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AALBC.com's Thumper's Corner Discussion Board » The Kool Room - Archive July 2005 to April 2006 » "Fair Women, Dark Men" « Previous Next »

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Yvettep
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Post Number: 605
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Posted on Monday, July 18, 2005 - 07:18 am:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Which came first, color prejudice or black slavery? Was it slavery that eventually created negative feelings toward dark skin? Or was it the other way around? Perhaps these feelings already existed when black slavery first arose, eventually making it more and more inhuman.

So begins an inquiry that will lead the reader across time and space over familiar and not-so-familiar terrain. Before becoming a mark of race and slavery, skin color, or rather skin color as a psychological reality, had another meaning. A sexual meaning. In earlier times, in settings where people were of a similar ethnic background, the main difference in skin color was between men and women. This is because women have less melanin in their skin and less blood in its outer layers. In simpler language, women are fairer and men browner and ruddier.

This older meaning has been largely forgotten in modern Western culture, although we still speak of the “fair sex” and the “tall, dark, and handsome man.” In other cultures, and in other historical periods, it played a key role in defining femininity and masculinity. Fair skin and dark skin meant different things to the observer. They evoked different feelings.

With the rise of black slavery, the feelings that flowed from this earlier meaning of skin color took on a new role. And began to serve new ends . . .


http://www.cybereditions.com/spis/runisa.dll?SV:CYVIEWSUMMARY::10033


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Abm
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Posted on Monday, July 18, 2005 - 11:24 am:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

'Vette,

I guess this explains why the blond-haired, blue-eyed female is glorified while men who have those traits are often viewed as being kinda soft.

This logically begs the question whether there does/should exist some inordinate physical attraction between Black men and White women.


And I suppose White women having less blood/melanin in their skin explain why they seem to wrinkle more and develop skin cancer with greater frequency/severity than White men.



PS: Elvis was a natural blond. It's reputed his handlers elected to dye his hair to make him appear a more manly, dangerous and sexy Rock-n-Roller.
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Cynnique
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Posted on Monday, July 18, 2005 - 12:28 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Yvette, I've always thought that there was a correlation found in nature as to how certain things are subconsciously perceived. Darkness is associated with night time, and lightness with daytime.
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Cynnique
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Posted on Monday, July 18, 2005 - 01:35 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

So did Elvis dye his eyebrows, too? Actually he was not a natural blond. He had mouse brown hair.
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Abm
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Posted on Monday, July 18, 2005 - 01:55 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Cynique,

“Presley had dyed his sandy BLOND hair jet black by the time of his second Sullivan performance...”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elvis_Presley


But, I don't know, maybe it had changed to "mouse brown" by the time they found him dead on a toilet.


And you've been around long enough to know that Elvis might have used anything from hair coloring, to shoe dye/polish to eyeliner/mascara to darken his eyebrows.


<smh>
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Nadine Holden
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Posted on Monday, July 18, 2005 - 02:07 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

After having traveled extensively in Africa, I see this claim as a European ideal.

Everywhere that I went in Malawi, Ghana, Chad, Senegal, Mali and Kenya over the years, I saw the darkest men paired with the darkest women, I'm talking jet black and happy couples with grinning, happy jet black kids. Despite the comments by Kola on this subject so often, I saw extremely black skinned women whose beauty was celebrated by black men and considered ideal all over Africa, even in Ethiopia, I saw very dark skinned men in love with very dark skinned women. When I did see the lighter skinned African, usually in the East, they were paired with another light one.

Interesting as well. In those areas that were most rural without any television or outside media, the blackest men would not even be friendly towards white women traveling in our group. These rural people had a complete disliking for light skin, including mines which is barely brown. As in the DISCOVERY CHANNEL documentary where the original Eve's are shown as pitch black women, the rural people seemed to trust only the darkest women.

Anybody care to comment on this?

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Cynnique
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Posted on Monday, July 18, 2005 - 02:17 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Sandy blond hair is pretty much the same as dishwater blond which is pretty much the same as mouse brown. I don't think Elvis had to darken his eyebrows because he was not a Scandinavian-type blond.
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Abm
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Posted on Monday, July 18, 2005 - 04:20 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Nadine: "...the blackest men would not even be friendly towards white women...These rural people had a complete disliking for light skin...the rural people seemed to trust only the darkest women...Anybody care to comment on this?"

ABM: You mean other than some Native Africans can be as racist and ethnocentric as anyone else?
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Nadine Holden
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Posted on Monday, July 18, 2005 - 04:32 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hello ABM!

No. What I saw was that the rural Africans had heard stories for generations about "naked people"--they call White Skin naked. They feared these people and thought light skin was unhealthy, because they were not used to seeing it. Does that make sense? They were standoffish--gravitating to the darkest of our group.

As for women having less melanin than men, that has got to be a European occurrence, although to look at the Swedes and Finnish, Norways, I don't see it.

Black women in Africa have same exact coloring as the men. As Randall Robinson wrote, the color seemed "uniform".

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Abm
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Posted on Monday, July 18, 2005 - 04:43 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Nadine,

How is how rural Africans react to Whites and lightskinned people any different from how many non-Blacks treat us?

I guess all that melanin is the reason why we can't control yawl tails. HAHAHA!!!
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Moonsigns
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Posted on Monday, July 18, 2005 - 04:54 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Nadine Holden,

Though I've never been to Africa, I have always felt that your experience in Africa (as you've shared here) is an accurate reflection regarding the African man's reverence/love for African women--and distrust of anything else not African/dark-skin.
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Nadine Holden
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Posted on Monday, July 18, 2005 - 06:53 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Yes, Moon.

Not to dispute Kola's colorism claims, but I have been over there about 25 times in the last 30 years.

The African men for the most part love them some black women, I mean grape-black! I do see a lot of younger people starting to bleach their skin now, but that is in places where the media is very heavy.

Some of the politician's wives are very light skinned and look as though picked to impress outsiders, but the African women I've seen are very beautiful, very thin or curvaceous and in most countries they're extremely dark skinned and their men seem to adore them.

Then again, this is what makes me understand Kola's elitist attitude. African sisters are vain and used to a pedestal.











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Moonsigns
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Posted on Monday, July 18, 2005 - 07:16 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Nadine,

Again, my opinion stems from my experience as an American and being limited to interacting with Africans only within the boundaries of the US. Nevertheless, the Africans I have interacted with display the same sentiment as you (continue to) share.

Even within the US, I tend to see Africans paired with other Africans. I will also add that (generally) I feel that American women are extremely different than non-American women, regardless of the country of origin. Our mannerisms, dress and speech is so very different. American women tend to be more outspoken, which has it's benefits, but I also think we can learn something from women from other cultures....as they tend to be a bit more refined than American women *ouch--I know that may start something*.

I agree with you that African women tend to be very thin and curvaceous and their men seem to adore them. I do feel that they also, in many ways, have elitist attitudes--and are used to being put on a pedestal. Some of the most heated debates I've witnessed and tension I've felt, are between African and American women. However, some of the sweetest women I've ever met happen to be African.

When all is said and done, these are generalizations. There are always exceptions to the rule.

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Roxie
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Posted on Tuesday, July 19, 2005 - 09:11 am:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Nadine:
--African sisters are vain and used to a pedestal.--

Now is that really a bad thing?

