Beauty and Race

Warning: This post contains strong images and unfiltered truths.

For centuries, yes even now, Black physical features have been considered unattractive or “ugly.” Broad noses, full lips, round hips and round buttocks were a long standing source of mockery geared towards Black people. If you were to take a look back at Black caricatures, it typically featured oversized lips, bigger than broader noses, our buttocks were made to look more oversized than what it really was and of course, we can’t forget the “Black” face.

Keep reading because I’m going to post a snippet of Coal Black and de Sebben Dwarfs at the end. Smh at the spelling. They knew what they were doing…

As a Black woman, and woman of color, I have to wonder why such caricature features were thrust into the limelight as “ugly“, yet at the very same time, you had a lot of racist White men running to sleep with Black women. Society likes to keep that dark dirty secret hidden, but Black people know better. Ask any Black person to pull out pictures of their past relatives and you will unfortunately see products of racist interracial relationships. It was painfully evident in my Grandfather and on his side of the family.

Say what you want, but such disgusting and racist behavior was used and is still used to lower the self-esteem of Black people and in a lot of cases, it has worked. A lot of Black people have been getting surgery to make their Black nose more European, others have lightened their skin, and some have even reduced the size of lips. Some Black women have even opted to wear their hair straight because society says Afro-textured hair is ugly or “unprofessional.” How sad.

On the flip side, you have White women getting lip injections to try and mimic the full lips typically found in Black women. Others have rushed to get butt injections or implants because now it seems that having round buttocks and hips is sexy and attractive. I got news for you, it always has been. I know within my own family there were racist and prejudiced White men who foamed all out the mouths at stacked women like my Mom, aunts and her cousins when they were growing up in the 50’s and 60’s. You won’t find too many White Grandfathers admitting that. Yes, I said it.

I love my Black features, especially my full lips because they go perfectly with my medium length eye lashes and my large eye folds. Whenever I’m dressed up for a night out on the town, you’d be surprised how many White business men approach me. Some I can tell have a “Black” fetish that they want to live out, but Anita is not going to be a Jezebel experience for no man. Sadly, some Black women have because they crave the approval of White men. How sad.

Black people have been the largest target of hatred and mockery when it comes to our physical characteristics which has in turn, affected the self-esteem of millions of Black people around the world. That has to change. The cycle must be broken. Beauty is not found within one race, but all races. My Black is beautiful and your (insert race) is beautiful too!

Click here for a brief snippet of Coal Black and de Sebben Dwarfs.

Until next time…

Don’t Be Like This…

Don’t be racist, prejudiced or discriminate against someone who is of another race or nationality. We don’t deserve such ill-treatment and hate. We have feelings and rights too. As a person of color, I’m more in tune with racism, prejudice and discrimination because I live it and deal with it every single day. If you are not a person of color, you CAN’T relate, but you CAN empathize…

Just take a look at the news. There is so much of hate towards people of color and those of a different nationality. Racists and prejudiced people have such a long history of violence and it’s still prevalent today. They like to use violence and intimidation, yet people of color, especially Black people, are often seen as violent or threatening. It’s quite ironic considering how history has shown that we’ve been the biggest victims of racism, hate and violence. And you know what? We still are.

It’s amazing how racist and prejudiced people try to justify hating someone based solely on their race, ethnic background or nationality. It makes no sense whatsoever which is why I believe all prejudiced and racist people are dumb and delusional. You can’t convince me otherwise.

Until next time…

Don’t Sweat It

Time for another random post in response to a blog request. For those of you who are new to my blog, you can always email blog topic requests to algibson@bookinganita.com. This post may be a bit lengthy FYI.

I have a young reader in her twenties who recently experienced prejudice within the workplace. I was asked how do I deal with such unfortunate behaviors and to list my most recent experience of prejudice within the workplace.

Let me first say that even though I’m some years older than you, I still remember the stunned feeling that hit me when I had my first encounter of prejudice within the workplace. I was twenty-two years old and just like you, I was shocked when it first happened. I can tell you that as time goes on, you’ll eventually get used to it. It’s unfortunate that I have to say that last part, but it’s true.

As a person of color, I know all too well how I’m perceived by some White people. Not all White people are racist or prejudice, but some do exist within the workplace. I’m the type of individual where I don’t care what a prejudiced person says or thinks about me because they aren’t that important enough for me to care about. Do I sometimes find them annoying? Yes, but not to the point where I worry over them or lose sleep at night over them.

As far as a recent incident of prejudice within the workplace, a few weeks ago I had someone in upper management say to me that they were shocked to see that I knew how to interact professionally and socially. They did not stop there. They went further and stated that they were surprised I knew how to shake hands and hold a conversation. Unbelievable and sad.

If you are a person of color and you find yourself experiencing prejudice within the workplace, never stoop down to such a low level where you spew racism or prejudice back. Be better than that because you are better than that. Let them look ignorant and silly by themselves as you continue to live your best life.

