Am I Black Enough?

As black people we seek acceptance but yet we persist to tell other black people that they aren’t black enough.

Black people have fought for equality throughout the past centuries and decades. The world portrays our history to only consist of slavery and then gives the credit, for our past endeavours which predate slavery, to those of other races. Majority of black people do not know that there is evidence of people who resembled themselves, worldwide dated thousands of years back, even within Europe. An example being the moors who had taken Iberia in the past, in the 700’s, hence a lot of afro Jamaicans finding southern European, Iberian blood, traces in their DNA.

But this isn’t a history lesson. Those who really give a fuck will do their own research and come to their own conclusions. The fact still remains that black people are looking for a form of validation from those who have set up a system which makes them superior to those with different shades of skin. We have been conditioned to desire acceptance from those that don’t accept us, this is not just subject to race. Think. The LGBT community wanting to be married in Christian churches, children abandoned at birth seeking love from their parents, even in the most basic relationships,etc. Your partner hates that you party and will never accept it, however you will still try to reason and get that person to accept you, even with the trait they despise.

To me this stems from an idea of wanting to feel loved. It’s never nice to hear that someone dislikes you, especially when you feel that the reason given does not constitute a good enough reason. The people who were loved the most are the ones that seem to leave a legacy. Which of you want to compare yourself to Michael Jackson? So in understanding that the most loved people make the most impact in life why would we not all try to attain it? We all seek and desire to be loved by everyone and anyone except one. Ourselves. Jhene Aiko said it best “I love me enough for the both of us”. The point at which you love yourself you will not need validation from any other insecure person who doesn’t understand how to love you, for you cannot love anyone if you do not love yourself.

Now here we are. Broken as a people. Insecure as a people. Unable to love as a people. Not to be mistaken with us being able to show compassion. Someone with a lighter skin tone than me walks up to me and there’s a problem because I cannot take that person for who they are. I deliberate as to whether they are a “light skin black” or a mixed raced person. Starting to sound a bit ridiculous isn’t it. Now my determination of your DNA strands, via my human eyesight, is not enough of an indicator as to whether the person is black enough, as any of the two brackets can still be considered black. So now the determining factor has to be what I hear from your mouth as opposed to your look. In fact here enters a dark skin person because the “are you black enough” rulings are not shade biased as you would be led to believe.

You’ve all heard the terms bounty or oreo. For those that may not have, these are terms which refer to a black person who is seen by their own to be white despite the chocolate on the outside. How do people figure out if these labels apply to you? Your mannerisms, your language and your behaviours. Apparently your skin and DNA does not determine if you are black. I believe as human beings we know that race is only a social construct so in that sense this way of thinking makes sense. When race was invented it was coupled by a bunch of labels which for the sake of this post I will refer to as stereotypes. We know not all black people adhere to their stereotypes, but if that is what black is meant to be, then that person who doesn’t behave stereotypically should not be counted as black. Please understand I am not fighting for the black label. I personally do not care for a title I did not give myself.

I’ve seen friends frustrated by someone being called black who by their standards they do not believe to be black enough to be considered black. It starts with the shade of skin, then their features, then they will be judged on their language and choice of words. Mixed raced people, depending on where they live, are subjected to the physical judgement of blackness the most. If you look darker like Tracee Ellis Ross then you get a black pass but if you resemble a pale Rashida Jones then you’re questioned whether you’re really a black person or not.

What makes “black people” think it is ok to judge whether a human being is fit to carry a label that “black people” did not give themselves? Why fight for something that another man has used to oppress “black people” with?

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