Why Are Black and Beautiful Still Contradictions?


On this the last day of Black History Month and the return of “Know Thyself Community Wednesday”, I felt that it would be a good idea to reflect on the word “Black” in the Oxford English Dictionary some of the definitions for the word “black” are:

1. Of the very darkest color

2. Relating to the human group having dark-colored skin

3. Marked by disaster or despair: the future looks black

4. Full of anger or hatred

These are just a few of the definitions that describe the word “black” are these definitions BEAUTIFUL, do they make you feel beautiful when spoken? You know believe it or not words have vibrations, if I say to you I love you, which makes you feel good it makes you feel loved. On the other hand, if I say to you I hate you that may send chills through your body and make your blood run cold. So again, words have vibrations that affect each and every one of us in one way or another.

If the word “black” is associated with more negative vibrations than positive ones, why do we use the word to describe and define ourselves? Is it affecting people of African descent in this country in ways that we are not aware of subliminally? Meaning that we are not conscious of it…A couple of weeks ago, I had a conversation with one of our listeners who suggested that we talk about why so many of our sisters us chemicals in their hair, weaves, and wigs instead of going natural? By the way this listener wears her hair in an afro and has not been influenced and conditioned by mainstream society. She went on to say to me that she does not refer to herself as black because black is a color not a person.

If a word has so many negative meanings attached to it why do we use it to describe ourselves, our culture, our community, the month for which we celebrate in February? Yes, when we say black is beautiful what does that really mean? Yes, say it loud I’m black and I’m proud! Are you?