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Thursday, March 31, 2016


Feeling Rebloggy

This short film examines the how drowning in white aesthetic has affected men and women of color in the United States

The European standard of beauty affects women (and men) of every race - many Asian women are getting eyelid surgery to widen their eyes and some Black women are permanently changing their eye color with surgery.

How do we overcome these pressures?
~Chime (HairCrush)

Wednesday, March 30, 2016


Feeling Rebloggy

Evoking the Mulatto
 is a multimedia project examining black mixed identity in the 21st century, through the lens of the history of racial classification in the United States. It was created by the filmmaker Lindsay Catherine Harris, and features compelling interviews with young Americans as they reflect on the complex process of defining themselves. This is the first of four episodes


ETYMOLOGY  (noun) - the study of the origin of words and the way in which their meanings have changed throughout history. [Definition from google]

ETYMOLOGY OF THE WORD "MULE"  - 1590s, "offspring of a European and a black African," from Spanish or Portuguese mulato "of mixed breed," literally "young mule," from mulo "mule," from Latin mulus (fem. mula) "mule" (see mule (n.1)); possibly in reference to hybrid origin of mules (compare Greek hemi-onos "a mule," literally "a half-ass;" as an adjective, "one of mixed race"). As an adjective from 1670s. Fem. mulatta is attested from 1620s; mulattress from 1805.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016


Feeling Rebloggy

Elleanor Eldridge was from Warwick, RI, the youngest of seven daughters and two sons born to Hannah and Robin Eldridge. Her father and two uncles, Africans brought to Rhode Island on a slave ship, earned their freedom by fighting in the American Revolutionary War. They had been promised 200 acres of land in New York. Instead, they were given a worthless sum; her father was eventually able to save for the purchase of a small parcel of land and build a home in Warwick.

Her mother, who was part Indian, died when she was 10. Much to her father's disdain, young Eldridge began washing clothes as a live-in servant for the Baker family of Warwick, one of her mother's former clients.

This young girl, a favorite of Elleanor Baker, her namesake, made 25 cents a week doing laundry for the family. She also became skilled at spinning, arithmetic and weaving and became an accomplished weaver by age 14. Three years later, Eldridge began working as a dairy woman for the family of Capt. Benjamin Greene. She quickly became well-known for her premium quality cheeses. When Eldridge was 19, her father died and she put her skills and savvy to use settling his estate. She continued to work for Capt. Greene for five more years until his death. Eldridge then went to live with her sister in Adams, Mass. While there, she and her brothers and sisters started a business of weaving, washing and soap boiling.

Read More about this entrepreneur  BROWN GIRL COLLECTIVE

Monday, March 28, 2016


I hate it when people ask this...#Mixpeopleproblems
Posted by Shit Just Got Real on Wednesday, March 16, 2016

I feel like I am the nosiest person on the planet most days. And I feel like I'll ask anybody anything if it stays in my head long enough. But what is it with white people and having to know precisely what someone else's race and/or ethnicity?

Like I said, I'm nosey as hell. It would pass through my mind to wonder if this guy has two black parents or maybe one white parent and one black parent. But I kinda doubt I would think about it at all -- not unless I was younger and thinking about having his children or something.

His upbringing by a colorblind white parent and an
black parent ala Zoe Saldana would mean 

he'd ruin our future black children with his stupidity.

Seriously though, I just don't get what's fascinating about light-skinned black people and those folks where you seriously can't tell where on the entire planet the DNA came from.  If you don't know that person why would one care? If you're not in a conversation where that's a factor, why would one care? I don't get it. What is it?

But I'll tell you this-- White people can tell who is not white like they have special contact lenses that help them measure eye shape and nose width. I can't tell you how many offices I've been in where a white person will make a comment about someone's ethnicity and then in THAT MOMENT I will realize I assumed the person was white--- because their skin IS me....but not to the white person. That's the other thing the special contact lenses do:  They measure the slightest hint of brown.

Today I found out that the people in Brussels are white while the people in Turkey are not.  I know this because the attack in Brussels is all over the news. I didn't know the a terrorist attack happened in Turkey at all-- not until I read a comparison of the coverage. The deaths in Turkey got the same coverage here in the U.S. that the terrorist attack on the Ivory Coast did.

