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Tuesday
Dec042007

The Top Five Issues Facing African American Women in the 21st Century

Professor Tracey, WOAD Contributer

After suffering through the NBC Nightly News series on black women and reading several different blog sites responding to the series, I was really struck with how the everyday lives of African American women were misrepresented and misconstrued. I was further taken aback about how little is actually known about African American women as a social group. There is not a social group in America that cannot be portrayed negatively through the usage of statistics, but statistics alone do not reflect the real issues, concerns, and passions of a particular social group.

On a daily basis, I do not worry or care about not having a husband or who the next president maybe. I am secure enough to date who I wish and I don't think its my fault that I have several degrees and some black men don't have one. I want children, but I am currently struggling mightily to take care of myself and my pitbull, Che. I still love rap music and hip hop culture, even though I am extremely aware that hip hop does not currently love me back, hip hop does not control me or how I feel about myself.

I have been thinking about what exact issues affect me as a black woman in American society. Not every black woman in the world, but me. Not that I do not care about other black women, but what exactly are the issues that may affect other black women, but are currently weighing on my mind and soul daily for myself? If I had to FIGHT passionately and vigorously each day and every night for FIVE particular issues what would they be?

1) Health

Black women are dying from PREVENTABLE diseases, social ills, and causes. Heart disease, obesity, hypertension, HIV/Aids, diabetes, and physical violence are all preventable. It is not just about watching your diet and going to the gym, how does a black woman stay healthy in a community that socializes so heavily around food? Black women are suffering from stress, mental exhaustion, spiritual loss, depression, low self-esteem, and self doubt. How does that black woman get help in a society that has the ideal that African American women are indestructible Superwomen, expected to move heaven and earth to solve every problem?

2) Financial Freedom

How many black women regardless of educational and employment status are living paycheck to paycheck? How many black women are overwhelmed with credit card or student loan debt, or both? How many black women own their own home or will even have the opportunity to consider buying a home? How many black women are prepared for retirement? How many black women are in the financial position to care for a sick and aging parent or relative? I am in decent, but not great financial shape, I have an excellent education and strong earning potential, but I worry about taking care of my mother in the future and how will I ever pay off my student loans.

3) Education

African American women are earning college degrees, but there are still way too many black girls and women without high school diplomas. Of the black women earning undergraduate and advanced degrees, too many are in the same field of the humanities: education, history, sociology, or law. We need more sisters earning degrees in science, math, computer science, engineering, or business. Some of my greatest joys and my greatest disappointments have come from my educational experience. I love teaching, I think I was born to do it, but the majority of college campuses are still extremely racist and sexist, a double whammy for a black female professor, administrator, or student. We need more sisters in that academic arena to make real change. I HATE uninformed and oblivious black women. The library is FREE and reading is not a crime for black folks anymore. Black women do not have an excuse NOT to know things.

4) Interpersonal Relationships and Communication

I hate fighting with and about black men. I am so ready to wave the white flag and cut the cord, leaving brothas the hell alone, forever..... I am a single, educated, and self-supporting black woman and my opinion might be, could be, should be, and will be different from yours. Respect that! A difference of opinion or focus does not mean I hate black men or that I am disloyal to the black race. If your stuff is raggedy, I'm calling it out and if your stuff is lovely, I'm proudly applauding it! Don't attack me for being honest, it makes me feel unloved and that my opinion does not have value.

I really hate fighting with and about black women. I believe that most black women love and support one another, but too many of us are letting sistas down. Some of us are not representing other sisters well at all and that is a fact! Ms. Superhead and the ALL the sisters on reality TV shows have just killed the image of black women in mainstream society, by themselves, forget about hip hop! Some sisters are completely hateful and utterly disloyal to black women in general for inexplicable, bizarre, and unfathomable reasons. Since I started commenting and posting on blogs, I have been stunned at the number of black women that are ready, willing, and able to tear down other black women for just wanting to SUPPORT and EMPOWER black women! It strikes me as insanity that any black woman would be mad as hell because there is an actual forum in existence for black women to express themselves about issues near and dear to them! Shame on you!

