I’m pissed that I already feel like I have to defend Michonne’s skin tone, her hair, her non-Eurocentric features because of this other person.

Because so far the only things people who support this other woman can offer up as reasons for why she’s better is because she’s blonde, she looks like Andrea, and/or her and Rick just look right.

Not today Satan!

The cultures of people of color are either packaged for consumption or called upon to fill cultural and spiritual voids of Eurocentrism.
— 

Michael Vavrus

That shit blew my mind and made understanding cultural appropriation way clearer for me. 

"The first immigrants to Europe arrived thousands of years ago from central Asia. Most pre-contact Europeans lived together in small villages. Because the continent was very crowded, their lives were ruled by strict hierarchies within the family and outside it to control resources. Europe was highly multi-ethnic, and most tribes were ruled by hereditary leaders who commanded the majority “commoners.” These groups were engaged in near constant warfare.

"Pre-contact Europeans wore clothing made of natural materials such as animal skin and plant and animal-based textiles. Women wore long dresses and covered their hair, and men wore tunics and leggings. Both men and women liked to wear jewelry made from precious stones and metals as a sign of status. Before contact, Europeans had very poor diets. Most people were farmers and grew wheat and vegetables and raised cows and sheep to eat. They rarely washed themselves, and had many diseases because they often let their animals live with them.

"Religion infused every part of Europeans’ lives. Europeans believed in one supreme deity, a father figure, who they believed was made of three parts, and they particularly worshiped the deity’s son. They claimed that their god had given humans domination over the earth. They built elaborate temples to him and performed ceremonies in which they ate crackers and drank wine and believed it was the body and blood of their god, who would provide them with entrance into a wondrous afterlife called heaven when they died. Many wars were fought over disagreements about the details of this religion, each group believing their interpretation was the right one that should be spread across the land."

Now imagine that is part of a textbook that has entire chapters on the Mississippian polities of the 1200s and a detailed account of the diplomatic situation of the southeastern provinces in the 1400s and 1500s, an enormous section that goes through the history of the rise of the Triple Alliance in Mexico and goes through the rule of each tlatoani and their policies, the heritage of Teotihuacan and its legacy in later Mesoamerican politics, elaborate descriptions of the trade routes that connected and drove various nations in North America. Long explanations of the rise of various religious movements such as the calumet ceremony and Midewiwin, and how they affected political agendas and artistic trends. Pages and pages and pages going through the past thousand years of American history century by century.

And these three paragraphs are the only mention of European history before the year 1500.

If your textbook of North American history goes into the details of the Middle Ages, the Reformation and Renaissance, the Silk Road, and European monarchies, and you don’t include equal description of the Mississippian coalescence and dispersal, Haudenosaunee-Algonquian relations, the Woodlands, trans-plains, and southwestern trade systems, the Mexica conquests and the Fifth Sun ideology with explicit naming of various places and leaders, then your textbook is inadequate.

Why do you include those “pre-contact” European things? Because they explain the motivations and reasons for what Europeans did. But people largely imagine North America as this timeless place and don’t recognize that pre-contact American history had just as much of an effect on post-contact history because it provides explanations of the motivations and reasonings behind indigenous peoples’ actions.

But of course, that would require people to recognize that indigenous people had their own histories and agendas and agency that affected the course of history rather than making them a passive recipient of European historical force.

12 year old Vanessa VanDyke is being threatened with expulsion from Faith Christian Academy in Orlando unless she cuts her natural hair. Hair growing the way it does out of her head is considered a “distraction” by administrators. Yet another young Black girl forced to deal with the beauty politics and the politics of respectability that insist that not being White or adhering to those standards are an automatic detriment to education. Worse, she’s attended this school since 3rd grade and doesn’t want to have to leave her friends though she has been bullied by other kids for her hair. The consistent policing of Black women’s bodies starts young and continues right through college and the workplace. It is tiring and without logic beyond White supremacy, of course.

