I read a story of another hard hitten soul today and I want to share it with you:
‘I went to a majestically, all white inclusive location today. It was beautiful, with the occasional stares from the glides of the sea which always seem to be displeased about some matter. There was also the lovely, best possible view of the world’s wonder; tafelberg.
I was misplaced. The stares which I got from the human species of a different but same kind questioned my whole existence. Especially then at that place. It could have been anything, including the hand down clothes which covered that which is left of me. And then I knew; I should have stayed at home. Where my walks by the seaside are unquestioned and the content in my bag is not a scary thought to come by.
As I sleep on this floor, rats walk all over me. I have gone really low – its not saddening anymore. That which still lives within me, is on its own a mighty burden. A memory flashes and tears run down.
I was in a place occupied with overpriced buildings where everybody uses a car or those exclusive city traveling buses to get from one point to another. The heaviness of my inadequate blackness sat in all its density on my shoulders and settled on my face.
Sometimes I wish I was not me – that I do not carry the wholeness of my black nation in my head. Sometimes I wish my heart was not inscribed with their faces so that I could walk by, freely without wondering about their future and their lives. I really do wish that I was not a mirror whose portrait is that of every single black being who has struggled, gone to war and fought battles head-on but never won.
The exhausting game of rat and mouse that this blackness comes with was questioned in silence. As I wondered if its conquerors will ever reach such high value and exclusiveness. Its conquerors – those who through barefeetedness, whose childhood promised no prosperous economical value, have gone to get PhD’s and executive titles.
I’m probably bitter, for I’m one of those whom life has given a hard kick on each and every body part and getting up is a premium expense.
In my life, there are more painful smiles than joy. I smile because I’m human and I’m also without joy because I’m human.’
Mother earth, nurture that black child who will rise above her own blackness. Let her remember the pit hole of the blackness in which she came from. Guide her into providing that pit hole with more than enough blossom and ever shining light.
The blackness we carry is sometimes a reminder of things we ought to forget. And the blackness we embody is also a path of brightness.
Before a verse in one of the kwaito songs which became fairly popular, they were widely known as the ‘peaches’. The smooth, soft-yellowish, immensely likable peaches. These African darlings were the preference to a number of African gentlemen. And by the sight of interweb mentions, it seems the yellow-boned are also a majority’s favourite.
When the popularity of the word yellow-bone (don’t worry my English conscious beings, I’ll dissect this frog for you’ll…later) landed on our black streets, we expressed our delights, as per usual, on social media platforms and once again Twitter took the texter’s choice award.
You see, long before we labeled our own blackness, there was only one kind of black…Black. As you can obviously understand, this was neither sufficient nor satisfactory to my fellow countrymen/women. Out of that almost negligible yet invariable lack, existed the bonds which intertwine curiosity and inquisitiveness, the perfect ingredient to a thrilling series of adventure.
As a result, today I’m glad to notify you that we have different shades of black and they all have different categories. So next time you find yourself in Africa, or for precision’s sake let me say in South Africa, you need to know a few very minor but highly important things.
South Africa, at the moment, is home to five specific shades of black. We have the two previously pure black but now Indian and Coloured blacks. Then we have the black-African blacks, this is divided into three categories. The dark-skinned blacks (also known as the black baby-jellies). Secondly, we have the vanilla-blacks (these would be known to white folks as the Albinos) and lastly, I really wish I had a drum-roll and a Johann Sebastian Bach prelude playing in the background for this one, the yellow-bones (these would be the subject of discussion here and everywhere).
The yellow-bone’s are at the peak of their existence. As it is with one who is at the peak of their career, they are the talk of the
twittersphere. And to no surprise, their fashionableness has kicked the ‘dark beauty’ and the ‘black is beautiful’ phrases right where is appropriate to render them irrelevant.
However, this whole phenomenon has only been true for ladies of this skin tone. Gentlemen on the other hand, if they by any chance happen to be in possession of this yellow-bone(ness), are most likely to be referred by the derogatory ‘f’ word often expressed towards gay people. On Twitter they are captioned with the hashtag ‘keeps losing’ text code.
I need to mention that long ago, before I learnt how not to shut my mouth, they said ‘black is beautiful’ and I’m not yet certain as to whether my native South Africans have decoded the underlying vision that moulded and brought forth this cultural notion.
Anyway, to accommodate our progression, we have a new, more relevant expression; I’m yellow and it gives me pride. This yellow denotes, in particular the lighter shaded kids of Africa, those whose skin colour resembles the shining sun at exactly midday in the African skies. It is a very favourable yellow even amongst the ladies whose skin tone screams ‘I am an African’ from afar. Hence the havoc in my forefathers house.
The longing for the soft, smooth yellow-bone skin tone has been in existence long before we could discover that nursing, teaching and social work are not the only disciplines available post standard ten. Our fore-mothers had their homemade traditional skin lightening mixtures which till this day continue to serve their purpose at utmost best in some parts of my land.
‘Yellowness’ is proving to be grade A prestige in my land for it is associated with the desirable amount of beauty; beauty which grants a lady adequate attention needed to make her feel lovely inside. That is why African women, for the longest time, have wanted (and still desire) a skin tone of this sort.
