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Sunday, April 30, 2017

Living Through CITIZEN: AN AMERICAN LYRIC



Add caption
I so seldom get to see the work of black women on stage that I rushed to buy a ticket to the play CITIZEN AN AMERICAN LYRIC based on a book by the same name by Claudia Rankine without really knowing what it was. 

Though curious, I resisted the urge to buy the book before going to see it because I didn't want to ruin it like I'd ruined movies for myself. Reading only a few of the books that GAME OF THRONES is based on (my ultra-problematic addiction) ruined an entire season of the television series for myself -- and there are only 10 episodes a year.  

I explain all this in order to say that the movie, the television series, the play is never as good as the book because a well written book allows you to feel every nuance of what the main characters feel because you get to know their thoughts. 

But if this turns out to be true for CITIZEN: AN AMERICAN LYRIC, I'm not sure if I'll be able to read it in public because the play left me feeling wounded and validated at the same time. If I read it in public I wonder if I might not cry in public.  

And this homie don't play that. 

* * * * *
From: 

Reconsidering Claudia Rankine’s Citizen: An American Lyric. A Symposium, Part I


 "It’s not like poetry, said the students in my Black Poetry course last semester. It’s not (just) poetry, asserted the judges of the National Book Critics Circle Awards’s “Criticism” category, in which Citizen was a finalist in 2014. Reviews of Citizentend to call its components “essays,” “lyric essays,” “prose narratives,” “stories,” and “prose representations” significantly more often than “poems” — even “prose poems” — even when the volume as a whole is referred to as “poetry.” "

Instead of reading this prose-poetry book before I saw the play, I listened to a Claudia Rankine interview while I was cooking. The time stamp at the bottom of the video said it was an hour or so. Too long. But it was about the race and language and how she creates. Since I create, I needed it. 

So I let it drone on in the background. Interesting. But I didn't turn my full attention to it until she started talking about how she rushes to fill that ever-empty seat next to a black man on a bus or subway.  



This doesn't just happen to black men. It happens to me too in very nearly full movie theaters. 
White person after white person looks at the seats next to me, then looks elsewhere to sit...no matter how full the theater is. But this doesn't happen as consistently to me as it does to black men, I suppose.


In my old home of New York, there's more public transportation riding than driving of cars. In Los Angeles, I am protected mostly protected from having to ignore this behavior because we drive everywhere.  
During the play when I saw the actor slouch down and lean to one side in his make-believe bus seat, I realized that I'd seen that exact pose on many a bus --that tough, defensive I-don't-care slouch.  And I recently saw the same thing in a black man in a quasi-fast food place, a casual restaurant where the seating is cramped. I've seen this dead-pan-face-with-slouch so many times I can't even count

I recognized that I-don't-care slouch that means



-I don't care if you think I'm not quite human, so sure of my lack of humanity that you'll leave that space empty even if you have to stand.
-I don't care that you're too afraid to sit next to me
-And I'll even spread out a little, curl around the space a little so everyone will think it's me that has a choice about leaving that space empty instead of you.

During her interview, Rankine spoke about rushing to fill the space as if it feels necessary to validate or confirm humanity. At least one black woman in the audience or on the panel said she does the same thing.

I'd seen the space and knew what it meant before the play...but I didn't.



Before I went to see this mystery play based on poetry that I knew nothing about, I thought it might be extraordinary one woman show or an "ordinary poetry reading" in some way.  

I was wrong on both counts. 


And then I thought I might get lost in flowery language for long periods of time. 


I was wrong about that too. 


This was "prose poetry," you see? Story type poetry in bits and little bites.  I needn't have worried about falling asleep or  fidgeting so much I annoyed my neighbors. I didn't need that giant cup of coffee at 7:30 in the evening at a Paris imitating bistro that was virtually inches from the theater. 

This play seemed to be over almost as soon as it began. 


There were so many scenes that seemed pulled straight out of my life. Little off-hand race based comments that come at you from white people at school, in the workplace, in a suddenly-white friend's home.

During the interview I heard online I heard that she interviewed friends and neighbors endlessly about race before she wrote her poetry book.


While I was watching her work being performed on-stage, once again it occurred to me that the "micro" in term "micro-aggression" offends me. 


