Sad to say, but the troubling issue of self-hatred in the African-American community is rearing its ugly head yet again.

The internet has been aflame with chatter about the facial features of Blue Ivy, Jay-Z and Beyonce’s baby girl and the release of Eric Benet’s provocative new song, “Redbone Girl.”


After a recent picture of baby Blue Ivy circulated on the web, numerous Facebook and Twitter posts, some from black folks, attacked her for having "big lips” and the potential for her developing a “wide nose” like her father…hmm.


Then there’s Eric Benet’s recent release of “Redbone Girl” featuring Lil Wayne in which a light-skinned female is celebrated in the song.


Though Benet doesn’t say the woman is superior because of her skin tone, many feel that the fact that he personally secured Lil Wayne for the tune, the target of a recent boycott for derogatory statements on dark-skinned sisters, is a thinly-veiled attempt to move record sales by creating a color controversy.


Two things need to be said. First, attacking a baby for her beautiful God-given features is insane. I’ve rarely, if ever, heard of any other group of people consistently attacking their own racial or ethnic characteristics, especially those of their children.


Secondly, how we address the issue is significant. As several journalists recently pointed out, it’s insincere for Mr. Benet to suggest it’s a positive thing that we are having this discussion on color after provoking a controversy that he is simultaneously benefiting from…


Many of you’ve heard me say that we need to deal with and heal from the unfortunate skin tone issues in our community. However, we need to do so sincerely and honestly, rather than through some gimmick to sell records.


We need to question how we see ourselves, and what our current standards of beauty are.


We need to celebrate who we are and teach our children to do the same so that they don’t grow up hatin’ on a beautiful baby with features like themselves.


It’s time we free ourselves from this tired mentality that has us looking in the mirror and hating who we see.


Fortunately, there are groups out there, like the Community Healing Network, committed to building a movement for psychological freedom for black people. You can see what they’re doing at


Let us know what you think about this issue.


I’ll close with a quote from writer Akiba Solomon who, in a recent Colorlines piece on Blue Ivy, offered this:

“I hope, in our media-saturated, appearance-obsessed society that is still so wounded by white supremacist aesthetics, baby Blue will find peace and joy in the simple act of living, no matter what she looks like.”


Until next time, this is Stephanie in love and hope.


Also On Black America Web:

16 thoughts on “Red Bone and Blue Ivy

  1. tauauf on said:

    Some of the comments here are so racist! And indeed blacks like whites are some of the staunchest racists on earth! The color spectrum in the black community should be viewed as a blessing and NOT A SELF-HATRED issue. And indeed I have enjoyed all of the spectrums with no regrets! Dark-skinned; light-skinned; Redbone; Black & White; Black & Asian; Black & Spanish and with the success of the Mars missions, perhaps one day it will be Black &Martian! Martians, from what I’m told are green and have red eyes!…This mixture should produce a deep-olive complexion with turquoise eyes…seaweed colored hair…and hopefully no antennae! BLACK AMERICA… STOP HARRASSING PEOPLE BECAUSE OF THEIR PERSONAL TASTE!

  2. tauauf on said:

    I am an avid Kindle reader; because it allows me to reach around the world from my home…the other day I browsed through a very interesting book that I believe sheds light on this schedule. It is titled “Color Struck.” by: Ray Charles, a compilation of laws; deeds; wills and petitions that documents America’s early interracial transformation. In paper-back and digital; Amazon Kindle, ISBN #1478195080…Please review it. or

  3. truthsmack on said:

    Why is this site not covering this story. We are being exterminated.
    Two Jonesboro, Arkansas officers are on administrative leave while police investigate how a 21-year-old man was shot in the back seat of their patrol car.

    21-year-old Chavis Carter was in the passenger seat of a pickup truck that was pulled over by police before 10 p.m. Saturday night, WREG reports.

    According to Officer Keith Baggett, Officer Ron Marsh found “some marijuana” and several plastic baggies when he searched Carter. A quick check turned up a warrant on Carter in Mississippi, where he lived.

    The cops then handcuffed him, searched him again, and put him in the back seat of the patrol car. As officers searched the pickup truck, Baggett claims he heard “a loud thump with a metallic sound” on his trunk and saw Marsh motion to him.

    According to police, the thumping noise was Carter shooting himself in the head — despite his hands being cuffed behind his back. Though officers searched Carter twice, they claim they missed the handgun that Carter allegedly used to shoot himself. Carter later died at a local hospital.

    “Any given officer has missed something on a search, be it drugs, knife, razor blades, this instance it happened to be a gun,” Jonesboro Police Sergeant Lyle Waterworth said.

    “I think they killed him, my son wasn’t suicidal,” said Carter’s mother, Teresa. She noted that her son was left-handed but he suffered a gunshot wound to his right temple.

