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The End of The White Girl (Of course, it happened in Brooklyn)

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by Tanya Steele
August 29, 2013 3:32 PM
76 Comments
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I reside in Brooklyn for a reason. Black women run Brooklyn. There are wed mothers, unwed mothers, black women with the fiercest natural hairstyles, permed sisters who let it fall just right, well-educated and high school educated black women. I see an array. Black girls who are partnered up with hipster black boys, Black women who are partnered with hipster white dudes. Lawyer and Doctor black women, fast food working black women- the range. Black women populate the streets of Brooklyn like flowers blossoming in a well-manicured garden. This I love. This is Brooklyn.

So, when I saw Miss Miley & 'the black music thief' bring their circus to Brooklyn, I thought- nope, not here you don't. The backdrop that is Brooklyn was the backdrop for this performance. People were able to see through the charade because of where Miss Miley was. I immediately saw this performance as the end of the "white girl". This was a feeble attempt to resurrect the shallow, vapid white girl-ness that america has paraded before us for decades. It is clear to me, it is not working anymore.

Lindsey Lohan, Britney Spears, Paris Hilton and now Miss Miley illustrate that it is not enough to be a "white girl", you have to come with something else. See, even our white girls and women in Brooklyn don't parade their whiteness as a badge. The white women of Brooklyn are understated. The ones who do try and parade their vaginas as the center of the universe, vintage their vamp. The idle, cute blonde who simply has to toss tits or vagina Marilyn Monroe style- isn't working, anymore.

The black women, women of color and white women in Brooklyn are some of the fiercest women on the planet. Other than parents visiting from out of town, I have yet to see a white woman relying on her "look" to part the seas. That's over. It's a new era. The era of 'Sex In The City', where black women have to look to Carrie Bradshaw (for heaven's sake) as a model for life in NYC are over. Even 'Girls' hints at a culture of white womanhood that leans toward thoughtfulness and not window dressing. I say "hints at" because, no, they aren't quite there either.

"Orange Is The New Black", although disliked by many women of color, illustrates the fact that black women, when placed alongside white women, point out the vapid and frivolous life of the lead character. The women of color on that show, bring the white character into the reality of their lives. A reality that requires gravitas and thoughtfulness. A reality that is plagued with mistreatment, dehumanization and violation. Piper, the lead character, can no longer exist in a 'do whatever', 'be whatever' world. She has to acknowledge that she is a part of the human family. She is not above it. Some days, she is beneath it. But, she is no longer separated from it.

For this and other reasons, I appreciate that show. The argument that 'but if it weren't for the white woman, this story would never have been told', is true. However, the white woman loses center stage in this show. And women of color and low class white women dominate. As the show evolves, they have to lessen the black characters as comic relief (all characters, at some point, provide the comic relief). This is a gripe. But, I will say, the storyline of some of the black women has been layered and interesting (the execution, sometimes, is quite superficial, but that is a writing issue).

As the show evolves, I expect to see deepened storylines.

The show works because it is about a community of women of all types. It is not about white women or white womanhood. Netflix seems to understand that people of color watch them, also. So, they populate their shows with people of color. Although, I don't remember seeing a Black woman on 'House of Cards' (please correct me if I am mistaken). I want to see more shows that aren't threatened by black womanhood- as 'Friends' was. As 'Sex In The City' was. And, as 'Girls' is.

I look forward to Issa Rae on HBO. I am so excited about her show that it gives me chills. This could be a bellwether moment in TV for black women. A black woman possessed of intellect, humility and thoughtfulness. No pressure, though. Her voice is solid and it will be refreshing. I am so happy she will have a broader audience. Her character cuts through the 'downtrodden, weathered, bruised and broken' black womanhood that we are accustomed to. Although I do not watch 'Scandal', I understand why people do. Olivia Pope is not run down and singing a song of victimhood. She is, superficially, sharp. The 'Awkward Black Girl', however, is more resonant for me.

Once television and cinema begin to understand that people are hungry to see black womanhood in its various shades, things will improve. We are getting there, slowly. As Black women continue to share our voice in social networking (which, I believe, played a large part in the success of 'Awkward Black Girl'), black female representation will change. Social networking changes outcome. It allows autonomous and varied voices to have a say. As black women continue to be empowered via social networking a la #solidarityisforwhitewomen and #smartblackwomenoftwitter, the cultural landscape will change.

Miss Miley tasted the power of black womanhood and was overwhelmed by it. She attempted to place herself in the center of black womanhood and she failed miserably. She and the 'the black music thief' learned that they need to take their dog and pony show somewhere else. In Brooklyn, we don't play that sh**.