I don't like being in the middle or on one side or the other of trivial and petty disputes between female family members, friends, sorors, fictive kin, or church members. Enough is enough. We need to start being more understanding and compassionate toward one another, if not for others, but for ourselves personally. Less mess, less stress! I strongly believe that most black women feel alone because they are battling or mediating personal conflicts ALL the time. After all that fighting black women are left with nothing but hurt feelings, hoarse voices, and broken relationships. We can't afford this kind of stuff anymore!!! We have too much work to do and we need to do it together. As the saying goes, if you're not part of the solution, you are part of the problem!!!!

5) Pro-Black Woman Leadership and Political Representation - Patrick Henry said "No Taxation without Representation....and this here sister feels taxed and unrepresented!!!! I want to see more black females in leadership and political positions! Get out of the way - Al, Michael, Bill, Cornel, Tavis, Russell, Jesse, Spike, TD, and you too Barack - Were my girls at? Oprah can't represent all of us and Juanita ain't the one! If we need to go on a Lord of the Rings mission to find and dust off Sister Souljah, then so be it! How is a certain "benevolent dictator" going to spark off a revolution and then be reluctant about being it's public face? (Talking about youuuuuuuuu, Gina, do we need to call Dr. Weems to remind you?) I personally intend to give brotha Dyson and West something to worry about! Sisters need to run for office and challenge for leadership in some of these established organizations. Start your own organization! Support a sister that is already out there with your time, money, and passion! I want people in power that actually know and care about black women.

I offer this very lengthy post (Sorry Attorney Mom, but Gina, said get over it! Print it out!) as an informal survey. I want to know what you think. What are your top five issues or concerns as a black woman in the 21st century? I don't want critiques or disagreements about my top five, you are not living this particular black woman's life. My issues are my issues. If you can't resist commenting, I will respect your view, but I will not defend my five to anyone! Tell me your own top five and I will tally and post the final results. Maybe we can find some common ground and find a few starting points to improve all our lives.

Brothers, you are welcome to participate, but I will not count you in the final results.

Reader Comments (24)

I've already given my list, so I won't go there again. I think the idea of developing our own candidates and leaders is a valid one. I remember back in the mid-eighties when white women developed EMILY's List. (Early Money Is Like Yeast) They used it as a force to develop and support female candidates. It's been very successful. I don't know why we can't develop a similar program for black women.

We already know that black women are brilliant strategists and fundraisers. Every organization in the black community was developed and largely funded by us. Now it's time for us to begin, on a grassroots level to suss out those people who get it. Who understand that black women have our issues that we care about passionately and that we want candidates and leaders who will stand up for those issues.

December 4, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterroslynholcomb

DAMNED good list!!! *claps* Actually the whole post was on point so there you go with that! :)

I will give my top 5 later after I think about it but it shouldn't be much different at all. In fact I think your list covers a lot of the concerns a lot of sisters have.

The one thing I will say, about the losing weight thing, and being in a culture that socializes food: it still doesn't matter. Or it shouldn't.

If a sister is 350 lbs and can't walk 2 feet without feeling like she's run a marathon, it's time to dig in and face the music regardless because her health should come first.

I admit that when I started making meals that were baked, stir-fried, and not "traditionally" black, I felt a little different; almost like I was cooking "white food." Crazy right?

But if we look at our history with slavery, we have long been made to eat crap and accept it. No more.

I will add that financially it is more difficult to eat healthy. It is. So that could be a factor.

December 4, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterSeattle Slim

My issue right now is health. IMHO the only way to eat healthy is to cook at home. With busy lives that is hard but it is the only guarantee that you control how food is prepared. If we are not healthy we will not feel like doing much else. At least this has been the case for me. As far as I know I do not have any diseases and do not plan on having any, especially when there are things that can be done to prevent most of them.

I agree with the list.

December 4, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterPamela

Hello, this is a great post.