Seeing so many of the things I've experienced from white people without ever commenting on it -- not even to other blacks it's so common, it made me realize how mentally and emotionally under assault I am on a daily basis, how much I keep hidden inside. 


So many experiences came back to me. 



I wonder if I'd have been so sensitive if I hadn't seen this play on the very same weekend as the 25th anniversary of the Rodney King Shooting, less than 24 hours after I watched John Ridley's LET IT FALL....on the white run, white gate-kept ABC....at 9PM....on a Friday Night.   

Same as a character in the play, I'd experienced that last minute white folks seating shuffle on a plane, and sometimes buses and trains. But mostly on planes...
You know the shuffle I'm talking about right? 
You're already sitting down by the window. You smile and try to look friendly, just to be polite, not to encourage conversation. The white child or white woman starts to sit in the middle seat and white man says, "No. Come out. I'll sit there."  There's a look exchanged, very brief. Then the white man puts his body between himself and his woman or child.  


I don't think I've ever commented on this out loud though it's happened several times in my life.  Part of what this play did was reveal some of what is hiding in my body.  


Black men probably experience this more often too. 
 In a patriarchal society, men feel like men by dominating / winning-over other men. So it makes sense to me that the dominated man's resentment would automatically be feared; the dominated man may seek to win at his very next opportunity. So that white unconscious fear of resentment is relabeled "potential black violence" and that winds up layered on top of the straight racism that is made up of fear of difference and fear of stored histories inside each black body.

There was a screen with imagery behind the actors, but other than that the stage was bare except for 6 or 7 folding chairs. Four black actors and two white actors that didn't always stand in for white people in every single moment conveyed my personal racial history in a little less than an hour and a half.

CITIZEN: AN AMERICAN LYRIC wasn't about anger so much as it was about being wounded and 



  • having to overcome in order to just do things like go to work; 
  • having to ignore the questions that pop up in your head about white people on the street, white acquaintances, white co-workers
  • having white friends that go from feeling close to feeling 1000 miles away in an alternate dimension just two or three sentences later in a conversation. 

There was an entire section of the play about Serena Williams that floored me.

I'd heard the racist and white supremacist commentary about her, especially at the beginning of her career. But I don't watch sports, so I didn't see the details of what happened to her. When she wins I jump up and down, fist in the air like I'm the one doing battle and winning on the court. Her wins feel personal to me. But I feel like a bad non-friend now. I had no idea just how aggressively white tennis tried to eject her black body from the sport...



To be continued...






THE DUDE BEFORE HITLER

Some people will tell you that you should never compare anybody to Hitler.

Well, I will dare to compare damn near anybody I want to Hitler because Hitler may be the worst thing to happen to Europe, white people all over the world, and Jewish people in particular

...but white people were the worst thing to happen to us


The transatlantic slave trade resulted in a vast and as yet still unknown loss of life for African captives both in and outside America. Approximately 1.2 – 2.4 million Africans died during their transport to the New World.More died soon upon their arrival. The number of lives lost in the procurement of slaves remains a mystery but may equal or exceed the number who survived [10.5 million] to be enslaved.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atlantic_slave_trade#Human_toll 


So as actual information becomes more and more inaccessible (due to lies and secrecy) I keep wondering about how Hitler started out. I mean, Trump can't keep his lies together. So I don't think he's like Hitler so much as he's fertilizing the ground for a future American Hitler.


Think about it: 
Trump's figured out how to take office and make it financially profitable for himself. He's taking people to Mar-A-Lago. He's got to be getting rich off that. Dignitaries are visiting and staying at his hotels. We have no idea which changes he's made and will make that will line his pockets.

His appointee, Mini-Mouse (Jeff Sessions) asked 46 Obama era judges to hand in their resignations. A month later, he still hasn't replaced them. (Who needs laws or law enforcement? Trump has his pen over a blank presidential order as we speak, right?)

Trump's figured out that he can just sign pieces of paper or have other people sign pieces of paper and by the time you've blinked, he has  his family members getting access to classified documents and classified information. His son-in-law, another real estate developer and his fashionista clothes designing wife are helping the president make decisions.
Trump has done all this stuff that I just assumed was illegal or unconstitutional or both. It just blows my mind. I mean, who would guessed that someone could become president then just decide to stay at his own luxury resort 3 out of every 10 days--- and have it all be legit?

