In Praise of Darker Hues


Lupita Nyong'o
Lupita Nyong’o

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!”

I Am Not a Stereotype


I am not a Stereotype

Stereotypes Hurt.  No More Labels!!

Women of all colors, races, religions ethnic groups and nationalities face double jeopardy.

I will not be defined by the narrow conventions of your mangled mind.

Me and Patti LaBelle got a new attitude.

http://youtu.be/7jHToFiZuSU

I will not be typecast by the slant of my eyes, the color of my skin or country of origin.

I am a Woman of faith of dignity who demands and commands respect.

I refuse to suffer indignities of your racist sexist perversions.

I follow the laws of God as dictated by my belief system whatever it may be.

I am not an exotic playtoy or life size Barbie doll existing only to gratify, satisfy or fulfill your twisted sadistic carnal predilections.

I am not the one and today is not your day.

I will not be afraid and will not back down.

I am not a victim.

I am more than a survivor.

I am defiant.

You do not have license to ill.

My height, weight, shape do not delineate me as a loose woman or a hot number.

I am not your Ethiopian Chocolate Fantasy or submissive Asian delight found in the back covers of men’s magazines.

I am not your Indian Maiden with feathers in her hair or a sari wrapped around her waist.

If I’m a Lesbian nothing between your legs will make me straight and certainly does not impress me.

Whatever fever you got, be it Jungle Fever, Yellow Fever, Red Fever, Hot Spicy Latina Fever, I’m about to throw cold water all over it and knock you out cold. Get over yourself. You’re not all that and a bag of chips.

I choose who, when, where and if I will lay my body down.

I am the Goddess and only the worthy may gain access to the Temple. As Women we are called to maintain order in the Universe. Ladies ~ Realize your calling.

Asshole Repellent
Asshole Repellent

Ladies sexual abuse, workplace bullying and sexual harassment is the Elephant in the Room that everybody sees but fails to acknowledge its presence. Instead we step lightly around him hoping he will go away of his accord. Do not remain silent. Speak up. Speak out.

Colorstruck — The Colour of Beauty


The Colour of Beauty

Please take time to view the above link.

Colorstruck

 I feel you Brown girls.

 I just wanted to say to my Brown Skin/Dark Skin Sisters that I had many issues and insecurities concerning my skin color when I was younger.

 Especially coming up and going to school during the 1960s, Black was not Beautiful. It still took some convincing even after James Brown declared “Say It Loud, I’m Black and I’m Proud”. I can’t tell you how many times I was called “Tar Baby” and various other insulting names by the other Black kids on the playground and in the neighborhood.
       
I used to go home to my Daddy crying. Daddy used to tell me, Deborah, “The Blacker the Berry the Sweeter the Juice, if the Berry’s too light it has
no use”. My Dad was dark skinned like me and he soothed me as well as
instilling self-esteem and pride within his daughter.
       
Well the 1970s came along. Soul Train, Watu Wasuri use Afro Sheen.
Black Power. Famous Black Models gracing the covers of fashion magazines such as Vogue.
       
Props to Beautiful Brown Skinned SisterGirls:
       
Grace Jones

Bethann Hardison

Beverly Peele

Naomi Sims
Toukie Smith
Roshumba Williams
      

My current favorite: Alek Wek
       
Essence magazine came into being.
       
Suddenly it was a good thing to be Dark Skinned. My Dad and I wore our Afros proudly.
       
Ethnic looks, fashion, the flavor of the month. All Cyclical. Especially in America a nation caught up in the youth craze. America, a nation that equates youth with beauty. America, whose standards of beauty change with each passing fad.
       
Now that I’m middle-aged I thank God for this dark brown skin. Why   because many of the white women want to know what I do to look the way I do. As soon as they hit their late 30s, 40s the wrinkles and lines appear. Why do you think those anti-aging creams and formulas are so popular? Botox. Restylne.

Those things are not being marketed to us. For the most part we don’t need it. I’m 51, look 41, if I colored my hair could pass for 35.

This dark brown skin I used to curse; now I celebrate every day when I look in the mirror.
       
My baby cousin Veronica, age 15 showcases the beauty of African, Hispanic and Native American in one gorgeous package. Yes she has the light skin coupled with the shoulder length hair.

Years ago I would have been jealous of someone like her.  But many years have passed and I’ve been her caretaker off and on since she was a little girl so Veronica is my defacto daughter.
       
