Black Power Fist Tattoo

One of the things that I think is unfortunate about BME, and I think the modification community in general, is that it is racially skewed toward Caucasians (or at least that’s how it seems to me). Anyway, I wanted to share with you this with you (by Ron from Sacred Art Tattoo, Springfield, MO) because the strange truth is I have received more “animal rights” tattoos than “civil rights” tattoos. The priorities of modern society I suppose?

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About Shannon Larratt

Shannon Larratt is the founder of BME (1994) and its former editor and publisher. After a four year hiatus between 2008 and 2012, Shannon is back adding his commentary to ModBlog. It should be noted that any comments in these entries are the opinion of Shannon Larratt and may or may not be shared by BMEzine.com LLC or the other staff or members of BME. Entry text Copyright © Shannon Larratt. Reproduced under license by BMEzine.com LLC. Pictures may be copyright to their respective owners. You can also find Shannon at Zentastic or on Facebook.

11 thoughts on “Black Power Fist Tattoo

  1. The following comments were imported from our old comment system:

    Posted on 05-04-2006 05:28:22 by slackary
    Nice bold tat. More animal rights than civil rights reflects the priorities of middle class white privilege, not society as a whole. If you have the terrific pleasure and privilege of choosing your food, actually getting to refuse to eat certain things, why not focus your activism on those who don’t have enough to eat at all? Dietary choices are political insofar as they are a supreme and select privilege in today’s world.

    Posted on 05-04-2006 06:24:45 by hoffmatic
    i like it, balls for doing it too.

    Posted on 05-04-2006 09:26:00 by more “animal rights” tattoos than “civil rights” tattoos. The priorities of modern society I suppose?
    … I have received more “animal rights” tattoos than “civil rights” tattoos. The priorities of modern society I suppose?

    ‘);

    Posted on d to be defended. I don\’t think I have any right to “stand up” for minorities when I don\’t know anything about being one.

    ‘);
    by Jets
    e defended. I don’t think I have any right to “stand up” for minorities when I don’t know anything about being one.

    Posted on 05-04-2006 09:53:23 by Neon Charge Eclipse
    I think perhaps theres a skew based on cultural evolution. It’s something more Caucasians as ‘dissillusioned middle-class’ seek out.
    I mean that in a mall piercing 15yr old way, not in the individualistic, average iam/bme’er way though…
    Thereby perhaps negating the validity of my arguement?
    But I certainly dont doubt you’re correct in the assumption…
    Thereby negating

    Posted on 05-04-2006 10:33:56 by marie
    All the black people I know who are modded just arent interested in the “scene” of it all. They get a tattoo or two, or a piercing, but they arent interested in the community aspect, BME, or other mod stuff. That is obviously a generalization, but all those I know who I have mentioned it to seemed to have an attitude of “so I have a tattoo, thats it”… they just see it as a one time event, a little thing, not a big part of them or who they are.

    Posted on 05-04-2006 11:29:42 by /
    so jets, when exactly were you an animal, last time i checked we were all human
    “i’m not a minority so it doesn’t affect me.” that’s very closed minded.

    Posted on 05-04-2006 11:34:24 by skeptic
    Why is this any better than white pride/white power tattoos, which are commonly condemned on BME?

    Posted on 05-04-2006 14:38:01 by S
    Well said, Slackary.

    Jets, do you realise how retarded that sounded? Jesus, you’ve more experience of being a human (regardless of race/religion/socioeconomic status) than you do of being an animal, your pets are neither white nor middle class.

    I don’t understand how anyone so lacking in empathy as to feel indifference towards other humans can feel such great empathy for other species. That’s screwed up.

    Posted on 05-04-2006 19:20:09 by honore
    i think your more likely to see an animal rigths tattoo because many people dont understand who horrible the animals are treated in many slaugtherhouses and many veggie/vegan are so moved that wanna teach the whole world. so they get a tattoo in support of understanding. many people think everyone is treated equaly so there is no need to talk about it, much less get a tattoo. whatever, meat is dead and dark skinned black men are the finest lookin people on the planet.

    Posted on 05-04-2006 20:22:48 by starspring
    This might sound strange, but the way the fist is aligned I thought of ‘fisting’ before I thought of any black power connotation, which I’ve usually seen as the knuckles being more aligned along the top of the clenched fist. To each their own I guess. I wish more black people got tattoos regardless of whether it was an issue of differentiating from white/black/civil rights culture or something else entirely personal.