Trump may be too big of an idiot to be Hitler. But he can start a war, idiot or not. And he can start a war while having his troops a thousand miles from where he thinks they are. Still, what is even worse than that is the fact somebody that already has a little bit of power in D.C. or in some podunk town somewhere is watching Trump. 

Somebody already in Washington D.C. or in a Podunk U.S.A. near you, who is smarter than Trump and a hell of a lot more emotionally stable than Trump, is learning exactly what she or he can get away with -- only she or he will be less of senile egomaniac than Trump, and move WAAAAY faster under the cover of darkness.
  

American-Hitler is out there waiting to take further advantage of white supermacist fears of losing power to growing numbers of black and brown. I just know it.

Trump just feels more like American-Hitler's predecessor than American-Hitler to me. 

I'm guessing Hitler had to have had a predecessor that fertilized the ground with secrecy, hatred, and fear before Hitler came along and planted the mass-murder seeds. I just don't know enough German history to know what the predecessor's name might be. 

Or maybe I just want to believe that there was a longer transition period between normal Germany and Nazi Germany. Maybe I don't want to believe that a country can listen to a man that's a funny looking, secretive, lying, buffoon and just decide to pretend they don't see a sizeable chunk of it's own citizenry being systematically destroyed.
I just don't want to believe lingering resentments after WWI, poverty and struggle after losing that same war, plus the election of one idiot can all combine to cause something like Nazi Germany.

So, I'm wondering if the Dude Before Hitler (DBH) was normalized for as long as possible too? I wonder if there were Jewish writers saying about DBH, "It's the antisemitism, Stupid" much like people write about Trump every month or so.

I wonder if Jewish 1920s pre-bloggers were writing pamphlets and op-eds in newspapers asking why the mainstream news was reporting on Dude-Before-Hitler's antics like he's SOMEWHAT normal, just doing things a little bit differently, making DBH's followers out to be misguided, uneducated, or illogically-angsty, just following their "working class" fears --poor things,instead of making them out to be what they are--white-racists being attracted 
to the white racism in DBH.

If we don't find a way to have a people-of-color-led political party, Bernie Sanders and his ilk are going to continue to work at being appealing to the white racism within the (ex-)Cheeto-Satanettes. He's gonna suck that mess that's in the republican party into the democratic party. 

And if the democratic party moves right and white (Clinton) or moves strictly-white (Bernie Sanders) to such white voters out of the swamp that is the entire republican party  **at a moment when the republicans pretty much represents hell for people or color** I think DBH Trump is going to be successful at Making America White Again; 

If we don't get a people-of-color-led party together soon I think the white democrats are going to wind up helping the Cheeto Satanettes prep the president's chair for American-Hitler, whoever he turns out to be.

I don't read enough world history to know for sure. But I have a strong feeling this has all this happen before -- multiple times. I feel like it probably already happened in Germany in the 1930s and 1940s and during the whatever-Dynasty in China and in Babylon thousands of years ago too. I feel like we're just going in circles. 

But I think we in the U.s. can get off this particular merry-go-round.

If we don't want things to get worse before they get better, if we don't want  to turn into South Africa pre-1980s as American Hitler takes the stage in D.C., then we need to out-vote the majority of white people.

We absolutely must set our minds to this.  


White folks who can't admit their racism and change their minds and hearts, are just going to bury that white racism somewhere inside and let it fester. We're seeing the results of that path to racial peace RIGHT NOW.  

The future ex-cheeto-satanettes 
that move into the democratic party 
or into being "independents," 
they will call 
what they are hiding behind their teeth 
"political correctness" again 
instead of 
words that reveal
a soul deep belief in white supremacy.

Bernie, the Bernie Bros, the Bernie Bro-ettes will remain in the democratic party as white racism enablers who will turn a blind eye to what's happening to black and brown folk --same as the majority of German's did when the Jews were being put in gas chambers a mile or two from their homes.



True conversion of each white Cheeto-Satanette is desired. But repentance shouldn't be believed without confession.

~St DebLynn


If we don't want things to get worse before they get better, if we don't want  to turn into South Africa pre-1980s as American Hitler takes the stage in D.C., then we need to out-vote the majority of white people.

We absolutely must set our minds to this.  











