I’m overjoyed my daughter loves her hair. I’m afraid there will come a day when she tells me she wishes it were long, straight, and yellow.
  • I’m overjoyed my daughter loves her hair. I’m afraid there will come a day when she tells me she wishes it were long, straight, and yellow.
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My three-year-old daughter has a beautiful Afro. It’s big and round (unless she’s leaned back in her car seat and flattened it), and most importantly, she loves it. After I use the pick to roundify it, I adorn it with one of the brightly colored headbands I purchased at the Rite Aid on Adams Avenue ($4.99 for a pack of six). My daughter runs to the full-length mirror in my bedroom, where she dances and sings, “I’m a princess! Shake your booty!”

Delicia and husband Jerry with their son August and 
daughter Zoe on their balcony overlooking Mission Bay.

Delicia and husband Jerry with their son August and daughter Zoe on their balcony overlooking Mission Bay.

I’m overjoyed that she loves her hair. I’m also afraid there will come a day when she tells me she wishes it were long, straight, and yellow.

Yesterday, on the way to her gymnastics class at the Toby Wells YMCA in Kearny Mesa, we saw a little girl with Afro puffs on both sides of her head walking through the parking lot hand-in-hand with her mother. My daughter pointed and shouted, “Look, Mommy! She looks like me!”

And a month or so ago, on a walk through Bird Rock, we saw a black woman with a mass of curly hair ride past on a bicycle. That day, too, my daughter pointed and said, “Look, Mommy! She has hair just like you!”

Ten-year-old Matthew Thomas gets his precision haircut at Milton’s barbershop in North Park.

Ten-year-old Matthew Thomas gets his precision haircut at Milton’s barbershop in North Park.

I have to control an impulse to run after these people, to ask them to come and populate our world. Back in March, when two little black girls showed up at the ballet class my daughter takes at the YMCA in Chula Vista, I went out of my way to introduce myself to their mothers. I probably came off as an eager beaver.

My husband and I have had a thousand conversations about whether we should move our family to New Orleans, where he grew up and where the majority of his gigantic family still resides. Our recent move from City Heights to Eastlake has both postponed that conversation and made it more poignant — postponed because we’ve purchased a house, poignant because Eastlake isn’t exactly Diversity Central.

Customers at Milton’s barbershop joke, rib each other, 
and sometimes talk seriously.

Customers at Milton’s barbershop joke, rib each other, and sometimes talk seriously.

A few weeks ago, my husband had a talk with J, our 14-year-old son. “The only people who romanticize the ghetto,” my husband told him, “are those who have the option of not living there. If I win the lottery, you think I’m going to buy a house in Southeast San Diego, just because there are other black people living there? Hell, no. I’m going to buy a house with an ocean view in La Jolla. You know why? Not because I want to be white or because I’m not proud of who I am. I’m gonna buy a house there because that’s where the ocean view is.”

That sums up our move to Eastlake — we wanted all the view and the square footage our money could buy. And while I love the handful of options for strip-mall sushi here, I miss the taco shops and Somali restaurants around the corner from our old place in City Heights. Every option has pros and cons. We knew this before we moved.

I drive 50 miles to get my daughter to and from her preschool in Kearny Mesa each day. While she’s there, I do my work at coffee shops. My husband reminds me that I could add a useful hour to my workday (it might allow me to get the exercise I complain I have no time for) if I put her in a school closer to home, but I want to maintain a connection with San Diego’s urban experience: coffee and stewed goat meat in City Heights, craft beer and gourmet soup in North Park, green tea and mochi in Kearny Mesa.

San Diego’s populations are segregated, but some schools here are more diverse than any I saw during my years in New York. I might have happy visions of my daughter walking to a neighborhood school with friends, the way I did growing up, but the place I have my sights set on for her, once she’s of age, is a Chinese-language immersion school, where the population is 40 percent Hispanic, 22 percent white, 16 percent African-American, and 6.5 percent Asian. Her friends will be Ethiopian, Korean, and Mexican. Some will have hair just like hers.

I’m Oozing Geometry

Late one afternoon in April, I’m at my friend Delicia’s apartment in Bay Park, where she lives with her family. Out the living room’s sliding-glass, past the lime tree and jalapeño peppers growing on the balcony, stretches a wide view of Mission Bay. We’re sitting around the table with her husband, Jerry, and their two kids. The subject of school comes up.

August and Zoe, who call themselves Halfrican-American because their mom is black and their dad white, started their school years at Pacific Beach Elementary. They represented half the school’s black population.

“At Pacific Beach, there were no completely black people,” Zoe clarifies.

My daughter has yet to meet Zoe, but when she does, I know she’ll be smitten. At age nine, the girl is all drama, as hyper-talkative and bubbly as her 13-year-old brother August is careful and reserved. At one point, when I tell Zoe she’s cute, she responds, “I know.” Delicia looks at me, eyebrows raised. “See what I have to deal with?” she says.

Today, the top layer of Zoe’s hair is a combination of cornrows and straight. A few days from now, she’ll wear a curly ponytail. The last time I saw her, all of it hung down in waves.

“There were four,” Jerry says, meaning the total number of black students at Pacific Beach Elementary. “I saw the data, and there were four. All of them were half-black. The black achievement at that school was off the charts. They all got good grades. The black achievement outpaced all others.”

The family calls up memories of the other black kids: Sammy with the Afro and some kid with dreads that Zoe can barely remember. There might once have been a fifth child, Joquan…something.

August and Zoe left that school two years ago, and August recently finished seventh grade at Millennial Tech Middle School in Southeast San Diego, off Euclid and Market. He chose it for its robotics program; he’s already weighing options for high-school robotics.

The year August began middle school, Delicia enrolled Zoe at Valencia Park, a K–5 dance-and-drama magnet school, two miles away. The population at Millennial Tech is 41 percent African-American, 37 percent Hispanic, 11 percent white, and 11 percent “other.” At Valencia Park, those numbers are 37.5 percent African-American, 42 percent Hispanic, 4.9 percent white, 6.8 percent Laotian, and 4.9 percent Filipino.

When I ask if these demographics make a difference, Delicia says yes without hesitation. “They’re used to it now, but when we took August to visit, he was, like, ‘Oh, my God, there are so many black kids here.’ I think it’s important for him to know he’s not the only smart black kid in San Diego.”

I glance at August, who’s been sitting quietly in his seat. His expression is as straight as his spine.

Of her daughter, Delicia says, “No matter where Zoe is, she’s popular, because she’s friendly and she talks a lot. But I also think it’s important for her to be in a place where she’s not exotic, where she’s just one of the girls.”

Zoe just completed fourth grade, where she had her first black teacher.

“It’s the small things,” Delicia says. “Like, when Zoe did a project about ‘What’s your favorite food that boils in water,’ and Zoe wrote ‘grits.’ Her teacher gets that,” Delicia laughs.

“Yeah,” Zoe says. “Mrs. Crockett told another teacher that I’m a little Southern girl, because I’m always talking about how I love grits, because grits are awesome.”

“My Southern California Southern girl,” Delicia says.

