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Black Intellects
Who Wants a Revolution? 
11th-May-2009 01:36 pm

Black people today have such an apathy and complacent nature, we've become so accepting of degrading images of us, even DEFENDING and celebrating them, that it's impossible to start a revolution.  Black people are too busy rationalizing their dysfunction to have a revolution.  Revolution for what?  No one wants anything to change!  There's no doubt in my mind that we've de-evolved as a people since the days of the civil rights movement.  There is no more thirst for knowledge; there is no commitment to integrity. 



People don't even think for themselves any more.  I can't tell you how many times that I hear people say, "Oh nooooo, violent movies and video games aren't bad for you, I watch them all the time and nothing's wrong with me," when every study that's been done on the effect of viewing violent images has proven that it desensitizes people to violence.  That's just one tiny example of how people are steeped in their ignorance and not willing to see past their dysfunction.  There are too many to count and there isn't anyone who is willing to challenge the status quo and speak out about the things that are detrimental to us because too many people love their dysfunction.  Nobody except me, that is.


Want to know what's revolutionary thinking?


Black women straightening their hair is physically and psychologically damaging. 


Black men are raised to be emotionally immature.


The psychological effects of slavery are so long lasting and pervasive they haven't even begun to be examined.


Homosexuality is natural and normal and homophobia is pathological


Christianity is in no way related to the study and pursuit of the Creator and it is damaging for people of African descent to hold on to those paralyzing beliefs. 


I can back up all of my assertions with facts but the majority of people don't want to hear anything about , truth, facts, or revolution.  They want to have a march and say, "Stop discrimination now," for a few days after a white person says something racist.  We don't even have a clear picture of what discrimination and racism is, and how it affects us.  The exact same people that want a revolution aren't even willing to put the blame on white people for our conditions.  You can't have a revolution if you are afraid to place accountability on the culprits of generations of abuse without falling all over yourself to apologize for speaking up for yourself.  You can't have a revolution if the only thing you know about Dr. King is "I have a dream." 


You want a revolution?  I got a revolution for you but no one is going to join the revolution because it goes against the current dementia that is accepted as norm.  The days of sit ins and marches is over.  Now is the time for real revolution. 

11th-May-2009 05:56 pm (UTC)
If the only thing you can say about black women is that straightening our hair is damaging physically and psychologically, then no, you are not ready for a revolution.
11th-May-2009 06:07 pm (UTC)
Until we as Black women can love ourselves enough to say that our nappy, natural selves are beautiful, we will FOREVER be enslaved to the fallacy of white supremacy. It's that simple. God created us with nappy hair. God didn't make a mistake. We are supposed to have nappy hair. To change it, alter it, or cover it with hair of the people who enslaved us is a self-deprecating, unhealthy behavior. To change your hair to appear European is to say to your subconscious mind, “I’m not perfect the way I am.” There are only a tiny portion of Black women who can look in the mirror and truly say that they love their nappy hair. I happen to be one of them. That's freedom, to no longer be tied to a belief that hair like white women is going to make us beautiful
11th-May-2009 10:00 pm (UTC)
12th-May-2009 05:20 am (UTC)
There are only a tiny portion of Black women who can look in the mirror and truly say that they love their nappy hair. I happen to be one of them.

Oh, God.
11th-May-2009 06:29 pm (UTC)
You're right, there are many other issues surrounding black women - but I have to agree, straightening hair is pretty much the same as bleaching skin. It's a chemical being used to alter and assimilate. It's a pretty big issue that's completely ignored and accepted.
11th-May-2009 06:45 pm (UTC)
I don't think the vast majority of African American women bleach their skin. On the continent of Africa, I would dare say that the vast majority of women do. Here in America however, the issue of straightening hair is just one of many reasons we are in peril as a people. ( I could address the many other issues but what would be the point?)