Follow Tanya Steele on Twitter at @digtanya. Or on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/SteeleInk. Or visit digtanya.com.

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76 Comments

  • Smh | April 7, 2014 3:16 PMReply

    Apparently you need to talk to real men of all races. White women are viewed as a treasure. The only people asserting that black women are in that position "now" are - wait for it - black racists. And I bet even the male black racists still troll for white women.

    As a white female I am pursued by men (and even women) of all races. Black men in particular are quite aggressive. It's hard to turn them down too, because the moment I do they play the race card - the only card in the deck for many black Americans.

    Miley is just trying to insert herself into hip-hop culture. The real problem with her is that she acts slutty, a problem that many black pop stars (Rihanna, Nikki Minaj) have as well. Black women have been degraded in music videos by black male artists for decades. Nothing new here. Some just complain because Miley is white. If she were black, then we'd hear nothing but crickets chirping on the subject.

    Non-black males who pursue black females see them as a fetish, or a cheaper commodity than white females. Black females "ask for less money." Also, many of these men were repeatedly rejected by the white females they originally desired. They turned to another race hoping for success, when the problem lies within.

    As a white woman, I've got the world of men by the tail and my experiences traveling through many different areas and meeting many different people proves this beyond a shadow of a doubt. No offense to my sisters of any color, but your men are saying it as well. To the creator of the garbage "article" above: Please find a positive, constructive way of dealing with it.

  • Holly | October 16, 2013 11:50 AMReply

    This article proves once again that blacks are the biggest bigots ever. They think about "whiteness and blackness" far more often than white people do. It may come as a shock to you, but most white people don't give a rats azz what you do, look like, whatever. All that nonsense about black women not wanting white women to know they wear wigs, weaves, whatever. Like white women sit around wondering and looking at them! I have been around white women all my life, and never, not once have I ever heard them even commenting on black women, much less their hair. Perhaps you could focus your attention on yourself and stop looking at what others think of you so much. Talk about vapid...@@

  • Starla | September 2, 2013 9:53 PMReply

    The hate spewed in this comment section is disgusting. I can't stand seeing (reading) Black people up in arms when a Black person affirms Black women/men/children/culture/community at the expense of praising and adoring their white counterpart. The writer of this piece is entitled to her observations and opinions as are you, so why do you feel the need to correct her, chastise her writing style and make suggestions that she is unhappy, insecure and whatever other term I've read that attacks her. If most of you spent as much time standing up for legitimate causes impacting black people socially, politically and economically, we probably wouldn't have such a dismal status in this society, still relegated to the role of consumer and the controlled. But, that's neither here nor there. I seriously am just curious about this impulse for my fellow Black citizens to come to the defense of white people who don't need or appreciate our pitiful "support".

  • Brooklyn is White nowadays | September 2, 2013 5:18 AMReply

    Lets face it... Brooklyn is gentrified as a motherfucker. ALL THE TRADITIONALLY BLACK ENCLAVES ARE GONE. Bedstuy has been hit by the gentrification bug HEAVY. Williamsburg is gone for good...Crown Heights is getting whitened as we speak. About the only black people are getting pushed into Brownsville and East New York. Black women don't run shit at this point.

  • BluTopaz | September 2, 2013 10:13 AM

    I live in Bed Stuy and regardless of what the NYTimes, craigslist or any real estate agent cheerfully repeats ad nauseaum, Bed Stuy is still predominantly Black. Just take a drive through it, or you can attend the food co-op meetings that I have attended with the other WOC organizers, or the house music party last night at Restoration that looked like a Harlem block party from the 1980's. Or go the West Indian parade today, prolly the only White faces you will see are the mayoral candidates.

    Or simply read the 79th precinct police blotters to see who is STILL here, wreaking the most havoc in the neighborhood. Gentrification is going strong here, but folks need to stop ringing the panic bells when they don't know what they are talking about.

  • Agent K | August 31, 2013 10:16 AMReply

    I find it funny that it's ALWAYS the "negative" writeups that get the most comments instead of those that actually deserve it. Why is that?

  • AccidentalVisitor | August 31, 2013 1:20 AMReply

    It is hard to argue against those who take offense against this writeup. It does come across as race baiting.

    It is one thing to be critical of the racism that exists within the entertainment industry, to bemoan the dearth of opportunities for black people or other people of color, to be frustrated with slow progress or lack of progress in diversifying the content that comes from Hollywood. And this site is a perfect vehicle to explore these issues. But we shouldn’t be going down the road of writing up columns in which the main purpose seems to be to antagonize a group of people/readers as a result of their race. It’s bad enough when, as a black person, I come across some racist comments written as responses to a particular writeup or post. That adds nothing but shame to this site. But when the write-up itself can be viewed as hateful itself then that should be viewed as unacceptable.

