Is America Really Celebrating the Chocolate?

NEWSWEEK DEC. 1 COVER

In a recent Newsweek cover article by Allison Samuels, she said the following about Michelle Obama:

“As my brunch friends and I continued talking about Michelle, our conversation wandered into one area we seldom discuss, even among our families and closest confidantes. Michelle is not only African-American, but brown. Real brown. In an era when beauty is often defined on television, in magazines and in movies as fair or white skin, long straight hair and keen features, Michelle looks nothing like the supermodels who rule the catwalks or the porcelain-faced actresses who hawk must-have cosmetics. Yet now she’s going to grace the March cover of Vogue magazine–the ultimate affirmation of beauty.

 Who and what is beautiful has long been a source of pain, anger and frustration in the African-American community. In too many cases, beauty for black women (and even black men) has meant fair skin, “good hair” and dainty facial features. Over the years, African-American icons like Lena Horne, Dorothy Dandridge, Halle Berry and Beyoncé–while beautiful and talented–haven’t exactly represented the diversity of complexions and features of most black women in this country.

 That limited scope has had a profound effect on the self-esteem of many African-American women, including me. “When I see Michelle Obama on the cover of magazines and on TV shows, I think, Wow, look at her and her brown skin,” said Charisse Hollands, a 30-year-old mail carrier from Inglewood, Calif., with flawless ebony skin. “And I don’t mean any disrespect to my sisters who aren’t dark brown, but gee, it’s nice to see a brown girl get some attention and be called beautiful by the world. That just doesn’t happen a lot, and our little girls need to see that–my little girl needs to see it.”

Michelle Obama is truly a representation of all of us.  She’s downhome and regular…she’s educated and sophisticated.  She’s a mother and a wife, a lawyer and an orator.  She’s just as comfortable in a suit as she is in some sweats.  She’s beautiful, she’s brown, and she has a booty (can I get an amen?)  I only have one thing to say…BLACK IS BACK!!!!! [Michael Shaw – Huffington Post]

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4 Responses to “Is America Really Celebrating the Chocolate?”

  1. I am sooooo happy that Michelle is a beautiful brown sister too. My dad and I commented on that, with glee, over a year ago. The fact the Barack married a woman “of color” who he is crazy about made us want to vote for him even more. He shows the world that she is a lady and she is desirable and she do not fit the mold.

    I am not dark but I have always hated and resented “colorism” within our race. My 7 year old daughter is dark, with rounded featured and absolutely gorgeous! My parents taught my sisters and me that color holds no intrensic value in who or what you are. I am teaching my sweetie the same. She is a princess and deserves to be treated as one. She is not spoiled or arrogant. She is kind and loving and has a quiet confidence about herself. That is what I see in Michelle Obama. I pray that many other girls and women will learn that from her.

    My dad said after the election, “maybe because of Barack and Michelle black men will start valuing and marring black women again.” Amen Daddy.

  2. Dear Allison:

    I have loved your articles about Michelle Obama–and Newsweek’s prominent coverage of our First Family. Great work. It feels SO good to read these insightful and positive articles!

  3. Jennifer Says:

    I like the phenomenon Michele Obama because she give a « colored sense » to everything she does, and people start to do that for her, by example; in June in Paris the French president give to her an “Anti it-bag” from Stéphanie Césaire a delicious handbags designer from French west Indies origin (like Aimé Césaire the poetry) a sister which have an handbag shop in Paris, black is back in the world too…

  4. AppalledinAmerica001 Says:

    Know why the majority of magizines have white folks on the cover to accompany articles written by white folks to be read by anybody with green money are this way?

    Know why the few magizines who have minorities on their cover written by anybody for the hip-hop generation only to read are this way?

    Answer is the same because of the owner.

    Stop blaming the white people. If we want more of us on the cover– then we need our neighbors with lucrative residual income to invest in our neighborhoods. We need publication companies not just record label! We need them open business other than a franchise– the ultimate pyramid scheme. We need them to hire qualified people to take the business to the next level, not just hire their home boys, baby mommas, and booty calls.

    If we want the world to take us serious, like they take President and First Lady Obama– then we need to all follow in their shoe steps. Take notice of their comand of our lauguage, how they handle conflict, how they have each others back, how their public and private images are similar, how they cause no drama, but do swiftly end it.

    I do not know too many big Mommas like Mrs. Michelle Obama. The ones I know try to party with and dress like their kids, and a few even want to sleep with their kids friends and smoke weed with them too.

    Thank goodness the Obamas are reminding all of America, not just black–or whatever word makes your fragile ego feel good– but, all people of the world, to embrace these positive people that generate hope and goodwill, with their high standards and morals. ITS not the color– but the content!

    Some of you maybe surprised at the true demographics of DC. Just visit. It was this way prior to the Obamas. Our forefathers invented and accomplished much. They work with their hands and back to culivate dreams to reality. Lets not loose that power of accomplishing through hard work with our hands. No one helped the, or gave them instructions, or a cheat sheet. They imagined and created! Most millioniares all work with their hands and on their feet! Doctors, lawyers, dentist, speakers, actors, ranchers and farmers (yes farmer are muli-millionaires!!), chefs, professors… rappers… profession NFL, NBA, MLB, and NHL athletes… and who ever else— they work! The cream rises to the top–and history is wrote.

    Just something to chew on.

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