When I was a kid, I remember people used to make fun of folk with tightly coiled hair–in full disclosure I include myself in both categories. Back then, there was no gentle way of putting it. We didn’t know about “tightly coiled” or “traditionally textured.” All we knew was nappy. I remember some poor kid on the bus that was getting clowned by folk, pointing to his hair and making the the sound of a pump action rifle. “Pit-zhew, pit-ting!” We all ducked as they mimicked the sound of bullets ricocheting. The bus roared in laughter as his tormentor hollered, “Lookit dose bee-bees mayn. Dat’s buckshot!”
Since then, I have long been corrected of my ignorance but still chuckle to myself when rubbing my fingers through my “kitchen” and remembering that day. It was funny but it is so wrong on so many levels. Here we were as kids teaching each other to hate and to ridicule the very thing that is most natural and unique about ourselves and many people of African descent. Where did we learn to do that? Why were we never taught to celebrate, affirm, and value the beauty of our differences?
I am starting a series here called Buck$hot$–not to affirm pride in black hair or to promote natural hair products–there are enough of those venues already. I want but to bring attention to organizations and perhaps some businesses that are promoting Africana values, self-respect, and best practices in countering the tide of self-hatred, racism, infraracial conflict. The purpose of the project is to promote these organizations to the broader digital diaspora. I am also going to put my money where my mouth is. I am going to only post organizations that I support or have supported with a monetary donation of $10 or more. I’m calling this quest buck$hot$ to ‘flip the script’ by using a term of ridicule to promote value. In the spirit of the D.R.A.W.Bridge Project, I hope that you will share organizations with me that are engaged in similar work.
Buck$hot$ Eligibility Criteria
I am looking for organizations that meet a minimum of two of the following criteria:
- Challenges views, attitudes, or ideas that denigrate black people of people of African descent
- Promotes Africana values broadly defined and encourages community building locally or internationally
- Engages in work that explicitly addresses the legacy of racially-oppressive institutions such as slavery, colonialism, and apartheid/segregation, etc.
- Engages in work that builds coalitions and community from people of diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds
- Promotes international collaboration and coalition building
- Addresses the economic, political, social, and psychological impacts of racial discrimination