    Tanya has talent for words and she has her own unique style. I don’t always agree with her take on things but I always thought she added an interesting take on things. But this post is beneath her and all of us. If she wants to rant that white female characters are put on some sort of pedestal (while ignoring that while people in general are put on such a pedestal) and that there more black female characters need to be placed in equally flattering circumstances then so be it. If she wants to take shots at some white female producers/showrunners on TV who in her view don’t use enough black female characters on their shows (while ignoring the fact that white female showrunners are a pretty rare breed themselves and can’t be expected to correct all wrongs from the jump) then, again, so be it. But when the attitude of the column appears to be “hey, white women, kiss my ass” then we have gone from criticizing a racist industry to resorting to making childish, racist remarks that should have no place on this site. I mean those remarks about black women and Brooklyn? That came across as spiteful, unwarranted and ultimately insecure.

    Tanya may not have felt her comments came across that way ; perhaps she thinks I and a handful of others are misinterpreting her intent. But the way I look at it if I went to one of the other sites of Indie Wire, the white ran sites, and I came across a similar diatribe directed at black men, black women or black people I would be ticked off and I think most people would see the writeup as nothing but racism directed towards black folks. And I would hope that the regular white visitors and other writers of those sites would take a stand against it by voicing their displeasure. I would be hypocritical to want something like that to happen for the other IndieW ire sites all the while remaining silent when I came across what I see as prejudicial write-ups on Shadow and Act. We’re better than that. I hope.

  • Amaliada | August 31, 2013 12:42 AMReply

    There was a Black woman on House of Cards, but she was cynically used to break a teachers' strike when her son was killed in a drive-by. Not so sure that having that Black woman there advanced anything positive.

  • tanya steele | August 31, 2013 7:59 AM

    Thank you, I do remember her now. I agree we with your assessment.

  • Agent K | August 30, 2013 8:06 PMReply

    To those against the idea of ass shaking, are you against it under a certain context or against it in general?

  • Agent K | August 31, 2013 10:10 AM

    @Laff Thanks for the answer. That's actually the reason why I brought up the questi.on because a number of people I've talked to have said that ass shaking is vulgar in general. I know some females can go crazy with it but I personally have a problem with it. As for Miley Cyrus, that performance was just...I just refuse to watch it again.

  • LaFF | August 31, 2013 8:00 AM

    Context is everything. Miley Cyrus is attempting to co-opt the "ratchet" style (see Urban Dictionary online for definition) to up her profile, to put another nail in Hannah Montana's coffin. And you have to HAVE an ass in order to shake it properly and with rhythm. And she had none of any of that going on. The whole thing was a pathetic spectacle. She will eventually get through her "ghetto culture moment" like they all do but that's another story.

    When "twerking" - and I hate the word - is done well it is a feminine force of nature. I find it disconcerting that not one of these "twerkers" know the movement's cultural history or care. In Africa, the movement that we now call "twerking" (yep, it's in Websters now), the skill of rhythmically isolating the butt and hip muscles, is part of a body of knowledge passed down from older women to young women to prepare them for marriage and a satisfying sex life. They were also taught how to be responsible women, how to make a good home for their family and what is expected of them by their community. It is also a time-honored movement in many dancing traditions, not unlike those movements of Eastern belly dancing traditions.

    We here in America, got the "sexy part," making it a vulgar spectacle which is more a testament to how sexually confused and repressed we are as a culture. And just think there are those who think African people are primitive. So, booty shaking, in and of itself is not the problem - context IS everything. Oh, and as an aside, men twerk, too.

  • C'mon now | August 30, 2013 7:00 PMReply

    Seriously.. this is a confusing, poorly written piece with a sensationalist title just to get hits. The End of the White Girl?? Okay.. tell that to all those rich and professional Black men that seem to keep marrying them. And I have no problem with inter-racial dating, but I'd wager that this author does.

  • Akimbo | September 4, 2013 3:29 PM

    I have to agree. I thought I was going to find, if not something poignant or cogent, at least something coherent. What a strange way to address Miley's misappropriation.

  • kiki | September 2, 2013 10:40 PM

    @c'mon now Totally agree. The author tries to twist this into a 'hunger' for black womanhood whilst saying other things not really connected.

  • Nadia | August 30, 2013 4:53 PMReply

    LOL at folks who complain about this post being race-baiting to attract comments but don't realize that they are the ones doing the commenting in the first place.

    Y'all crack me. Twenty posts a day everyday and you gang up on one per month that's doesn't need you to gang up on and you ignore the rest that need you to say something about. And then you complain about that one post out of like 500.

