There has been many online arguments/debates/bashing-sessions recently against blog titles and the calling of names which use food as a metaphor or reference regarding a person (or people) of color.
One blog that has been debated recently is Chocolate Hair,Vanilla Care: a popular Black hair-care site authored by a White mother of a Black child. I have also been “called out” as a person who promotes the “consumption” of Black bodies by using my blog title, White Sugar, Brown Sugar.
To some degree, I get it. The drive to over-analyze everything. For me, it started in college. In my American Literature class, we would take a single line, or sometimes a single word, from a poem and spend the entire fifty-minute class period discussing its etymology, its assumptions, its possible implications. Grad school only made such discussions go deeper, more detailed…
Here’s what I have to say to those who are driving home their opinion that using food-terminology to describe a person, a people, a relationship as degrading, inappropriate, or insulting:
One of my own children’s birth parents (who yes, is Black) refer to my (our) child as “dark chocolate.”
Check out “I Am An African Girl” which references “we who have chocolate skin.”
Taye Diggs wrote a children’s book to empower Black boys entitled Chocolate Me!
Langston Hughes wrote extensively on food in relation to skin-color in his poem Harlem Sweeties.
Read the children’s book Shades of People, where words like “coffee” and “cocoa” are used to describe skin color and the many beautiful shades.
For me and my family:
Using food-like terminology is adding to, not taking away. It’s enhancing and uplifting, not reducing.
Using food-like terminology is poetic. It’s a way of describing someone equally as sweet as the food itself.
Using food-like terminology is what some Black people use to describe themselves (see above) and one another.
I write with passion and purpose. I endearingly refer to our family as “sweet” and my readers as “Sugars” and my family as White Sugar, Brown Sugar.
Don’t like it?
While you are busy complaining and dissecting and venting and assuming the worst about intentions and transracial, adoptive parenting,
I’m living my SWEET life.