All Articles Tagged "racism"
Earlier this month we wrote about Solange’s experiences at a Kraftwerk concert and her essay detailing the fear and hesitancy many Black people feel entering into predominately White spaces. Anyone read her essay, knew that her experiences are not exclusive to her.
It happens to many of us in many different ways.
One woman, Ashley Owens wrote about her experience at a high end store where a White woman made thinly veiled stereotypical comments about her hair before accusing her of stealing so she could get the items that were in her cart.
She handled this much better than a lot of us would have. What would you have done in this situation?
When some people talk about the effects of slavery in this country, they like to argue that it was a long time ago. And Black folk should get over it. The argument is flawed. Not only are we still dealing with the remnants of slavery; but the way the prison industrial complex is set up, slavery just took on a different form in this country. It is this topic that filmmaker Ava DuVernay explores in her new documentary 13th.
The new film will be screened at the upcoming New York Film Festival and will have a limited theatrical release. It will have a home on Netflix.
In the trailer alone different experts talk about how after the 13th amendment abolished slavery, with the exception of those sentenced to serve jail or prison time, the narrative that Black men were inherently dangerous and criminal became pervasive in this country. And now, today, 1 of four imprisoned people in the world are living in the United States. They specifically mention Kalief Browder, the 16-year-old who was thrown into Riker’s after he was wrongly accused of stealing a backpack. He spent three years in prison waiting for a trial, two of them in solitary confinement. Even after he was acquitted and released, he had a hard time adjusting afterward and eventually took his life.
The trailer also shows clips of both presidential candidates, Clinton, Trump and former president Bill Clinton using rhetoric that played right into this billion dollar system.
New York Film Festival Director Kent Jones hailed the film as an act of “true patriotism.”
DuVernay herself said, “This film was made as an answer to my own questions about how and why we have become the most incarcerated nation in the world, how and why we regard some of our citizens as innately criminal, and how and why good people allow this injustice to happen generation after generation. I thank Kent Jones and the selection committee for inviting me to share what I’ve learned.”
13th will be streaming on Netflix on October 7.
For the most part, Black folk are in support of the athletes following in Colin Kaepernick’s footsteps and protesting the national anthem. After all, he is an American citizen, a Black man, and entitled to freedom of speech. And as Marshawn Lynch so eloquently put it, “I’d rather see him take a knee than stand, with his hands up and get murdered.”
Naturally, there are some people who oppose his decision. And 9 times out of 10 when they speak about their dissension, they reference the belief that his protest is disrespectful to members of the military.
But what about when a officer in the Navy decides to protest the national anthem?… in uniform.
That’s what Janaye Ervin did. The U.S. Navy reservist said, in a Facebook post, that “while in uniform, I made a conscious decision not to stand for the “Star Spangled Banner” because I feel like a hypocrite, singing about the ‘land of the free’ when I know that only applies to some Americans.”
As a result, Ervin said she was punished and equipment necessary for her job was taken away from her. Although Ervin didn’t include this in her post, other reports have indicated that she may have been threatened with jail time.
Here’s what her full Facebook post said.
For the most part, the response to Janaye’s protest is being well-received. People are calling her brave and courageous. They’re commending her for standing up in an environment where her actions may not be well-received. Her story has been shared over a thousand times, including activist Shaun King.
But when we asked a Petty Officer in the United States Navy, a Black woman, about Ervin’s protest, she didn’t share the same sentiment.
“There is a law written in the Uniform Code of Military Justice forbidding protest in uniform. It brings discredit upon the military to stand in uniform and blatantly disregard the national anthem. As a civilian it is understood. You have no obligation to patriotism. In this uniform you do. The national anthem is OUR anthem and how we pay respect to those who have served and died in this uniform. I feel as though when you wear this uniform, you are to respect this uniform. Period. People wake up away from their loved ones working long days, missing holidays, birthdays, funerals and are dying because they are wearing this uniform. By all means, stand up for what you believe in. Protest all you want. But exclude this uniform while you are doing it. This uniform has nothing to do with the Black Lives Matter campaign. The display of her position could have been done in a million different ways. (Like getting out if you don’t want anything to do with the government) I guess what I’m saying is, you don’t need to be disrespectful to protest.”