Everyone else:

Anyway ,for years brown and black-skinned people have always been used as objects of white peoples "forbidden" romantic and sexual fantasies
since colonialism. The undertones of this phenomenon are still alive and well within many movies and TV. Even though many people marry interracial love is genuine others subconciously are giving in to that "forbidden fruit" fantasy. Like black men/women who only date non-black men/women or vice versa.

Here's a better example of the point I'm making:
http://colorq.org/Articles/2001/reaction.htm

This is what Iv'e noticed in the US mostly, so I can't speak for Europe or Africa at the moment. I hope any of this was relevant.
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Anunaki3600
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Posted on Wednesday, July 20, 2005 - 04:12 am:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Roxie: For a long time, White Christian men looked at having sex with their white women (wives) only as a need to procreate. Any other sexual relation with their women was considered lustfull or sinfull. The only means of satisfying their sexual lust was with a non-white (non-wife) women who were already considered too willing anyway. White women were denied sexual satisfaction (sex which did not lead to child-birth) which led to the Mandingo syndrome in the US. Elizabethen values/morals among the Anglo-Saxon led to them not getting enough lovin' at home which led to them rapin' and pillaging outside their homes.
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Roxie
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Posted on Wednesday, July 20, 2005 - 03:17 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

And now the physical aspects of that raping and pillaging of the past has evolved into a more subliminal/psychological form. Every day I grow more aware of how destructive european/western values can be.
I don't understand how a value system that has supported more evil than good can be so defended and viewed as superior.
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Roxie
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Posted on Wednesday, July 20, 2005 - 03:25 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

My Point:
We are still being used liked dolls, playing the roles in the western man's global stage play and he(or she) is always pulling the strings. It's time we cut those strings, stop being dolls and take control of our own production.

(I hope SOMEONE understood that metaphor)
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Tonya
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Posted on Friday, July 29, 2005 - 06:02 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

For as long as I can remember black poeple in this country have been known to either have a fit and/or an all out breakdown when someone has publicly suggested that they were inferior, that they came from apes or that they were incapable of learning ect. But, like now, when dark skinned black women are being insulted publicly or are being said to have characteristics that are like men, nobody is blown away.It seems it's o.k. when dark skinned women are being singled out and assaulted this way. Nobody including all of you here on this board seems to care; Infact, what I find interesting is that when it comes to anything else about race,you all will tear a person's head off to make a point. How many of yall have had straight up smack downs with another baord member(s) regarding race? I bet many of you have had arguements with co-workers, family members and other members of society because you were offended by something that somebody said about race. Yet now that some white man is presenting "evidence" that black women with dark skin are like men (in other words they look like men) no body on this baord is responding with the rage that they would have if this were some nonsense about black people lookig like monkeys or that they're not smart enough. Do all of you have families where there are no dark skinned women? Is it that you all just Do not care? Or, could it be that the reason why you all have decided to start behaving with so much civility is because some of you believe what is being implied here. Notice there is no question mark for that one. Because sometimes it's not what you all say, it's what you all choose not to say that is revealing and a little heart breaking.

one love

Tonya
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Cynnique
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Posted on Friday, July 29, 2005 - 11:50 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Why don't you take up for yourself,Tonya? Why wait for others to defend you? That's like light-skinned women expecting Kola to tell off people who called them mongrels.
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Tonya
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Posted on Saturday, July 30, 2005 - 08:59 am:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Cynnique,

If a white man were to call light-skinned women mongrels, I think both you and I know that Kola would go the hell off on him. And as far as I'm concerned I too would have a serious problem with that. That's my point.

One love
Tonya
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Cynnique
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Posted on Saturday, July 30, 2005 - 11:22 am:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I don't agree, Tonya. Kola would silently stand by with a smug smile on her face if a white man called a light-skinned sista a mongrel. And I'm inclined to think most dark-skinned people would secretly derive a little satisfaction from a white person implying that a light-skinned sista was still a nigga even if she did have a little more cream in her coffee.
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Nadine Holden
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Posted on Saturday, July 30, 2005 - 11:24 am:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Tee-hee. laughing.

I have to agree Tonya. I think Kola would make bacon grease out of that poor white man.



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Nadine Holden
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Posted on Saturday, July 30, 2005 - 11:32 am:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Cynique, I'm borderline light and I've seen Kola post flattering threads about countless light skinned sistas, she has them in her books written up just like they're regular black women. I've seen her write a bunch of posts that indicate love for light sistas.

I always thought Kola's beef with light skin people was their "over-representation" making black people invisible or as she says, their benefitting from white supremacy.

When the light skin person is being given representation and the dark skin person is being given no representation is when Kola attacks the light skin and even if I don't agree with her, a big part of me understands what she's saying.

Kola sure has tried to be close to you over the years, and nobody could fake the affection she's shown for you.



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Cynnique
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Posted on Saturday, July 30, 2005 - 12:12 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Well, having never heard Kola defend light-skinned sisters from derogatory remarks made by white men, I'll reserve judgment. And, of course, Kola picks and chooses what light-skinned people she approves of. She sucks up to Halle Berry but hates Mariah Carey. That's because she a star-struck acquaintance of Halle Berry. As far as posting pictures, the only pictures of light-skinned people I recall her posting have been very unflattering.
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Tonya
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Posted on Saturday, July 30, 2005 - 12:55 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Cynnique said:

and I'm inclined to think most dark-skinned people would secretly derive a little satisfaction from a white person implying that a light-skinned sistah was still a nigga even if she did have a little more cream in her cofee.

First of all,

A white person would just call her a nigger and leave it at that.

secondly,

The fact that you really believe that dark-skinned people feel that way is proof that we need to be having conversations like this one more often.

One love
Tonya
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Cynnique
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Posted on Saturday, July 30, 2005 - 05:36 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Well, Tonya, when we're discussing whether or not a white man calls a light-skinned woman a "mongrel", then we are assuming that he didn't "just call her a nigger and leave it at that." And contrary to what "persecuted" people like you think, light-skinned people are not always the villains in the equasion of colorism. If you don't realize that plenty of dark-skinned people have contempt for light-skinned people, then you're naive.
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Tonya
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Posted on Saturday, July 30, 2005 - 06:57 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

He would not call her a mongrel, he'd call her a nigger. This is partly because all of us are victoms of white supremacy, but some of us benefit from it as well.


One love
Tonya
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Tonya
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Posted on Saturday, July 30, 2005 - 07:04 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

But my point still stands, if he were to call her a mongrel we ALL would have a problem with that.



One love
Tonya


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Tonya
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Posted on Saturday, July 30, 2005 - 07:13 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Do we ALL have a problem with the article on this thread?




Tonya
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Cynnique
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Posted on Saturday, July 30, 2005 - 07:22 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I am not following your train of thought.
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Tonya
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Posted on Saturday, July 30, 2005 - 07:48 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Figure it out.





Tonya
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Cynnique
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Posted on Saturday, July 30, 2005 - 10:02 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

What I have figured out is that you and I don't think alike and - that's OK.
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Tonya
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Posted on Saturday, July 30, 2005 - 10:25 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

It's fine with me too.




