I usually write about food and health related stuff, but after reading this Francis Holland piece that I found to be insensitive, I stumbled on this truly beautiful piece of spoken word and felt compelled to post it here. It really sums up the way I feel about the whole thing.

Please watch A Black Woman's Smile, by Ty-Gray El.

7 comments
  1. Anonymous November 23, 2007 at 8:43 PM  

    Completely beautiful, thank you for that piece and a special thanks to TY Gray EL for his deep insight into us a people.

    Quequegs

  2. Francis L. Holland Blog November 24, 2007 at 9:31 AM  

    "Deliver us from Eva." I told my wife about your post and I tried to translate your title for my wife, who only speaks Portuguese, but it was impossible to capture the ironic play on words, the double entendre.

    I don't think my post is "insensitive." "Insensitive" would mean that I don't know or care how others feel. In fact, my mother for many years, as well as my sister and my aunts would have felt as you do, and so I know exactly how you feel, as well as I can without being you. I know how you feel because when I see a beautiful Black woman with a white man, I think I feel just as you do when you see a handsome Black man with a white woman.

    I call those feelings and resulting actions "color-aroused ideation, emotion and behavior." Because we live in America, this is something that we all experience, to one degree or another.

    But I disagree with you in terms of what we should do with and about our color-aroused ideation, emotion and behavior.

    Here in Brazil, I have a woman friend whose cousin is as dark brown as me, whose son is as white as a child on the Brady Bunch and who, herself, is the vanilla colored because she has both Black and white grandparents.

    How can I tell her that when I see her child I see a white person, and I have automatic negative ideation, and emotion (but not behavior, because I control my behavior). The truth is, I cannot tell this Black woman that I react negatively to her white-skinned son, that I would not want him to marry one of my daughters because he has white skin. That would be a terribly mean thing to say to a Black woman who has a white-skinned child.

    And so I have to look inward at my own color-aroused ideation and emotion to make sure I don't display color-aroused behavior that would hurt and destroy my relationship with my Afro-Brazilian friend.

    I think it's time for us to recognize how complex life is, not because of the various colors of human beings, but because of the ideation, emotion and behavior that white supremacists historically taught us to attach to those colors. Unfortunately, we are living in the wake of that dysfunction to this day.

    Still, it's important for us to recognize that it IS dysfunction, on an international scale.

  3. DP November 24, 2007 at 10:40 AM  

    Interesting discussion going on here (and at your blog), and for what it's worth I could care less if people date people from other races, but it's not something I would do, especially knowing what type of world we live in. A world based on the supremacy of one race over all others. Color aroused ideation or not, the reality is that the social construct of America was built on the platform of white supremacy and the denial of rights based upon skin color. This is a construct that was not put in place by Afro-Americans, and as such, there is little we can do to change the attitudes of those who have taught generations of their descendants that it is in the interests of their race to hate, look down upon, and actively oppress others simply based on the color of their skins. That is an issue that whites have to deal with for their salvation, but that reality to me is a very compelling reason not to date (or marry) folks who, in large measure, don't have much love for the majority of my people. I'm not saying that all whites fit in that category, but enough do, and that's enough to keep me focused on helping elevate the status of our people towards a competitive position in this world. Black men and women dating, marrying, and raising strong families is a major part of that process.

    And while Brazil may have a slightly different social construct in place, I doubt its really all that different. After all, it was the last of the major nations to abolish slavery (in 1888). I have a very good friend who moved from Houston to Salvador, Bahia, Brazil about 7 years ago and from what he tells me, the racism is as strong there as in the U.S., it's just that the Brazilians pretend that's not the case. He also said that classism is heaped on top of the racism to such a degree that Afro-Brazilians basically consider him white since he is in a different economic bracket than they are. Needless to say, the white Brazilians don't feel the same way. Color aroused ideation or racism? I don't know and don't care, the results are the same.

  4. Anonymous November 24, 2007 at 1:50 PM  

    Brothers need to watch it too!! Then maybe we would stop saying "smile sister, it cant be that bad" and get off our hands and remake the world so that it facilitates it without saying.

    thanks for the post

    MegaBlast

  5. Istero November 24, 2007 at 2:08 PM  

    Mother and daughter being very true in an over the top way.
    http://youtube.com/watch?v=JdGJxI6LrX4

  6. That Girl Boo November 24, 2007 at 4:55 PM  

    Mr. Holland,

    A very famous artist said "I was given this world I didn't make it".
    I agree with some things that you say.
    Every family has to face a different set of circumstances in life. In a perfect world maybe there would be no ECA, but the problem is there is. In a perfect world maybe black youth drop out rates wouldn't be so high, or single babies mommas so non-caring about father in a childs life, or black men in prison ect.....and at the end of the day, we get the honor of going home & reading
    "Why Loving A White Women" was so good for this strong prideful black man, who from time to time looks for Eva, although he is married and very happy. You talk about ECA, what type of message is that?
    but thats just another dig.

  7. Tebo 124 November 25, 2007 at 11:19 AM  

    A very soul moving mine opening video. i LOVED IT.all should see.