News Story: Who IS Black America? Reported by Soledad O’Brien


Hi guys. Scrolling through Facebook I saw this article link http://www.theroot.com/buzz/watch-who-black-america entitled Who is Black America? which is to be reported on December 9, 2012 on CNN. Specifically it gave an excerpt of the actual show which you can watch at this link: http://cnn.com/video/?/video/bestoftv/2012/11/27/promo-who-is-black-in-america.cnn.

I think we should all take note of this particular show. I know many of you get very angry at me because I spout color. Specifically the article uses the term “colorism” which I haven’t actually heard used before in my presence but I am sure it has and I had paid no attention. But my reason for telling you about this show is two fold or many fold: 1. A young black boy undergoes the paper bag test- is it fair this day in age to do so? If you have spoken with me I have mentioned that test too. In the old days prior to the idea of multiculuturalism and the melting pot we in the race were told that the darker we were the less desirable we were. That if our skin was not the color of the paper bag or lighter that we were less desirable. Do you know what I get in trouble for-the exact same thing except it is more in who I am interested in getting to know. Despite the fact that I have a lot of darker skinned friends, who I choose to date is of a lighter hue. This makes so many angry. It makes them feverish. It makes them see red. Why-well look at me. Who do they see me with or talk too? Why should I like that color- it isn’t for me to like that color. I am not in their class of people. Now a days you hear the phrase- the darker the berry the better the juice. I like cream with my coffee. (Although some people take this as a sexual reference I think you can take it either way.) Another phrase-my family is the first family. (One not heard very often but referring to when I assume they had come over to America and saw a city of Indians and then tried to re-civilize them; also going into African countries and taking slaves who in turn lived in a form of civilization and lived by their own code of military law and enforced slavery) Hence the paper bag test.
2. A young man tells that when he went to a neighborhood-not sure if it was a ghetto neighborhood-no offense I am assuming it was but you have to watch the video- he got told that he wasn’t black. And his reaction- excuse me- look at me- do I look not black to you?
3. Two young women also spoke of being told that they weren’t black. And their reaction- I IDENTIFY WHO I AM. It is my self- identification that makes me what or who you would like to know. Why should you feel that you can tell me what my identity should be?

This is not a long promotion but it is a precursor to the actual program and I believe that not only should all of black America watch this show but the rest of the country as well. No one knows what our future holds, but if we can’t all come together and realize that our self identification and how you the world identifies us will decide our very future in this life- some of us may never survive.

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5 thoughts on “News Story: Who IS Black America? Reported by Soledad O’Brien

  1. teribelle says:

    In this Wikipedia excerpt http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colorism it states that there is the concept of the trinity: “As a girl and young woman, hair, body, and color were society’s trinity in determining female beauty and identity, the cultural and value-laden gang of three that formed the boundaries and determined the extent of women’s visibility, influence, and importance.” I don’t think of the trinity as that. I think of it as the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost- not something to describe the female body.

  2. teribelle says:

    Another excerpt is: “For black women, the domination of physical aspects of beauty in women’s definition and value render us invisible, partially erased, or obsessed, sometimes for a lifetime, since most of us lack the major talismans of Western beauty. Black women find themselves involved in a lifelong effort to self-define in a culture that provides them no positive reflection.[19]”

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