Saturday, April 29, 2017

IN THE MEME TIME: TRUMP'S FIRST 100 DAYS OF MAKING AMERICA WHITE AGAIN


Trump thought signing all those executive orders REALLY meant something. A majority of them meant nothing at all. And some of the rest of them were blocked immediately.

Except for getting Gorsuch on the Supreme Court and bombing a Syrian Airport (that was still functional the next day), Trump's presidency has been nothing but a series of fumbles, stumbles, and idiocy. 



* * * *
The images that follow are not necessarily in order by date.


















Even if chuckle-head turns out to be right about a military approach toward North Korea, I still don't trust him to zig when he should zig and zag when he should zag. 
If a white country was next door to North Korea, I wouldn't worry so much. But an Asian country being next door to one of our enemies? Um...I hope China and South Korea know how white supremacy works over here. Because DJ the Chump will start WWIII without even blinking. 

You know what else? Part of me thinks the Carl Vinson wasn't misplaced at all. I think somebody well below Trump and his clueless minions made sure the "Armada" didn't go straight to North Korea at that critical moment.  

* * * * * 


The only area Trump hasn't stumbled is in MAKING AMERICA WHITE AGAIN while providing his racist supporters cover in the form of renaming them "white working class."


headline 
CHANGING THE DEFINITION OF "WORKING CLASS" FOR DUMMIES

http://blackchickrocked.blogspot.com/2016/12/changing-definition-of-working

* * * * *

Bernie Sanders is one of the major reasons we're in the position we're in right now. 

I knew we would only get about 1/3 of white people voting for Hillary (and it was higher at 37%). I knew it would take most of black and brown folk plus at least 1/3 of white people to beat the MAJORITY OF WHITE PEOPLE and keep Trump out of office.

We all should have known this because that's how President Obama one TWICE.

But the self-centered jackass pictured below took votes away from the best TRUMP-BLOCK we had in 2016. 

He lost the primary. Then he didn't throw his support behind Hillary Clinton until too late. And now he defends the white racists that voted for Trump using the same words that Trump uses,  “white working class.”




Nobody except the one-percent, the one-percent adjacent, and the misogynists had any business voting for Trump. Everybody that  voted for Trump? It was mostly the MAKE AMERICA WHITE AGAIN campaign that won them over. Anybody who can't see that by now is deaf, dumb, and blind to white supremacy by choice


If white racism was real to Bernie are his Bros they'd have known what was at stake in 2016. Trump was openly racist in ways we hadn't seen in decades. Even the KKK got the message and officially supported Trump. Why didn't Bernie and his wrapped in liberal whiteness bros and bro-ettes get the white supremacist messages from Trump? Not loud enough?  

When Sanders lost the primary and didn't handoff to Hillary WHEN he was supposed to, that led to people at the DNC to start scrambling, making stupid, possibly illegal mistakes trying to force the party to forward to the goal of defeating Trump.

Yeah, the DNC wronged him. But Sander's self-centered Jackass-ed-ness STARTED the rift on left that allowed CHUMP to win. This racism-deaf-dumb-and-blind egomaniac should have let go before we got to the Democratic Convention.

Black women voters were the only one who said, "Screw butt hurt Bernie," sucked it up, got over not liking Hillary, and threw their weight behind the best Trump Block available -- to the tune of 94%  And I've yet to meet the black woman who loves  Hillary's @$$.

But at least we know who Bernie Sanders is now:


1) Bernie thinks about Bernie. And he's as addicted to hearing his own cheering section as Trump is
  • In some ways, Trump and Sanders are flip sides of the very same coin. I was confused when I read that white folks out in the sticks were trying to choose between Sanders and Trump instead of Sanders and Hillary, but I'm not confused anymore.  
2) Sanders and Trump, both, do not think the Cheeto Satanettes are white supremacists first and everything else (including Christian) second
  • If Sanders understood the categories of NOT-WHITE  -(Blacks = not skin-white; Latinx = biologically impure even if skin-white; Muslim =  not WASP even when skin-white;  Asian = visibly different from Europeans even when skin-white) he'd understand that Trump is making good on MAKE AMERICA WHITE AGAIN and that this is all that really matters to the Trump voters.  
 DEPORTATION: REMOVING NOT-WHITE CATEGORY 2

