Nothing wrong with racist white people parading around proudly in blackface, right? What possibly could go wrong with that, couldn’t possibly offend anyone, right?
When we in the United States think of the Netherlands, we typically think of very liberal people, quite polite and intellectually-inclined. We hear about their superior schools (which really isn’t that hard to achieve if we’re honest), excellent health care system, free college education, and how happy everyone is supposedly. Sounds quite nice, actually.
Until we hear about “Black Pete” (which apparently seems to be) Santa Clause’s charcoal black racist side-kick.
Obviously we’re not from the Netherlands and admittedly hardly know much at all about Black Pete, Netherlands culture or racism in that neck of the woods, but it seems nonetheless to be quite present.as this story from the BBC illustrates.
Based on the article it seems that Sylvana’s critique of the obviously racist character of Black Pete (just look at the photos of Black Pete parades in the Hague, as white people parade around in typical black face) has sent the Dutch into spinning racist hissing fits, spewing forth racist commercials, racist/misogynistic/sexist jingles, and everyone else apparently going bonkers over her fairly tame (from what I can see) assessment that the character should be re-thought or updated or removed.
I was reading online, just perusing as they say, to see what there was online under the search term “beautiful black women,” or “fine black women.”
I’m happily married to a beautiful black woman myself, but I was searching for what other, related online publications were doing, ways to boost readership, and so forth. And curious. Other magazines have their hottest “man alive” thing going on and other magazines have their most beautiful woman of the year; but nothing about black women. Ever.
Surely, I was thinking, there would be a huge number of photos immediately popping up of stunning, heart-stoppingly beautiful black sistas that would make an old timer jump out of his wheelchair or make a crippled man walk again.
To my surprise and dismay, as I typed in the search terms, more terms for men came up than women, and as I continued to type the search terms (and you know how Google Images will complete the search term for you?) nothing came up. I kept typing up “Beautiful black women,” and then “Fine black women.” Apparently not too many people, men or women, search Google Images for those terms. Wow!
After a minute or two, the first image to appear was of this woman, super model Joelle Kayembe, from Africa:
What really hit me like a two by four between the eyes was, look at this photo for a minute, one of the first comments in the blog featuring this photo criticized this model for having straightened hair and contact lenses. Give me a freakin’ break!
Women, you know if you can do this, what Ms. Kayembe is doing in this picture, no man is going to complain.
At least not if he is sane and straight. Men, if you saw Ms. Kayembe doing this in front of you, you would not be complaining to her, asking her not to wear that wig or not wear those contacts. Please get real. You’d fall over or lose your mind, one of the other, but you sure as all heck would not critique her hair style or contact eye color.
Now watch these videos:
Tell me, after watching these videos and carefully scrutinizing this photo, if you approve of Ms. Kayembe. Is she okay with you? Men, is she too skinny or too dark? Her hair too straight?
Please. If most men saw her while they were driving around town or at a grocery store, they’d turn their heads so fast they’d get whiplash. And women would look at her and say “yes, she’s pretty.” What’s really going on that this super model is criticized for her hair or eye color?
It just truly struck me how there were no Black Beauties of the Month anywhere online that I could find, anywhere! There used to be magazines like Jet that would have such features in their print publications, but nothing online. No “black beauty of the month,” no “beautiful black woman” of the month, and nothing like it online.
Am I way off the mark here? If I am, where is the website that serves this goal? Do we need that feature here? Where are my beautiful black sistas online and how do they feel?
JOELLE KAYEMBE (Photo credit: Kalumba2009). Men, if you stare at this photo long enough, it will cure ulcers, increase physical stamina, and lower blood pressure. And women, this is quite simply how you should dress. All the time. Honest.
I recently read an article at this site, here, and was moved to read about two young black girls going through emotional and spiritual hell due to depression and other related issues.
Black Women Singers (Photo credit: guitarber)
The author of the piece brought up many solid, relevant points about the need for young black girls, (and of course black women), to band together, work together, and play a more vital active role in each others lives through support initiatives and real flesh-and-bone groups that actually get out there and try to impact lives.
I’d like to ask for feedback on this piece and in response, how we at Interrace Today, could do more in terms of listing Resources and getting more involved online and offline.