    Also, since my longest known best friend(23 years and counting)is a black woman who got interested in Body modification because of me, I feel inclined to disagree with Jets somewhat. I can certainly speak up for civil rights for minorities-I’m gay AND white, so I’ve seen the fence from both sides on occasion. I wouldn’t necessarily say I identify very closely with the culture of either nor would I think about getting tattooed because of it. guess that’s just me.

    Posted on 05-05-2006 06:21:49 by Nephthys
    There are more animal shelters in the UK than there refuges for victims of domestic violence. Skewed priorities.

    Posted on 05-05-2006 10:18:12 by glider
    skeptic – Defense of a minority versus a majority in a democratic (or non-democratic) society are fundamentally different things. I don’t mean to say, “duh”, but… “duh”

    These types of comments are at best clear racist cop-outs and debating tactics, and at worst ignorance.

    Posted on 05-05-2006 11:01:09 by C
    Hum. I thought that this might be the Howard Stern logo. http://www.howardstern.com/ top left corner.

    Posted on 05-05-2006 11:37:40 by /
    i agree honore
    i’m doing my part for the cause i’m married to a black man :)

    Posted on 05-05-2006 13:54:35 by g
    “skeptic – Defense of a minority versus a majority in a democratic (or non-democratic) society are fundamentally different things. I don’t mean to say, “duh”, but… “duh”

    These types of comments are at best clear racist cop-outs and debating tactics, and at worst ignorance.”

    Oh, so it’s merely a numbers game to you, eh Shannon?

    Fair enough, so would it therefore be alright in your view for a white person living in a non-white country (say, any number of Asian or African nations for instance) to sport a “White Power” tattoo?

    I fail to see how it’s anything but a completely analogous situation.

    How about Zimbabwe? It is a 99% black nation with about 75,000 whites residents as of 2006.

    President (see: “King”) Robert Mugabe respects neither minority nor property rights as evidenced by the fact that he has seized farms owned by Zimbabweans purely on the basis of the race of the aforementioned owners.

    “Mugabe land seizures force hundreds of farm owners to flee”

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,3604,327600,00.html

    Would “White Power” tattoos then not be appropriate for Caucasian Zimbabweans, as they are simply defending their “minority status”?

    How about South Africa?

    It’s open season on farmers in that country. Black farmers are getting robbed as well, but more than 1500 white farmers have been butchered for no other reason than their race. South African whites are being murdered thanks to collective guilt rationalizations (the same fallacious thinking that lead the Catholic church to blame Jews for the death of Jesus for more than one thousand years).

    “Farms of fear:

    It’s not the Somme, it’s South Africa — and a memorial to nearly 2,000 white farmers murdered in the last 10 years. The motive? Not theft, nor land grab, as in Zimbabwe — but revenge, fuelled by racism and envy. And as the killing goes on, the police do nothing. Brian Moynahan reports”

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2099-2100080,00.html

    “Genocide Watch:

    Over 1000 Boer Farmers In South Africa Have Been Murdered Since 1991″

    http://www.genocidewatch.org/BoersSlain01.htm

    Pictures of murders here-
    http://www.africancrisis.org/photos16.asp

    Would it be appropriate for Afrikaners to get “White Power” tats?

    I hardly think you’d find the reverse of the “Black Power” tattoo you seem to be fawning over appropriate in the situations I mentioned.

    Posted on 05-05-2006 17:23:31 by /
    i think it would g

    Posted on 05-05-2006 17:25:11 by /
    they just might have to explain it if someone from the US saw it

    Posted on 05-05-2006 18:47:29 by moi
    i think the difference is in the details. the black power fist is associated with the black panthers – a group that condones violence among other means to obtaining equality. because of this, i am not crazy about his tattoo. if his tattoo was something along the lines of “proud to be black” or “equal rights for blacks” or a flag of an african nation, i would be very supportive. but when i see his tattoo, i can’t help but associate it with violence, and that is why i am uncomfortable with it.

    Posted on 05-05-2006 20:22:45 by Sade
    skeptic- I don’t think it’s a numbers game I think it’s the fact that for most centuries Black didn’t have the choice of saying they were proud to be who they were/are.If they were proud and showed their pride they were strung up to a tree.And,as far as Africa goes,Apartheid,must not ring any bells with you does it?

