all women are beautiful no matter the race/creed/color - doesn't matter. i have seen women from every corner of the globe who have made me cringe with envy, then bloom with celebration. but this isn't about beauty. it is about something more sinister than that. this is about a veritable haute couture fashion week with only one problem - the empresses wear no clothes. & we have all been standing around clapping for way too long -
ok so what is this fucker called? dark girls, i think? & it's viral, y'all. all over the web, this on the heels of the psychology today piece PROVING, supposedly that black women are the most unattractive of all, & this on the heels of the "most unsafe place in the world is the black woman's womb" ad campaign for pro-lifers. need i mention the furor, in 2010 of pity parties & shit for all us 'poor, wretched, unwanted, single black unmarried loooooooooooooooooonely women'...
gabrielle union, angela basset, iman
& of course all this built on the backs of rape after rape after rape. of our pockets, for all the money we spend buying into the myth of the white beauty aesthetic -
white media, do you honestly think you can fool us?
is it that deep for you? i mean why do all that ass licking of one group, when, if you did lick our black, disposable wealth having asses even a little bit, you could have all our money? or is it that you, white media, just like to see us squirm - but lemme just get to this documentary, shall we?
naomi simms, lauryn hill, alek wek
it opens with a lot of tears. women trying to 'scrub the black off of themselves', frenemies crowing with glee @ having escaped the fate of a 'darkskinned' daughter, progresses through the sweet-faced child indicting the darker skinned dolls while she extols the virtues of the white one - dayum. watching this, one would think there were only two sides to this game - color (damn you is ugly, celie) purple, & imitation (that wuz mah mammie!) of life...
not to discount ANYONE'S struggles, but, this was not my/many of my sister's reality. period. point blank - but you won't ever see THAT movie. scenes from my movie? - : driving up the road one day, in an intense discussion with my dad, i turned to him, all verklempt & said, 'thank you for being my parents - y'all are nut bags, but @ least y'all made sure that i knew that i was beautiful...' & his reply was, 'oh hell no matter what color you turned out to be, we would have raised you to know you are the better - the best'
& the thing is, no, not all of us are lucky enough to have gotten all of the psycho support that some got around self worth - but @ this point, it is my JOB to make sure that anyone on my watch is.
tamara dobson, pam kot-dayum-motherfuckin grier, grace jones
so i'm going to end up having to drop squad nashira. i have no choice - no, i will not be prying her eyes open with pins, forcing her to watch reel after reel of images of black beauty. but i will insulate her from any threatening white media driven imagery that seeks to make her feel less than. & please make no mistake, black moms - we are @ war with an industry that has spent trillions toward the goal of making some feel elevated - by making others feel like lower beings who literally disappear into the background. i look to my mom for inspiration on how to navigate this particular battlefield, but we are in very different times. one of my sexiest grrrrrrrrrrrrrls, a rock star DJ, & a sister in vittles said, about this issue of self worth as reflected in the media, that 'hip hop saved us' & indeed, i was lucky enough to come of age (in my 20's no less) in the 'my beautiful black queen era... panther ideology aside, there is no hip hop to speak of. what will save nashira/our beautiful cocoa daughters? it hurts me that i have no answer for this.
jennifer hudson, cicely tyson, tammy terrell
anywhoo the boards have been on fire for days - some of my favorite comments?
1- i am already annoyed
2 - This is just Tyler Perry all over again, "I'm black, fragile and handicap, unloved and unwanted....the negress is just a sad sack of unloved rubbish". It does more harm than good. All my dark dark dark skinned girlfriends are married and my yellow creole french white mixed behind is single. With four kids. Shit aint THAT hard. - <--------can you stand it? LMBAOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO - this was from a friend of a friend - i had peeped her hilarity on other posts, but this one was better than my (non-existent) abs workout - lolololololol
3 - That's what I was hoping for... That the other portion of the documentary are chocolate women who speak from a different voice. who tell the story of how they've been told they were beautiful their entire life & how they combatted someone trying to test that very view. "WHO WAN TEST DI ORIGINAL CHOCOLATE DONDATTA!!!! - tee to tha hee - this one was from my glamorous, hilarious grrrrrrrrrrrrl, a talented makeup artist
4 - Yes Sister!!! the road to Self Love can be a treacherous lonely painful one, BUT yet and still I am claiming the right to JOYOUSLY celebrate SELF LOVE at this moment and pray for all of us to JOYOUSLY celebrate ourselves NOW!!! We are AMAZING right at this very MOMENT!!! even if we don't know or accept it yet! Love you Sister!! Solidarity!! ♥!!!! <- love her - this is a siren who will soothe your soul, in addition to being a full on jet-setting international rock star this is my sis of many nations/lives & she is always an inspiration. always.-
5 - At times I've hated my own skin for not being black enough to be "controversial" or being light enough to enjoy privilege. - loved that, too. deep -
6 - (this one might be my actual favorite:) - and i also must include that ALL of my lovers black and those from various ethnicities have always thought my darker skin tone was GLORIOUS too!! and they claim me Boldly in the streets! they be runnin' to feature my Fine ass! lol! Black skin is beautiful EVERYWHERE!!! ♥!!