Mrs. Crockett, they tell me, is responsible for stimulating Zoe’s love of math, where she used to feel only fear. Now, her confidence in the subject rivals her confidence in most other areas of her life.

“I’m oozing geometry,” Zoe declares.

How does she feel about her new school, in general?

“At my old school, people weren’t into as many things as they are at the school I go to now.”

For instance?

“I mean, like, at recess, basically. Because academically, it’s pretty much the same to me.”

How are they different at recess?

Zoe sighs. She slides her elbows down the table, until her chin is resting on it.

Suddenly, she sits up.

“I know!” she says. “Before I went to Valencia Park, I never tried Hot Cheetos, because I thought they were going to be too hot. Now I love spicy food!”

This inspires Jerry to remark on the “army of ice-cream and snack trucks that descend on the school” as soon as the last bell rings.

August waits patiently for his turn to speak. Or maybe he’s just waiting patiently, in general. Zoe again spills herself over the table. August, the dry noodle to her wet one, the starched collar to her loosie-goose, retains his impeccable posture.

“I don’t see much of a difference,” he says of the demographics at Millennial Tech versus those at Pacific Beach Elementary, “because I see people as people. I appreciate that some people like to celebrate their culture. I’m not really one of those people to say ‘I’m black and I’m proud and saying it out loud.’ Because I don’t really think about my race unless prompted to.”

It would be easy to assume that August feels this conversation is a waste of his time, but I also sense a goofy kid below the surface of his serious faÇade.

Delicia confirms this hunch. She shows me a photo of what the family lovingly refers to as “Auggie’s Afro.” In the photo, August is hamming it up. The large, full, mass of curls that grows up from his scalp and hangs down over his eyes adds volume to the…ham. That mass of hair has since been replaced by a shorter version, which Delicia informs me was a punishment — “because he doesn’t care about anything else.”

Jerry admits that he’s happy with the kids’ change of schools, partly because he is more comfortable in the kind of working-class community he grew up in. He also says he likes having the kids in schools with larger black populations, especially August, because as the boy continues to pursue math and robotics, his school world will get whiter and whiter.

“He’s going to get plenty of that,” Jerry says. “I’m happy to have him around more black kids, and [I want him] to go visit his cousins in Texas more often, so he can know more about the world from their perspective.”

“Our cousins,” Zoe says, “who watch VH1 every morning.”

Delicia tells the story of a friend of hers who grew up in San Diego, a black woman who left home and went to Spelman, a historically black college for women in Atlanta.

“Her friends were, like, ‘Who the hell is AC/DC?’” Delicia says, laughing.

Which moves the conversation on to music. Zoe lists LMFAO, Bruno Mars, Jill Scott, and Pink among her favorites. August doesn’t get excited about any of it.

“I don’t really listen to music,” he says.

“He likes NPR,” Zoe says.

Us and Them

When people find out I’m from Idaho, they usually respond in one of four ways. For each of the four I have a response.

Them: “Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!”

Me: A patient smile until the laughing stops.

Them: “There are black people in Idaho?”

Me: “Not anymore. I left.”

Them: “I’ve never met anyone from Idaho before.”

Me: “Well, now you have.”

Them: “That must’ve been hard.”

Me: “It was what it was.”

It took me years to get to the place where I could sum up my childhood — I am biracial, adopted by a white family — as “it was what it was.” And while I believe it “made me the woman I am today” (and so on), I wouldn’t mind sparing my kids the self-doubt.

The other day over lunch, Delicia, who grew up as “The Preacher’s Kid,” told me a story about coming home from school and using “the teachers are prejudiced” as an excuse not to participate in something or other. She’d heard her friends say it. But her father looked at her, and he said, “So what?” In the end, “Why would you let that stop you?” was the message she internalized.

My husband, who comes from a family of Black Power activists, tells similar stories about his upbringing. Both he and Delicia grew up in solid black communities that fostered such a strong sense of self that, by the time they ventured outside of those communities, they were able to handle whatever came at them with self-image intact. What’s equally true is that neither Delicia nor my husband had significant contact with anyone who wasn’t black until they were teenagers.

This is not the case with our family.

Raising our two kids, my husband and I help each other keep the projection in check: I remind him that just because he’s a social recluse, it doesn’t mean our son won’t need the company of his peers; he reminds me that just because I had a major racial identity crisis, it doesn’t mean our daughter will.

I do take some cues from our 14-year-old son. He’s having a difficult time adjusting to life in Eastlake.

J wears his hair in waves. When you’re a kid who irons your T-shirts and jeans before hanging them in the closet, keeping your waves neat and your edges sharp requires regular visits to the barber. When we lived in City Heights, he could take his allowance and walk up to Big Boi’s on the corner of Euclid and University. Here, that’s not an option.

He says that no one in Eastlake knows how to do his hair. But because it’s a long drive, my husband is only willing to take him to City Heights when he has business in that direction. Even then, he’s not willing to wait the two hours it might take for J’s favorite barber to fit him in. So, J has to take whichever chair is empty. Last time, that didn’t work out very well; the new guy made such a mess of J’s hair, he fumed about it all day.

The first time I took him to my friend Milton’s barbershop at El Cajon and Utah, he left happy. At Milton’s, while the men wait to get their hair done or their faces shaved, they sit around and talk mess. Those in the chairs join in. The men joke, they rib each other, sometimes they get serious. That day, Joe did J’s hair. J listened as the guy in Milton’s chair waxed poetic about the Black Holocaust perpetuated by Planned Parenthood. Not only did J leave with his hair so fresh and so clean clean, he came out with an education on one man’s favorite conspiracy theory.

“You know how people say things that sound crazy,” he said in the car on the way home, “but then they explain it, and it kinda makes sense?” He went on to explain what he’d meant a few days earlier, when he’d told me that some of the black kids at Eastlake Middle don’t “act black.”

“They don’t seem to care about being black. And, like, if there’s someone black on American Idol, or whatever, they join all the white kids and make fun of them. You know? But I guess they’re just a product of their environment, or whatever.”

Or maybe they don’t have a barber like Milton or Joe.

J talks a lot about us and them. When I ask what else is different between Eastlake Middle School (with a 5.7 percent population of black students) and the School of Creative and Performing Arts (his former school, which is 17 percent black), he reminds me that, because SCPA is a magnet school, the kids came from all over the city. At Eastlake, they’re almost all from the suburbs.

J’s two closest friends at his new school are a pair of brothers who moved from Skyline to Eastlake right around the same time we did. They have two different takes on the experience. J summed them up for me: one says, “It’s like our environment changed, but we don’t want to”; the other says, “If I have to be here for the next four years, I’m going to make the most of it.”

As uncomfortable as J is in Eastlake, he thinks it’s a better environment for his sister to grow up in than City Heights.

“But I don’t want her to grow up and be bourgie,” he says. “I don’t want her to look down on people.”

I get that.

I don’t want it, either.

Scarier was the day when J said in passing (paraphrased here by my husband): “The white girls like the black guys, and the Mexican girls like the black guys, and the Filipino girls like the black guys. And the black guys like them, too. But no one likes the black girls.”