What do you think about Ervin’s protest? Is she changing the game and the status quo or is violating the rules she vowed to uphold, a problem?
Veronica Wells is the culture editor at MadameNoire.com. She is also the author of “Bettah Days.”
When North Carolina congressman Robert Pittenger was asked about the protests in Charlotte, he offered a very “interesting” rationale for all the protests. He didn’t attribute it to the prevalence of unjust killings of Black men and women in this country. He didn’t believe the protests were a result of the racism and discrimination many Black people in this country know all too well. He didn’t believe it had anything to do with the fact that while police officers kill innocent Black people, they are rarely held accountable for their actions.
Pittenger didn’t believe it was any of those things. Instead, he said the protesters were out there marching on the streets because they hate White people. But he didn’t stop there. He even gave a reason as to why they hate White people. See what he had to say.
I am FURIOUS.
US Congressman Robert Pittenger said protestors of police brutality actually just hate white people b/c they’re successful. pic.twitter.com/H0CMG8YgCP
— Shaun King (@ShaunKing) September 23, 2016
“The grievance in their mind is the animus, the anger. They hate White people because White people are successful and they’re not. Yes, it is, it is a welfare state. We have spent trillions of dollars on welfare but we’ve put people in bondage so that they can’t be all that they’re capable of being. America is a country of opportunity, freedom and liberty. It didn’t become that way because of a great government who provided everything for everyone. No…”
When I first saw the phrase “hate White people” trending, I thought perhaps a few Black folk had lost their minds and the rest of Black Twitter was, maybe, trying to calm them down. To get them to think logically and clearly. Perhaps, the phrase was used so much that it started trending. But that wasn’t it. These words about hating White people, as is often the case, came from the mind of a White man himself, trying to play victim after he’s been the oppressor.
According to USA Today, after being called out by CNN’s Don Lemon and likely a host of other people, Pittenger offered a fumbling fail of a response for his earlier comments.
“Frankly I was quoting what they were saying last night on what I observed on your network. And their hatred for White people. And that saddens me greatly.”
Lemon pressed him, asking directly if he believed protesters hated White people, Pittenger said,
“No, no sir. It’s the comment that they made. I think you can go back and look at the tapes. The comments that they made on air.”
Who is they?!
Later, his office released a statement of apology.
“What is taking place in my hometown right now breaks my heart. My anguish led me to respond to a reporter’s question in a way that I regret. The answer doesn’t reflect who I am. I was quoting statements made by angry protestors last night on national TV,” Pittenger said in the statement. “My intent was to discuss the lack of economic mobility for African-Americans because of failed policies. I apologize to those I offended and hope we can bring peace and calm to Charlotte.”
Even if Pittenger was referencing protesters who said they hated White people, he offered their quote as the reason for the protests. That’s what he believes all the anger is about. Furthermore, I doubt those same protesters said they hate White people because they’re more successful. Those are his very own thoughts and beliefs. And make no mistake, Pittenger meant every word he said. And all of them were coded and blatantly racism. “Anger, hate, welfare” are all tropes and stereotypes associated with Black people in this country. As if we are the only people who are angry, as if we are somehow more hateful than the very people who stole us from native countries, erased our cultural identities and caused us to work for free in brutal conditions to build this country. Only to turn around that still treats us like less than human after our “liberation.”
We’ve seen how welfare has been attached to Black folk. We all know The Welfare Queen. Back in the day, we’d hear White people complaining about having to pay taxes to support the shiftless and single, Black mothers, as if the majority of people on welfare are not White.
And then there’s the assumption that the protesters, again mostly Black people, are not successful. It was just outside of the realm of possibility for Pittenger to imagine a Black person, a Black protester successful. The notion that we are somehow inherently failures because of our skin tone is racism y’all. Truth is, while there are plenty of Black people who have made it, there are still quite a few of us who are struggling. But instead of suggesting that that struggle might have something to do with poor schools systems, lack of economic opportunities, redistricting and red tape in housing, or— I don’t know— racism, Pittenger just said that by virtue of not being White (read Black) and protesting (read Black), these people are not successful. Thing is, as a Congressman, Pittenger could be working to address some of these issues and the very specific ones protesters are marching about now. Instead, he took this opportunity to play victim and speak about the hate Black people have for White folks and our collective lack of success. He might not view himself as such but as a White man with power and influence, making racist comments, instead of working to address other issues important to his constituency, is oppression.
