Black Identity in a White community

Blean Tsige

Growing up in a small but sprawl city in Germany, during the time of Paris Hilton and Britney Spears era the 2000s, just like me, I imagine some black girls that grew up in Europe to have had some type of insecurity with their skin color. Whether it was wishing to be a tone lighter or completely white, we all wished for a change. Especially, with German child-games as, i.e, “Wer hat Angst vorm schwartzen Mann?”, it is clear that most black Germans have developed some sort of an identity issue. For more information on this subject watch the video below.


The aim of every child is to fit into society. If you are black in Europe you are automatically an outcast. You are the minority, that has to change and adapt to fit in. Thus, it makes sense that black women change their hair to make it appear more straight, to bleach their skin and commit to other cosmetic surgeries, to enhance their looks.

This allows black people to live a more “normal” life, and to be discriminated against less.  

Nevertheless, there is constant pressure put on blacks to change and confirm. For example, pressure arises in the Netherlands through a tradition that looks harmless, since it is meant for children. But taking a second look at it, it is right to think that this is a rather bizarre tradition.  The custom is referred to as Sinterklaas and his famous helper Zwarte Piet (Black Piet). The Zwarte Piet character has a black face, red lips, golden hoop earrings, and an afro. Furthermore, the character is dressed in traditional clothing that accommodates a hat. Please click the link below it will display the issues.




The issue lies within the association and the similarities attached to a darker toned person. It has been a controversial subject for a long time, many claiming it to be a tradition and it should not be abolished. However, there have been opposing views and protests rising against this belief in attitude.

Tilburg protest against Black Pete

There are many more examples that could be mentioned, to understand the controversies with blackface and now with Blackfishing. The growing issue of this identity crises allows people to pose as someone else.  


Contributing to the Issue 


Famous celebrities contribute to this vital issue at hand. Blackfishing is a white person posing as black, by altering their looks to such an extent that they look like a black girl.  Kim Kardashian is one of the people contributing to this problem. Usually, most of her stunts are for attention and fame. She seems to always try to find a way to make any moment the most controversial topic. Also when she gets braids put in her hair, she knows exactly what will happen.

That this will start a debate and focus on her.

Kim K.

So to stay hip and be hip, young girls will copy the steps Kim Kardashian lays out for them. Kim K puts braids in, well then every white girl is going to run to the black salon with extensions. Lip fillers, for a bigger pout? Most girls have got that too. Nonetheless, it is already clear that there is an issue, with a white person choosing to imitate a style, rather than a black person doing it to fit into society so that they will be discriminated against less. 


Black is the new Normal

The concluding message is that identity is a very complex case. It is also important to note that, identity and looks seem to head opposite sides. In a world where not being yourself is highly encouraged and promoted, identity is slowly losing its importance. Since it is possible to be anything on the internet, it is a pity that this online experience is put back into reality.

Last but not least, it is also vital to understand that not every black person needs or wants white validation. White validation is the act in which a white person claims to promote diversity and acceptance by wearing something of black descent.

But black people do not need white people to wear things to normalize them.

Thus, this should not be confused with real activism, when an influencer or any type of - “short-lived” aka “5-seconds of fame” aka “clout chaser”  - social media famous person claims to promote diversity by putting on make up that is five shades darker.

In other words, this new fragmented-blackface-trend has become a fashion style. A few white women want to be black. But black in the form of look, hair-, clothing style, a few body- and facial features. They want to retain their white identity, and not live with the consequences that involve black identity. This attempt of change does not make them look like a black woman but makes them more look like Drake in the video below.




“Wer hat Angst vorm schwarzen Mann: Herkunft & Alternativen.” GIGA. (November 28, 2018)

“Zonder Woorden.” Vimeo. (November 26, 2018)

“Polish Variety Show Contestant Impersonates Drake In Blackface.” Complex. (November 26, 2018)

“Polish talent show contestant impersonates Drake in blackface.” Global News. (November 26, 2018)

“Cultural Appropriation: Whose problem is it?” BBC Stories. (November 26, 2018)

“Kim Kardashian Slammed for Calling Cornrows "Bo Derek Braids".” Allure. (November 25, 2018)

“11 of the most controversial Kim Kardashian moments.” Cosmopolitan. (November 25, 2018)