When I see Veronica I feel love and joy, not because she’s light skinned and pretty, but because she’s smart and talented.  Roni just has a different type of beauty than mine. My family has mixed heritage from many branches. If you saw all of us together, you’d see a living human rainbow bound by blood.  Even though we are on two shades of the skin color spectrum when my friends, neighbors and co-workers see us together they assume that’s my daughter. As far as I’m concerned Veronica is my Daughter. One of my goals is that when Roni is around me to teach her not to capitalize on her looks. Not to manipulate men or people in general.

I want Veronica to get her education. I envision her receiving a BA,
then a MA in whatever discipline she chooses. Leave the boys alone. They’re no good anyway. She is a girly-girl. Loves the latest looks but young women dark and light skinned need to get wisdom, knowledge and understanding in their heads.
       
I still get plenty of attention from men. All men Black, white even some from the Middle-East. Some unwanted but that’s another story.
     
So, Thank you to both my African and Native American Ancestors for dark brown skin, high cheekbones and Nappy/Kinky hair. I am the best of all worlds.

Colorstruck


African/Native American Queen 

I feel you Brown girls.  I just wanted to say to my Brown Skin/Dark Skin Sisters that I had many issues and insecurities concerning my skin color when I was younger. 

Especially coming up and going to school during the 1960s, Black was not Beautiful. It still took some convincing even after James Brown declared “Say It Loud, I’m Black and I’m Proud”. I can’t tell you how many times I was called “Tar Baby” and various other insulting names by the other Black kids on the playground and in the neighborhood.
        
I used to go home to my Daddy crying. Daddy used to tell me, Deborah, “The Blacker the Berry the Sweeter the Juice, if the Berry’s too light it has no use”. My Dad was dark skinned like me and he soothed me as well as instilling self-esteem and pride within his daughter.
        
Well the 1970s came along. Soul Train, Watu Wasuri use Afro Sheen.
Black Power. Famous Black Models gracing the covers of fashion magazines such as Vogue.
        
Props to Beautiful Brown Skinned SisterGirls:
       

  • Grace Jones
  • Bethann Hardison
  •  Beverly Peele
  •  Naomi Sims
    Toukie Smith
    Roshumba Williams
            

 My current favorite: Alek Wek
        
Essence magazine came into being.
        
Suddenly it was a good thing to be Dark Skinned. My Dad and I wore our Afros proudly.
        
Ethnic looks, fashion, the flavor of the month. All Cyclical. Especially in America a nation caught up in the youth craze. America, a nation that equates youth with beauty. America, whose standards of beauty change with each passing fad.
        
Now that I’m middle-aged I thank God for this dark brown skin. Why   because many of the white women want to know what I do to look the way I do. As soon as they hit their late 30s, 40s the wrinkles and lines appear. Why do you think those anti-aging creams and formulas are so popular? Botox. Restylne. 

 Those things are not being marketed to us. For the most part we don’t need it. I’ll be 51 on Feb 27th, look 41, if I colored my hair could pass for 35. 

 This dark brown skin I used to curse; now I celebrate every day when I look in the mirror.
        
My baby cousin Veronica, age 15 showcases the beauty of African, Hispanic and Native American in one gorgeous package. Yes she has the light skin coupled with the shoulder length hair. 

 Years ago I would have been jealous of someone like her. But many years have passed and I’ve been her caretaker off and on since she was two so Veronica is my defacto daughter.
        
When I see Veronica I feel love and joy, not because she’s light skinned and pretty. Roni just has a different type of beauty than mine. My family has mixed heritage from many branches. If you saw all of us together, you’d see a living human rainbow bound by blood. Even though we are on two shades of the skin color spectrum when my friends, neighbors and co-workers see us together they assume that’s my daughter. As far as I’m concerned Veronica is my Daughter. One of my goals is that when Roni is around me to teach her not to capitalize on her looks. Not to manipulate men or people in general. 

 I want Veronica to get her education. I envision her receiving a BA,
then a MA in whatever discipline she chooses. Leave the boys alone. They’re no good anyway. She is a girly-girl. Loves the latest looks but young women dark and light skinned need to get wisdom, knowledge and understanding in their heads.
        
I still get plenty of attention from men. All men Black, white even some from the Middle-East. Some unwanted but that’s another story.
        
As for my current love interest, whom I’ll nickname the Bouncing Bulgarian. He likes this dark-skinned woman. Very much.
        
So, Thank you to both my African and Native American Ancestors for dark brown skin, high cheekbones and Nappy/Kinky hair. I am the best of all worlds.