    Illegal Immigration is a source of desperate people And there have been times when California was trying to get Mexicans here by hook or by crook

  • Illegal Immigration is a Source Of Cheap Labor (and Scapegoats every election season) 
  • Desperate people are the next best thing to slaves for cheap labor for the one percent
  • Cheap labor is the average Americans's source of cheap food, cheap housing, cheap clean up at tourist traps 
  • Cheap Food, Housing, Clean up at Tourist Traps = Strong support California's Tourist Industry 
  • Economically healthy California = cheap food produced for the rest of the country. 
In short, you change illegal immigration too fast we all die because we can't afford to eat apples that cost $10 each and everything else will wind up costing even more. 


Apparently none of the real republican politicians gave Trump the memo that said: 

"We republicans love Illegal Immigrants. We're not as rich as the one-percent. But we're one-percent adjacent and we will be one-percenters one day -- once we change a bunch of laws in our own favor. We love undocumented workers. LOVE THEM. We make undocumented workers work for us for practically nothing and keep a bunch of profit in our pockets that we would have to spend on benefits and breakrooms and sh**. We only say we hate them on TV, dude."


GETTING RID OF OBAMACARE INSTEAD OF FIXING IT 
AS AN OUTCOME OF
WHITE SUPREMACIST THINKING

If Trump somehow manages to get the white 1% tax dollars out of Obamacare while keeping Obamacare mostly intact, Obamacare will become "Trumpcare" and the Cheeto Satanettes will be happy not to have N-wordCARE in place anymore...right up until they go to the hospital and find out they aren't covered for something critical 




OUR IMMEDIATE FUTURE


Don't believe that white racism is the answer to this riddle? Go check out old videos from late night television where white folks claim to hate Obamacare but love the Affordable Care Act when they are one and the same. 
All THOSE PEOPLE are saying is I hate BLACK-MAN-CARE...which is why I always call the Affordable Care Act by it's nickname Obamacare.    

Bernie Sanders doesn't believe in the subtler forms of white supremacy either. He's made this clear again and again. Furthermore, he is completely sure that fixing how  money flows in this country will fix EVERYTHING because, again, racism is not real to him. But it won't. 
MALCOM X NEVER MET BERNIE SANDERS BUT HE KNEW HIM



If he were to put a program together for the poor, somehow the white poor would wind up benefiting while everyone else was mostly left behind because...WHITE SUPREMACY IS REAL, UNACKNOWLEDGED, AND EVER PRESENT IN THE HEART OF THE MAJORITY OF WHITE AMERICANS.   

If Bernie can't see or hear white racism that's not a cross burning on a lawn or a n-word hurled from the right, then he's not the right leader for a country damn near 1/3 black and brown.

We need a political party that is made up of most of the people of color and 1/3 of the white people. If we all go to the polls UNITED, we win....and we win every time. TRUMP and the Cheeto Satanettes know this. This is why they are so united no matter how ridiculous their leader is.

There are photos of Trump, praising himself like a five year old who won a spelling bee, as he gives out images of his electoral map showing how many red states he won (because he's insecure over losing the popular vote).

You think I'm kidding, don't you?

Read the latest here:
This tendency [to brag about the electoral college vote] popped up most recently in an interview with Reuters this week, during which the president interrupted a conversation about Chinese President Xi Jinping to distribute copies of a voter map with the areas he had won colored in red. Here’s how Reuters described it:
“Here, you can take that, that’s the final map of the numbers,” the Republican president said from his desk in the Oval Office, handing out maps of the United States with areas he won marked in red. “It’s pretty good, right? The red is obviously us.”
http://www.businessinsider.com/trump-2016-electoral-map-reuters-interview-xi-jinping-china-2017-4


http://www.salon.com/2017/04/28/donald-trump-has-copies-of-the-electoral-college-map-and-hands-them-out-to-people/ 

He is humiliating. It is humiliating for him to be president of the country we live in. But at least there are signs he's getting bored...as predicted.


headline

Donald Trump thought leading the country would “be easier”: “This is more work than in my previous life”

read more
http://www.salon.com/2017/04/28/donald-trump-thought-leading-the-country-would-be-easier-this-is-more-work-than-in-my-previous-life/

