Thursday
Apr162015

No, We're Not Shutting Down - Just Upgrading

 

So I got this in the mailbox today:

I just discovered your site and really like this! I am sure it's not easy, but please continue this. I noticed no entries for December, 1 for january, and nothing since.

I hope you guys are not shutting this down. WE NEED THIS!!! ---Concerned WAOD Reader

We're still here and aren't going anywhere.

Yes, I should have made some type of announcement about our posting schedule. So here's the deal. We absolutely are creating behind the scenes :)

The internet looks a LOT different than it did 8 years ago, so I feel less compelled to speak out because everybody else is already doing it. Plus I think I've overdeveloped my "awareness" muscles. I know how to make people aware. Awareness isn't enough. I know how to call people out. I don't need more practice with that. I know how to send a verbal broadside. I don't need more practice doing that.

I need to compete for the hearts, minds and imaginations of young Black girls ( and boys) and I can't do that with a blog and nothing else.

So that's what I've been doing for the last 18 months or so - getting in competition shape.  Working on building up the muscles of "finishing discipline."

If you need a reagular dose of WAOD wisdom, follow our Facebook Fan Page. I post over there at least once a week, sometimes more.

On our Blog Anniversary, April 18, 2015 we'll be launching a new platform.

So if you want to keep up with WAOD posts:

Or just wait until Saturday, April 18th :)

 

Wednesday
Jan142015

Sorority Sisters is Toast! Black Twitter Warriors= 1, VH1=172,348,247

This was a hot topic over on the WAOD Facebook Page. Black America's elites finally found a reality television show they couldn't justify as a "guilty pleasure." They waged a sucessful campaign against the VH1 reality formulaic, Sorority Sisters and ran off all of it's advertisers. They were rallied in part by TV One personality Roland Martin.

So now VH1 is dumping the last three episodes of the show this Friday at 11:00 at night.

 

This is what I wrote back in December on the WAOD Fanpage:

Apparently there is a reality show about Black women in sororities. And apparently that isn't sitting well with college educated Black women. Well what did you think was going to happen? First they came for the "Hoodrats" then the WAGS ( wives and girlfriends of rich men) then they came for the Black church. Now, they are coming for YOU.

One of the small irritants over the years when I was railing against negative portrayals of Black women in popular culture was a subset of critics that said "they not talking about ME!" In other words "I'm not one of THOSE kinds of Black women, so they aren't talking about ME!"

Well now they are. You could have fended off the attacks when the enemy was at your neighbor's gate, now the enemy is knocking on your door.

Injustice anywhere.....


I suspected the show was on the ropes several weeks ago, because the VH1 website was not featuring it on the home page and didn't have a show blog that usually accompanies its other offerings.

At least two of the women have reportedly been suspended. I loved how the women said they weren't representing their sorority, but are on a show called "SORORITY Sisters"

I salute those who lobbied advertisers to pull this show. I'll be watching my Twitter feed to see if the same Twitter Warriors will be tweeting up a storm over Real Hood Housewives of Detroit or Love and Basketball Hiphop.

 

 

Sunday
Nov232014

Sexism in the Ferguson Protest "Movement" - Surprise!

I posted this over on the WAOD Facebook Fan Page and thought this was blog-worthy.

Matt Pearce of the The LA Times wrote a story about Black women"finding their voice" in the Ferguson protest "movement." Apparently, sexism is strong in the Ferguson protest "movement." Surprise! Everything old is new again. Black women are being shouted down and excluded at meetings- meanwhile many of the protests are comprised of a majority of women.


"When she tried to answer students’ questions about the protests that followed the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown, the men with her interrupted and answered instead. When she tried to tell her story, the men told theirs instead.

It was about three weeks after Ferguson erupted in unrest last summer and Elzie, another female activist, and six men from the fledgling protest movement were speaking to a room full of Washington University students in St. Louis. Except only the men were talking." Los Angeles Times

This isn't anything new. Black women were all up under and through the Civil Rights movement. They face the same water hoses, dogs and billy clubs. Fannie Lou Hamer was beaten by police just like men, but oh when it came time to take the stage at the March on Washington, the men refused except to let us sing a song and one speech from Josephine Baker.

Black women need to accept the fact that "showing up" will not be acknowledged by traditional Black institutions or their digital age social media driven spinoffs.

So if you want to "show up," fine, just don't expect Black male leaders to want to cede ground to you.

The one highlight of piece was that two of the women complaining went on to get appointed by the governor to the Ferguson Commission - something many of the Black male protesters couldn't and wouldn't do. So in other words, they claimed a completely different kind of power - that is likely to last longer than the kind that dwindles when mainstream media stops being interested.

Black women need to build their own power bases. If they choose to use them to advocate for more than Black women, fine. But this episode has once again proven that traditional Black orgs and their offspring haven't improved their record on sexism and misogyny.

For background on the March on Washington's sexism, read about Black women being excluded from both the March on Wasington and the 50th Anniversary last year.

And yes, I'm putting the word "movement" in quotes - the Civil Rights Movement was at least 50 years old by the time the March on Washington rolled around. 4 months of mentions on Twitter and cable television does not a "movement" make. 

Wednesday
Oct292014

TALES OF A FREE BLACK WOMAN: Toni Morrison Can House Her Papers Where SHE Wants To

Highly entitled Black people are complaining about Toni Morrison leaving her papers to Princeton University. They feel entitled to tell this woman what she can do with HER work. Work they didn't create. Work many people supported. Yes, Toni Morrison graduated from Howard, but she has a lengthy professional relationship with Princeton.  We could debate which school is fit to house her papers, but that's irrelevant.

