Dim Your light Dark Girl: Invisibility and Black Femininity

Bria Myles...

After my first semester of teaching I was invited to meet with the department chair, a frumpy, middle aged- white woman who treated me like white retailers have my entire life–as if my presence depreciated the value of the company. She arrived over thirty minutes late for my meeting, a fact she would casually disregard when pushing me out of her office not even ten minutes later. Her actions stated that I did not belong, despite the fake and almost nervous smile worn as an effort to melt my stoic expression. In those ten minutes she’d gloat about what she considered “bad” student reviews— an attempt to break me down into a negro in need of a fictive white brilliance to step into the role of woman. This was the same woman who failed to provide me with the room number for my class and made it so that I received my first check shortly before midterms. I was invisible until something seemingly negative surfaced, then my black female body became a canvass for white shame, a means to bludgeon me until my  posture slouched in defeat. For white functionality is solely rooted in black inferiority, no matter how hard the white body must work to make their fictive superiority a reality.

The contemporary black female body exists in the shadow of her ancestors, only seen in instances of negativity, because to acknowledge her in her beauty and brilliance is to threaten the false esteem of her oppressors. Sadly, the same is true for the melanated individuals referenced interchangeably with those black in body and mind.  In conversations or simply in the presence of melanated folk, the black woman is ignored if not overtly deficient in one way or another.

In Black Looks, scholar and cultural critic bell hooks says the following of black female visibility:

Objectified in a manner similar to the block female slaves who stood on auction blocks while owners and overseers described their important, salable parts, the black woman whose naked bodies were displayed for whites out social function had no presence. They were reduced to mere spectacles. Their body parts were offered as evidence to support racist notions that black people were more a kin to animals than other humans (hooks 62).

Just like the Saartje Baartmans of the past, the black female body remains a dismembered presence that only becomes visible to prove white superiority. The black woman is commonly shoved, reached over and ignored in quotidian activities from riding the train to grocery shopping. However, if wearing a garment where her protruding backside is visible, or her breasts or legs are exposed, she assumes the hyper visibility of her ancestors cast along the auction block, dismembered by the white male gaze and itemized for white male consumption.

I write this post in hopes of enlightening the black female and even black males to embedded expectations that subconsciously recruit us as soldiers of white supremacy. Namely, many blacks have also grown comfortable with caricatures blackness and downcast their own for failing to embody the necessary imperfection to seem normal in our western setting. This imperfection is commonly conceptualized in labeling the black female body a “bitch” or “whore.”

Black bitch....

The Black “Bitch”

A student called me a bitch for the first time this semester. I’m actually pretty sure I, like my sisters throughout the diaspora,  have been called worse, but this was the first time a student had rendered an expletive to my face. Following hurling the expletive my way, the student proceeded to talk over me until storming out the classroom and reporting to the dean.

The cause of the altercation you ask? I simply asked the student a question.

Like clockwork the dean shows up a few minutes later asking to see me. An act that festered the very authority challenged by my student. After dismissing my class I went to visit this middle-aged white women with a foreign accent, short haircut and slightly abrasive attitude. She asked me what happens and becomes overtly agitated when I disclose that the student called me a bitch. She then rolls her eyes, sighs and asks me to prepare a written statement. Although I had been disrespected twice that morning, once by the student and again when the director came to remove me from the class like a misbehaved student, it was me who had burdened her. In producing a response to the query she asked me, I cast this poor woman as the victim  because she would now have to draft some paperwork.

“You have to be very careful how you address these students.”

I nodded indifferently.

“Be careful.” she said, with her eyes locking intensely with mine, embedding a slew of words she wished to say but could not.

The exchange was a vindictive display of power by a being disinterested in both my and my student’s well being. All the director saw was money. So instead of engaging my comfort in returning a student who blatantly disrespected me, my other students, and most importantly herself, it was without discussion that she would return to the class.To the director I was salt thrown in the would of a battered ego. I, like countless other black bodies cast throughout the diaspora, had become too visible in a space solely desiring my invisibility. To lure students into an invidious state, is to insult the white bodies who wish to be the sole source to evoke green from a black a gaze.

This is an unexpected example of black females being asked to be less of themselves to not fester insecurity in their counterparts, who must remain subjugated for whites domination.

Similar are the conversations that surround the black female body and romance. The black female body is commonly compartmentalized as “intimidating” if failing to exist as the a caricature, or controlling image like the mammy, jezebel, sapphire or tragic mulatto.

The strong black Woman is too independent to appease the male ego. The angry black Women too abrasive for the masculine pride. The beautiful woman is too high maintenance and too tenable, the educated woman too intellectually elevated to have her feet planted firmly on the ground.  The black woman can seemingly not win when it comes to possessing attributes that extinguish a caricatured identity and propel her into a state of hyper-visibility.