My 5 Fears:

Black Women's General Fear of Sexuality:

This is more of an issue involving Americans, but it seems like black women are the hardest hit with sexualphobia. We will talk about the vuglar parts of sex such as "fucking," "hitting it," etc, but not how it makes us feel or why we do it anyway. We can watch women on television shaking their asses all day, but ask a woman on the street to get tested (for free) for an STD is like shooting her in the chest. Homophobia runs rampant in black America because we are too busy calling it immoral instead asking why are we afraid of that kind of sex. What we don't know will hurt us and learning about sex in a more social way can stop so many diseases, especially AIDS.

The Need for Media Help

Since I am kind of young, I don't know about the days when everybody had radios and news didn't get around so fast. But my parents used to talk about family taking care of family and neighborhoods being so tight and unbreakable. Today, the media is supposed to shed light on the evils of the world, but everybody knows that when it comes to black women's plight, they are silent. Instead of depending on them and the police, women should stick up for women as a community of social and economic help. The NAACP and all of these other organizations were supposed to be the bind that creates the community, but we see that they are obsolete. If everything wasn't so national, and if people next door cared for the person next to them, things like Dunbar Village and the rape in Marietta would never have happened. Of course the media wouldn't care if the women in the neighborhood don't.

Fads and Our Money

Black women create and fall head first into fads. Black culture in general does. This is just money going into the banks of people who don't care a darn about us, (Viacom). If anything, we need to create our own business, and THEN start the fad. It doesn't only stop at clothing either, we are having political fads. Barack Obama is nothing but a fad, trying to win the presidency with sheer superficial group appeal. I wouldn't be surprised if he started to Superman on stage with stunner shades on. These fads takes too much of our time, effort, and money without giving us anything in return.

Race Guilt

We need to stop feeling guilty when we have a opinion different to the almighty black man. We know that we are black, we've been black all of our lives. If we cannot think, then we are already lost in the fight for independence.

Lowering Our Standards

This doesn't really need explaining, but once a person creates a list of necesary items, s/he usually does not stop until s/he gets those items. This goes for anything, man, car, house, resturant, cookie, ANYTHING.

Thank You
Mari-Djata

December 4, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMari-Djata

This is my first time commenting on this blog...I'm one of the "lurkers in the distance"...who finally decided to break out of hiding and join the discussion.

This post was great! The issues that are most important to me certainly stem from and fall under the 5 issues you listed. But I really wanted to underscore, highlight, and emphasize the need for black women political leaders, public figures and interest groups.

As I read about Democratic candidates converging on our sistas in SC, it occurs to me that we need black women leaders and interest groups to change the conversation in SC from "who will black women vote for" to "what will it take to get black women's votes." (hmm...anybody know why we aren't hearing from black women in the congression black caucus right about now??) I have no doubt that the sistas in SC will speak for themselves through their votes...but we need leaders to strategically leverage the political power and hold candidates' feet to the fire AFTER they take office. When we develop black women leaders and interest groups who are forthright in their concern for black women then we, in essence, go from listing our issues to making these issues action items.

December 4, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterjbd

Okay. I am not sure my post when through. I listed:

1. The Black Tax - (being black in America)

2. Financial Hurdles/Health - both societally imposed and self imposed (materialistic/detrimental consumerism, financial ignorance, shortsightedness, etc.)

3. Our Own Minds/Mentality - wrong thinking, wrong effort, wrong results, etc.

4. Our Relationships/Particularly with black men - undervaluing ourselves, not putting ourselves first, choosing a man over true peace and happiness, etc., man sharing, casual sex relationships, and AIDS

5. Health - you know the laundry list already.

December 4, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterKay

my top 5:
self esteem issues (love of self and others like them)
Unity
Health
general self sufficiency (I don't mean being self supporting, but I mean finding ways around gov. to get funding for health issue, have their own media, other community issue. This may go back to the Unity issue)
better leadership

December 5, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMiriam

I've already given my list, but I will add these to my list

1) Learning that high literacy rates and the love of reading is the most powerful, unstoppable skill that any woman can have, and it puts the tools for revolution and overcoming in her hand. MORE READING, LESS TELEVISION.

