Big Brother American Season 23: The Azah Defense (Contains Spoilers)

So. As I’ve already told y’all, I’m a Tiffany stan. But thanks to the wise words of a brilliant Black woman (@albcanada on Twitter), I’m now an Azah stan too.

At first, I thought what everyone thought, what some people still think: that Azah wasn’t doing much other than talking to people, laying in the bed, cooking and reading the Bible.

But as Diamantè reminded me, at its heart, Big Brother is a social game. Azah wasn’t just talking, she was building bonds and relationships with people that in their eyes made her someone they could trust. And in Big Brother, that’s hard to come by.

Azah also did something I’ve never seen anyone do: she told one of the biggest competitive threats in the game, if not the biggest, Christian, he was her target…while he was HOHand she didn’t get nominated for eviction. Not only was she not nominated, Christian never even considered nominating her and the next week, he told someone he trusted Azah more than other people because she was honest. ICONIC.

Honesty became Azah’s currency in the house. To my knowledge, she’s kept every deal she’s made and never saw the block until Final Four and even then, Xavier mostly nominated her to take away from her that she’d never been nominated.

To people who think Big Brother is all about competitions, they may look down on Azah because she didn’t win one until Final Five. But guess what? When she did win Head of Household, her target went home, which is one of an HoH’s goals.

Now, of course I can’t talk about the negative, hateful and racist things said about Azah without talking about colorism. I usually don’t like to teach about such topics but for those of you that don’t know, according to the Oxford Dictionary, colorism is “prejudice or discrimination against individuals with a dark skin tone, typically among people of the same ethnic or racial group.” Now, I’d like to add because colorism is the grandchild of racism and white supremacy, dark-skinned people of color are often treated worse than light-skinned people of color by people outside of their ethnic/racial group as well.

Azah has been called a dog, anti-woman, had her culture discussed by people who have ZERO idea what they’re talking about and called countless disparaging names on the Internet for doing the same things lighter-skinned women have done this season that they received little to no criticism for.

One thing I’ve seen said repeatedly is that Azah is playing for Xavier. How Sway? Azah goes along with what Xavier and Derek F. say most of time because she wants to seem non-threatening. Seeming non-threatening allows people to think if they take you to Final Two with them, they can’t beat you. But as far as Azah is concerned, I wouldn’t be so sure. Especially if she wins the last HoH of the season and cuts Xavier.

With the exception of winning her second veto and Chopping Block Roulette, in which she competed against no one, Alyssa’s entire game was tied to a man. I never saw anyone criticize her for it. Tiffany, my problematic fave, went up to the HoH room and cuddled with Kyland and told him not to hate her after he put her on the block. Never saw her criticized for it. But if Azah glances in Xavier’s direction, she’s his doormat and gave up her game for him?? Make it make sense, Y’all.

Last night in a Spaces on Twitter, I heard a dark-skinned Black woman call Azah a hater. How is Azah a hater when she constantly defends Tiffany who was unnecessarily cruel to her and told Xavier yesterday that despite what she’s done to her, she just likes Tiffany? Internalized colorism is a hell of a drug.

Da’Vonne, another dark-skinned Black woman, is also constantly criticized, mostly by white people, for being a terrible Big Brother player. I’ll admit she’s not in the Top Ten of Big Brother players, but she is not even close to being the worst to ever play the game either.

None of this is particular to Big Brother. Dark-skinned Black women are the least valued women in society, so colorism can be seen on almost every television show or in almost every film in which a dark-skinned Black woman appears, see The Real Housewives of Potomac, Pose and The Challenge.

Azah is currently in the house with two misogynists and a sexist, none of whom would piss on a Black woman if she was on fire. To say I hope and want her to win Big Brother Season 23 is an understatement. Both because she deserves to win and because I don’t want people as unevolved as Kyland, Xavier and Derek F. to win $750,000.

I may have been slow to defend Azah, but as Diamantè said, if you’re speaking negatively about a Black woman for no reason, you’re talking about me and I’m not going to stand for it. You’ve been warned.

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