I guess you have to be poor and downtrodden in this country to be enraged by the injustices we witness on television and social media. God forbid you be rich and outraged. Hell, perhaps this particular point isn’t too far off base. Maybe if some people with money and influence were more disturbed by this issue, or if it was their sons, boyfriends, husbands, daughters, and mothers they were watching get gunned down on television, sometimes twice a week, there would be some solutions on the table.
After all, if there were as much conversation about solutions instead of protests and who hates who more, we wouldn’t be in this mess we’re in today.
Veronica Wells is the culture editor at MadameNoire.com. She is also the author of “Bettah Days.”
— Philip Lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) September 20, 2016
Every time another innocent, unarmed Black man is killed I do this weird dance in my head. I ask myself am I mentally, psychologically and emotionally strong enough to watch the video footage. Usually the answer is no. But I still try to get the details, while trying, often unsuccessfully, to avoid the footage of another bloodied, Black body laying on the pavement. If I have the mental capacity and the intelligence to formulate some thoughts on the recent murder, I just might write something for the site. But when I began seeing Terence Crutcher’s name all of the internet last night, I wanted all of it to go away. I kept scrolling. I paused for the pictures of him still alive, smiling, a young boy seated on his knee. But after Summer16, I didn’t have any words. I don’t know if I should attribute my choice to disassociate to rawness, numbness, fatigue or just plain avoidance.
Still, I feel this obligation to at least talk about Crutcher because before he was presumed to be a “bad guy” by members of the Tulsa police department, he had a life, a family. He was a person and for that alone, I know we should be talking about him. Still though, I don’t have the words. So I compiled a couple of thoughts shared by a few celebrities that likely mirror a lot of our own feelings right now.
See what they had to say.
Now let all the racists come forth and say that racism doesn’t exist. Those who will make a reason for why this man was shot and killed. Fuck you! Can you not see why we shout BLACK LIVES MATTER! Can you not see why Colin Kaepernick says fuck your national anthem?! A bomber, literally a terrorists, shoots it out with the cops and is safely detained yet this unarmed black man is shot down like so many others. If you don’t see the problem, you are the problem. #prayformypeople
“We’ve got to tackle systemic racism. This horrible shooting again?! How many times do we have to see this in our country? In Tulsa, an unarmed man with his hands in the air. This is just unbearable and it needs to be intolerable. So maybe I can, by speaking directly to White people, say, ‘Look, this is not who we are!’ We’ve got to do everything possible to improve policing, to go right at implicit bias. There are good, honorable, cool-headed police officers. We’ve seen them in action in New York over the last 48 hours because of the terrorist attacks. We can do better. We have got to reign in what is absolutely inexplicable. And we’ve got to have law enforcement respect communities and communities respect law enforcement because they’ve got to work together.”
Take a knee…people riot.
Take a bullet…people quiet.
— Lecrae (@lecrae) September 20, 2016
so all you you “mad at national anthem kneelers” w verification checks—-yall got another 2 cents for #TerenceCruthcher or nah?
— Questlove Gomez (@questlove) September 20, 2016
how can watch vid of UNARMED #TerenceCrutcher stopped w car trouble being gunned down by police & not see the problem?