robin givens, phylicia rashad, robinn lee
so this has been a real education - the RESPONSE TO the trailer, as much as the trailer itself & frankly, i do have some suspicions, among them:
1 - remember blaxploitation? @ least these films had a sense of irony - like the one (i wish i knew the name of this one, & as soon as i find it out, i will post it) where the supa foine afro-ed protagonist turns to the star of the movie - i don't think it was tamara dobson - & says 'do the dishes.' she turns her pistol on the dishrack & WRECKS SHOP. then turns to him, content as hell & says, 'ok - there you go, babe. they're done'. until ya boy jesse-cut-loose-the-jerry-juice-jackson dismantled the industry, it was buzzing with serious iconic potential, a healthy dose of self-mockery, black comedy, & a plethora of images that referred to us as beautiful, heroic, powerful.
2 - i maintain, although you could call me biased, that the afros were halos.
3 - there is something to be said about what the filmmaker's eye chooses to see - i, right now know maybe 50 chocolaty sis's that would laugh in the face of any nigga that tried to test them on any aspect of their beauty/sexuality - & will NEVER EVER BE ON FILM BECAUSE OF IT. where is THAT documentary - a film i could show my lovely brown daughter & build her confidence from RIGHT NOW???
nona gaye, garcelle beauvais, gladys knight
4 - this is a suspect assed situation - all part & parcel of an attack- i believe - on black woman's confidence, pride & all around fierceness - & i am sick of it - it's not a matter of do these issues exist - it's a matter of why do we never focus on anything positive/proactive b/c i have noticed that whenever we do indulge the self love fest, that we tend to take over the world -
5 - it's such a conspiracy - interesting story - our boy/my hero/cinematographer for my trailer, is ARTHUR JAFA - he shoulda been on ALL these threads - talk about a defender of our beauty!!!!!!!!!!!
in any case, GT tells me that he LOVES black skin to the point where he, knowing that most all film in the us is SKEWED TO REFLECT THE FULL COLOR SPECTRUM IN WHITE SKIN ONLY (it's a sickness) - went to JAPAN procure melanin sensitive film to shoot such amazing shit as daughters, clockers, etc -
let's not even get into what it says about japanese self-worth that they discontinued making the film - so what did homeboy do? learned to treat the film to get the full color spectrum from black skin
6 - i repeat - we have to drop squad our daughters - imbue them with such deep confidence, that it is unshakeable - i was told, for so many years that i was beautiful, that by the time the dominican chick in my 3rd grade class wanted to whisper 'blackie' in a sinister voice behind me on line, i didn't know that she was referring to anything bad - it was her nastiness that put me on to the fact that i was supposed to be ashamed of this - we need to change the convo from 'poor black woman just a wretched bag of unwanted shit' to something affirmative - something powerful - something beautiful - it worked for me - & it works for my daughter who turns to me on the daily to remind me of how beautiful she is - ♥ - & please believe that ms. nashira has no doubts around her beauty - now when (i know it is inevitable) she starts watching network TV - all bets are off - which is why i believe that they must be brainwashed early - to prepare for the media onslaught of subliminal messages that is childhood.
aj johnson, kerry washington, joy bryant,
let us start with this simple dessert (my closing ceremony - from the restaurant takeover - recipes are next week) which talks of who we really are:
this recipe is (heavily) adapted from almost bourdain & is very different from the original -
now, this is what it's supposed to look like: i'll reconvene w/ real time pics real soon -
salty (saucy, sassy, spitfire in southern vernacular) chocolate cake, or
gateau de chocolat with fleur de sel:
8 oz dark chocolate (min 70% cocoa solids - callebaut, valrhona or other fine-assed dark chocolate)
8 oz unsalted butter
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cardamom
4 medium eggs
1 cup sugar
1&1/2 cups plain flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 TBSP yoghurt
Extra virgin coconut oil
Fleur de sel (sea salt)
- Preheat the oven to 400F. Grease and flour a 10 inch cake pan or a cupcake tin
- Melt the chocolate in a heat proof bowl over a saucepan of hot simmering water. add butter and stir well to mix the two ingredients completely.
- Put the eggs, yogurt and the sugar in a bowl and whisk with kitchen mixer until the mixture turns pale and doubles in volume. Add the flour, a tablespoonful at a time, and the baking soda.
- Mix in the chocolate mixture, pour the lot into the prepared cake pan and bake for 30-40 minutes. The cake is cooked when a knife inserted into the centre comes out clean. cupcakes 12 - 15 min.
- Leave the cake to cool for 15 minutes before turning out.
- To serve, cut the cake into slices, set them on plain white plates and pour some extra virgin coconut oil to garnish -
keisha knight pulliam, res, tamala jones, kenya moore, regina hall, nia long, theresa randle, tayana ali jessica white, chaka khan, brenda sykes, a bunch of grrrrrrrrrrrrls i know i forgot, & my new favorite demaris lews.