Sunday, March 28, 2010

That's what she said...

Jill Scott wrote this column in Essence. A little part of me sees what she is saying, a large part of me is like when will we let things go? Just wanted to hear other people's opinions. Please share your thoughts. Have a good week.

My new friend is handsome, African-American, intelligent and seemingly wealthy. He is an athlete, loves his momma, and is happily married to a White woman. I admit when I saw his wedding ring, I privately hoped. But something in me just knew he didn’t marry a sister. Although my guess hit the mark, when my friend told me his wife was indeed Caucasian, I felt my spirit…wince. I didn’t immediately understand it. My face read happy for you. My body showed no reaction to my inner pinch, but the sting was there, quiet like a mosquito under a summer dress.

Was I jealous? Did the reality of his relationship somehow diminish his soul’s credibility? The answer is not simple. One could easily dispel the wince as racist or separatist, but that’s not how I was brought up. I was reared in a Jehovah’s Witness household. I was taught that every man should be judged by his deeds and not his color, and I firmly stand where my grandmother left me. African people worldwide are known to be welcoming and open-minded. We share our culture sometimes to our own peril and most of us love the very notion of love. My position is that for women of color, this very common “wince” has solely to do with the African story in America.

When our people were enslaved, “Massa” placed his Caucasian woman on a pedestal. She was spoiled, revered and angelic, while the Black slave woman was overworked, beaten, raped and farmed out like cattle to be mated. She was nothing and neither was our Black man. As slavery died for the greater good of America, and the movement for equality sputtered to life, the White woman was on the cover of every American magazine. She was the dazzling jewel on every movie screen, the glory of every commercial and television show. She was unequivocally the standard of beauty for this country, firmly unattainable to anyone not of her race. We daughters of the dust were seen as ugly, nappy mammies, good for day work and unwanted children, while our men were thought to be thieving, sex-hungry animals with limited brain capacity.

We reflect on this awful past and recall that if a Black man even looked at a White woman, he would have been lynched, beaten, jailed or shot to death. In the midst of this, Black women and Black men struggled together, mourned together, starved together, braved the hoses and vicious police dogs and died untimely on southern back roads together. These harsh truths lead to what we really feel when we see a seemingly together brother with a Caucasian woman and their children. That feeling is betrayed. While we exert efforts to raise our sons and daughters to appreciate themselves and respect others, most of us end up doing this important work alone, with no fathers or like representatives, limited financial support (often court-enforced) and, on top of everything else, an empty bed. It’s frustrating and it hurts!

Our minds do understand that people of all races find genuine love in many places. We dig that the world is full of amazing options. But underneath, there is a bite, no matter the ointment, that has yet to stop burning. Some may find these thoughts to be hurtful. That is not my intent. I’m just sayin’.

11 comments:

neefemi said...

she has a point though.... I've always said whats the big deal? As a Nigerian and i think a lot of us born in Africa we just don't understand what they mean, after all we were colonized by white people.... until someone explained it to me like she did....i now understood that in Nigeria (and i use Nigeria only cos thats the history i know) our numbers were greater than theirs, and we could overpower them except as the world has always been people at the top were greedy and only looking out for themselves...whereas African American ancestors were forced here by choice hence a minority and as such they never felt like they have had a voice however a little, without the outmost struggle and so they feel that wince....i don't know if what i said made sense...but i think though that if you as an individual is happy and in love yourself, you might not feel that wince

lani said...

As long as a man is in love with the opposite sex, nothing else matters.. not colour.
Why should a man be loyal to a sister just cos she is a sister and not what he feels for her.
Although, sometimes I get the feeling successful black people go for white ladies to make them acceptable.

I wrote a similar post some time ago:
http://griptime.blogspot.com/2010/01/colour.html

Harry-Rami Itie said...

She should move on... There is no justification, the past is gone...lets move ahead

Jaycee said...

No matter how much I want to say she should "move on," I will resist because it is truly the way she feels. She feels hurt inside whenever she sees a "brother" with a "Caucasian."

Sometimes expressing these feelings eventually brings healing, which I hope happens for Jill. She's been hurt so many times, on and off relationships.

Azazel said...

She was being completely honest and as other commenters on here have said she should move on. I believe that is a good statement.

LucidLilith said...

IMO, black women need to start dating and marrying outside their race! We are the ones short changing ourselves.

Nice Anon said...

Lucid: Amen to dat! Now If I can find a polished East European man with a big tool life would be good.;)

MPB said...

OMG I think her piece was well written and well said. It's not that "angry black woman tirade", it is her just simply observing a fact that no matter how much you try to act nonchalant about produces some emotion, no matter how little. Kinda like that ex you would never want to go back to but when you hear he's getting married, you feel a "wince" and then continue on. Personally, I may not feel a "wince" when I see a black guy and white woman together but I definitely notice them more than I would an asian woman and a white man or other interracial couplings.

MPB said...

Upon reading other commentator's comments, I just had to add that I am surprised. Because, I didnt get the impression that she was hurt and dwelling on the matter. I dont think there's anything for her to "move on" from. To me a "wince" is a slight discomfort or something that is thrust into your consciousness that would rather not have thought off.

MPB said...

Ok i promise i am not neurotic, but i had to go read the post again and I see where she says it's frustrating and it hurts, but I guess that wasnt the feel i got from the entire post. Ciao for real..lol

blogoratti said...

Everyone is entitled to their own opinions-doesn't mean it's right or wrong.
Whatever makes you happy...go for it!