A White African Queen & The Erasure of Black Women

CLICK HERE TO Magazine Spread

A fashion magazine called Numero shows a cover on their March 2013 issue that has a White American woman painted in Black face and the spread is titled “African Queen.” I will not even post the picture on my blog because I don’t want to have to look at such an offensive misrepresentation of my people on this blog, but you can look at it on the link.

Numero must have been trying to sell magazines by being controversial because there is no way they can be serious with this bull sh*t. This is going to the extreme.

We live in a world where the media shows stereotypical images of Black women. We’re always portrayed as sapphires, mammies and Jezebels. We only get portrayed negatively and Black women are grossly underrepresented in both the fashion and film industry. We are never portrayed as our natural, beautiful selves. We are only portrayed through a Eurocentric lens so that we don’t threaten society’s racist beauty ideals.
I, for one, am beyond tired of it…and this magazine spread is the ultimate insult as far as I am concerned. Black women are being systematically erased in the media.

Some of the comments from people who believe that Black women who are offended by this are over-reacting, include:

*“i guess the real racist is the one who assumes an african couldnt be white.”

“Who said all Africans are black?????”*

The people who made these comments are either oblivious or deliberately evasive to the issue. The issue is that Black women are being discriminated against in the fashion industry and by the media in general. We hardly ever see Black women represented as beautiful in the media and we’re invisible in the fashion industry as was documented in the documentary The Color of Beauty as well as this post on Black Brazilian fashion models.

The editors did NOT choose a “White African,” model. They chose a White American model and painted her in Black face. If they wanted to represent a Black African Queen, they should have picked a Black model, instead of painting a white one.

This is nothing more than the erasure of Blackness that Kola Boof always talks about, it is actually happening and that is a large reason why I will not accept this image and I will not accept that a white person is truly African. If things were equal, maybe I wouldn’t have anything to write about, but they are NOT equal.

Why don’t we ever see Black women portrayed as “European Queens,” and why don’t we replace real white women with Black women painted in  “white face”…. while we portray  real white women as obese, low class, trashy women all of the time???

It is ONLY Black women who are being erased from the media and THAT is what makes this racist. All that society gives us is  negative after negative representation and misrepresentation of real Black women and positive representations of white women painted in Black face.

I will not allow the world to trample on my image as a Black woman any longer, I will continue to speak up and I will stop supporting those who participate in our erasure.


*Special Note: Now about whether or not Africans are white…this may offend some people, but I will never consider a European-descended person who resides in an African country to be truly African.

I would not and do not consider a Black person who resides in a European country to be truly European either.
White Africans are descendants of Europeans, their blood links them back to Europe and that is what their descent is… European, not African. So, NO, to me a white person is not a true African…sorry…This is not to say that a white person can’t identify with a specific culture in an African country nor is it to say that a white person can’t live in Africa nor am I saying that White people in Africa shouldn’t be treated equally. I believe everyone deserves respect and dignity, but at the end of the day, it is what it is…if your descent is European or non-African descent,  then you are not African period.  Not being African or not being European doesn’t diminish someone’s humanity, but it is what it is. This is my opinion for now, sorry if it offends anyone.*

Check out Kola Boof documentary HERE!!!!

Video of African Queen by 2face:

P.S This should be a sign to Black people, stop waiting around for white media to represent us right…start our own fashion industry and support it and maybe we’ll flip the script and do a TRUE AFRICAN QUEEN spread.

15 thoughts on “A White African Queen & The Erasure of Black Women”

    1. Halle Berry and Vanessa Williams have African blood in their veins. They are African descended women. What is your real point newyorkman ?


    2. and also it’s hard for me to see someone who is the descendant of people who colonized and pillaged the African continent and systematically discriminated against the Native people of the land as “true Africans.” Dutch Afrikaners to me are Europeans, not Africans.

      I mean that would be like me going into The Jones Family house as a Smith, stealing all of their stuff, making them live in the basement and then calling myself “A Jones,” because I moved into their house and took all of their stuff. that doesn’t make any sense.

      I am not saying ALL White people in Africa are descendants of the colonizers, but for those who are, I think it’s bold to say they’re truly African when they’re actually not. I just think that takes a lot of nerve.

      and note that I am not saying that white people don’t have a right to reside in Africa or obtain citizenship in an African country or that white people should be kicked out everywhere in Africa, I am not saying any of that because first and foremost whether you’re African or European or Asian, you’re human so I think as I said everyone has a right to dignity and respect and people should be able to live where they choose as long as everyone is treated equally.

      but let’s call it what it is…just because I don’t see white people as true Africans doesn’t mean I don’t value or respect them as people but they’re just not African to me that’s all. Just as most Europeans don’t see immigrants or those who are descendants of African Slaves in Europe as truly European and that is evident by the way Blacks are treated across Europe.

      maybe I’m wrong, but that is just how I feel…it’s hard FOR ME to consider a white person of European descent to be truly African let alone have a “white african queen,” painted in Black face and replacing a real African woman.


  1. Yes, they are African descended women, but they also have European ancestry. But if the standard is “I will never consider a European-descended person who resides in an African country to be truly African” that raises the question I asked.


    1. I have European ancestry too, but that doesn’t make me a European, most Black Americans have European ancestry, but if we went around claiming we were European i don’t think that would sit well with people who actually ARE European. To me, I go by Kola Boof if you have “the proof,” and a direct blood tie to Africa if the ancestors are showing then you are African…if you don’t then you are not.


  2. I am American of Irish descent. That is how I describe myself if someone asks me what my ethnic background is. I do want logical consistency, but also want fairness. If it is OK for Americans to call themselves Irish, Italian, Indian or whatever, in all fairness, then it should be OK for you to call yourself African, ethnically speaking that is. I do think African is more meaningful than “black” as an ethnic description. I have a lady friend who immigrated from Trinidad. She describes herself ethnically as African, although she does have some non-African ancestry, including (East) Indian.


      1. hey newyorkman, i read the article it was very informative. i have always felt like we were told what to call ourselves and what not to call ourselves. as if our identity has been defined by people who aren’t us. sometimes i call myself Black because ,as the author stated, there is a strong historical and political connection to the term, but African-American is the PC term that I notice many white people prefer to use. However, most of the time I just say I’m an American of African descent or Black American. However, I do think it’s important to acknowledge our ties to Africa in the sense that it does unite us. Black people across the diaspora and in the continent of Africa itself have such a similar history


      2. Peanut, I hope you can post a reply to my post on that article. It would be nice to get more comments from an American perspective. Thanks!


  3. Peanut i saw that ish on huff post. It was crazy how some of those people missed the point entirely.It wasn’t the fact that there are whites living in africa who could’ve did this photshoot but the fact that they chose to use a white american teenager. First off when i think of african queen ,lets see number one queen to me means a woman not a girl. second african to me means a person in africa not an american. Number three if they wanted to have a white african queen why not use a white african.They crossed the line by using a white girl from america to portray a black african queen.they can say that they weren’t portraying a black african queen all they want but why all the dark makeup.Then they had the nerve to issue a sorry as apology saying how they don’t see how this could offend someone.”For its part, Numéro Magazine, which has the utmost respect for this photographer’s creative work, firmly excludes that the latest may have had, at any moment, the intention to hurt readers’ sensitivity, whatever their origin.” translation: we don’t know why yall are offended or why yall are being so sensitive. punk @s *beep *beep *beep ok i’m done


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