Anita Blake–Half-Latina?! Who knew!

Laurell K. Hamilton has practically copied the passage about Anita being half-Latina from previous books and pasted it into every new book of this going-on-20-book-series. The only reason I think of Anita as half-Latina is because Hamilton keeps using Anita to say that she is. The truth is I don’t believe it. For the same reason that I can sometimes tell when a white writer is trying really hard to “write” a person of color, and failing horribly–its a sixth sense. Anita Blake’s biraciality has no real importance in the series; it can easily be removed, and the story would practically be the same. Anita Blake herself is not particularly a shining example of race consciousness, neither is Hamilton by her own admission. If you took out every point where Anita has said that her mother’s side of the family is Mexicano and replaced it with something white, privileged, middleclass, and American-sounding, and possibly made Anita blonde, this story would sound more or less the same if you ask me. My disbelief cannot be surrendered or suspended.

Why do I think of Anita as white? Well, Laurell K. Hamilton doesn’t really gives me a choice. I can never shake off this sensation that Hamilton is portraying Anita Blake as white while exotifying her as part Latina. Like I’ve said before, the only thing about Anita that’s Latina is her hair and that is constantly pointed at in the books. I think if you took out the grandma and the mother and replaced Anita with a white woman there would be absolutely no difference in the series. It doesn’t help that Anita has no substantial female friends (mentors or enemies either), she is homophobic, and she either victimizes other women or is portrayed as having antagonistic relationships with almost all the women who crop up in the series, especially the few women of color. Her whole presentation is that of a white woman. I was just making a horrible joke, actually, about her hair type because even that is aligned with the curliness of Jean Claude’s hair, an ancient white Frenchman who is the complete personification of Hamilton’s complex over pretty white people in her portrayal of Anita. All it would do is make Anita less ansty about being dark-haired and white.

Overall, Anita’s presentation is that of a white woman who emerges from the mind of a white woman. I’ve always struggled with LKH saying that Anita is half-Latina but never actually feeling that it was true or, I guess I should say, I’ve struggled with feeling that her Mexicana heritage matters…because her presentation is that of a white girl. What’s even the point of mentioning in almost every book that she’s half-Latina and forcing readers to ruminate over her angst with the situation? My point overall is that, as a woman of color reading about a woman who is at least mixed, I get no sense that Anita actually thinks about race as a serious issue (outside of her angst over her beauty and her history with her grandma); her background is that of a privileged, middleclass American white girl. As a half-white person (just plain white as an extension of Hamilton’s consciouness), race is something she can ignore if she wants.

Again, I continue to struggle with LKH saying that Anita is half-Latina but never actually feeling that it’s true. I don’t really intend to keep giving LKH my money, so I don’t know if this will change. I’ve stopped at Bullet and committed myself to not buying anymore.

Anita’s Mexican mother married a blond-haired, blue-eyed white man, Anita herself is pale as a sheet and its constantly alluded to over the course of the series, she surrounded by white people all the time, all her boyfriends are white, her background is pretty WASP. She’s white.

I’m through.

ever more real,

MsQ

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Issued: Lynne Ewing’s Daughters of the Moon series

I really enjoyed reading the Daughter of the Moon books by Lynne Ewing as a teenager and this is what I have to say about them in retrospect.