One love
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Tonya
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Posted on Saturday, July 30, 2005 - 11:07 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

btw Cynnique,

we were talking about light-skinned women and not bi-racials right?


One love
Tonya
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Cynnique
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Posted on Sunday, July 31, 2005 - 01:06 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Well, Tonya, this is a fuzzy area, because these 2 terms are actually interchangeable. The reason a women is light-skinned is because she obviously has a history of bi-raciality in her family background. Recently, I've started to hear light-skinned people referred to as being "mixed." And, of course, mongrels are just that; mixed.
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Tonya
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Posted on Sunday, July 31, 2005 - 01:08 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I'd like to apologize to Nadine Holden, Moonsigns, Roxie and Anunaki3600. I went off before I read any of your posts. You were supportings us. Good looking out.



Tonya
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Tonya
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Posted on Sunday, July 31, 2005 - 01:48 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I don't know about all that Cynnique, the dictionary don't lie. But Your right, it can be a fuzzy area. I tell you one thing though, if a white man comes across a light skinned black women he's gonna either call her black (if he's being nice)or a nigger if he's being a jerk. Most people today don't even use terms like mongrel, octoroon, Mulatto ect. So I doubt if a white man will go that far if he simply wants to call a black woman(light skinned or not) a nigger. But I got your point. Thanks



Tonya
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Cynnique
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Posted on Sunday, July 31, 2005 - 01:59 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Well, the discussion stemmed from a complaint about nobody reprimanding the ethiopian for calling dark women monkeys. Would a white man call a dark woman a monkey or a nigger? Who knows? It's all hypothetical.
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Tonya
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Posted on Sunday, July 31, 2005 - 02:03 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Another thing Cynnique,

It's only when you can't determine the racial backround of a person is he/she considered a mongrel. Most light-skinned poeple still look black. That's partly why we call them light-skinned instead of mixed/bi-racial


Tonya
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Tonya
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Posted on Sunday, July 31, 2005 - 02:10 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

He has called ALL OF US monkeys and niggers.
And he'll call ALL OF US monkeys and niggers again.
That's why I keep saying:


ONE LOVE
Tonya

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Tonya
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Posted on Sunday, July 31, 2005 - 02:19 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

btw Cynnique,

That's not how the discussion began. But I got your point.

ONE LOVE
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Cynnique
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Posted on Sunday, July 31, 2005 - 02:38 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

All light-skinned people do not look black, and all bi-racial people do not look white. There is no hard and fast rule about this. You never know how a baby is going to come out looking. It's possible for 2 brown people to have a light baby, and for 2 light people to have a brown baby. Hair is another thing. Bi-racial off spring can have nappy hair. Genetics are very unpredictable. It's all a crap-shoot. So we should stay away from absolutes. And the discussion about mongrels did arise from my response to your complaint about nobody taking up for dark skinned women.
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Africanqueen
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Posted on Sunday, July 31, 2005 - 02:45 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Tonya just think of it this way, all the Africans who started selling their people are the real monkeys.. and I don't think there's a certain African to be blamed so I blame all African men whom are usually responsible for this. And the very dark skinned Africans were sold so I would think that skin color prejudice began during the time of trade in Africa.

History is amazing... I could not imagine being sold or used as an item from the store, yikes. I feel for black Americans, but they're not the monkeys, their seller is.

I find Kenya to be one of the best African countries that today includes everybody in the picture of their country. It does not matter wether they're light or dark in Kenya. Everybody including women get a piece of everything as long as they work for it. The rest of African nations should be this way. But it's also very hard when there's two or more different cultures in countries like Sudan. There is the arabs in the north and African tribes in the south. Also in south Sudan, there's so many languages, it was hard to get along during the war. It is also hard to find a leader, but I think the "educated ones" have handled it pretty well. We now have Garang as the first vice president of Sudan and he's from the south. And I'm sure there's many nuers and Chuluks leaders out there too... making the south a stable place to be.

I don't know if any of the things I just wrote make any sense to anyone, but this is my opinion when I think about skin color.. it's just not about the color, it's about race, language etc.
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Africanqueen
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Posted on Sunday, July 31, 2005 - 02:49 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

No wonder black children don't appreciate Africa.... it is still not doing anything fulfilling for them to appreciate it. When they look at Africa, they see starvation and death. That is not something to be proud of. It is something that needs to stop and only the black man can stop this. The black man like in Kenya, need to include everyone in the picture of their country. Everyone meaning women, people of other languages, etc. This is true leadership.
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Africanqueen
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Posted on Sunday, July 31, 2005 - 02:52 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

When I mentioned "black children" from my first sentence above, I meant the black children of America, African America children.
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Cynnique
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Posted on Sunday, July 31, 2005 - 03:03 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Also, Tonya, you don't have to do a background check to determine that since the original slaves brought to this country were black Africans, if their descendants don't have the same skin-color as their original ancestors, then they are mixed.
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Nadine Holden
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Posted on Sunday, July 31, 2005 - 03:04 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

But Africanqueen,

Who is the one showing the pictures of the starvation and death that cause to black youth not wanting to identify with it? As well, who creates this condition in Africa by stealing and raping the resources of the continent?

What I admire about Kola Boof is that she is not waiting for Black men to do something and as well she doesn't fight back by co-opting the identity, color or religions of her oppressors.

Not all Africans had a choice about whether they would sell their own people into slavery, as it started out that way, but as the Europeans colonized and brought in their armys, most slaves were stolen and not "purchased". There's a book somewhere that proves that only about 5% of slaves were sold by Africans and that was all in the beginning of the slave trade. It went on for hundreds of years.

AfricanQueen, many of your posts seem naive to me in a hokey all-American way.

You praise Kenya, but as Kola showed in a post the other day in the Culture Board, most of the countries in West Africa are doing really well and are very nice places for all black people to live. There is plenty of positive things about Africa that could be shown on the evening news.



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Nadine Holden
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Posted on Sunday, July 31, 2005 - 03:06 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I agree with you on that Cynnique.

We are all mixed in America now, even the dark ones among us.

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Tonya
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Posted on Sunday, July 31, 2005 - 04:05 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Cynnique,

In the eyes of white America(and black america too)a light-skinned women is black. You can dice it and slice it any way you want,your still going to be black. Now you are right, there are no absolutes. But you started this topic by talking about a light-skinned sistah. When I think of SISTAHS I outomatically think black. Even if you discribe her as a light-skinned woman, I'm still gonna think black. Call that naive or ignorant or whatever, but if yall are gonna start changing definitions on me like this, make sure yall send me the e-mail and keep in mind that your sending it to the ghetto.

Africanqueen,

re-read my posts, I never called black people monkeys.

Tonya
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Tonya
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Posted on Sunday, July 31, 2005 - 04:25 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Nadine,

I don't know you and I respect you, but I don't consider myself mixed. I will always be black and proud of it. But I think I see your point though.