    Let me give a piece of advice. Complain less about on posts you don't like and comment more on the post you do like and maybe you'll see a change. It's like the movies. Buy tickets to the movies you want to see and the ones that you don't, don't spend money on tickets. With movies speak with your dollars. With blogs speak with your words. SMH

  • CareyCarey | September 1, 2013 8:12 PM

    @LL2,

    No LL2, come on now, you know some of the finer qualities of a Tom and Tomette, which has nothing to do with their anger level. How about their penchant for speaking out in direct opposition of another black person who may be objecting to the ways of a white citizen? You know, Toms and Tomettes believe in self preservation, and thus, they go out of their way to divide and distance themselves from any opinion or black person who may be viewed unfavorably.

    Consequently, as with this post (and as Nadia pointed out) some folks were as quiet as church mice (ALL WEEK) until they took a direct stand against Tanya Steele's position. So, if it quack like a duck...

  • LL2 | September 1, 2013 1:37 PM

    @CareyCarey

    LOL So a person is a Tom or Tomette because they don't go around angry at white women? I believe in fighting for racial equality but I refuse to go around angry at other people. Life is just too short for that.

  • CareyCarey | September 1, 2013 12:18 AM

    Nadia, tell the truth and shame the devil.

    The closet Tom's and Tomettes are probably sitting someone clutching their pearls, wondering what white folks gonna say about this *LOL*. Geeez, like you said, why wait for an article like this to make their presence known?

    Hell, they should champion the good and leave the rest behind if they really want to make a difference. Buit noooooo, they'd rather tell the S&A world (in a respectful and educated way) "we's not all like dis Tanya Steal, some us is good black folks whose don't mind inter-racial mixin'. so don't be comin' down on us's cause Tanya did it, we loves ya". dis id race baitin', come across as race baiting to me too... not everyone shares Tanya Steele's negative opinion of white women, I's don't... What is a "white girl" anyway, we's all alike - ain't we"

    Damn... Nadia said it right, y'all crack me up. I mean, there 's nothing worse than simpin' ass, apologizing ass negros.

  • Orville | August 30, 2013 4:13 PMReply

    This article by Tanya Steele is race baiting, Miley Cyrus twerking isn't about her co opting anything from African Americans. Cyrus has been harshly criticized people are calling her a whore and a slut. So I don't get why SOME black women are upset? The media are NOT praising Cyrus! I have read numerous articles and Miley is indeed getting criticized for her performance. A lot of critics and online bloggers are calling Cyrus, tacky, cheesy, desperate, and other names. So I don't get Tanya's premise, does she want black women to act like trashy whores twerking at the MTV Awards? Is this what Tanya wants? Would Tanya want Rihanna or Beyonce to dance like skanks just like Cyrus? I don't get it.

  • Monique A Williams | August 30, 2013 4:00 PMReply

    This piece lacked cohesion and focus. Just a hodgepodge of thoughts that were probably better placed in different pieces she had considered writing initially. Sorry. #jmo

  • Liza | August 30, 2013 2:52 PMReply

    At least Miley doesn't take herself or her performance too seriously... which is more than can be said about the author of this blog. Sadly the behaviours of both do more harm than enlightenment to society.

  • Hazeleyes | August 30, 2013 2:04 PMReply

    I don't read S&A as often as many seem to, so I am not familiar with the politics and agendas that seem to be at play. nor have I read Ms. Steele previous writings. Having said that, I agree with you sister Tanya. I don't know what no one else read but, here's what I read. Little Miss Miley got a little taste of sistah-girlhood from somewhere, now since white america is biting off her ass she thinks shes got that twerk, got that thang, got the need to show the world she's grown and nasty. You said, not up in here you don't, I don't think so. White girl, white girl your ass don't shine up here in Brooklynn, so sit yo ass down and get off sister's behinds.

    That's what I read... nuff said.

  • LL2 | August 30, 2013 3:13 PM

    There are no agendas or politics at play. Its just that not everyone shares Tanya Steele's negative opinion of white women or shares the issues she seems to have regarding white women. Why write an article called "the end of the white girl?". She wants to get rid of white women? Why? As a black woman I find it demeaning to have animosity towards women of other races. That is not the behavior of someone who thinks well of themselves. When a person doesn't think much of themself, they don't focus on what they have and instead start to focus on others and resent them for what they have. This article seems to come from a very negative place and the truth is not everyone delights in negative energy.

