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Cover Story: Black Women: The (Un)Cola

A blackalicious primer

By Kathy Y. Wilson · May 4th, 2005 · Cover Story
  Women's Issue 2005
Sean Hughes

Women's Issue 2005

First, a word from our sponsors: "Her beauty cannot be measured by the standards of a colonized mind." -- MeShell NdegeOcello

"People always trynta find the world I'm in; I'm the envy of the women and I rule the men."

-- Erykah Badu

"Just as, in my own mind, I try to give black people a little extra credit, I try to give black women double that."

-- Jill Nelson

The breast suckled by Massa's child.

Hattie McDaniel slobs down Oscar; Halle Berry fucks Billy Bob Thornton.

The cook for the plantation and the Big House.

Booker T. Washington suffocates during summer beside his mamma's cooking pot; Florida Evans cooks and cleans for Maude.

The line between whore and survivor.

Sally Hemmings' people clamor still at Monticello's back door; Celie jes lay there while Mister do his business.

The Underground Railroad conductor.

Whoopi Goldberg leads well-meaning whites to hysterics; wealthy whites are pissed off when Whoopi Goldberg boycotts Cincinnati.

The front stoop scalp-scratcher.

Madame C.J. Walker stacks millions off hair-care products; immigrant African women weave fake hair into our heads for slave wages.

The co-opted of the equal rights movement.

Audre Lorde is a post-mortem martyr; black women are disregarded in the campaign against breast cancer.

The target of black male envy and white male lust.

Clarence Thomas plants a pubic hair on Anita Hill's Coke can; Billy Bob Thornton fucks Halle Berry.

The resilient one.

Ike cannot beat Tina to death; Angela Basset does not win the Oscar.

The most likely to be called out of her name.

Beyonce no longer prefers "bootylicious;" Jay-Z got 99 problems, but a bitch ain't one.

The benefactor, the apprentice and the over-achiever.

Alicia Keys, when she concentrates, channels Aretha Franklin, Omarosa acts out for ratings and Condoleezza Rice, who thinks she's fair-haired, doesn't know she's one of us.

The go-to figurehead.

Valerie Lemmie and Alicia Reece are powerful in quotation marks; at a party Charlie Luken tells me that if I ran for mayor I'd win.

The baby mamma.

Fantasia has a baby out of wedlock and sings an anthem to the phenomenon; black girls push strollers behind sagging jeans singin' "B-A!-B-Y! M-A!-M-A! This goes out to all my baby mama. I got love for all my baby mama."

The butt of all jokes on Black Entertainment Television.

50 Cent in heavy rotation lets her lick the lollipop; Missy Elliott sucks lollipops as props.

The most likely to be thanked in an overwrought acceptance speech.

Jamie Foxx cries on cue at the thought of his poor, uneducated grandmother who dies before she can see his success; Ray Charles deifies his poor, uneducated mother as she watches him go blind.

The exoticized.

Josephine Baker poses with cheetahs and dances nearly naked; Iman was not discovered in the jungle, and David Bowie has jungle fever.

The life-giver.

Mary Alice Hill had nine babies who survived; my mother was one of them, and she had Randy, Kenny, me and Devin, raised Darrell, Glenn, Pamela and Wayne, rounded up Lena, Annelle and Anna off the streets of Hamilton and taught them to sing Gospel music, exceeded the demands of Clarence and William and worships KJ and Kyler.

World, these are black women.

Sistas, this is the world.

And it's ours. ©



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