  1. Ending? WTF is this?: The ending was definitely whack and rushed. The series is like twenty books long and it ends like that? Don’t want to put spoilers here but it was really lame and cliché….
  2. Shimmery Lights = a Girl’s Power???: Why is it that the only power that women and girls have is this shimmery metaphorical light? Women who use force are looked down upon, even when it’s to save their live and other people’s lives; these women are looked at as aggressive or animalistic. Ewing portrays the goddesses as pacifist and their powers are pacifistic. I understand that there’s a message of non-violence, but why does a woman’s goodness and worth have to be aligned with a gentle, motherly demeanor and nonviolence when the world demands that a woman know how to protect herself and her daughters even if she must sometimes use violence to protect. It’s the difference between Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X. It’s the reason I have issues with Takeuchi’s Sailor Moon. Ewing’s biography states that she is also a counselor for ‘troubled’ teens. I don’t understand how she came up with the girl powers =  non-violent powers theme, knowing that we live in a violent world. I feel the same way about Sailor Moon to a somewhat lesser degree. More to come on this topic in later posts.
  3. Jimena, the only sista in the crew: With the exception of Jimena, there are no girl goddesses of color. The first racial/ethnic group that white writers select from for the magical girl genre is Latin@, because in my opinion they view them as tan versions of themselves. Not too dark to be disassociated with the purity of white femaleness, not too white that there’s no difference between them and other white character. And Jimena adds spice and a flare of color to the all-white cast of this girl power series. The only young woman of color, of course, Jimena.  I shouldn’t be surprised.
  4. Inspired: Like with Sailor Moon, when I was growing up, Ewing’s Daughter of the Moon was a real source of inspiration to me, combining the magical/supernatural with slice of life and girl power, even though there aren’t many people of color involved. It’s difficult to completely identify with a series when people who look like you aren’t present, as a young woman of color. Still, the series wasn’t a complete loss and I still look upon it favorable in some ways.
  5. Heterosexist obsession with boys: Are all young girls really obsessed with boys or are they this way because we keep writing them into existence. Ewing doesn’t crack down any barriers or break any molds on this front. The only thing that saves the goddesses from being read as total boy-crazy airheads is their internal and external struggle with the antagonistic forces in the series and the building of their characters. That’s saying a lot.
  6. Followers?: Sounds like Twitter and Google Reader… There is a lot of metaphorical meaning in the symbols surrounding the Atrox but also some passive commentary on teen culture.
  7. Dressing, Club scenes, and Dancing: I love the way Ewing describes the clothes, hair, makeup and the club and night scenes. I love the way she talks about the goddess girls’ strut!
  8. Ewing would pick Latin and goddesses hailed and propagated by Eurocentric academia: ‘nuff said
  9. Sons of Dark: …well that ended pretty damn quickly and she killed them all off!!! I keep wondering if, in addition to the crappy, rushed ending of Daughters of Moon, it was a publishing issue that caused Ewing to write these bad/cliché ending for the Daughters and the Sons.
  10. The Choice: Why did she make it so that the girls either had to ascend to some higher plane or lose their memories and their powers and remain on earth? That kind of took me out of the story.
  11. Hunger for something more intense: Someone described Daughters of the Moon as “lackluster”. I think there is something about the style of writing and third person omniscience that I find to be “lackluster”. I had just convinced my sister to read Harry Potter with me and we took turns reading out loud with each other until we did the whole series. I wanted to push it a bit further and read Daughters of the Moon. As I was reading it out loud to her, I realized that there was something almost boring about reading it out loud, something too PG-13, or something. I just couldn’t figure out what was turning me off from it where in my teen years, I was enthralled and couldn’t get enough. Maybe because I know the end, it just isn’t filled with as many possibilities for the new and exciting to me.
  12. Using their powers: As always with magical girl stories, I always like to see them use their powers in the given situation. That’s exciting for me.
  13. Gender binary: Gotta bring it up, it must be done. Everybody in the books fits neatly into ‘male’ or ‘female’. It’d have been nice to see some queerness up in this series.  I’m finding more and more that my own sexuality and gender identity leans away from the male-female binary.
  14. Body positivity: I always loved how the goddesses were so comfortable with their bodies (or became that way). I felt like in order to be a goddess or goddess-like, like these girls, I should look like that. Too bad I’m not white or particularly thin…and I don’t have long flowy magical pony hair….
  15. Cover art: I love the cover photos for the original hardbacks of the series and I own all of them. Like I said, it’s difficult for a Black girl in the white dominated media but I always loved these covers and thought the models were beautiful and ethereal-looking.

