If all you’re doing is criticizing, not putting yourself out there with solutions to said problems/issues/picadillo du jour, I invite you to kindly have a seat , pour yourself a nice cup of tea and shut up. I’m tired of people, most notably, those in the natural hair community, who CONSISTENTLY exhaust with their self righteous pseudo Angela Davis/bell hooks feminism when they haven’t even done a cursory glance of the internet, let alone read anything they put out, and then want to tell mthat my opinion on what’s really wrong in the community trivializes the black female experience.
Let’s be clear, I’m a light skinned, natural, fat, black woman. But I’m black. My experience as such ain’t better, just different. If you want to get real with me, bring mirrors to the conversation, because it has two faces and they both seem to be yours.
Change doesn’t happen overnight, and if that’s what you’re expecting, you’re going to be disappointed. Look, the whole Texture Discrimination, Curly Nikki/Ebony outrage anthe conversations it’s sparked have been great for the community, but they consistently focus on the bickering and perpetuate a crab in the barrel mentality that I just cannot be a part of. This page and my blog….no MY ENTIRE LIFE, is about respect – for me, my opinion and those of others, even when they may disagree with mine. As long as that opinion is not based on ignorance, incorrect information and just plain old laziness.
I say all this, because I read the comments on the videos that are posted, and the blogs written. The comments section alone is one of the reasons why I’m done with the ‘community’. I’m at least 25 years older than some of these women. And I’m disgusted by them. I don’t understand the social and cultural and political issues of being a natural woman? Kiss my EBA. I’m 47 years old. Woke up black for all of them. Hair straight. Black. Put on a wig. Black. Natural. Black. But I don’t understand. Robbed at gunpoint once unemployed more times than I want to count. Still owe Sallie Mae a grip of coin. But I don’t understand the struggle.
Here’s the black assed bottom line:
I live it every day. Do I let the issue ruin my life? No. I can’t, because this life ain’t just about me. I have a daughter to raise.
These chicks steady up in arms about this one curly haired white woman expressing her opinion on a curly haired website and can’t understand why I’m not jumping on the twitchunt to break her down? But these same chicks, next week theyll be putting up prayer quotes and green smoothie recipes, talking about support.
Some of it is downright laughable, because so many in the movement, doing shows and sitting on panels are serious about this and their craft. Others are satisfied to be paid in product. But as one of the naturals I interviewed last year, Diana Ramsey from Sisters With Beauty stated, the rest are being paid in “bubble gum and ligloss.”
Do we even know our worth, the power of our collective voice? Which is measured in the dollars we spend and where we spend them? Did you know that in 2012, the estimated worth of market was $684 million, with an estimated projection of $761 million by 2017? Or that what’s not a part of that number are the dollars spent from general market brands, weaves, wigs, extensions, independent beauty supply, e-commerce, styling tools, and appliances? If that is taken into account, the worth jumps to close to $500 billion?(1) And while relaxers are down 15% since 2011, they still account for 21% of the black hair care market?
But we are over here bickering about texture, and selling what we create for a pittance of what we are worth. We continue to blame OTHERS for what is done to us and refuse to accept accountability.
This is not to say that the systemic issues that have been a direct result of being black in America, are not real. They have shaped how we look at, treat and deal with each other and other races, and will continue to do so. Yes we need our own spaces to be able to discuss why our blackness is seen as threatening, and why the reminders of our hair texture speak to that. Why we are consistently asked to hide, deny and make ourselves small so that we can just exist and make a way in this world.
But to dump all of that on Sarah (waterlily716) is irresponsible and misguided.
Could be he situatuon have been handled better? Of course. Could some bloggers/bloggers done a better job of positioning the article, preparing, working with, partnering NETWORKING to make this the hard conversation we need to have? Yes.
It wasn’t done, and now you have all these bombastic, one note, twitchunters, who have not even done a simple Google search to get facts to back up their opinions. You have bloggers screaming, “go check this out and let her know….” call to arms posts and then want to recant and say “No, that’s not what I meant to do or say….” You have people who genuinely see someone like Sarah as someone who I can network with to make the community better, be called apologist, not really black, and sellout.
And you wonder why I want to be done with this clique-ish?
The issues that plague the black community are not easy to solve. We need to be able to communicate effectively, without tearing down the person who says them. Each experience is valid. Isn’t that what Lupita told us? Do we not believe her?
Keep the discussion going below.
(Footnote: taken from the blog, on Huffington Post by Antonia Opiah, The Changing Business Of Black Hair: A Potentially $500 Billion Dollar Industry, posted on 03/25/2014. Read the full article here the Huffington post
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