2) Valuing, respecting, and loving our own humanity... enough to change our self-defeating behaviors into self-actualizing behaviors.

3) Learning to value, respect, and defend the humanity of black women as much as we do that of black men.

December 5, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterSheCodes

Dr. Tracye as always your comments are on point. Since I can't sleep from a nasal congestion, I thought I would post the top five issues that are important to me concerning the lived experiences of Black women. And they are:

1. The Strong Black Woman Image

Yeah, this is number one because if we examine each group within the US of who's most stressed its African American women, but African American women are least likely to commit suicide of any group. Why is this? Am I saying that Black women should kill themselves? NO! But I am saying that there is something telling in how we deal with stress, violence, family, and abuse. We endure and press own and thrive and survive while somehow becoming emotionally dead to our stress.

Hm . . . I think we have all heard from our mothers that "you must be strong." And I think we have heard from all our male partners and male relatives, "I love Black women because they are so strong." This ideal of Strong Black Woman dehumanizes Black women. It makes us endure all types of "what looks like crazy on an ordinary day" things.

We must put ourselves first and take care of ourselves (of course there is racialized and gendered cultural narrative of the Strong Black Woman, but I won't go there right now)

2. Coalition Building with other Women of Color

It is imperative that we as black women understand that the same oppressions that afflict us also afflict other women of color albeit in different ways. For instance, we must begin to see the connections between state violence against immigrant women of color and the state violence implemented against poor/working class black women's reproductive freedoms because they both enlist a type of racially gendered class deviancy.

Okay, I am now getting sleepy, but will post my other three later when it is daylight.

Also, I co-sign jbd and mari-djata's lists.

December 5, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterFal

Here are mine:

1. More black teachers: More of our black college students are turning our back on educating our children in secondary and postsecondary education. Our children need role models in the classroom. Sadly, most white teachers simply don't understand the issues going within many inner cities communities. So, they push our kids into special ed or they just drop out.

2. Stop the getting paid by any means necessary attitude. If I hear one more person say when they see our people degrading themselves, "Well at least they're getting paid!" I'll go crazy.

3. Let's end the superwoman/strong black woman myth. I took off my superwoman cape years ago, and it's the best feeling in the world.

4. Mental Health: We need to pay more attention to our emotional needs. There's nothing wrong with seeing a therapist. If you need talk to someone besides Jesus, it's okay.

5. Setting Career Goals: We really need to take time and help our daughters map out their futures. Talk about SATs, financial aid, and the importance of career planning. If your child has an interest in something, encourage them to learn more about it. Lord knows we have enough video vixens, singers, and not so talented actresses. Show them fame is not the only avenue to success.

December 5, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMiss Issues

Professor Tracey,

I think in order to deal with any problems first we have to identify who is suffering from those problems.

I think that we must begin to identify the different communities within African America.

For instance I think that amongst middle class Black women some of the ills that exist don't apply or apply to the same degree as with non middle class women.

I think that many middle class women are choosing education and career and worrying about marriage later in life. So not being married can sometimes be a lifestyle choice rather than something we are suffering from.

I think that many, many middle class Black women are extremely health conscience. We are eating well, exercising, getting proper medical care, etc.

My point is that the White media paints African America with a broad brush. But within African America there are different issues at play for different groups. We are young, old, mothers, wives, divorcees, soccer moms, professionals, etc.

In order to deal with any problems we need to not just identify the problems but identify who is suffering from the problems.

We can’t allow the Medias laziness lead us to generalize about ourselves.

Here are my concerns;

Inaccurate media portrayals of us

Developing a political voice that reflects the diversity within African America

Preventing violence against Black women

Developing our own media, namely blogs/ podcasts, etc.

A push to get Black women to become more savvy consumers and to SAVE money.

Thanks for this post!

December 5, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMes Deux Cents

"I hate fighting with and about black men. I am so ready to wave the white flag and cut the cord, leaving brothas the hell alone, forever....."

