so I just binge watched the entirety of Dear White People on Netflix
and wow. I’m gonna need more people to make gifsets of literally every single line of dialogue, so I can reblog them stat.
but watching this has motivated me to make something clear.
as an first generation Ethiopian American, I’m not truly part of the Black experience. my family is not descended from slaves; I didn’t grow up with the knowledge of oppression and segregation; my parents more or less voluntarily left Ethiopia in 1980 because of the Communist revolution. so Black people don’t treat me like I’m Black, which is fine, I’m not - and yet everyone else does, because my skin is just dark enough to lump me in. part of my growing up has been me coming to terms with the fact that even though I don’t see myself as Black with a capital B, I can’t quite separate myself from that identity either, because the world won’t let me.
I understand Sam’s character. I understand wanting to stand up for what’s right but not truly knowing how my identity fits in with the identity of those around me. not really fitting in one group or the other. I understand walking into a classroom and knowing I’m the only dark-skinned girl there - hell, I went to a private school where I was one of only TWO dark-skinned girls in all 12 grades, period. I understand Coco’s character. I understand growing up around white girls who say (implicitly or explicitly) that my natural hair looks matted and dirty, my skin looks muddy and ashy, and “it’s a cute top, but that color just doesn’t work on you, it clashes with your…well, you know,” and after hearing it all your life, wanting desperately to fit in. so for years I straighten my hair, I smile, and I separate myself from my skin color. I understand Lionel’s character. I understand hiding behind the written word because I don’t think I’m brave enough to speak out loud. …. I could go on, but you get the idea.
so what I’m trying to say is … Dear white people: not all black people are Black, but racism doesn’t care about technicalities.
Dear white people: watch this show, and understand that this is a show about race, but also about identity - do you know who you are and what you believe in? then do something about it. while you’re at it, let us be who we are and stand up for what we believe in. if you’re going to help, that’s great. if not, fuck off.
As I walked past them in a restaurant, a couple, on what must have been a first or second date, flagged me down from their table. From their broad, eager smiles, I already knew what they wanted.
“We have a bet,” the woman explained. “He thinks you’re from South America,” she said, gesturing to her date. Her money was on Pakistan.
I am a dulce de leche-colored woman, browner still in the summer. Tallish, with large eyes the color of Coca-Cola. My hair winds into curls at the hint of rain clouds. My lips are brown. “Like the president’s,” someone noted once, trying somehow to square Barack Obama’s multiculti look with my own.
My ancestors hail from the southern part of India, on the Bay of Bengal, which I mention only because the sea once had a way of washing up all varieties of conquerors and marauders on our shores. Lineage is messy.
But in 2017 America, my particular jambalaya of “features” frequently has me mistaken for Ethiopian. Trinidadian. Colombian. African American. It depends on which city I’m in, what I am wearing and, more often than not, who is doing the asking.
Now here was this couple, both white, asking the question I increasingly stumble over.
What am I?
Just another dark-featured, dark-haired woman in a vast sea of immigrants’ kids, I want to tell them.
Or more simply, I am brown. Because the more brown America gets, the more mutable ethnicity — mine, others — is becoming.
These are almost all off the top of Lia’s head, or from our roleplay’s potential fc list, so this is by no means thorough. We will be updating this as we go, and publishing various FC lists in the future. This is just a severe head shake at those who claim it’s harder to think of POC FCs (only those that use it as an excuse). Representation isn’t hard.
32 Musical Artists You Can Support if You Care About Media Representation
Alright, we can all have endless debates about whether Taylor Swift is feminist or not, but the best way to make sure we see progressive representation in music is to actually listen to and support marginalized artists. I have a massive music library, so here are a few musicians I’ve picked out for people looking to support artists who are LGBTQ, racial/religious minorities, disabled, or otherwise underrepresented in their various genres. Please feel free to pass it around and add to it!
I don’t listen to these artists because they’re [insert marginalized status here], I listen to them because I believe each of them is a talented musician deserving of exposure and each of them has at least a handful of excellent songs. Some of them create art that specifically deals with minority status. Some do not. I cannot guarantee that none of them have said or done awful things any more than I can anyone else who I only know through listening to their music; I also cannot say that they haven’t done great things.
A project by Odd Future collaborators Syd tha Kyd and Matt Martians, The Internet is a hip-hop neo-soul group, slickly produced and with huge, foreboding atmospheres. Syd tha Kyd is an openly gay woman of Jamaican descent. Their most recent album, ‘Ego Death’, was released this year. Listen to: “Get Away”
At the age of only 23, Angel Haze already has an extensive discography of mixtapes, on which they rap with dexterous flow and fierce conviction with pop-friendly choruses. Angel most famously did their own cover of Eminem’s ‘Cleaning Out My Closet’ in which they detail their childhood sexual abuse in gut-wrenching detail. They are a genderqueer artist of African and Native-American descent. They have a new mixtape, Back to the Woods, coming out September 14th. Listen: “Werkin’ Girls”
Antony & the Johnsons/Anohni
One of the most prominent transgender musicians in the indie scene, Antony’s milky, dolorous voice has been her calling card for her erudite chamber-pop since 2000. She is currently working on an album under the name Anohni. Listen: “Hope There’s Someone”
Samantha Crain makes plaintive and delicate music that straddles the line between folk and alt rock while telling detailed stories of the American working class. Her new album, 'Under Branch & Thorn & Tree’, came out this year. She is of Choctaw heritage. Listen: “Elk City”
Brooklyn artist Torres’ new album, Sprinter, is a nine-song tour de force about religion, adulthood, anxiety and homoeroticism. She is currently touring with Garbage. Listen: “Strange Hellos”
FKA twigs is a British musician and dancer whose sparse, sensual electronic music is at the forefront of a new incarnation of R&B. She is of Jamaican and Spanish descent. She recently released an EP titled 'M3LL155X’. Listen: “Two Weeks”
Eritrean soldiers during the 30-year long Eritrean War of Independence between Eritrean forces and the Ethiopian government. Women made up 30% of Eritrea’s army of 100,000 soldiers and were a popular symbol of the liberation effort.
Eritrea won its independence in 1993 women were given 30% of the seats
in parliament and gained new legal rights. However some complained that
they were treated more respectfully as fighters than they were as
Confession: I work for a small business that is run by Ethiopians. While they are very very nice people and committed to their work, I can’t help but feel I’m inferior to them. They give off this vibe. They make way more than me even though I do most work (I take care of payroll too). I heard some time ago that most Africans do not like or care much for us black Americans. I didn’t want to believe that but there are some days at work where it seems apparent. Especially amongst the women.
These are some opals that I will have available soon. They are the best of each of their regions. Once these are in pendants or available for custom work, I will be more than happy to work out payment plans for any interested customers.
These are: Quilpie boulder opal (2), Coober Pedy precious opal, Ethiopian welo opal, Duck Creek wood opal, Koroit boulder opal, and finally, an incredibly rare Virgin Valley, Nevada opal.