    There’s nothing wrong with showing pride in where you came from and who you are,but when that pride becomes a destructive force that rips apart a whole people because you think that because you are White or Black that you are somehow better,and therefore should rule…why does it become wrong that that group of people chooses to show pride in who and what they are?

    Posted on 05-05-2006 21:06:33 by g
    Sade-

    To begin with, I wrote the message to which you are responding, rather than skeptic (just to clear up any confusion).

    Lynching was a form of vigilante justice that was used against both blacks and whites. Obviously during certain periods of time the lynching of blacks outpaced the lynching of whites (in numbers, significance and prominence).

    That said, lynchings were a pretty rare occurrence during the past century. (Even more rare when one considers that blacks made up at least 10% of the American population at all times during the 20th century.)

    From statistics compiled by the Tuskegee Institute, there were a total of 1800 lychings recorded between 1900 and 1969 (with no lynchings occuring after that year). [Numbers from Freakonomics.]

    Also, you might want to consider brushing up on your history. People weren’t lynched because they “showed pride”. Lynchings were used by mobs as a form of vigilante justice. Lynchings most commonly occurred when a black person was accused of a crime (especially against a white female) or for a perceived sign of “disrespect” (as in the case of Emmett Till).

    As for South Africa and your remark about apartheid, evidently you missed the following point from my post:

    “South African whites are being murdered thanks to collective guilt rationalizations (the same fallacious thinking that lead the Catholic church to blame Jews for the death of Jesus for more than one thousand years).”

    White (that is to say Boer) farmers living in South Africa today are no more responsible for the official apartheid policies of a half century ago than your average white male Protestant living in Texas is responsible for the military policies of George Bush (et al).

    Collective guilt is ridiculous and, as I mentioned, was notably used against the Jews by the Catholic church and is chiefly responsble for a good deal of historical anti-Semitism.

    Besides, what is your point when you said,

    “And,as far as Africa goes,Apartheid,must not ring any bells with you does it?”

    Are past slights and discrimination a carte blanche that allows innocent people to be butchered? Are you five years old? Should we play genocide and segregation tit for tat? Why doesn’t Israel go over to Germany and gas a couple million Germans?

    Nice logic.

    Posted on 05-06-2006 14:16:02 by Sade
    I guess you missed the point where I said that it’s ok to show ones pride but not at the expense of a whole group of people.And as far as brushing up on my history,I can see that history everyday by looking at my older family members,or just going out my front door.No,I don’t know statistics,and I don’t know the overall history of South Africa because history is always going to skewed to the side of whomever is writing about it.

    I never said revenge is an answer to slights and discrimimation but some kind of action,some kind of movement towards empowerment is.The Black power movement wasn’t a movement to show Blacks hate for Whites,it was a movement to show ourselves that we were/are as good as others,that we deserve to be treated with respect,and that we deserve to be defended like anyone else.

    Some might disagree with me but that’s just my take on Black Power.

    Posted on 05-07-2006 14:59:58 by herekittykitty
    Im “white” and tho I don’t feel any superiority in it, I AM proud of who I am…I mean, we all have little choice but to embrace our skin (regardless of shade). I agree with the Black Power movement take in the post above. Of course I would never have a white fist tattoo on myself because it would only be taken one way…the wrong way. Should I be ashamed of the skin I was born in? Of course not. Should I fly a white fist tattoo? Only if I want to be classified as a white supremist.

    Posted on 05-08-2006 01:59:16 by Begezus
    My thoughts on this whole thing are that you shouldn’t need to feel proud or ashamed of something you have no control over – i.e. skin colour. Can we not just make it something indifferent? “oh this guy has white skin, oh this guy has black skin….. so what are we doing tonight?” make it a non-issue, which to me is the whole idea of equality; no one is better, no one is worse, we are all the same. therefore no need to be proud or ashamed of skin colour. as for the tattoo, it looks good, regardless of what it stands for.

    Posted on 05-08-2006 13:15:14 by /
    black people being proud of their skin color comes from the fact that they were dehumanized for so long in this country. It was a bad thing to be black. Black pride is an proclamation that “I am good enough I am human I am equal”.

    oh and as for being proud of something you have no control over what about intelligence some people are naturally smarter should they not be proud of what they acomplish just because they are gifted?

