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 Again, we are being tricked into worshipping the false gods which history

has proven will continue to envelop us in poverty and misery.  P&G, cares

less about our future and the future of our children as it sees only dollars

from a market that they played an evil hand in its construction.

 

 

The Black Beauty and the Beast

By Waldron H. Giles, Ph.D

 

Now in its third year, the tragic irony of Proctor & Gamble’s (P&G) “My Black is Beautiful Campaign” moves on to continue the exploitation of low self-esteem, the false idolatry of star power, and the enormous purchasing power of Black women.  The latest twist in this two century old con game is to search for “real” people to serve as models to represent P&G’s version of “My Black is Beautiful.”

It is interesting that there now is a personal possessive pronoun associated with Black and Beautiful.  Back in the day it was a collective thing for all of us to Be Black and Beautiful.  However, since Black women choose to spend more than three times more of their disposable income on beauty products than the rest of the entire female population; it becomes important to fathom the deep rooted reasons why Black women feel the necessity to spend their hard earned dollars for a “My Black is Beautiful” campaign.  These reasons do not obscure the not so subtle message within the "My" which attempts to economically divide a group of common-bonded people that have collectively borne, over the ages, the wrath of P&G, GE, J P Morgan, Standard Oil, E I DuPont, etc. as these major corporations utilized the profits from slavery to project and amplify their versions of white superiority. Implicitly the "My" states:  I, personally, am financially able to spend large portions of my unequal disposable income to purchase a commercially defined false sense of beauty and if you (my sisters) can’t afford to pay, then you are deemed ugly, have made no progress toward integration into the American dream, and you still bear the stains of plantation ignorance.

The tragic ironic history of My Black Beauty Campaign is that Proctor & Gamble has a history of denigrating Black beauty and through its strong participation in eugenic experiments which destroyed both Black lives and self-images in order to advance the imperialistic concept of white superiority.  Dr. Clarence J. Gamble, one of the early descendants of the Gamble soap empire actively participated in eugenic sterilization practices on Black women and men in North Carolina and Alabama.  Dr. Gamble became the southern regional director of the Birth Control Federation of America, a sadistic euphemistic methodology, for limiting Black population growth after the Civil War.  Some years later this concept was amplified by Henry Kissinger, former secretary of State who was quoted “Depopulation should be the highest priority of foreign policy towards the third world, because the US economy will require large and increasing amounts of minerals from abroad, especially from less developed countries.”

The titles of these eugenic organizations were chosen so as to hide the real intent of the organization, i.e., the eradication of Black people. Eugenic organizations were supported by most of the wealthy families in the US prior to and during the exportation of these eugenic procedures Nazi Germany where all sorts of ghoulish procedures were employed on Jews, Poles, Russians, and Gypsies,

Again, we are being tricked into worshipping the false gods which history has proven will continue to envelop us in poverty and misery.  P&G, cares less about our future and the future of our children as it sees only dollars from a market that they played an evil hand in its construction.  Since we do not write our own history and our memories are limited P&G can brainwash us into thinking we are ugly and then turn around and sell us trinkets and trash that would make us "beautiful."  We need the real history to make us whole and then beauty will radiate from within this wholeness.  Since the wholeness renders the purchase of beauty products meaningless; we also gain security since our hard earned dollars can now be used for other necessary items that are more important in our lives and the lives of our children.  For example, had we invested in something that would create jobs for our sisters, brothers, and children then retribution for P&G’s past and current sins would be even sweeter!

For a moment let us examine the Black experiences here in the US.  Blacks have become the model consumer since their per capita consumption of products far outpaces other ethnic groups with higher per capita incomes.  There are good reasons for why this is so.  Black for the first 200 years of their existence in the US were prohibited from all participation in the market.  After the Civil War, segregation further limited Black participation in the market.  The Civil Rights campaign, the drive for integration, quickly led to a pent-up market demand by Blacks.  This pressure of this demand was fueled by some 250 years of denial caused by slavery and segregation.  When the flood gates opened Blacks flocked to the market to buy with any and everything by any means necessary. 

