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Thread: What did your family (adult relatives) teach you about race and color and ethnicity?

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    Boonoonoonoos jamaicangirl's Avatar jamaicangirl is offline
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    What did your family (adult relatives) teach you about race and color and ethnicity?

    On the heels of the Indian pum pum bleach and the facebook thread, I want to know what people remember as their first impressions about race/color.

    For example:

    As a child I frequently heard the phrases "good hair" and "better hair." I was also made aware that mine was not either of those (I have 4B hair).

    I was told that people would envy me because I was "a little bit light-skinned" and I was instructed to be gentle when I blow my nose so as to not flatten it (no, I am not making this isht up!) For some reason, I was never instructed to avoid the sun. I blackened myself gradually over the years but it was not until I was a teenager that someone commented on it in exasperation and disappointment.

    I also noticed that women who were considered beautiful in my family were of all colors but that women who were considered beautiful by Jamaican society as a whole were the non-Blacks (half-Blacks, and other races). For example, it was very well known that a front office position in a bank would be offered to a non-Black only.

    As a teenager, I heard a family friend say that that the family maid should get a job in an office because she was too pretty (not pretty but was very fair and had wavy hair) to do housework!

    -------

    Okay, IMIXers, what are your stories. Specific quotes and examples, please. Things that you heard or experienced prior to entering college.

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    where de crix Oneshot's Avatar Oneshot is offline
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    black man have it tough in life, but so did other people.

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    Taj
    Loyalty to Loyalty Taj's Avatar Taj is offline
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    Have all shades in the family and the various combinations: light skin with 4a/b/c hair, light with wavy hair, brown skin but a natural redhead, dark skin 4a/b/c hair so the concept of whats possible and normal is different from other ppl and I realized this when ppl would meet my different family members and afterwards ask if we are more family friends vs blood relatives. That was irritating and more irritating when asked why i also didn't have 'xyz look'. Note a lot of the off comments would be from ppl outside the family, within in we're a funky, mad bunch all types of beauty are appreciated.

    RE hair at a certain age I started to hear "why don't you do something with your hair" first time from a male a godfather. He's ridiculous and old so I dismissed his comments easily. Yes you did hear the 'good hair' comments about other ppl but I was never put down that mine was bad. LOL maybe it wasn't the good hair but it was nice and would be even better "relaxed" That campaign never went anywhere.

    Within the family there was less attention on race/color/hair and more on manners/education/intelligence/wit/appearance (style)
    “A sharp knife never proclaims it’s sharpness to the world…but the first to fall against it becomes it’s advocate.”

    You can put any face behind a mask but be careful cos someone else might be pretending. You might not be the only one with a secret -- Cassie/Gretel

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    Registered User LIONESS onda RISE is offline
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    i am soo glad i have no idea what those hair types are...that shit and the ideas behind it should be wiped from any and alll black peoples minds
    Hello BKLYN and NikkiGiovanni like this.
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    Searching For Answers Hello BKLYN is offline
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    well nothing was taught to me directly.. but my grandmother, she loved everything that veered away from blackness... like when my mother went natural and had a mini fro, my grandmother would always be like why you wanna wear your hear like a picky picky head african... and when my mother grew a big fro like Angela Davis, my grandmother had a conniption... years later, when my mother had to cut her hear again and go back to a mini fro because she had got a perm and it damaged her hair/scalp, my grandmother came back with that same old picky picky head african talk
    One time my grandmother was at the doctor and the doctor said she thought she was Arab from her first name... and my grandmother said no... Then he said you kind of look Arab... You should see my grandmother smile like she just received the biggest compliment... Then i said how she look arab wit that broad african nose?... You could see the blood pressure rising...

    as far as other races, my mother and grandmother loved bad talkin other black people, like if there was mess on the block, it was black people this and black people that, black people know how to mess up something, black people cant have nothing nice... etc
    But if you say the slightest thing about white people, they would boof you up for being racist

    other foul shit with anti-black self hate undertones was said around me like when my older cousin saw this boy name Andrew who was dark skin riding my bike.. she was like "i thought i told you i dont wanna see big black Andrew riding your bike"
    the healthy man does not torture others - generally it is the tortured who turn into torturers.