A Not So Romantic Experience with the Romance Genre

One of the first romance novels I ever read, in addition to Julie Garwood’s The Lion’s Lady, was Silver Angel by Johanna Lindsay. One of the most painful things I have ever experienced and continue to experience to this day is the way Black women are portrayed as minor characters and stepping stones to white heroines in romance and beyond. I’ll never forget the African princess in Silver Angel. She is sentenced to mass rape by the palace guards when she spits in the sheik’s face for opening her clothes and feeling her breasts when she is brought in to be “sampled” for his harem, like a slave on an auction block or a piece of meat at the market or a cow to be bought. Maybe she was sold to the sheik by her own people or kidnapped—who knows. All I remember experiencing, in her brief appearance, was this feeling of complete and utter worthlessness, that people can do anything to Black women and no one cares.

I suppose I should have felt happy that the kidnapped white girl heroine traded her own freedom in order to save the African princess from such a fate. Now all I think, sarcastically, is this: “Oh, didn’t the white girl look so noble, saving the African princess like that—kudos for her. Oh and look! She got seduced and found a husband in the process (though she was never in any real danger because he wasn’t going to let anything happen to her anyway)!”. (I feel like I can’t even properly explain the whole thing without talking about the white characters for the background story. The guy in the story is part-Arab, of course *rolls eyes*, and his twin brother is a sheik while he himself is a nobleman in England. He has to pose for his brother for a while because there’s some danger and encounters an English woman who has been sold to the sheik as a concubine. The African princess is encountered when he has to choose women for himself from among the new meat, so that he’s not touching his brother’s women.)

It’s not so much an issue of white writers being deliberately cruel. I view them as willfully ignorant, but the real issue is the fact that Black women/people are minorities in representation and in influence/power and/or they’re tokenized in white people’s writing.

This is a very painful experience for me, one that I live with every time I crack open a book, and I had a hard time writing this down. It is something I experience again and again, reading works from white writers where people of color are mostly exotified, eroticized, brutalized, and only appear as minor characters if they appear at all. People of color are the splash of brightness, the background for white writers to prop up or paint their imaginations onto. Mostly, we’re just props to them.

Reading work from writers of my own race, on the other hand, is different challenge in and of itself along with everything else.

For real,

Queen

Does Laurell K. Hamilton ‘like’ Black people enough to include them more in ABVH?

I’ve never heard anything positive about people from the Mid-West and racism. I don’t know if Laurell K. Hamilton ‘likes’ Black people. She certainly does spend a lot of time making sure that the only two Black and part-Black persons who appear now and again in the series are sufficiently subservient, raped, tortured, mutilated, sexist/helpless, victimized, etc. (Jamil, Vivian). It also doesn’t help that both of these characters are lycans, inextricably tying Black people with animal behavior and baseness/lowness in the series. With the exception of the two ancient, creepy, chalky vampires accompanying Musette in Cerulean Sins, in Hamilton’s world, Black people don’t seem to catch vampirism so naturally she doesn’t have to write about them. Figures.

I don’t think that I want her too anyway. I don’t think her skills are that good so as to attempt to transcend her own glorified whiteness. I really don’t believe that out of all the Black people rumored to live in St. Louis that there’s not one who is a main character or regularly seen face in the series in her imagination. To boot, no Black person in ABHV has any authority or power.

I think as a white woman who is always most likely surrounded by white people, Black people never really occur to her for her books.

But if I had to say if Hamilton ‘likes’ Black people, I’d say no.

MsQ

Most Recent Bookstore Trip

Nowadays when I enter a bookstore, presumably Borders, I’m just terrified of what I might find there. That’s no way live, especially as a writer and otherwise artist, but nothing suits me anymore in a way that I find fulfilling. The book publishing industry has failed me, I feel. I fear being unfulfilled and that is why I hesitate to purchase books. Luckily, I escaped fairly unscathed during my most recent book trip.

