Archive for the ‘Saving Tomorrow’ Category

Fighting for Tomorrow’s Generation of Dark Skin Black Women

In Saving Tomorrow on April 2, 2011 at 5:55 pm

I must admit; I am not angry with people of non-African descent who can’t seem to understand the importance or the need for all the Jet Magazines and BET networks of the world.

I’ve learned to reconcile my anger with the fact that the majority of my Black friends don’t have the ability to see beyond their own pain and struggles so I can’t possibly expect someone of non-African descent to understand the pain and struggles of the Black American community as a whole.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to explain and re-explain my endless search for  fictional children’s books with illustrations of beautiful dark skin little girls.

“I don’t see the difference or the problem with getting this book?  I mean it doesn’t matter if the character is light skin or not she’s still Black and isn’t that what you’re trying to do?  Surround your children with positive images of Black people?”

I don’t understand why so many of  my lighter skin Black friends cannot understand why White people don’t understand the need or the societal benefit of  magazines like Jet and network stations such as BET, since they, my lighter skin Black friends, can’t understand the importance and the societal benefit of positive image portrayals of dark skin Black women in the media.

White People: We need Jet Magazine and we need BET because there is a group of people who are under-represented in the media.  Magazines such as Jet and television networks such as BET ensure that those people who are less likely to be afforded an opportunity to audition for an acting role, in a more traditional setting, are granted an opportunity to do so in a more targeted setting.  Let’s throw race out of the equation so that it hits home: There is a need for the Little People Association of America.  Little People are people who have been clinically diagnosed with a medical condition known as dwarfism, which warrants an extremely short stature.  People with this condition are more likely to experience discrimination than those of us of average height.  Thus, the stature of a Little Person warrants varying needs that are under-represented in the average height world.  How many times have you seen an excessively short toilet bowl for sale at Home Depot?  Have you ever been interviewed for a position by a Little Person?  (Oh, it must be because they don’t go to college, right?)  How many Little People have you seen on the big screen this year?  The Little People Association of America is needed because there is a group of people who are under-represented in our society and are more likely to be robbed of their civil and societal liberties as a result of discrimination.  It’s the same  for Black People.  How many Black bosses have you had?  How many times have you worked with mortgage broker that was Black? (Oh, it must be because they don’t go to college, right?).

Black People:  Now, I don’t understand why you switch gears when it comes to dark skin Black women.  I really can’t understand why it is we expect White people to understand why it’s important for us to have our own magazines and television networks, but we can’t understand why it’s important for dark skin Black women to have their own. How many dark skin Black actresses have you seen on the big screen this year?  How may dark skin Black actresses or models have you ever seen make  America’s 50 Most Beautiful People List? Think of five videos you’ve seen in the last year; How many dark skin Black women played the love interest? I might be going off on the deep-end, but I have a funny feeling

we have a group of people who are under-represented. . . perhaps even more so than the Black community as a whole.

I try to buy as many children books that I can find that have as many dark skin Black female characters and hope that women, including White women, with dark skin Black baby girls will start demanding these books more often. It all starts at the beginning.  We can’t control the Lil’ Wayne’s of the world and we sure as he’ll can’t control who ends up on the cover of the magazines at the grocery store, but we can control what tomorrow’s generation of dark skin Black women see when they come home.  We have to strategically fight back and the best way to fight is not to get on YouTube and post a video about how many men you, as a dark skin Black woman, have been with and how you don’t understand why everyone “keeps tryin’ ta’ act like men don’t like dark skin Black women. . .’cause you done had da’ best of ‘um”.

The best way to fight back is to build the confidence, tweak the paradigm, and raise the resilience of tomorrows generation of  dark skin Black women by rearing them with a plethora of positive images of Black children like themselves. We need to give them books with main characters that they can identify with.  And needless to say, it is almost impossible to find fictional children’s books with main characters that are Black AND dark skin AND drawn in a manner that is pleasing to the eye.   But, there are some books that come close and for now close is better than nothing.  We need more children’s books with us in them.  We need our own little section at the bookstore; I don’t care if it’s in the back of the store. I just want to see Nancy Drew, in dark black skin, with beautiful nappy locks, and a  gorgeous bright smile. I need my children to have some more ammunition whenever their inherent right to this earth as a woman is challenged.

If you have a dark skin baby girl you should have at least one or two books where she can see herself or someone close to herself as the star — the pretty star.  So whenever someone teases her or tells her that she isn’t what she truly is, a beautiful baby girl, at least she’ll be able to come home, snuggle up with her little book, and hope one day to grow up to be Ms. Danitra Brown.  Our children need something to look up to, something to aspire to. . . and that something should look just like them — Beautiful Dark Skin Black Little Women.

© DarkSkinBlackWomen.WordPress.com.

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