Tonya
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Cynnique
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Posted on Sunday, July 31, 2005 - 05:32 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Once again your resentment has tainted your reaction, Tonya. I never tried to make the point that whites or other blacks don't consider light-skinned females African American because I know that they do. That's not what we were discussing. The subject came up as to whether Kola would defend me if a white man specifically called me a mongrel and you took it from there. As far as my starting this post out talking about light-skinned chicks, you need to keep in mind that I was responding to your bitching about the plight of dark-skinned ones. And, the idea that you and females of your color have a monopoly on the word "sista" is crap. Or do I give a shit whether or not you live in the ghetto. What does that have to do with anything?
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Tonya
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Posted on Sunday, July 31, 2005 - 11:38 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Now Cynnique,

I knew you were gonna come off that way. something told me you were gonna come unglued. I was actually ready to retaliate, but I took some time to think about our discussion and I think I have somthing important to say.

I still think that light-skinned people look black, but I do understand that their skin is not. It's easy to sympathize with their wanting a desription that is closer to their skin tone and/or who they want to be. I can't amagine how they feel, but I do uderstand. I wish them all the best and hope that they do what ever makes them happy.

The problem I have with this, however, is that it's going to lead to a whole lot of self hating black people abondoning their identities. If we make it easy for people to change their race and identity, I think it will deepen the problem that so many of us have with self hate. People will opt to become something else instead of doing what is neccessary to work on the pain that has been building up since slavery. I think our hatred will get worse and our problems will become even bigger.


I'm also bothered by the fact that nobody wants to be black anymore. Kola is not lying Cynnique. These black people today are doing eveything in their power to not look black, act black, appear black or whatever. Their wearing weaves down to their behinds, make-up that is too light, eye coloring and anything else that will make them not be who they are. This is not a trend. The weaves should be played-out by now. I know I've been bitchin ever since I've hit this board, but I can't take it anymore. I'm tired of people not wanting to be black. What is wrong with being black? Am I missing something? Why am I the only person that still want to be black? Sometimes I feel alone in my own community.I find myself trying not to do anything that may offend people who no longer want to be black. I censor myself in ny own back yard. It should not be this way.

Like I said, I'm all for light-skinned and mix/bi-racial people having their own thing, but I think it's gonna open the door for a whole lot of self hating blacks and it's only gonna make our situation a lot worse.

Remember when people use to say- all I got to do is stay black and die? That seems like yesterday. What happened?

Anyway, this is my way of retaliating. Making you read this long ass post. (smile)

Tonya
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Tonya
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Posted on Sunday, July 31, 2005 - 11:52 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

btw,

what makes you think I resent anyone? I'm all about peace and love sometimes.

Remember me?

ONE LOVE

Remember?
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Cynnique
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Posted on Monday, August 01, 2005 - 01:15 am:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Well, Tonya, what's the big mystery? Who ever said life made sense or that it was fair? Apparently, the reason nobody wants to be "black" is because "black" is what nobody wants to be. You might also want to check out the ethiopian's posts to get a few more clues on this subject.
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Tonya
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Posted on Monday, August 01, 2005 - 11:43 am:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

We're having a rough time as a people right now, so what.
We've had hard times before and we were able to get through them. Why give up now?

And yes, I did get a chance to check out the ethiopian's post. The problem is that we're arguing with him when we should be arguing with each other. Maybe he's doing us a favor. Maybe we should be asking ourselves questions about some of the topics he's raising. If we don't discuss these problems we'll never get rid of them.

You know what, I just thought of something. Maybe we don't want to get rid of these problems because then we'll have a reason not to want to be black. It's wrong, but it makes a lot of sense for some reason.


Oh well,

Tonya
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Yvettep
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Posted on Monday, August 01, 2005 - 06:52 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

These black people today are doing eveything in their power to not look black, act black, appear black or whatever.

Just out of curiousity: How does one go about authentically "looking" Black, "acting" Black, and "appearing" Black? Who decides who has "achieved" this authentic Blackness?
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Tonya
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Posted on Monday, August 01, 2005 - 08:32 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I know it when I see it.


Tonya
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Yvettep
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Posted on Monday, August 01, 2005 - 09:05 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Not to pick on you, Tonya. I'm sure most of us feel this way. What you said just echoes a conversation I have had several times on these boards: The idea of how would we actually go about certifying folks as "really" Black or "Black enough."

My own opinion is that what is "really Black" is whatever Black folk are doing at any particular time. This means authentic Blackness is always a diverse, ever-changing, non-stagnant, flux, gumbo of a state of heart, soul and mind. It's just no use trying to pin us down to one thing for all time. That is what makes us so "unique" (perhaps, paradoxically) and such an object of interest for non-Black peoples the world over.
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Tonya
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Posted on Monday, August 01, 2005 - 09:29 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

That's interesting.

I don't agree, but it's still interesting.


Tonya
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Nadine Holden
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Posted on Monday, August 01, 2005 - 09:36 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Yvette,

BET just fired the black woman host of 106 & Park, because of age and have replaced her with "Julissa"---a latina.

This is "BLACK" Entertainment Television. Not Telemundo.

Many black men are arguing that Julissa is "black", because Spanish people have black blood and that sisters shouldn't be upset.

So it seems to me that your definition of black is right in line with theirs.

You said:

My own opinion is that what is "really Black" is whatever Black folk are doing at any particular time. This means authentic Blackness is always a diverse, ever-changing, non-stagnant, flux, gumbo of a state of heart, soul and mind. It's just no use trying to pin us down to one thing for all time. That is what makes us so "unique" (perhaps, paradoxically) and such an object of interest for non-Black peoples the world over.



But I say that the people dragged across the Atlantic in chains were not a diverse, ever-changing flux of mixed people. They was BLACK.

Dark dark skin, nappy headed, thick lips, broad noses and beautiful.

If a single one of them was alive today, they couldn't get a job on BET, and part of that would be justified by "your opinion" of what is really black.

So how many "types" of lightskinned people get to stand in our shoes before we pay any respect to what blackness is?

It seems to me that the only people who are not allowed to define blackness are the blackest ones themselves.

I have been to Africa more than twenty times, I came to this board originally, because I was fascinated with what Kola Boof had to say about so many social issues in America. Like her, after being to Africa so often, I find it very difficult to ignore that Black skin in America has been either raped or devalued to the point that black folks traded it in for lighter complexion. But I see nothing natural about this "flux" you describe and because of attitudes like yours that are unrealistic, I believe that the gulf is going to get wider as more and more Black males begin to insist that Non-Black women are in fact Black.





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Yvettep
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Posted on Monday, August 01, 2005 - 09:46 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I respectfully disagree. I think it is your attitude about being able to produce a definition of Blackness that is unrealistic. But if I am wrong, please correct me. I will say again what I have said many many times: Go ahead and give me the definition. Tell me who gets to decide who else is Black. (And why.) Go ahead and tell me what criteria should be applied. (And why.)

What is the "real" Black way of acting, being, speaking, loving, worshiping, walking, singing, talking, looking, breathing? What is it? How dark is dark enough to be "really" Black? How big must one's lips be or nappy must one's hair be?

As to BET. It is a company owned by the mainstream White media. It has been catering to that mainstream for as long as those folks discovered that White middle and upper class teens and twentysomethings saw "Blackness" as the ultimate in cool. These folks also now see the writing on the wall (all in $$$ signs) about the Spanish-speaking potential...