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    Registered User Carib2 is offline
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    My family taught me that its ok to diss everyone based on their skim colour/where they from. It was ridiculous...

    They would say stuff like Africans are nasty and smell like shit, Indians smell, white people are smelly and can't cook etc etc... Always saying negative things.

    BUT

    Anytime we talk about Caribbean people its "we are proper black people" (I'm not even lying about this...). And "Us West Indians don't smell like them African smellies"

    My mum would say stuff like "I would never work for black people they too ignorant" funny thing is SHE was the most ignorant...

    When I told my mum I'm gonna get locs are face looked like she saw a ghost...says it all...

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    Girl Crush Mrs. Campbell's Avatar Mrs. Campbell is offline
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    Yeah I was right about the collective being depressed.


    Sad state of affairs.
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    Registered User bktrini305's Avatar bktrini305 is offline
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    oh boy!!


    Mother the (Doglah/Syrian): "Black people too chupid dry not good in business. Look at your great grandfather he lost all this land blah blah"
    "Indian people have no morals. They will chop they brother for piece a land"
    "You is a little n!gga child in this country and dey will hold yuh for de slightest ting. (belt lash) if you with some friends and any of them in anyting they will look at you because you is de black one"


    Paternal Aunt (portuguese/lebanese/black/indian): I doh go Caribana yuh know, it's too much cool!e

    Paternal Great uncle (red) : Indians have a word called "juta" it's a germ that n1gga people have that they mustn't get (btw juta just means saliva so IDK where he got that from)

    Father (see aunt): I hate to hear that kind of ignorance. It's literally a pain worse than a pulled muscle. (they're divorced, tho not for that reason)

    that's all i can remember lol
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    Got Kompa? tikreyol's Avatar tikreyol is offline
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    In my family there were certain things that were expected. Girls DID NOT have their hair in braids and did not know how to braid. In Haiti its weird. For guys finding women the lighter the better. The more wavy the hair the better. For women finding men its more about where you work, your education background, and family name. My grandmother (mulatto) would torture my poor aunt (black) for her appearance. Its like she couldn't live up to her expectation of what she wanted for her son. Little fresh comments here and there like "oh is that all your hair?" Or "when did you get so light?" Mind you the poor woman was bleaching. Certain grandchildren were considered more beautiful for the mere fact that they came out more mixed. Growing up in Haiti people were really prejudice on where you went to school, what neighborhood you lived in, even down to the last name.
    Ti sourit, ti sourit se nan pèlen ou rete
    Rat ki rat se nan pèlen ou rete
    Tèt zozo men pa ou, zozo kale men pa ou
    M ap konyen fanm nan jis solèy leve
    Bwa m kale tou wouj
    Kon piman , kon piman, Langyèt madivinèz
    Ou pa bezwen chandèl pou ou klere l

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    LB
    Peace Love n Pretty Tings LB is offline
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    Familiarity breeds contempt.

    My Indian, Chinese, Ukrainian friends all say their families teach/talk the same ish about their own people: skin colour, looks etc.
    Nuff of them won't work, marry or do business with their own kind either.
    However on average, when push comes to shove they will close ranks and protect their own. They can chat their own ppl but they wont let others do it. Black ppl don't do that by and large.
    ~ If you make the mountain any bigger you wont be able to move it later

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    DSP
    Heri DSP's Avatar DSP is offline
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    Adult relatives? hmm nothing much really, never really talked about it much...aside from their own ethnicity was the centre of the universe half the time...somewhat insular in alot of ways. Never talked about other ethnicities/races/cultures much at all save for describing someone.
    Unfortunately, stupidity and ignorance can be entertaining.