BLACKCHICKROCKED.BLOGSPOT.COM








Friday, April 28, 2017

Get Ready for Ava DuVernay's QUEEN SUGAR

a repost
"When their father Ernest (Glynn Turman) dies, three estranged siblings Nova (Rutina Wesley), Charley (Dawn-Lyen Gardner) and Ralph Angel (Kofi Siriboe) must come together to save the failing Louisiana sugar farm they have inherited. With the assistance of their Aunt Violet (Tina Lifford) and her boyfriend "Hollywood" (Omar J. Dorsey), the three struggle through the difficulties of bringing the 800-acre farm back to life, while juggling their previous responsibilities. Season 1 of "Queen Sugar" is adapted from the novel of the same name by Oscar-nominated director Ava DuVernay and executive produced by Oprah Winfrey."

https://www.rottentomatoes.com/tv/queen_sugar/s01/ 




Ava DuVernay made QUEEN SUGAR more like a movie than a television show. So it might take some folks, who don't love movies like I do, a minute longer than it took me to snuggle up to QUEEN SUGAR. But apparently a lot of people are getting that snuggling done because Rotten Tomatoes have it a 92% rating with the critics.

As for me, the thing I immediately loved about the Bordelons from the outset was the under-story being constructed from the very start.

There are details in this television show that only a black woman would make sure were present. And the story feels so black to me, I'm not sure some white people will get the show at all -- especially not white men.


Because I don't want to give the story away, let me just tell you about where each of the three Bordelon siblings begin their journey

Nova Bordelon is a secure looking insecure pro-black activist journalist who is trying to get an innocent(?) young black kid out of jail before the system destroys him with the help of a white cop boyfriend she's not sure is worth the racial trouble.
Ralph-Angel Bordelon seeks to replace his father and run the family farm. A good-hearted man-child with a son, he is just out of jail making horrendous, good, and bad choices all in the service of trying to prove he IS a man -- at the same time as he seeks being babied by the women of his family, especially his Aunty.
The corporate-ambitious sister, Charlie Bordelon, is the light-skinned trophy wife and manager of a basketball player husband who has just found out her life isn't as perfect as she thought.
These characters manage to be wonderful and aggravating at the same time. That means this character driven story is well done.


Black Male Incarceration

New Black Love

Old Black Love

Black Lives Matter,

Black Male Colorism

Interracial relationships

Ambition

Infideliy

Women's loyalties to one another

Black History

It's all there in the first season of QUEEN SUGAR 

Season 1 is on Hulu now.

Season 2 starts June 20th and 21st.




Thursday, April 27, 2017

DEAR ASIAN WOMEN I'M CALLING YOU OUT ON THIS ONE

 Feeling Rebloggy

BY ELIZA ROMERO
...Every time an Asian woman complains that only white guys want to date her and that white guys fetishize Asian women, it usually turns out that she herself has only dated white guys. 
Interesting how that works, right?
 
You can go ahead and say it's ok for these women to have a preference but what about the guys? Why is it a fetish for them but not the other way around? Why the double standard?
Here are my theories: 
1. Asian women experience a much greater amount of privilege in a white-dominated society than Asian men, specifically lighter-skinned East Asian women. 
2. Asian women have been societally influenced to think that white men are more attractive than Asian men because western media has emasculated Asian men.
3. Certain Asian women just don't want to admit that they have a white guy fetish so they put the blame on the dudes. 
Since the day you were born, different influences on your mind – the bedtime stories your parents read to you, the cartoons you saw as kid, the school you went to, the movies and shows you watched, and the wallpaper on your computer – have come together to create a cohesive image of the world....
~Aesthetic Distance


This is something all people of color living in a society where one is bombarded by positive white images constantly should think about:

How did "my racial preferences" get to be "my racial preferences?"


So Read More https://aestheticdistance.com/blog//dear-asian-women-im-calling-you-out-on-this-one  


Wednesday, April 26, 2017

THE BLACK AND BROWN IMAGE CREATORS WORTH WATCHING

...ARE ALL FEMINISTS

So take heart, gentle black feminist!

Despite the John Ridleys, Gilbert Arenas, and Tyreses creating trash and running their mouths, t
here are more than a few black and brown feminist productions on television right now. 

