This post is a part of a continuous series on Woman and Beauty you can see others you have missed here. Throughout this series on woman and beauty I have looked not only into myself but the world around me. I have went on a journey of deconstructing and then reconstructing my idea of beauty
About 15-20 years ago there was a shift in social commentary about the black man. The shift could be attributed to a many things from misogyny in hip hop to Terry McMillan’s Waiting to Exhale. During this time there was a submergence in songs, books, and movies that talked about how black men were dogs, not needed, not shit, etc. Some of those tags were justly labeled on black men but mostly it was the exception not the rule. I was always a believer that activities such as these were a forms of the hegemony working against African-Americans. There was a strange occurrence though a few years ago in cultural criticisms. The whole concept of the “single educated black woman” and what the “definition of beauty is” has been thrown around constantly on TV, magazines, newspapers, books, and blogs. This constant bombardment of images of propaganda may seem like it is giving the black woman knowledge, power, and maybe even shitting on the black man. The truth of matter is all of this that is an attack on the black woman now or as I like to call it COINTELPRO on the Black Woman.
What the hell is COINTELPRO?
COINTELPRO (an acronym for Counter Intelligence Program) was a series of covert, and often illegal, projects conducted by the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) aimed at investigating and disrupting dissident political organizations within the United States. The FBI used covert operations from its inception; however, formal COINTELPRO operations took place between 1956 and 1971. The FBI’s stated motivation at the time was “protecting national security, preventing violence, and maintaining the existing social and political order.”
According to FBI records, 85% of COINTELPRO resources were expended on infiltrating, disrupting, marginalizing, and/or subverting groups suspected of being subversive, such as communist and socialist organizations; the women’s rights movement; militant black nationalist groups, and the non-violent civil rights movement, including individuals such as Martin Luther King, Jr. and others associated with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the Congress of Racial Equality, the American Indian Movement, and other civil rights groups; a broad range of organizations labeled “New Left”, including Students for a Democratic Society, the National Lawyers Guild, the Weathermen, almost all groups protesting the Vietnam War, and even individual student demonstrators with no group affiliation; and nationalist groups such as those “seeking independence for Puerto Rico. (source)
The COINTELPRO program was able to destroy many of these organizations from the outside but also surprisingly from the inside of the organizations by inciting dissention within the organizations, planting evidence, informants, spies, and sometimes downright lies. COINTELPRO was used to destroy the Black Panther Party by killing Fred Hampton, Bunche Carter, and John Huggins. COINTELPRO would also wrongfully imprison, harass, and disrupt many Civil Rights movements. You may ask what the hell COINTELPRO has to do with beauty and black women. Just follow along and keep in mind this knowledge I have given you about COINTELPRO.
The Educated Black Woman
This whole concept of the educated black man or woman is something I have always had a problem with. I don’t know when the term was coined or developed but we need to dead it with the quickness. The whole topic or idea is a misnomer and a backhanded compliment. What is an educated black woman? Is a black woman suppose to be not educated? Why is that used as a description? You never hear Asian woman or Caucasian woman describe themselves in that way. The propaganda makes black woman(and men) think it’s a badge of honor to be listed as such when it really denigrates the culture.
Many women may point out the hard statistics of black women not being married. I understand the WHO-HAing and ranting about “crisis” of the black women on the dating scene. I know the statistics, been there, got the T-shirt and a souvenir. Jay-Z said, “Men Lie, Women Lie, Numbers Don’t”. Yes, Jigga was correct in his statement to an extent but incorrect as well. Numbers and statistics can be skewed times to support what every theory you are trying to prove. I am not saying numbers don’t mean a damn thing but interpretation of those numbers can be incorrect. For instance the notions of more black men are in jail than are college. Yes, this statistic is correct on a core level but the statistics doesn’t show you how a black man who is college only counts while he is in college not black men who are 4-year college graduates. Let me make it a little clearer to you. I am a college graduated but do not count in that statistic but a black man in jail for murder counts for 20 years while I only count for 4-5 years. See how the numbers can be confused somewhat as truth?
Here is another one for you to think about. Kanye said on the song Gold-digger “And they gone keep callin and tryin. But you stay right girl. But when you get on he leave yo a** for a white girl.” We all know the whole black becoming successful and leaving sistas behind for white women. The funny thing about the concept is that black successful mean have being doing this since powerful black men have got paid( see Jack Johnson, Sidney Poitier, Harry Belafonte, Quincy Jones, etc.). One can point to the numbers of the increase of black men marrying out of their race which is true but Asians statistically date more interracially than any other culture. Why aren’t their Asian summits on ABC about this problem? Why aren’t the brothers who love black women congratulated?
Has anyone thought about how this constant talk of the black woman’s so-called woes doesn’t necessarily diss the black man like many think? Maybe it is really trying to say that the black woman herself is not beautiful or worthy enough to be married. The media machine that is putting out this propaganda against the black woman is controlled by the hegemonic order but it is initiated by the black populace just as COINTELPRO was in the 60s and 70s. I am personally tired of hearing about the bullshit that supposedly black men do to black women and vice versa. I am only down to hear solutions to make the black family stronger. I cannot front I have been very critical of the way black men have been dogged in the media but just as much as I call society out on the black man’s images I have to do the same when black women are under attack.
The COINTELPRO machine is constantly working to create dissention within our culture by getting us to fight against each other over this(see Willie Lynch letters? Why is there such a state of emergency on black relationships all of a sudden? Is it because they don’t want us working together in unison to make this a better stronger nation? Does the machine want us to become so engulfed in titles and the MEism that we neglect the struggle, black love, and our families?
- Racialicious Crush Of The Week: Son Of Baldwin’s Robert Jones, Jr. (racialicious.com)
- War of the Beauty: COINTELPRO On the Black Woman Pt.2 (ashy2classy.net)
- Anti-COINTELPRO demonstration at Nebraska State Capitol for the Omaha Two (moorbey.wordpress.com)
- Black Brazilian Woman Claims She Was Barred From School Because of Her “Black Power” Hairstyle (innerstandingisness.wordpress.com)
- Celebrating my Angry Black Womanhood – (travelingblackchicks.com)
- Yes It’s True…Black Guys Can Like White Girls AND Black Girls Too (verysmartbrothas.com)
- The Black Woman In America (theobamacrat.com)