During my most recent trip to the bookstore, a Borders in Downtown Decatur that was closing (lawd, help us all if Borders goes down even though they said they’re not. Borders is my preferred location for all things surrounding books, magazines, and Paperchase), I purchased several books and I’ll write my thoughts on some of them as I embarked on reading.

  • Vassalord, Volume 4 by Nanae Chrono

What I hate about a lot of the yaoi that I’ve read is the latent and overt misogyny that I’ve noticed is sometimes exhibited among men in the queer community. The presentation of Eva or Eve, better known as Rayfell, is particularly disturbing although I understand the biblical connections and implications. The story and the guys—Rayflo and Chris intrigue me and their story is very sweet when they’re attitudes towards women don’t smack of misogyny.

  • Never After by Laurell K. Hamilton, Yasmine Galenorn, Majorie M. Liu, Sharon Shinn

I don’t want to judge these writers solely by what I read in this book but here’s what I think: I actually had to go dig this book out of the box of stuff I’m giving away to the Salvation Army. I’m sick of this 1-2-3, A-B-C white-princess-heroine bullshit. It’s just not my cup of tea these days. I read Laurell K. Hamilton’s “Can He Bake a Cherry Pie?” contribution in the anthology and I liked what she was trying to do with the story and paused over her skill, but all-in-all I wasn’t in the mood for the heroines in the book, no matter how unconventionally contrived they were.

  • Finder: Finder in the Target, Volume 1 by Amano Yamane
  • The Book of Murray: The Life, Teachings, and Kvetching of the Lost Prophet by David M. Bader

Loved it! Laugh out loud hilarious for me. I love this biblical parody. I haven’t experienced anything this funny concerning the Bible
since, like History of the World (film).

  • She’s On Top: Erotic Stories of Female Dominance and Male Submission ed. Rachel Kramer Bussel

The story I enjoyed the most so far (admittedly I’m not done reading yet and have been skipping around) is Room 2201 by N.T. Morely. Something about that got me going, I’ll tell you. I’ll finish reading this and add more comments later. I guess I haven’t finished reading yet because I want the getting to stay good.

Reading on,

Ms. Queenly

ABVH Tight Bod Superiority Complex

Laurell K. Hamilton focuses a lot on exotified/exoticized bodies. I may have touched on the topic on several occasions at Elia’s Diamonds, but here’s the real deal. By making them normative, Hamilton hypes up the hype and fetishizing surrounding certain body types. For example, several of the polyamorous Anita’s guyfriends and/or significant others and sex partners are “exotic dancers” (I don’t know how PC that is, so the quotations), strippers, have been prostitutes, cops/ex-military/mercenaries, or trained dancers. Most of the men surrounding her are either totally survival-of-the-fittest-tight-bod or decorative beauties. Normal yet intelligent guys (Zerbrowski? Maybe? Though he is a cop….) with just enough fighting skill to get them out of a tough situation are few and far between. Women for that matter, too. Most of the women are either weaker than her or some kind of challenge to her. I understand that normal people will most likely die around her, sure, but that doesn’t cover the fact that Anita looks down on people who are, er, “preternaturally challenged” (meaning that they are human), or who are survivors of physical and sexual abuse and torture at the same time that she champions them.

It’s like taking all the beauty and the brutality of the world’s most prominently exotified animals, mixing them with human beings, and putting them in strip clubs and other places where people sell sex, and saying this is the world, deal with it. This isn’t to ignore the kitchen-bedroom-restaurant-life scenes; its just to draw more attention to the exoticizing. The most problematic thing for me is that if lycans really existed, this is probably how it would be. Although, Hamilton claims that being made a vampire doesn’t make you any sexier or rather it doesn’t change your appearance. But does lycanthropy change your appearance (since it changes your metabolism and eating habits)??? The unanswered question, yah! If I’m not mistaken.