Just as the directors sought to admonish with the words “be careful” the black woman is often issued a similar warning in being told to re evaluate how she carries herself. She is to exist to make others seem bigger in comparison to her smallness. To other blacks she is to encourage them to aim low and garner some attribute of a subjugated being.

The black body, if not dwarfed by the ax of white supremacy is nurtured to bend in order to fit through doorways–rather than build their own structure to which she can strut through in her prodigious state. The only thing the black Women is, is too stereotyped. If too pretty, too smart or too successful the white and other persons of colors typically aim to discount blackness with other races or ethnicities to eschew diversifying their perspective on black people.

Seemingly a lifetime ago I worked as a customer service representative. I worked alongside a beautiful sun kissed woman, labeled difficult and unprofessional. She was helpful in teaching me the ropes and aiding me with difficult customers. The issue was not that she was difficult, or unprofessional, but that she refused to be invisible in instances of overt racism.  I recall an incident where a white “businessman” yelled at us to complete his task because “he had things to do.” He had dropped his item and demanded that I get on my knees in a dress to obtain his item. My coworker came to my defense and we were both reprimanded in consequence. To our oppressors were were not wronged, but in the wrong for refusing the demands of an oppressor. Where oppressors see green, the conscious gaze sees racism.

Beyonce and Rihanna.....jpg

The whore

The black female that escapes being labeled the bitch (or in addition to this label), is often compartmentalizes as a sexualized object. This is not to say that the black female body fully escapes the negative connotation as a difficult being, but that the white gaze conceptualizes her sexually. This may sound complimentary to those who falsely equate a sexual gaze to an appreciation of beauty. A sexualized gaze means black female bodies are seen in correspondence to sex, i.e. concubines or asexual beans. Beyonce, Rihanna, etc, are black women who maintain relevancy because they are seen as sexualized objects. All the hype surrounding Beyonce’s fertility, or Rihanna’a latest partner, both reflect a fascination with black female genitalia. This fascination also functions in the reverse. Black female bodies lacking conventional attributes that would deem them overtly sexual, become demonized. Examples are Serena Williams, Wendy Williams, Gabourey Sidibie, etc, women who because of unconventional features are deemed beasts by the true beasts of the western world. Whether hyper sexual, de-sexualized or a bitch, the black female body continues to surface as a female subjugate by her white male oppressors.

As a female subjugate, the western gaze validates not only murdering or incarcerating  the black female body, but resigning her to invisibility by default. By subjugating the black female body to a womanless being, the western gaze seeks to dim the light on a ethereal presence who shines in her sun kissed state– a state withheld from the white  experience.

The dark girl is continually required to dim her light to ensure the comfort of the world around her. If  the dark girl  fails to bow her head in the face of racism she is a “bitch” and “difficult,”  If the dark girl’s sensuality proves impossible to ignore in the western terrain, or she bears multiple children in the face of white female infertility she’s a whore, or welfare mother who’s untamable sexuality bills the white collar world. She is not to shine her light too brightly.  We are the stage, not the performer, the words not the song, the pedestal not the recipient.

To shrink to western expectation is to forfeit the “stand out” quality that is the black woman. White supremacy is quite similar to how the western world has been nurtured to conceptualize the moonlight– whiteness that illuminates along darkness. Without the dark sky the moon and the stars do not glow. Rather than be a beacon for those who glow against our background, it’s time that the black collective become entranced by our own glow.

Dark women are the true light of the western world. We are the moon, the sun, and the stars. Moreover, we need not look out the window to see the glow of the moon, we must simply look within.

Don’t dim your light black girl. Shine.

Black Power. ❤

Article by CC Saunders

Seyi Shay

Seyi Shay.....jpg

Deborah Oluwa-seyi Joshua, better known by her stage name ‘Seyi Shay’ (pronounced Shay-yee Shay), is a Nigerian based International Recording Artist, Songwriter, and Performer. Born and raised in London, UK to Nigerian Parents, She began performing at the age of six. A former member of the London Community Gospel Choir (LCGC) headed by Basil Meade, whose international tours and acclaim, afforded her a platform to perform in different cities around the world (including a 13 city tour in Japan) at the tender age of fourteen.

Seyi Shay is also a talented songwriter, who has written and produced three major songs for the Konami Game Sound track; “Crime Life”, as well as the song “You will see” which was performed by former Spice Girl; Mel C, and was also included in her highly successful Album, “Beautiful Intentions”. She also wrote successful hit ‘White Lies’ for international selling rapper/artist Chipmunk, that featured Coleena of Diddy’s Dirty Money.

Alongside, Seyi Shay decided to attend a National audition in the UK where she would later emerge as the lead singer of the British Pop/RnB girl group; “From Above”, they signed to Sony/Columbia Record company and Music World Entertainment owned by Beyonce’s father; Matthew Knowles.