Retailers had finally constructed and could service a group of people who just wanted to buy and cared little about quality and the quid pro quo between purchaser and the market.  Normally the products consumers buy create jobs where the consumer is employed and via this employment becomes more financially capable to purchase more.  However, these markets of deprived Blacks appeared to care only to consume without considering to other parameters in the market/production cycle, i.e., equal pay, demographic representation in the labor market at all employment levels, and equal pricing.  With Blacks the market could provide lower quality, charge more, and siphon a larger percentage of their disposable income without being held accountable for equal representation on pay day.  The credit industry which made purchasing possible maintained higher credit rates for Blacks than whites. 

Within this structure, the white superiority was re-enforced with the myth that Blacks were higher credit risks.  The exploited Black consumer had been created by setting various concepts and practices in place that would render and continue to render Black people as inferior consumers.  This in itself conditioned the Black consumer into the ideal consumer since it was considered an honor for Blacks to purchase goods and the more he or she purchased the higher on the individual worth scale he or she became.  It was now possible to condition the consumer and the market to the everlasting benefit to the bottom line. 

P&G and their corporate peers began to understand very well, that the Black market is the most lucrative market in the land of the free!  For this exploitation concept to work effectively some of the US citizens had to be freer than others.  A reasonable comparison would be to look at the pent-up demand after a war where rationing has been lifted.  Consumers rush to the market place to buy with unlimited energy. However, racially pent-up demands are more easily controlled than the initiation and termination of wars and with continuous manipulation this demand can continue for generations instead of years.  We can now appreciate P&G and their market manipulation via My Black is Beautiful.

A P&G survey found that 80 percent of Black women are disenchanted with the way they are portrayed in the media.  P&G participated in making 80% of Black women disenchanted with their eugenic participations of the past.  They manipulated the market which in turn led to an ethnic beauty market that is extremely large and has grown by double digits within the last five years, in spite of an extremely severe recession.  It is proof that slavery generated pent-up demands outlive the participating generation and is money in the bank when corporations can control your image over generations; in fact this is the ultimate control which continues some 150 years after the end of slavery.  We, after all of these years, should control our own image! 

The heartening fact is that P&G can see the value of our money far beyond our ability to target and leverage it into something that is going to reap greater tangible benefits than a coating over our eyes.  It would make better sense to let P&G know that we want more for our children than an eye shadow.  We want our children to have security, a college education, jobs, etc. Merely giving us a real person who personifies My Black Beauty just doesn’t get it! We need and deserve more and we will shop elsewhere or better yet, stop shopping, until we get what we deserve.

What Gamble and the other disciples of Eugenics believed isif Western civilization were to survive, the physically unfit, the materially poor, the spiritually diseased, the racially inferior, and the mentally incompetent had to be suppressed and isolated, and eventually eliminated. After all the earth has limited natural resources and survival of the fittest means the  survivors are the one who are able to control the earth’s resources.  Being the victims of sterilization experiments in North Carolina, Alabama, Georgia, and even Harlem to name a few; makes it virtually impossible to develop a healthy self-esteem.  By virtue of these methods of destruction of healthy self-images it is now possible to turn these victims into massive targets of opportunity. 

In this ultimate capitalistic model, befitting some serious case studies by any Harvard MBA student, is the methodologies employed first to create inferior self-beliefs and then to sell them personalized products that the victims believe will cure this socially induced sense of inferiority.   Since the sense of inferiority is false, thus the purchased items to make one beautiful are also false.  Purchasing false ideals is not the worse sin.  The greater sin is the destruction of the self-development that wreaks havoc over many, many generations.  As Eleanor Roosevelt was quoted saying "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.