The fact that you feel entitled to try to regulate the choices that this woman can make with her life's work is indicative of a much larger problem - We feel entitled to Black women's bodies, minds, images, blood, sweat tears, time, talent and treasure--- JUST BECAUSE! If you want something from Black women, you should have to EARN IT! Make an argument for it.

We don't know if any HBCUs offered to take her papers. We don't know what Princeton offered her. We don't know what resources Princeton is going to bring to bear.  Did Howard want the papers? Did Howard present an offer? Other than graduating from Howard, what is her current connection?

The King Papers are at Stanford by the way. Langton Hughes' papers are at Yale.  I guess we should thank Marc Lamont Hill for letting ONE Black women participate in the conversation with FOUR Black men talking about Toni Morrison.

And can we stop it with the "open letters"?

While I made life long and treasured friends in undergrad and grad school, I don't feel any deep connection to the institutions I attended. I have far more of a connection to the local colleges and universities where I take continuing education classes. Just because she went to an HBCU doesn't mean she had an amazing experience that trumps her connections to Princeton.

 

Sunday
Oct052014

Don't #FixMyLife: Did Oprah Need to Put Jay Williams and His 34 Kids by 17 Women on OWN to Teach us Forgiveness? 

So apparently some of y’all are questioning Iyanla Vanzant’s “motives.” Shame on you belov-eds! 

But let's call a thing a thing - I have never seen someone who claims to be a life coach so obsessed with what other people are saying about her. Iyanla, Beloved, you can count me among those questioning your motives.

Remember when Oprah launched the Oprah Winfrey Network with the promise that the network was going to be inspiring us all to live our best lives? It actually happened. Well after an initial launch of goodness and light, Oprah embraced the high-quality storytelling of Tyler Perry and buried the hatchet with Iyanla Vanzant and embraced a Black audience... for now. That’s not an unheard of strategy, FOX did it, the CW, formerly UPN did it. 

My Twitter timeline has exploded each week Jay Williams with 34 children by 17 or so different women has been on Iyanla’s Fix my Life. Realizing the rating boondoggle that this dysfunctional family presented, Iyanla has now stretched the melodrama surrounding this narcissistic misogynist and his brood to a five week series and don’t be surprised if Oprah gives Jay and his family their own spin off. 

In all the blog posts I have seen about Jay and dysfunctional situation ( because if they were functional, Iyanla wouldn’t be there) I have yet to see anyone question why Oprah Winfrey choose to give over her platform to broadcast this dysfunction.

To hear Iyanla tell it, Jay Williams and his dysfunction are a gift to all of US:

I now understand that the Jay Williams story is all about self-value, self-respect and self-worth gone awry because of the lack of effective and meaningful conversations and much-needed instruction at every level of society.  There are moments in time when we find ourselves in the midst of a sacred experience, a time of change, an opportunity for healing that can leave us breathless or totally confused. Iyanla Vanzant 

When non-Black people have several dozen children, they get uplifting family dramas on television like the Duggars. We get Juaamne, 34 who has six children by four women, Terrance who has four children by two different women, Nathaniel, 28 children by 17 different women. All were featured on the Jay Williams mini-series on OWN.


Did we really need so see this level of dysfunction in order to learn forgiveness?

Can Iyanla really fix this level of dysfunction within dysfunction on top of dysfunction?

Is it possible to talk about a highly dysfunctional Black man without Black women taking the blame?

 

No, no, and no.


The truth is that Jay Williams has 34 children by 17 women because he hates women. It really isn’t more complicated than that. Because only a man who hated women would impregnate three or more of them AT THE SAME TIME and then walk away from them and leave them to fend for themselves. 

 

Iyanla is going to drag this misogynist and his narcissim out for as long as possible:

 

 

  • If this story is actually what I believe it to be, a wake-up call from the universe, men will stop making excuses, women will stop being angry, and people will start talking and healing the things that really matter: relationships, families and our collective investment in the future of this world. People may not agree about why I do what I do the way I do it. They may continue to question my motives, intentions and the size of my paycheck. That will not make this story or the issues it has placed on the table of public conversation go away. One man, one story, has opened the floodgates of healing, growth and a new reality. We simply must do better. Iyanla Vanzant

 

Yeah, I can learn something from a man who abandoned 34 children and gave family planning less thought than what he was going to eat for breakfast, but I’d love to hear more from Black folks who are doing just fine. I can learn from them too. Oprah and Iyanla should just admit they gave over to ratchetness for ratings. 

 

For those of you wondering where the functional Black families are hanging out, I would suggest HGTV and the Food Network ( except the Neelys - turns out their PDAs during cooking were all lies!).You know what would be really awesome? A totally intact, highly functioning Black family on a road trip. Or a cooking competition between some highly functional Black families. We aren’t like Big Foot, Santa or the Tooth Fairy. We’re all over my Facebook timeline. 

So belov-eds let’s call a thing a thing - Everyone involved in this Jay Williams/ Iyanla Vanzant vortex of foolishness need intensive counseling - mental health, family planning, financial literacy and probably a half a dozen other specialties. 

 

It’s not “judging” all involved to say that a television show is the LAST place any of these people belong.