Warning: Y’all are going to hate me and it is OK. I just have a different opinion and that’s OK too.
Look, I love me some Black girl power and I love me some Beyoncé however, my only problem with Beyoncé’s half time show that I didn’t watch was her glorification of the Black Panthers.
Unlike those who won’t say the truth, I will. For all the Black Panther’s good, like the breakfast programs, after school programs, self defense and other things, the Black Panthers were extremely colorist even though they claimed to hate White supremacy. They were extremely misogynistic. Some even beat up women in the BP’s like Regina Davis. Ms. Davis had the nerve to challenge a male colleague and Huey Newton, their leader, supported Davis’ abusers. That’s not proBlack.
“She reports that she was finally goaded into action when Regina Davis, who managed the Panthers’ highly praised school, ended up in the hospital. “The Brothers” had beaten Davis up and broken her jaw because she reprimanded a male colleague for not carrying out an assignment.
Brown writes that when she told Newton of her anger over the attack, he refused to break solidarity with the men, challenging her to a debate in the Central Committee.” Read more here.
You see the Black Panthers weren’t as progressive as many people think. Just like in every Black civil rights movement, in the Panthers, Black women did the work while Black men got the praise. If those examples aren’t shocking enough, one of the leaders of the BPs was Eldridge Cleaver. Cleaver was a serial rapist who bragged about raping Black women and girls for practice.
From Cleaver himself:
“I became a rapist. To refine my technique and modus operandi, I started out by practicing on black girls in the ghetto — in the black ghetto where dark and vicious deeds appear not as aberrations or deviations from the norm, but as part of the sufficiency of the Evil of the day — and when I considered myself smooth enough, I crossed the tracks and sought out white prey. I did this consciously, deliberately, willfully, methodically — though looking back I see that I was in a frantic, wild and completely abandoned frame of mind.
“Rape was an insurrectionary act. It delighted me that I was defying and trampling upon the white man’s law, upon his system of values, and that I was defiling his women — and this point, I believe, was the most satisfying to me because I was very resentful over the historical fact of how the white man has used the black woman. I felt I was getting revenge.” - NYTimes.com
This was the Black Panthers you never heard about. This is the Black Panthers people ignore.
Black women who know this and still support this aren’t surprising. Black women who still cheered on Beyoncé’s Black fist aren’t surprising. Who can blame us? We’re hungry for any old positive image even if it is a lie. And if it means watching and sacrificing our daughters bodies for the Black man’s cause in the name of faux proBlack unity, history shows we’ll celebrate it. For me Blackness does not mean praising an antiBlack woman organization and loving your Blackness doesn’t mean ignoring the truth. Loving Blackness means loving and protecting all Blackness. That includes Black women.
I wasn’t going to post this because other Black women said it already, but I felt like their voices were being drowned out and it needed to be repeated. Before y’all even suggest it, this isn’t Beyoncé hate. She’s a brilliant business woman who I admire. I know she meant well and I love Black people, especially Black women loving ourselves. I’m simply pointing out a historical fact. Even after that I told you y’all was going to hate me. So be it. I still love y’all.
The only limit you have is the one you have placed on yourself. Think and be limitless.
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