It seem that Tameka Foster may have pulled a fast one…Tameka recently did a blog post on racism for the Huffington Post and we were all pretty impressed with it. However, there is one person who is not so happy with Tameka, and her name is Aisha Curry. Aisha wrote a book titled ‘Pretty For a Black Girl’ which reads very similar to what Tameka wrote.
Here’s Tameka’s version:
“She’s Pretty for a Dark-Skinned Girl…”
I am a dark-skinned African American woman with features that reflect my ancestry. Debates regarding Light vs. Dark and other biases have plagued our race for years and continues to impact millions of Black women. The deeply rooted intra-racial contempt that lies beneath this inane “compliment” is the reason I’ve chosen to spark dialogue surrounding the topic of self-hatred in our culture. It saturates every aspect of our lives, dominating the perspectives of our generation as a whole. We culturally are so influential, at times inadvertently, that we affect all with the words we utter and the images we portray. It lends to the theory of systemic racism. I’m authoring this piece because I’m miffed by this reality and would like to share my views on these subjects.
It is a fact that many African-Americans are often mixed with an array of other ethnicities (as am I), which allows for the spectrum of our features to be as distinctive and special as we are diverse. Why is it felt that the more diluted our traditionally African features become the more aesthetically acceptable we are considered? It was said in the 1960s and the sentiment seems to be forgotten, “Black is Beautiful.” Wow, nearly 50 years later and is that now only meant for a specific shade? Nonetheless, I believe the beauty of our people and splendor of every individual is reflected in our varying features and hues.
Here’s what Aisha is saying:
“My heart sank into my stomach. All the hard work, all the sleepless nights I had endured was playing back in my head as I read this article written by a woman I didn’t even know,” Curry told BV Buzz. “Why did I feel so connected to this article? Suddenly, it came to me. It was my work! It was my work, my voice, but in her words. I was frozen. Tears began rolling down my face as I read line after line after line. I couldn’t believe it. The idea that someone could gain notoriety from an issue that I first brought to the forefront is mindboggling. People were praising her for tackling an issue that had never been exposed. Hello?!? I wrote the book on it and started it years ago. The only difference between her article and my book is she used ‘dark-skinned’ and I used ‘Black.'”
Curry said she began writing ‘Pretty For a Black Girl’ in 2007 after receiving compliments about her beauty, only to have them followed up with a reference to her ethnicity.
“One day about five years ago, I was absolutely tired of being told that Aisha Curry was pretty for a black girl,” she explained. “I started asking my friends if they had heard this statement before, and as time went on, I realized how prevalent the issue was.””I received the link and it changed my life. A friend told me that they had read an article in The Huffington Post called ‘She’s Pretty for a Dark-Skinned Girl’ written by Tameka Foster. I knew the title was similar to my book but I didn’t jump to any conclusions,” Curry recalled. “So, I went to the site and began reading this article. If she would have changed the words ‘dark-skinned’ to ‘black’ it would be exactly the same title as my book. My frustration quickly turned to anger and I sought God for answers. ‘What do I do? What can I do?’ At that moment, the appropriate reaction was tears. All I could do was cry! Thankfully, I had the support of my family and close friends who surrounded me with love. They quoted scriptures from the Bible, which gave me strength. I began to receive phone calls from people who had read the book and they said: ‘Wow, I felt like I have heard all that before!’ That’s when I decided to do something. I picked up the phone and called as many supporters as I could.”
The Fresno, Calif.-based mother and wife of a professional athlete acknowledged that there is the slim chance that Foster could have penned the blog essay, however, she believes otherwise.
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