According to Local 10 in Orlando, she wore her hair like this all year. It’s a problem now because she is being bullied, and in a typical abuse culture riddled with victim blaming, the bullies are who needs to be coddled and protected, not her. 

I truly hope that whomever is ignorant on that school’s staff work things out with her parents or she finds a better school, though that will mean making new friends, which is challenging in adolescence at times. My larger hope is that Eurocentric beauty standards continue to unravel and continue to be stomped out of existence.

And nothing is wrong with her wearing her hair loose. Sometimes even Black people who claim to love natural hair only love it when elaborately styled, and those styles are very nice, but not the only way to wear natural hair.

And no Whites, I don’t want to hear about “rules” and “professionalism” until you explore what White supremacy and Whiteness actually mean. And don’t even try to conflate Whites’ mohawks etc. with Black women’s natural hair in an ahistorical way. And no some Black people, I don’t want to hear about perms being more “appropriate” and any respectability politics nonsense, until you explore how you internalize White supremacist thinking. Don’t come here with that.

I wish her and her family the best in this situation.

vanadiumn asked:

Its not white power its MAJORITY power, POC are not 'persecuted' in coountries where theyre the majority.

When a white person migrates to Africa, he is going from a position of power, to power. An African coming to Europe lands from power into powerlessness. We Africans cannot do much with our diplomas here. Once I had learned Dutch and went to the job centre, they offered me a position as a cleaning lady. And in the shop it happens regularly that someone follows me around to check that I am not stealing anything. In expensive boutiques I might not even get served. The sales personnel assume I cannot afford to buy anything anyway. Whereas a white person in Nigeria, even if he has no skills whatsoever, always gets opportunities. No Nigerian would dream of offering you a job as a cleaning lady.

-“Strangers in Each Other’s Countries: A Discussion with Chika Unigwe”

(Femke van Zeijl)

and

…Yet magically they think they are in the position to determine where racism is or is not. 2) Varying population densities where Whites are a numerical minority erases racism and White supremacy. This is also false. Whites do not have to have a numerical majority for White supremacy to exist. Because Whiteness impacts the entire globe—you know the globe where over 80% of it has been impacted by colonialism and White supremacy—yet of course actual White people are a numerical minority globally, clearly it can be seen that this is not a numbers issue. Power, platform, and money lie in the hands of small groups that are often White (and usually cis hetero male) lead. Governments, global corporations, and more are concentrated in power and regardless of the race of the person “in charge” reflect the whims of imperialist White supremacist capitalist cisheteropatriarchy. 

-White Supremacy is GLOBAL: Racism Isn’t Only American. White Supremacy Isn’t Only Western

(Gradient lair)

and

"The media in black countries is white wtf are white people talking about. White supremacy rules the world. All these books and movies we have in gambia are from america and all of the characters are white why do you think so many black women in african countries bleach themselves to death. In asia tanned and dark skin is looked down upon and are treated as inferior and whites are treated like these pure trophies like white ppl stfu.”

-Anonymous via We Love Black Girls

and

6

The Color of Beauty

According to a 2008 survey, the models in the New York Fashion Week were: 6% Black, 6% Asian, 1% Latina, 87% White.


The Colour of Beauty is a shocking short documentary that examines blatant racism in the fashion industry. Apparently, from the industry’s perspective, the black girls who are featured need to look exactly like white girls only that they are painted black.

Who’s Renee Thompson?

