In the same week where so many media outlets are celebrating the fact that Beyonce is once again the first Black President of the USA's choice of musical entertainment for his 2nd inauguration set to sing the national anthem, the most widely circulated image of Beyonce is this GQ cover with jokes abound about how he saw this image and made his decision to pick her for the position. All I can think is here we go again-with our continued mixed messages as Black Americans. We complain of the overly sexualized images of ourselves spread globally, but depending on whose image it is we are all for it! Yes Bey looks great as always photoshopped and all, but is showing off our goodies the only way we can reclaim our sexy as Black women and as Black mothers and wives?
We can't keep blaming our young boys, men, rappers nor our young ladies for wanting to emulate and give us what we seem to want, love, give praises to and instagram and facebook likes to in abundance in our global technologically oriented popularity contest world, when we are all complicit in the conditioning of the our condition. We can be flippant and claim that one image is different from the next, but when the world view is nowhere near making those differentiations can we really afford to be so flippant considering where we came from and how much further we have to go in reclaiming our images from a warped world view? We all profit although very unequally in the prevalence and sale of these images. At what point do we stop blaming others and take full responsibility for what we ourselves put out there as who we are and how we celebrate our beauty and self worth? I have seen more of these same type of images of our top globally celebrated artists of today to last me a life time. Whether it's on the cover of King or GQ makes no difference to me or most of the world #MoreofTheSameOlSameOl #2013:ReClaiming #PastHottentotVenus #MoreThanOurBodies #MoreThanCaricaturesofGloballySexualizedImagesofBlackWomen
"I'm no stranger to how some non-Americans perceive Black Americans. I live in un-gentrified Brooklyn—Crown Heights to be exact. It's a Caribbean stronghold and ground zero for the annual West Indian Day Parade. With rare exception, my local Black friends are non-American...I would be upset about it, but I get where it comes from. One of America's greatest exports is its entertainment, i.e. TV, music, film. And unfortunately, American Black folk aren't always seen in the best light. More often than not, what non-Americans observe of Black American culture is us at our worst — raunchy performers, lowbrow TV/film and misogynistic rap lyrics. Some would say it's just entertainment, but it's so much deeper...I was in London once, on the tube talking to another Black woman, when a group of guys started chanting, "Jerry! Jerry! Jerry!" at us, alluding to the popular circus-like talk show where Black folks (and, in fairness, lots of white people) fought with each other for ratings. The show was a national sensation and clearly, an international hit as well...Years later, I was walking in Spain, approaching three guys on the sidewalk. As they passed, one of them grabbed a handful of my butt. Of course, I yelled a great big "WTF?" after them as they laughed, smiled even. This was their way of flirting with me. Maybe it's the culture there, but it seemed way too reminiscent of some rap video holler..." READ MORE