The Blackness Spectrum

Disclaimer: This post is meant to be tongue in cheek, kind of.

Over the years I have come to find that Blackness exists on a spectrum. The spectrum ranges from Conscious Black to New Black. Now to explain what exactly these two extremes are.

First we have the Conscious Blacks. These individuals can be found in abundance on twitter and tumblr and usually have some variation of god, king, queen, or melanated in their handles. They post about this false belief that all of our ancestors were kings and queens in Africa (quite often spelled Afrika) and how we, through our dark skin, are somehow gods on earth.  There is usually some reference to the third eye and whether or not it’s opened or not, and they express great disdain for their fellow black people who are “sleep” or unenlightened.  #StayWoke

As much as they hate “unenlightened” Black people, they really hate non black people. Especially white people. Much like with white supremacists, a race war is imminent, they are just waiting the first shot to ring out. They too are very adamant about their rights to bear arms to an obsessive level.

Another key quality of the Conscious Black is that they are adamant about following no organized religion, however, use much of the same logic and examples as Fundamentalist Christians, to explain their hatred of homosexuals, abortions, interracial relationships, integration, promiscuity, and to defend the subordination of women.

A common topic for the Conscious Black is women. Specifically how women should and shouldn’t act. Drawing hard lines as to what type of woman deserves respect and which ones are “tools of the massa”. These hard lines usually include women not dressing “indecently”, not twerking, not being unwed or single mothers, being loyal or “holding down” her man(read as putting up with any bullshit a man brings your way without giving him consequences), and nurturing their “seed” (for those of you not in the know, seed means child).

These are the type of people you work diligently at not getting caught in a conversation or debate with. Their opinions have been set in stone and you will only raise your own blood pressure trying to engage them. This is a tenet that I live by as a means of self care and it has served me well.

Now on the other side of the spectrum you have New Black. This term is relatively new (shoutout to Pharrel). It describes a subset of Black people who “don’t see color” and believe that talking about racism leads to more racism. Unlike the Conscious Blacks, there are plenty of examples of New Blacks in the mainstream media. You can usually spot them being interviewed on Fox, CNN, or the OWN Network during times when racial tensions are high.

New Blacks refuse to acknowledge the effects of institutionalized racism on communities of color and usually say that the answer to all problems in the black community is to love ourselves and everyone else. They tend to circle back to “Black on Black crime” as a defense to any argument that states that perhaps the problems in Black communities aren’t solely because of the wrongdoings of Black people.

New Blacks also, very often, do not even like to be categorized as Black, African American, or anything that points out that they have a different ethnic, racial, or cultural make-up than others. They often say that they want to be identified as a member of the human race. New Blacks also tend to be insulated by wealth and fame. These two factors often protect them from overt racism, or more specifically from wanting to acknowledge any type of racism and call it out.

Although the New Black’s rhetoric may be less abrasive and not based out of hatred like the Conscious Black’s ideology, it is just as problematic. To ignore the existence of racism is just as dangerous as to believe in the supremacy of one race over another. Both leave no room for reality to shine into the corners of one’s mind and essentially leave both parties in the dark.

So What Do You Think?