This is where the adventures of ‘chasing’ come into our black lives. ‘Chasing’, mind you it is not English but could be thought of as a simile to skin bleaching, except this method is likely to be the works of some cheap chemicals that guarantee the user a damaged skin, in the long run.
Chasing is also an exhausting process, it requires you to never for a moment neglect it, otherwise, darker days shall be all over you like an annoying mosquito in the summer nights of the moist KZN land. And to make it worse, you’ll be more darker than when you first started the process ‘yok-chaser’
Now the thing is, I’m dark and as if that is not enough, I battled the fight against resistant skin acne. So everywhere I went, as a teenager, I would find a stranger prescribing me some form of medication or ritual I needed to perform to overcome a seemingly endless war. As a result, I’ve swallowed pills which refused to go down the esophagus and tried ninety percent of the skin products on the market.
I really thought the prescription process was over, to my despair, I’ve recently been prescribed a skin lightening cream mixture which is to brighten my skin’s tone and make me look ‘beautiful’. I was flummoxed. I wasn’t sure whether to chuckle or burst out in tears. I was however very concerned.
My people are overly obsessed with running after the fair skin tone, in a world where the colour of your skin is ought not to define your beauty nor your altitude. I mean it could be, to a certain degree, understandable that my foremothers envied a skin colour of this sort. However, we are not bounded by those laws anymore.
Henceforth, why do we invest so much time in depreciating the things we have through processes which endanger our lives? Why do we constantly seek contentedness on catalysts that can completely rearrange (usually for the worst) our normal living conditions?
I’m well aware of the black stereotype that if your skin tone is darker, by default, you’re ugly. I learnt that as a kid. My own black people told me so through the nursery rhymes they sang as they delicately held me in their warm loving hands. It is deteriorating that when you’re a kid and dark skinned, ‘umubi’ [you’re ugly] is amongst the first words you learn to utter.
As a toddler, I knew black wasn’t beautiful or adequate. Somehow I feel as though I’m still stuck in the era where your skin tone is questioned by your own people. Your own people oppress you for the way you were created. They inflict words in your vocabulary that make you question the purpose of your appearance.
Moving forward, as you stare unto a mirror which presents to you your yellow-bone(ness) that is globally worthy of embrace, remember that really dark skin toned child who sits besides you, longing for you to instill in them confidence that will not be penetrated by the spiteful phrases of societal beliefs. It is a plea, make them feel as beautiful as you do.
I was going about my daily routine when I stumbled across this horrific update on my Twitter timeline; I respect black people and I just hate their ways. I couldn’t contain myself and posed a question; is it really possible to HATE and RESPECT someone at the same damn time?
I felt annoyed and the fire spiraling inside me was slowly exceeding the boiling point. I really needed to understand the possible odds of hating somebody but possessing, at the same level, the needed composure that can enable you to respect them.
The question that followed in my mind was; what is a ‘black way’? Which pathways can solely remain the property of the black people? How come these tracks have precisely remained to the black community? What constituents of these ‘ways’ deprive them the might to crossover to other race groups?
I was disturbed and flabbergasted at the same time, bearing in mind that this sentence was the art work of a person from the so called ‘coloured’ nation, a minority tribe in the South African country, which one way or the other, most of its people if not all, have a pure black-African gene in their DNA constituents.
Hate, if my understanding served me the right dish, is a deep or an intense dislike towards an individual, entities objects and so forth. So, how possible is it to deeply dislike the ways of someone whilst giving them your utmost respect (positive feeling of esteem)?
Being the rural, old-fashioned individual that I am, I would like, in all forms of comprehension available, to understand the likelihood of applying and maybe expressing both respect and hate towards a person at the same life, time and context.
I could be ignorant and chances are, I would contest not anybody who can call me that. However, in my own little, almost non existing world, I do not for a millisecond believe that hate and respect can be extended for a person at the same time. I strongly believe that if one hates the things you do, the odds of that person respecting you, if in existence, are highly negligible.
Truth be told: I’ve had it with the non black skinned people and their constant acts of hiding away from the fact that they don’t like the rise and increase of the black nation in their vicinity. Henceforth they are in rival with the world in all aspects and thus feel the need to prove their now endangered superordinate over their black co-equals who are anything but inferior.
I really think we need to be transparent with ourselves, if it happens by any chance, that you’re not fond of black people to a degree so great it bears hate, then just come out with it and immediately after that find a nice little hole where you won’t find a black soul and live in peace with yourself.
Relocating to a location with non-black people can do so much for your life, other than constantly striving to provoke disconsolation and inferiority to the black community which is at this day highly goal orientated and ambition driven.
I think we’ve reached a state where we can accept if you say; ‘I’m non-black and I’m racist’ and or maybe in the name of being subtle admit that you ‘deeply admire and believe in the practices of tribalism’. We will ignore you and move on. After all, we’re tearing down the walls of inferiority that bounded our forefathers. And we also understand that most of you are not hundred percent comfortable with that.
Oh and by the way, in all your practices of avoiding the fact that you’re racist, please spare me the ‘I have black friends’ ridiculous sentence and just admit that you’re racist.