Those special contact lenses the white folks have are something else. When those lenses start taking measurements on something that looks like a light skinned black person, they must send out a tiny beam of light onto the white person's retina that flashes, "Red Alert" over and over again. 

Sunday, March 27, 2016


Nigerian troops performed a “clearance operation” this week and freed more than 800 people held hostage by Boko Haram across the country’s northeast.
Nigerian army spokesperson Colonel Sani Kukasheka Usman said 520 people were rescued on Tuesday in Kusumma village. The army’s officialwebsite noted that  309 others were rescued in 11 villages across the region.
In the wake of the rescue, 22 terrorists were killed.

This is excellent news. I keep reading more and more heart breaking reports that Boko Haram suicide bombers are being chosen from the kidnapped Nigerian school girls.  

Saturday, March 26, 2016


Alternate Title: 

Feeling Rebloggy

In the article, 
 John Ehrlichman, 
a Watergate co-conspirator, casually discusses the catalyst for 
the manufactured “war.”

At the time, I was writing a book about the politics of drug prohibition. I started to ask Ehrlichman a series of earnest, wonky questions that he impatiently waved away.

“You want to know what this was really all about?” he asked with the bluntness of a man who, after public disgrace and a stretch in federal prison, had little left to protect. “The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people. You understand what I’m saying?

We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.”

I must have looked shocked. Ehrlichman just shrugged. Then he looked at his watch, handed me a signed copy of his steamy spy novel, The Company,and led me to the door.

~From ClutchMagOnline

Friday, March 25, 2016

FLANER, STROLLING FRANCE EPISODE 4 - Untold Stories of the African Diaspora

I find myself amazed at how much better I have it as a Black American due to our political power. And in other ways, I am amazed at the opposite, at how very, very similar our experiences are as far as white racism goes

"Strolling" / "Flaner"

Connecting The Scattered 
And Untold Stories 
of the 
Black/African Diaspora 


Housing Segregation near Paris

Compared to Black Americans, 
black solidarity in France is lacking

Male and Female Relationships

Being Black In Beauty School 

Thursday, March 24, 2016


A POST OFFICE WORKER, GLENN GRAYS, IS NEARLY STRUCK BY A VEHICLE. He feels some kinda way about that. He expresses his outrage. It turns out the badly driven car is being driven by plain clothes policemen.

Apparently, the policemen get out of their car while Post Office Work Glenn Grays is delivering a package and generally go about abusing their authority, demanding identification as if they don't know who Grays is or what he's doing despite his
1) being in a postal uniform
2) getting out of a postal vehicle
3) delivering a postal package.

Grays appears to be perceived by the officers as a mouthy slave and then they proceed to treat him like one. They arrested him. But Grays didn't get upset and stayed very still-- which is probably why he's still alive, which is why the verbal threats of physical harm was as far as it went

“It is not against the law to voice outrage after almost being struck by a vehicle,” Borough President Adams told the media, “This could have been another Eric Garner situation if Glenn hadn’t responded as calmly as he did. And if they would do that to Glenn in his uniform, they would do that to any person of color in that neighborhood.”
Adams has demanded a full review of this incident.
Read More: 

When the police officers reportedly left the mail unattended, this should have represented the police officers breaking federal law. I wonder when federal officers are going to pick them and put them in jail? Will they go to their homes and pull them out into the street and put them face down on the pavement in front their wives, children, and neighbors?

Somebody make sure to get video of that in the alternate universe, okay? 

Cell phone cameras. Gotta love em.

Read Even More:

Wednesday, March 23, 2016


Every single presidential election, I wind up feeling like there's a republican running for president that will end the United States as we know it. Except for the two Barack Obama elections, I've always voted for the lesser of two evils. I suppose it follows that I never felt like there was a real difference between the two, three, or ten white people trying to be top dog on the democratic ticket. 

That many if not most black people feel differently now is a very big sign that black people are in a much more powerful place now than we have been in decades. 

As I watch small documentaries and Ted Talks and interviews of black people from other countries like England and France, I'm beginning to realize that we,  black people in the United States, have had a lot of social and political power for a long time, comparatively speaking, and that we had this power long before we turned Barack Obama into President Obama. 

