Monthly Archives: January 2012

Pressure Black men put on Black women

The other day me and my friends were having a conversations with some of our friends and we got into a discussion about how black men put pressure on black women, and how black women put pressure on black men.

They Stated some good points saying that men put pressure on women by only dating a certain type of woman, as far as hair, body parts, and other appearances. But in the meantime the guy can really look how ever he wants too if they are in a relationship and it is suppose to be accepted just because they are the man in the relationship and they dont have to do any work. As far as their appearance or housework. they also stated that men make women feel like they are competing for their man with other women which is why it makes them insecure at times in the relationship.

In our rebuttal we stated that women pressure men more than women are pressured as far as relationships and even before, that the man does not only have to make majority of the money but regardless if the woman works or not, and all of his money is spent on the necessities, of living while the woman an feel free to spend money on all of her wants. Also after a man comes home from a long day of work he is badgered by the woman because he is considered to be not doing enough work at home as far as parenting or chores around the house. Then if the women makes more money than the man, she tends to hold it over the man’s head and is kind of looked down upon.

Good Hair vs Bad Hair & “Self Hate”

I’m pretty positive that everyone is aware of the good hair vs bad hair issue going on within the African American community. I was having a discussion with a couple of friends of mine who had recently decided to transition from relaxed hair to natural hair. They were explaining to me the  reason that they have come to this decision and their thoughts and feelings of Black woman who chose to relax their hair. Their argument was that they believe that relaxing their hair was a way to conform to “Caucasian” ways and is a sign showing that we hate our natural selves.

 

 

 

As a woman of color that relaxes her hair. I believe that this issue is blown out of proportion. I do believe that for some individuals, they choose to put chemicals in their hair because they do not particular care for their natural hair textures. I was natural up until I was in the ninth grade, then I asked my mom if  could get a relaxer. I did not make this decision because I didn’t like my hair, I just wanted to change my hairstyle.

The argument of what’s “good” hair or “bad” hair also falls into this category. Many people believe that fine, straight, wavy or loosely curled hair is considered to be “good” hair because this type is straight on its own without using chemicals. “bad” hair is coarse, wiry hair. I always believed that “good hair” was healthy hair, no matter the texture. I just wish Black woman would become more aware that the way we wear our hair shouldn’t be a major political issue.

Voting for Obama

As it reaches election time many are beginning to choose sides.  This brings up an important question.  Will Obama be getting your vote this election? 

When Obama began his quest for presidency many immediately jumped on his train simply because he is African American.   In my opinion this is something that has to carefully be taken into consideration.  Yes it is a great achievement for us as a community but why is he recieving your vote? Is it simply because he is African American or is it becuase you actually pay attention to what he stands for? When voting for a president it is important to take into consideration what they actually stand for and if they have done the things they were expected to do when taking office.  Yes Obama will be recieving my vote  but I can confidently say that it isnt JUST because he is African American but it is because I agree with what he stands for and I believe he is the best candidate for presidency once again.  It is important that we encourage people to vote but it is even more important that people know why they are voting and can understand the things that the person they voted for believes in.

Republicans V. Everyone Else

If you turn on  a major news station, chances are the correspondents will be talking about the up coming presidential election. It has been a particularly nasty election already, with mud flinging against the president and other candidates at an all time high. Ron Paul landed in hot water when news stations got a hold of one of his old news letters wherein he describes African American men as being trained to be criminal. He denies writing the statements, instead pointing out that he does not actually write the newsletter, and often never read them.  I have been a casual Ron Paul supporter for years, so I found these statements to be shocking coming from such an intelligent man. It made me think of what the other candidates have been saying, and it has not been good.

Rick Perry’s family ranch in named Niggerhead. That is all kinds of inappropriate, but not necessarily his fault.

Newt Gingrich has been quoted as saying that black teenagers should be employed as janitors at their high school so they can learn the pride of hard work. He has also be quoted as calling Pres. Obama “the greatest welfare president”. Gingrich has been a high profile political figure for years so the fact that he felt this way wasn’t what surprised me; I was surprised he won South Carolina.

Mitt Romney repeated used the statement, “Keep America America”. The statement smacks of nativism and “Keep America American”, with the n, is an old Ku Klux Klan slogan. Romney claims ignorance.

Herman Cain is not exempt from his own racially charged comments just because he conceded defeat. He once compared the democratic party to a plantation, and likening himself and other black republicans as runaway slaves. he has also expressed interest in an electrified fence across the U.S./Mexican border. These comments recieved less backlash, perhaps because his campaign was already being sullied with a sex scandal. Cain appeared as a puppet for the Tea Party, not unlike former Republican Chairman Micheal Steele was for the Republican Party.

What does it say about the state of the Republican party that they cannot get  many legitimate African American politicians to join their party? Republicans are pushing the issue of class warfare very heavily this election.  Many candidates have alluded the laziness of the poor as being a large part of the troubled economy. This in turn makes it a racial issue when their examples for poverty are always black people. What does it say about the state of the political arena when labeling the poor and those without means as the parasites of the nation is what garners votes?

