By Kola Boof
I am an African woman, technically bi-racial, who was adopted and raised in Washington, D.C. by a Black American family. As an adult, searching for myself, I returned to North Africa for several years, got into loads of trouble as an uneducated low rent film actress…but returned to the land of my citizenship (America) with a new outlook as a womanist, a freedom fighter for Sudan’s SPLA, and most notably, as a novelist and poet.
PROOF, of course…is the term that many Africans use to describe the “one true hair” that is the unique Crown of the black man and the black woman. Black Americans (who, to me, are Africans) refer to it as “Nappy Hair”.
And as the Cushitic-Hebrew folktale goes…”God put “the Proof” on the black man’s head as a marker that he is God’s son, the first man made in the image of God, and that the only way to defeat, conquer and destroy the black man…is to remove the
Crown (the Proof) from his head. I was taught as a little girl in Sudan that no other race of humans were given this hair but blacks; and that anytime you find our hair growing from the scalps of non-blacks, it is because those people have the blood of our bloodberry and are a bastardized extraction of us…we being the first race; the blacks, the Africans. Taghut (Satan), I was taught, is in a never-ending quest to destroy and conquer Africa by killing the black man…which can only truly be done by removing “the Proof” from his head. For without it, the Cushitic-Hebrew folktale goes, he is not really a black man.
And it wasn’t until I finally analyzed the self-destruction and the erasure of blackness in Black Americans and in Black
British, and the ways that their legendary self-hate is now imported to Africa itself, that I began to take this folktale from my childhood seriously.
Truly, in America, you begin to understand it.
As Alice Walker wrote…“It only takes one lie to unravel the whole world”. And in America, that lie manifests itself in the racist admonition that…”one drop” of African blood defiles everything else in a body’s universe and marks any and everyone possessing that “one drop” as a black person.
Tragically, Black Americans were forced through hundreds of years of conditioning to accept, believe and demand their slave master’s rule, to be ignorant of any African standards or rules, and as a result, they have been put on Automatic
Self-Destruct by striving to produce children who look more like their slave master than like their ancestors, but at the same time, continuing to call themselves “black” by virtue of this insidious and ridiculous “one drop” bullshit.
PROOF Magazine….is but one of my rebukes, as an African woman, wombbearer and mother…against the racist American notion that Black people should think so little of themselves that just anybody can BE them.
And, naturally, this is an extremely painful position to take…because although I love all races of human beings, and although I have family members who are mixed, biracial and now even White…it is seen as “racist” to proclaim one’s blackness, to cherish it and to separate it from the ownership of those who are not black–but still, if my people are to survive…and to survive as themselves, it’s a position that must be taken. And taken without apology or hesitation.
Many say that I, Kola Boof, am not “authentically” black, because I am the daughter of a white Arab Egyptian man. Of course, in Africa, because my skin is chocolate and I have “the Proof” of my ancestors growing from my scalp, I am considered a Black
African woman, but to disgruntled Black Americans I say….fine. You can call me “inauthentic”, but I am still going to fight for the dignity and integrity of the Authentic Black people…and I will never promote the evil erasure of black people by claiming that Lenny Kravitz is a black man or that Vin Diesel is just as black as Denzel Washington or that Mariah Carey is black or that Halle Berry is just as black as Lauryn Hill. This is not only a lie to claim that Vin Diesel, Lenny Kravitz and Mariah Carey are black…but, historically, this has been a strategic tool in making authentic black people invisible and keeping them from having representation of their own group. By putting mixed and yellow people in their place, celebrating and elevating Mulatto images as “normal” and castigating Blackness as something to be “evolved” from..and in particular, this has been the way that the authentic Black woman’s image has been denigrated, disallowed and killed by her own black children in the west…by pretending that Lena Horne is the mother of the Black Americans, when the truth is…Esther Rolle and Cicely
Tyson are what the mothers of the Black Americans actually looked like–the Black Americans being the children of the West and Central African Kingdoms.
