Melanin Queens Only. Is There A Modern Culture of Segregation?


Let me first start by saying I am completely in favor of pro-Black campaigns like "Black Girl Magic," "Black Lives Matter," and "Melanin is poppin." They are equivalent to the famous "Black is Beautiful" campaign that took place in the 1960s. The importance of these campaigns are crucial because they have a strong purpose that is empowering to the black community, and have given us a chance to be vocal about the issues such as police brutality, we face.

Growing up I did not receive enough encouragement that would get me to embrace my blackness. My mum told me that I was beautiful and that my 4C hair and brown skin were magical, however the media told me otherwise. For example, R&B music videos only featured light skin girls with straight hair and perfect bodies while Hollywood was dominated by white girls. I could not identify with these groups and did not believe my mother affrimations until I was nine years old. At this time there seem to be more diversity in the media.

Seeing men and women of this generation embrace their ethnicity and be vocal has produced unspeakable amount of joy in my life. But there has been a few social media campaigns which leave me quite peturbed. For example, #MelaninQueens and #MelaninKings only. My problem is not with the encouragement of melanin kings and queens, it is the use of the word "only" which seems to suggest that solely black people should be involved with the movement and encourage each other.

I love that Black people are supporting each other. We should uplift each other and create a forum that allows us to discuss social issue that are important and of interest to us. But are these campaigns a new form of segregation or separatism? Have these movements and campaigns strengthen the racial tensions that exist in this nation? For example, one movement that caused quite an uproar and racial division on social media is the #BlackGirlsDoItBetter hashtag. This created a chain reaction from other racial group feeling the need to uplift and defend themselves. #WhiteGirlsDoItBetter, #LatinoGirlsDoItBetter, #AsianGirlsDoItBetter and all of a sudden we separated ourselves into racial groups once more.

The danger of campaigns these campaigns is that we may be putting ourselves years back in terms of social development. These new movements have quite a similar sounding message to that of apartheid that took place in South Africa and segregation in America during the mid-1900s.

We should release affirmations that remind us of how beautiful and worthy we are, however this should not be exclusive to one race. Humans from all races are beautiful too. And although some may not see a problem with this inclusiveness, there is a problem. Just imagine how people would respond to "white queens and kings only." It would be sinister with negative connotations absribed to it.

The only way to prevent modern segregation is to encourage each other regardless of race. A common mistake made by pretty much everyone is that in order to uplift one you must put down another whereas this does not have to be the case. Black girls ARE lit and so are White girls, Asian girls and Latino girls. We should still be able to motivate others in our own race but that shouldn't mean we cannot motivate others outside of our race. Do the world a favor and keep loving on each other.

Agree or disagree? Let us know in the comments below. Thanks for reading!

Comments

  1. I can see why you may think the pro-black campaigns and movements are a new form of segregation, however that is not the intentions of the new pro-black and social justice movements.

    When we created #MelaninIsPoppin, it was not meant to segregate or uplift ourselves above all races; it was created for affirmation purposes and self-upliftment. Media and beauty standards told us for so long that Black is ugly. In response we created #MelaninIsPoppin to affirm that the force (melanin) that make us brown to black skinned is beautiful and poppin.

    As for #BlackQueens and #BlackKings only, I can see your point. The only part is wrong and should be terminated. However we need the hashtag BlackQueens and Kings because history shows how bad Black people have been dehumanized. Calling ourselves queens rid ourselves of the dehumization we face as a race.

    White people and other ethnicities besides Black are not left out when it comes to empowering and uplifting themselves. For so long they have left us out and made us feel less of a human. Creating the hashtags and movements you speak of is not racist, seperatist, and inclusive. It is more like uplifting ourselves in a world that is against our glory and worth.

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