So I started thinking maybe it's time for me to change and focus on which white candidate I am for instead of which white candidate I am against.But then I thought back to who black folks seriously wanted to keep out of office over the last few decades. 

Richard Nixon.  An aide of Nixon's, John Erhlichman, just recently(?) admitted that the War On Drugs was a scam to put black people in jail.     (We've known this for so long it's hard to wrap my head around this being new information to anybody, anywhere)

Ronald Reagan took Richard Nixon's War On Drugs and put it on steroids. He made it look like it was an entirely black and brown problem and put thousands of black people in jail. He tripled the homeless population, partially by cutting off  federal funding to psychiatric hospitals across the country which resulted in a lot of the mentally ill being put out into the street. His Star Wars bullsh** made America so hated it wasn't safe to travel outside the country for a more than a minute; and he made the terms "Welfare Queen" and "Black-On-Black Crime" into this...alternate reality that seems so tangible that people, white, black, latinx, and asian still believe that these two things exist to this very day.  And these beliefs affect policy, who is seen as criminal, who is seen as dangerous, who goes to jail and for how long --to this very day. 

Bush Jr. basically told us,  'All those brown people in the Middle East all look the same to me.' and "He tried to kill my Daddy.  That's why he looked at a not-white man connected to Saudi Arabia, who had training camps in Afghanistan and ran planes into buildings in the U.S. who was hated by another not-white man who ran Iraq THEN SOMEHOW decided to bomb Iraq -- even though Osama Bin Laden and Saddam Hussein were enemies and Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11.

When Bush had Saddam's sizable Sunni Army disarmed not only did the U.S. lose control of Iraq (if the U.S. ever had control), those unemployed Sunni soldiers reportedly moved into a branch of Al Qaeda. Then when Arab Spring happened, Assad next door in Syria gasses his own people. So Al Qaeda Iran finds like minded group in Syria and became Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (a.k.a ISIS) -- who has built a coalition with groups like Boko Haram.

And please keep in mind that the 
worst thing 
that would have happened 
if Reagan, Bush, Bush Jr.'s 
democratic opponents 
had won the presidency instead 
is nothing. 

And I keep thinking that "nothing" is probably what we'll probably get out of Hillary and very likely what we'll get out of Bernie Sanders -- as far removed as he seems from the realities of power and money in this country.

But nothing is not what we're going to get out of Donald Trump.

Forget what kind of an effect this buffoon will have on our international reputation. For a moment, you can even forget how fearful outsiders are, already tired of the United State's imperialistic nature, how they might move to more extreme positions (into ISIS) as a result of Trump's racist/fascist statements. Forget that economists are worried about the world economy collapsing if Orange Trump becomes president. Forget all of this and think about the fact that this moron thinks that this is a presidential comment about a tragedy that's befallen an ally. 

This moron will turn our allies into enemies --and there only frienemes now

So those of you fighting over Hillary or Bernie can't afford to get stupid.  No matter which one of them winds up on the democratic ticket, you need to vote -- especially since the white folks have drastically underestimated their own group's racism, again

The white folks were sure Donald Trump would have disappeared once the racist "fringe" had had their day in the sun. Only that's not what happened. The most racist, homophobic, misogynistic, Islamaphobic Trump becomes, the more white people flock to him.

Believe me! The white denial is outrageous. There's no telling how this election is going to go. 
I wouldn't assume a democratic win because Trumps a  racist, homophobic, misogynistic, Islamaphobic idiot.  

Again, the white denial is deep and wide. I just read an article where a white man managed to write an entire article on why young men are flocking to Donald Trump and didn't mention that the young men he's talking about nearly all white (e-racing 1/3 of this country's men) and also didn't mention "racism" or any other -ism --in an article about Donald Trump, presidential candidate

It remains to be seen if Trump will draw votes from the middle and the left, if white men will vote republican to the tune of 64-66% this time like they did during the midterms. But the thing I know for sure is that we, black people and all people of color, cannot afford to get stupid.

If Hillary Clinton wins the democratic nomination, I'll vote for Hillary Clinton.

If Bernie Sanders wins the nomination, I'll vote for Bernie Sanders. 

