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Afros, locks and naturals – all symbols of a powerful movement that began with the word of John S. Rock, an African-American abolitionist who was the first black person to be admitted to the bar of the Supreme Court of the United States. Rock would paraphrase the term “Black is Beautiful” during a speech back in 1858.

Some 100 years later, African Americans would begin a movement illustrating Rock’s words, which encouraged men and women to stop straightening their hair and attempting to lighten or bleach their skin with creams.

The Black is Beautiful movement became the most prominent in the writings of author Steve Biko in his book, the “Black Consciousness Movement” in South Africa. The book and the movement aimed to dispel the notion in many world cultures that black people’s natural features such as skin color, facial features and hair are inherently ugly. It was meant to dispel the stigma of internalized racism, which caused such things as “paper bag parties” in the black community, where only those with a skin color lighter than a brown paper bag were permitted.

The idea of Black is Beautiful led to the Black nationalist and Uhuru movement of the 60’s and 70’s where the world would be introduced to legends like Malcolm X, Frantz Fanon, Marcus Garvey and Elijah Muhammad. By 1969, there were black characters on 21 primetime television shows.

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6 thoughts on “Little Known Black History Fact: Black is Beautiful

  1. CreamBionade on said:

    One of this world’s problems could be shavism. There may be people who want to get a shameotherapy done. These folks may find hair removal with cigarettes sexually arousing, and then they’re ugly.
    This would explain the why.
    I’ve got this little burnt spot (about a square centimeter in size) since August 2006 and when only one hair grows back, then “there’s no why”.
    I understand the “how”, however, no one can look into a computer’s mind because there isn’t one. It are only threshold variables. You see how easy it is to make people behave like Nazis, you only have to exchange the swastika with a rainbow and because of the general lack of insight and irrationality, politics and propaganda are better done with computer simulations. Like Hollywood: made from smart people for retards. It’s a hint: RATED-R.

    • Agreed. Black is beautiful. So is white, yellow, brown, olive and any other hue attributed to humans. Rather than defining yourself by reference to race or color, consider spending that time improving yourself without regard to either- Improve your humanity, your intellect, your compassion, your sense of humor, your artistic sense, or any other human trait not defined by race or color (which is virtually all of them).

      • not too deep on said:

        Impartial….you totally missed the point of this article. all are beautiful yes. but this is about an era in time when anything associated with Black was considered ugly and for the sake of conforming, many black denied the love of their heritage because they were being brainwashed to hate it. That’s Impartial. I hope this brings clarity.

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