— Franchesca Ramsey (@chescaleigh) September 20, 2016
Franchesca “Chescaleigh” Ramsey
Good morning America. In case they’re still wondering why we say #BlackLivesMatter… Damn. How I wish that the outrage from a man taking a knee during a song would match the outrage of another life being ripped from under us. How I wish that you would love this country enough to actually acknowledge what’s wrong with it and help fix it. How I wish that the truly good people would show their faces. How I wish that the men and women in uniform who actually ARE good and are here to protect and serve would stand up and acknowledge these executions. Is this what you want to represent your firm of officers? I believe deep down inside my heart that the majority of people are profoundly good. God I just wish you would all show up and prove it. #TerenceCrutcher ✊🏿🙏🏿✊🏿
Tiffany Crutcher, Terence’s twin sister
“You all want to know who that big, bad dude was? That big, bad dude was my twin brother. That big, bad dude was a father. That big, bad dude was a son. That big, bad dude was enrolled at Tulsa Community College, just wanting to make us proud. That big, bad dude loved God. That big, bad dude was at church singing, with all of his flaws, every week. That big, bad dude that’s who he was. We just celebrated our 40th birthday, August 16th, a month ago. And I have his text message and it said, ‘I’m going to show you. I’m going to make you all proud.’ And now he’ll never get that chance because of the negligence and the incompetency and the insensitivity and because he was a big, bad dude. He’ll never get that chance…I want for everyone to know that that big, bad dude, his life mattered. His life mattered. His life mattered.”
Veronica Wells is the culture editor for MadameNoire.com. She is also the author of “Bettah Days.”
Last Thursday morning, Kansas State University (KSU) student Desmund Weathers posted two images to Twitter that instantly went viral. The photos were of his KSU classmate Paige Shoemaker and her friend wearing charcoal clay face masks with the caption “Feels good to be a n*gga” and a laughing emoji face. In the same photo, Paige and her friend Sadie Meir used the West Side hand gesture that was significantly used throughout the ’90s to distinguish rap artists/groups from the West Coast. Weathers captioned his Twitter post with: “Welcome to Kansas State University. Where breakfast in the morning is some K-State Family with a side of Racism.”
Paige, who was sought out by Fusion, told the online news site in a series of tweets that she indeed made her Snapchat picture public and sent it to her friends in a joking manner. “I am the least racist and most accepting person you will meet. Never would I send it in a derogatory way,” she claimed.
After the photo began to receive national attention, Kansas State University’s Vice President Pat Bosco released a statement last Thursday condemning Paige for creating such a post: “I have become aware that one of our students posted a racially offensive photo today on social media and used one of the most derogatory words in the English language. This photo has students, faculty, staff and other members of the K-State family upset. It rightly should, as there is no place for racism at our university, regardless of what the intentions may have been. K-State prides itself on being one family, no matter your race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation or abilities. All members of the K-State family deserve to be treated with dignity and respect.
“We are firmly committed to the principles of community at Kansas State University, and it is important that we educate our students daily on these principles. We must do better, and we will do better,” he concluded.
Zeta Tau Alpha Sorority , a sorority Paige was a former member of released their own statement to us via email, regarding her actions: “We have become aware that a former member of our chapter has posted racist comments on her social media channels. While she did join the Beta Upsilon Chapter at Kansas State University in 2013, she has not been a member since spring 2015 and is no longer affiliated with the organization in any capacity. Her words and actions certainly do not reflect the values and principles of Zeta Tau Alpha. Our Creed teaches us to look for the good in everyone and to seek understanding in order to gain true wisdom. Our Fraternity’s membership includes women of many races, nationalities, and religions and we all strive to seek the noblest in every endeavor.”
Ultimately, Paige was expelled from KSU that same day, with the news going public via a statement from KSU’s Associate Provost for Diversity Zelia Wiley who stated: “On Sept. 15, the university received notice that a derogatory social message and photo was sent out via social media. The involved person is not currently enrolled at the university. It is our understanding the second individual in the photo is not associated with the university.”
In an interview with KOCO, Paige told reporters that she wants the public to know that clay masks were not used as blackface. When asked why she posted a racially charged caption with the photo, Paige looked at Sadie (who was also pictured in the Snapchat photo), smiled and said, “Not that this is a good thing but that word just kind of happens in our friend group. ‘Cause we know everyone is calm—we’re a big family. So that word doesn’t offend anyone in our group.”
Paige also publicly apologized on Facebook on behalf of her and Sadie, stating: “The signs that were thrown also is an inside joke between our friends that represents ‘West Coast is the best coast. We never intended for the picture to offend anyone. We had only meant for it to be taken in a funny way, but we clearly understand that what we said should never be joked around about. People shouldn’t joke around about such a serious topic like this because it feeds into racism. We accept that there will be people who won’t forgive us, but something had to be said. Ask anyone who knows us, we are the most accepting and least racist people. We know that we will ride up and learn from this mistake. We will be better and make sure to do more than someone who is a true racist. We will battle everyone for the right to make things right,because we know what we did was wrong.”