If you watch this white supremacist minstrel network, BET, if you attend a dinner at the NAACP, if you carefully analyze the majority of women presenters at “The Soul Train Awards”, for instance (where child molesters are given Life Achievement Prizes provided their victims are little black girls that no one protects or gives a shit about in our community, just like in Africa), or if you watch the majority of films produced and directed by Black Filmmakers…you will notice that the WOMB of Black people…the authentic Black woman; authentic meaning the darkest, the one possessing the Crown (“the Proof”), the one with Nilotic, Ethnic or Negroid features..is almost always disallowed.
You find yourself enchanted by gorgeous African-looking men like Michael Jordan, Morris Chestnut, Kanye West, Djimon
Hounsou…and you wonder…where in the hell did these beautiful authentic black men come from? Because, you see…the “dark womb” that it took to create these chocolate royal looking men is never allowed to be shown unless she’s presented as an old woman. But you will never see the 19 year old deep chocolate beauty that produced these men trotted across the stage as a trophy. She will not be celebrated, because she is the “black man’s mother”–and even her sons (Akon, Taye Diggs looking types) will fail to publicly celebrate her image.
America is a western society that completely fears, hates and seeks to erase black people and Africa. And I would say that most Black Americans (at least 70%)…also hate black people and Africa…but because they themselves are black, they don’t realize it.
They will curse the photos of a lynched black man hanging from a tree as white people sit around having a picnic…but they will not give birth to that black man again. Instead, they will marry the lynch rope and produce children who look more like the white lynchers at the picnic.
They will call out the words, “Mother Africa”…yet the lowest, most despised, hated person in Black America is the authentic
Black woman. And the reason is…her WOMB makes them black, therefore, she is the enemy. And they make all manner of excuse, create any and every bald-faced lie against her…their own mother…in order to place the White man’s mother above her…as a savior; a bridge out of blackness.
So many Black Americans have forgotten that when they look upon African people or look upon the very darkest black woman…what they are seeing is the living REPLICA of their ancestors…what’s left of them…in their natural state. And yet, they don’t make the connection. Instead of cherishing and protecting the ethos of their ancestors, many of us…both
African and Black removed from Africa…assist the slave master/colonizer in destroying, lying upon and degrading this image.
We claim that there’s only one race…the human race….yet we hate the Blackness in human beings. We see blackness as a deformity…a curse that White women or White men can cure by breeding it out of us. We hate Africa itself.
And in the United States…we are encouraged to breed it out. Everytime we watch B.E.T (a true nigger and coon channel) or countless films that highlight the beauty of Lightness and disallow representations of darkness…unless those representations are male and paired up with light or white images…everytime we see Mary J. Blige transmitting to little black girls that she can’t possibly be cute unless she’s got platinum blond hair…everytime we see a famous, successful black man choose a White woman or a Latina Woman (which on television and in the media is MOST of the time)…everytime we see Michael Jackson’s Casper-white complexion or hear phone messages played on the news of him saying, “I hate my nigger hair!”…everytime we step out of our front doors in America…we are given the message that blackness is inferior and sub-human and that the answer is to hate and ERASE it.
Black Americans don’t like the word “nigger”, but it’s crucial that we understand what a nigger really is.
Whether he be in North Sudan, South Africa, Jamaica or the United States…a nigger’s true goal is to erase himself and become the image of his master.
Skin bleaching in Africa…marrying the lightest person we can find in America so as to “genetically” bleach…denying that the Black race even exists…that only HUMANS do, as if Hitler or the Slave Master or the African dictator or any other Power on this planet ever gave a damn about anybody else being human.
Seriously. A nigger’s true goal is to erase himself and become the image of his master.
THE AUTHENTIC BLACK
People ask me who is “authentically black” and how can we possibly measure who is and who isn’t…they point out that I myself, Kola Boof, would not pass the test.
But I don’t care about failing the test.
