and Whiteness: White Female/Black Male Reassurance
By Kofi Forson
“On the Good Ship Lollipop” was a song Shirley Temple made famous.
Growing up in Ghana, two Caucasian females made known to most familiar with pop culture and political icons were the aforementioned Shirley Temple and the Queen of England.
From a previous generation, might and merriment of post-colonial discourse ushered in popular figures like Twiggy and Dusty Springfield. A share of models, musicians and actresses from England were the fancy of men who had traveled abroad or were tuned in to BBC radio.
This was the redirect from political discourse of a country that had sought and gained independence. Reverberations of what was once a colonization of the black mind was maintained in the assertion of what was good literature, musical taste, encouragement of social reverence and all that was heralded in the continuous influence of white ideology in the minds of those who were cultured, disciplined by an African fascination.
Much as television shows featured programming from Europe, that notion of the idealized white female wasn't made present in the minds of those I grew up with. That element was prevalent in the minds of aunts and uncles who had traveled internationally. Whether it was a go go-dancing aunt who brought home ABBA records or my father and his earlier propensity for dating white women.
Regard for the white female was central to what was unattainable and when she became attainable there was always the tension behind what was the accord of black and white alliance and the known resistance.
The idea of the black
student or journalist traveling to the West to set up a future was
fashionable with all its idiosyncrasies of the black African
discovering the white female. What grounds and merit he fought
against to maintain familiarity with disillusionment of beauty;
discovery of the cover girl or centerfold. Playboy magazine and other
adult magazines as the broaching of what was sex between the African
male and the white female.
It was with this cult of self-discovery that I was displaced from the notion of the black female student and impressionable black village girl who was seduced into city life for a better education with hopes of traveling to the West, to the awareness of white beauty in the paintings of prostitutes by Picasso and ballerinas by Monet.
My earlier discovery of what was blond hair and smell of white skin excelled to the presence of that very blond white girl in a setting void of the interruption of Ghanaian girls, exclusive in its Catholic impression with the African-American girl as voyeur, making this somewhat illicit and sub-cultural and problematic.
This was an exercise which reached proportions of a raping of the mind. The very criminalizing which took place when cable television pornography in the late 70's of public access adult programming ruined the minds forever of those displaced youth not ready for such display of vulgarity, behavior known only in the child-like truancy of a former life.
The black discovery of what is titillation in the sexualization of the white female is the referencing of black masculinity with white female submissiveness.
Such an intervention has always been actualized through sexual behavior. The black male discovery of the white female is usually evident through schooling, displacement or gentrification.
Initial suspicion is brought about in what is the known taboo, inter-racial copulation.
This fascination plays itself out in the masculinization of the black male. How he plays a part of the thoroughbred, willing to engage the white female in sexual misbehavior.
Lessening of such instinct
is the processing of pedagogy, role of the teacher to the student. If
prioritized through Christianity, in a Catholic school, element of a
nun to student relationship takes on other proportions.
The method is then protracted in the accord of the white female and her superiority over the black male. This in a sense is a mothering of the emotions, both intellectual and rabid, in the black male.
In literary and cultural terms, she is seen as a savior, a heralded Christianized angel ready with answers to salvage the black male from victimization.
Element of slavery and the relationship coordinated between the white female and the black male has always been left up to suspicion. How did the white matron value the difference between the black male who worked in the fields and that of the slave visible in the everyday household discipline?
Chronology of the white female and black male relationship in history are relevant through slavery, colonial period, civil rights, jazz age, black renaissance, 70's blaxploitation, 80's rap and Neo-Expressionism movement, 90's gangsta. There's always the litigational representation of the black male, the black male as muse, lover, pop cultural figure, martyr. Recent victimization of black men by the police has increased the awareness by white women brought to these cases in protests and activism for justice.
Questions that ignite curiosity is what the white female seeks in the black male? What is the initial attraction?
Is it a sense of racialized guilt? Love of the black male identity? Self-denial of racism?
The motherly, superior, post-colonial agent, sex muse, taboo subject, lover, the black male finds in the white female is developed and underdeveloped with a totally different equation when the black male as patient seeks therapy and a psychoanalyzing of a diagnosis.
Attention must be given to the white male as psychoanalyst, and how he conducts therapy with the black male. In its origin, there's the institutionalization of the black male. Perception of him as criminal and rapist, is a conduct brought about in the initial investigation of the black patient's psyche. A broadening range is interpreted between the presumed excellence of the white male psychoanalyst and his disdain for a black male patient.
Initially this is ignorant and racist. The difference therefore between a psychoanalyst working in a community hospital and that of a private practice. The manner with which a black male patient seeks psychotherapy in a community hospital stems from one's psycho-social disability, dependence on government funding, or types of insurance.
There isn't much care given to the emotional and intellectual potential in the black individual. He is viewed as stubborn, criminal-minded and under-educated.
In a given session, the black male is treated with frustration. There isn't a commonality drawn between the psychoanalyst and the patient. Inter-balance of communication is a problem.
What is present in the attempt to intervene in the black male's life is the acceptance and respect with which the psychoanalyst, first, views him as human. The step to acquire a leveling of thought begins when the black male patient is given his due as a human person born into a world beyond his capability, with no proper resources for growth.
Given the potential for elitism, the psychoanalysis begins with ill-attempt at profiling the individual. Many approaches are taken from trying to gain a fleeting, momentary friendship to a laughable impression of what a black male psychoanalyst's behavior would be. What in this moment is the white psychoanalyst trying to be a black brother, uncle or father.