The need to alter our hair came from slavery. When Europeans arrived in Africa, black women didn't cover their hair in shame and say, "Oh, I wish my hair could blow in the wind, flow down my back, or shine in the sun." When African women arrived on these shores, they didn't think that their own natural, nappy hair was flawed or in any way wrong. It was the constant repetition of abuse and torture and rape and degradation of slavery that made black women feel inferior. It was the white man's standard that said that they were superior people that made Black women want to alter their natural hair texture. African women who were enslaved loved their hair, the many versatile ways they could wear it, and it's natural nappy texture. The process of white people ingraining in our psyches that our hair was ugly was what made Black women want to start straightening it, not some need for versatility like Black women today want to claim.
11th-May-2009 10:23 pm (UTC)
I think this argument is bullshit.

Not only does it ignore the fact that African American (black American) women are also American and as such have adopted, rightfully, American practices in terms of hair, but also because it puts black African women, again, in an undeserved position of being "woman prime".

Black African women have changed their natural nappy hair over generations and centuries, from dyes and henna, to chops and shaves to braids to head wraps. Their hair, just like black American women, has evolved and changed, both inside their own cultures and from outside influence. That's the nature of human evolution, which unfortunately includes the negative effects of colonization and imperialism.

This is why you still have black women who believe that they need to have straight long hair that blows in the wind to be beautiful and feminine. Melding of cultures, however, is why you have black women like me who switch up my hair every few months from straightened to bantu knotted to braided to wash-and-go. It's bullshit to tell me that because I take a straightening iron to my hair, I am psychologically damaged.

Taking away my choice as a black American woman to do what the hell I want to my hair and saying that I need to be like your romanticized black African woman is just plain ridiculous.
11th-May-2009 10:28 pm (UTC)
You don't need to put chemicals in your hair to straighten it. I can brush my hair straight just fine, and I often do.

I know that hair remains a huge issue in the black community, but saying "Black women straightening their hair is damaging" and then acting like that's just oh-so-revolutionary is laughable.

Black hair--specifically when it comes to black women and their hair--has been talked about since before Mme Walker started mixing chemicals.
12th-May-2009 02:21 am (UTC)
Women also didn't need to put chemicals on their skin to lighten it. They can just stay out of the sun.

Believe me, I'm not trying to offend anyone. I don't get a kick out of arguing on the Internet. But part of me feels it's revolutionary for the very reason that you're defending it. Every black woman I have ever spoken to has defended straightening their hair. That is the norm - to think straightened hair is just fine. It's revolutionary for the idea of going against that norm, finding beauty and femininity in curls.
12th-May-2009 12:15 am (UTC)
lets not forget black women like doing things with their hair. I got prems for a portion of my life because it was easier to braid. I didn't want to look like white men, it was just either I got a perm or no one would braid my hair.
12th-May-2009 12:18 am (UTC)
No one would braid your hair? Let me guess, it was too nappy?

The self hatred is oozing from every word you wrote.
12th-May-2009 02:25 am (UTC)
Just as a quick note, it might be better to say "generally, black women like doing things with their hair." Stereotyping isn't good, as we all know. =)

Now, it'd be easier for us to handle our hair if products were sold for our hair. Products are generally made for another type of hair, while products for us tend to be obscure or simply don't exist at all - products that would make our hair easier to manage so that we wouldn't have to chemically damage our hair to get it to look a certain way. Those are just my thoughts, though.
12th-May-2009 12:08 am (UTC)
Christianity actually exists largely because of Ethiopia, so it does have African roots :-\
13th-May-2009 08:53 am (UTC)

I don't think I'm aware of that. What do you mean? Could you explain?

To my knowledge, Christianity was out of the Middle East, and formed from Egyptian, Zoroastrian, Babylonian beliefs that were previously existing...
13th-May-2009 11:09 am (UTC)
Basically a lot of people equate Christianity with Europe, because the church in Rome. Ethiopia and rome basically developed in the religion at the same time.


12th-May-2009 12:53 am (UTC)
This rant is straight out of 1989. We have other issues to deal with now.
12th-May-2009 10:25 am (UTC)
This! And rather than embracing the fact that being black comes in an infinite of ranges, types, etc., some of us are committing the same fail that Spike Lee discussed in School Daze.

12th-May-2009 05:06 pm (UTC)
13th-May-2009 09:03 am (UTC)
I agree but I'm curious...

... like what?

The spirit of the OP is inspiring, even if the message falls a little flat. I think there are other issues to focus on, too.
13th-May-2009 03:11 pm (UTC)
Hair-straigtening? Try any AA studies or Women's studies department in the country.