The mistake of not knowing the full history of P&G allows us to forget about all of the beautiful women of our culture who developed their beauty without buying it.  Women like Lena Horne, Sojourner Truth, Ruby Dee, Harriet Tubman, Zora Neale Hurston, Phyllis Wheatley, and many, many more.  These women were inherently beautiful and needed no self-esteem boosters-in-a-bottle to move them upward and onward.  The important side benefit is that they conserved their hard earned resources for the more important aspects of personal development which ultimately paved the way for racial upward movement in some rather perilous times. They did not allow the likes of P&G with their historic demagoguery of superiority to either define our own Black beauty or manipulate our Black minds into to purchasing their trinkets and trash.

Our own definitions of beauty determine our future and will continue to be our best defense against our eugenic demise.  To condition our own minds is to seize both - the time and our destiny.

posted 18 August 2010

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My Black Is Beautiful (Episode 1)—Defining Black Beauty  / My Black is Beautiful (Episode 2)—Shades of Black

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“My Black Is Beautiful” Campaign Connects With Black Women

The campaign which includes a series of events across the country and a show in its second season on BET, has received a huge boost by its association with celebrities such as Queen Latifah and Angela Bassett.

Three years ago, “My Black is Beautiful” was an idea that was created by African American employees of the company.  A campaign meant to start a conversation about beauty and change the negative portrayals of Black women in the various forms of media. Currently, over 70 percent of African American women feel that they’re portrayed negatively by the news media. The goal of the program is to encourage Black women of all ages to define and promote their own beauty standard. News One

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Procter & Gamble's 'My Black' Campaign

connects with African-American women

The "My Black is Beautiful" television show on the BET network began its second season in May, featuring a half-hour of talk and features on health and beauty and culture. Hosted by actress Tasha Smith, the show has delved into cultural issues as well as trends in accessories, lipstick and hair coloring.

My Black is Beautiful has gone on the road to Chicago, Atlanta and Charlotte, bringing celebrities and "pop-up salons" in free, open-to-the-public events that offer skin analysis, hair consultations and makeovers. In April, P&G kicked off the second season of the TV show with a similar event and salon at the company's downtown Cincinnati headquarters.

The campaign sponsored the Essence Music Festival July 2-4 in New Orleans, where it set up a "Bronze Goddess Spa." Appointments were booked within two hours of opening, P&G spokesperson Felisa Insignares says.

The campaign is about improving black women's image of themselves, offering a forum for information and expression and promoting loyalty to P&G beauty brands.Cincinnati News

Good Hair Movie—Chris Rock Sells Black Hair / Good Hair on Relaxer

Natural v. Perm Debate: Negative Focus on Gymnast Gabby Douglas’s Hair

Enough with the Black Hair Session—Gabby Won

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Our Hair is Unprofessional?—MarKeese Warner—12 June 2012—Like many students across the country, I have been looking for a summer job before I start my senior year at Pennsylvania State University where I’m studying engineering. As I’m living at home in Maryland for the summer, I thought working at the nearby Six Flags would be a great summer job. I’ve been going to Six Flags with my family for years and have even had season passes on occasion, so I applied for a food service job. However, as I started to go through the interview process, I was disturbed to find out that I couldn’t work at Six Flags because of the texture of my hair. Six Flags has a strict policy that prohibits employees from having dreadlocks (or "locks" as some people call them) as they classify them as an “extreme” hairstyle along with mohawks and unnatural coloring.

Locks are predominantly worn by African-American, Caribbean and African people as an expression of how our hair grows naturally. My hair is important to me and part of who I am. I’ve had locks for about five years.

Being disqualified as a potential employee because of my hair made me feel defeated; as my hair is representation of my personal growth through the years. It hurts to hear major employers like Six Flags call my natural hair and texture “extreme.” Unfortunately, throughout history, many people have demonized locks. It is disparaging for Six Flags to accept substantial amounts of money every year at their parks across the United States, Mexico and Canada from patrons who wear their hair as it grows naturally, but the company would refuse to hire any of those patrons with locks. We spend way too much money at places like Six Flags Theme Parks for them to discriminate against any members of our community. Let us also exercise our voice with our dollars.