The further you get along in the series, the less “normal” people you see as main characters. And primarily by “normal”, I mean usual body types or ostracized body types. Its all six-packs, broad shoulders, breasts-that-need-bras or cute small high tight breasts, muscles-in-extra-places-that people-can’t-see-and-that-mere-humans-don’t-have, sexy but petite lingerie, curls and waves and long hair, brushed silk drawers, kinky corsets, pale white this and pale white that, blonde hair-blue winter-spring sky eyes, the ardeur made me do this and the ardeur made me do that. And Hamilton seems to think that adding in some scars here and some folds there makes that big of a difference. Just like she seems to think that giving Anita curly hair and dark eyes makes her appearance less than that of a white girl.

Anita tries hard not to boo-hoo about being half-Latina in her blonde family. Reality check, honey, you’re white to most eyes….

A character like Jamil is portrayed as “dark-skinned ‘muscle'”, of course. And, of course, his body is probably very tight.

I’m not going to lie: I’ve been socialized to think that tight bodies and thinness are sexy. That defined curves and hollows reign supreme. In some part of my mind, I’m always questioning what I think is beautiful or sexy because I know its social conditioning from a society that has taught me not only to hate myself but to disregard and harshly criticize body types that aren’t of the type of molds Hamilton depicts. Those bodies that everybody secretly thinks of as sexy and slutty and beautiful.

The disclaimer here is that the tight bod, hypersexualized bodies in these books are kind of an embedded motif. That is to say, the exoticism is part of the package.

Ever more on point,

 

Ms. Queenly

Concepts of Vampires

DISCLAIMER: I know that vampires are a fad right now but I’ve been thinking about this for years.

What I’ve noticed about portrayals of vampires in media and fiction-writing is that most writers choose a type of vampire to portray. Over the years, after having read and seen much paranormal fiction, there is a common concept of a vampire and what that means and looks like; most of the time, pale, pasty, white, European, blood-sucking, holy-object allergic, coffin-dwelling, sunlight-evading,vicious, below-normal-body-temperature, and sometimes bearing varying levels of preternatural powers/abilities.

Offhand, I can think of several blood-drinking varieties that I am familiar with and what works they hail from: Christine Feehan (her Carpathians novels and related works), Laurell K. Hamilton (primarily the Anita Blake stuff), Anne Rice (my first cover to cover was Vittorio the Vampire), the ones in Night Prayers (by P.D. Cacek); Young Adult (YA) stuff like The Silver Kiss by Annette Curtis Klause, Look for Me By Moonlight by Mary Downing Hahn, Companions of the Night by Vivian Vande Velde; manga and anime like Vampire Hunter D, Blood the Last Vampire, Vampire Knight, and Vassalord (one of my favs); films like 30 Days of Night, Queen of the Damned, I Am Legend, Underworld, Cirque du Freak,  Dracula 2000, Bordello of Blood (maybe I shouldn’t mention it…), Bram Stroker’s Dracula, a host of the classics thanks to my mom, and, I hate to mention it, Twilight (haven’t seen or read it, I refuse to actually, but I did watch Vampires Suck, lol, lol); and some from historical romance and contemporary paranormal romance novels too numerous to name (including but not limited to Teresa Medeiros and J. R. Ward *ewws*). You cannot forget that among the greatest vampire movies, I must add, are the Blade movies (though I have my issues with that Wesley Snipes after I found out about him abusing Halley Berry during their relationship, so disappointed) if only because the main vampire is Black and so very badass. Also there’s Vampire in Brooklyn, with Eddie Murphy (another problematic Black male celebrity/actor/comedian) though it seems to me that this movie is often forgotten (and maybe for good reason…?).

Laurell K. Hamilton’s ABHV series is probably one of the most interesting and ongoing paranormal series I have ever read though portrayals of people of color lycans and vampires and women frustrate me to no end; Hamilton is in no way free of guilt  in typecasting Black characters or excluding them altogether from the ABHV books in her heavy-handed exaggeration and perception of overrated white beauty. With the exception of Blade, most of the Black vampires I have ever read or seen are portrayed as villains or sidekick-movie extra-flunkies; this is true of both Eddie Murphy in Vampire in Brooklyn and Aaliyah as Akasha in Queen of the Damned (in the case of villains).