At which point, my husband and I had a discussion about whether the kids should attend school in Eastlake. Maybe we should pack up and head back to New Orleans, the way my husband’s sister did after two years in San Diego.

When she left, she told me, “I need to get back to where the men appreciate how fine I am.”

I’m Not Here for Jesus…

Ten-year-old Matthew Thomas and his father Don live in San Carlos, a neighborhood north of La Mesa, west of El Cajon. One of the first things I ask is if San Carlos has a large black population. Both answer no. When I ask Matthew if being surrounded by a large black community matters to him, he says, “Sort of, yes, but not necessarily. I’m into a lot of cultures [from] all over the world.”

We’re sitting at a plastic folding table in a quiet, empty room at the Mount Erie Christian Academy on 47th Street in Southeast San Diego. Matthew maintains eye contact and speaks intelligently and easily, as if he’s practiced at conversing with adults. At the same time, he exposes his nervousness by kneading his legs with both hands.

“Also,” he says, “I have a lot of friends here [in San Diego] that are white. I’ve [learned] about their culture, too. I have these neighbors who live right across the street from us, who are Jewish. When our children’s church celebrated Passover, I was ahead of them, because I already knew a little bit about it.”

Mr. Thomas, who grew up in Macon, Georgia, smiles at his son. The biggest difference he sees between his childhood environment and his son’s is the absence of emphasis on “manners” and “civility.” Yet it’s apparent — from Matthew’s firm handshake and the unprompted “It’s very nice to meet you” — that Mr. and Mrs. Thomas have instilled those values at home.

Matthew is in the fourth grade at Benchley-Weinberger Elementary, a school with a black population he can count on his fingers.

“One, two, three…” he says, looking up at the ceiling. “Approximately six. That I know of. Four males and two females.”

Does it bother him that the number’s so low?

“Not really, because even though they don’t have a big population of blacks there, they have a lot of programs that volunteer at the school. Like, there was one where…you wrote an essay about black history. If you got first place, you got $100. Second place, I think, was $75, and third place, $50. I won first place last year.”

Mr. Thomas (not quite beaming, but close) informs me that the contest was sponsored by “the Deltas,” of the Delta Sigma Theta sorority.

“I wrote about Dr. Ben Carson,” Matthew says, “the first man ever to disconnect Siamese twins.”

It’s because of Matthew that I decide to attend a service at Mount Erie Baptist Church. He says he spends upwards of five hours a week there. It occurs to me that maybe those five hours (along with visits to Milton’s barbershop) help make his school life “it is what it is,” rather than a place where he suffers in the absence of something vital.

On the Sunday following my conversation with Matthew and his dad, I step over the shattered glass of the bus shelter’s advertisement board and head up a steep drive to a peach-colored stucco church. Gospel music had been barely audible from the sidewalk at the corner of Ocean Boulevard and South 47th, but as I enter the building and make my way down a corridor, it grows ever more loud. It’s just after 11:00 a.m. and at least 80 degrees. By the time I climb the stairs and find a seat in the church’s balcony, I’m sweating in my Sunday best.

I look around and remember something Delicia once told me: she and Jerry were living in New York when he was accepted to grad school at UCSD, and in anticipation of the move, Delicia called a white friend who’d grown up in San Diego. She asked if there were any black people here. The woman hesitated, then said, “Yes, I think so.”

And here I am now, among hundreds of people with skin in various shades of brown. I can’t see every person in this church, but I wouldn’t be surprised if there wasn’t a single white, Asian, or Hispanic. No doubt about it, this is a black church.

Ushers in black pants, white shirts, and white gloves stand in the doorways. Up front, below confetti-colored stained-glass windows, the choir, dressed in navy-blue robes with yellow sleeves, sings a song that must be called “How Great Is Our God?,” since that’s the line that is repeated over and over. The voices are accompanied by an organ and drums. Some in the congregation sit; others stand and sway to the music.

All around me, women cool themselves with paper fans, some printed with the slogan: “Stand up and be counted in the 2010 Census.” The women are dressed in everything from hats and freshly pressed church clothes to fashionably shredded jeans. They wear their hair in dreads, Afro-ponytails, straight page-boys, all kinds of extensions, lots of flower adornments. There’s a little bit of everything.

The young male usher in the balcony wears the sides of his head shaved; the middle stands up in a combed-out Afro-mohawk.

“How great is our God?” the choir sings. “How great is our God!”

Two rows in front of me, a can’t-be-more-than-25-year-old woman in a floral print dress is on her feet, both hands in the air and her head bowed. She sways to the music, casting her eyes to the ceiling every now and again. To my left, another young woman sits quietly with her eyes closed. Directly in front of her, a woman twice her age, wearing a crocheted top and purple feather earrings, dabs at her eyes with her fingertips. I can’t tell if she’s crying, but this would be the place to do it. Everyone seems to be having an individual spiritual experience.

Although I have no religious affiliation, or aspirations, I can see coming back. The music is good, the atmosphere lively, the community solid.

My only fear about occasionally bringing my outspoken young daughter with me is that one day in Sunday school she might say, “Oh, I’m not here for Jesus. My mommy just wants me to love my hair.”

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ccastellanos July 11, 2012 @ 10:26 p.m.

I have read this article over and over trying to figure out how the cover page has anything to do with the content of the article? With that being said I would also like to know where the information was gathered to write the assumption that nobody likes the black girls? You know what happens when you ASSume?! I am extremely offended with the cover page and the message that it sends. Its seems as though your statement was more of an opinion and less of educated researched topic of discussion. To be completely honest it is a reality check for those people who believe that we have made so much progress and that racism doesn't exist. Well your cover page just made it painfully obvious that the color lines are still present in 2012! To the author of the cover page I would invite you to take your blinders off and realize that there are more non-black men who are interested in black women than you may think. Let me also refresh your memory to slavery times when there were more slave owners who were trying to get a lot more than a good servant from the women he purchased.


Double July 13, 2012 @ 2:28 a.m.

I agree the article has little to do with the what was said on the cover?? But you know there is truth to the statement... that's why you read it as I did!!


lorraineellaaldridge July 23, 2012 @ 7:49 a.m.

I agree, after reading the blurb on the cover I expected something entirely different. But truth be told, I probably wouldn't have been as interested had the title and soundbite been less deceiving.


sweetbrnback01 July 13, 2012 @ 3:59 p.m.

ccastellanos ,I am with you on this I seen this the cover on FB and got upset becouse I know that is was a unture statement and I to was offended the frist thought that came to my mind was that it was propaganda and it hurt my heart that they would stoop so low to get someone to read the article and those that just look at the cover and believe it !


lizaplummer July 18, 2012 @ 5:13 p.m.

I agree. The cover is sad misrepresentation of Salaam's article, meant to capitalize on the current Earth vs. Black Women media frenzy. I'm going on the record as having said The Reader should do better. I used to love this magazine when I lived in San Diego. Pretty disappointed.


Teresa Shonda July 12, 2012 @ 9:40 a.m.

