It was instilled in me at a fairly early age by our dear friends in the American media that to be considered beautiful or precious in these great United States a girl had to be thin, petite and preferably Caucasian. (None of these obviously, described me :p). As a little girl, I watched an ungodly amount of television and poured through mountains of fashion magazines. Rarely did I ever find someone that looked like me (that was until the Cosby Show came a long, but that would be way later.)
My adult perspective mostly allows me to look past the often intentional transgressions of the American media, but every now and then when triggered by certain forms of fuckery, my childhood inferiority complex is shaken back to life. For instance, when the tea party was in full on post-election “take back our county” swing in 2009; I couldn’t turn a corner without seeing a billboard with some doe eyed cherry cheeked cherub staring at me. The message was typically something having to do with protecting her future from “big government”.
Every time I saw those damn things, I’d become enraged. It wasn’t the the child’s image that set me ablaze, but rather what the imagery implied. Not once did I see one of these brazen take back America manifestos with a Black child, or a Latino child, or an Asian child … hell I never saw one with a boy on it. Just a small, White, “innocent”, “fragile” female. As is usual when I am highly pissed off, my creative juices began to flow. I’d already been gathering ideas for a play about the black female psyche called Oppression Pop. 5. I knew right away that my anger about the limited view of what it means to be “precious” in the eyes of some Americans had a place within it.
The subject matter of the play is not easy, but definitely warrants an open honest dialogue. In Charlotte? Open of mind and empty of stomach? Join Kendrea Mekkah and I next Sunday for Dinner and A Reading, where we’ll be reading Oppression Pop. 5, enjoying a delicious meal of soul food, and discussing themes from the play!
Here’s a word from me and Mekkah!