Black men raised to be emotionally immature? A legacy of the 60's era Moynihan Report, that claimed that matriarchal families weakened black men.

Psychological effects of slavery? Try Douglass, Jacobs, DuBois, Haley, Morrison, Gates, West, Walker, Butler...

Christianity? Again, this has been covered at length. Try Pinn's Varieties of African American Religious Experience, or Cane, by Jean Toomer.

Homosexuality - try Langston Hughes, Alice Walker, or a book called Beautiful Bottom, Beautiful Shame: Where Black Meets Queer.

Finally, I have never seen "put[ting] the blame on white people" get anyone a job, lower healthcare costs, clean up a polluted city, lower energy costs, prevent foreclosures, nor keep kids in school.

12th-May-2009 05:25 am (UTC)
Your perspective, while admirable, is very cliche and comes off as smug and condescending. This is not revolutionary talk. This has been a conversation that started since the days of slavery in the United States.

12th-May-2009 09:01 am (UTC)
I understand the desire to sometimes rant, however:

A) "Black people today..."
As easy as it is to generalize when you're upset, it does very little to support your argument. Black people are not a monolith. If you want your argument to hold weight, then fixing your opening sentence would help.

B) You go on to cite "I can back up all of my assertions with facts..." Which is great, if you would have done that. If the thesis of this post is that 1. Black people need to have a revolution and 2. They are hindered from having this revolution for reason x,y,z, then, it supporting said thesis with articles to support your points is necessary.

C) When you assert "Black people are too busy rationalizing their dysfunction to have a revolution." you neglect to elaborate on specific dysfunctions as they exist in the black diaspora, how these dysfunctions are rationalized, how this is specific to only the Black diaspora as opposed to American culture.

D) You haven't fully elaborated on why there is a need for a revolution right now.

This is Black Intellects. If you want to discuss social issues, I think that the community as a whole is game, but you have got to step your game up. Instead of intellectual discourse, we're just responding to a rant.

Also, I do find it problematic how you conflate ignorance with inability to resolve psychological dysfunction.
13th-May-2009 09:10 am (UTC)

(I am smiling because of the way you laid out your post. DO you always write like this?)
13th-May-2009 01:19 pm (UTC)
I don't write like this all the time, however, I finished grading some late papers a week ago and just got into the mode. There was something about the writing style that just said to me, "this person needs an itemized list." I think when I seriously respond to people who have inconsistent arguments, this way of reading through and responding just comes up.
13th-May-2009 02:00 pm (UTC)
I remember when I had slave hair. I call it slave hair because not only is it the hair that slaves where told was more beautiful than their own, natural, nappy hair, but I was also enslaved to it. I couldn't go outside when it was raining, I couldn't go swimming, I couldn't have sex with a man right after I got it done, I couldn't scratch my scalp right before I was going to get my six week reapplication of deadly chemicals, I had to live my life around making sure my naps didn't show.

I had all the arguments against relaxed hair PERFECTED. I would argue with any woman who suggested that my straight hair was anything other than a mere styling option. I convinced myself that I was right and that any woman that even suggested that relaxed hair was some sort of Eurocentric standard of beauty was insane.

I was the same as all the women here who rationalize their self hatred, who condemn me, and who defend their slave hair.

Then, I evolved. I grew. I got strong. I put aside the memories of my grandmother telling me that nappy hair was ugly. I rejected the comments, jokes, and taunts of little boys telling me that my natural hair wasn't pretty like white girls. At the time, I was becoming more spiritually aware, I stopped eating meat, I was becoming healthier all around. I was still holding on to my slave hair. I was terrified that if I let go of my slave hair, that I'd be ugly. I was horrified that if I let go of my slave hair, that I'd never get a job, I'd never get a man, that the world would look at me as something less than human and certainly not beautiful. Then one day, I woke up and I realized that history is prologue. I accepted that my natural, nappy hair was my birthright, that I could be beautiful with the hair that God intended me to have, without chemicals, without the messages that every little Black girl gets that tells her to be ashamed of her natural hair. It was only then that I became liberated from my slave hair. It was only then that I became free.
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