Illuminati Free Playlist: Strong Black Women being Strong, Black and Womanly

Straight up, I didn’t really know who Jean Grae was until Christmas. That’s when posts announcing the debut of Life With Jeannie started popping up on my facebook newsfeed.

I knew about her. She was chick with the tattoos floating just outside of my pop culture periphery. But if you asked me to name one song, I’d shrug. I’m into music, but in a fashion that is absolutely miopic and bull-headed. So, as I play Fela Kuti’s, Expensive Shit, over and over and over, a lot of good music slips by.

The sitcom is great, by the way. Wierd and Black and totally urban while side stepping every single Black urban stereotype there is. But that’s not why I’m playing Kill Screen in this here blog. Nah, this is my response to the backlash against Lupita Nyong’o.
Didn’t know about the backlash? Yeah, it’s out there. A tiny, smug and vocal minority of people wondering what the big deal is.
They say the movie wasn’t that good (I disagree), and her performance wasn’t that good (I totally disagree), and the Oscars shouldn’t have recognized her anyway. To which I say, blame the Oscars, not her. Or, better yet, find a hobby.
What’s the big deal? Well, she was very honest about her exeriences with colorism in America. She was given an opportunity to tell her story, she expressed it eloquenty and it resonated. Maybe not with you, but with a whole lot of other people. But if you don’t get something, it’s okay. Maybe its not yours to get.
What’s that got to do with Jean Grae? Nothing. But, as awesome as Nyong’o may be, there are as many ways to be awesome as there are jaws to be dropped by said awesomeness.
Jean Grae is my Nyong’o counterbalance. A sista whose raised the quest for individuality to a fine art. And the beauty of it is, you don’t have to give a damn about either one. They’ll be okay.


Lupita Nyong’o: The Essence Speech

This speech…
I’ve written before about the challenges that my daughter is going to face. Challenges unique to Black folk of her particular hue. Those chosen ones, celebrated, pigeon holed, resented and punished for something totally outside of her control.

I’m not comparing her to the multitude of beautiful, young, darker skinned children out there. I’m not trying to say that her blues are deeper or heavier. All I know is, this world wants us to think that who we are is somehow a curse.
There is no right answer when you’re Black. You’re either not enough or too damn much. Too fat, too skinny, too light, too dark, too smart, too dumb, too bougie or too damned ratchet… when you’re Black someone is always headhunting. Always trying to tell you that the person that you are, isn’t the person that you should be.
Thank you Lupita. Thank you for finding peace in a world that would love to cultivate and then feed upon your self hatred.