SKIN DEEP, SPIRIT STRONG

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The phrase ‘a strong Black woman’ has served as both a motto and a creed for African-American women.  I once heard Jada Pinkett-Smith say in an interview, “My job as a Black woman is to be strong and have an attitude.”  From slavery to modern times, the inner strength of the Black woman has been celebrated within the African-American community.  But, where is the celebration of the Black woman’s femininity?

“She walks in beauty, like the night of cloudless climes and starry skies; and all that’s best of dark and bright meet in her aspect and eyes” – Lord Byron.  This is a strange taboo for White Americans and an often-ignored aspect within the Black community. The femininity of African-American women has been objectified in the U.S. for nearly 400 years.  No, Janet Jackson was not the first Black woman to cause a stir with her sexuality.  Neither was Josephine…

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