The Blacker the Berry

Now, I’ve been side eyeing Kendrick Lamar for a while because of the many statements that he has been making about the black community. One that I’m still especially salty about was when he tried to give Igloo Australia a pass for appropriating black culture; she has been getting mad props for doing mediocre crap and people refuse to acknowledge that her white privilege plays a major part in it, but I digress. While, a few of those comments made by Kendrick Lamar have been valid, almost all of them have been stated at the wrong place and the wrong time. One particular comment was made in reference to all that was (and still is) going on in Ferguson. He basically states that black people can’t expect white people to respect us, if we won’t respect ourselves. I somewhat agree, however, the comment was recorded and made public to a majority white audience. That is extremely detrimental to black people that are fighting for the end of police brutality and other basic human rights. Needless to say, I’ve taken a step back from him for a while… until now.

Mid-February, Kendrick Lamar released a single entitled “The Blacker the Berry,” which is also the title of a book that I have heard nothing but greatness about. I decided I’d give it a go because despite my feelings, he is a very talented man. I searched it. I clicked the link for it with one eyebrow raised. I listened. And I loved it.

The song seems to be a great moment of liberation for not only Kendrick Lamar, but also the listeners. It kind of creates a message of “if you don’t know, now you know.” He goes into acknowledging a few stereotypes of black people almost as if to say, “and what?” He expresses a conscious mind of what is going on, and where it comes from, and what he sees that is trying to be done to his people. I think he wants everyone to know that he’s on the up and up, he ain’t blind, deaf, and everything in between. That is what I absolutely loved about it. But, what I loved even more, was the ending. Before anybody tries to come for my neck, let me explain.

The ending calls out the friction between black people, in and of itself. Why did I like this, you ask? Because he did it in the correct way, better yet, the best possible way. It is ingrained in black culture for us to be story tellers, we are most motivated by a medium that involves music and vibrations that spew from our souls. So, for him to put the truth in such a format to be distributed is outstanding. It is essentially the same thing that Tupac did, but Tupac knew where to stop in public interviews.

All in all, while black on black crimes are certainly not the same as the brutality implemented by police officers, but they both stem from the same place: white supremacy.

See Also:

The Blacker the Berry Song Review

Azalea Banks on Cultural Smudging and Black Culture

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