Why are we so hard on ourselves?

“The Man” has definitely succeeded in dividing our people here in America. I just returned to the post on Hello, Negro’s blog about natural hair and am fired up about some of the responses. I must say in my lifetime, I have had the most difficult experiences from my own people (I mean HARD times from my people). We are so critical of ourselves. Why spend so much time and energy on superficial shit like skin color, outfits, and how we wear our hair? That’s exactly one of the reasons why I abandoned relaxers. It was my way of saying that I refuse to be defined by our black status quo. Just be you and, trust me, the rest will take care of itself. White people do not spend nearly half the time we’re assuming they do wondering how we wear our hair or if it’s professional. Their cultural road blocks start way before that. And anyway, how often have you had a white person at work compliment your hair or wish they could do things we do to our hair? Granted, race relations in America are not all tea and scones, but some of it we perpetuate ourselves.

My husband has been very successful at work by just being himself. If you know him, you know he will never change. I think that’s the bottom line. You can’t let perception rule your life. I know you all want to jump all over that, so I will also say that he’s had some people stand behind him along the way and helped to pry open the doors of opportunity. However, they wouldn’t do that if they didn’t see potential and if he wasn’t a compilation of confidence and content.

We do need more variety on the black images we see on television. That’s a complicated Hollywood thing. That world is all about superficial. In my mind, I take it for what it is. If I were trying to be a model or actress, then perhaps I would have to concede to the game because the essence of those industries is looks. Or, more likely if you know me, I’d go the independent route where fans are more open minded.

I would love to hear some positive stories about black women who have gone natural and been very successful. I know they speak of a lady with dreadlocks at my job who everyone loved and respected for who she was. In a way, I think it’s more iconic for Corporate America. I call it the Benetton affect. It makes them look diverse…or inclusive as the new buzz word has become.

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