by Jessie Karangu
So often, the black community in the United States is quick to call out injustice which is committed by other races against our own without failing to recognize our own innate injustices which we commit against each other.
The black community is so eager to be on equal footing and accepted by the rest of society but yet we don’t even accept ourselves.
As Lupita Nyong’o made history last night, becoming just the ninth woman of color to win an Oscar, most people cheered in gratitude for what this moment meant for women and specifically black women.
But many others on social media spread their hateful, vile reactions to Lupita’s win.
Where does this hate stem from?
In my opinion, certain African-Americans are afraid to see darker-skinned people succeed. I don’t think it’s because they hate dark-skinned people or because of jealousy.
I think it’s because they view people like Lupita, Barkhad Abdi and Gabby Sidibe (two other people of color who were prominently featured during the Oscars telecast) as a threat to their own livelihoods.
None of those mentioned above fit the conventional European style of beauty which society is so accustomed to.
Because of this, some black people assume that these stars are accepted in white society only because they are a reminder to Caucasians of the past struggle which African-Americans have fought against being stereotyped as.
As young kids when we were taught about slavery, dark skinned blacks were the face of that plight. In order to avoid ever being cast as the face of plight again, we look for present-day heroes and icons who are fair-skinned and walk, talk and dress like the conventional European look.
Little do those narrow-minded people realize that you are playing a role in continuing the ignorance which has existed for so long. You are also underestimating how much progress we’ve made as a society when you assume that all black people are looked at by others as an inferior people.
If we as a black people want to be accepted in society, then we must first accept our own beauty no matter what shade, shape or structure it comes in.
When you spread hate amongst your own people, you are not only hurting them but you are hurting yourself.
You don’t have to like Lupita’s acting. You don’t have to be attracted to her. You don’t even have to like her personality. But at the very least, respect her.
Respect the moment for what it is and take heed in understanding how valuable and extraordinary this moment is in women’s history, black history and world history.
Lupita deserves nothing but praise for what she was able to accomplish.
“No matter where you’re from, your dreams are valid.”