestyle to the truly conscious 

39. You find it hard to trust or respect those of African ancestry who look outside the race for love or acceptance

40. You prefer overt prejudice and racism, to the smiling racist as it is often far less confusing to the masses.

41. What most call Egypt, you call Kemet- “land of the blacks”

 

kemet

 

The journey to consciousness is not easy.  It can be lonely, and extremely difficult–but it’s worth it.

See you at the mountaintop!

Black Power ❤

Things I Would Tell My Eighteen-Year-Old Self 

At eighteen years old, I felt well-prepared for the life I thought awaited me. I loved high school and excelled at it. High school presented a platform to emerge from the insecurities conjured up by elementary school “friends,” in a fully bloomed flower. I then arrived at the university in a state where I knew no one, and after a series of revelations, I feel as if I no longer knew myself anymore either.

I suddenly did not have access to my childhood hair stylist and had to do my own hair. My friendly salutations that were once returned with a warm responses were now ignored or issued a look of disgust or confusion. My liking for high heels and shirt skirts were now a means of isolation and ridicule by those who deemed my fashion choices pretentious. My intellectual ability, once celebrated was now relentlessly critiqued. The world as I knew it had changed in a way I had not anticipated.

I’d spend a good portion of the next few years doing what seemed like tripping, but in actuality was me stepping into my destiny. Eleven years later, I only wish I knew then what I know now.

Here are a few things I’d tell my 18-year-old self. a2737e72d2d7589b14538bf3dd1e83ef--tumblr-drawings-of-girls-sketches-drawings-of-black-girls-art

  • Don’t worry about being liked: You can’t expect those who don’t like themselves to like you.
  • Don’t shrink to fit through any doorway
  • Don’t flat iron your hair every day! In an age where folk are buying what you have naturally, appreciate what you have.
  • Spend wisely but save wiser: Looking nice is good, but having something to show for your hard work is way nicer.
  • Don’t chase boys let them chase you: You are the prize!
  • Don’t do business with those you feel disrespect you. If it feels disrespectful, it is.
  • Braid your hair every summer. 
  • Get lost in your work.
  • Speak up!
  • It’s not mean to be real, its cruel to be fake.
  • There isn’t anything wrong with you because you are not interested in alcohol.
  • The coursework is supposed be challenging, embrace it, and don’t be discouraged. May the challenges ignite a fire in your bones.
  • Cool out on the cupcakes, and eat more fruit
  • Stop wasting your money eating out all the time. Call your grandma for recipes and cook!!!
  • It’s not conceited to alienate friends or potential who points out our flaws but will never comment on how amazing you are. Find those who see the best in you, even when you can’t.
  • Write.Write. Write. Whether things are going well or not, write to transcend earthly limitations.
  • Be kind to those you knew in high school, but expect them to change– you will as well. Change is good!
  • 987ce1e19c8345fb1e42058aa2c5f6bc--natural-hair-braids-natural-hair-artBe kind to you parents when you discover they’re real, flawed people.
  • Coloring your hair is not cool or fashionable, its detrimental to your hair health and esteem as a young black woman.
  • Those who “show off” are often the most insecure. Be patient. 
  • It’s often the ones closest to you, that are bringing you down. It’s not cold to distance yourself from toxic people–it’s survival.  
  • Still speak to people even if they look at you like you’re crazy.
  • Never feel guilty for standing up for yourself.
  • Just because someone likes you does not mean they do not envy you. 
  • Don’t succumb to the vanity others hold you to. Your beauty is just that, yours.
  • Be careful who you go to for advice. 
  • Knowing your worth means not letting anyone tell you what you can or cannot do.
  • Get your eyes checked. 
  • Have the courage to be your most authentic self.
  • Realize that folks will talk regardless.
  • To know your history is to know yourself. Make the most of being at a black school and discover your culture.    
  • Follow your gut and don’t second guess yourself.
  • Quit your job and focus on school. Money comes when you do what you love.
    stock-vector-wow-comic-face-sexy-surprised-young-african-woman-with-open-mouth-and-afro-hairstyle-in-glasses-530999668
  • Things rarely turn out how you envision them, but with hard work it can be better than you ever imagined.
  • Never stop dreaming. One day, you’ll wake up and be that person you dreamed about becoming.   

 

What would you tell your eighteen-year-old self? 

 

Black Power. ❤