Your life is not based on the negative thoughts and opinions of others beautiful people! Remember that. 🤔💭👌🏾

Until next time…

Viola Gregg Liuzzo

Does the name above ring a bell? Many have never heard of her even though she played a pivotal role during the Civil Rights movement. If you’ve never heard of her, I’m going to educate you briefly about her.

Viola Gregg Liuzzo was a White woman and mother of five who was killed in Selma, Alabama on March 25, 1965. Why was she killed? Because she was shuttling Black Civil Rights activists back and forth in an effort to try and keep them safe. Viola participated in many marches because she herself came from a poor background and grew up in the heavily segregated South. Primarily in Tennessee.

Viola was passionate about life and she wanted everyone regardless of their color to be treated fairly and with dignity and respect. Sadly, her efforts came to a tragic end when a group of Klan members gunned her down after spotting a Black male in the car with her. She was a “race mixer” and a traitor in their eyes and because of that, they decided to take her life. How sad.

Her assailants would go through a number of trials that resulted in acquittals and hung juries. In short, she hardly received any justice even though three of her attackers received a light sentence. When I see how the amount of racism, prejudice and hate is rearing its ugly head in unprecedented numbers, I think to myself how such ideas and mentalities are a waste of life.

If you are going to dislike someone, base it off of their character and not their skin color, ethnic background or socioeconomic status. To take a person’s life because they are of another race, ethnic background or because they choose to be friends with a different race is disgusting.

Its time to come together now more so than ever. Don’t believe me? Just take a look around. Until next time…

Does My Melanin Offend You? 

As a woman of color, I have had my share of racism and prejudices. It comes with the territory I guess of being Black. Many people today still feel and share the belief that Black people are unequal, uneducated and of a lower class. It has been said many times that cooking in the kitchen or cleaning up after folks is what Black people do best. Doing anything other than that or better than that poses a threat towards those with such warped beliefs. For some, it is almost too much for them to see another Black person do well, let alone better than them. For others, that connotation is simply unbelievable. 

Time and time again I have had to listen to my family and close friends vent about how they are treated at their places of employment. Some of it is subtle racism and some of it is not. There were times when my mouth was left open after hearing some of the things they went through because I could not fathom some of the things they were telling me. It is enough to make you angry and it is enough to break your heart. 

My subtle encounters with racism and prejudice usually happens when people find out “smart” or knowledgeable I am when it comes to a lot of things. I am sure at first glance I am seen as a small Black woman with not much to offer. As soon as they realize I am a far cry from what they once believed, that is when I begin to encounter such issues at my places of employment. I have not had a job yet where this did not happen to me. Needless to say, I never pay them any mind because a lot of it is due to insecurity issues and of course, hate. 

My melanin is what makes me stand out and my melanin is what makes me unique. Why should I apologize for being educated, motivated and Black? If my melanin offends you, I hate it for you. My cocoa butter brown skin is not going anywhere. It will continue to be radiant and glisten in the sunlight. If that offends you, oh well you will be alright. I will continue to block you out like I have done all the rest. Being the better person is what I do best! 

Until next time… 

Emmett 

​A little more than a day ago Carolyn Bryant, the woman who accused Emmett Till of whistling and making sexual advances towards her, admitted that she had lied. If you never heard of Emmett Till (which I will find hard to believe), he was a fourteen year old African American boy who was viciously tortured, lynched and murdered on August 28,1955.

Roy Bryant, who was Carolyn Bryant’s husband at the time and J.W. Milam unleashed a fury of violence on Emmett Till that lasted for hours based on a lie Carolyn Bryant told. To imagine what was going through Emmett Till’s mind as he was being beaten and tortured is too much for me to sit and think about. The fear, terror and pain he felt was most likely amplified because he knew he  was being beaten and tortured for something he did not do. 

What is even worse is that his mother (who is now deceased) never had the opportunity to truly grieve for her beloved son because his accusers got away Scott Free. Not only that, she was harassed and bullied for years on end as she tried to get justice for her only child and son. My heart aches whenever I think of Emmett Till and what he went through because it was something that did not have to happen. 

I honestly cannot see how Carolyn Bryant was able to live with herself all these years knowing that she told such a disgusting bold faced lie. A lie that ultimately caused a little boy to lose his life. Anyone with a lick of sense could look at her and tell she was lying. Yes, it was just that obvious. Roy Bryant and J.W. Milam may have thought they were really doing something by torturing and murdering a fourteen year old boy, but in the eyes of many, they were nothing but cold hearted child murderers. 

Who knows why Carolyn Bryant decided to “come clean” after all these years. Maybe it was her conscience. Maybe it was her need to make peace. Whatever her reason may be, if she was to ever apologize for all the hurt and damage she has caused, I hope that Emmett Till’s family will have the strength to forgive her. It is easy to hate someone who has caused so much of hurt and pain, but that does nothing in the end. A life full of bitterness and hate is pretty much a life wasted. 

One thing is for sure, Carolyn Bryant may have fooled a bucket of ignorant minded folks like her for all these years, but there were and still are millions of others (both Black and White) who were never fooled. 

Until next time…