In a piece for Ebony, Jamilah Lemieux says the public suggestions that black people are all the same when it comes to weight, sexuality, marriage or anything else have got to stop.
I do also wish that if we must hold up a mirror to Blackness constantly in the audience of others so that they may observe us (or so they can observe us observing ourselves), that we made these displays a bit more productive and beneficial to the community-at-large. Instead of speaking out on the dating woes of Black women or why we can’t just lose that last 115 extra pounds, why not talk about the systematic challenges that make it difficult for Black women to access health care—a huge factor in our obesity crisis—or how to combat our lack of easy access to healthy options in the “food deserts” many of us call home? What about depression? Where is the talk of depression?!?)
Where’s my critical beatdown from a race scholar like Tim Wise –“Why White People Are Racist”? The Times don’t wanna go there? Where’s “Why Black People Can’t Find Jobs?” Where’s “How the Prison Industrial Complex—and Not Bad Attitudes and Over-Achieving—Keeps Black Women Single?” I won’t hold my breath, as I am sure “Why Black Women Are Sassy,” “Why Black Men are Violent” and “Why Black Rappers Are From Brooklyn” will emerge sooner than anything I could deem worth the Times’ time. The Inherent Deficiency Industry is just making way too much money to change the game. Hey, maybe our next romantic comedy hit will be “Why Black Women Are Fat” or “Think Like a Fat Woman, Act Like a Thin One” and we can get the two White guys who wrote “Friends with Benefits” to do the screenplay and take Hollywood by storm once again!
Read Jamilah Lemieux’s entire piece at Ebony.