There is no excuse in 2012 for such abhorrent employment policies. In a time when the "voice of the people" can indeed be witnessed to move mountains, let us in one accord raise our voice. In a country that purports itself to be the greatest "melting pot" of social values and ideals, it’s time for Six Flags to stop its discriminatory policy by categorically refusing to employ people because of their natural hair. Please join me in asking Six Flags to stop discriminating against people with locks.—seeingblack

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AALBC.com's 25 Best Selling Books


 

Fiction

#1 - Justify My Thug by Wahida Clark
#2 - Flyy Girl by Omar Tyree
#3 - Head Bangers: An APF Sexcapade by Zane
#4 - Life Is Short But Wide by J. California Cooper
#5 - Stackin' Paper 2 Genesis' Payback by Joy King
#6 - Thug Lovin' (Thug 4) by Wahida Clark
#7 - When I Get Where I'm Going by Cheryl Robinson
#8 - Casting the First Stone by Kimberla Lawson Roby
#9 - The Sex Chronicles: Shattering the Myth by Zane

#10 - Covenant: A Thriller  by Brandon Massey

#11 - Diary Of A Street Diva  by Ashley and JaQuavis

#12 - Don't Ever Tell  by Brandon Massey

#13 - For colored girls who have considered suicide  by Ntozake Shange

#14 - For the Love of Money : A Novel by Omar Tyree

#15 - Homemade Loves  by J. California Cooper

#16 - The Future Has a Past: Stories by J. California Cooper

#17 - Player Haters by Carl Weber

#18 - Purple Panties: An Eroticanoir.com Anthology by Sidney Molare

#19 - Stackin' Paper by Joy King

#20 - Children of the Street: An Inspector Darko Dawson Mystery by Kwei Quartey

#21 - The Upper Room by Mary Monroe

#22 – Thug Matrimony  by Wahida Clark

#23 - Thugs And The Women Who Love Them by Wahida Clark

#24 - Married Men by Carl Weber

#25 - I Dreamt I Was in Heaven - The Rampage of the Rufus Buck Gang by Leonce Gaiter

Non-fiction

#1 - Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention by Manning Marable
#2 - Confessions of a Video Vixen by Karrine Steffans
#3 - Dear G-Spot: Straight Talk About Sex and Love by Zane
#4 - Letters to a Young Brother: MANifest Your Destiny by Hill Harper
#5 - Peace from Broken Pieces: How to Get Through What You're Going Through by Iyanla Vanzant
#6 - Selected Writings and Speeches of Marcus Garvey by Marcus Garvey
#7 - The Ebony Cookbook: A Date with a Dish by Freda DeKnight
#8 - The Isis Papers: The Keys to the Colors by Frances Cress Welsing
#9 - The Mis-Education of the Negro by Carter Godwin Woodson

#10 - John Henrik Clarke and the Power of Africana History  by Ahati N. N. Toure

#11 - Fail Up: 20 Lessons on Building Success from Failure by Tavis Smiley

#12 -The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander

#13 - The Black Male Handbook: A Blueprint for Life by Kevin Powell

#14 - The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates by Wes Moore

#15 - Why Men Fear Marriage: The Surprising Truth Behind Why So Many Men Can't Commit  by RM Johnson

#16 - Black Titan: A.G. Gaston and the Making of a Black American Millionaire by Carol Jenkins

#17 - Brainwashed: Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority by Tom Burrell

#18 - A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose by Eckhart Tolle

#19 - John Oliver Killens: A Life of Black Literary Activism by Keith Gilyard

#20 - Alain L. Locke: The Biography of a Philosopher by Leonard Harris

#21 - Age Ain't Nothing but a Number: Black Women Explore Midlife by Carleen Brice

