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The Shades Of Blackness "Complexion Obstacles"

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The issue of black self-hatred is something I am supposed to pretend does not exist. However, the great French psychiatrist Frantz Fanon wrote about this issue in his groundbreaking book Black Skin White Masks, in a chapter called "the Lived Experience of the Black Man". According to Fanon, the black man is viewed in the third person, and he isn't seen as a three-dimensional human being. The black man internalizes the perspectives of white society and its negative thoughts about blackness affect his psyche. In the chapter, Fanon discusses a white child calling him the "N word" and how he becomes cognizant of how he is different and viewed as someone people should fear.

There is also a fear by some black people that discussing the issue of self-hatred is a sign of weakness. There is a discourse that black people engender: that black is beautiful. But the truth is, the image of blackness is ugly – at least it's perceived that way. There is nothing special or wonderful about being a black male – it is a life of misery and shame.

The issue of black self-hatred is usually depicted from a female point of view. There are documentaries such as Dark Girls which aired on Oprah's OWN network earlier this year, in which black women discuss their feelings of self hatred for having dark skin. There are numerous books, articles, documentaries, and essays published by black female writers describing black self-hatred. Black women are not afraid to speak out about their self-loathing, yet for some reason, black men are silent about our own contempt for what we are.

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