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Tonya
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Posted on Monday, August 01, 2005 - 10:10 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Nadine,

I agree with you 100%

Tonya
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Cynnique
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Posted on Tuesday, August 02, 2005 - 12:12 am:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Yvette. I agree with you. Nobody has been annnointed, appointed, or elected to be the great grand arbitrator of who or what is black. In spite of what some "elitists" would like to enforce, skin color is not what solely determines the dynamic of being "black". And the fact that we are having this debate proves that.
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Africanqueen
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Posted on Tuesday, August 02, 2005 - 04:10 am:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

LOL.. Tonya, I'm sure "the ethiopian" is in search of a way to entertain himself and calling black Americans "monkeys and negros" is his one major joke. There's no need to worry. It is not your fault God placed you in America originating from slavery. I agree that black people need to put the darkest skin color in the picture of black television, otherwise BET should change to LET for "Light Entertainment" LOL.
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Tonya
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Posted on Tuesday, August 02, 2005 - 12:33 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Africanqueen,

That remark was in response to Cynnique's "hypothetical" claim that a white man might call a dark-skinned black woman a monkey.

It was her way of calling dark-skinned women monkeys.

She tried to take it to the gutter, but I would not go there with her. Instead, I just decided to let her know that I got her point and I left it at that.

Tonya

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Cynnique
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Posted on Tuesday, August 02, 2005 - 01:21 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I have to chuckle at those false inferences you made about me, Tonya. There are such amusing examples of how you are always attempting to paint yourself as this noble, blameless person, while trying to put everyone else in the bad light because they don't buy into your vicitimization. You are so paranoid and thin-skinned that you constantly see things that aren't there, smugly crediting yourself with scoring on people when in fact you come across as self-deluded. You also try to come across as someone filled one love. Puleeze. You despise and envy light-skinned people because in, actuality, you are the one full of self-hate. And if you feel like that's a false claim, then welcome to the club. As for getting anybody's point. You are too short-sighted to see any point but your own. Get real, girlfriend.
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Yvettep
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Posted on Tuesday, August 02, 2005 - 01:48 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

One thing that is clear to me with my experience on these boards: It is not possible for many folks to talk about these issues without their own personal hurts and histories coloring (excuse the pun) the whole discussion.

That is certainly understandable.

When I began this particular thread it was because I came across this description of what seemed to me to be an interesting book by a (I presume) White scholar claiming to have uncovered evidence that "color" attachments predated the institution of African enslavement.

Maybe it is just my peculiar bias as a graduate student, but I find such a claim to be a fascinating one for discussion.

Even going with the flow, and changing the topic to a discussion about "real" Blackness--even that is an interesting topic that it seems to me we could have a true discussion about. Every time this topic comes up, I fail to get any takers about how we would actually go about defining Blackness, what would be the basis of these definitions, what would be the basis for the authority to decide, or how any definitions would actually matter.

I am relatively new to discussion board "conversations"--I'm still learning that these forums are many things to many people--including an exercise in community building, self-esteem building, entertainment and provocation, etc.

It's all good. Have a great afternoon everybody.
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Tonya
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Posted on Tuesday, August 02, 2005 - 01:50 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Cynnique,

Like always, you used a whole lot of words to say a whole lot of nothing.

So You got played.

Then you got mad.

So You tried to take it to the gutter.

And you got played again.

And again.

And again.

And again.

And again.

And again.

That's what happened.

Tonya

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Cynnique
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Posted on Tuesday, August 02, 2005 - 02:10 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Oh give it a rest, Tonya. Is there no end to your self-delusion. And now you're in denial because you can't come up with a rebuttal. Pathetic. (And damned if there aren't some clues that once again raise suspicious about you being Kola) LMAO. BTW, check back and see if the infamous ethiopian didn't call Venus and Serena monkeys. That how the comparison came up. Now I'll respond to the intelligent question Yvette posed.
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Tonya
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Posted on Tuesday, August 02, 2005 - 02:14 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Yvette,

I think Nadine did an excellent job with her description. What more can we say?

Tonya

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Tonya
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Posted on Tuesday, August 02, 2005 - 02:24 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I dont expect the truth from you Cynnique, so I'll just leave it alone.

Tonya
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Cynnique
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Yvette: I always thought that blackness was synonymous with hipness, with effortless style and panache. It's an attitude. It's a pimp walk, a fat sista secure in her skin; it's a jazz musician speaking in his unique vernacular, a rapper in a doo rag; it's a casual attitude about promptness, it's a pentecostal preacher shouting his sermon, it's ingenious street slang. It's a designer-clad articulate woman, straining to keep from comin out of her "ghetto" bag, while telling off a white person in corporate America. It's a executive type brotha unable to pass up a pick-up basket ball game. It's a slam dunk, a touch-down dance. It's permed hair and dread locks, braids and weaves. It's Donna Karan and WalMart. It's the cha-cha electric slide or an Alvin Ailey ballet. It's that "knowing" eye contact between 2 black strangers when they see a white person doing something - only a white person would do. It's brilliant prose born in pain and poetry that flows like the Niger river. African-Americans are said to be more right-brained, meaning that the spontaneous, creative, instinctive hemisphere of their brain is more developed than the abstract analytical left side of the brain, all of which has nothing to do with what shade their skin color is. What is blackness? It's neither better or worse than whiteness. It's just different. And cool.
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Cynnique
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Posted on Tuesday, August 02, 2005 - 02:53 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Truth?? You can't handle the truth, Tonya! It would blow your game.
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Tonya
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Posted on Tuesday, August 02, 2005 - 03:11 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

If you notice Cynnique,

I dont respond to most of what you say.
I only respond to the parts that interest me.

As for being black, I always say, if you gotta ask, you're probably not black.

Tonya
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Cynnique
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Posted on Tuesday, August 02, 2005 - 03:22 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Who cares what you always say, Tonya? Who are you?? zzzzzzzzz Now if you'll just say what you mean, and put a sock in it, we can move on.
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Tonya
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Posted on Tuesday, August 02, 2005 - 04:00 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

You got what I mean.

Tonya

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Tonya
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Posted on Tuesday, August 02, 2005 - 04:34 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Lemme stop messin with you Cynnique.

You're a whole lot of fun-but umma leave you alone for now.

Tonya
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Cynnique
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Posted on Tuesday, August 02, 2005 - 04:52 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Obviously, Tonyaya, you don't mean what you say or you wouldn't still be posting. And frankly, I don't think you get what you mean, yourself, which is understandable because what you mean makes very little sense. But that's OK because it's good for a laugh. BTW, did they call you for that job opening at the Phildelphia Cream cheese factory yet? Huh? Huh? If not, don't despair. Maybe you can go to work for Kola or - maybe even go to work as Kola! If you got sense enough to get what I mean. ROTHFLOL
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Cynnique
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Posted on Tuesday, August 02, 2005 - 05:38 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Slow Poke, is that you lurking around, doing that star thing???? LOL
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Sisg
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Posted on Wednesday, August 03, 2005 - 09:02 am:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

You go Cynique! I loved your definition of blackness!!!!!!
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Abm
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Posted on Wednesday, August 03, 2005 - 11:22 am:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

There is a difference between physical Blackness and cultural Blackness.

A BIG difference.

And, ironically, the manipulation, distortion and perversion and of cultural Blackness is in many instances resulting in the diminution and elimination of physical Blackness.


Do we as African Americans value authentic, natural physical Blackness...should we value it?

