Responding in a piece for Clutch magazine to recent headlines highlighting disrespect toward black women, The Root‘s contributing editor Demetria L. Lucas offers some remedial guidelines for potential line-crossers.
Humbly, I submit a basic list, my Rules of Engagement, and ask you NOT to do the following (and encourage Black women to add to the list in the comments)
1. Talk Bad About (Black) Kids It seems ridiculous that this has to be said, much less lead the list. I’d assumed everyone knew better, but apparently not. (And you know what “they say” about assuming.) Look here, dissing kids — all kids, of all races, creeds, and color is UNACCEPTABLE. You want to talk greasy about your own kids? Eh … still unacceptable. Kids are off-limits. Period.
2. Touch Our Hair I know our hair — braided, permed, natural, whatever– is pretty great. We treat it like art because we can and well, it is. However, it is never, ever, EVER okay to touch the hair of a random Black woman you’ve just encountered or even the familiar Black woman who you share the cubicle with. The world is not your personal petting zoo. Black people are, well, people. DO NOT TOUCH US (without permission).
3. Mispronounce Our Names/ Rename Us Look, all Black folk don’t have multi-hypenate names. We have Janes, Marys and Beths too. And somehow our single syllabic sisters learn how to pronounce names like La’Taquisha, Marquaysa, Taiwanas, etc.
Read Demetria L. Lucas’ entire piece at Clutch magazine.
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