AVA DuVERNAY (OWN)





JOHN LEGEND (WGN)



GINA PRINCE BYTHEWOOD
& REGGIE BYTHEWOOD
(Mini-series on FOX)


SHONDA RHIMES (ABC)






MAYA BROCK AKIL & SALIM AKIL (BET)





OPRAH  (OWN)



JENNIFER LOPEZ (NBC)



  

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

GREED VERSUS LOYALTY: SHEA MOISTURE BUSTS A MOVE TOWARD A LARGER, WHITER MARKET SHARE

Last year, I heard a high level muckety-muck from Shea Moisture, Richeliu Dennis, start talking about how he wanted his products out of the black section of the drug store. 

He actually started all this yakety-yak about "segregated shopping."

That's all it took to make the white folks feel guilty. 

Shea Moisture products got mixed in with the white chicks stuff in drug stores before you could swing and snapping fingers in a circle two times. 



Dennis Richelieu with a still from his white/light Shea Moisture Ad

So, I knew right then that what happened today was coming.
A year ago, I knew Shea Moisture was going to start marketing toward white women. That's why this ad didn't hurt my feelings like it did some black women today.


Last year, I thought to myself, "I don't actually care if white women use black products." But it wasn't long before I realized I was kinda lying to myself.  


There are some ingredients like Shea Butter and Castor Oil that are pretty cheap because white women don't want them. On the flip side, because some black produced hair products are NOT mass produced --because only black women want them-- and these black hair care products can get really expensive if there are high quality ingredient in them. 
Therefore, in the all-about-me zone, my feelings on this Shea Moisture move toward whiteness were strongly mixed 

Selling to white women is a mixed bag. But what that original crack about not wanting to have Shea Moisture products "stuck" in the black hair care section? That actually worried me. 


Yeah, all of us know Shea Moisture is a black product. And we'll know to look for it even it's mixed up among the thousands and thousands of white women products.
But what about other black hair products? 
If white drug store owners take Shea Moisture's lead and start mixing all the black hair care products together with the ten billion white chick products, I'll never find what's good for my hair. 
I'll have to do research on each and every hair care brand to figure out if it's meant for my fine, afro, and damn near zero-porosity hair. I mean, have you seen how huge the white hair care section is? I'll be looking up 20 white companies for every black hair company I find...if I'm lucky. 


Furthermore,  smaller black hair care companies will just get swallowed up completely if they need drug store sales in addition to black beauty supply sales.


Don't believe me? Get in a time machine and go to a bookstore in the 1990s.   
Go to one where the African American Literature is separated into an African American section then go to one where the African American books are buried in the 95% all white books. 
In the second bookstore, you'll leave the store after three hours unsure there were ANY books by African Americans. You'll be in that second bookstore for hours and hours looking for a black face of a black author inside the book jacket.   
When that mixing-the-books thing got fashionable for a hot minute pre-internet, I really couldn't find black authored books to read unless I got a black mail order company list THEN went to the bookstore looking for a specific title. I promise you, I could not just go to the bookstore on a whim and find a black authored book. 
This describes what is about to happen to our hair care products. 

New black hair care companies? Their stuff will be sold at black beauty supplies exclusively because they'll get buried in the whiteness in the drug store. Shea Moisture with its high brand name recognition will be one of the few companies to survive in the drug store environment.

And maybe that's the plan -- quasi-monopoly.


Rumor has it Shea Moisture has taken more than one giant step toward abandoning it's base. Not only is their advertising leaning into white women, I hear tell that they've actually changed their formulas and/or started coming out with formulas that don't nearly offer the protection my fine afro hair needs..

Like I said, that's the rumor. And if that's not true now? It probably will be soon if there's not enough back lash.

Trust me. I've already proven to myself that I can see into the future. I can teach you how to do it too. 



All you have to do is know one thing: In this white supremacist, patriarchal, capitalistic society, if there's another few dimes to be made, even a millionaire will reach for them and abandon whoever he has to abandon to get them.

Greed is always the name of the game here in the good ole U S of A.

But that's okay. Know why? 


I have plenty of black owned companies to get my hair care products from. And somehow I got started on my hair care journey by doctoring my own stuff and/or mixing my own stuff, so I'm not that Shea Moisture reliant.   
And I'm more than willing to share the information I've found all over the internet.
Stay tuned.

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