The Lupita Phenomenom! Dark as Fine charcoal – Part 1

Hello world!

It has been a while since I wrote on this blog. I am not sure why but I realized why not return and share my musings on race and gender.

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Lupita! Lupita! or as I fondly call her Luppie! as though she and I share some personal connection.

I remember the first time I heard about Lupita, I wondered who is this girl and what is with the media’s fascination. I later found out she was in a movie showing in theatres “12 Years a Slave”. I remember my first reaction was hmmm!

I have never been a fan of movies depicting slavery. I don’t know if it is my background as a young girl who grew up in Nigeria or as someone who studied African HIstory especially the Transatlantic Slave Trade. I have never been comfortable or trusted the entertainment industry’s portrayal of  slavery.

Therefore, I was certain I was not going to watch “12 Years a Slave” I thought to myself “oh well another slavery movie, this time I guess they got an actual African lady to play the part”. However, I was still so curious to know who this lady was and finally watched the trailer for “12 years a slave”.

Truthfully, I remember the first time I saw Lupita I thought  to myself “oh wow she is really dark! not even black BUT DARK.”

She was almost as dark as fine charcoal and weirdly she bore a resemblance to someone I knew intimately.

She looked like someone I saw everyday when I looked into the mirror. I was amazed! I wondered is this how I would look like if I was portrayed through a video lens. I had not seen a lot of dark women with no makeup on TV.

The image of her on my computer screen created a lot of emotions within me –  some  emotions I was comfortable with and some emotions I was uncomfortable with. Seeing Lupita made me think a lot about beauty, the lens of beauty and how I viewed myself through that lens of beauty.

I asked myself is she beautiful? I wondered how my answer affected how I thought about my own beauty.

So am I beautiful or Not?


Happy Spring!

Wow! it has been a long time i have blogged. I am excited to continue on this journey and explore race and gender.

I invite you to join me…

Denigration of Black women in rap videos

Lately, there has been so much news about the battle against rap music/ lyrics. Since the Don Imus incident, when he referred to the Rutgers female basketball athletes as “nappy headed hoes”. A lot of people have blamed Rap musicians to contributing to this negative portrayal of black women in videos. In most rap music videos the portrayal of women is very demeaning; the women wear almost nothing as the musician objectifies them. Even in the rap lyrics the words in which the women are described are words such as bitch, ass, nigger, it, thing. These words are degrading to women and shouldn’t be allowed. These words encourage people like Imus by reducing the value of women and influencing the younger generation to perceive women as such. No one is saying the musicians should be held responsible for Don Imus’ ignorant and racist comments but they play a vital role.

Recently, I watched the Oprah town meeting program. A lot of people commented that that some of the blame rests on the music industry particularly producers and executives. If the producers are able to restrict the content of musician’s lyrics then the root of the problem could be resolved. However, most musicians argue that this restriction would be a violation of their freedom of expression. Nevertheless, this so called freedom comes at an expense to the respect to women in the society. The abuse and disrespect of women must stop.

There are little boys calling girls bitches and asses. This is not what needs to be taught to our future generation. They need to be taught how to respect women. If we don’t we would have incidents like Don Imus happen again.

Please, we cry out to the music executives and musicians to not make an extra buck at the expense of the honor and pride of their mothers, sisters, wives and daughters.

Standards of beauty

Beauty!! Beauty!! A question I always wondered was what is beauty, how is it measured? When I was younger, I had a very weird and interesting conversation with my father about the difference between someone who is beautiful, cute, pretty or handsome. I wish I had listened to what he said that day. However, I have always wondered, on what conditions and measurement where his definitions on.

Growing up as a young girl in Nigeria, I was darker in complexion compared to my other friends. I always wondered why I was so dark. I knew I was beautiful but secretly wished to be lighter in complexion. I knew a lot of people in Nigeria who bleached their skin so they could be fairer. I wondered what was it about being black that made us question and dislike our skin and want to be something else.

After I moved to America, my awareness of my skin color was heightened. I had discussions with friend about skin tones. Most of my friends said in general most black guys dated white girls, and the guys who dated black girls mostly dated the light skinned girls. Why the preference to white and light skinned?

I believe most of the reason for the preference of lighted skinned or white lies in the colonial oppression and slavery. Black people have been made to believe that aren’t beautiful enough. They have been told they look like apes and are inferior mentally and physically. The message during the colonial period Continue reading

Whitney free at last.

Whitney Houston six-time Grammy winner and two-time Emmy winner has filed for divorce from her husband Bobby Brown. The two tied the knot in 1992 and have a 14 years old daughter. Their marriage brought out the worst in each other. It led to the destruction of Whitney successful career. Their marriage led to the gradual decay of her career and personal life. She had drug and health related issues. In 2000, she was believed to be under drug abuse when a pack of marijuana was found in their luggage. She appeared anorexic and sickly. In 2006, she went to the Rehabilitation center to seek help.

Her problems did not stop only in health issues. She also encountered financial problems. She sold her personal belongings and lost her estate due to late mortgage payments.America knew Bobby Brown was a bad influence and his continued presence in her life led to further destruction.

Thankfully, she realized she was worth more he was giving her. I am sure she realized she could do better than their destructive relationship. Their marriage did not strength her but instead it introduced her to a world of drugs. The good news is her divorce is nearly finalized and she is free to fly away from him. The court has also granted her full custody of their daughter.

Hopefully, she can begin to build a better life for herself and her daughter. She has so much talent. According to Clive Davis, she is one of the best singers alive today in the world. She has begun to record a self titled album Whitney which is slated for release by the end of the year.

I truly hope she is able to come back with a big bang better than ever and show the world what she is made of.

Ding Dong!!! She’s free from the big bad wolf!

“Mad Black Woman”

In almost every reality TV show, there is always a “mad black woman ” There is always a black girl who seems incredibly out of control. she always starts a fight and takes every thing personally. Does the media intentionally edit these shows and make these black girls seem over the top or are black girls typically bitches.

For example, in the first season of “The Apprentice’, there was vicious Omarosa. she was perceived as the direct, sometimes rude and no nonense lady who every one was scared of. Yesterday, as I was watching the season premiere of “The Bachelor“. There was one black girl out of all the contestants. During the show she kept on insulting people and was ready to start a fight with one of the girls. As the show continued, she wasn’t chosen by the bachelor (Andy Baldwin) and she literally threw a tantrum. She started insuting the show and the bachelor’s choices. All i kept thinking was “oh no not the mad black woman again” I really wonder does the media over play the “black bitch’ aspect or are black girls typically aggresive? Take a look at this article which tries to address this issue. it offers interesting points