Friday, February 17, 2017

719.

Happy happy Friday folks!

I've been watching "Liberty & Slavery: The Paradox of America's Foundation".

It's a reminder that February is African-American History month here in the USA. When I was a girl, (last year or the year before), February was known as "Black History month".

As times change, terms change. What was once Oriental is now Asian. The formerly colored and Negro became Black and then African-American.

I actually prefer the term "colored" because as we know, race and ethnicity in America are always tied to other people's perception of who someone is based on skin color.

How sadly juvenile.

I would be willing to bet a precious sum that a high percentage of Americans (of any skin color) hear the term African-American and automatically picture someone with dark skin.

But it is what it is.

Again, I prefer the term "colored", as outdated and politically incorrect as some might think it is. If people are to be grouped by skin color, the term "African-American" doesn't work for my family. Neither does "Black".

Scientific research has revealed that all life began on the continent of Africa. If that is so, aren't all Americans actually African-Americans?

What makes my skin color so important in America?

My skin is shades of what I consider light-medium brown with a golden undertone. My daughter's skin is several shades lighter than mine with a yellowish undertone. My grandma's skin is a shade or two lighter than my daughter's; grandma has a pinkish undertone; the color of her skin would allow her to pass for white if she chose to do so. My momma's skin color falls in between the my daughter's and my grandma's, with a slight olive undertone. My momma has a sister who's skin is about the same color as mine, with a slight reddish undertone. My momma also has a sister whose skin tone falls between my daughter's and grandmother's but this sister's skin has a reddish undertone. My daddy is many shades darker than me, with a reddish undertone.

Not one of us has skin that is black, although my daddy's skin is very dark. But we all, with the exception of grandma, have enough melanin in our skin to never be mistaken for what this country calls white or caucasian.

My skin is not white so it's "colored". I am a woman of color, or a colored woman. I don't know why it's offensive but I have my own ideas about why we've been made to think so.

Anyone who isn't white is a person of color. Group us all together and it poses a problem for those who like to keep people separated by any of several demographic markers.

Makes it easier to control people when they're segregated into smaller groups and taught to look at others as "them".

And that's all I'm going to say about that. It's not news so I don't need to delve any further.

What I will say, in the same vein but different topic, is that I'm thankful for all the good people I've been meeting along the way.

Here's what I mean: Some days I don't have time to fix my hair the way I want or it just doesn't cooperate.

The solution: wrap my hair in a piece of fabric that coordinates with my outfit and skip on out of here.

Lately I've been noticing that on the days I wear my hair wrapped, a lot of white people seem to go out of their way to compliment me, speak nicely to me, smile at me, and are just kind to me in some way.

I'm not sure if they think I might be Muslim and they're trying to show some small inkling of support and caring but I think so. Of course I could be wrong however, on days I don't wrap my hair, it doesn't happen. 😁

Every one of these instances is like a an infusion of love and tenderness that I store in my psyche to draw upon when needed.

What ever the reason, I'm thankful for those experiences because I know that all around America there are hundreds of thousands of people, probably millions, who are doing the same thing.

This is my great big "thank you" to you all. The when, what, and how doesn't matter. What matters is that you all continue because it is these small acts of kindness that will get us through the snafu that is the current presidential cycle.

As we move forward, may we let our hearts, spirits, and actions overflow with love and kindness for ourselves and each other.

Please and thank you. 

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