So someone sent me this today after I posted a status on facebook that said “Can someone be black washed?" I asked this because as a Dominican woman who happens to be brown skin and have “african” features, I sometimes feel like society classifies me as black simply because of how I look. (I in no way deny my african ancestry, rather I embrace it to the fullest extent) I do not mind because classified as black but I feel it is just easier for people to but me in a box for their sake. I’m not just black, I’m more than that…
Anyway, a fellow Dominican women sent me this after I posted my status. I laughed at first but them felt the need to address
EVERYTHINGthat was wrong with her statement.
1. I’m not trying to be “black" by whatever she meant in her definition of the word. I am black ( in the content of African ancestry, not African American which is how many people define black) I don’t fully identity with African American culture because for the first 6 years of my life I was in DR. I’ve been enculturated into African American culture after coming to America.
2. I’m not spanish. I am not from Spain. I speak the language because the country where my parents are from Republica Dominicana, was colonized by the Spanish. I do not relate/connect to Spain. Other than the language I speak I feel no connection to Spain.
2. The Dominican Republic is one of the many countries the denies ANYTHING that has to do with African ancestry because it makes them that much closer to Haiti which is seen as the bottle on the barrel in DR.
3. Dominicans have Spanish blood, Taino blood and African blood and which every you choose to identify as is your business. I respect the language I speak, I respect the African traditions and I respect the people who cultivated my parents land before them.
— Being Dominican is not about being too Spanish, or Taino or Black, its about respecting the land and its complex history while also understanding the roles that each group of people played in the development/destruction of the nation. I LOVE being Dominican as much as I love being a women of color. I love my blackness as much as I love my tongue. Your identity is for you to feel comfortable with. Check your own boxes and be happy with who YOU are. Don’t dumb your complexities to make it easier for other people, ever.
Black History Month fact #1:
Contrary to distorted belief, the people who built the pyramids in Egypt were Black Africans. They were not slaves. They actually enjoyed building the pyramids because it was for a greater spiritual purpose.
The first person to scientifically prove that the Egyptians were Black was Cheikh Anata Diop, by testing the amount of melanin of Egyptian mummies.
(pic: King Tutankhamun)