The only book I own that is about Black vampires is an anthology entitled Dark Thirst edited by Angela C. Allen. Out of fear of being disappointed, I never finished reading it and have had it for years. The tag on the front is by Tananarive Due and reads, “A shot of blood with a twist… Vampire mythology has crossed the color line for good.” I don’t really know how true that is and I have my doubts. Not enough published Black writers are on the market producing quality paranormal fiction. Paranormal fiction just seems beyond the Black imagination and as a paranormal/general literary fiction writer, I find that disappointing. At least it’s not very common or popular in the community as I know it. Are Black characters so poorly portrayed by writers like Laurell K. Hamilton because we as Black people do not imagine ourselves in this realm, or do we as a community view vampire stories as for “white folks” like so many other genres of writing and art? Are some things just plain anachronistic and countercultural to Black people that it manifests itself in their work which floods the writer’s market while Black writing remains a small, underrepresented, underfunded, and neglected niche? Or do most white writers just have a screwed up racist perception of Black people? I’ll write another in-depth post about this soon.

I am fascinated by all the types of vampires I’ve read about and seen, both the classical/quintessential and the newly crafted. I am particularly interested in the ones I myself am developing. I hope someday not to have to choose between the types when writing paranormal vampire work and am crafting a world where they all exist simultaneously. Sounds exciting, complicated, and like a lot of pints of blood, yes? ^_^

ever more creative,

Ms. Queenly

Toying with Whitness and ‘darkness’

Elia's Diamonds

One of the few books I ever pick up anymore is Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake series–and that’s saying something. As I get older, my tastes become more specific. I am less amused by the things that occupied me as a child and as a young adult, percieving them as a semi-exciting maze that has no other paths and leads eventually, always, to the same damn dead end produced by the publishing market.

This being said, I have yet to write about in detail Laurell K. Hamilton’s fixation, like most racist fetishist participating in racialized fetishism on the page, with paleness and whiteness as opposed to brownness and the so-called ‘darkness’. Hamilton’s Anita Blake is caught up in the racialized dualism of ‘darkness; and whiteness with little to no middle ground. I will suspend my belief in the concept of the willful muse to go so far as to say that Laurell K. Hamilton herself is trapped in the same dualism, seeing as how Anita comes out of her head: Anita is a reflection of the author’s own psyche.

Through Anita, Hamilton toys with the idea of brownness through summer tans and suggestions of “darker heritage’, but couches the entire story from the prospective of a woman who is half white and middleclass, with an angelic deceased Latina mother, a mean strict Catholic Latina grandmother, surrounded by her white lovers–a score of men telling her how beautful she is mostly because the women around her are either victims, “meat” for abuse and weak, tarts that just wanna start something with Anita, resources for Anita to learn for and therefore do not appear often (and nor are they called upon by Anita as allies regularly), or more evil, sadistic, and scary than Anita is and, therefore, must be killed. Examples are Vivian, Raina, the Mother of All Darkness, Jade, Belle Morte, Cherry, and so on and so forth. Infrequent characters like Sylvie (victimized by Hamilton as well) and Claudia being the exception (and still white and blond at that).

Hamilton spends all this time, all sixteen or so books, establishing Anita as a woman whose beauty lies merely in the suggestion of her ‘darker heritage’, when she herself is pasty pale, petite, and curly-haired and might as well be white. She toys with the idea of ‘darkness’ while never really presenting anybody besides minor characters like Raphael and Jamil as truly “dark” or ethnic, whatever that may mean. What is the (political) point of even building and portraying Anita as half Latina when she’s just going to play with the idea of her being Latina? You could easily swap her out for a white girl and there wouldn’t be that much of a difference. There’s no point in emphasizing her Latina heritage if all her worth is couched in her pale white skin. Her Latina blood is just something to eroticize and exotify.