  • BluTopaz | August 30, 2013 10:38 AMReply

    For the past week the Internet has been trying to turn this thing into a cultural watershed moment, and I can't figure out why. Some White women defending Miley's right to assert her sexuality (aka make a fool of herself), and some Black women acting like she took their picture and stole their souls. And ABC News has consulted with a Smart White Lady to scientifically analyze twerking from a scientific and sociological aspect, which is a hoot. I have no plans to watch the foolishness but from the screen caps it looks like she's constantly bending over with her tongue hanging out. My biggest question is, has that "performance" officially been confirmed as twerking by twerk experts? I never heard the word until seeing twerk tutorials (yep they exist) on Youtube about a year ago. Miley probably twerks better than I do (yep I tried-it's good exercise don't judge) and that's ok. Does that make me less Black? Nemesis' comment below is spot on with this nonsense.

    And since some Black women are so upset about our imagery being used once again, I don't get why there has been no criticism of the Black women who appeared with Miley. And why is any of it such a hand wringing moment anyway--this has been going on since Elvis Presley, Vanilla Ice, Robin Thicke suing the Gaye family for biting off Marvin and now this chick. Not saying it's ok because it's old news, but..the "end of the White girl"--really? Not as long as Taylor Swift and all the other White women I can't think of are still around. And that's ok too, their existence does not minimize anything I do as a Black woman.

    Aside from all that like Tanya, I also look forward to Issa Rae's new show and another type of content that more accurately reflects our diversity.

  • CareyCarey | August 31, 2013 11:44 PM

    So Blutopaz, all that to say you didn't see Issa's new series, huh?

  • BluTopaz | August 30, 2013 6:14 PM

    It's become customary to ignore you because it's not your fault you are the left-back, helmet wearing kid in the back of the class, eating your own boogers and throwing spitballs, desperately looking for someone to play with. My turning around in my seat and stage whispering "shut up phucktard" is all the attention you are going to get from me in this thread.

  • CareyCarey | August 30, 2013 2:29 PM

    Oh, riiiiiiiight, can't wait for Issa Rae's pitiful, cringe worthy new web series huh Ms. Blutopaz? Did you suffer through The Choir? If so, spare me... I know you don't like being called this but, you've already shown your hold card, you're a Tanya Steele hater. That's right, check the records, every time she pens a post here you come with your venomous comments.

    Spare me from smelling your hate filled venom. Issa Rae may well be a one hit wonder who many found to be enjoyable and an inspiration, but she does not have Tanya's creative writing skills, nor her brave heart. Case in point, again, did you see her horrible new web series? Well, there's no other way to describe that mess other than "sophomoric" at best... and woefully NOT funny, nor entertaining in the least. If that poor excuse of a web series (which was presented by stellar names) accurately reflects our diversity, we're all doomed.

    Nice post Tanya.

  • Curtis | August 30, 2013 9:20 AMReply

    More race baiting from this site to drum up traffic. How about writing a piece about ALL WOMEN being objectified with the help of Cyrus and women "of color."

  • Rusty | August 30, 2013 12:29 PM

    No, this is Tanya Steele. She doesn't represent the blog, or IndieWire, as a whole. It's her opinion, and she's entitled to it, even as misinformed as it is. I only wish she would choose a more appropriate forum to spew it. Shadow and Act is definitely not it.

  • donnadara | August 30, 2013 11:38 AM

    This is Shadow and Act. Sorry it offends you to have non-white people be the subjects not the objects.

  • ScriptTease | August 30, 2013 8:10 AMReply

    I have said it before, and I will continue to say it...... CAN WE GET SOME THUMBS UP AND THUMBS DOWN? A simple plugin.

  • MK | August 30, 2013 4:42 PM

    Yes, a rating system!!

  • Nemesis | August 30, 2013 4:05 AMReply

    Seriously, I don't quite get why so many African-American women are up in arms because some wanna-be-grown white child decided to... twerk!

    Why are they taking ownership of an overly exaggerated stereotype of black womanhood? Seriously! I've never been taken aside, as a black female, and been taught how to twerk as a cultural rite of passage or anything. Hell, I only just found out that twerking was, supposedly, my culture and birthright! I thought it belonged to video hoochies and all those who aspired to video hoochiedom - thanks mainly to certain kinds of hip-hop videos from the 90s onwards.

    Oh, wait... I get it. Popular hip-hop (itself an expropriation of a concious black movement to promote rampant black sociopathy) = the totality of black culture; ergo, black women dancing lewdly in their drawers = black women's contribution to world culture.

    I'm sorry, stop taking ownership of the shit that's been used against you for years and let the white girl demean herself doing it if she wants to.

  • Luce | August 30, 2013 5:53 PM

    Perfect reply yet!

  • JEFTCG | August 30, 2013 6:58 AM

    "...stop taking ownership of the shit that's been used against you for years and let the white girl demean herself doing it if she wants to."