Bernie Sanders is a lot different than Hillary based on philosophy. If I look into my crystal ball and see two possible futures, one with Hillary as president and one with Bernie as president, I don't see a lot of movement for black people.

For all Bernie's rhetoric, I don't see a lot of movement for poor people either (including heavily over represented black and brown people).  He seems incredibly naive about the viciousness and power of the rich folk. In order to even have 20% of a chance of his ideas to actually take root and flower he'd need a democratic senate and a democratic house, both. And, economically speaking, I think Bernie is so far left a democratic house and democratic senate might not help him that much.

I've mostly been reading about Bernie. So I can't say I've really committed to doing the research yet to see who is "best" between Hillary and Bernie because, quite frankly,  I'm still mourning Obama leaving office and he hasn't even left yet.

But Bernie's inability to speak off the cuff on Black Lives Matters in Oregon matters.  Bernie's believing in unicorns as far as what he thinks he can get done right up until you start talking reparations, bothers me.  Not that I think reparations CAN get done by anyone. It's just that reparations don't seem any MORE unlikely to get past congress than his other ideas.

So I ain't feelin' the Bern.

There's tons about the Clinton legacy that bothers me, even the stuff that is attached to strictly Hillary and not Bill. And I can say Bernie's being on firmly on the left, always and forever, is great big positive over Hillary.  Then again, Bernie followed Dr. King, got out of picket lines and then moved to the whitest state in the country, Vermont (tied with New Hampshire at 96%.) Bernie hasn't put his foot in his mouth in regards to race because he hasn't had the opportunity to do so.  He just keeps going on about how a rising tide raises all boats-- as if race and racism isn't very real to him. 

But the reality is this:

1) I don't vote based on who looks like they love black folks best. The very idea is laughable.

2) Even if the lesser of two evils between Hillary and Bernie is Bernie -- based on character and personality, there are other things to be considered.

*** WHICH ONE might energize the right enough to get them running to the polls just to keep "a socialist" out of office is the big thing on my mind now. We have to think about who people are going to VOTE FOR and who people WILL VOTE AGAINST at the same time***

Yes, white republicans threw "socialist" at black Barack Obama just to label him as "other." I know that. But I don't discount what that "socialist" label might do to the election, regardless of what "socialism" really means. I know the fear-mongering around the word "socialist" in the United States has been somewhat successful in the past.

This election is NOT entirely a battle of ideas and ideals. There's appearance and perceptions too. A professor told me that researchers asked people why they voted for Bush Jr. and the answer was "He seems like somebody you could have a beer with" There were similar answers when people were asked about why they voted for President Reagan. 

These elections are a lot less about economic policies and foreign policies and more about "Is that candidate LIKE ME?"

Appearance matter too. Bernie looks, moves, and generally SEEMS a lot older than Hillary despite there only being a critical 6 year difference.

When I decide to get over my disappointment that politics and pundits will be dang near all white again, I'm going to have to decide who is most likely to beat the republican candidate. 

Keeping the republicans out of office often makes a big difference. We've been in two wars that prove it thanks to Bush Jr. And Reagan multiplied by many times, Nixon's drug war on black people. Yes, this war on drugs and on black people continued under a Bill Clinton that was appeasing a white republican party that is NOT the joke (I hope) it is now. And with the crack epidemic happening at the same time, drive by shootings being what they were, Clinton had black support in the inner cities as far as getting tough on crime goes. A lot of black people in cities affected by crack never wanted to see some of crack dealers again. And I don't blame them. 

Again, the republicans in the 1990s were strong enough to do a LOT MORE than sit on their hands, obstruct, pontificate and act foolish on television. Today's republican party must be 20% of the strength of the 1990s version.  The 1990s version of republicans reminded me that the best thing about white democrats is that they tend not wipe us out at the same rate of speed as the republicans.

So don't get stupid. 
No matter which democrat 
is on the ticket.  

Register, stay registered, get your voter ID together in those actively disenfranchising states, and VOTE.

And vote in the smaller elections too. 
- Vote out people who change your water source to the Flint River after that river was a known dumping ground. 

- Vote out people who say they are going to close your child's school somewhere near April 8th this year if they can't pass a budget in Detroit. 

