I’m very glad that Lupita Nyong’o was voted World’s Most Beautiful Woman! So proud to see a Dark Skinned Sister Honored in this Fashion.
I read her Oscar Acceptance speech reprinted in Essence Magazine. It certainly resonated with me. Even though I’m 25 years older than her and was raised in New York City I can still hear the taunts of “Tar Baby”, monkey, Black African (Black was not Beautiful in the 1960s) from my school-mates on the playground. Watu Wasuri Use Afro Sheen came much later in late 1970s. Still light skin was in. There was a saying I heard many times growing up, “If you’re light, you’re alright. If you’re brown still around. If you’re black get back.” From straightening combs to weaves the Self-hatred becomes internalized.
Weaves looking like Davy Crockett hats perched atop uneasy heads marching LocKstep with conformity. Multi-hued raccoons skipping across Jungle Fever Brows missing nesting material in which to snuggle Eurocentric brainwashing.
Even when I went into the U.S. Army my always thick, kinky and Knappy was called a Brillo pad. I was always made to feel so ugly usually by my own Black people. I expected whites to call me the “N” Word after all this was the 1960s and my parents who knew Jim Crow by heart prepared me for rejection as a Black girl in a white dominated society. In a way I was very surprised to hear that in a Black dominated/ruled society/country such as Kenya young Lupita experienced similar taunts, jibes and insults.
Many times I would come home from school crying. I hated my skin color and my hair texture. My father tried to soothe my broken spirit and build my self confidence by telling me, “The Blacker the Berry the sweeter the juice. If the berry’s too light it has no use.” I did feel better for a while but it was not until I was well past age 40 that I began to really appreciate being dark-skinned with coarse thick hair. For one thing now that I’m well past 50 all this wonderful melanin truly means, “Black Don’t Crack”. As for my hair menopause has removed the thick & coarse texture but I’m proud to wear my hair natural since age 36. Over the years there were times when I battled a Eurocentric mindset but as I journey through middle-age and beyond I embrace and am one with my African heritage.
Yes Ladies, “Say it Loud! I’m Black and I’m Proud!”
Despite the fact that my stomach was acting up all last night and I got very little sleep I was determined to attend Palm Sunday service. My original plan had been to go into Manhattan but I changed that because with tummy troubles and subway delays I felt I should stick close to home. Even with insomnia and pain something inside me was so excited about today. When I made my right turn down Fulton St. I said Lord guide my feet and show me where to worship today. I briefly stopped at one of the many storefronts Churches lining Fulton Street but the Lord had me keep walking until I arrived at Pleasant Grove Tabernacle. You guys know I’m not much of a church goer but today I was lead to go and I’m glad I did. My late Beloved Aunt Helen Garcia had been…
Now that the Polar Vortex has finally released its icy grip from the Big Apple’s throat, Just keep in mind this little prose/poem when the summer temps hit the high 90s and New York City becomes the Big Apple Fried Fritters.
Gotham a frozen Wasteland bordered by filthy fallen ice bergs lining alternate side of the street parking. Flesh flayed by snow ice razors slashing any exposed skin, pummeling Eskimo hide thick coats, sweaters, thermals, socks, boots, hats, gloves. Dagger driven Stalactites and stalagmites primed to guillotine busy commuters racing whipping winds hindering purposeful movement.
Sidewalk streets concealing threatening black ice ready to break bones. Genteel timid Silly Walks a narrow twisted slow motion dance around and over snow removal made dirt mountains. Empty blizzard sleet filled neighborhoods with only a few Yetis braving truly Abominable Old Man Winter.
Art is both a window into the past and a portal to the future. But tourist cellphone camera incessant obsessed picture taking visitors to the House of Order and Learning neither see the beauty before them or view slices of history, science, fashion, politics, sociology, economics or religious passion plays of life being acted out in single snatches of time.
The suffer from blindness of the soul and spirit that no oculist can cure.
They Refuse to Drink from the Well of Wisdom or eat fruit from the Tree of Knowledge for fear that their eyes may be opened and the Wall of Delusions collapse into Dust.
Seeking to capture personal notoriety, authority and fame vicariously through corruption camera filter brutish minds unchanged and unchallenged by purity of mind and purpose.
Forever caught in the spider web of Tourist Trap Disneyland manufactured Coney Island Barkerville of Samsara sitting at the feast yet unwilling to eat or absorb life giving mind expanding sustenance settling instead for bitter crumbs ejected from dated tour books.
Get a life Mr. or Ms. Heeby-Jeeby and leave Cat alone. Cyber-Bullying is a crime and if you don’t stop We (Cat and I are a Team) will report you to the powers in charge of WordPress!! This is a Cease and Desist Order!! Stop Now!!
Please tell me if you’ve had encounters with Crusty the Clown and his cousin Bob the Boring. What is this aversion guys have to soap, water, bathing, showering, brushing teeth and using deodorant and Lotion!! Do men really feel more manly if they stink, have yellow teeth, and hands like they were wrangling bricks! Especially for men past the half century mark did you somewhere along the line begin to think that body odor and bad breath were a turn-on to women? Baldness is okay. Like most women I realize that most men past 50 have or are starting to lose their hair, however if you do have hair please know that dandruff is unacceptable. Unless it is snowing outside there should not be flakes on your clothing. Buy some shampoo and use it!
And oh yes, it you expect us to be in shape and healthy then do some exercise, lose that pot belly that looks like you’re about to birth an alien being and stop smoking. Most Ladies are not trying to get with the Pillsbury Dough-boy! Shaving is a good thing too, other than mustaches I don’t date men with overactive face follicles. While you’re purchasing the soap, deodorant, and toothpaste please toss some razors into your shopping basket. Not trying to date the Smith Brothers or ZZ Top!!
Oh yes get your conversation together. No woman wants to spend time with a guy who has nothing to say. Mumbling and Cave Man grunts do not make for intelligent dialogue. Maybe take a few Toastmasters courses or public speaking classes. It’ll help. Thank you!
Helpful articles to improve your own nature and landscape photography explorations. You will also see stunning landscape and nature photographs created by award winning landscape and nature photographer Melissa Fague.