My friend was telling me a story of how his roommate disliked black people. For some reason, majority of the conversations I am in, somewhere along the lines, the topic of anti-blackness emerges. Whether I’m having a conversation with my friend about what type of person they would bring home, how parents feel about black people, our experiences being black, and what not. Sitting down and analyzing this has made me realize that anti-blackness is not only real in other communities but also in my own community: the African community. Why are black people hated on? What is it about the color of our skin that creates this hatred? Black people have been seen as inferior since slavery. We are still seen as inferior even today. Yet, what troubles me most is why other people of color dislike black people as well. It’s not just about the system and the social construction of race that has created this hatred.
What is it about black people that makes my Asian friend afraid of bringing a black person home? What is it about black people that makes my Hispanic friend’s mom dislike us? What is it about black people that makes Africans against African Americans and vice versa? What is it about black people that makes my African friend say that her family would rather she bring home a white man than a black man?
Let’s carefully think about this: what is it about black people that has created this hatred? I’m not saying that this hatred is new nor am I saying that the system is not to blame. No. I’m saying that some of it really has to do with the negative stereotypes that are associated with us black people and the way the media portrays us. Take the stereotype of black males being dangerous. Many people in our society believe that this is true. This stereotype is accentuated even further from our local news to the big screens. And it is affecting us internally and externally. By internally, I mean colorism, but that’s another discussion.
Anti-blackness is real. There are people denying it, but it is real. Because of this, the way people treat us black people is disgusting. I’m tired of having the same conversations with people about anti-blackness. I’m tired of my friends telling me how much their parents dislike black people. I’m tired of this “feud” between Africans and African Americans. For so long, we’ve been treated and viewed negatively. I’m tired of hearing all of the negative things about us. For once, I want to hear good things about black people.
Of course, there is more to discuss and I will definitely come back to this. But, I would like to do research on Anti-blackness. This might be my thesis topic.
I’m ending this by quoting Nina Simone: “To me we are the most beautiful creatures in the whole world. Black people. And I mean that in every sense…”