There are times in a person's life when the cut-off is not only understandable, but needed.

December 5, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterbrotherkomrade

>>If I had to FIGHT passionately and vigorously each day and every night for FIVE particular issues what would they be?

Hmm, I'm not a fighter; not since I was 10 years old. I cry at the drop of a hat (so much for that tough superwoman stereotype).

As for issues that interest me:

- Violence against black women - we need an extreme self-defense mentality. Are we letting our guard down? We have to suspect everyone, be vigilant, be cautious, and watch out!

- Health - I agree with above posts.

- Self-esteem - I really miss the days when we used to say "black and proud" and meant/showed it. Having children after marriage, not before, and not celebrating OOW single motherhood. Fathers are necessary.

- Bringing back Shame - eliminating the vulgar immoral / hustler / pimp / capitalist without a conscious mentality. Those who exploit others no matter the cost, like ex-slaves who turn around and buy other slaves.

- Useful education - not just a college degree, a trade school or high school is fine. I mean an education that allows you to be and do whatever the hell you want: organizational and leadership skills, finance / saving / investing, basic checkbooking, etc.

The list is not much different from what has been mentioned already.

December 5, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterGoldenAh

I only recently came in contact with this blog and I absolutely ADORE it and the message that is translated thru it. I am telling all my sistagurls to check it out and take part. This will be my first comment and I felt it no better time to contribute my thoughts and give me five concerns. I agree whole heartedly with your five. My first would be health and health insurance. More than anything I want to high light mental health. Our community sees a stigma when it comes to seeing a therapist about matters of the heart and mind. We turn a blind eye to those with mental health issues often time problems that can be remdedied if detected early and treated accordingly.

Second would be Financial Planning and Management as you stated I am doing okay but student loans, credit card debt and the like are holding me back. I have been trying to be debt free since 2004 and every year something gets in the way. It is a battle when you are working and can not enjoy the luxury of your labor. When payday is only for all the people you owe.

Third, Self esteem and Unity within our community amongst male and females. We need to stop allowing programs like NBC Nightly News be our voice. We can and must speak for ourselves. We need to stop allowing others to compare us to other groups when our numbers are so disproportionate as are our lives for varying reasons. It is all a division tactic and we fall for it every time.

Fourth, Building networks that would allow us to not be so reliant on corporate america, a system that doesn't have a positive vision for us as a people. Starting our own businesses across the board in areas that will make for a more well rounded community.

Finally, Challenging the ideas held on matters of sexual activity and bringing life into the world. The level of thought and planning as well as resources this takes.

December 5, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterI'm A Movement By Myself

Oh, and here's my list from the previous thread:

1. Research funding and treatment for the various ailments that disproportionately afflict, maim and kill black women. Particularly fibroids, breast cancer and heart disease.

2. Drug rehbilitation programs specifically for women with children. I don't know about the rest of the country, but there is only one such facility in Alabama and it's chronically full. Black female addicts enter the criminal justice system and 80% of them are mothers. Meaning their children then wind up languishing in foster care which then continues the loop of criminality.

3. High school drop out rate. This one is self-explanatory.

4. Crime and violence directed towards black women. Make violence against women a 'hate crime,' giving prosecutors access to another tool to get these monsters off the street.

5. Make access to higher education easier and more affordable with loan forgiveness for certain jobs and/or volunteer work.

6. Affordable daycare, much as they have in the rest of the industrialized world. So that women aren't disproportionately burdened with the outlandish cost of childcare.

7. Reasonable family leave for EVERYONE. Some women have no access to leave at all after having a child. Others have as few as six weeks. The rest of the industrialized world give women a year or more.

8. A reading initiative. This would go a long way towards addressing the horrific drop-out rate in this country. Much as the formula companies ensure that every parent leaves the hospital loaded up with artificial baby milk, we want families to go home with books for their children. We've had serious public service campaigns to address every ill in this country. It's time to start one that addresses reading. Every parent, read to your child every day.

