Looking for soft porn? Want to catch a glimpse of the hottest booty in hip-hop? Well stop by Border’s Bookstore and visit the African-American Studies section. Yes that’s right, the section that features books about famed black trailblazers such as W.E.B. DuBois, Marcus Garvey and President Barack Obama, also features a book about the life of a soft porn star.
It’s insulting nearly mortifying to think that right next to books on slavery, civil rights and black religion sits a tell all memoir by a popular ‘video vixen’. Buffie “The Body” Carruth, who burst onto the scene several years ago with an appearance in rapper Tony Yayo’s video, ‘So Seductive,’ has become a household name among hip-hop fans because of her odd sized buttock.
So why is her book placed in the African-American studies section of Borders. According to their headquarters a publisher determines a books categorization. But if you realize a book has received an improper category listing, what is the issue making the simple change and placing the book in the right category.
In her book she writes about her life growing up as a skinny girl who found herself after receiving much attention after she took pills that made her butt extremely big. As she puts it, she came a long way from “fighting, dating drug dealers, stealing, stripping and…tricking.” I hardly think this type of material belongs in African-American studies.
What does belong is the story of the Hottentot Venus, who in the 1800s was forced to gyrate her ample buttocks as part of an exhibition around Britain. Saartjie Baartman, a black South African woman exhibited as a curiosity of nature, was paraded semi-and completely nude, by an animal trainer, before groups of men that paid an entry fee and compelled to dance and walk about seductively showing off her overly large posterior. Baartman’s exploitation at the hands of her handlers eventually led to prostitution, alcoholism and then death at age 26.
This story of abuse and mistreatment must not be confused with the story of a ‘video vixen’ who chose to exploit herself. To Borders Bookstore and Triple Crown Publications please re-categorize “Vixen Icon: A Tell-all by Buffie the Body.”