- Vote out the prosecutor that sets murdering cops free. It's been done. We can do it again. 

- Vote out the prosecutor who has mistaken himself for a murderous cop's defense attorney.  

-Make sure you're eligible to be on the jury the next time a Tamir Rice is shot. Be on the voter registration roles.

Click the link below then

Register to Vote

and then


Tuesday, March 22, 2016


Feeling Rebloggy
There is a tendency that I have noticed, that when dealing with issues of colorism, you would think that this issue does not affect Black men. While I can tell you from first hand experience that it does, I definitely understand why some Black men choose not to engage the topic.

Hottie Felon
Jeremy Meeks Photo Went Viral

MARCH 2016
 MARCH 2016 
I won’t re-tell to you some of the spiteful things that have been said to me as a dark-skinned fellow, because I don’t want to empower those mis-educated voices. I did have issues with self-perception due to my complexion, but thankfully I shed them as I got older. I have cut everybody loose who made me feel less than for the simple reason of what shade I am. That’s how I dealt with it.  But I can tell you that it was no cake-walk being my hue back in the day.
When you are regarded as more “dangerous” and menacing because of your skin shade, that ain’t a good feeling. It makes you at times go overboard to put people at ease around you

I wouldn’t deign to criticize another filmmaker’s voice or their hard work but as a dark-skinned black woman and someone whom [the film "Dark Girls"] would appear to represent, I have some reservations.

A number of filmmakers have explored black culture’s preoccupation with skin tone and hair texture, with mixed results. This includes Spike Lee’s School Daze, which featured a musical number with dark- and light-skinned black women fighting over “good” and “bad” hair, Chris Rock’s Good Hair, a comedic look at black women’s quest for straighter hair, andMy Nappy Roots: A Journey Through Black Hair-itage, by Regina Kimbell, an empowering film about black women struggling with and, ultimately embracing, their hair in all its varied glory.

Dark Girls (2011) by Bill Duke and D. Channsin Berry

It is interesting that while the issues around color and hair affect the lives of both black men and black women, the filmmakers tend to be male and the domain in which it is explored is female.

I don’t believe this is just because beauty is a uniquely female concern.

Instead, by framing the pathology and misery of the black experience in a female context, whether through derisive humor or with deep compassion, the male filmmakers are able to explore the topic from a comfortable distance.
This is the nature of male dominance, and it happens at the expense of black men exploring and healing their own pain.


Monday, March 21, 2016


Feeling Rebloggy

Now, if you are a White person voluntarily reading VerySmartBrothas, you might have some questions about Black people. I can’t answer them all — even I don’t know why every Black church pastor also is great at singing — but there are some I can. Namely, how you can tell if a Black person you happen to know actually likes, trusts, and respects you and isn’t just hanging out with you for the free beer and stock portfolio tips.

There are numerous indicators. But for the sake of time and space, I’ll just list 10.

Read More:

Sunday, March 20, 2016


Australia, until 1960s, Aborigines came under the Flora And Fauna Act, classified them as animals, not human beings.

Kathleen T  said: I'm an Aboriginal Woman and I will say this ,
our people were slaughtered, raped, tortured, ripped from their homelands (the bush) and taken into camps that were called
"Missions" where our strong Aboriginal Men were stripped down to nothing, mentally, physically, spiritually & psychologically, the settlers did this knowing that if they could break the men the whole race would fall and they would be able to breed us out, which was their objection!

Our women and children were victims of horrific and unspeakable acts, taken from their mothers the children were raised in camps treated with lesser respect than a dog receives, they are and will forever be known as the stolen generation..,but, our people fought back and finally after only a couple hundred years, even less than that, we are finally starting to recieve the Respect we deserve, and the "white man" or the "gubbament" are realising that our

Ancestors weren't animals or "flora & fauna" but were actually a race of highly intelligent yet simple people, who took care of their homelands and in turn were taken care of from the land, we knew where to hunt, where to make camp, what seasons the animals were in, we knew how to build a fire before any white man knew how to cook a decent meal!