I read this whole article as well, and didn't see any point to the blurb on the cover that said nobody likes Black girls...This upset a lot of my friends yesterday on FB, including me. I have many Black girl friends that only date White men or non Black men exclusively, and the majority of men that approach me to ask me out are non Black. Black women have always been hated by our society and media, yet we have so many other races plumping up their lips with fillers, tanning their skin, making their hair curly, and even getting butt implants to get curves that most Black women have naturally. I'm tired of people perpetuating the stereo type that Black women are not beautiful and nobody likes them. This is completely false. Black women are beautiful and strong women that many men are too intimidated by to approach because we are so confident. Too bad for us we're so strong and beautiful I guess.


Teresa Shonda July 12, 2012 @ 10:41 a.m.

In addition, I think it's up to parents of all colors to teach thier kids to appreciate all races and ethnicities. The media is not helping by making negative images of Black woman, and other races, and teenagers like J are easily influenced by the media. Teenagers want to be liked, and are followers, (like making fun of the Black American idol contestants) so parents need to teach them to be leaders and not to be closed minded. If they were educated by the schools on our history from slavery to freedom, and learned our accomplishments and success, maybe they would have a better understanding of why we are so hated and treated negatively.

-A Black woman in San Diego that Black and Non-Black men like


jka816 July 12, 2012 @ 10:28 a.m.

Nothing like poor choice in quote selection to get folks talking! JEEZ I'm not sure it was a fair choice,for the author or the young man that made the statement, to use that quote in such a manner that is misleading and taken out of context. Don't editors & journalists have a code of ethics or a sense of social responsibility?


lghouse July 17, 2012 @ 6:10 a.m.

I agree, that was a poor choice of quote. It was taken totally out of context. But I also fault the author for not having a clear direction for this article. It's all over the place and I kept trying to figure out how to tie in what I was reading with the title and the quote. What's worse, there was no explanation for why the young man made that statement. It's understood he wants his sister to be in an environment that is supportive of her, but what made him make that statement? Did the author not ask him to elaborate? The entire article was pretty surface, as there were many points that needed to be elaborated on.


kymmiethewriter July 12, 2012 @ 10:40 a.m.

Hm, not only is your article completely lackluster, but obviously the cover title is ridiculous and idiotic as well.

Now, my question is...how do the two correlate? You sat up one night and said "hmmm, how should I introduce people to my new article entry? I need something that would stand out. I know! I'll put something ignorant on there! That will get people to support my work! :D"

To print something like this, says a lot about you. Says a lot about the paper you write for. I will never support this publication, EVER, and I will be making noise to ensure others don't either.


Siobhan Braun July 12, 2012 @ 12:10 p.m.

Writers have no control over the cover art or quotes pulled to go along with their articles. The cover quote is one sentence taken out of a lengthy article. I thought Elizabeth did a beautiful job on this piece.


CaliGal July 12, 2012 @ 12:33 p.m.

Siobhan, please explain how Elizabeth did a good job on this piece? Offensive cover quote aside, the article seemed to have no real point. She started with discussing how excited her daughter gets when she sees other women with a similar hair texture. Then she goes on to explain (at length) how certain areas of San Diego are more diverse than others. Finally, she concludes with a mini-biography of her close friend Delicia and her mixed-race family.

What was the purpose of the article?


citizenkurt July 12, 2012 @ 4:17 p.m.

Does every article need a purpose? Cant something just be fun and light? Y'all so serious!!


Teresa Shonda July 12, 2012 @ 3:02 p.m.

Even if it's one piece taken out of a lengthy article, the point is, it’s not relevant. If you're going to have a small sentence like that on the front of a magazine for the world to see, it needs to be a topic or at least tie in to the story. So evidently The Reader put this on the cover to try to offend Black girls, because if they would have read this article, they would have used a sentence more related to this story, not "Nobody likes Black girls" Foolishness.


ofromva July 17, 2012 @ 2:37 a.m.

i agree. It was an interesting anecdote and analysis of the writer's concerns


sdhef July 12, 2012 @ 1:50 p.m.

What was the purpose of this article? Terrible job by E. Salaam and terrible job by The Reader. I feel offended by the cover and annoyed I wasted my time with this horribly written article.


audrakimble July 12, 2012 @ 2 p.m.

As a black woman, formerly a black girl, I was extremely offended by the cover and title. It is disgusting that the reader would put out anything that offensive. It does show how the color of a person's skin or the type of hair associated with their race still matters greatly in this country. Whether or not E. Salaam had control over the cover, she did have control over writing that article that lacked any substance.


ReeW July 12, 2012 @ 2:39 p.m.

I really found this article simply a muddled mess of foolishness. I am the product of a white father and a black mother and let me tell you this, my mother made sure that I was a woman who possessed strength that stemmed from the love of self. My mother didn't look for validation for her choices or make excuses for them either. As the mother of what appears to be two bi racial children, I suggest that you and your husband get over the fad of being a mixed raced couple, living in Eastlake and pay attention to the messages that you are sending your children. Unfortunately, I believe that the messages that your children will get will be as mixed up and non sensical as this "story". As the parents of bi racial children, teaching them to run away from that portion of their DNA which will be the most prominent, is pathetic and you as a black woman should be ashamed of yourself. Prepare your children for the real world that they will have to exist in, the real world that will see their blackness and never acknowledge the bit of white that attempts to peek through.


citizenkurt July 12, 2012 @ 4:16 p.m.

I thought it was just fun.. and since everyone feels like they need to announce who they are, Im a big white homo!! Lighten up!!


Frog13 July 13, 2012 @ 8:01 a.m.

And sooo let's say we exchange the last sentence to "no one likes homosexuals" how would that make you feel? You would probably be outraged. Don't feed me any oh I would have laughed because that's highly unlikely.


ofromva July 17, 2012 @ 2:39 a.m.

not everyone gets angered by people saying that they dont like them. lol. I would shrug if someone says "No one likes Black men". Or i might say "Hey. thats probly true. But im not every Black man."


violadace July 12, 2012 @ 4:46 p.m.

I have to agree that I'm not sure what this story is about-- except a lot of public soul-searching. It's one thing to use yourself as a subject, but using your children's experiences to explore your own issues about race seems exploitative to me as a mom. Next time consider more real research and a clearer topic. (And I would make sure my daughter NEVER saw the cover of this story. )


sulamita July 13, 2012 @ 2:55 p.m.

I agree, I think she is the one that is having issues. I am mix race as well, and I have never feel as free to have my hair as puff as I am right now, all the time, everywhere.


jayek July 13, 2012 @ 6:56 p.m.

No one needed to see this article!! I found it very offensive!!


EmpowHer July 12, 2012 @ 5:16 p.m.

