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Thursday, March 3, 2016


Wearing blackface is unacceptable in 2016

Blackface is unacceptable on white people
Blackface is unacceptable on light people


Blackface is Blackface 

And we as black women get to say that we want women who have chosen to IDENTIFY AS BLACK WOMEN to play our historical figures, our icons who also identified as BLACK WOMEN.  

That's why I, for one, had no problem with Halle Berry playing Dorothy Dandridge.

Dear Zoe,

Don't misunderstand us. We are not calling on you to identify as a black woman because it is clear that you are not one. Blackness is not biology. It is sociology.  

And you have made it clear that you are not socially constructed as a black woman. Therefore, you are correct in not identifying as black women, for reasons that have nothing to do with your skin tone.

I know plenty of light-skinned black women, who identify as black women, who responded with dismay when they found out you --a non-black woman who gets acting jobs due to having paler skin and whiter features-- was going to play Nina Simone, who was routinely criticized for being darker-skinned with zero-white-features.... which is why you had to wear black face to take the role.  

I know plenty of light-skinned black women who identify as black women who do NOT HAVE TO HAVE  IT explained to them that....
Black face is unacceptable on white peopleBlack face is unacceptable on light peopleBECAUSE Black face is Black face. 

If you're not raised as a black person this is going to be as confusing for you as it is for white people, many of whom also claim colorblindness as a virtue.  
I understand that. 

But please do make an attempt to understand this:

1) Blackface is blackface
(on you, on Sandra Bullock, on Brittany Spears)

2) Race is not biology. Therefore YOUR blackface is blackface TOO (And it would be on Halle Berry or Vanessa Williams)

3) Race is a sociological construct.

4) You do not identify as Black. And a blind person can tell you are not black by your words.

5) Nina Simone was one of us and all the way black

6) You need our permission to play one of us. You didn't get it and you wouldn't have gotten it --same as the producers of "The Gods Of Egypt"

7) Nina Simone is probably spinning in her grave knowing somebody who does not identify as black is playing her in a movie while wearing blackface. 

Black women understand this. Brown women understand this. A bunch of white women understand this. You would understand this too if respect is any part of your mental repertoire. 

The grave spinning is likely why Nina Simone's Official Twitter account just took the gloves off

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