We were an ancient, very strong, proud and traditional people who had our own lore (law) we had our tribal elders and chiefs and hunters and gatherers, medicine man, magic man & so much more. The animals were our totems and still are, and we are a fighting nation of people who have never given up on our cause, so people i say dont feel bad for us anymore because we are no longer victims but survivors and we will continue to survive for another 40,000 years! Peace

I've found various academic papers online over the years, written by college or grad students. They've said that white Australians could get hunting licenses to hunt Aborigines. I haven't really been able to confirm with a solid source But I haven't tried lately either.

But classifying these people as "flora and fauna?" That would go a long way toward making the hunting of human beings possible, wouldn't it?

Read More:
‪#‎whitesupremacy‬ ‪#‎racism‬ ‪#‎Australia‬

Saturday, March 19, 2016


Feeling Rebloggy
A bill passed last year in the Maryland General Assembly goes into effect, restoring voting rights to about 40,000 ex-prisoners. Governor Larry Hogan vetoed the bill.

[But Maryland's General Assembly, under pressure from voters and those unable to vote in an area fed up after Freddie Gray's death among other things, overrode that veto]

At least 25 groups—representing low-income people, incarcerated people, union members, and people of color—championed the bill, which was originally introduced in 2015, and helped it overcome the governor’s veto. The coalition branded itself as "UNLOCK THE VOTE"

Most of these groups traditionally focused on issues other than voting rights. But organizers realized that their low-income members were struggling to secure housing, receive education grants, or pass background checks necessary for jobs. Meanwhile, many of them were powerless to support policy changes because they were disenfranchised. The law suppressed voting among the community, too.

YES! Magazine

Please do read more: One man talks about how hurt he was to be unable to vote for President Obama, not once but twice

2015 Voting Rights Map Maryland, at the very least, has changed colors

Please take a look at the link below and take 4 minutes to listen to VOTING RIGHTS GAMES being played in states like Florida

These are fairly significant games when you add Voter ID Laws and bogus "Voter Restoration Processes" (Never heard of this before. And I can't believe this nonsense isn't unconstitutional. Some of this is an explanation for how Lil Bush got to be president in the first place)

Friday, March 18, 2016

FLANER, STROLLING FRANCE EPISODE 3 - Untold Stories of the Black/African Diaspora

"Strolling" / "Flaner"

Connecting The Scattered 
And Untold Stories 
of the 
Black/African Diaspora 



The Series

'Strolling' is a short documentary film series created by Cecile Emeke where we take a stroll with people in various cities and countries around the world, having refreshingly raw and honest conversations about various issues at the forefront of their society. We touch on everything from feminism, sexuality, gender, race and politics to philosophy, art, history, capitalism, war and poverty and everything else you can think of.

Thursday, March 17, 2016


Timothy McGinty WAS the Cleveland prosecutor that failed to get a conviction of Officer Michael Brelo.

You may not remember Brelo's name. But you probably remember hearing about him standing on the hood of car and firing no less than 3 dozen bullets down into two unarmed people
Malissa Williams and Timothy Russell over what sounds like a car backfiring.

He and cops on the scene were so scared of the sound that they fired a total of 137 bullets into these two black people.   

And then a judge dismissed the case against Brelo.

Whether McGinty flubbed the case or not, McGinty did file an appeal of the Michael Brelo decision. However, as others in the main stream media have pointed out, McGinty knew that double jeopardy applied and that this would prevent his appeal from changing the reality that Brelo was not going to see the inside of a jail cell.

How does one fail to get a conviction in case like this? Judge or no judge, is it even possible to fail at appealing it when cops fire 137 bullets over a misfiring car sound in the distance? And Brelo stood on top of the car and fired down into it--- clearly indicating he was NOT afraid of anything, as exposed as he would have been....had Malissa or Timothy been armed.

Timothy McGinty is also the prosecutor who declined to file charges against Frank Garmack and Timothy Loehmann, the incompetent police officer that murdered Tamir Rice seconds after arriving on the scene of a playground.

inty was one of those that said Rice looked like an adult, like he was trying to make the defense attorney's case.
Tanesha Anderson

Last month, Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy J. McGinty's office on Wednesday announced that the Ohio Attorney General's Office will take over the investigation into the Cleveland police killing of Tanisha Anderson.

