Black Commodity

Dear Readers,
First, I’d like to apologize for my excessive absence. I was personally affected by Hurricane Sandy. I will be posting a blog on my two week experience post Ms. Sandy once my life normalizes. Secondly, please keep in mind that I am still on limited access to internet and electrical connection. So for now…


The lower case, amazing bell hook writes, “the neocolonial environment gave white folk even greater access and control over the African-American mind…the hunger to see black folks on the screen had been replaced by the desire to be close to the Hollywood image, to whiteness” (109, 111). This phenomena can be seen in many non-white cultures. Across the globe and at home, dark folks want to become the ideal, normative Anglo-Saxon white beauty.

African Americans want the long, straight European hair. Southern and Eastern Asians want lighter skin. The Garcia Girls have lost their accents. Shakira starts singing in English. This systematic white washing is enhanced by globalism, but it began with colonialism. Even men are not immune to these notions. Black men use relaxers, even the prominent Al Sharpton. Men in India are using skin whiteners that it is endorsed by the so called “King of Bollywood”, Shahrukh Khan. Even I must admit that I will use a lighter shade foundation to make me appear lighter before internship interviews – I know that it makes the employer perceive me as more than the xenophobic “other”.

And I will never forget the first time I saw Jennifer Hudson’s Weight Watchers commercial. It was not enough that she is an Oscar winning actress, but her success was validated when she became white. She lost her black girl curls and her weight, which is often associated with black women and black food culture.


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