- Where are the stories about vampires and werewolves vying for a dark-skinned Black woman’s love and affection?
- Where are the stories about faeries whisking dark-skinned Black women away to a magical place far, far away?
- Where are the stories about dark-skinned Black women being wooed by gods and demigods?
- Where are the stories about dark-skinned Black women being loved and desired after by aliens, angels and demons?
I mean, I know why there is such a paucity of these stories (it begins with “miso-” and ends in “-noir”), but I’m interested in delving the ways that it manifests in how we conceptualize and talk about this type of story, or at least examining these types of stories from a Black feminist or womanist lens. I tried broaching it a few times (though with a heavier emphasis on the gothic heroine as protagonist) but the responses have been scant, almost as if people are afraid of looking deeper.
You know, I think this might be the first time I’ve ever done a blog tour? When I got the email about possibly doing something for the release of Tomi Adeyemi’s Children of Blood and Bone in its release week, I kind of like got all giddy. What a great opportunity to do something fantastic in order to celebrate one of my favorite books of 2018! In Tomi Adeymi’s Children of Blood and Bone, the…
“It’s just been a slow come up to this point. Black Panther is huge, and while we celebrate, I think it’s very important to emphasize that we also need more powerful positions behind the scenes. We need more executives, showrunners, writers, directors, getting our Black women in there, specifically. When I say Black women, I mean our brown-skinned Black women, because colorism has become an issue as well, and we need to tackle all of these things. I just think it’s very important for us to represent the world how we see it.”
There’s a documentary called 400 years without a comb and the documents how Black people specially Black women had to deal with slavery and subsequently not being able to take care of their hair the way that they knew at home because they were taken and they weren’t able to take any tools with them because slavery. It talks about how Eurocentric beauty standards were pushed up on black women because they’ve never seen hair like ours before and subsequently that shit is carried to this day.
I think about that documentary every time I buy a wig every time I buy a weave and everytime someone criticizes black women for doing so buying a wig buying a weave for straightening their hair whatever would have you. It is absolutely infuriating to me that people do not have the cultural and historical context when it comes to Black women and our hair before they feel the need to criticize us for what we do to make sure that our hair is healthy and that it’s presentable in the way that we wanted to be presented because we know if our hair isn’t a certain way then we’re going to have an issue.
It’s not our issues it’s shit that’s projected onto it is things that we have no fucking control over but everybody always has such extensive comments to say about our hair. how we should keep it and how we should wash it and if we should go natural or if we have the right type of natural hair (the hierarchy in natural hair is another issue entirely but it’s exhausting too) and it’s like shut the fuck up. Because at the end of the day you don’t have to deal with this shit you don’t have to deal with people making assumptions about you your hygiene your sense of self hell even your socioeconomic status based solely on your hair. It’s annoying because nobody wants to talk about how ostracized Black women are for the hair that grows out of their heads, but they so QUICK to tease, or comment, or to mock.
So it’s like yes we going to wear a weave and we’re going to wear a wig and we’re going to wear braids. I’m going to wear whatever the fuck else that we need to so that we don’t have issues and that we don’t get accosted by managers or accosted by school teachers or principals or expelled or fired or told to cut our hair because it’s not proper when it’s what grows out of our head. Nobody wants to talk about this when they criticize weaves and wigs and extensions and everything that we’ve developed in order to navigate through this system that envies us and maligns us at the same damn time. When you are able to find a better solution you let me know until then shut the fuck up.
There is an unspoken believe that black women are responsible in leading “The Revolution.” As if our pool of emotional labor is unlimited.
This “black women will save us” ideology forces black women into the role of “The Savior of Mankind.” It is also a belief that doesn’t allow self reflection amongst the liberal white and model minority communities.
If you can’t imagine Black female characters – like Uhura, like Abbie Mills, like Valkyrie, like Iris West – as capable of being strong and in love… If you imagine Black women being #ForeverAlone as our default state and as a good thing…
Then I don’t see how you’re capable of loving us if you take a paternalistic, pseudo-protective approach to the very idea of us (and characters that look like us) getting into relationships… especially when a white person is the other part of that relationship.
Black women are not Samson.
Relationships will not lead to our doom.
I’m doing a thing where I make the little images for advertisement purposes and couple them with an essay about the topic for my patrons.
I made an image post about the way non-Black people talk about Black women and Black female characters in fandom and coupled it with an essay about how White Feminism™ takes a damn near paternalistic approach to the idea of Black women in relationships with anyone.
I’m still working on the Valkyrie post because yesterday was A LOT, but if you’ve got a craving for me talking about fandom misogynoir, this is a little essay that’ll tide you over until then.