Watch Paige’s full interview with KOCO, here.
Starting the new school year on the wrong note, a group of White male students decided to harass and attack their Black female peers at American University in Washington D.C. According to Ma’at Sargeant, the president of the school’s Black Student Alliance, during one attack on September 8, the students opened one woman’s dorm room and threw a rotten banana at her. The use of bananas in the attack is meant to point out the racist association of Black people being referred to as and physically compared to monkeys.
In an effort to call out the group’s intimidation tactics and have something done about it, freshman Neah Gray stepped forward to reveal to The Washington Post that a banana was left outside of her dorm room door and penises were drawn on her whiteboard. “I wouldn’t let people drive me out, but it’s kind of sad that this kind of thing still happens,” Gray shared with the publication as she reflected on her first weeks of college.
Upon learning about these cases, the Black Student Alliance decided to release a statement via Twitter, noting how these students and others have been assaulted by their White peers as administrators turned a blind eye.
Good morning. pic.twitter.com/4Ogh6t82DZ
— AmericanU BSA (@AU_BSA) September 16, 2016
Jada Bell, who serves as the Black Student Alliance’s outreach coordinator also told Buzzfeed about their efforts to expose how “black women are under threat on campus” and being used as “target practice” by posting signs around campus that read, “#TheRealAU May Include Rotten Bananas Thrown At You” or “First Week At #TheRealAU May Include Having Rotten Bananas Thrown At You.” American University’s Public Safety administrative office removed these signs shortly after the BSA posted them.
This past Friday, administrators at the university stated that they “understand members of our community feel hurt by an incident that happened in a residence hall and separate allegations of racially biased behavior.” They continued in their released statement to note that the dean of students has filed conduct charges against some individuals involved, and university police will continue investigating the assaults.
“Actions can and do have [an] impact beyond their intent and that was the case here. The University condemns discrimination and discriminatory harassment and all violations are handled through the Student Conduct process.”
The perpetrators have been banned from the residence hall where they attacked the freshmen. Buzzfeed learned that they live in an adjoining building and can likely enter the banned hall whenever they like without much fuss.
Following the release of their statement, administrators held a campus town hall meeting Friday afternoon for the student body to discuss how they felt about the attacks. However, Bell and Sargeant said it wasn’t enough to combat a clear problem. Even Devontae Torriente, the student body president at American University, said it’s been difficult to face this issue as a Black student and a campus leader. As someone who has to devise a plan for the student body to navigate these occurrences, he told Buzzfeed that it’s especially tough when the the administration as a whole is “not completely sure” what next steps it will take to change the social climate on campus.
“People tend to be shocked that these things can happen at a school that’s known to be progressive and liberal and whatnot, but this has to be considered in a larger context,” Torriente told Buzzfeed. “These issues can’t be relegated to one side of the political spectrum. It’s important to recognize that even in these liberal bubbles, these things can still happen.”
Sargeant shared a similar sentiment by telling The Washington Post, “You come into this institution that promotes diversity, and then this happens to you,” she said. “The individuals are hurt, and the community as a whole is hurt. And we’re sick of it.” She also told Buzzfeed that her grandmother had to deal with such experiences more than 40 years ago and Sargeant, along with other students of color at American, shouldn’t “have to go through these kind(s) of things in 2016.”
Since knowledge of these incidents became public and went viral, alumni of American University have offered the BSA and students of color as a whole their support.
On Thursday, designer Marc Jacobs showed off his newest designs, closing out New York fashion week. And while the clothes were lauded, per the usual, it was the hair that didn’t sit so well with people.
The models rocked faux locs made out of multicolored yarn as they stomped down the runway, and soon after, the Internet had a lot to say about the choice of hairstyle for the event. The cultural appropriation conversation resurfaced, with people noting that when Black men and women wear locs, it’s deemed unkempt or unprofessional, but when White women do so in fashion shows and as public figures, it’s “in style” and cute. The debate raged on.
