Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Still, Like Dust, I Rise: A Response to the Racist Article in Pyschology Today

Still I Rise

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I'll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
'Cause I walk like I've got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I'll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don't you take it awful hard
'Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines
Diggin' in my own back yard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I'll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I've got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history's shame
I rise
Up from a past that's rooted in pain
I rise
I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.
The above piece of poetry was written by Maya Angelou in the late 70s. It perfectly debunks the trash of what I read in an outrageous article posted in Psychology Today entitled provocatively "Why Are Black Women Less Physically Attractive Than Other Women?" Thankfully the article has been removed from their website, but it has been gaining  digital power since it emerged on the internet a few days ago.

As I read the bulk of the article - my blood started boiling and I felt my pressure rise like the mercury spirit I have inside me from my ancestors - the mantra of Maya's beautiful rhythmic second stanza kept on reverberating in my head.

Again, the dodgy premises of 'scientific' research, together with the usual traits of racist and mysognist notions have been regurgitated within this weak and redundant article. Additionally, the article still uses the well oiled debunked  historical legacy of utilising subjective 'scientific' research to justify these ridiculous notions.

It's important to read the piece, don't get me wrong. It's important to go through all the barometers of your emotions. But ask yourself, how does it impact on how YOU feel as a Black/African woman? I know it answers a lot of questions that I have  constantly asked myself for years about the "invisibility" of Black women in all areas of life. It is an issue that effected me so much I based my first dissertation on it.

In conclusion, regardless of your colour or gender, writing articles such as this to justify a sense of superiority complex is flawed and continues the ongoing trend to constantly  devalue African Womanhood and our amazing contribution to the world.

Please sign the above petition, it will take you there by clicking the title link of this blog post...  let's make it go viral and demand a response from the editors of this magazine.

Oh, and if you still want to read the article, click here where it has been reposted.

1 comment:

  1. Ekaro from this Igbo girl.
    I was sent here from Viajera.
    I can't believe there are only 3,000 signatures. I need to post the link on my facebook page.
    And I have to wonder if Psychology Today isn't doing this for the publicity they knew this article would garner, hmmm.....