Renee Thompson is a 24 year old model trying to make it as a top fashion model in New York. She’s got the looks, the walk and the drive. She has been modeling for 10 years around the world and has experienced some degree of success but her dream is to hit the NY Fashion Week runway and become the next big thing. A dream that seems almost impossible at times as door after door gets slammed in her face, all because she’s black

Renee feels that she is constantly under scrutiny over something she can do nothing about. What’s even worse is the fact that clients expect the black models to be literally flawless– a higher standard than what is set for white models.(x)

  • Jazmine DuBois:Huey, what does Eurocentrism mean?
  • Huey Freeman:Eurocentrism, it's when you eliminate the african perspective and marginalize or omit people of color, their contributions, their experiences, etc... Understand?
  • Jazmine DuBois:Not really...
  • Huey Freeman:Do you watch "Friends"?
  • Jazmine DuBois:Yes
  • Huey Freeman:Then you understand.
5

Natural Girls United (@NaturalIsUnited) is a fabulous Black-owned business that produces beautiful dolls to resemble Black women and other women of colour. The hair textures, colours and styles varieties are so diverse. Also, I love that the dolls have full lips, round noses and are a variety of complexions. These dolls are too cute and are for sale. The price range appears to be  $45.00-$140.00, and the work is custom. Custom orders are also available.

As the founder, owner and designing artist Karyn Bird notes in her bio:

If a child is constantly looking at images, dolls, television, books and magazines - and only seeing beauty as something or someone with non-ethnic features and long, straight hair - then they are going to assume that this is what beauty is. It is something that has hurt our young people for centuries. But each day we learn that it is important to show them and teach them that their beauty is beautiful. 

The only thing that I would want added are dolls with size variety instead of the usual thin frame. But with everything else, these dolls are on the right track.

I want Black kids to have dolls with variety; and I say “kids” since I am not about gender restrictions on toys. In the past I wrote something gender-specific (Black Girls and Dolls; Black Women and Pinterest) since even if all genders of Black children play with dolls like these (which would be great), the connection to beauty perception and beauty politics most heavily falls on Black girls. Thus, how that beauty is interpreted and how much it subverts hegemonic and Eurocentric beauty norms matters. 

Worldview of a Xenopatriot

Worldview of a Xenopatriot

I’ve just found a picture [this is my edit of Patriot’s version below] illustrating the views expressed on this blog: the West and Russia are the

ideal Other

for each other. It’s a mirror thing: be it ‘

Russian reversals

‘, ‘

whataboutism

‘ or ‘

Russian/Western propaganda

‘, etc.

(more…)

View On WordPress

I was waiting for someone to make this photo for me but I figured I’ll just make it for myself and the rest of the world. This is how I few about Zendaya’s GORGEOUS locs!

Adoptive parents have the right to choose between age, country, race, handicap, et cetera. The fact that certain countries remain strong favorites for adoptive parents speaks volumes of how racialized thinking continues to live on under anti-racist surface narratives.

Korea, Ethiopia, and Colombia are countries whose children fit Eurocentric standards of beauty more than others in the same regions; compare children from Korea to children from Malaysia, children from Ethiopia to children from Kenya, and children from Colombia to children from Bolivia. Furthermore, [Western] adoptive parents display a clear preference for girls and ‘racially pure’ children.
—  Tobias Hubinette, A Critique of International Adoption [translated from Swedish]

I wrote down this speech that I had no time to practice so this will be the practicing session. Thank you Alfre, for such an amazing, amazing introduction and celebration of my work. And thank you very much for inviting me to be a part of such an extraordinary community. I am surrounded by people who have inspired me, women in particular whose presence on screen made me feel a little more seen and heard and understood. That it is ESSENCE that holds this event celebrating our professional gains of the year is significant, a beauty magazine that recognizes the beauty that we not just possess but also produce.

I want to take this opportunity to talk about beauty, Black beauty, dark beauty. I received a letter from a girl and I’d like to share just a small part of it with you: ‘Dear Lupita,’ it reads, ‘I think you’re really lucky to be this Black but yet this successful in Hollywood overnight. I was just about to buy Dencia’s Whitenicious cream to lighten my skin when you appeared on the world map and saved me.’

My heart bled a little when I read those words, I could never have guessed that my first job out of school would be so powerful in and of itself and that it would propel me to be such an image of hope in the same way that the women of The Color Purple were to me.

