Lupita Nyong’o & Angela Bassett | HFA 2013 Portraits
the excellence of this picture.
I want to go to there.
Thank you to Martin Lawrence, Eddie Murphy , Tyler Perry and Miguel A. Nunez for perpetuating stereotypes for black women everywhere. It’s not enough that we don’t get viable roles within the media. Yet when we have BLACK men take on these roles and mock the very beings that gave them birth. When we have men of color taking on what white hollywood throws at them and helping to spread the toxic image of what a black woman actually is within the media… We are lost. At the same time the underlying issue that no one wants to talk about is the humiliation and the de-humanization of the black male. He is not male enough to earn a role unless he’s paid his dues. Let’s give him the part of a female. Let’s give him the part of “black woman”.
This is the aunt gemima ghetto-ized characterization in the media. I for one am tired of seeing black men play “ghetto” black women. I’m tired of seeing black women play maids. I’m tired of seeing us play slaves, hoes, prositutes, abused, depressed, ignorant…
I’m tired of it.
We have lives. We have thoughts, we have ideals - and the more you support ignorant stereotypes like this in the media, the more you perpetuate the ideal that you as a black woman or a black male is not good enough for actual character. We are made into 2D characters. Cheap witty, eye-popping shoe cleaning remarks - INTERNALIZED BLACKFACE.
Just a rant.
Not just that. It’s especially FAT black women who are harangued by this shit.
Our bodies are a joke
We are the desexualized mules who are loud and obnoxious and everyone wants to escape.
We don’t fucking have agency.
Amazing Shadow sculptures by Tim Noble and Sue Webster
From discarded wood, welded scrap metal, broken tools, cigarette packets, soda cans and piles of trash, Tim Noble and Sue Webster make assemblages and then point light to create projected shadows of people standing, sitting, smoking, drinking or anything easily recognizable. Every debris is precisely set in place, taking into consideration its distance from the wall, and its angle with the spotlight. The result is surprising and powerful as it redefines how abstract forms can transform into figurative ones.
TRIGGER WARNING: misogynoir, violence, harassment, sexual abuse, rape.
@HoodFeminism (which is @Karnythia's and @thewayoftheid's work) hosted a Twitter discussion regarding the stereotype of “fast tailed girls” that Black girls deal with primarily during adolescence, but certainly starts before that for many Black girls and continues well into adulthood (i.e. the Jezebel controlling image). I put many of the tweets shared in this discussion in a Storify: #FastTailedGirls: Examining The Stereotypes and Abuse That Black Girls Face though a few are included above.
"Fast tailed" girls: Black girls stereotyped as “hypersexual” beings and seeking sex whether or not they are sexually active. This stereotype is proliferated in the home (especially by some mothers and older women), within the Black community (i.e church, socially; especially by the Black men who abuse and by some Black male leaders who want this silenced) and amidst society itself (i.e. schools, media; because of racism and White supremacist notions of womanhood). These Black girls are viewed: as “adult” women “asking” for abuse,” as responsible for the abuse that primarily adult Black men inflict on them or coerce them into and often inflict without punishment let alone blame from the Black community (as “protecting” Black men from racism often takes precedence over any other intraracial issue); as providing consent simply by experiencing puberty (or not even experiencing puberty); as automatically heterosexual; as automatically culpable for any street harassment, physical violence, sexual violence or emotional abuse that they experience. A Black girl with confidence who speaks up for herself, wants to express her femininity visually, has a normal interest in boys, gets unwanted attention from adult men, and/or has male friends can easily be labeled as such. This stereotype sits in a binary opposed to “respectable" Black girls while both "types" of Black girls are regularly abused. It is the hatred of Blackness, womanhood and childhood (or rejection of a period of childhood actually existing for Black girls) intersecting in this dangerous stereotype.
Though difficult of course, this conversation was so important and I am grateful to Hood Feminism for their presence, in general, and for this conversation, specifically. It is important to discuss how within and outside of our communities internalizing the hateful messages about Blackness, womanhood and Black womanhood specifically has caused so much harm, much irreversible. What can change is how we think about ourselves as Black women, meaning ending shaming and ending buying into patriarchal binaries about Black girls and Black women while simultaneously protecting abusers. Have open conversations about how patriarchal masculinity is literally killing men, Black men in particular, and how while it is true that they are very much so oppressed via race, as all Black people are, they are also oppressors of Black women. Black women also support this structure when abusers are defended and protected and our truths and experiences are silenced by other Black women and anyone else among Black people; that has to end. Deconstructing and rejecting the way that racism, White supremacy, anti-Blackness and sexism create this stereotype for Black girls, ones that impact them inside and outside of the Black community.
The abuse has to end. The education has to be received. The compassion has to be shared. The unlearning has to commence. The truth has to be spoken, even if at 140 characters at a time. Even if in small groups and in supermarket aisles and schools and churches and anywhere. Black girls deserve better than this. Black women deserve more than the pain of the memories of abuse and the fear that another generation of Black girls will experience the same.
- #FastTailedGirls: Examining The Stereotypes and Abuse That Black Girls Face - this is my Storify mentioned above; includes many tweets (including some of mine) by Black women who spoke out; includes tweets from a trans woman of colour (@HarmonyBabydoll) who added an important dimension to this conversation.
- The Myth of “Fast Black Girls” by @LexiScorsese - inspired this conversation
- Hood Feminism blog
- Misogyny, In General vs. Anti-Black Misogyny (Misogynoir), Specifically
- Black Men and Patriarchy, Intraracial Sexism and Misogynoir (multiple essays listing)
- Abuse Culture: Domestic Violence, Rape, Body Dehumanization and Street Harassment (multiple essays listing)
- Patricia Hill Collins’ books: Black Feminist Thought and Black Sexual Politics speaks to the roots of this stereotype.
- Womanism, Black Feminism and Race In Feminist Discourse (Updated) (multiple essays listing)
Keep learning, growing and healing. ❤
(Please leave content above intact if you reblog. Please take care before adding any comments to this post. It is very serious and very painful for many Black women. Victim blaming and statements supporting rape culture are unwelcome here by people who think they have a “right” to harm us because this conversation occurred publicly. Please be respectful.)
Today in microfashion…