I had a professor once who asked the class to close their eyes and envision the “perfect mate”. He then went around the room asking each student to describe their “dream” mate and marked it on the board. After every one was finished describing their vision he proceeded to explain to the class that every time he does this exercise, the “ideal” ends up being Caucasian, taller, blue eyes and light hair. While there were some votes for dark hair and eyes, his statement held true and the Caucasian, taller, blue eyes and light hair ideal won out; even with the black students. The professor then went about explaining American WASP culture and how deep its roots really delve. Tatum, 2007/1997, hit on this when on page 124, a student, once discovering that Cleopatra was black, exclaimed; “But Cleopatra was beautiful!”. Why is it that within our society we have been programmed to believe that being black, or “of color” (“of color” always makes me laugh; are all white people really “white” and void of color somehow pristine and pure?), is so unworthy of the word beauty?
Tuesday, September 13, 2016 marked the 20th anniversary of the death of Tupac Shakur. Tupac was a prominent hip-hop artist in the early 1990s well known for his deep, progressive lyrics in popular songs such as “Changes” and “Keep Ya Head Up.” However, he was more than just a rapper – he was a poet, a philosopher, and an activist. From a young age, he expressed incredible insight on contentious topics such as education, poverty, feminism, and police brutality. Recently, there has been a clear rise in national awareness and conversation about the roles of race and racism in modern … Read more