I remember a time when I too felt unbeautiful. I put on the TV and only saw pale skin, I got teased and taunted about my night-shaded skin. And my one prayer to God, the miracle worker, was that I would wake up lighter-skinned. The morning would come and I would be so excited about seeing my new skin that I would refuse to look down at myself until I was in front of a mirror because I wanted to see my fair face first. And every day I experienced the same disappointment of being just as dark as I was the day before. I tried to negotiate with God, I told him I would stop stealing sugar cubes at night if he gave me what I wanted, I would listen to my mother’s every word and never lose my school sweater again if he just made me a little lighter. But I guess God was unimpressed with my bargaining chips because He never listened.

And when I was a teenager my self-hate grew worse, as you can imagine happens with adolescence. My mother reminded me often that she thought that I was beautiful but that was no conservation, she’s my mother, of course she’s supposed to think I am beautiful. And then…Alek Wek. A celebrated model, she was dark as night, she was on all of the runways and in every magazine and everyone was talking about how beautiful she was. Even Oprah called her beautiful and that made it a fact. I couldn’t believe that people were embracing a woman who looked so much like me, as beautiful. My complexion had always been an obstacle to overcome and all of a sudden Oprah was telling me it wasn’t. It was perplexing and I wanted to reject it because I had begun to enjoy the seduction of inadequacy. But a flower couldn’t help but bloom inside of me, when I saw Alek I inadvertently saw a reflection of myself that I could not deny. Now, I had a spring in my step because I felt more seen, more appreciated by the far away gatekeepers of beauty. But around me the preference for my skin prevailed, to the courters that I thought mattered I was still unbeautiful. And my mother again would say to me you can’t eat beauty, it doesn’t feed you and these words plagued and bothered me; I didn’t really understand them until finally I realized that beauty was not a thing that I could acquire or consume, it was something that I just had to be.

And what my mother meant when she said you can’t eat beauty was that you can’t rely on how you look to sustain you. What is fundamentally beautiful is compassion for yourself and for those around you. That kind of beauty enflames the heart and enchants the soul. It is what got Patsey in so much trouble with her master, but it is also what has kept her story alive to this day. We remember the beauty of her spirit even after the beauty of her body has faded away.

And so I hope that my presence on your screens and in the magazines may lead you, young girl, on a similar journey. That you will feel the validation of your external beauty but also get to the deeper business of being beautiful inside.

There is no shame in Black beauty.

— 

Lupita Nyong’o

Her remarkable speech from Essence Magazine’s 7th Annual Black Women In Hollywood luncheon where she won the Best Breakthrough Performance Award. Remarkable. Just…remarkable. *tears*

Media is not arbitrary, random, neutral nor apolitical. 

To speak of reality becoming a spectacle is a breathtaking provincialism. It universalizes the viewing habits of a small, educated population living in the rich part of the world, where news has been converted into entertainment. […] It assumes that everyone is a spectator. It suggests, perversely, unseriously, that there is no real suffering in the world.
—  Susan Sontag, Regarding the Pain of Others
Adoption is a White privilege.

In 1904, a group of forty New York orphans were sent to live with Catholic families in Arizona. However, the Catholics turned out to be Mexicans and the local Anglos were so outraged at this race boundary transgression that they instigated a mass abduction of the children.

Through this direct action, trans-racial adoption as a white privilege was resolutely reinforced.This privilege continues in the contemporary era. One can only imagine the reactions if white European children were to be sent to Latin American or African countries for international adoption.

In the pre-Civil Rights United States, a handful of states even went so far as to legislate against interracial adoption or even fostering of white children by non-whites, and in the late 1990s a widely publicized controversy erupted, when a black woman in Detroit wanted to adopt a white girl.

- Tobias Hübinette, Between European Colonial Trafficking, American Empire-Building and Nordic Social Engineering: Rethinking International Adoption From a Postcolonial and Feminist Perspective

[Translated from Swedish]


Bolded mine.

Why don’t they teach us more about Latin America in school? I spent so much time learning about European history, but didn’t learn much about the rich history that was happening in the Americas.