Making matters worse, the stylist who helped to bring those yarn locs to the runway, Guido Palau, emphatically told New York Magazine‘s The Cut when asked if Rastafarian culture influenced the look, “No, no at all.” Palau stated that inspiration came from Lana Wachowski, one half of the duo behind The Matrix, the ’80s, Boy George, raver culture, and Harajuku girls of Japan.
But nothing could make a stinky situation smell worse than the response from Jacobs. He took to Instagram to respond to the criticism with this:
“All who cry ‘cultural appropriation’ or whatever nonsense about any race or skin color wearing their hair in any particular style or manner — funny how you don’t criticize women of color for straightening their hair. I respect and am inspired by people and how they look. I don’t see color or race — I see people.”
To be completely honest with you, I wasn’t bothered by the locs on the runway, and I wear locs. I’m well aware of the fact that people all over the world wear them and have been doing so for centuries. But Jacobs’s response to the critiques of his show definitely left a bad taste in my mouth.
For one, to say that those who speak out about the unfair ways in which mainstream culture takes from cultures they don’t care about for personal gain are crying about it (“it” being the “nonsense,” as he calls it), insinuates that there is zero validity in such arguments. It also paints these same people as overdramatic, constantly making much ado about nothing.
Then there is the issue of him trying to compare putting fake locs in the hair of White women to Black women straightening their hair. Ah yes, the straight hair, blond dye and weave defense. It would work perfectly if not for the fact that many of us were told that we should straighten our hair in the hopes of making a good impression to get ahead. Relaxers were pushed our way since childhood to form a look that was deemed more professional, more ornate and pretty, while being encouraged to turn against our natural hair, which was deemed unkempt for so long and still is. Wanted to look cute for Easter as a kid? You took a hot comb or no-lye to straighten your hair so you wouldn’t look as ordinary as you did every other day with your natural hair. It’s taken too long for us to stop looking at our coils as the enemy.
And as far as Jacobs not seeing color or race — boy, bye.
As someone who used to relish reading fashion magazines growing up, I’ve always been a fan of Marc Jacobs’s work. The way he thinks? That’s another story. To me, it’s very harmful for a person with such influence to speak in such a way, and so assuredly. It’s a testament to the way these people we admire from afar really think (and think about us), and who they surround themselves with (not a one single person who looks like us).
With the young girls in Pretoria, South Africa having to fight to be able to wear their natural hair in school, a Kentucky School unsuccessfully trying to impose a ban on locs, and the military having a ban on locs and twists for so long, it’s unsettling when we see these styles worn by White women on the main stage not in solidarity, but for profit, and it’s looked at as the hot new sh-t. It’s especially upsetting when someone asks them the influences behind such a look The response to being asked about the inspiration of Black culture is an emphatic “No, no at all,” as though the way we do locs is anything but chic and tidy when compared to White and Japanese people.
When you’re constantly told that you should straighten your hair or not wear natural styles like locs if you want to succeed and not be a “distraction,” it’s hurtful when people plop such styles on their head to stand out and be different, knowing they can take it off, when we want to wear it to comfortably be ourselves.
Jacobs doesn’t have to get it. Neither do the millions of other people who don’t understand just how important attribution is when this cultural appropriation conversation comes up. But when these things happen, they can’t tell us how to feel and not to speak out about the hypocrisy of it all. Especially when they don’t use the same passion and energy to encourage those who condemn our hair to stop using whatever methods available to hold us back.
As a respected member of the United Black People Council’s Feminist Ladies Auxiliary (formerly known as “The Females”), Mid-Atlantic Division, I humbly propose that we add the destruction of Sweet Potato Pie to our case for reparations.
Can I get a second? Jackson? Jones? Bueller?
Okay, let me explain…
I’m talking about an All Lives Matter version of the sweet potato pie called Stuffed Sweet Potato Pie.
What is it stuffed with?
Also cheese. More specifically, Parmesan cheese. You know the stuff you put on top of pasta and meatballs?