    Posted on 05-08-2006 17:33:23 by hmm
    Using your example: perhaps they meant to be proud of the accomplishments they had as being gifted, but not be proud of their innate intelligence. I personally don’t think its the best example though because no one can purely be highly inntelligent from birth with that innate intelligence being directly responsible for their accomplishments while people can be white or black from birth without outside nuturing, education or influence. I see what people from both sides are saying though, but its much too complicated an issue to be completely on one side or the other for me.

  2. I dont apprectaite that, if a white person had a white fist, that would be considered racist

  3. I think the tat is tight, and cant see anything wrong with it either. A black power tat is to me different from a white power tat, since black people aint never done anything as cruisial for their skin color as hitler did for his.

    big ups

  4. Ok, this is going to sound weird… but I’m a white submissive who is exclusively into Black men. I’d love to get a white power tattoo somewhere discreet on my body. I’m kind of “conservative” in appearance (though radical in my politics). I’m just curious what the reaction would be here.

    Thanks.

  5. I like your tattoo and respect for doing it, would like to see more like it. Did u design it yourself? England.

  6. i actually am a black person and i really dont support either griup. Imean I do belive that what the kkk did was wrng but im not saying that we should hate every white person we see! another thing is its ok to get a tattoo like that or its okay to have a skinhead tattoo because evry one is gone have der own bias to say. However every one should treat evry one da same. but im not getting on the caucasians but since it was okay to post “black power sites” as it was okay to publish white supremacy sites. I personnally have many white and black friends and we act the same wat towards each other another thing I dont get is why the caucasians hated us for so many years but now they want to e be, act, wal, talk, and dress like us. ( i no every body doesn’t but there are some who do) I am not just getting mad and im not mad at all i just think its not rite for either white supremacy or black power organizations to be advertised publickly and of they are keep it within yourself, family, and friends just so we dnt hav another African holocaust. or Jewish holocaust.

  7. Great tat. I wish more art would be put into it. The black fist dosen’t mean hate it means freedom. If you look back at those time and every thing that was going on you would repsect it. The pathers were protector it seems dramatic to looking at it now day but innocent peaple were geting killed for sport. So they took up arms. They never killed one person. They fed the poor and 20% of them were whites who cared about what was going on. The only crime in that is that they were killed and put in jail by our government with out commiting a crime. We are americans we are brothers and sisters. So thing about that and let see more art on this time in american history

  8. Posted on 05-08-2006 13:15:14 by /
    black people being proud of their skin color comes from the fact that they were dehumanized for so long in this country. It was a bad thing to be black. Black pride is an proclamation that “I am good enough I am human I am equal”.

    oh and as for being proud of something you have no control over what about intelligence some people are naturally smarter should they not be proud of what they acomplish just because they are gifted?

    / is correct.

    There is a huge difference between the black power symbol and that of white supremacism. Black power is about a nation who specifically, but not exclusively in the US were brutalized and denied rights. This meant there was (and still is) a lack of pride among black people. Ive met many people who are ashamed to be black. Therefore I see black power as a symbol of being comfortable in ones own skin and rising above the very recent history of oppression to gain EQUALITY, unlike white supremacism which seems intent on calling black people niggers,asians-pakis etc and proclaiming that to be caucasian is to be SUPERIOR to other races.

    And btw, I am white.

  9. i love it. I lived in Africa. I am a white middle class middle age female. I couldn’t agree with you more !!! I’ve always wanted a tattoo of the outline of Africa … but now I also want to put the black fist in the middle of the Africa outline. and by the way … your pretty damn cute!

  10. and by the way … I lived in South Africa and Botswana for two years. I’ve met Nelson Mandela. I suggest you all visit the Apartheid museum there.. visit the country, it is beautiful and the people – both black and white – are very friendly to white and blacks- look up the term umbuntu. and read the book Mandela The authorized autobiography. Aparthied involved white on white violence, black on black violence as well as white on black violence. The symbol of the black fist to me says “Never forget, but DO forgive” and to never be ashamed of who one is. Also … visit the slave holding areas of west Africa … and also London. Read true accounts of their dealings from the words of slaves that survived. It’s a lesson in history that is NOT properly taught in American schools. peace out

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