    Goodle this you 50 year old crusty vagina





    --oh yes jigger boozers ever lasting wahr with the "lovers of empresses and hafrican queens" should be ashamed ~jigga boozy aka Carlo Pagan

    --I like disrespect especially ones that dont involve cursing and nugga nugga nugga watch subject matter ~jigga boozy aka Carlo Pagan

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    Ganjalero Collie4Nyah's Avatar Collie4Nyah is offline
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    My Uncle once told me "you have to better yourself"
    meaning date lighter women. wtf
    my cousin (his daughter) is the only one in our family who married, and has kids with, someone darker than (most of) our family.
    i really hope he doesnt tell his grandkids that ish.
    the eldest one is also part japanese, wonder if her being lighter is "better" to him

    My uncle says a lot of crap though, not just on the subject of race.
    Although my Grandfather raised him, he had a diff dad from my Mom and Aunt and other uncles, his father having very little mestizo and indigenous blood....
    my Mom says to just ignore him when he goes on one of his rants.
    Hibernation is a covert preparation for a more overt action.


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    Warrior Queen NikkiGiovanni's Avatar NikkiGiovanni is offline
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    i don't remember color being an issue in my family that much...we never really talked about hair that much either...and its funny because i grew up with 5 sisters and a family full of women and hair texture was never an issue

    i do remember people joking on one of my uncles for liking cool*e women...now that i think about it...most of my uncles and older male cousins in that generation dealt with/married co*lie or spanish woman..even tho they were all Belizean.....but it wasn't something that was talked about as far as them being better...never got that in my family...in fact, one time i asked if one of my uncles wife was white and my mom nearly bit my head off...cause she felt it was inappropriate to talk about that stuff...she insisted that she was black although the woman is pale like a ghost and have straight hair..she don't have a spanish maiden name...but she Belizean, i don't know what she is...asked my mom the other day and my mom still insists the woman not white...lol

    all my experiences with colorism, and hair texture shit was when i went to school with african americans and puerto ricans and dominicans...when i would bring those issues home, my mom didn't even know how to react...especially the dark skin/light skinned thing...

    i do recall my Honduran relatives always pinching my nose telling me that my nose was getting to flat, and they were trying to keep my nose from spreading....but our nose is our family trait...they call it "bange" everyone in Belize can identify our family members by our nose...even in nyc...you can walk down the street and a Belizean will say "you da (insert last name here)"

    the only time i remember hair texture ever being a topic of discussion was when i went natural in 1993...my mom said "what you gonna do with your hair...you not gonna perm it?" she asked me a couple times that year when am i going to put a perm in my hair...but she left it alone eventually....now she is natural too...and some of my sisters
    you ALL AGREE with my opinion, which is why NONE of you ever EFFECTIVELY DISPUTE IT

    you ONLY have faith in the WOMEN'S ability to ELEVATE which is why you only FOCUS ON WOMEN...you ALL have long given up on Black men

    you just don't have the BALLS to OVERTLY AGREE....rather just do it INDIRECTLY

    weak men only can deal with weaker women

    in the presence of strength you diminish...

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    Registered User sankofaa's Avatar sankofaa is offline
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    i was told, dont trust THEM....

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    Warrior Queen NikkiGiovanni's Avatar NikkiGiovanni is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by sankofaa View Post
    i was told, dont trust THEM....
    who white folks????

    funny....the ONLY thing my family ever discussed in a negative manner was jamaicans....yoooo, my family hate jamaicans with a passion...lol
    you ALL AGREE with my opinion, which is why NONE of you ever EFFECTIVELY DISPUTE IT

    you ONLY have faith in the WOMEN'S ability to ELEVATE which is why you only FOCUS ON WOMEN...you ALL have long given up on Black men

    you just don't have the BALLS to OVERTLY AGREE....rather just do it INDIRECTLY

    weak men only can deal with weaker women

    in the presence of strength you diminish...

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