About

reformed

adjective [before noun]     /rɪˈfɔːmd/ US  /-ˈfɔːrmd/

› (especially of a personchanged and improved because of no longer doing something harmful

coconut

n. a person who is tan on the outside (mexican, indian, philipino) and white on the inside

I am young, South African, a woman and black. Growing up I was always called a ‘coconut’ and often made to feel as though I was not ‘black enough’ (whatever that means) mainly due to my upbringing, the way I articulate myself, my ‘perceived’ lack of cultural awareness, knowledge and the unwillingness to adopt certain practices into my life. This has always been considered ‘harmful’ to my understanding of my cultural identity and embracing of my ‘blackness’ and ‘essence’.

I’ve always wondered what it truly means to be black and conscious, often reading about and exploring all the ways that music, fashion, art, entertainment, politics, history and economics define ‘blackness’ as well as all the ways that they contradict the very definition they put forward.

I also wonder about racism, prejudice, patriarchy, feminism/womanism and to what extent I have internalized ‘white supremacy’ and ‘eurocentric’ ideologies. Do I really hide behind my ‘light skinned privilege’? Does it really even exist in the context of being a South African woman? If I become ‘afrocentric’ will I then be ‘really black’ and conscious? Does it even matter in the long run? Does it matter that I have ‘colored’ blood? Does it technically make me ‘mixed race’?

I like to think about these things. I like to read about these things. Now I want to write about them.

Thank you for joining me. I hope you like what you see. 🙂

R.C

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