Just because I’m Half Arab…doesn’t mean that I don’t know what a Real Black Person is. I do know and so do you. They’re mostly Black. Not half Indian, a quarter Irish and three fourths Filipino.
In setting my Half Arab self aside, I just want to know that the BLACK people…my people….will continue to exist. Which is not racist, it’s normal. And it doesn’t stop me from loving my Sherwood Anderson books or my Julia Roberts movies. It doesn’t stop me from eating at Chinese restaurants or having sex with a White man I’m attracted to. It just means that belong somewhere and that I want that place to always be there….for me to return to.
Before I had children, I wanted my children to look like Denzel Washington and Lauryn Hill….and I did not want them to look like Alicia Keys and Tiger Woods.
It’s not that I don’t love all human beings…I do love all human beings. I have all of Alicia Keys and Mariah Carey’s Cds, and I admire them because they’re sweet, beautiful, compassionate kind women. But that doesn’t mean shit. Because so are Lauryn Hill, India Arie and Alek Wek sweet, beautiful, compassionate, kind women…and those women are my people. Any
African who looks at them…immediately recognizes them. And when I see the California malls full of bi-racial black children, few of whom want anything to do with black people or Africa…what I see is that the Black Man in America gets lighter and lighter with each new generation….but the White Man stays White.
Black Americans are only 13% of the population in this country. They were very recently taken over by the Latinos as the nation’s #1 minority group….mysteriously being allowed to come here by the MILLIONS in just 20 short years. And…if you put the Blacks and the Latinos together…then the White Americans still outnumber them both 2 to 1.
So, you see…I am right. The White Man is getting Whiter and Whiter and the Black Americans are being bred into Mulattos, yellower and yellower, which is how our empires in North Africa (where I’m from) were destroyed. This is the same ancient extermination that wiped out the MOORS…..and truly, the MOORS were a “nigger race”. They were total losers, otherwise, they would still exist. Extinction is not honorable.
Don’t get me wrong. It’s natural to have some “yellow” in an African tribe. Here and there. But this disparity in America is the product of White Supremacy. It is unnatural and it is done to suppress the blackness.
So of course, we all know the difference between an Authentic Black…and a Mulatto, Biracial, Mixed person. They are very similar, but ultimately, they are not the same….they are not treated the same, their experiences are not the same, they can no longer see beauty the same or love Africa the same.
If they were the same, then the High Yellows wouldn’t be in denial about Colorism…while the dark blacks insist that it’s the very marrow of their existence. They would have a like mind.
And it’s not the ISSUE of color…or my bringing up the issue that divides us….but it’s the stark difference in color itself and the loss of hair texture and the loss of African looks that divides us.
The difference in how we are treated based on our separate looks that divides us.
And though we have been littered with Mixed race People in Africa (most of whom are in the North and do not consider themselves African or black, unless it’s to get AID or they’re visiting America)…..and though a thousand years of “explorers” have left some Africans lighter shades of brown and even, on rare occasions, yellowish red….and though the Higher Class Ethiopians who are not the color of the blue black majority Ethiopians deny they are mixed, but are indeed mixed from a thousand years ago…..we in Africa know what a Black Man is and we know the PROOF that grows from our scalps.
The one true hair.
And that one drop of African blood….does not make you black.
We are not so inferior…that just anybody can be us.
Deeds or actions…being down for Black people and the Black cause……DOES NOT make you black. If that were the case then there are “WHITE” people who have been just as down for Black causes as there are Mulattos, and being committed to Black causes and Black people doesn’t make you black.
As much as I love and idolize Malcolm X….as much as I despise and loathe Clarence Thomas….the fact is, the one that I
detest is the one with the most African blood. He is blacker than Malcolm, though he is not nearly as conscious or committed to our people’s struggle.
Black BLOOD is what makes you black. Authentic.
And black children are beautiful….to me, they’re more beautiful than White or Biracial children…and they deserve to be born, because I am African mother and I say so…and Africa
Africa…must not perish.