The Color Black
By Dr. E. Faye Williams
Trice Edney News Wire
I remember a time when the worst thing you could call an African American was BLACK. I’ve witnessed people angered to the point of fighting because someone called them BLACK. I grew up where a paper bag could determine your place of acceptance in a social environment. Stories abound, even today, about marriages and relationships challenged by the unwillingness of one person’s family to accept the dark(er) complexion of the other.
Historically, WE have been conditioned to the belief system, established through and by slavery, that a lighter complexion signified a superior humanity. This was engendered by the slave master who fathered and favored his light off-spring. Not recognized by whites for their humanity in its entirety, their level of favored treatment established the belief that something was inherently “bad” about a dark complexion.
Myopically accepting this characterization, inside our own communities, WE imposed the same characterizations upon ourselves. It took over a hundred years, the Civil Rights and Cultural Awareness Movements, and the realization of our common plight to degrade, not eliminate, our own self-hatred.
Now, out of the darkness of self-hatred and ignorance emerges the book, “I HATE BLACK WOMEN.” Amazon.com describes it:
“(T.C.) Writer is on a lifelong mission to help fellow African American women better themselves. But her tools are not conventional, including ‘I Hate Black Women’, Writer’s latest book. Firm in her belief that the African American audience respond better to hate than love, Writer’s provocative manifesto untangles how black women often make life difficult for themselves, fostering a culture and reputation that ultimately finds them discriminated on by the rest of society.”
In full disclosure, I will admit to not having read the book. The premise of the title is so ridiculous as to not waste my time or resources doing so. On its face, it follows the all too familiar pattern of demonizing a group of Black people – in this case Black Women. It is best critiqued by those who have read (at least a portion of) it. These are excerpts of reader reviews:
October 3, 2015
Wow. Self hating tripe masquerading as thoughtful teaching. No thanks, there’s enough hatred to deal with without seeing a (supposed) black woman hating on herself and her mother, sisters, family, friends… ?
October 4, 2015
…Reading this book literally felt like I was feeding my mind poison, and I really couldn’t get passed the second chapter. This author has blamed ALL Black women for 100 percent of all the ills in the Black community, and says boldly, “All Black women are the same.” All of us. We are unredeemable, unlovable, everyone hates us, we are repulsive, not worth the air we breathe.
October 4, 2015
It’s a sad day in America, the land of the “free” when I discover a major ‘respected’ company such as Amazon selling racist hate speech.
I will not purchase anything from Amazon and I will be canceling all of my subscriptions indefinitely or until this book is taken down.
My objection with the book begins with its title. I object to hate. Hate totally discounts the worth of the target of hatred – “Black Women.” Hatred is blind, cruel and allows us to reach unjustified, stereotypical conclusions about others.
Contemporary challenges to the African American community are so monumental as to leave no room for divisive interaction. We cannot allow those who for reasons of profit or masochism distract us from our goals of personal or group achievement. Our lives and the futures of our children are too important to engage in the pattern of petty conflict attributed to us.
I LOVE BLACK WOMEN AND BLACK PEOPLE! And, as a Sister, my goal is to model the behavior that extends that love to all.
Dr. E. Faye Williams is National President of the National Congress of Black Women, Inc. www.nationalcongressbw.org. 202/678-6788