    The investigation into the shooting continues.

  4. RKearns on said:

    Blu Ivy is PRECIOUS with her momma’s eyes, daddy’s lips, etc!!! HOW DARE black people criticize this baby’s features? We are our own worst enemy. We come in various shades, shapes, and features so we need to stop hating and making fun of each other simply because some of us have more of one thing or less of something else. We’re all still BLACK PEOPLE. Man, the Europeans have really SCREWED us up! Dark skinned sistahs mad just because an artist decides to pen a song about light skinned sistahs. And quite frankly I don’t EVER hear light skinned sistahs complaining when a song is done about our Black Beauties. We will eventually destroy our own selves with this perpetual black-on-black HATE!

  5. RENO2AC on said:

    There is nothing more sad to me than self-hatred. I’m so blessed to have grown up in a household where I was taught my self-worth. Thank you goes to my daddy and my granny! THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!

  6. aseelah on said:

    Television is black folks worst enemy. The standard of beauty in the U.S. has been determined by this idiot box. In words made famous by the Last Poets: “Automatic push button remote control synthetics, genetics command your soul.”
    I couldn’t have said it any better.

  7. aseelah on said:

    Television is black folks worst enemy. The standard of beauty in the U.S. has been determined by this idiot box. In the words of the Last Poets: “Automatic push button remote control synthetics, genetics command your soul.”
    I couldn’t have said it any better.

  8. John4350 on said:

    The idea that there is one standard of “beauty” (i.e color (or shade of color), facial features, bodily features, etc.) for everyone to strive to fit has done a psychological “mind job” on whole communities of people, not just Black. As a proud dad of a beautiful Black daughter myself, I created the Fearless Five ( to combat some of this negativity so our children have positive images of themselves in all shades. Anyone else taking on a similar challenge?

  9. donica lewis on said:

    Now remember folks, this is coming from that ugly,black troll looking mfer lilwayne. who clearly needs to buy females period. As far as Blue Ivy she will have some of Jay’s features know that. What she looks like when she gets older is all that matter and the fact that she got enough money to change her faceLOL

  10. wellsk1959 on said:

    As I mentioned earlier, it is not our outer beauty that makes us beautiful, but it is our inner beauty that brings out and enhances the outer beauty. We as a race need to stop being so color struck that we forget that our race comes in many different skin hues–from the very light to the ultra-dark. We are all beautiful in our own way. Be secure enough to realize this!

  11. Since the white race is the super-most developed one (underlying meaning have stolen most of the world’s wealth) its standard of beauty ought to be accepted as the universal one”. A silly little statement made by a racist white man in a book I read by J.A. Rogers, Superman to Man. But this silly little mindset has blanketed the planet for not just decades but generations, and it has had a most profound effect on the African race simply because we are the total opposite dark skin, pale skin, curly hair, straight hair, voluptuous lips, and no lips, wide nostrils and narrow nostrils. We have been reacting for decades to negative images of ourselves portrayed by subliminal and negative media attacks suggesting that anything black including features are bad. As you know a major component to success is a high self- esteem this mindset and attack has been a thorn in our side for decades. Truth of the matter is black people are the supreme essence of harmony. We are peaceful, natural, and beautiful: Indeed we are jewels to behold. Just a little study of history will confirm that, and I don’t mean the study of the slave history of America I mean the study of who we were before we got here. Furthermore who studies algebra before they know addition? American slave history is an infant to who we are true knowledge of self brings about higher self-esteem. I’ll share one instance with you all that I found in my study of true African history. Did you know that the hair on our heads grows out of pores on our skull that spiral out from the top, back, and center of our heads and the tighter the spiral the curlier the hair the wider the spiral the straighter the hair. And did you know our hair is like a bunch of little antennas that picks up waves from the sun, universe, and God if you may the tighter the spiral or the curlier the hair the stronger the reception. Did you ever notice that black people in general are more spiritually connected? Amen to that. I love my blackness and my curly hair and my Queen finally took the chemicals out of her hair about a year ago and the fro is beautiful. KNOWLEDGE OF SELF

  12. teaguer1908 on said:

    People understand all children are puzzles of their parents. Beyounce and Jayzee are the parents, not the rest of the world. Their puzzle- Blue Ivy will develop as she should. When people start looking at their own soap opera instead of their others, thinking those have more glorification in the other yard, trivial things will be just that- trivial.

    The inferiority/fear is the lack of color for the general populace. I love my caramel color, I teach my daughters to love their “red bone” color. I dearly loved my late mom’s non-wrinkled chocolate color. I loved my late daddy’s caramel color. We wear it well.

    With color comes great responsibility.

Add Your Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s