So you can see in the pictures 17 different women that I either know personally, or maybe met during my travels. With a clean slate one merely observes the photos and sees the beauty of these natural black sistaz in their untouched original state. One does not necessarily focus on the difference in skin tone nor hair texture. This group of 17 women look so different individually, but grouped together like this, could most certainly be related to one another. They are of a similar family, they are Black! But why do we feel such a need to replace the term Black with Nationalities, or as Americans, feel that we have a monopoly over the word Black. I cannot tell you how many times I have been attacked during conversations in the black blogosphere. Attacked mainly by certain AA women who don’t seem to understand the the racial dynamics of the diaspora. There is automatically a picture that pops into our minds about the inhabitants of many of these “spanish speaking” countries. We think of a straight or curly haired “Latina” and that is ok. The problem stems from that being the only image we have of all the citizens in Latin American countries. So now an AA woman hears a man say that he has a woman from Central America and in many cases an image will already be painted that does not include a black woman.
“She’s not black, she’s ____.” For some reason we feel that people from other countries in the America, have to be simply labelled by their Nationality, meanwhile the title Black is reserved strictly for African Americans. I never understood this notion. The same as I didn’t understand why many of the Blacks that come from Latin American countries try desperately to denounce their blackness and cling to their nationalities as well. However, it was clear while living in Panama that to be black was to have limited upward mobility. The same thing was clear in Costa Rica, Puerto Rico and well, most countries that have a black population. We are always subjected to the most poverty stricken situations with no way out in sight. For many, becoming blind to race so to speak and “mejorarando la raza” (remember we talked about that in another post) is the way out. To associate yourself with “Black” maybe associating with the status quo of poverty and despair. If you were to instead be, let’s say Colombian, now you can find another Colombian and start a Colombian family where race is not a factor, rather class appearance and education. The media in many of these countries as well definitely has an influential effect on the psyche of many of these people.
I took this picture at a mall in San Jose, Costa Rica. I was just in awe of how everywhere I turned there were billboards like this. Many people would probably call me an asshole for even noticing something was wrong with this, but i do think it results in brainwash. Look at the sheer joy and elation on his face lol! When you see the few black families in videos or novels they rarely seem happy, rather aggravated at one another. In the states on the other hand, because the Colonies were founded for settlement purposes, many white women came along and the colonists were able to continue to create white families as racial mixing was forbidden. You are pretty much black in the States if you have a drop or two of blackness and have some features, not to mention African Americans had a Civil Rights and Black Conscious Movement. With all this said, it is easy for us to retreat within and think that we are the only ones, and that we share this part of the world with people that look and behave so much different than us. But when we travel we begin to see that nothing could be further from the truth.
Below are the list of countries that correspond (by the number) with the women in the pictures above.
1. Costa Rica
2. United States
5. United States
6. United States
16. United States