Black folks vowed they wouldn't forget that McGinty doesn't appear to believe that Black Lives Matter, and they didn't.

Black folks turned out in force to vote on Super Tuesday, proving Black Votes Matter too. Timothy McGinty conceded defeat to Michael O'Malley with only 89% of the precincts counted.

* * * * *


Wednesday, March 16, 2016


I'm only 1/3 of the way through reading "A Taste Of Power," a book about Elaine Brown, one leader of the Black Panthers. 

Prior to reading the book, I'd have thought it doesn't matter whether a dark-skinned or a light skinned actress played her in a movie adaption of the book --just like it didn't matter with Mandela, Martin,  Malcom, Marva Collins, or Tina Turner.*

At first I couldn't figure out why the book so much time on her childhood. But within the 1/3 that I've read, Elaine talks about how poverty, class, and color, how being light-skinned affected her choices, her mindset, and her opportunities as a child, a teen, a 20 year old.

If someone eventually makes a movie about her life and includes her formative years, then the actress would need to be light-skinned. If somehow Elaine Brown's story was told by a white person or that always white-sought colorism-blind black person, where there wasn't any reference to her formative years -- much like Malcom X's story was told, then the actress could be light-skinned or dark-skinned because her skin color would have been erased from the story.

But Nina's story doesn't contain such a choice. Elaine's, as told by Elaine, really doesn't either. But even a blind white person can see or hear that a lot of Nina's work was about her distance from whiteness. 
Nina's person, Nina's art, Nina's music, Nina's interviews were about being a dark-skinned black woman. That's why even white(?) hollywood understood that they would only be able to hire the same paler, white-featured "black" actress they always hire if the actress wore blackface and a prosthetic nose.

It can be seen as standard operating procedure for white Hollywood  to offer the role to Saldana. (And, 
I do pray this was a white idea, omg) But no self-respecting black woman should have taken the part under these conditions -- which brings me to my next point. 

What is even MORE inappropriate is that Saldana's mindset on race is as far from Simone's as Donald Trumps is from Ghandi's on any subject under the sun. Her willingness to put on blackface and the prosthetic nose show us this. Her comments on how it was okay for White people to play Cleopatra, an Apache, and Othello (while wearing black face) show us this. 

The thing that's become clear in many of the discussion I've read on Zoe as Nina is that LIGHT PRIVILEGE and LIGHT FRAGILITY are as real as White privilege and white fragility.

Saldana's inability to see
that she could only be approved to play Nina Simone
in white/light circles

BECAUSE she is light-skinned
(like 80% - 90% of all black actresses
since film was invented)

DESPITE Nina's story being
a dark-skinned black woman's story

This whole thing is so much like white racism


But there's a huge, heart-breaking difference between white racism defeny-ers and black colorism deny-ers.  
White racism deny-ers don't get high levels of agreement from their targets, the non-white. But colorism deny-ers do.

That is, I'd guess that
 50% or more of colorism targets, the dark-skinned, will agree with colorism deny-ers in saying that colorism isn't real, or it wouldn't be if we could just stop talking about it And most of the time those screaming "There's-no-difference!!!" in treatment between dark and light skinned blacks, over and over with their hands over their ears, claim they are doing so in the name of unity. 

This will continue to rip us apart from the inside for as long as we allow the  reverse colorism screamers to go unchallenged. The reverse colorism screamers (dark and light in skin tone) are every bit as ignorant and vocal as white reverse racism screamers. And we need to let them know it at every possible opportunity.

As Patricia Collins has pointed out, every human being has sites of oppression and also of being the oppressor. This leaves black women, of all shades, not wanting to acknowledge that they are unwitting oppressors based on class or religion even as they are oppressed by white people and men. Black men don't want to admit the oppress black women as males because they are, along with black women, oppressed by white people. And light-skinned women, mostly via their denial of obvious and decades long looking-closer-to-white privilege, oppress dark-skinned women despite being the targets of racism too.

Saying we are "all one race" doesn't erase racism when white people shout it from the roof tops. And saying "We are one black people" doesn't erase colorism, light privilege, or light entitlement either.

Our fear of a lack of unity cannot get in the way of the truth.