Shoot, the only thing that’s Latina about Anita, as my friend who is Mexican would say, is her hair. Believe it.

I am sick of writers and the media couching racial commentary in multiracial and biracial terms, as if this is the only perspective valid enough to be represented because whites are more accepting of someone who is half white. Of course, not everyone who is multiracial or biracial is half white, that’s a given, but that’s the most common “combination” that gets recognized and fetishized.

Laurell K. Hamilton uses biraciality as a spring board to toy with color and brownness when in reality there are no main characters who are people of color. Everything and everyone is seamlessly and technically white. Everybody is white, even Anita, at the very least physically. And I think its because LKH knows that a person, particularly a woman, who is truly ethnically brown, or dare I say, Black even, would stick out like a sore thumb with all those pretty, pale, white Europeans that she’s crowded this story with.

Ever more real,

Ms. Queenly

Response to “Jay-Z ‘Can’t Believe’ Some of the Lyrics He’s Written” (via Yahoo Music Blogs)*

Originally posted and cross-posted @ Ms. Queenly’s. What I would like to do for this blog is look at some of Jay-Z lyrics, but I don’t have the patience for that sh*t right now…

Initial thoughts

I’ve been meaning to write this for a couple of months now. I read this article about Jay-Z  a while back and every time I think about it I get pissed off. Now that he’s a millionaire, money made off all that trash he spouted, he’s saying he regrets the lyrics of songs like “Big Pimpin'”–urggggggggghhhhhhhhh! PISSES ME OFF! He gets rich off degrading women and promoting materialism in the fucked up capitalist American economy and pushing the agenda of a” street mentality” lifestyle that he himself doesn’t lead and he ‘can’t believe’ some of the shit he’s said and rapped about?!

Jay-Z says, “Some [lyrics] become really profound when you see them in writing. Not ‘Big Pimpin’. That’s the exception”. Well, my “brotha”, if you look really hard you’ll see that it’s really messed up that this is how you made your fortune.

You can blame the people who bought his music in the first place. But you can’t deny the origin: Jay-Z himself and the record label that produced him and the society that supports and allows the record label’s existence.

You can’t talk about Jay-Z without talking about Beyoncé.

A match made in heaven: She’s a hoochie and he’s a (supposedly) recovering misogynist. These are two of the richest and most prominent Black people in the United States and maybe even the world. There is some question as to why that it. I’ll tell why it is in part: it’s because we live in a society that is permeated with ignorance and white dominance. The only way Black people can have anything in this country is by selling out their own people.

Another view–on the positive side, (if there even is one)

You could say Jay-Z has grown for the better. Better late than never. As for Beyoncé, there are people, women in particular, who dance like that. More power to them. It can be sexy, empowering, self-expressing when it’s not raunchy, tasteless, and/or underaged. It’s hard to say because all you see is her hip rolling, scantily clad, booty popping everything and everywhere. If not that, then she’s advertising something, or singing about her man and how she likes being a trophy bitch and finds that empowering.

I’m not gone lie, I’ve got a few Beyoncé songs on my iPod and at least one censored Jay-Z song (as if it makes a difference). I still listen to some of that shit. “Crazy in Love”, “Baby Boy”, “Me, Myself, and I”, “Diva”, even “Put a Ring on It” because of that catchy hook. Because I’m ashamed, I won’t say which Jay-Z song, though I will say that it isn’t the worst. Did I pay for any of them? NO WAY!

Positivity aside–reality

So Jay-Z has had an epiphany. Great….but too late. The damage has been done, the idiot. Beyoncé–that’s whole other discussion for a whole different day coming sometime in the future.

At the end of the day, they gone do what they do and I’mma think what I think about what they do as Black  public icons.

Forever real,

Ms. Queenly