Ari Lennox and Teyana Taylor Are Beautiful Women Not Rottweilers

I was happily scrolling through social media when I noticed Teyana as a trending topic. I am a fan of her music so I click the hashtag. To my dismay, she was not trending because a new song or dope video had dropped. Teyana Taylor and fellow singer Ari Lennox were trending topics due to the viral tweet below:

Image result for ari lennox teyana tweet king kwasii"

Colorism, Featurism, and the Black Woman

I never understood or really got colorism. I was never called light-skinned until college when I became very aware of an invisible line of demarcation, separation, and mistrust between black women based on skin shade. I have grown to learn more about colorism and featurism via novels by Zora Neale Hurston, Alice Walker, Toni Morrison, my own study minoring in African American Studies, articles, and YouTube testimonials based on lived experiences.

Merriam-Webster defines Colorism as:

prejudice or discrimination especially within a racial or ethnic group favoring people with lighter skin over those with darker skin. Source

For a quick cultural reference, see Spike Lee’s School Daze. There is a musical dance battle between the light-skinned ‘Wannabes” and dark-skinned ‘Jiggaboos’ that highlights the tension between black women who fall into those perceived categories. The idea is that women who are ‘light-skinned’ are seen as more desirable by men, specifically black men in this case, than darker skinned women.

There seems to a subcateogry of colorism called featurism. As noted by writer Nia Hernandez,

The official definition of featurism is “A form of architectural design based around certain accentuated features”. In other context, society accepting or preferring certain features over others (i.e. European features over African features). Source

In the case of Ari Lennox, she has previously responded to criticism of her nose or wide nostrils. Teyana Taylor has received similar critique of her facial features. If we are to keep it real, a lot of the ‘you so ugly’ jokes center around facial features that are more afrocentric or our misconception of what is afrocentric. (Africa is a huge continent of over a billion people in over 50 countries. African Americans are the decedents of enslaved Africans who mainly came from the African West Coast countries.) We typically associate wide noses, textured hair, and dark skin as African features and all of the negative ideas that have been linked to that. ‘Beautiful’ black women are those whose features align more with perceived eurocentric standards of beauty; slim noses, lighter skin, softer textured hair.

When a Joke is Not Just a Joke:

There is a  malignant  history of race-based pseudoscience associating black people to animals  which metastasized into racist eugenics ideology. The idea that black people are animalistic or subhuman affects their treatment by others in society  in many areas, such as, politics, education, healthcare, law enforcement.

I believe the ease at which other black people make these types of jokes is rooted in ignorance. Comparing a black woman to a rottweiler dog is not funny; it is also not benign. Clearly the young man making the comment and the many who cosigned his statement through likes and retweets have not heard of the Human Zoo built by King Leopold of Belgium to showcase the Congolese people to Europeans. This display only highlights the actual reign of terror and genocide inflicted by Belgium on the nation of Congo.

Funny yet? 

Comparing these two young talented women to a dog associated with being dangerous and aggressive is associating their aesthetic with danger and aggressiveness.  These are the same stereotypes surrounding unarmed black men who are shot and killed at  7 times the rate of unarmed non-black males. We cannot become complicit in our own dehumanization. There is a history of this behavior being acceptable and normalized.

In this new decade, we will denormalize it.

Let’s start 2020 out right by calling out disrespect and putting haters in their place –  the trash.

My Twitter Ramblings

Twitter is a funny little world. There are celebrities, businesses, regular folk and bloggers all mixing it up with one another.

It's also peculiar that everyone feels the need to dispense wisdom via a 140 characters. I started a little meem entitled #causeimdeep. Here are a few proverbs from

I listen to Sade when I clean #Causeimdeep

I drink tea with my pinky cup while day dreaming #Causeimdeep

I tweet about other people's drama and not my own #causeimdeep

I saw a dead squirrel on ,my walking trail, I poured out a little water in memorium #causeimdeep

Trust in the Lord and lean not 2 ur own understanding. In all thy ways acknowldge him, and He shall direct thy paths #causeimdeep

I put lol at the end of sentences when I am really serious about what I just wrote. #causeimdeep (lol)

Love is like Jello, and there's always room for Jello #causeimdeep

If u get caught in the rain, remember the sun will shine again #causeimdeep

If an elevator misses ur floor, you have an extra ride to get it right #causeimdeep

See I mixed in a few serious tweets with my jokes. . .  #Causeimdeep

Follow me on Twitter!!!!!!!

Brian J White’s New Show – Men of A Certain Age

I have been seriously struggling with finding interesting writing topics for TZA – then it came to me/like an epiphany.

Brian J White sent me a shout out on TWITTER. Why am I, like,  so excited? LOL.

This past weekend I worked as a production assistant for a music video and now this. Can my life get any better? LOL.


Mr. White is starring in a new TV series, Men of A Certain Age, which premieres next Monday, December 7th on TNT at 9 (Central). The show also stars Ray Ramono and Andre Braugher.


Loved Brian in Mr. 3000 – his character was kinda mean. He played a bad guy in Tyler Perry's I Can Do Bad All By Myself. I am really curious to see his character's persona in Men of A Certain Age.

You know guys, Brian White reminds me of a guy I used to date in college. He was really cute but really down to earth and nice. It is a bit ironic that this guy competed in martial arts tournaments and Brian White starred in Fighting. EERY!!!!!

 BUT- (you know there had to be a BUT in there somewhere!) - I was in love with an idiot.


That, of course is, another post for another day.

P.S. If you are NOT following me on Twitter, you are MISSING A LOT!!!!

So, will you watch?