From Above released their debut album online called ‘Breaking From Above’, which was also the title of their MTV reality show which aired in over 166 countries worldwide. They supported Beyonce on her “I AM” UK tour in 2009/10.

Now branching out a solo artist, Seyi Shay is working on her debut album in Nigeria. Having already recorded a number of songs with the country’s top producers, plans are in place for the release of her solo singles in Africa and Worldwide.

Known for her stage energy and prowess, Seyi Shay has performed in some of the finest A-list events in Nigeria and across Africa, including The Chase Big Brother Africa show and the MTV Mama 2015 Awards in Durban, where she performed with Grammy-award winning international artist, Neyo. Seyi Shay was also nominated for Best Female and Best Music Video at the MTV Mama 2015 Awards.

seyi

Her single ‘Irawo’ released in 2013 is still enjoying waves and it is no surprise the singer chose the name ‘Irawo’, meaning ‘Star’ in Nigerian native language Yoruba. Seyi Shay then subsequently released ‘Ragga Ragga’ and ‘Chairman’ ft Kcee, with a video for ‘Ragga Ragga’ which premiered on 9th January 2014. She followed up with a successful hit single ‘Murda’ ft Patoranking & Shaydee which was widely regarded as the Summer Anthem with a video released on the 11th June 2014 spanning across international markets. On 15th October 2014, Seyi Shay released a fresh banger titled ‘Crazy’ ft Wizkid dominating the club scene. Her high-life single ‘Jangilova’ – a story of love starring Nollywood’s hottest actor OC Ukeje in the video premiered on the 22nd April 2015. On the 7th of July 205, she simultaneously released the audio and video of ‘Right Now’ produced by Harmony Samuels which is currently fast topping the charts.Seyi Shay is currently working on her highly anticipated debut album due in Q4 2015 which is set to fuse international sounds with the core elements of Afrobeat. Her debut UK single is also expected to be released in Q3 2015 via her recently signed record deal with Island Records UK.

23 Ways you can be Killed(Black Celebs speak out)

23 ways.....

I saw this video earlier today on YouTube.  It’s called 23 Ways you could be Killed being Black in America.  It’s from the organization We Are Here.  We are Here is singer Alicia Keys organization.

We are Here...

I’ve checked out her site.  It says on her website that their issues are equality,justice,women  and climate issues.  watching the video(above)  I liked the fact they brought up the murders of Sean Bell,Tamir Rice,Rekia Boyd,Eric Garner and Sandra Bland..among others.  Although I do find it interesting that the video was released on the third anniversary of the Trayvon Martin not guilty verdict.  I also found it interesting that Alicia Keys is the one heading this group fighting for equality for blacks.  Considering that just a few weeks ago Jesse Williams (another biracial) person speaking against police brutality.  I think it’s nice that Beyoncé,Chris Rock,Rihanna,Common and Taraji P Henson decided to speak out against these murders.  And of course they had to put white singers like Bono,Pink and Adam Levine in there as well.  That was just so the public doesn’t think this is some type of Black Power movement.  They always have to add a few whites in the mix.  But my major difference with these celebs is I don’t want equality with my oppressors.  I want freedom from oppression and real liberation.  Liberation is different than integration.  So do you think these black celebs are legit?  Do you think they really care?  Or is this just more racial propaganda?  Watch the video and let me know your thoughts.

Are Black people walking Zombies?

Zombies

Genocide is real. We have seen it through Apartheid, all over Africa and in Germany prior to World War II. Eugenics (population control) is real. Ethnic BioWeapons are real. But all that being sad, what are you doing while the powers that be are trying to exterminate your entire “race” or ethnicity? Maybe you don’t worry about it, refuse to think about it, don’t know about it or simply pray about it and go on while it happens all around you. Maybe you think you are exempt or maybe you even feel there is nothing you can do. But every one of these thoughts is either inaccurate or incomplete. It’s time to wake up, get up, step up and speak up. Sticking your head in the sands of denial will not solve anything.

ARE YOU ASLEEP AND DON’T EVEN KNOW IT?

We are watching our children be poisoned by water filled with lead, and not just in Michigan. Many more of us should be purchasing a $10 water test kit from home depot and testing our water all around the country. But many of you will unfortunately do nothing because you are waiting on your white savior government to come rescue you instead. African Americans our health, safety and economic prosperity are up to US, not any government, doctor nor anybody of any other color. When our people realize that as a people, we will rise to what we should have already become. Stop waiting, stop hoping and start making things happen.

We are watching our families disintegrate from the infection of homosexuality, transgender nonsense, emasculation, broken relationships and abortion. We say we need Planned Parenthood without realizing that Margaret Sanger who created it was a strong believer in the “master race” theory that Hitler tried to create. Planned Parenthood was placed in the African American community to reduce our population by killing as many unborn African American babies as possible. Wake up.

