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jerryking : colorism   7

Opinion | How James Brown Made Black Pride a Hit
July 20, 2018 | The New York Times | By Randall Kennedy, law professor at Harvard.

African-Americans have internalized society’s derogation/denigration of blackness....It was precisely because of widespread colorism that James Brown’s anthem “Say It Loud, I’m Black and I’m Proud” posed a challenge, felt so exhilarating, and resonated so powerfully....the song was written a half century go.....but, alas, the need to defend blackness against derision continues......Various musicians in the 1960s tapped into yearnings for black assertiveness, autonomy and solidarity. Curtis Mayfield and the Impressions sang “We’re a Winner.” Sly and the Family Stone offered “Stand.” Sam Cooke (and Aretha Franklin and Otis Redding) performed “A Change is Gonna Come.” But no entertainer equaled Brown’s vocalization of African-Americans’ newly triumphal sense of self-acceptance.

That Brown created the song most popularly associated with the Black is Beautiful movement is ironic.....At the very time that in “Say It Loud,” Brown seemed to be affirming Negritude, he also sported a “conk” — a distinctive hairdo that involved chemically removing kinkiness on the way to creating a bouffant of straightened hair. Many African-American political activists, especially those with a black nationalist orientation, decried the conk as an illustration of racial self-hatred....by 1968... prejudice against blackness remained prevalent, including among African-Americans.....Champions of African-American uplift in the 1960s sought to liberate blackness from the layers of contempt, fear, and hatred with which it had been smeared for centuries. Brown’s anthem poignantly reflected the psychic problem it sought to address: People secure in their status don’t feel compelled to trumpet their pride.....Colorism was part of the drama that starred Barack and Michelle Obama....Intra-racial colorism in Black America is often seen as a topic that should, if possible, be avoided, especially in “mixed company.” .....Colorism, however, remains a baleful reality.....
'60s  African-Americans  blackness  black_liberation_movement  black_nationalism  black_pride  Black_Is_Beautiful  colorism  James_Brown  music  Negritude  self-identification  songs  Spike_Lee  soul  white_supremacy  biases  self-acceptance  self-hatred  shadism  hits  1968 
july 2018 by jerryking
A Beauty Product’s Ads Exclude the Black Women Who Use It - The New York Times
By TRESSIE McMILLAN COTTOM MAY 3, 2017

..................When black women bought SheaMoisture products, they were rejecting powerful stereotypes about black women’s hair as inherently unattractive. Unwittingly or not, SheaMoisture was part of a political project for black women, helping us resist harmful biases about our natural hair that circumscribe our choices and well-being.

But Sundial Brands, the black-owned company that runs SheaMoisture, has its own goals. In 2015, it company sold a minority stakee to Bain Capital to finance an expansion. At the time, Richelieu Dennis, the chief executive of Sundial, said SheaMoisture would be pursuing the “new general market,” which he described as a “consolidation of cultures, ethnicities and demographics aligned with commonalities, needs and lifestyles.”

To believe it is possible to diversify SheaMoisture beyond its black natural-hair customer base, one must believe that black beauty is desirable for non-black consumers. For that to be true, black women would have to be an ideal beauty type in the global market that Mr. Dennis was going after. Mr. Dennis had one problem: reality..........SheaMoisture could not sell a product meant to make black women look “whiter,” such as a chemical treatment to straighten hair, without changing its entire product line. But it could concede to the demands of capital by marketing its existing products to non-black women. SheaMoisture eventually apologized, acknowledging the insult many black women felt. By prominently featuring white women in what had become a political project, the company had signaled to black women that we could never be enough.

Beauty is never just about preference. It is about economics and power and exclusion. Brands like SheaMoisture rely on certain ideas of what is beautiful to make money.
biases  blackness  personal_grooming  personal_care_products  women  African-Americans  hair  beauty  colorism  shadism  brands 
may 2017 by jerryking
If you’re black, go backCommentaries
Oct 10, 2013 | Trinidad Express Newspaper | By Reginald Dumas.

In March 2007 Amnesty International (AI) published a report which stated that some 20-30,000 Haitians were expelled every year from the Dominican Republic (DR) and that many of these expulsions breached international human rights law. Haitians and Dominico-Haitians were often rounded up and deported with no chance of appeal, purely on the basis of their skin colour (my emphasis). Many had valid work permits and visas, and some were in fact Dominicans with no family ties to Haiti (my emphasis).
Caribbean  discrimination  Haitians  Dominican_Republic  colorism  shadism 
october 2013 by jerryking

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