Black Girls DO NOT Rock!


~Shemeka Michelle

Many people are celebrating the recent win of Lupita Nyong’o‘s Oscar for Best Supporting Actress. This is definitely a huge accomplishment which should be celebrated. However, as more articles surface, I am becoming extremely annoyed as the focus seems to be more on the color of her skin than her excellence of abilities as an actress. As a people what exactly are we celebrating? Are we celebrating Nyong’o for her intense portrayal of Patsy in 12 Years a Slave or are we celebrating the validation that people of color continue to look for from other races?

Unlike the masses, conversation about the color of her skin or the win of Lupita Nyong’o did not GIVE me hope as a black woman. For me, the acceptance of a beautiful woman who happens to be of African descent did not serve as validation for what I already knew to be true…..BLACK IS BEAUTIFUL! Whether or not one acknowledges a fact does not confirm or deny it as truth. The facts are: Lupita Nyong’o is an astonishing woman. Lupita’s performance in 12 Years a Slave was absolutely Oscar worthy! Lupita Nyong’o is a gorgeous woman with dark skin. Black Girls Rock! People of color are intelligent. People of color are talented. People of color ARE beautiful!

While I believe Lupita serves as an example for women and girls alike who struggle to accept the color of their skin, it is time for the black community to STOP HOLDING OUR RACE TO EUROPEAN STANDARDS OF BEAUTY! It is time for the black community to stop waiting for the approval of other races before we celebrate our own! It is time for the black community to stop waiting for whites or notable blacks to tell us something is good before we can truly accept it as so! In my opinion it leaves us as a COMMUNITY CONTINUING TO “BOJANGLE” FOR ATTENTION AND ACCEPTANCE!

We seem to be conflicted as a people as to what we believe. We claim to believe that we were created and should be treated as equal. However, we continue to turn a blind eye to inequality. We claim to believe that we are just as beautiful as our while counterparts. Yet we deny our own beauty as we strive to look less black by altering our hair, eyes and color of our skin. We unequivocally claim that we as a people are just as worthy as any other race. Yet in many areas of life we stand in nail biting stance withholding applause for our own until the first white man claps! Then and only then do we decide to celebrate. Our curvaceous bodies were alluring before Jennifer Lopez or Kim Kardashian made it popular. Full lips were enticing and spoke words of wisdom long before Lisa Rinna or Angelina Jolie. Black skin was beautiful long before main stream society declared it to be so. We need to REALLY start believing how wonderful we are. We must stop waiting on the approval of others to begin believing and teaching the FACTS. When we continue to be puppets responding only by the strings of the master we are contradictorily sending a message that Black girls DO NOT rock!