New Continent

Hellur guys. I hope everyone’s doing great, having some peace love and funk in all your lives. I found this tumblr blog that has the randomest writing prompts and I’ve been using that lately- that’s where I got  https://purpuraa.wordpress.com/2014/11/06/smart-v-swag/

it’s http://writingprompts.tumblr.com/post/32343377489/the-180-prompts-i-actually-use

if anyone wants it. lol you’re welcome *cheesy wink*

By way of life updates, I fell in love with Jay Z last night. I watched some of his interviews, and he’s just the smartest, wittiest, coolest, deepest, *dreamy sigh*. You should see some of his interviews, especially this one with letterman after blueprint 3 came out. Hilarious. More importantly, I found this medley of Ghanaian praise and worship songs. It made my day. It’s making my life. I was so happy, and I missed church so much. I also reminded myself today how  blessed I am to be here; to use this opportunity properly.

That said, I listened to some Malcolm X, Stokely Carmichael/Kwame Toure speeches earlier on tonight. I’ll post the links to them. While I don’t agree completely with either of them they do have very interesting ideologies (well, you guys know how I love Malcolm) and are both compelling speakers. This prompt stuck out at me because, and I think I’ve mentioned this before, I’ve been noticing a lot of ‘glorification of the black woman’ on my tumblr feed. I know it comes from a packed history of black beauty culture.
It’s great that people are loving, and teaching others to love, their bodies- whatever shades they may be. I’m pretty dark, and I know the struggle of being that dark girl in the class that people make fun of. I would’ve been happy if someone had told me my skin was beautiful then. I still had struggles with it, but I’ve made peace with it. Also, that’s a story for another day.
The underlying concept of these blogs is something that I understand a lot of people need- being told by your friends, family, commercials, movie stars, that your skin is ugly or just doesn’t quite cut it can affect a person deeply. It’s great that these blogs are trying to remind people that they are beautiful. What I don’t agree with is how this quickly disintegrates into objectification.
A lot of the time, these blogs will post pictures of naked black women, half naked women with stereotypically black bodies, or just plain porn. It objectifies black women, it thingifies them. We become nothing more than our bodies, and even that, a certain understanding of our bodies. When you want to uplift someone to believe that their body is beautiful, turning them into something exotic and sexual is not the way to do it. Because then you teach them that bodies are all that matter. There’s something wrong with having to romanticize the way a person is, turning it into this mythological essence of beauty before it can be acceptable. Then, take away the ‘nubian queen’ narrative, and what am I left with?
What I wish these blogs would do, would be just to say who you are is good enough. It’s beautiful. That’s what I would’ve wanted to hear. I think that’s what a lot of people need to hear.
Stop making black women some sexual fetish, prescribing what our bodies should look like, giving us an abstract romantic standard to see ourselves with. Who we are is enough. We should know this. We have always known this- other people didn’t; and we listened.

smart v swag

‘We were best friends. We know everything about each other. Partly because our mothers were best friends before us, so they talked about everything about us to us and to each other. I know your parents legit thought there was a train passing by sometimes when your baby self cried in the middle of the night, I know you tell people you care about animal rights but you really only say it because you think it sounds cool. I know you laugh at the end of Titanic, and don’t get how people i.e. me, can get so emotional over it. I know the person that you’ve chosen to cover up because you felt the world demanded you do. I also know that you only say society demanded it because it absolves you of responsibility; pretending to be something you’re not.  We both know you don’t really think so, and telling yourself that just quiets the voices in your head. But hey, whatever makes you sleep at night. I feel like I’ve been asleep for a long time. I guess this is the only natural progression then.

‘All through grade school we’d play this game of alternating who won the most prizes every year. You’d get an A- in some class one term, I’d do that the next. We had matching blue braces, and knew too much about The Black Power movement, and Russian Literature, and racial violence in Zanzibar. Somehow, in the past couple years you didn’t want any of that anymore. You didn’t want to talk about Nkrumah and neocolonialism; you didn’t want people to think you were smart, or that you thought Talib Kweli was king; you didn’t want me.

‘I told myself it didn’t matter, that we’d always be friends- but I knew I was lying. And as the excuses kept piling up, I gave up. When I did that, when I cut the cord that had tied me to you from our childhood I realized I didn’t know what to be without you. We were yin and yang, thing 1 and thing 2. I couldn’t do what you did, and give up what I knew I was for something that society accepted more easily. I couldn’t find other people who wanted the things I did, because life just works out that way sometimes. I somehow just couldn’t. And I still can’t.

‘I’ve been going on too long. You’re great; both sides of you, and we had fun together. My mother still asks about why you don’t come over anymore. It always sucks to see the look on your mum’s face when she does. You wanna know what really bites? When you hear about this you’ll probably make some joke about nerds and turn back to picking out shoes.

‘I love you anyway.

Hugs

Blue Metal 1.’