The psychical and mental frame white psychoanalysts have of black patients are usually formed from the societal conditioning of a typical black patient's life. This notion is grouped in the general understanding of how each patient should be treated.
Betterment for approaching each session is the dismissal of how the media portrays black men. Much has to be understood in the difference between how a medical doctor treats a black patient and how a psychoanalyst determines the mental capability of a black patient.
The greater challenge to determine, interpret, basically think in a Europeanized circumstance has more to do with family life, schooling and genetics. The black patient isn't given the trust and wherewithal for examining his or her very own conscience as vigilant or prophetic.
The notion of the thinker has been placed upon the minds of white male authors of the canon. Perception of thought in its origin based on African philosophy of thinkers, like Ptahhotep or pre-modern philosophy in North Africa, has been erased prominently from intellectual discourses.
Modernizing of African philosophy is based on the cycle of African students who travel to places in America and Europe, then return home to reflect on the terms of racial discrimination. That has been the manner for intellectual development in the African scholar. Such behavior of making that trip to the West for discovery; hence, referenced as thought-reflection and awareness, has roots in the modern intellectualizing of African thought.
It's with an astute reckoning that we state a claim on the perception of the black person as thinker, make known the history of language, shaping of the thinker, and with credit reward the African male's intellectual prowess.
Whereas the white male psychoanalyst perceives the black male patient as an enigma, the white female psychoanalyst draws a conclusion on the black male's patient's deficiencies from the original method of the psycho-sexual understanding of the black male ego.
This notion and process of the curiosity with which the white female and black male have curated a life through history brings about a sympathizing of the black male emotional content.
He is valued in a humanized form, or so is the set up. This misconception is the reality of the white female psychoanalyst not being able to empathize with the black male.
His aura, machismo can be perceived as arrogant.
The discipline the white female psychoanalyst uses to manage the determining of a black male patient's disability, as subtext, can be interpreted in all its relevance to the psycho-social history of black men.
At a community hospital, a psychoanalyst would base this concept circularly and not with humility in treating each patient as an individual.
The subtext, once again, is pragmatically basis for each session. The black male patient isn't honored as an individual, rather is stigmatized. The debasing of character disallows any attempt for upholding integrity or a one-up-man-ship.
The non-empathy of the white female psychoanalyst for the black male patient stresses the original depiction of the black male as case number.
The industrial prison complex and its animalizing of the black male is a system which disregards any potential for the black male to possess or show intellectual productivity.
Such is the frank and disheartening attitude present in the white psychoanalyst's devaluing of the black male patient.
The very practice of psychoanalyzing the black male prioritizes society's reluctance to come to terms with what is determined as a black future.
Black futurism as a map becomes the dizzying array of thought, images and color, the psychoanalyst wishes away, but is necessary to analyze the root of any malady.
A modernist of this variety, a black thinker, writer, artist, presents the analyst with utmost content for analysis.
Conceptualizing the form and figure of a human subject in art is credited to Euro/Americanized framing of the image.
This as a starting point redefines for the black artist the dimensions of the human figure. What Leonardo da Vinci depicted in the “Vitruvian Man” naturally shouldn't be the optimal physical form for every human figure.
How then does the black artist interpret the image of the nude white female? What psycho-erotic perceptions does he derive from seeing a naked white woman in print?
As a psycho-sexual subtext, how does the nude white female accentuate the black male's hunger for the black female.
Is it versed as literary, a hyper-text, that cancels the innate black male physical drive for the black female?
Whereas the African male student studying in the West comes to terms with defining and accentuating his perception of the white female, when does he absolve himself of any physical attraction to the white female, and uphold what is understood as decent and proper livelihood with the black female.
Circumstantially, when does this societal raping of the black male conscience reach a crescendo?
Pornographizing of black male death is mirrored in the obsessiveness of labeling beauty as best defined in the Euro-American female.
The subject of sex and
death is present in the white female psychoanalyst and the black male
However void and free it is of the actual, physical act of copulation, the conscientious imaging of sex is present.
Death is the interpretative space the analyst and patient work from to get to an equation.
The paradigm shift is the white female psychoanalyst freeing herself of any racialized concept of the black male patient. That very problem is the system used to evaluate or devalue the black male patient. He, in turn, must remove himself from the obsessing of the white female psychoanalyst as muse.
Given this complicated exercise, the white female psychoanalyst and the black male patient are able to reach a conclusion once they base the session on its end product.
How does the black male patient meet the need for his recovery? Does the white female psychoanalyst hyper-accentuate his vulnerability?
What is his experience with fraternizing of black masculinity? How does the unavailability of a black male psychoanalyst help or hinder his recovery?
Systematically, is a white female psychoanalyst problematic for the black male patient's discovery of self?
Order and pattern which the white female in society has based her theory on black male prowess, be it intellectual or rabid, has created a certain phenomena in the idolizing of a Tupac Shakur, Jean-Michel Basquiat...
Internet porn has
hyper-accelerated the modernized inter-racial sexual ideology.
The rabid nature of a young black male is given a conduct for sexual release.
Seemingly his cult and masculine status is raised levels higher in how the white female perceives him.
This then is the post-modernizing of beauty and death.
Death of the black male as pornography.
The Karen-izing of the white female.