Why?

Or why not?


Perhaps THOSE are what is really at issue.
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Yvettep
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Posted on Wednesday, August 03, 2005 - 12:15 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

authentic, natural physical Blackness

My same question applies: What is "authentic" and "natural" when it comes to "physical" Blackness? Is there some sort of "merit/demerit" system whereby you can "buy" your way into real Blackness if you are, say lightskinned, by being more culturally or politically Black? (Think Malcolm X.) If you are brown skinned can you become more authentic by locking your hair or changing your name to something "African"? If you are very dark skinned with African features can you be expelled from Blackness because of your actions? (Think Clarence Thomas.)

I value authenticity in "Blackness"--culturally, physically, personally, spiritually, politically, artistically. Which is why I am suspicious of anyone claiming to tell me what is "real" Blackness and what is not. I value Blackness because I value myself and my ancestors and my parents and my husband and my children... I value it because too many people would seek to destroy it, and I will not be destroyed.
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Abm
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Posted on Wednesday, August 03, 2005 - 01:29 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

'Vette,

I am simply trying to define what IS the real issue: Is it how we look or how we live?

I mean African Blackness as it appears in its purest, unmixed sense. I mean free of slave rape, brownbag testing, blue-veined/highyella preferences, interracial coupling, etc. And no hair locking, name changing, Black nationalism, etc.

Yes, Malcolm was culturally Black...BIGTIME. But he sure didn't LOOK it to some degree.

And, yes, I suppose I am referring to whether one is as or more African looking than Clarence Thomas.

I'm not assigning any "merit/demerit" to what one thinks. Because, if these myriad discussions on this subject has proven anything is that THAT is POINTLESS to do.

I'm just asking does and should being physically BLACK in and onto itself MEAN anything. And if it does...WHAT?
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Yvettep
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Posted on Wednesday, August 03, 2005 - 01:48 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

What is "being physically BLACK"?
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Abm
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Posted on Wednesday, August 03, 2005 - 01:58 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

'Vette,

No disrespect intended, but I find it somewhat odd - though telling - that you had to ask that question.


Okay. To cut to the chase: I mean "you and none within your blood lineage have never been a non-Negroid" Black.
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Nadine Holden
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Posted on Wednesday, August 03, 2005 - 02:09 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Yvette,

I'm going to kill you for making me write all this.

You need to get a plane to Africa and STAY about 3 years, just wandering around.

You'll find that even their light brown people (what few they have) look just like the black ones. There's a "negritude", a "uniformity" that has been much talked about that is always present. I don't care if you stand in Ethiopia, Ghana, the Congo or Southern Africa, there is a cadence to Black looks. These same exact looks can be found among American Blacks and West Indians who have not been exposed to a lot of mixing. Which is why I completely understand the reason that the Arabic, Berber and Beja peoples of the North refuse to be called Black and are in fact foreigners both culturally and lookswise.

I hate to agree with Kola's earlier pronouncements about people clinging to the plantation, because within my own family, there is such a diversity of looks, but Kola is right. We are in denial about what has happened to us here and we are supporting the white man's slaughtering of our looks, which does separate us over time from our culture. Even Malcolm warned against the danger of losing a "common look". As we lose Black looks, we automatically lose touch with Black culture as well.

It seems to me that for us, who are African American, we should look to the faces and looks of our ancestors from West Africa to decide what is most authentic. Hell, you can look at photos of blacks from the 40's and 50's to see that we are moving away from what is authentically aesthetically "black". There is a new neutral look nowadays that to me isn't black. The speech cadence is gone. The preferences in food, clothing, etc. is European or anything not related to blacks.

Yvette, how many teenaged black girls you know that can cook a peach cobbler and a pot of greens and how many black teen boys you know want to eat that stuff? Where is this adjoining culture you talk about?

Authentic Black people, Yvette, look like those people in Africa who are Black and call themselves Black. Authentic Black people have some form of dark skin, or if the skin is red or yellow, they have one of the three types of African facial features, which I'm not going to get into. The main defining factor, as far as African people are concerned, is the hair. It certainly does differentiate them from all other peoples. I think Kola had this in her video and I've seen it all over Africa when I visited. The people who didn't want to be called Black would point out that they had slick hair and European or Asian facial characteristics.

I, like you, often don't post because I would rather avoid any negative skirmishes with people, but you nearly seem to be insulting us with this refusal to acknowledge that Black people have characteristics of their own, separate from other races of people.

You know exactly what people mean when they say authentic blackness.





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Yvettep
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Posted on Wednesday, August 03, 2005 - 02:13 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I'm not catching your meaning: I do not know why you find my question odd. And I do not know what my asking it tells you. Perhaps you find me odd. Or argumentative. Or "not really Black." I don't know.

I am not trying to split hairs in asking these questions. In past times I have been at the same time considered both "too Black" and "an Uncle Tom" (or, Aunt Thomasina!) for my behaviors/beliefs/statements. I am visually "Black American" though in various contexts I have been mistaken for Haitian, Puerto Rican, and Turkish. I have gone through the various stages of Black identity hypothesized by Cross and other "nigrescence" psychologists.

Am I to stop calling myself "Black" because some would deem to define me out of myself? It seems to me that the burden of proof is on those who would claim to be able to point to someone or something and say "That's Black" or "That's NOT Black." I have to keep asking "that question" because I have yet to receive an answer that satisfies my curiousity.

How far back should we go to get to the "real," "true" core of "African-ness"--assuming this is what would make us authentically "Black"? Which African culture/tribe/ethnic group? Prior to what cultural/religious invasion, conversion, or other influence from outside of that culture? Then once we find this magical mystical African realness, how might we adapt it for our current times (assuming we want to adapt it) while keeping it real?

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Nadine Holden
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Posted on Wednesday, August 03, 2005 - 02:24 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Yvette, go to Africa.

You will more than have that question answered all over the continent by painfully truthful black people and non-black people alike.

Your own eyes will answer the question.

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Nadine Holden
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Posted on Wednesday, August 03, 2005 - 02:31 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

This is where you really insult us.

Yvette:

How far back should we go to get to the "real," "true" core of "African-ness"--

Nadine:

Why are they called "Back"? As though you're forward?

Yvette:

Then once we find this magical mystical African realness,

Nadine:

What the hell are you talking about "magicl", "mystical"? These people are human beings! Their reality is the begging of us!

Yvette:

how might we adapt it for our current times (assuming we want to adapt it) while keeping it real?

Nadine:

Now this is what really pisses me off.

We don't have to "adapt" anything for our current times. Most of us in America still look like African people. All we have to do is share each other's company. We by and large still have negro noses, lips, body shapes, nappy hair and most of us still fit the range of color.

I saw whole villages in Africa that looked like naked New Yorkers who hadn't combed their hair!





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Yvettep
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Posted on Wednesday, August 03, 2005 - 02:33 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Nadine, are you saying that if Black people do/be as Africans (of today, mind you) do/are then we will be truly "Black"? If not, I am not understanding what you mean: How I will get your answer to my question about authentic Blackness by going to Africa?

My friends from various African countries as well as my Black American family and friends who have visited/lived there do not have this answer. (But then again, nor are they interested in it in the first place.)

