My Twitter mentions have been jumpin' like Jordan for the past hour or so. Why?
One of my closest friends asked me where my tweets stemmed from, and honestly, they came from a few different places. My brain functions so strangely, but I'll hit you with a quick little list It doesn't encompass all, but it provides a bit of context. I just barely scratched the surface.
1. I love #BlackGirlsAreMagic and #CarefreeBlackGirl...
...but I'd be lying to you if I didn't say that I felt some of the same images get pushed forth in these critical movements. As I expressed in my tweets, I feel this image of an "artsy, educated, bookworm" with natural hair populates these spheres without properly acknowledging baby girl with the laid ass perm or weave and her daily struggle. Or baby girl with the fro and baby hairs who assumes complete agency of her body and does with it what she pleases...but also could list every position in Quidditch, plus a spell or twenty. Or just the roundaway girl. Or the girl who has a salon in her kitchen and always a bill to pay. I don't want the beauty and strength of black women to be reduced to one image.
As an educated black girl who loves arts and books AND has natural hair, I feel the support in these realms, but sometimes I wonder if other women who I know do, too. I love the movement. God, do we need it. God, is it inspirational. But what about the women who aren't afforded the same opportunities we are? Pushing forth a particular image can make them seem less worthy. Yes, we work hard as hell, and we deserve to be where we are at, but sometimes we have to acknowledge that some black folk are more privileged than others. And they working just as hard (if not more) than we are.
For years and years, Bey has been dogged for having a heavy southern accent and keeping quiet. Let's focus more on the accent, though. Often, people equate her southern accent and the vernacular of many other folk to a lack of education. Just because a person strings words together differently does not mean that they don't know what they're talking about. A little twang and drawl doesn't make anyone less "well-spoken" than you...unless you're comfortable in admitting that you're conforming to white supremacy. But how could you ever dismantle white supremacy if you had that ideology? ;)
3. Speaking of accents, let's talk about Rihanna.
It's almost crazy how much we've been brainwashed into thinking that inability to have complete command of a language equates to erasure of knowledge. This thought process often bleeds into the realm of accents and broken English. A lot of people hear someone speaking with an accent or speaking broken English within their personal sphere and assume they're uneducated since they aren't speaking the "proper" English. Not communicating an idea in a particular way does not lessen the idea. Get it? Got it? Good.
But yes...back to Rihanna. People, left and right, are laughing their asses off because she's speaking "gibberish" in one of her newest songs "Work." Just because it isn't "proper"...it's gibberish? If you work to understand what she's saying, I'm sure you would actually understand, but go ahead and reduce her caribbean roots to "gibberish."
I guess it all boils down to this idea that elitism is very real within the Black community, and you're immediately thought to be more significant or well put-together if you are traditionally educated. That's a whole other blog post that I will be writing soon. There's just too much to say.
I have no real conclusion, but hopefully this post (as well as my others) can act as a working space for the progression of our people and the sharing of our thoughts. Let's start the damn conversation. Remember: My word is never law, but my feelings are always valid.
Any thoughts? Drop them below, or shoot me an e-mail. Love & light.