I am not sure how this article is "fun"...it must be due to one's inability to see this story through a lens other than their own...and to tell everyone to calm down is simply insane when it comes to deep sensitive social issues and HISTORY...especially when it hits a nerve that is FOREVER being hit while simultaneously individuals and organizations work diligently to try to OVERCOME such nonsense over and over again. Trust, if you were a "black" girl...the cover of this month's issue would lead you to feel as if, once AGAIN, society has announced that they think something is WRONG with you...it stems from a long bloodline of painful memories related to racism, sexism and those who still think this does not exist. Whether covert or overt, and yes, even one who is "black" can have this mentality. The part that is most hurtful is that the writer somehow may feel that she has enlightened us with a series of experiences, using her children to keep this topic as "light" as possible (although I actually appreciate their honesty and observations just not the way the ADULTS used it), but it is obvious that a true sense of culture has been stripped away by what they have managed to accomplish (not taking anything away from the accomplishments, just saying)...and using Southeast as a basis for, and apparently the only place, "where you can find your roots" in San Diego is ignorant. Culture is everywhere, Honey...and there is ONLY one race and that's the HUMAN RACE. Yes, there are other "smart black kids" in San Diego and some of them live in Southeast...you can also pick up a book, or visit a museum, or look up some of the people who invented some of the products you're using. Anyway, without going to town on this article because I do speak this in LOVE...the cover was very misleading and the article truly let us know that we still have a long way to go.


pretinhasd July 12, 2012 @ 8:12 p.m.

First of all.. to say lighten up by another comment is clearly missing the point. To say that this person wrote a great article or that perhaps there something was taken out of context and the writer has no control over what is on the cover is completely irrevelant. The point is it was irrespoinsible for editor of this publication. The cover simply insites a whole host of misconceptions. Even if the cover was meant to create a shock factor for people to read the magazine is inexcusable. I get it but not socially responsible. There is freedom of speech, but there is also I feel a journalistic responsibilty to be conscious of the information you are disseminating and the message it sends. I believe there should be an embarrasment that there should be such carelessness with the cover and then to follow that up with fact that article was not only irrevelant but poorly written. I am not one to bash anyone, but facts are facts...it was not a quality piece and was difficult to follow and understand it's message.It was personal opinion that could and should have been in a blog. Not in the Reader. I was waiting for it to make some sense or disprove me from believing that the offensive cover was a complete misleading slap in the face of all black women. I am extremely dissapointed that the Reader is this desperate to have a piece fill their paper or rally readers. Someone thought this was an insighful thought provoking cover and article. Well they were wrong. Couldn't be further from the truth. Thank you for continuing the ignorance. There is no need to defend the beauty of black women. Let it speak for itself and with that said there is no need for this paper to take it in it's own hands to address this issue since obviouslythey are ill equipped. Stick to current events, restaurant reviews, and botox ads.


archer July 13, 2012 @ 1:32 a.m.

insult to injury; a white homosexual male is telling black women to chill and that it's all just "fun" having a blurb on the cover of a publication widely circulated in places where young black girls will be naturally drawn to the photo, then assaulted by the text. unbelievable.

comment on something you have a clue about.


Jargoon July 13, 2012 @ 4:39 a.m.

This article kind of reads more like a diary entry than anything. Being mixed-race myself, and having lived for a few years in a 99% white area, I can see where this article could have made some excellent points. It didn't, though.


sulamita July 13, 2012 @ 2:48 p.m.

"I’m overjoyed that she loves her hair. I’m also afraid there will come a day when she tells me she wishes it were long, straight, and yellow"

Why do I think she is the one that have some issues, as a mixed race myself, I have never listen my mom wondering I will like to turn myself white and pretend to have my hair yellow. Offensive.


chantillypatino July 13, 2012 @ 9:50 p.m.

The cover is beyond messed...especially the blurb that is really has nothing to do with this story and is definitely reaching. It's obvious you're looking to push people's buttons and what a waste, because the article actually made some interesting points from it's biracial writer who was trying to make a valid point about feeling that Black identity has to be a trade off for success.

The article scratched the surface of a very important issue that this magazine could have chosen to acknowledge...instead, you turned it into link bait and hate against Black women.

Major #DiversityFAIL


RENEE83 July 13, 2012 @ 10:11 p.m.

very offended this is so disrespectful towards black women


Josefeen July 14, 2012 @ 1:19 a.m.

Black boys and men do walk around saying what this young man said that was quoted on the cover...it BREAKS MY HEART when I hear it being said, but its real, the article does drag and rambleat different times, but I totally understand...Yes, we have "OVERCOME" I guess, but this topic is a seed that was sown centuries back, for the BLACK family to be non existent, WE have been strategically programmed to hate our beatiful black skin, so here in San Diego the article was daring of her to write and not a surprise, BELIEVE, plenty of Black women have had this topic on their tongue, a topic that is painful...No offense to those of mixed race, or in a interracial relationship, the only one that could feel the pain or sting of the word s on the cover of this magazine could be a BLACK woman...it was a topic that was.desperately needing to be brought up, Can We Stop Getting along just to Get along and Keep it Real on some things!


aqua11 July 14, 2012 @ 10:45 a.m.

Really now? Tell that to the overwhelming numbers of black men (87%) that marry black women. I know people like to make themselves feel special, but can you try not to do it at my expense?


randomgirl July 14, 2012 @ 11:18 a.m.


I'm surprised no one has called you out on your statement :

**> " Let me also refresh your memory to

slavery times when there were more slave owners who were trying to get a lot more than a good servant from the women he purchased."**

So rape is an indicator of the desire of a non black man to have a truly meaningful relationship with a black woman? Your attempt to discredit the author with that example is appalling . Try again.

I think the biggest problem with this article is that the author meanders around an issue without directly tackling it. I surmise it is worry that her children will not have the "black experience." Or not embrace their color, culture, be intersted in dating someone of their own raceetc. Whatever. I agree with an earlier commenter who says the author rambles. She does.. A lot.

On the cover & headline:

The editor picked the most controversial quote from the piece to use on the cover.I get it. It provokes a reaction from people and gets their attention. A better headline could have been chosen for the title of the article.

Let it also be noted - the author waxes poetic in the first several paragraphics about her child's afro, women and other children with afro's she sees while out and about. So an editor on deadline, skims the article, picks out the most controversial phrase, remembers the writing about kids and afro's, slaps in a quick picture of a young girl with an afro and quickly headlines it "afro puffs."

It appears there just wasn't enough thought put into the cover presentation due to perhaps deadline pressures.


The paraphrased comment by the teen does hold some weight. A quick internet search about race & dating pulled up this result -


Race does play a factor in dating - and according to the statistic listed on this dating website- black women have the lowest reply rate. Meaning if they message a non black person - they are less likely to get a reply back.

While this isn't census data, as a dating site - it does have validity in the sense of people choosing whom to write & reply to in order to form relationships.


kizzee29 July 14, 2012 @ 4:45 p.m.

This article was a case of much ado about nothing. Perhaps the editor thought that the catch phrase on the cover would sell magazines or garner public attention, however, it is an insult to African-Americans to publish a cover like that and pass it off as an introduction to what turned out to be an assinine article! What can one expect? It's the San Diego Reader, absolutely no social conscious whatsoever. If the author is truly concerned about a certain type of experience for her children, then quite frankly, they might consider forgoing the ocean view property, and move to a neighborhood that does have the diversity she desires, better that than trying to undo the damage to the psyche by being the only "one" in your school, neighborhood, etc.