#22 - 2012 Guide to Literary Agents by Chuck Sambuchino
#23 - Chicken Soup for the Prisoner's Soul by Tom Lagana
#24 - 101 Things Every Boy/Young Man of Color Should Know by LaMarr Darnell Shields

#25 - Beyond the Black Lady: Sexuality and the New African American Middle Class  by Lisa B. Thompson

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Tomorrow's Tomorrow: The Black Woman

By Joyce A. Ladner

Tomorrow’s Tomorrow is a pioneering sociological study of black girls growing up in the city. The author, in a substantial new introduction, considers what has changed and what has remained constant for them since the book was first published in 1971. . . . Joyce A. Ladner spent four years interviewing, observing, and socializing with more than a hundred girls living in the Pruitt-Igoe housing project in St. Louis. She was challenged by preconceived academic ideas and labels and by her own past as a black child in rural Mississippi. Rejecting the white middle-class perspective of “deviant” behavior, she examined the expectations and aspirations of these representative black girls and their feelings about parents and boyfriends, marriage, pregnancy, and child-rearing.

Ladner asked what life was like in the urban black community for the “average” girl, how she defined her roles and behaviors, and where she found her role models. She was interested in any significant disparity between aspirations and the resources to achieve them.

To what extent did the black teenager share the world of her white peers? If the questions were searching, the conclusions were provocative. According to Ladner, “The total misrepresentation of the Black community and the various myths which surround it can be seen in microcosm in the Black female adolescent.”

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Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America

By Melissa V. Harris-Perry

According to the author, this society has historically exerted considerable pressure on black females to fit into one of a handful of stereotypes, primarily, the Mammy, the Matriarch or the Jezebel.  The selfless Mammy’s behavior is marked by a slavish devotion to white folks’ domestic concerns, often at the expense of those of her own family’s needs. By contrast, the relatively-hedonistic Jezebel is a sexually-insatiable temptress. And the Matriarch is generally thought of as an emasculating figure who denigrates black men, ala the characters Sapphire and Aunt Esther on the television shows Amos and Andy and Sanford and Son, respectively.     

Professor Perry points out how the propagation of these harmful myths have served the mainstream culture well. For instance, the Mammy suggests that it is almost second nature for black females to feel a maternal instinct towards Caucasian babies. 

As for the source of the Jezebel, black women had no control over their own bodies during slavery given that they were being auctioned off and bred to maximize profits. Nonetheless, it was in the interest of plantation owners to propagate the lie that sisters were sluts inclined to mate indiscriminately.

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The Gardens of Democracy: A New American Story

of Citizenship, the Economy, and the Role of Government

By Eric Liu and Nick Hanaper

American democracy is informed by the 18th century’s most cutting edge thinking on society, economics, and government. We’ve learned some things in the intervening 230 years about self interest, social behaviors, and how the world works. Now, authors Eric Liu and Nick Hanauer argue that some fundamental assumptions about citizenship, society, economics, and government need updating. For many years the dominant metaphor for understanding markets and government has been the machine. Liu and Hanauer view democracy not as a machine, but as a garden. A successful garden functions according to the inexorable tendencies of nature, but it also requires goals, regular tending, and an understanding of connected ecosystems. The latest ideas from science, social science, and economics—the cutting-edge ideas of today—generate these simple but revolutionary ideas: The economy is not an efficient machine.

It’s an effective garden that need tending. Freedom is responsibility. Government should be about the big what and the little how. True self interest is mutual interest. We’re all better off when we’re all better off. The model of citizenship depends on contagious behavior, hence positive behavior begets positive behavior.

