Written By: Rolanda Smith (@lightlikearock)
I was just minding my own business, scrolling through my Facebook feed. Nobody looks for trouble in their Facebook feed; that is what Twitter is for! So again, here I am scrolling through personality quizzes, family photos, and friends bragging about their babies when I am assaulted! Someone posted a twitter moment from @sweetfacedinero and it punched me right in the jaw. It was a sucker punch too, because I didn’t see it coming until I was reading the whole thing and got my soul punched loose. Let me give you some context…
Apparently, someone thought that it would be a great idea to create an alphabet book featuring hip-hop stars and culture. Okay … I am okay with that. Not a problem. My problem begins where Illuminaughty (@sweetfacedinero) asks if this book was written by a person of color and the publisher replies … get this, they reply “Does it Matter?”. (You can find her full Twitter moment here)
Are you serious?
Is this a joke?
YES IT MATTERS! Did you miss the whole #BlackLivesMatter movement? Yeah, well Black authors and publishers matter too. If someone is writing and profiting from a book based on OUR culture, you better believe we want some Black hands on it. I am so sick of having other people try to tell our stories for us to us! That is why most of this country is so misinformed about Black people and our culture in the first place.
Alas, this is not even the point. Why, Mr. Social Media Manager, are you being rude to a prospective customer? I have never worked in marketing, but I do believe that this kind of behavior was frowned upon. This would have been a great opportunity to really sell your author and the merits of her work. Why get defensive … unless you know that she has no merits. Unless you know that what you are doing is shady as hell and a ploy to sell Black people Black culture and capitalize on our movement towards, in the words of Reverend Lupe Fiasco, “All Black Everything”.
But wait, there’s more!
Our girl Illuminaughty goes and finds the photo of the author! Guess what? White girl! Classic Becky (technically Jessica…Jessica “J-Pain” Chiha) While I cannot say definitively because I cannot see the whole crowd, I am willing to bet that there are no Black people at this wedding. Why? Because your Black friend would more than likely have told you to sit your tail down and stay in your lane before publishing this book. I could be wrong … I’m just guessing. I know I would, though.
Now slow down, before you start saying I’m racist … I am not. I love books, I am a bibliophile. I generally will read good writing written by *most* anyone. Hell, Jane Austen is my #1 and don’t dare quiz me on Lord of the Rings or the Hobbit; the books AND the movies. But do you know what these greats don’t do? They don’t sell Black culture, or Asian culture, or ANY culture but their own. And before you fix your mouth to talk comics and their non-Black created Black characters – stop it. These issues have been addressed and called out … by us, do a quick search on the home page. Also, some companies are making an effort to address it: see Marvel and Black Panther – comic or movie.
The problem isn’t JUST that she is another White girl trying to make money off of our culture. It is the type of person she is. I present to the court of BGN, exhibit A and B: The author’s husband in Black face.
Now, this is the household profiting off of hip-hop and Black culture: THESE PEOPLE. And if that’s not enough for you, lets review the comments their friends left under these images, shall we?
BOY do they like to say nigga! Ah, and equating their faux Blackness to sex and being hot? That’s cool too, right? Wrong. These folks don’t even respect Black people, or our culture; they just want to earn a buck off of it.
There is so much more to this foolishness. This is the first paragraph they use to advertise this steaming pile of horse crap on their Kickstarter:
“A B to Jay-Z is for the next generation of hood rats. There will always be an abundance of books ready to teach our kids about apples, balls and cats but who is going to teach them about the realest alphabet? Who is going to make sure their rap game is strong when they start school? “
Hoodrats? Who the F!@k is you callin’ a hoodrat?!? Is this supposed to be cute or funny? Realest alphabet? Make sure their rap game is strong? I am truly disturbed, like for real. The fact is, from what I can tell, the content of the book isn’t even half bad, but who cares when it is mired in the filth that is this advertising and that woman producing it?
At some point y’all have got to realize that we are not THAT desperate to see Black faces in our books and media. We can handle that on our own. J-Pain can stay in her J-lane. And to the fabulous Illuminaughty (@sweetfacedinero), good lookin’ out girl. We all owe you one for spotting this BS first.