    Hot DAYUM, Nemesis, you said it best. Anyone who thinks what that little fool did on stage has ANYthing to do with Black culture is a bigger fool.

    That silly little girl will regret her actions in ten years, mark it. Maybe even less.

  • tina | August 30, 2013 3:36 AMReply

    Am i understanding this post? Are you saying that Miley's shenanigans were somehow proof of how great black women are? And now mainstream media is acknowledging it and your proof is Miley and her tongue?

  • Phill | August 30, 2013 1:30 AMReply

    What is a "white girl" and what was the end?

    "The white women of Brooklyn are understated. The ones who do try and parade their vaginas as the center of the universe, vintage their vamp. The idle, cute blonde who simply has to toss tits or vagina Marilyn Monroe style- isn't working, anymore."
    ^^^Huh? All white women in Brooklyn? Isn't working for whom?

    "People were able to see through the charade because of where Miss Miley was."
    ^^^What people? How do you know? Any anecdotes, or is this just your opinion?

    "She and the 'the black music thief' learned that they need to take their dog and pony show somewhere else."
    ^^^How do you know what they learned? Miley seems pretty impressed with herself.

    "Even 'Girls' hints at a culture of white womanhood that leans toward thoughtfulness and not window dressing."
    ^^^What does this mean?

    What's your thesis? I'm confused. White girls ended...and of course it happened in Brooklyn. Why? How? Is Brooklyn a metaphor, or are you being literal? What does any of it have to do with Netflix or Olivia Pope?

    I'm not a Miley supporter, I just don't understand the piece.

  • Winston | August 30, 2013 7:20 AM

    Don't try to understand this nonsense. It's just Tanya being Tanya; trying to come off as intelligent by confusing everybody with misplaced words and thoughts.

  • Orville | August 30, 2013 12:56 AMReply

    I don't understand some black Americans are so upset? Do people WANT young black female celebrities to act like sluts at the MTV Awards? Is this what people want? Because that's what people are calling Miley Cyrus she's being called a whore and slut.

    Why people are saying Miley Cyrus is getting away with her rauchy performance at the MTV Awards? Cyrus has been criticized by MANY PEOPLE for her actions. I don't think Miley is getting any applause or approval just because she's white.

  • Michiline | August 30, 2013 3:45 PM

    Agreed. Black people want to claim Twerking? Ummmm. I'm ok with not co-opting that one.

  • ANTHONY RAYNER | August 30, 2013 12:16 AMReply

    There has always been a large faction of whites in this country, and to a large extant, around the world, who have identified artistic, physical and moral freedom with blackness. It is in reality the roots of the minstral show: A need to experience, no matter how absurdly awkward or exagerated, the exhileration and adreniline rush of participting in something outside the boundries of acceptable whiteness.

  • AccidentalVisitor | August 29, 2013 11:52 PMReply

    What did I just read?

  • Constance | August 30, 2013 7:23 AM

    What you actually just read is this month's dose of Tanya Steele bullshit.

  • Mark & Darla | August 29, 2013 11:30 PMReply

    Tanya what is the purpose for this post, it only heigthen the image that black women are angry all the time.

    It is as if you watch a video clip of Miley Cyrus twerking on the internet, became jealousy and decided society was ignoring and disrespecting black women.

    Me myself and I have yet to watch the Miley twerking performance and probably never will.

  • ScriptTease | August 29, 2013 9:36 PMReply

    White women can do what ever the hell they want to do, and get away with it. Case and point... Hugh Hefner's porn reality show. The Sooner Black women stop concerning themselves with what White women do, the better we will be. Although I went out of my way to comment, I'm really sick and tired of these articles further pointing out what seems to be an obsession Black women have with white women, except for myself and the women in my family.

  • LL2 | September 1, 2013 1:44 PM

    "White women can do what ever the hell they want to do, and get away with it." They can get away with things because the white community is loyal to them and will protect them no matter what. That is not a bad thing, a community should protect its women. The question is does black community also protect its women? I wondered if black women experienced the same level of loyalty from their community if they would still be so concerned about white women?

  • MK | August 30, 2013 4:39 PM

    I fully agree.
    Also, these types of articles on S&A are starting to make me weary of this site.
    S&A seems to like Steele for the number of commenters she attracts, but her posts have little to nothing to do with the black film industry. It's all social critique on black women in America. I'm sure there are plenty of other online platforms for such prose.

  • Becky | August 29, 2013 9:42 PM

    You took the words right out of my mouth. Worry about what black women do; stop being a victim all the damn time, Tanya.

  • SAVANNAH MORGAN | August 29, 2013 9:09 PMReply

    Blutopaz: yo I think I've read your comment over 10 times now and I utterly feel the venom running through your fingers as you typed it.