In response to Randomgirl: Duh, I found a statistic on an internet blog site supporting my argument, it must be true...smh! Maybe instead of a "quick" internet search, you should dig a little deeper for your research.


zsaleem July 14, 2012 @ 5:59 p.m.

The cover language is a ridiculous, divisive, untrue and completely offensive! I have no idea why that snippet was chosen to be on the cover when the implications of what it says are so down right degrading! It doesn't even describe what the article is about. The words on the cover do nothing more than perpetuate sterotypes and that is NOT what we need in this day and age. Shame on you San Diego Reader!


TDSanDiego July 14, 2012 @ 10:12 p.m.

Thank you Elizabeth Salaam for writing this piece. It was very very relevant to what black parents who live in San Diego go through when choosing the proper schools and neighborhoods to raise their children. You really have to be a black parent with school-age children to truly appreciate what the author is saying about diversity in San Diego. San Diego has a very small black population and of the black children being born, most are of mixed race. Being a fully black child vs. a mixed black child can carry two different experiences. Its not fun and can be quite uncomfortable being the only one of your race at work or school, but particularly while in school. We live in City Heights but I commute every morning to send my son to a charter school downtown. When choosing elementary schools for my son of course I looked at API scores and took tours and whatnot. But one thing that stuck out in my mind when searching for a school that met my sons needs was how diverse schools were, namely how many black students there were, and would he be the only black student in his class. Turns out he was the only black kid in his class and one of only two in all of kindergarten, and surprise, the other student was half white. Because of this I especially appreciate the example of the friends who live in Bay Park. Like them, I too am grappling with whether to keep my son in his predominately white charter school up to a certain grade, and when, if ever, to send him to a school where he is not the only smart black boy.
Regarding the cover the author is merely stating what is pretty darn obvious in the dating world of interracial relationships, many many black men dating every other race of women, but not so much black women. Quite frankly the high percentage of black women being snubbed by black men can sometimes be attributed to our hair. My example, a couple of years ago my husband and I were talking with his two younger brothers, one in high school, the other in middle school, about dating and what kind of girls they like. Their response: “We want a mixed girl or a mexican girl, they are the prettiest.” We asked them why, and they responded, “we don't want no black girl with nappy chicken head hair.” So those who thought this article was offensive to black women need to understand black women are looked down upon as unattractive and less beautiful by societies standards of beauty. The statement that “ the white girls like the black guys, and etc.” is merely an observation of what we see in the world, and I have heard many folks make the same observation too, its not new at all. I too have a daughter and one thing I have decided is to send her to a school where there are other little girls who look like her. And that is simply because she needs to feel good about her hair and her beauty. If you don't get this piece, well its cause you haven't lived it to understand it.


cynde1010 July 15, 2012 @ 5:45 p.m.

I can't believe how many times race is brought up in this article. The fact that a mom would even know the percentage of black, mexican and white kids at a school is disturbing. You can't teach your kids to be color blind if you yourself see everyone as a color.

The day when we see people as just people, not a race, is the day that racism disappears.

Food for Thought: Could you imagine if this piece were written by a white woman? How would it come off if the article stated that a mom was shopping schools looking for a higher percentage of white kids? hmm...


Tia76 July 19, 2012 @ 3:07 p.m.

The article was lacking, period. Who cares if the author was white, gray, or purple? The cover sparked controversy. That's life.


sfrees July 15, 2012 @ 9:32 p.m.

Not only is this cover in incredibly bad taste, its just plain inaccurate! Black girls are beautiful, and they grow up to be beautiful women too. We need to stop spreading these ignorant messages. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and thank God that not all men are attracted to the same size, shape, hair color, skin color, eye color etc. You get the idea. There are many black men, white men, latino men, etc.who find black women very attractive...that is the right message to send.


ASailorsWifey July 15, 2012 @ 9:55 p.m.

EH, the arthur more than likely has no one reading her articles, so she has to make strong headlines like this. She thinks she is credible because she lives in San Diego and only sees interration couples. Now what she needs to do is leave her little world in San Diego, the world is much larger than this one city! And she shall see that there are plenty black women that are married to black men..like me, my friends, family etc....just because she has one bff that may be an angry bitter black woman does not represent all the black women in the world.


Josefeen July 16, 2012 @ 12:06 p.m.

This is a topic that makes most people on this blog Uncomfortable....Most people who don't agree with the Cover, DID NOT read the article...If you are on this Blog and you are not a Black girl, You can never know how it feels and what the author is trying to explain or what the author is searching for....Bottom Line is that here in San Diego, this topic is VERY relevant because of the small Black Community....I AM SO HAPPY about this Cover and the reactions it is getting...I am a dark skinned Black Woman with nice hair that is considered Long or Cornsilk textured, I know firsthand what black men and women admire, I have been made to feel uncomfortable plenty of times with my race of people coming up to me asking "What im Mixed with?" or "You have pretty hair", "if we had kids, our kids would have Long hair"....it always raised a Bigger question for me when being asked this because of my modest attitude, I would jokingly answer with "im mixed with Black and Perm", lol, I dont have a perm....but Black dudes (in San Diego at least) want children with nice hair, IT IS SAD, but REALITY...so why is everyone on here twitching in their seat, I AM ONE BLACK FEMALE that is SICK AND TIRED OF MY RACE MAKING PEOPLE UNCOMFORTABLE, so they want to AVOID the subject by singing Kumbaya, WE HAVE OVERCOME! #NOT....!


BornOfLove July 16, 2012 @ 12:47 p.m.

And herein lies the problem. You, as a black woman, say that "Black dudes want children with nice hair"... as if the only "nice hair" is "long or cornsilk textured". Thanks to the fantastic job of brainwashing by a white supremacist society, even WE are convinced that the kinks we are naturally BLESSED with are not "nice hair". So we pass these ideas down (even if subconcsiously) to our children to give them the same narrow-minded ideas we've been trained (brainwashed) to believe.


Josefeen July 16, 2012 @ 2:43 p.m.