African Americans are staying more informed on who won the game than who may be the next President, a position that will clearly impact our lives through healthcare, entitlement programs, race relations and police brutality.

You are either part of the solution or part of the problem – and if you do nothing while we are being exterminated, don’t complain about it when it arrives at your door.

A few years ago the CDC released a Zombie Control Plan and those who knew about it laughed. Those who did not know about it were likely many of the very people referenced in the plan. Take away the reanimation element of zombies in scary movies and what do you have left? A dumbed down, clueless human being whose mental faculties have been reduced to our most primitive state. The African American community is becoming and has largely become a bunch of zombies – passive, clueless and asleep or with little or no awareness of what is going on around us. Therefore our people as a whole stand by while we are being exterminated because they don’t have a clue it is happening. Wake up.

We eat slave food filled with grease (Ox Tails, Chitterlings, Pig Feet, Turkey Necks etc.). We smoke mind altering marijuana laced with rat poison and embalming fluid. We fight, shoot and kill each other. We pack the jails and prisons and courts and child support offices. Though is it not all African Americans, far too many of us rely on the government to fix our water or to provide food, housing, safety, baby formula and healthcare. And we blame the “white” man or the government or the job when we do not achieve. It’s time to wake up and stop being a zombie who is participating in our own extermination.

Our role models are rich adulterous comedians, unmarried, unfulfilled talk show hosts and grown men who play games by bouncing, throwing or catching a ball for a living. who have no idea who God is. Our children are angry, confused about their roles, their gender and their education. Quality family time is a relic of our past and we allow our children to be raised by Xbox, Playstation, Kim Kartrashian dysfunctional families, Kanye, glorified booty shakers for money like Beyonce’, Rihanna and Nikki Minaj and self destructive rap or hip hop that degrades our people through obscenity and materialism. This stuff has been planted into our communities to destroy us. Yet we make excuses and defend the right to be or stay ignorant, saggin (niggas spelled backwards) and lost. Yes the impact of being a zombie has set in. Is it any wonder that people of other ethnic groups see us as expendable? And if “black lives matter” as our people promote, then why do so many of us keep killing, bringing down and stealing from each other? Programmed zombies but identity is the cure.

Zombies1

There are African American churches everywhere you turn but yet crime, poverty, divorce, homelessness, joblessness, infidelity and disease are everywhere too. Why?

Our people will come to a riot or a protest, not even really knowing what they are angry about. Our people will go to a game or an emasculated Tyler Perry play. Our people will show up to blame somebody else, whether it is the police officer who slammed the child we refused to discipline or the teacher who could not teach our children because we would not reinforce the value of education. But try to get those same people to peacefully join together for a cause, show up at a voting booth, listen to educational talk radio or support African American businesses in our own neighborhood. You will hear the sound of crickets.

 

It does not have to be this way and we can reverse the downward spiral of our people. When is the last time you sat down for dinner as a family – no cell phones allowed? Or did you just say you were too busy? When is the last time you pulled out your phone to look up the effects of marijuana, not just to get on Facebook? When is the last time you checked your children’s homework, or volunteered at the school? When is the last time you attended a community meeting to make your neighborhood safer without blaming somebody else? When is the last time you lifted someone up, built someone up or reached out when you did not have to? Or are you waiting on Al Sharpton, Louis Farrakhan and others to come tell you to do it? Oh yes it’s time to wake up and make a difference.

If you don’t like the claims in this article, wake up and see for yourself.

The answer starts with identity and personal accountability. We have to know who we are as a people, not who we have been defined to be by others. We are not “black” people because black is the color of your car tires, not your skin. We are a great people with great potential but that has been hidden, forgotten and discarded. Physical slavery did a number on our people and mental slavery took the second shift to finish the job. But it’s time to wake up. We did not all come from the jungle and jump to the beat of the drums. Our people were all over this planet and impacted societies and cultures on every continent. We have forgotten who we are so we act the slaves American has made us to be. Wake up. Please wake up.

Article written by Marque Anthony

Are you sure you want to be an actor,rapper or athlete?


A lot of people want to be rich and famous. They grow up watching television and see all the “glitter and gold”. But you have to think very carefully about these type of dreams. There is a lot of deception out there and we can not be naïve. We must keep in mind that no one gives you something for nothing. Nothing in life is free. Many people think that if you have the looks and the talent you will automatically make it in Hollywood. These people are delusional. There is a price you must pay to make it as part of the elite. You could become a millionaire and world famous but not without a price.This goes for most actors,singers,rappers,athletes and many realitys-show stars. There’s a lot more going on than meets the eye. This is a video by Black Child. The narrators in the film are Yash Qaraah and Sherry Shriner. This video may help those of you who are still “asleep” see a little more clearly. Ignorance is NOT bliss.