    FLASHback to jr. High I'm on the playground safely posted up behind you yelling with hands raised "Now What, sucka!" HA!!!

  • Africameleon | August 29, 2013 9:01 PMReply

    Thank you for this article! Cyrus did everything except put a saddle on that young lady and ride. Foolery... a hot... no, a cold mess.

  • Miles Ellison | August 29, 2013 8:15 PMReply

    So when are these empowered black women going to stop supporting the reality TV porn that dominates cable?

  • Miles Ellison | August 29, 2013 11:55 PM

    How is being a ratchet whore entertaining?

  • Udonno | August 29, 2013 8:42 PM

    Dear Miles---
    it is black women that make these reality show run! in the halls of vh1 and lifetime, etc black women are the new trendy go to source for surefire entertainment. Black women are more lively than any script and when you place them in potentially confrontational situations--well let the fireworks go!

  • Orville | August 29, 2013 8:10 PMReply

    I don't understand you black Americans, you always got SOMETHING to complain about. Seriously, get a life! Miley Cyrus was just dancing, since when did black people own twerking? Miley was doing what Madonna did in 1983 when she was dancing on the stage at the first MTV awards in a wedding dress. Madonna rolled around exposing her panties on stage, she shocked America and went on to become a big star. Miley Cyrus is just trying to break free of her cheesy Hanna Montana image.

  • BURP | August 30, 2013 1:25 AM

    her actions would suggest and have to some that she is under the influence of hip hop... no one is complaining its an observation into the characterization of how blackness is defined in America. With women in particular they are portrayed to be loud out of control and hypersexualized. We all know sex sell and Miley is using it to sell herself. She has abandoned the lily white "All American" image to pose with hip hop stars and twerk. I can easily see a klansman calling her a n##er lover because of her actions. This is what America is afraid of, a white woman under the influence of black culture or a black man even. No there will be more white women pissing off daddy at the expense of the black man. She wanted him more the moment daddy said stay away from him. Then she heard the rumors about his prowess and size then all hell broke loose. Now we have Miley and Hip Hop is the metaphor ...She is being fucked by hip hop and she is loving it and America is up in arms. Turn to Fox news or any liberal media. She is forever tainted ...she cannot marry a Kennedy or a white man of good standing. She would be better off hanging out with someone who would understand her like kim kardashian .... I get the Madonna reference however the glam rock era was all about sex and after the 70's and studio 54 era that kind of crazy behavior was more expectable. Everyone was doing coke right in front of each other remember. Now we can blame bad behavior on a group of people because America has an image problem

  • Sybil | August 29, 2013 9:14 PM

    I am a Caucasian woman, and I am disturbed about the racial implications of Miley's "act." She can break free all she wants, I don't care about what she wore, the foam finger, or even her tongue as I won't "slut shame" her.
    But my issue is that race, size and shape, class culture, and black womens sexuality are not props to be used by a skinny rich white girl.

  • First L | August 29, 2013 8:00 PMReply

    I got the inkling that Miley was in the land of plenty as she went off dancing in the 'dance hall' (stage.) Of all the ills I saw wrong with her performance, I must say that by the look on her face, she was in goddess Heaven. She look like she founds found some nurturing friends and will be playing in their 'yard' for years to come.

  • Winston | August 29, 2013 7:35 PMReply

    "well-educated and high school educated black women."

    Don't you mean "college-educated", instead of "well-educated"? Plenty of y'all went to college and didn't learn too well.

    And how are you gonna say "black women run Brooklyn"? Didn't Spike Lee just tell us how Brooklyn is being overrun by white people and their unleashed dogs?

    Tanya Steele is a poser. Don't buy into her rhetoric.

  • Reality911 | August 29, 2013 6:09 PMReply

    When the rest of the blackwomen in the U.S. start being like those the author discribe in Brooklyn then blackwomen hood will move forward. As for Miley tasting the power of black womenhood, Realy by trying to Twerk. When black women start to identify themselves beyond oversexualization of themselves as per twerking and Olivia Pope (negro bed wench) then black women hood will move forward even more.

  • BluTopaz | August 29, 2013 6:43 PM

    Don't worry about when Black women begin advancing even further, let us know when Black males stop hating themselves so much and stop killing each other at the drop of a hat.

  • V | August 29, 2013 6:38 PM

    I will have to say that not all Black women are about twerking and being a negro bed wrench. Black women are from all backgrounds and educations levels just as our white counterparts; however the only visuals being portrayed in the media are those oversexualized women that you mentioned. Of course it is designed that way. We are not the cause of our not moving forward. There just needs to be a diversity and variety of visuals in the media that do show all aspects of humans regardless of race, color, background or sex.