Don’t believe me this is a real thing, check out the quick tutorial video for this monstrosity below:
Somewhere in this world, Patti LaBelle has kicked off her shoes and readied herself to smack the Parmesan cheese out of some stranger’s White baby.
Honestly, I don’t know anything else about the makers of the video, other than it comes from the food site Cooking Panda.
I have no idea who those hands belong to. For all we know, it could very well be a very light-skinned Black person’s hands mixing together that f*ckery – ahem, I mean old family recipe.
For all we know, those could be the hands of a very pissed off sister, upset because the only time the Panda calls on her for cooking tutorials is when it wants her to make something stereotypically African American like fried chicken, collard greens and sweet potato pie.
What an insult.
Why the sister could have been top of her class at Le Cordon Bleu Paris. She could have had a Ph.d in Asian and Sub-Saharan African fusion.
I bet this fictitious sister said she would show them one. And if the Panda only wanted her to make the sweet potato pies then she would make one of the best. I’ll give them one of best Ms. Minny’s poop pie this side of Georgia…
What? It could happen.
But very likely, it is a very confused and demented White person behind this, which makes this culinary distortion all the more insulting.
As food historian Michael Twitty wrote about the history of the classic African American dessert on his blog back in 2011:
“When enslaved Africans were introduced to European puddings they were reminded of the steamed vegetable and grain dishes they knew in their homelands. Europeans on the coast of Africa introduced the concept of “desserts” to tropical Africa. Sweet potato pie is Creole in the sense of its combination of a tuber with a spicy pudding with a pie form. After reading several recipes, it appeared to me that the sweet potato pie we eat today does not really approximate the taste of the kind of sweet potato pies eaten in the quarters. Eggs, butter, white sugar, vanilla, flour, spices, etc. would have all been very precious ingredients. Two recipes suggested rum in place of spices and vanilla extract, and we know that liquor was a commonly traded item in the quarters, particularly West Indian rum. If nutmeg or cinnamon was ever included in the pies in the quarters it was probably purchased at great expense, traded or liberated from the Big House pantry.”
And no where in those recipes does it mention anything about cheese.
Listen, this is not just pie we’re talking about here. This pie is symbolic of who we are as a people in this country. A people born through slavery and oppression yet still manage to rebel against the invasion of pumpkin in favor of our own familiar palette. A people who literally took nothing and made something – delicious.
Sweet potato pie is freedom.
It’s been there for us through every holiday including the made up one called Kwanzaa. It was there during our graduation parties, weddings, baby showers and when Cousin Peanut came home from prison.
It was there on both the nights when W.E.B Dubois completed the Soul of Black Folks and when President Barack Obama wrote his speech for his historic inauguration.
Sweet potato pie walked along side Harriet Tubman as she followed the North Star and was there when Marcus Garvey purchased his first boat ride ticket to Ghana.
It was there when Chicken George got his freedom papers and when the Evans family – minus James Sr. – made it out of Cabrini Green.
What I’m trying to convey here is Sweet potato pie is the reason why the caged bird sings.
And to corrupt it with a cup of got-damn Parmesan cheese is nothing short of sacrilegious.
Like, haven’t Black folks suffered enough from you people?
Have you no shame?
Have you no sense of right or wrong?
Have you no humanity?
Have you no God?
Rosa Parks did not sit on that bus just so it could roll over us and steal our grandmamas’ pie recipe.
No, we deserve pain and suffering for this egregious act of cultural appropriation. We deserve reparations.
Can I get a second?
Charing Ball is a writer, cultural critic, free-thinker, slick-mouth feminist and the reigning queen of unpopular opinions. She is also from Philadelphia. To learn more, visit NineteenSeventy-Seven.com.
A Missouri Jimmy John’s delivery driver has been fired and arrested for falsely accusing a Black man of robbing her while on the road.
According to ABC 17, Courtney Chancellor, a delivery driver for the sandwich franchise called in a robbery, describing a 6-foot tall Black man in his late 20s with some facial hair. She claimed he had a gun and robbed her at the University of Missouri. But after checking the campus’ surveillance, police realized Chancellor was never robbed and she eventually confessed she was behind it all.
Read more about this case at HelloBeautiful