Lists, Pop Culture, Race & Politics, Theory & Essay

The Biggest and Baddest On-Going Battles In The Black Community

Somebody's got to die!

Worse than the Hatfields and the McCoys, bloodier than the Barksdales vs the Stanfield crew battle, and possibly even stupider than the Montague vs Capulet feud, the on-going acrimony between natural haired sistas and, um, unnatural haired sistas has officially reached it’s boiling point. Lives will be lost. Livestock will be raped. And, according to Demetria Lucas, discounts will be had.

From “Does Natural Hair Get You Ahead?”

Over the weekend, I read a story about a club promoter in Atlanta who was offering discounts to women with natural hair.

According to The Grio, the promoter expressed his “utter disdain” for weaves and love for natural hair on his blog, which includes a section where readers can find natural hair blogs and products.

“Now he’s putting his money where his mouth is,” reports. “By giving $10 off tickets to his Atlanta Classic Post-Game Affair on the 24th of [September] and $5-$10 discounts to his FAMU Homecoming event [this past Friday]. Discounts [were] available to women with natural hair, and they[used] the code ‘natural’ when buying tickets.”

Now, I don’t plan on writing a comprehensive post breaking down all of the issues between black women with natural hair and black women with perms. Why? Well, I just don’t feel like writing the 200,000 or words that would be necessary to do that. But, I will say that this battle is just one of the more prominent of the many wars going on within our community today — decades-long points of contention that have the power to split families, end marriages, and, in some extreme cases, bleach skin.

Here’s a few more.

Lightskinned vs Darkskinned

The granddaddy of them all, you can argue that everything on this list stems from this historically heavy topic. You can also argue that since he was the only person in recorded history to successfully man up and fight on both sides, Michael Jackson needs a f*cking holiday.


A battle that’ll be even more contentious in the next couple of weeks, as hundreds of universities around the country will hold their homecomings, giving HBCU alums their yearly opportunity to be condescending f*cks and annoy the ever living sh*t out of everyone around them. Btw, HBCU brethren, you can continue to try, but you’re just not going to ever succeed at making me feel bad that I didn’t do undergrad at Cheney or Prairie View A&M. I appreciate the effort, though.

Northern vs Southern Blacks

A battle which basically comes down to the fact that northern blacks assume southerners are stupid, and southern blacks assume northerners are stupid for preferring Range Rovers over Impalas.

Uber-Christian Blacks vs Everyone Else

In the most lopsided battle yet, uber-Christian blacks are kicking the asses of the secular blacks so badly that many of the uber-Christian black leaders (Eddie Long, Donnie McClurkin, etc) have switched teams to make things more even.

Anyway, people of Will any of these battles ever end? Also, can you think of any other battles that should have made the cut?

Lastly (and most importantly), which of these wars would you spend $59.95 to watch on PPV?

—The Champ

***If you get a minute, check out “Does He Love Me” — The Champ’s latest at Madame Noire***

Damon Young

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB. He is also a columnist for and EBONY Magazine. And a founding editor for 1839. And he's working on a book of essays to be published by Ecco (HarperCollins). Damon is busy. He lives in Pittsburgh, and he really likes pancakes. Reach him at Or don't. Whatever.

  • I would pay good money to watch the Uber-Christians versus the Uber-Ghetto.

    Then again, I”m almost afraid they’d be the same people. . .

  • I cannot tell you how many Lightskin VS Darkskin parties I’m invited too. Just..
    -Kicks over stuffed bear- iCant -__-

  • Kidsister

    I don’t think any of these battles will ever end. As time progresses, they’ll more than likely grow and manifest themselves in new and different ways.

    I’d put my bf’s last 59.95 on the line to see the light skinned vs. dark skinned war. I’d prolly even go out and buy a 3D tv for the occasion (Nothing like beady beads in 3D).

  • Will they end?

    Nawl. Unfortunately.

    Most of the light vs. dark, natural vs. perm debates stem from slavery & colonialism, but many of us like to pretend that “we’re over that.”

    Clearly, we aren’t (have you heard how sisters go in on Ye’s white girl phase?), and we’ll never be over it until we–as Bob said–brake the chains of mental slavery. And no, I’m not a crunchy granola chick, but some things are just the way they are.

    Other contenders for the battle? Hmm….

    Black men vs. Black women. Sadly, this is a bloodier battle than them all*

    *for some…i don’t buy into it, personally.

  • miss t-lee

    I really hate that I laughed so hard at that Michael Jackson line. So.dayum.wrong. :-) Dayum, I’m gonna start seeking out natural hair discounts now, didn’t know that was the lick. *oh, and I’m kinda partial to Caprices over Impalas. *snickers*

  • naturalista88

    Hmm, I don’t think any of these “battles” will ever die. I don’t know why there is even contention btw some natural hair wearers & those who wear weaves/relaxers; I couldn’t give a coin purse full of sh*ts about you puttin’ perm in your head, so don’t feel obligated to give any about me wearing my big arse fro.

  • maybe afro-carribean blacks vs. black americans (AA?)

  • Tes

    As a person distinctly in between on all those rivalries, I can honestly say I think it’s all a moot point. I mean, I say ya’ll in religious debates while twisting my transitioning natural and lotioning my in-between brown skin. So…what’s the connundrum?

    We all are varying people; we don’t stay, most of us anyway, in one state of being and become stagnant. We are constantly, hopefully, changing and evolving and to argue about which of those states is better or worse when we’ve all been there is just…foolish.

    …also, the South wins, hands down, all day erry’day. I mean soul food? Booty bass? From the South to the North, you’re welcome ;)

  • Eddie_Brock!

    Damn, didn’t we settle at least four of these issues way back in 1998?

  • Mo-VSS

    You want another epic battle? How about this one:

    Those who care vs…..wait for it…..wait for it….

    Those who don’t give a f*ck!

    Which do you think I represent? If you guessed team “dontgiveaFk” then you, sir or ma’am have won. Please collect your DGAF t-shirt as a prize.

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