December 5, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterroslynholcomb

Prof. Tracey,

We have something called "footwashing" in the baptist church that i'd like to introduce to you. jesus instituted it at the last supper as a model for others in expressing love and humility toward each other. After such a great post, can i wash your feet in gratitude?

I'll pass on posting my own "fave five" so as not to be be redundant. Smart women think alike, so there's no sense duplicating here.

"Mama, I'm walking to Canada, and I'm taking you and a bunch of other slaves with me."

December 5, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterrjweems

Start making responsible mating choices. Date men because of integrity and wholesomeness in character NOT just because they are black. This is the way out of limiting provincial views.

December 5, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterchristopherlee

This is a very good list and hard to expand upon. One of the things that impacts me significantly is the lack of cohesion among black women. It's hard to take 2 steps forward when some sisters want to take 3 steps back. We have vented our anger at the misogyny in the media, racism in america, the increase in violence against women and mainstream media's lack of reporting, etc ...damn the list goes on and on (can a sister catch a break?)

Sad to say we are a capitalist society. He (or She) who holds the wealth rules the world. Black women need to capitalize on this. Reward companies that show us love and punish the ones that don't. I'm by no means an economist but hell, money talks volumes. It ties into dynamic of life: health, education, political representation, cultural portrayal, etc.

Listed on the site of WAOD is the Proctor and Gambles: My black is beautiful. That's love right there. I researched the P & G site. Sure, it's a marketing strategy (remember capitalist society..it's all about the Benjamins..)that's working for them. They have featured ads and products with us, for us and by us in mind. This is what mainstream America sees and softens the impact of the negative images of black women put out there.

Again, I'm not an stock broker, banker or anything else to do with finance (balancing my check book and trying to live debt-free and build wealth wisely is a struggle for me) but I would like to encourage all sisters to directly invest in this company or any other company that specifically targets black women in a positive and powerful way. When you do, write them a letter and let them know why you're investing and that they will have your continued support as long as they support black women. They may not notice one black woman but they will notice one black women who brought thousands more to the door of their stockholder's meetings.

As far as politics, I am very jaded. It's like picking the lesser of many evils. I know that in order to be empowered one has to have faith in the infrastructure, I just don't have that right now. I do support local causes but the higher up the food chain I go, the more disgusted I get...I will reserve judgment on the political arena.

Black women's health...whooo boy! Nothing is more emotionally charged than talking to a black woman about her health and lifestyle. I am fortunate to live near places where farmer's markets and locally grown food are easy and abundant to get. I feel for the people who have to rely on fast food chains to feed themselves and their families. But given the money-driven society we live in, people will have to push their local politicians to stop fast food companies from growing like weeds in their community. I'm sure there's some grant out there to support a farmer's market or bring fresh food into an inner city area. Emphasis on diet and exercise is paramount to the well-being of black women. We are dying of preventable diseases at rates that are alarming. ...sorry for the long post!

December 5, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMalacyne

I really hate fighting with and about black women.

I like this list of yours, Gina, and agree with them. However, I find it interesting that this aspect concerning black women's lives made your list, considering that we were once in a fight, because you didn't like my attitude nor my avowal to and "misidentification" of your blog as "black feminist." Indeed, when one of your regular posters quetioned whether or not I was really a *black woman,* I was through coming on your blog. I was so offended by your attitude and the attitudes of others that I decided, well, I really like the mission of What About Our Daughters, but I can't really participate when someone thinks I'm "snooty" or too "high-brow." Yes, I'm one of those educated women in academia, now in a position to recruit for diversity among our students.

I came over here while updating my blog roll list on my own blog today and saw that I still had a link to What About Our Daughters. So, I was curious to see what is the latest you're writing about. It's a pity that we failed to communicate with each other, even though we are pretty much on the same page about what the challenges are that face black women.

December 6, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterAnxious Black Woman

@Anxious Black Woman

I believe Gina will appreciate you expressing yourself, but she didn't write the post you are responding too, I did. And frustrates me that you used my post to air some past beef instead of embracing the proactive intention of my post.

