“Black Woman, Take Back Your Dignity”

[THE CONTENT OF THIS POST CONTAINS NUDITY AND OFFENSIVE LANGUAGE, VIEWER DISCRETION IS ADVISED]

Hey Guys!

I hope everyone is alright!

Yes I know I make disappearing acts quite often, with my pitiful inconsistency in blogging. I apologise, but you do know, that when I do come back to my blog, I always have something very important to share.

So recently, I started my masters degree in Media and Communications, and at an early stage I started brainstorming for my dissertation.

Initially, I wanted to do something on Afro beat music, Fela Kuti and his relationship with Nigerian Politics, but one of my professors pointed out that I may not have enough resources to complete the project. So we got talking on Celebrities; Celebrities in Politics, Celebrity Diplomacy, the Power of the Celebrity. We got talking to about Madonna and her ‘sex symbol’ status at a time, which led to our discussion about Nicki Minaj and her ‘Anaconda’ video.

He began to ask me thought provoking questions:

1) What goes through your mind when you watch this video as a black woman?

2) How does this make you feel? Are you comfortable with the title of a poorly behaved female dog?

And that was the last straw that hit my back (I am not a camel, neither am I a poorly behaved female dog).

I was inspired to write my dissertation discussing the following elements:

Racism

Sexism

Rap Music

Popular Culture

Business in Music/Entertainment

A few weeks after that encounter, the students of my department were allocated dissertation supervisors.

When I finally got the chance to meet with my supervisor, I wasn’t expecting much, I just wanted her suggestion on research methods. I spoke to her about the Anaconda video. We watched it for barely a full minute, when she opened up a tab on her browser, searched a word on Google (a word I couldn’t see without my glasses) and up came this image

1 sara baartman

She asked me, ‘What does this remind you of’, and I whispered “Nicki Minaj”.

new sara baartman 2

She told me that this video, like most of the videos we see today, are a reflection of the Colonial construction of the black female and her sexuality. That this construction of a woman as a sexual object is used a marketing strategy in some industries.

All through the day, I did not stop thinking about what she said ‘Colonial Construction of the black female and her sexuality’.

I came home and decided to do a little research before bed time, and I came across a blog http://kwekudee-tripdownmemorylane.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/the-khoikhoi-hottentots-first-people-of.html (If you have some more spare time on your hands you might want to check that out) where I found some videos about a black woman called Saartije (Sara) Baartman. Like many other black men and women during the slave trade, Sara Baartman was promised a life of fame and fortune pending her arrival on the shores of Europe. When she arrived, she was degraded to an object of lust, fascination and entertainment, instead of being regarded as a woman  (Might I add, she was a very intelligent woman, with a flare for languages. She could speak Dutch and French fluently).

Sara baartman

Sara wasn’t like all other white women. She was different, she had a full curvy body. A body the white man described as ‘oversexed’. She was forced to dance naked for the entertainment of white men. Does this ring a bell? Some music videos you have watched maybe?

new sara baartman 3 new sara baartman 4 new sara baartman

Or a club you graced with your presence?

Yeah, what Sara Baartman was forcefully reduced to, is what women of nowadays have willingly degraded themselves to (I understand that some women are still being forced into this demeaning activity by the forces of a crumbling economy).

I would like you to draw your attention to this 5 minute video, rather than making you read hundreds and hundreds of words. Its the Story of Sara Bartman. Please, reading this blog post wouldn’t be complete without you watching this video. This video includes all the information I left out and explains further the the points I mentioned.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iQ7mmMe4klQ

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Watched the video yet?

I hope you have.

All I am saying is Black Women, are women, blessed with bodies that should be respected and not exploited.

Sadly, the world, with the permission of the black woman, has reduced us to an object of lust, fascination and entertainment. It shouldn’t be so. Let us not mock the life of Sara Baartman. Let us respect her agony and respect ourselves. We can not point fingers at the white man for the present, we allowed it.

“Black Woman, Take back your dignity”

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16 thoughts on ““Black Woman, Take Back Your Dignity”

  1. Most women of today need to be re-orientated or educated that to be a sexy lady you don’t have to be naked….Nice work Davina

  2. it was an Interesting read. I can tell from what stream this was flowing; The davina.
    The black woman ain’t got time to do this your research, Lol; her own be say make ya**h big like bombay when she snap photo to put for Facebook or Instagrammy. (Check out rollingstones article on wizkid) thats her priority; check out some photos taken nowadays… they are modelling for bumbum. *oops* there goes kim Kardashian…. omo see ya**h.

    Sad truth is Davina, music videos ain’t gonna change, the women in them will still refer to themselves as b*****s female dogs and all that is degrading. The reward???? FAME, FORTUNE, MEGA TINS… KIM is there for you. It worked for her. It’s like trying to stop prostitution. Yoruba man go say “ko possible”.

    Fela talk am naa; african man no dey chop small.

  3. Nice Write-Up. Loved it. Unfortunately, these days, common sense is very very low in the black woman, they all wanna look fly and look like coke bottle. Smh. I hope common sense comes into play soon though.

  4. Thought inspiring! Very good work Davina 👌👏👏👏👍
    The article leaves a lot to be desired about our modern society and it perception of entertainment and sexuality. We say the world has moved forward, but this , at least in this aspect, shows otherwise. Certainly, Sara and other demeaned black women in her day, would never have imagined that this would be the ‘status quo’ for most of her same skinned descendants.
    But I believe that through the example of Janelle Monae (see example here: http://www.hollywood.com/news/brief/59174926/janelle-monae-brought-to-tears-by-young-fan ) and a few others, a new culture could be formed where the black woman can indeed reclaim her lost dignity.

    1. Janelle Monae, Emeli Sande, Alicia Keys, just to say a few truly portray the dignified black woman
      But these women do not get as much publicity, attention and promotion as the others.
      Just am observation I may be wrong.
      Oh and btw, Janelle Monae’s fashion sense is iconic! 👌🔥

  5. This is a beautiful piece, Big ups Davina. I am going to share my view and as Bill Cosby said ‘Go in with a neutral mind’ I think the mainstream media has made being naked and ‘dropping it like its hot’ the ultimate american dream for every woman and right so, being a woman is tough talk more being an African American woman and this presents an easy way out and its an easy moneymaker because who are we fooling ‘sex sells’ and sells good. Don’t get me wrong I am not in support I’m just trying to think like every other woman looking for a fast way out. The question now is why should I, a woman struggling to pay her bills, having a 3 yr old child whose father has been a year late in back child support, not get naked and shake ‘my curvy body’ for 10 mins if I can get close to a thousand dollars in one night and train my child in school and also live a ‘better’ life than get my dignity back working a 9 to 5 that can’t give me that in 4 months? and belief me dignity doesn’t count in the World’s dictionary as at when Hip-Hop took a big swing backward. So what would you tell me in-order to see the light?

  6. I’m proud of you. It is amazing how you said what needed to be said. women need to understand that you don’t have to be naked to get what you want. You just have to be indispensable.

  7. See, This is the major problem we face. Unlike then when people were forced, nowadays, people just feel it’s the right thing to be almost Naked. The whole respect is gone If I can and have pictured you Naked in my head. Truth is, it’s going to be very hard to stop, that’s if it will be, but then, we must all ensure that we correct those whom we personally feel we should.

    1. Oh yes I totally agree with this. Most women overlook sexist and demeaning gestures and comments, and they do nothing to correct the person immediately. It all starts there.
      Thank you so much for your comment.

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