Bleached skin in the land of negritude

When you want to know if a woman is light-skinned or bleached, look at her knuckles, her ankles, her knees. There is something about the leathery skin around joints that refuses to be bereaved of colour. You can also look at her chest, if she is wearing a low-cut boubou, or her arms, if it’s sleeveless. You will see slashes cascading down her inner-arms or towards her breasts. Bleached skin is so thin, burnt and damaged that what would normally be a stretch mark tears into a sagging gorge held together by skin of melting plastic. The skin on this kind of woman’s upper body could tear completely off if she brushed up against a rough surface. Just as well the joints refuse to bleach. Women in Dakar would be falling apart. [Maya Wegerif]

“Dude, no homo”

Research has shown that non-sexual physical contact has a profound impact on people’s emotional and physical well-being. Despite this knowledge, and our hyper-sexualized tendencies, America is one of the most touch-phobic countries in the world. A global study on touch rated the United States among “the lowest touch countries studied.” In contrast, the high-touch countries include Spain, France, Italy, and Greece. [link]

There is not just one canonical black experience

These men had a single story about their communities and the women only played a role when asked. Like Chicago and like Baltimore and like all the black meccas across this country the risk of a single story is as great as Adichie warns about stories of Africa. Africa, the land we cross to other meccas has a lesson for all meccas. The lesson is not for writers. Writers do not owe us that. The lesson is for readers. Meccas are multitudes and no one story can tell their every story. [link]