Remember: I am not the one lamenting about us Black people "losing" our "authentic Blackness." This is not to say that we do not have problems and issues. But authenticity is not one of them, IMHO. So. I am not asking the question because I need an answer. I am asking it because I am curious about folks who seem to have a skill for discerning true from false Blackness.
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Cynnique
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Posted on Wednesday, August 03, 2005 - 02:51 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Among African-Americans, physical blackness is neither physically brown-skinned or physically yellow-skineed. And since many who are physically black-skinned claim that they are victimized by those who are white, brown and yellow skinned, then the conclusion can be made that physical blackness has its disadvantages. This is a situation that has existed for almost 400 years in this country undoubtedly because of the caste system that existed on slave plantations. The situation shows no sign of disappearing because in a culture of individuals, people retain their personal prejudices. In a perfect world, things would be different, but colorism is just one of the many flaws that plagues a society that pays homage to the dominant race. Among African Americans, however, physical blackness is dealt with on a one-on-one basis and is not an automatic handicap. But the bottom line is that people value what they most identify with. Unless a person is planning on moving to Africa to live, I reject the idea to adopting Africa's customs.
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Yvettep
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Posted on Wednesday, August 03, 2005 - 02:52 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I have been cross posting with you, Nadine, so I have not been addressing some of what you have been saying.

I, like you, often don't post because I would rather avoid any negative skirmishes with people, but you nearly seem to be insulting us with this refusal to acknowledge that Black people have characteristics of their own, separate from other races of people.

Never, ever have I said this, Nadine. Never. What I object to is people determining that some people who self-identify as black are not "true" or "authentically" Black based on some criteria they seem unwilling or unable to share. I am not "refusing" to acknowledge "Blackness." I am refusing to participate in the "Blacker than thou" discussions.

I do not purposefully insult anyone. If you have been insulted by my attempts at critical discourse, then I do apologize.
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Cynnique
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Posted on Wednesday, August 03, 2005 - 03:40 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

BTW, in my first "what-defines-blackness" post, I neglected one litmus test. When you talk about authentic blackness, you cannot ignore the essence that trancends color, even as it courses through the veins; we're takin about soul, here. The tenure of African Americans in this country gave rise to the extra-dimension of soul, - the spirituality that was the salvation of their abused bodies and weary minds, the ongoing mystique that is the gist of blackness. (I also maintain that any black female who can jump double-dutch is a shoo-in when it comes to authentic blackness.)
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Abm
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Posted on Wednesday, August 03, 2005 - 04:36 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

'Vette,

You have unnecessary complicated the issue. And you are needless stewing issues of culture, history and geography when those are NOT what's being asked.

Come on now, already. You should know goodanddayamwell what physically BLACK is. EVERYONE - even WHITE foks - know that Black at it physical core is AFRICAN in origin.

Frankly, the very idea about there being confusion on THAT basic point authenticates WHY Kola has been bitching about this issue over the years.

If you don't even know what being Black is, how the heck are yo going to pass that down to your progeny? And why should THEY even care about it?

I'm not suggesting we attempt to return to Africa. That is neither possible or necessary. But being Black should...MUST...mean something in the physical sense. Shouldn't it?

Or...if we all after a hundred years look like, say, Mariah Carey, will we we STILL be Black?
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Nadine Holden
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Posted on Wednesday, August 03, 2005 - 05:43 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Yvette:

What I object to is people determining that some people who self-identify as black are not "true" or "authentically" Black based on some criteria

Nadine:

And what I object to is some sista standing in the bathroom with me, pointing out all the Indian and White people she's mixed with, glossing about her hair texture, etc. and then getting upset later when a dark person asserts that this woman isn't authentically "Black", which she aint.

You can't have it both ways, Yvette.

You can't claim to be part Cherokee, part French with a little Scottish and then insist that you're just as black as Clarence Thomas, who is by appearances, physically-wise, authentically black.

At least Clarence Thomas, physically, is more authentically black than Kola Boof and Malcolm X.

By your own description, Yvette, you don't sound authentically Black yourself, which would explain your insecurity about such a criteria existing.



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Yvettep
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Posted on Wednesday, August 03, 2005 - 06:26 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Nadine, I have lived through 41 years of "authentic" Blackness. I am not insecure--Which is why I have no problems defining myself as Black. At different times I have been in rooms full of folks flashing Africa medallions, proclaiming new Africanized names, wearing dashikis, and sporting locks down to their waists...

Who is insecure? People who are not comfortable in the skin they're in often seek mythology and external trappings to verify their sense of self and culture. They say that they are descendents of kings and queens, instead of being proud of the noble but non-royal Africans they likely reallly are descendent from...

There is nothing wrong with this. It's just that I have been through it and now have moved on. I choose to not define Blackness as someone who looks like Clarence Thomas, with the politics of Malcolm X, who knows how to cook a mean peach cobbler. That person may, indeed, be Black. But it is by no means the only definition.

I have no confusion about Blackness--no more than the normal life's ambivalence which makes us all living, critically thinking (if we dare), breathing, growing humans. That is what I hope to pass on to my daughters. Which is why, for example, they listen to Miles Davis. And Bach. And the Backyardigans soundtrack. And the Jackson 5. And Cyndi Lauper...

Again: It is not me needs such definitions. I merely asked those of you who lay claim to knowing what "real" Blackness is to justify those assertions.

But, again, this appears to be an issue that is still too deeply wounding for many of us for us to have a discussion with differing views. That's fine and understandable. I am sorry that any woman would have to be subjected to that kind of one-upsmanship in the bathroom mirror that you spoke of, Nadine. And ABM, I am near-religious about insuring that my own daughters will have more Black women to see themselves reflected in than a bunch who look like Mariah Carey--no matter what she may or may not call herself.

being Black should...MUST...mean something in the physical sense

It should. It must. It does. That's why we continue to have these discussions instead of saying things like: "Oh, I consider myself to be a citizen of the universe, not any race."

My opinion, however--and this may be one of those statements that seems insulting to some of you--is that those of us who claim the right and knowledge to exorcise some Black folks out of the Black race in order to maintain some sort of "authenticity" for the remaining ones are, ultimately, just as guilty of "erasing" our race as those who do it through rape, torture, murder, extermination.

I have been in conversations with Kola many times on these boards. I have viewed part of the video she posted about here recently. I have become more knowledgeable about many issues through threads she has begun. No one can deny her heartfelt dedication to the cause of Africans on the African continent and those of us here in the USA (and other places).

My way of being authentically Black and dedicated to our people will, necessarily, be different from Kola's. Or yours. Or yours. We're different people. Still Black--but different individuals. I do not get into name calling battles saying I want to "kill" folks for challenging my views, nor do I tell them they are not "authentic." But it appears that this level of inclusiveness does not work both ways.

Now I will close out my longest post on these boards. Hope everyone has a good evening and great rest of the week.
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Tonya
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Posted on Wednesday, August 03, 2005 - 06:27 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Like I said, if you gotta ask you're probably not black.

Tonya
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Nadine Holden
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Posted on Wednesday, August 03, 2005 - 06:51 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

But are you mixed with Turkish and Puerto Rican (Spanish) and Indian blood and people sometimes aren't sure what your race is Yvette?