Let me be more Clear or Correct myself....SOME black men, especially here in SAN DIEGO, tend to be, like you say, Brainwashed into what they consider "NICE HAIR" or ATTRACTIVE....I AM NOT SAYING what NICE HAIR IS....I LOVE MY FOLKS AND ALL TEXTURES OF HAIR WE HAVE, FROM DREADS, CORNROWS, FADES, FROS...I ESPECIALLY LOVE A CHOCOLATE BROTHER, (OOH HOW I LOVE DARK SKINNED MEN, where you don't know where the chocolate begins or ends because its so BEAUTIFUL) anywho.....I HAVE NEVER felt more SUPERIOR or SPECIAL because of my hair, I ESPECIALLY HATE when people notice and talk that way about what they consider "GOOD HAIR".... I was pointing out HOW SAD it is when I get my folks coming up to me, ADMIRING my hair, then comparing their hair to mine, IT IS SAD when you have OUR young men stating what was stated on this cover, BUT ITS BEING STATED ALL AROUND THIS CITY, this article should raise awareness with us as a People, the Brainwashing/OPPRESSION really worked,.... I have had young and old black Men tell me the same "I don't date Black Girls" "I want my daughter to have Pretty hair"....Its A DAMN SHAME...You are getting the wrong idea, just like most people are getting about Ms. Salaams' article, but I GET IT, I dont believe California is for US anyhow, thats why you have so many moving down South where this would not be an issue.. So I hope this clarifies what im trying to say!! WE AS BLACK PEOPLE IN SAN DIEGO, even though we are a small community, NEED TO LOVE OURSELVES, KINKS, DARK SKIN, LIGHT SKIN, ETC..WE NEED TO TEACH OUR YOUNG NUBIAN KINGS HOW TO BE PROUD OF THEMSELVES AND OUR NUBIAN WOMEN, TEACH THEM OUR HISTORY IN THIS COUNTRY AND WHERE WE COME FROM SO THEY NEVER FORGET IT....even if they want to date another race!


ofromva July 17, 2012 @ 2:54 a.m.

Hmm. Generally speaking, the headline might be true.Personally speaking, the average Black chic that i come into contact with, i want nothing to do with. She is a walking stereotype of some mess that I see on Love & Hip Hop. All "extra" and mess. It is what it is. And i think people know this to be true. I think the average Black man that finds himself with a Black chic really doesnt like her that much, but messes with Black chics out of comfort and the whole race loyalty thing. But hey, this is just my opinion and opinions are like aholes. Another point i want to make is that i dont see why Black chics get offended so easily. I see everyone saying that theyre offended by the headline. Are Black women really as strong as they claim to be? Clearly not. I really think it's a self esteem thing. No bullsh*t. That article in Psychology Today a year or so ago had Black chics all pissed because some dude that they dont even know concluded that Black women are the least attractive... Um okay. Who cares? Not to mention that the same women could probably readily give their opinion on how another race of women is unattractive or aspiring to be like Black women.


ofromva July 17, 2012 @ 2:59 a.m.

And whassup with Black folks always being like "I love my Black skin" and "I love Black people"? lol. If White folk said the same kind of stuff about their ethnicity, they would be thought of as weird at the very least. People need to be the change that they want to see in the world and stop letting ethnicity guide so much of their consciousness IMO. Do people have to say these things in order to remind themselves or something? I never saw a White person say "Man i frickin love my White people"


Tia76 July 19, 2012 @ 3:33 p.m.

"I love my Black skin" and "I love Black people" is an expression of pride. Duh??? White Power came long before that. Do your homework, dumb ass.


Twister July 17, 2012 @ 6:54 a.m.

"Race" is a bogus concept. Color is simply one form of variation. "Character" is one of those loose concepts that eludes precise definition, but is very real. It produces a kind of beauty that can be developed through effort. Color is not, in itself alone, a barrier to the development of character, but can be a factor, depending upon context, in the level of difficulty in developing character. It can be the grit that polishes one up or grinds one down.

Dignity in the face of prejudice of any kind is a potent antidote to hate.


logicalone July 17, 2012 @ 8:47 a.m.

I cannot figure out what this hodgepodge rambling article is actually about. What I have garnered: some lady burns way too much gasoline in an effort to avoid...living closer to where she feels comfortable? Same lady also spends way too much time concerned with pointing out the differences in people, rather than the similarities, which only serves to fan the flames she claims to want to douse. . Same lady's husband is deluded to think that the future "math and robotics" studies of his son will position him "whiter & whiter"...try Chineser & Chineser. Our American universities actually recruit from Asia for math & engineering students. hello?

How people are still so frackin concerned about their genetic lineage is mind boggling. We're all mutts at this point. Every. Last. One. Of. Us.

And enough with the hair! I see so few African Americans actually embracing their real hair, that a large percentage of the hair "blame" needs to be put on the African American culture itself. Getsoreal. I have no idea why the Nicki Minajs & Beyonces etc of the world all go to great efforts to sport fake blond locks. I think they look stupid and tired compared to the killer fro they could be sporting yet aren't. Seems like keepin it real would also take a fraction of the time & money too. So great article about how you are collectively being culturally & financially gullible?

Oh & if there is a fourth grade teacher in CA that doesn't know what grits are, I challenge anyone to find them. Since corn is so exotic & all...


cpalwaysjc6 July 17, 2012 @ 11:58 a.m.

I wish the author could explain by what she means by no one likes black girls? It seems like to me that you are contributing to what the media and music is doing. Trying to demonized and degrade and classify black women as we are unwanted. When based on my understanding of the article talk about you concerned about your daughter's hair and you are afraid that she may change it to be straight and blonde as she advances in age. I do understand that you want diversity in that particular area, but Mrs. Salaam, why would you label the article like that. It seems like to me you are speaking on something entirely different that the title of the article.


Dezireblu July 17, 2012 @ 5:41 p.m.

First let me say I am on the east coast but originally from San Diego and I had the cover of this magazine texted to me last week and saw other postings on Facebook about it and the offense that some took to the cover quote. I thought the cover and the article were definitely connected and right on!! This comes from a black girl who grew up in s.d. and southern California and I have found though conversations (often heated) with many southern Cali black men who expressed their preference for everything otter than black!! I tell people all the time the exact same thing as it relates to California. The correlation of that statement to the article is finding appreciation and acceptance in your surroundings and often times having to seek it out. I got tired of being the token Black girl in school the one who was looked on to defend all things seemingly black and often times extremely uncomfortable moments. But this is a mother who realizes that it is important for her daughter and kids to embrace and understand their culture as well as the culture of others. This mother and her friend have made it her responsibility to make sure her kids know and are comfortable in their culture. For me my desire for this and to know more and be around more people like me and to be the preference brought me to the east coast. Chocolate city (DC) to be exact without having ever set foot here prior to my plane landing, and I have never felt more excited about my culture and others!! It is awesome to see well to do black people as the norm and not the exception to the rule as it seemed in Cali! Thank u for the article and while your story may not be the story or experience of everyone reading this article, there are those who Can relate.


vmg1977 July 18, 2012 @ 4:33 a.m.

I totally get the quote, because, growing up in San Diego, I begin to feel the same way when I entered JHS/Middle school. Black boys would date the least attractive white girl or Mexican but when it came to a black girl they wanted her to look like Vanessa Williams or Ananda Lewis. I had a family member tell me he didn't go with "whole black girls" only "mixed" girls. I am mostly offended that Ms. Salam would discuss a community, South East San Diego, and is totally ignorant about the community. Most people who live in SE have southern roots from Texas and New Orleans, these people moved to San Diego in the late 50's and 60's for jobs. South East San Diego is a community in which people knew each other by their family's last name. The writer lives in East Lake a fairly new community in San Diego, near the Mexican Border, with a nice share of people affiliated with Mexican drug cartels. I personally know Black successful/rich/wealthy/educated people who have no desire to live in La Jolla, so Ms. Salaam's husband is totally wrong about no one with money would want to live in South East. Growing up in South East San Diego I was in close contact, with the "influential" black folks, we only had 5 black judges and I knew who there were. Living in the "ghetto", I went skiing annually with NBS during winter carnival, my 3 cousins participated in the AKA debutante ball all while living in South East. Living in South East, I knew of Black doctors, Attorneys,Radio Station Owners, Chemist, Teachers, Post Men,Professors, Politicians and City School Superintendent, etc... Now living in NYC im so happy I grew up in a black community like South East where the poor, middle and upper middle class co mingled, it gave me the opportunity to believe black people were successful and that we could do anything we wanted to do. So maybe Ms, Salaam should come hang out in the "hood" of South East so her daughter and son can experience some positive images of Black people.


