Thursday, February 17, 2011

On Being African-American....

I was over at Abagond, reading the comment thread, and I saw a comment that has always irked me during discussions of African-Americans and racism. Usually, I have been on the tail end of this comment during my conversations about African-Americans with my immigrant friends (and friends from immigrant families) - be they African, Asian, Caribbean, etc.

The comment usually goes something like this: "Well, I don't understand why African-Americans complain about racism keeping them down because Africans and Chinese, etc. come over here all the time and make something of their lives. And they (we) come from a legacy of colonialism. I think African-Americans just use slavery to make excuses for bad decision-making."

A version of that comment has been launched at me repeatedly during conversations with many of my African friends in particular. It's always like, "Look at Africa! We have a fucked up history too! But we manage to not let it hold us back like you African-Americans do!" Usually the comment pisses me off so much that I find myself incapable of squelching my anger in order to coherently respond to it.

I was going to respond on the comment thread on the site, but someone beat me to it with an almost perfect response (pasted below). The only thing I would add is: "What makes anyone think that some brown and black immigrants here are not similarly suffering from the same limitations - psychological and economic limitations that stem from the legacy of the racism that manifested itself as colonialism in their home countries? Furthermore, for every African or Chinese, for instance, who comes here and succeeds there are probably a dozen more who end up like many of the black Americans who live perpetually in slums, pathologized and blamed for their near inability to rise from their underclass position. The successes of a few don't erase the suffering and continued oppression of millions." Anyway, what's your opinion on the topic?

“How is it that African, Caribbean, and Asian immigrants with their own painful colonial pasts (some experienced first hand) can come to this country and not similarly suffer from the same limitations?”

A lot of it has to do with subtle differences in the oppressed minority group psychology.

Colonialism has usually meant a minority of powerful Whites controlling (by threat of force) a majority of non-White native peoples.

Americanism has been a MAJORITY of powerful Whites oppressing a much smaller minority of imported, non-White alien people, in a culture that is extremely hostile to them.

The damage done by Americanism is different.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentines, Single's Awareness, or Hallmark Day!

What’s a woman to do when she finds that she is constantly the BFF and never the GF? Now, anyone who is reading this post knows that I don’t often write about dating and love. Why? Because, quite honestly, the shit confuses me and I feel no need to further confuse myself by constantly writing blogs about it.

That being said, it has struck me lately that I am always the best friend and never the girlfriend, at least when it comes to my experiences with men. This has been the constant theme in my life since high school. I am always the little sister or big sister, depending on the relative size and/or age of the man. As a teenager, I watched movies like When Harry Met Sally and even The Best Man (don’t know why my mom let me watch that one). I sympathized with Jordan (Nia Long). Like Sally (Meg Ryan), I sometimes feared what sex would do to a perfectly good friendship. But as I grew older, I became less like Sally – to hell with fear, it’s a lonely world more often than not. I became more like Jordan, fearless but, like her, relegated to bestie position. Longing for some dude who has eyes only for someone else – whether or not he’s met her yet – a dude who says, “I respect you too much to expose you to my bullshit,” who will never be anything other than my homeboy. Constantly cherished but not quite the way I’d like to be cherished.

What’s a woman to do, I ask?

My initial answer was to do the Kanye shrug and keep it moving, cultivate a good friendship with homeboy and keep my eye open for greener pastures. But…a sista’s legs can get mighty tired, mighty fast and her vision mighty blurred from the fatigue of looking.

So, my answer now? Kanye shrug, cultivate a good friendship with homeboy, focus on self. It’s not a satisfying answer, but it will have to do, right?

So, I say to all of the singles – male or female – during this valentine’s week, send some chocolates to your besties and your fam. Know that if you are the BFF and never the GF (or BF, guys), you are not alone. In fact, there are many of us out there, I imagine. So, go pick up a box of chocolates and get at it. Be your own valentine, 365 every year.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Whip My Hair Pt II : I Whip My Hair... why you ask??? BECAUSE I PAID FOR IT!

I was so inspired by Ms MaShari's past blog on JBT " Whip My Hair" about letting go of the "creamy crack" I decided to take it a step further and talk about another aspect of hair.... THE WEAVE!!!

ok... so the example I placed right there is DEFINITELY a great example of how your hair should NEVER LOOK!!!.. Seriously of you look like Hottie here..... I dont really know.... but anyways, back to the subject at hand. ( before I get ahead of myself)

I, Mz Kewe, ( as some of you may already know) loves wearing weaves... AND I WILL SAY IT PROUDLY!!!!

Before I get all Chris Rock about this subject ( which... by the way is a good movie to watch if you all havent yet) I wanted give my point of view. Honestly, I love it! and I don't see anything wrong with adding a few extensions to your head from time to time. Actually, the weave opens doors for more benefits in my opinion

1. No Need for the Perm ( Creamy Crack)
Alot of women, mostly black, run out of options and are trying to break away from this harmful chemical! So unless you can go natural or put that good old hot comb to use ( which isn't healthy either) your pretty much stuck. The weave opens a less harmful way of styling your hair and not having to worry about as much damage on your hair

Cmon! you have to admit the various styles, lengths, texture, colors, etc, etc!! such an opportunity for creativity! I myself love to keep my styles "consistency inconsistent" ( devil on my left side) below are a few pictures of myself and a few of my styles

I can wear it short



just to name a few!! and you know what the GLORY of all this variety is??? I can do all this without changing, damaging or altering my REAL HAIR!


The biggest misconception surrounding weaves are that Black women are the ONLY women that wear them... well that couldnt be anymore UNTRUE

Grasp!! is that Brittany Spears???

In Fact, Jessica Simpson, Paris Hilton and Kim from Real Housewives of ATL have all admitted to weaving weaves/wigs of some sort AND having their own hair line!


2. Women who wear weaves do not have hair of their own
another myth that is completely untrue...if we didn't have our own hair... how are we even able to sew or glue the weave in??? And, on the contrary, weaves have been rumored to actually helping the growth process of the hair, according to some women who wear them... including myself

My real hair after taking one of my styles out

The weave gets alot of flack and a bad named attached to it.. when the truth is, so many women of all ethnic groups wear it or have worn in at some time in their lives

so with all this being said