Because if you are, it doesn't matter how DOWN you are for Black people or how much of the Black experience you've lived---you're still not "authentically" black.

You're just a mixed black person, like me, who devotes themselves to black issues, because like me--that's all you know. It doesn't make you authentically black.

That's why I suggested you go to Africa for a better understanding.

I am Black, Indian, Canadian White, Flemish and Samoan. I call myself one thing--Black. But I am not "authentically" Black.





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Cynnique
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Posted on Wednesday, August 03, 2005 - 08:07 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Blah, blah, blah. To me, authentically black has a phony ring to it. It seeks to invalidate anything that is not purely African in origin. But the slavery experiences and its aftermath is more than just an African phenomenon. It is a phenomenon of experience. Is anybody asking what's authentically white? No, the question is who's really Italian or Irish or German. And it seems inconceivable to some people that a dark-skinned person can, in fact, have white blood because skin color is not the only characteristic passed on. The most authentic thing about African Americans is that they are authentically mixed and this makes them intrinsically authentic. At one time, if folks who didn't have coal black skin with broad noses and thick lips wanted to call themselves something other than black, the "authentics" would be the first ones rolling their eyes about certain niggas tryin to be something else. Now, we have the "purists" vindictively seeking to exclude people from the black umbrella for reason based solely on appearance. Why do they want to do this? Because they are guilty of what they accuse everyone else of. They want to feel like they're better than others. Will there ever be a meeting of minds on this subject? I doubt it. And that's my blah-blah blah on the subject.
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Abm
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Posted on Thursday, August 04, 2005 - 04:21 am:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

'Vette,

Is Eminem Black?

Is Christina Aguilera Black?

Is Kenny G Black?

Is Justin Timberlake Black?

Is Jennifer Lopez Black?

You'll likely say they're not. But they do decent jobs of affecting Black art, styling, persona, etc.

Don't they at least earn honorary Black memberships?

It just seems to me that we're gradually moving in a direction where one no longer has to in any material way be physically Black to be accredited as being Black.

Moreover, we enjoy PROUDLY declaring our cultural Blackness. But when the issue of physical Blackness crops up, everyone starts getting squirrelly (though, as Nadine says, we often revel in our alleged White, Indian and Latin blood).

I’ve never attempted to disqualify another’s Blackness. And I agree clothing, hairstyling, cuisine and (pseudo-)African affectations do NOT necessarily authenticates one’s Blackness. I’m mostly just trying to understand what Blackness as a whole IS and/or should be.

Because as the years go by and our visage and persona whitens and lightens; our families and communities fracture; our art and our styling and language co-opted, manipulated and distorted; Blackness as a whole appears to be much less clear, distinct and alive.
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Tonya
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Posted on Thursday, August 04, 2005 - 04:34 am:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Being black is having ALL the brothas knocking you down to get to a woman (who isn't a fraction of what/who you are) because she looks white.

Being black is witnessing little girls with tightly braided hair weaves stumble down the street, because they've yet to learn how to walk.

Being black is finding yourself on a date with a thirty-something brotha, who has no problem telling you he's never dated a dark-skinned woman, but can not find the words to explain why.

Being black is knowing deep down inside that your people love you, yet when they look at your skin they hate you, because it reminds them of something they don't want to be.

Being black is when momma wishes you were light.

You think that since this is not your experince, it's not what being black is about. You could be right. But ask yourself these Three questions:

1) Why is it not your experience?
2) why is it mine?
3) Why is my experience taboo?

This is not all your fault, o.k I'll give you that.
You're not always the villain in this, I'll give you that too. But if there is absolutely nothing you can do, then do what you should do-get out of the way. Let us share our pain. Let us talk about it. Let us heal and let us find ways to move forward. OUR PAIN SHOULD NEVER BE TABOO. So let us do whatever needs to be done.


Tonya





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Jmho
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Posted on Thursday, August 04, 2005 - 09:55 am:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Tonya, I agree more with you, if you gotta ask, then it's probably not so.

Being Black and acting Black aren't necessarily the same.
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Sisg
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Username: Sisg

Post Number: 198
Registered: 01-2004

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Posted on Thursday, August 04, 2005 - 10:30 am:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Being Black or authentically Black, who really cares but those who seek to discriminate, yet again based on skin color, heritage, what island you were born on? We are Black by birth, Black by Experience, Black by the struggle, no matter how many drops of others blood we hold, we (or at least me) have never, ever, been mistaken for anything but Black, has embraced, and shunned at times my dark skin, because others made it a curse instead of a blessing. We are not authentically African, but we are authentically Black, because Black is our assimilation since our ancestors were brought to America. Black people are the slaves, who mixed, who were mixed and still passed on their culture. Black people are the ones that marched and died for civil rights, whether blue-black, cocoa-brown, or high-yellow, we are one in the same. Of course there are those who choose not to be associated with being Black, but that color discrimination exists all over, not just here in America, but in Africa, in Haiti and lots of other places. I really don't care who sees me as authentic or not, I am who I am, a Black American, living in joy and pain the Black experience, that is authentically ours.
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Cynnique
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Posted on Thursday, August 04, 2005 - 11:56 am:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Back during the 1920s, people who were light enough to pass for white but chose not to do so, were called "voluntary negroes." Fast forward to the present and we now have black people trying to read each other out of the race. But the same principle applies. If a person who has black blood claims to be black, then who is to say that they aren't? Who has been granted the credentials to arbitrate such matters? Moreover, nobody takes whites who adopt black mannerisms seriously and these "wiggers" are simply tolerated. The esssence of blackness stems from both nature and nurture and it manisfests itself in very subtle ways. No black person can deny another black person their claim to blackness.
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Cynnique
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Posted on Thursday, August 04, 2005 - 01:02 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

As far as the idea goes that if you have to ask what blackness is, then you are inauthentic, that's "Tonya's" BS. It sounds deep but it's really shallow. Inquiring about this particular matter makes very good sense, since certain people seems to have their own personal check-off lists as to what they decree blackness to be.
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Africanqueen
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Username: Africanqueen

Post Number: 115
Registered: 02-2005

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Posted on Friday, August 05, 2005 - 09:30 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Being as black as the night, I'm more than tired of hearing black people argue about lightness and darkness and which is more beautiful. This is very useless, stupid, selfish, name it all.... I never see white people coment much about whiteness as pale as they get.... Grrrr, lol.
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Nels
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Username: Nels

Post Number: 23
Registered: 07-2005

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Posted on Saturday, August 06, 2005 - 03:24 am:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Africanqueen --

By definition, white people don't have to coment about whiteness - since by mental perception, they're all the same color.
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Africanqueen
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Username: Africanqueen

Post Number: 118
Registered: 02-2005

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Posted on Saturday, August 06, 2005 - 03:18 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Nels,

I know that... and they think all people of color are all the same too.
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Aaron Sailor
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Posted on Thursday, December 29, 2005 - 07:46 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Who keeps starting these threads about skin color. Give it a Rest. Some of you Negros are so COLORSTRUCK!!!
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Nadja
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Posted on Tuesday, January 24, 2006 - 12:02 am:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Is that why black men love white women and white women love black men?
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Anonymous
 

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Posted on Monday, March 06, 2006 - 04:59 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

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