Kai July 18, 2012 @ 12:19 p.m.

Whatever! This is by/about somebody who wants to be relevant, jumbled up an article and convinced somebody to print it. There's so much self-hatred and so many stereotypes in this piece I wouldn't even know where to begin to critique the writing. Somebody needs counseling!


winter23 July 18, 2012 @ 7:04 p.m.

This is a very sad article and frankly I don't see why this made the cover of the Reader magazine. What's even sadder is that this newspaper HAS NOT APOLOGIZED for such a degrading and offensive article directed towards black women. I WILL NEVER READ THIS MAGAZINE AGAIN AND I POSTED IT ON MY FB. I wonder how our First Lady would view this article??? I thought CHANGE HAD COME and it has, just not for the writer its seems - Seriously Ms. Elizabeth Saleem very sad!


Twister July 18, 2012 @ 8:07 p.m.

If some people don’t like you because of some physical characteristic, that’s a reflection on their character, not yours. Any kind of grit in your oyster is an irritation, but you can let it grind you down or polish your pearl. Having some physical characteristic that some people don’t like has the advantage of keeping the riff-raff away from you.

“Valuing the Self,” by Dorothy Lee, is a pretty good book to read . . .


tsaltman July 19, 2012 @ 11:29 a.m.

I was at work and passed this magazine as I often do, but this time I was compelled to actually pick it up because of the cute little black girl on the cover. Upon closer inspection, was the caption on how everyone likes black guys (including black men), but no one likes black girls. My first thought was Yeah right! As a black woman I've dated NOTHING but white and hispanic guys my whole life! And have an adorable 16 month old son by a white man. I posted a picture of the cover on my facebook page and a LOT of my friends (black, white, male & female) were shocked and pissed to say the least. But that's only one issue. After seeing that bs I figured reading the article would give me some insight as to why that was written on the cover. Boy was I wrong. The article couldn't have been any farther in left field from the cover caption and picture!!! This article and cover picture was an ignorant attempt to get more people to pick up your magazine. Yes, it worked. A**hole.


Twister July 19, 2012 @ 1:44 p.m.

Want "race" to go away? Ignore it. Want to perpetuate racism? Keep letting yourself fall for the bait.


DNatural July 22, 2012 @ 9:49 a.m.

I read the article and I did not find anything offensive. Even though the cover is telling the truth I think most sistas is taking it out of context. The article has nothing to do with the cover. One thing sistas have to understand is there is a difference between a man wanting to be with you or just be intimate with you. I've work with and still do work with man of other nationalities and one thing I've always notice when we get on the discussion of women all want to sleep with sistas or brag about how "they once slept with a black chick" but none say how they was in a relationship with or took a sista to meet their mother or friends. Don’t get fooled and deceived because they court you by taking you on dates or trips that they may seriously want a future with you, that’s just their culture. Not trying to generalize but just something I notice. Black love is beautiful. (Deuteronomy 7:3) Shalom.


bcounter61 July 28, 2012 @ 2:52 p.m.

Maybe I'm the only one, but I found the article rather racist. Try going back through the article and replace the word "black" with the word "white". Then it would appear as if the article had been written by the KKK.


DebG July 28, 2012 @ 4:53 p.m.

I read this when it was released and haven't been able to stop thinking about it. I feel SO bad for this little girl. How will she every grow up to realize how beautiful with a mother who believes her daughter isn't likeable enough because of her race. Sort of funny that the family photo that accompanies an article about her the uniqueness of hair shows mom with her hair straightened.

I live in Chula Vista. My son, whose skin is white, has about 5 non-white friends for every white friend. He goes to a public high school, which has less than 6% white students. To paint this community as segregated or to suggest that nobody likes black girls is to promulgate racism and falsehood. Both of my sons like girls of any color--especially if they are confident and fun to be around.

I grew up in brown-skinned in a white town. My mother was educated in a segregated school, but she taught me to feel good about myself and never tried to fill me with ideas of inadequacy or unattractiveness.

A couple tips for the author: Why not try resolving your own issues, instead of passing them onto your daughter. Also, next time your son needs a haircut, I suggest he try Superior Cuts on Brandywine. You won't have to drive so far, because it's in your 'hood. In the meantime, stop practicing your own kind of segregation so that your daughter can learn that people do like black girls.


JGarrett5 July 30, 2012 @ 7:33 a.m.

As a Caucasian woman with African American children who now attend a predominantly white school, I get this article 100%! I went to a very diverse high school. My children would have gone to the same school. However, times change. Not quite the same school system. I chose to send my youngest son to the "country" for high school. His first couple of months were rocky. He would hang out with his "city" friends on the weekends and try to convince me that he was uncomfortable at his new school. I knew he would adjust. He's that kind of kid who gets along with everyone. The peacemaker. As I knew he would, my son thrived at his new school. Teachers, parents, as well as community members loved my GOLDEN boy! Not so much when each of my two daughters entered the same school. Daughter #1 has rolled her eyes and smacked her lips as long as she's been walking! Although very respectful of adults, she'll cut into another kid at the drop of a hat! Everyone expected her to be like her brother. She's not an athlete, she's a writer. "But she's Cameron's sister, she has to be athletic! " No, and please stop stereotyping. She's always been a thick girl. Small waist, big bottom, big top. Not a lot of the white boys at school like her but enough to keep her the slightest bit confident. Daughter #2 enters. Fresh from the predominantly black city school of performing arts. A singer. No choir class at the new school. She's chubby and has full beautiful lips and long, thick, curly hair. She makes friends easy. Not a problem. But the boys? Outside of the ones who are her friends, awful! When your child tells you that an older boy called her "fat, black, and ugly", you are ready to do whatever it takes to make.her pain go away. We can't change how other people act or feel. We can, as Mrs. Salaam is doing, reinforce our children's self esteem and identity. I tell people all the time, until you have truly loved a person of color, I mean loved with all your being, you will NEVER understand what non-white folks may endure. Don't be so simple minded, folks. Don't judge an article by its title.


Letter to the Editor Dec. 1, 2012 @ 1:14 p.m.

To all the insecure, emotionally damaged blacks who can’t get over this dumb article: I’m a white Italian. I could care less if you call me a wop, a dago, a spaghetti snapper, a honkey, or a cracker. It doesn’t bother me in the least. But if you say something negative about a black person, they act like you’ve condemned the whole race. Get over it! The dog that gets hit with the most stones yelps the loudest.


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