  • Someotherspring | August 29, 2013 5:38 PMReply

    Lol @ 'jaysmack' (uh, right) just INVENTING statistics, and the assertion about white women that 'other women have been idolizing them forever': you are so sadly mistaken, or maybe (probably) profusely fantasizing. I'm wondering what world you live in...Heh...

  • gryph | August 29, 2013 5:24 PMReply

    ...and another black woman writing on the miley cyrus-robin thicke performance without at all remarking on what the swirlers participation in that minstrel show might mean for 'the beyond-black-and-white movement'. what the hell was the world's most famous black woman loving white hipster dude doing in that assault on black people? not a mention. the ways some black people, and 'sophisticated' women particularly, protect whiteness is truly amazing. the silence is deafening.

  • sab | August 30, 2013 12:24 AM

    Thank you GRYPH and JAYSMACK. No one is putting Robin Thicke in the hot seat, not even his woman. I wonder if she would have the same non-reaction if she had a little black girl...probably not because race and is something they don't have to deal with realistically while daddy has a pass with his mixed race woman and white looking child. It was nothing but a minstrel show and while people are up in arms about it without REALLY wanting to confront why they are up in arms about it, that little Hanna Montana is getting told by her people that she will forever be compared to Madonna and outdid Lady Gaga for YEARS TO COME... all while working with all these hip-hop artists/producers who don't seem to have a problem working with her either. It's all about the money while our images are being monopolized, commercialized and sold down the river. $$$ She is using stereotypes of blacks as a rite of passage. How are we benefitting? Really? I'm tired of this crap...allowing ourselves to be sold off for fame & fortune. I can't believe how easily it's happening without anyone in the community batting an eyelash. Oops, yes I can...

  • roses | August 29, 2013 4:58 PMReply

    Well written, sharp and brilliant. Thank you .

  • Tichaona Chinyelu | August 29, 2013 4:58 PMReply

    Wow. The author doesn't watch Scandal but is all over Orange is the New Black. Very interesting...and contradictory.

  • JEFTCG | August 29, 2013 6:25 PM

    Jaysmack, may I suggest "Spellcheck?"

    It might be wise to invest in a "How To Do Computers" class at your local youth center.

    Also, you sound dumb.

  • JaySmack | August 29, 2013 5:20 PM

    Yes, the author is yet another black woman psycholigcally masturbating herself. And to say, "Black women run Brooklyn," is a profane joke. I think she mispelled "ruin," as "run."
    Black women LEAD the world in hair weave sales, and blonde hair weave at that! Not to menton skin-blaeaching. What world does this woman live in?
    Black women also lead in sales of hydro-gel and butt-implants. Deal with it.
    This whole article reads like a black woman terrified that white women will be the "new" black. And she should be. A white woman just made the word "twerk" a housegold term overnight and a part of the Oxford online dictionary. Black women been twerkin forever and nobody noticed or cared.
    Pretending that "white" girls are obsolete ignores why they've been so prized for so long. Because other women, like black women, have been idolizing them forever.

  • Amari | August 29, 2013 5:15 PM

    It isn't that contradictory, the author recognizes why people may like Scandal, but it just isn't their cup of tea. They identify more with Issa Rae's productions and based on their love of Brooklyn and diversity, that maybe the appeal of Orange is the New Black.

  • LL2 | August 29, 2013 4:15 PMReply

    I don't expect white society to stop putting their women on a pedestal anytime soon and why should they stop? Its a significant part of Western culture to put their women on a pedestal. The issue is that black feminity is devalued and demeaned and it starts in our own communities. Look at how many people defended Chris Brown during the Rihanna scandal and wanted to blame her and excuse him? I can't start to be upset at white society for not valuing black women when many in the black community don't seem to value black women either. If we truly make a stand that it is unacceptable to demean black women, the larger society will listen.

  • John | October 16, 2013 10:50 PM

    Where do you get that white society doesn't value black women and black femininity?

  • Bforreal | August 30, 2013 12:12 AM

    Exactly! Thank you.

  • Amari | August 29, 2013 4:05 PMReply

    Nicely written article, it has a poetic feel to it and hits damn near every nail on the head. I do hope though this is the first and last article dealing with Miley Cyrus I see on S&A. The amount of press she gets elsewhere is bad enough. I don't need her affecting where I get my Black entertainment news as well.

  • browneyesblue | August 29, 2013 3:59 PMReply

    Preach on. Someone finally said it.

  • Ginny | August 29, 2013 7:30 PM

    I see all of Tanya's friends showed up to hype her trash-talk.

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