The first problem here is the whole “the people you try to represent” part.
What does that even mean? Are you inviting me into a conversation about the nuances of an identity neither you or I have? Are we going to sit here and have a nice, intellectual exercise about how “Africans from various countries” identify their OWN relationship with the concept of Blackness?
Sounds 100% gross! I decline.
The second problem is the word “unilaterally”.
The term “people of color” has its roots in the French Gens de Couleur Libres, referring to the caste in the West Indies and resulting from colonization and enslavement. In the United States, it became used as a term for solidarity and positive self-identification when other “non-white” people joined various Civil Rights movements led by African-American activists.
America has a very severe cultural problem with racism, and I’m addressing that problem when it manifests as a near-obsession with an all-white European history, which is…you know, false. White Americans are quick to claim this history as theirs and only theirs, while simultaneously being very interested in suppressing and dismissing other histories, to the point of openly lying about and outlawing other curricula.
Applying the term “unilaterally” to my use of the term “people of color” is in fact, completely appropriate, as you might have read in my Mission Statement or the FAQ. It applies to this specific situation, culture, nation, and geographical area.
Last problem: stop implying I’m projecting an identity onto people against their will. I post pictures of art. I don’t “force [people] into a western context”. This blog is a response to a specific situation that was not created by me, but that affects me a great deal.
Addendum: For more on the term “People of Color” and how it can be used to erase specifically Black and/or Black American experiences, stop asking ME and read or watch Jared Sexton’s People-of-Color-Blindess: Notes on the Afterlife of Slavery.
Here’s the description:
Jared Sexton, Associate Professor and Director of the Program in African American Studies at UC Irvine, will discuss the concept of “people of color,” highlighting a form of blindness to the singularity of racial slavery internal to its articulation. The first section of the talk charts briefly a theoretical itinerary that reads the radical black feminism of Saidiya Hartman and Hortense Spillers and the political ontology of Frank B. Wilderson against the prevarication regarding slavery and its afterlife in prominent strains of critical theory. The second section attempts to situate Wilderson’s formulation of “afro-pessimism” with respect to the “black optimism” articulated by Fred Moten and other theorists of black performance.
Sadly, the full text is behind a paywall, but you can catch a glimpse at Scribd.
as a white person i apologize
As a black person, I say that you don’t need to apologize.
You should not be held accountable for what your ancestors did. They did bad things to people, but you didn’t. You also shouldn’t feel as though you aren’t allowed to have problems. Just because society leans toward favouring white people, doesn’t mean your life is perfect and stress free.
You don’t need to feel bad for being born the race you are. No one should
But you should recognize the privilege associated with your skin color in relation to POC.
I want a relationship where we can act like idiots, talk about the most random stuff, share music, and never get tired of each other.(via loverichardperry)