I too, work in academia and have been frustrated by the unwillingness for many black women to embrace aspects of feminism, but the difference is, I COMPETELY understand why that ideal gets rejected by black women. You can't force people to accept concepts they don't believe in.

From day one, I have always liked the toughness expressed on this blog. You get what you give. There are quite a few of us that have extremely different opinions from the blog's creator and she will let you know that she diagrees. I LOVE THAT!!!!!

Many things are taken quite seriously here and proactively, this is not a "think tank" blog, but an action one. I'm sorry you're going to quit reading the blog, we'll miss your voice. We'll still be here if you change your mind in the future.

December 6, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterProfessor Tracey

Sorry, Professor Tracey. I realized, as soon as I posted, that this was your list, not Gina's.

December 6, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterAnxious Black Woman

I co-signed with you. Great post.

December 6, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterjjbrock

I really enjoyed reading your post. I agree with all of your top five issues facing african american women. Here are my top issues:

Self-Love
When i was 11 years old(i'm now 26, almost 27) my grandmother gave me the book, Acts Of Faith: daily mediations for people of color. There is a quote in this book, i'm sure we have all heard before, How can you love anyone else if you can't love yourself? It took me 13 years to really understand that quote, and i've been much happier with myself, my decisions and my life ever since, i started to love myself.

I think black women need to really understand what it means to honestly love yourselves, flaws and all.

Black Women resenting other black women.

I attended Clark Atlanta University for a year. That year was the best year and most educational year of my entire life. I learned more in that year about myself, my people and the world, than i did in all the years of my life before that.

It was also in that year, that i got a glimpse of how black women are bringing other black women down and don't get me wrong i love our black men, but they are just as guilty as we are.

That was the first time i was called light-skinned and i'm not light-skinned, i'm oprah's complexion. That was the first time i really saw the way i was treated differently by the men and women because my hair was straight and i was a brown complexion. I was baffled, i didn't really realize that the color of my skin mattered among other black people. My first boyfriend in Atlanta, was a graduate from Morehouse College. When i told him i attended Clark Atlanta University,he said to me " Oh, i didn't take you for a Clark girl, you seemed much more like A Spelman Woman.

Thats when it begin, i started to see how women treated each other differently, every body was in a group: dark-skinned women , the brown-skinned and the light-skinned women. Who knew we treated each other like that, we treat each other worse than white women treat us. Yet we always want to complain about white women stealing our men. I have no problem with interracial dating thats your business, do what you want,but any person looking in from the outside, could see why we have some many problems because we don't like to help each other, we are always competing, no wonder we lose our men.

I'm not here to judge anyone, because i'm the last person that should be judging anybody.I do however see and i'm sure all you ladies on here do as well, what is going to happen to black women if we don't start loving each other an stop fighting. The prison systems is already 75-80% black males. If we don't start loving ourselves and our sisters we are going to continue to increase that number. I'm not saying that women can't raise young black men by themselves, because i know for a fact that is not true, my mother raised three kids on her own and not one of us has ever been in any kind of trouble. What I am saying is that we are mothers,sisters,wives,daughters, we are QUEENS! But some of us don't even act like it," SuperHead" what kind of name is that for a QUEEN? its not a name at all. If every other races can come together and support each other, why can't we? Its time to play catch-up cause we are far behind. I don't believe that our ancestors struggled,died, and had their culture almost beaten from them, withstood all that, for us, to tear each other down.

December 7, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterameraNia

I read "My Stroke of Insight" in one sitting - I couldn't put it down. I laughed. I cried. It was a fantastic book (I heard it's a NYTimes Bestseller and I can see why!), but I also think it will be the start of a new, transformative Movement! No one wants to have a stroke as Jill Bolte Taylor did, but her experience can teach us all how to live better lives. Her TED.com speech was one of the most incredibly moving, stimulating, wonderful videos I've ever seen. Her Oprah Soul Series interviews were fascinating. They should make a movie of her life so everyone sees it. This is the Real Deal and gives me hope for humanity.

June 3, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMelchia

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