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Predator Nation

Corporate Criminals, Political Corruption, and the Hijacking of America

By Charles H. Ferguson

If you’re smart and a hard worker, but your parents aren’t rich, you’re now better off being born in Munich, Germany or in Singapore than in Cleveland, Ohio or New York. This radical shift did not happen by accident.  Ferguson shows how, since the Reagan administration in the 1980s, both major political parties have become captives of the moneyed elite.  It was the Clinton administration that dismantled the regulatory controls that protected the average citizen from avaricious financiers.  It was the Bush team that destroyed the federal revenue base with its grotesquely skewed tax cuts for the rich. And it is the Obama White House that has allowed financial criminals to continue to operate unchecked, even after supposed “reforms” installed after the collapse of 2008. Predator Nation reveals how once-revered figures like Alan Greenspan and Larry Summers became mere courtiers to the elite.

Based on many newly released court filings, it details the extent of the crimes—there is no other word—committed in the frenzied chase for wealth that caused the financial crisis.  And, finally, it lays out a plan of action for how we might take back our country and the American dream.Read Chapter 1

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Salvage the Bones

A Novel by Jesmyn Ward

On one level, Salvage the Bones is a simple story about a poor black family that’s about to be trashed by one of the most deadly hurricanes in U.S. history. What makes the novel so powerful, though, is the way Ward winds private passions with that menace gathering force out in the Gulf of Mexico. Without a hint of pretension, in the simple lives of these poor people living among chickens and abandoned cars, she evokes the tenacious love and desperation of classical tragedy. The force that pushes back against Katrina’s inexorable winds is the voice of Ward’s narrator, a 14-year-old girl named Esch, the only daughter among four siblings. Precocious, passionate and sensitive, she speaks almost entirely in phrases soaked in her family’s raw land. Everything here is gritty, loamy and alive, as though the very soil were animated. Her brother’s “blood smells like wet hot earth after summer rain. . . . His scalp looks like fresh turned dirt.” Her father’s hands “are like gravel,” while her own hand “slides through his grip like a wet fish,” and a handsome boy’s “muscles jabbered like chickens.”

Admittedly, Ward can push so hard on this simile-obsessed style that her paragraphs risk sounding like a compost heap, but this isn’t usually just metaphor for metaphor’s sake. She conveys something fundamental about Esch’s fluid state of mind: her figurative sense of the world in which all things correspond and connect. She and her brothers live in a ramshackle house steeped in grief since their mother died giving birth to her last child. . . . What remains, what’s salvaged, is something indomitable in these tough siblings, the strength of their love, the permanence of their devotion.WashingtonPost

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 Death of White Sociology

By Joyce A. Ladner

In the 1970s, the battle for racial equality being waged in the streets an d the legislatures took the ivory tower. Black students, researchers and instructors had long been witness to the distortion of their history, their communities, and their identities in the classroom and in the field. The Black community had long borne the brunt of academia s failings. But many, like the contributors to Joyce A. Ladner s The Death of White Sociology, took up their pens and raised their voices against mis-education and bias in social science research. The Death of White Sociology offers brilliant descriptions of black identity with excellent essays from writers like Ralph Ellison and Albert Murray, who take aim at the "social science fiction" of Euro-American sociological analysis, as well as political scientist Ron Walters's "Toward a Definition of Black Social Science" and E. Franklin Frazier's unsentimental critique, "The Failure of the Negro Intellectual."

In a new foreword, Ladner notes that when the anthology was originally published in 1973, it "provoked healthy debates over a range of issues: Does Black sociology exist? If so, what are its theoretical assumptions, and what is the range of subject matter it covers?" The writers gathered within these pages provide diverse answers to those questions, examining--and refuting--Eurocentric distortions of what and who black people are.—Eugene Holley

The Ties That Bind: Timeless Values for African American Families

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The White Masters of the World

From The World and Africa, 1965

By W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois’ Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization (Fletcher)

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Ancient African Nations

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The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan  The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll  Only a Pawn in Their Game

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for Slavery / George Jackson  / Hurricane Carter

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The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg

The Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804  / January 1, 1804 -- The Founding of Haiti 

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update 3 August 2012

 

 

 

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