White wealth is stolen wealth. White wealth is based on the use of the free labor of our great grandparents, and the parents before them; just completely stolen. Captive wealth, brutalized wealth, enslaved wealth. And somehow we still think they are deserving of the money. Amazing attitude. This wealth is based on the colonization of African countries. The industrial revolution of Europe based upon the molasses of Jamaica, based upon the sugar crops of Jamaica. The wealth of the white South Africans and Europeans today based upon the gold, diamond, oil, and minerals taken right out of the African country, and yet we have nerve enough to think that these people are deserving of that wealth. And we have nerve enough to think that we are undeserving and that it should not belong to us.
Sapelo Island, Georgia — It’s a culture struggling to survive. Fewer than 50 people — all descendants of slaves — fear they may soon be taxed out of the property their families have owned since the days of slavery.
They are the Gullah-Geechee people of Sapelo Island off Georgia’s coast, near Savannah. This small, simple community is finding itself embroiled in a feud with local officials over a sudden, huge increase in property assessments that are raising property taxes as much as 600% for some.
Many say the increase could force them to sell their ancestral properties. “Sapelo being the only intact Gullah-Geechee community in the country that’s left, that is a part of history. It will be a shame not to preserve””That’s part of the American history. That’s part of what built this country,” said Charles Hall, 79, a retired U.S. Air Force colonel who was born under a midwife’s care in the same home he lives in today.
McIntosh County’s decision to reappraise homes on the island sparked the problem.
CNN article here
Oct. 30 2013
A new book 10 years in the making examines how many major U.S. universities — Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Brown, Dartmouth, Rutgers, Williams and the University of North Carolina, among others — are drenched in the sweat, and sometimes the blood, of Africans brought to the United States as slaves. In “Ebony & Ivy: Race, Slavery, and the Troubled History of America’s Universities,” Massachusetts Institute of Technology American history professor Craig Steven Wilder reveals how the slave economy and higher education grew up together. “When you think about the colonial world, until the American Revolution, there is only one college in the South, William & Mary … The other eight colleges were all Northern schools, and they’re actually located in key sites, for the most part, of the merchant economy where the slave traders had come to power and rose as the financial and intellectual backers of new culture of the colonies,” Wilder says.
Click here to watch part 2 of this interview.
"Plus, when you start trying to make rules (Do you have to have two black parents to say you’re "natural"? Do you have to have once had a perm? Are we going to cut things off at hair type 3a? 3b?), the analysis gets headache-inducing." (via White Women Entitled to Natural-Hair Claim)
So the appropriation of natural hair by our paler persons is impending. But we knew that, or at least I hope we did.
How can Black girls and women own the traditional and digital rights to the culture we’ve spent the last 10+ years creating?
What I’m asking is how to do we take #PowerNotPermission in this niche?
I’m not a black woman, so I’m just an observer here. There is nothing you can do. It will happen. People can and will do whatever they like. White people especially. We can’t control that. What we can control is our voices on the matter. However, it just seems like the black voices always amplified are those of submission. The voices that yield to the dominant society. Whether you’re forgiving someone for murdering your son in cold blood, or welcoming the very people that made simply accepting the way your hair grows out of your head a moment of triumph.
We have freedom of speech, but I just wish black folks like the author of this article didn’t always roll out the red carpet when black space is encroached. It’s always like this. There is always that black person who makes an argument as to why the culture you cultivated should be a free for all, including the people whose denigration of you made you create the movement in the first place.
I mean, it’s hair. It should be mundane and apolitical, but in a white supremacist society, it is not. It comes with baggage. Baggage that “white naturals” don’t have. That baggage is a big part of the celebration that comes with weening yourself off the ‘creamy crack’ and/or getting a big chop. It goes together. White women claiming this identity erodes the significance of this. Furthermore, why must white people be a part of everything black people do? Why can’t a space exist without white people? White women are perfectly capable of creating their own space for their hair issues. Why must a space created by black women be their stepping stone?
How many blog posts have you read from white authors opining about how wonderful it is that black folks encroach their space, and/or they will be better off for it? You won’t read that, but with us, someone will allude to this, or explain away things that no one asked them to. They say history is the best indicator of the future. Keeping that in mind, what cultural movement created by blacks has benefited blacks even more after white encroachment? Think about that one hard.
Also, are we going to talk about how most of the women on afrocentric and black pride natural hair blogs promoting “afrocentricity” tend to look like the white woman in the picture above? Just put a tan on her, and she is the natural hair prototype on the internet. Of course women of all hues are beautiful, but even in this prideful movement, there are hierarchies in representation. How many Alek Wek types (complexion and/or hair texture) are on these blogs? Aren’t they natural too? Where is the balance with regards to representation? Is colorism talk too raw? I’ve certainly noticed it.
Again, I’m just an observer.
Emphasis mine. I landed on one of those blogs by chance, and I had the same reaction. There was a certain kind of “natural” that was being touted, which reminded me of that shit black kids used to say in school: “If you’re white you’re all right, if you’re brown stick around, if you’re black, get back” … which is also a song. But whatever.
As for white “naturals” … *sigh*. The point has been missed, apparently. But for the record, I was asked by an employer once to get rid of my braids (I was an undergrad). They were long, but very neat and tied back while I was at work. I walked off the job. Left a line of people standing in a very busy Harris-Teeter grocery store on a Friday evening waiting to be checked out.
Got another job in a hip restaurant that didn’t care about my hair.
Reblogging for commentary.
I have no problem with white naturals. I’m members of plenty of natural groups/forums and every single one has white members. They’ve felt similar pressure from society, friends, and family to “tame” their curls. I know white girls who spend two hours every morning flat ironing their hair because it’s naturally curly or wavy. One friend in particular was made fun of for having “black hair”. Her mother had no idea how to manage her hair. She had a relaxer and all types of blow outs. She was taught to hate her hair because it isn’t naturally straight or isn’t blonde. But moving to DC and seeing black girls with afros was great for her she now has a legit FRO. The natural movement is embracing our hair the way it grows out of our head, and it should be empowering not just for black women but for all women. It’s not color coded.
Great comments all round! When I’m talking about power, I mean who will get the money and the recognition when it comes to this particular niche. Yes, everyone has natural hair, but when white women start using the culturally coded term to describe themselves, money and recognition move out of our communities. These communities who have put several Black-owned natural hair companies into mainstream markets. That right there is power.
When whiteness co-opts our cultural artifacts, it erases our work. And the natural hair community has put in WORK. I mean, we have created an entire language for describing our hair care (yeah, even the problematic 3b-3c hair typing system). This is OUR WORK.
So yeah the co-opting is inevitable, but how do we make sure Black natural hair narratives are not erased? When the history of natural hair movement is written in the future will the natural hair forums that birthed it be recognized?
What can we do as members of natural hair communities to make sure our work, stories, journeys, are not erased?