White people at work prefer light-skinned women. White run Hollywood prefers light-skinned women. Black men in the public view, in large numbers, prefer light-skinned women. Yet, it is not all upside for light women. The jealousy, based on reality of preferential treatment, has to be dealt with. The fawning of black men and white people due to their light skin can't feel any better than being a person that's loved for their money -- not for the woke.

In my mind, the only thing that going to get rid of light tears and light privilege is to provide  rejection to those that are giving them that privilege rather than oppressing darker skinned women via denial. 

2013 Black Actress
Ladder Of Net Worth Success
Most Black Actresses Left and Center
with Cosby Actresses Right

For those light women that don't feel or see any privilege, keep in mind that most white people don't see theirs either. And I suspect that light women with strongly black features might not have much privilege at all.

However, most of the time none of us will see our own privilege unless we dig hard to root it out like the author of the article below. 

We have to do better.

We need more Nina-Simone-Minded Black women among us. We have to talk about colorism, light tears, and light privilege. Tip-toeing around it has gotten made some us nearly as moronic on colorism as 50% of the white population is on race. 

Zoe Saldana is what happens when a people is more focused on being embarrassed and humiliated that colorism exists in the black community than that people focused on talking about it, understanding it, and trying to be rid of it.

Zoe Saldana, not raised by black Americans in this country, should have been completely and totally alone in her defense of playing Nina Simone in blackface. But she wasn't.  So, I have to wonder if Nina-gate wouldn't have happened at all if so much of the black community wasn't so colorism illiterate because we're so colorism secretive due to being colorism ashamed. Maybe Saldana would have had a chance to learn more about colorism and how she has benefited from it just by hearing about it here and there as she went about her day to day life.

There have been studies that show that all children, even black children are biased toward whiteness. What many people don't know is that there have been studies that show that black and brown adults are too. As black and brown people move from childhood to adulthood, the black and brown teenager (for example) knows what he or she is supposed to say as far as being proud of being black or brown. But there are questions and ways of asking questions so that the subject cannot adjust his answer to fit the proud black/brown narrative he or she has been taught.  And when those subtle questions are asked, most black and brown adults are found to be biased toward whiteness.

That is a shameful thing for most black people to admit because most black people want to believe that they haven't taken anything inside them as a result of living with white racism every day. But that's likely a prideful lie to preserve sanity.

Colorism should be seen as a piece of anti-black racism that's gotten inside us as a result of living with white supremacy. Our fear of speaking about colorism can be seen as a defensive mechanism designed to keep each of us from getting too close to figuring out how much white racism has gotten inside us.

The refusal to speak on colorism probably walks hand-in-hand with the refusal to look inside ourselves. And the refusal to look inside means we don't root out. And what we don't root out, festers -- much like racism festers with it's white victims unaware.

We have to do better.
 * * * * *

Consider article below an example of us "doing better." 

“As one light-skinned black woman to another: We need to check our privilege.”

Feeling Rebloggy

Being light-skinned isn’t a problem and it is not something that we ever have to apologize for, just as white people don’t have to apologize for being born white.
I’ve never been looking for white people to apologize for being white. I’m looking for white people to dismantle the system of White Supremacy that builds them up on the backs of people of color. 
And dark-skinned black people aren’t looking for us to apologize for having light skin, they are looking for us to help dismantle the system that places us above darker-skinned black people in society.

The same system that holds us above and separate from our darker-skinned brothers and sisters is the same system that holds whiteness above and separate from us. And we are a part of this system the moment that we benefit from it. And we do benefit. As a light-skinned black woman, I’m viewed as more desirable, more intelligent, less threatening. I’m treated better by bosses, I have better odds in job interviews. People don’t cross the street when they encounter me on the sidewalk. Yes, there is a large price to pay for all of that—I am fetishized by many in the white community [and black community, both and then] ostracized by many in the black community—but when placed on a scale, I benefit...

Read More: Nina Simone, Zoe Saldana, and Light-Skinned Fragility

*- in years not long past white actresses were selected for white biopics because they looked like the person. But black actors and black actresses were picked for black biopics by age(?) and never looks as there were only a 3 or 4 black actors or black actresses WITH LEAD ROLE EXPERIENCE to pick from at any given moment.