Breaking a Family Curse of being “Complacent”

Why must us as African-American women learn and be ok with being “complacent” in bounding situations?” Earlier in the week, my mother and I had a conversation on the phone about my plans once I graduate from school in May. I recently applied for Teach for America and was denied placement, so of course my plan B was graduate school for my M.Ed in School Counseling. After telling her my aspirations and my plans on becoming a secondary education counselor, she immediately cut me off. Her response on my plans for graduate school was very odd to me. She responded by telling me, “You must love debt. You’re going to learn that it’s not about the title of your degree. You just need to get a job and work your way up within that company.”

Now my mother is well-educated. She is a graduated of Winston-Salem State University with a Political Science degree and her aspirations was to become a lawyer. After she graduated from WSSU, she began to work and decided that she rather make money instead canceling her dreams of becoming a Public Interest Lawyer.

Now being that this is my 5th year in school, I understand my mother has sacrificed a lot in order for me to get a decent education from a great university, financially speaking. Now my issue with that statement that my mother made is that is exactly what “society” expects from, not only a woman but one of color. A great professor from my past university, Larry Little, Esq., said during one of his lectures, “Many higher level institutions teach us how to work for other people. What are you going to do differently once you depart the university to become the master of your fate and not become enslaved in blue-collar America?” I took that bit of knowledge that he dropped and measured it up to that statement my mother said to me. I plan on raising the bar, striving until my name is accompanied by Dr. , and never becoming “socially complacent.”

Black Men Who Prefer Light Women

While watching BET hit show “The Game”, I realized an important issue amongst the African American community: black men who only date light or white women. One of the main characters, Jason Pitts, is a perfect example of this. He is light skinned male who is constantly teased about his preferences of women as it is obvious he prefers white women over black. When he does decide to date black girls, they are lighter in skin tone with straight hair (white features).

While I am light skinned, I am perturbed by this issue. Being a student on UNCC campus, I have encountered many black males who only will date light skin women (who are usually bi-racial) or white women. Coming from a bi-racial home myself, I’m personally for “mixed” relationships. However, my problem is when guys purposely exclude dating girls who fit a racial profile. I find it extremely disrespectful to black women as it can be viewed that black girls are not as special as someone who is light or mixed. Just like Chardonnay in The Game, black women are then subjected to negative stereotypes as bitter, money hungry, and ugly. When I encounter men who has these preferences, I always question where they get their perception of women from. I just find it interesting that black men will exclude black girls even though their own mothers are black!

In this season of The Game, I do believe that Jason is going to come to terms with his selection for women. In the first espoide, Jason realized his daughter was beginning to perceive men the same way he saw women. Picking his daughter up from the movies, he discovered she was dating a white boy. Questioning her decision, he was shocked when she stated she learned it from him through his choice of women. This in addiction to being called out about his ways, I feel that he will open his mind to include black women in his dating pool.

It really is a sad thing to come across black men who are prejudice over black women. How can we tell our children that black is beautiful if black men is defining beauty as light or white?

Mad Black Women

I was having a conversation with my boyfriend and it kind of got heated and he called me an angry black woman because I was yelling at him. He started the argument but he felt that I was wrong for being mad about what we were discussing. I was fed up about it because he just assumes that I’m always angry when I’m not at all but if someone bothers you or comes to you with some BS then your attitude might change. That’s women in general and just because we are viewed as always loud and ghetto don’t make it true because I’m usually calm about everything until someone bothers me. I know the difference from being goofy and serious in situations and I handle them accordingly. Am I wrong for showing my emotions if I feel some type a way when someone comes at me wrong??? People have been listening to stereotypes for too long because if you assume then you will make an ASS out of U and ME or rather just you. We all have tempers and what we do with those tempers is up to us and we have to control them and men need to take their blame in it as well. We have a lot to be mad about but we can not keep dwelling on it or bringing it up every time that we get mad about something. My boyfriend was wrong for calling me an angry black woman when he caused me to feel anger towards him. Our ancestors were oppressed and the women were raped and it was nothing that they could do and they were probably very bitter from it. They had to overcome all of their problems and instead of people wanting to call black women “mad” or “angry” they should be calling us strong because black women deal with more ridicule than any other race of women.

Black women vs. White women and the “WOW” factor

I recently observed a black woman and a white woman both apply for similar positions and both equally qualified, but yet the black woman got the position. Now the only problem that I have with this situation is that the black woman only got the position because she was black. Now what may come to mind when someone first hear this may be the company is trying to meet a quota or some sort of affirmative action. The underlying story behind the black woman getting the position over the white woman is that it is typical that between looking at a black woman and a white woman, that the white woman would excel and “of course” be a good fit for the job.  In this situation seeing that the black woman and the white woman were completely equal in credentials and qualifications, it would be looked more highly upon if the company showcased a sophisticated, smart, good looking black woman(which is not typical supposedly), versus a white woman who being in the position is not anything unsual considering that is the typical type person who holds the position. To sum it up, a not expected black woman in the position would look better than the white woman who is the same old, same old, nothing special. I really see this as ludicrous. It just shows and capitalizes on the fact that there are still indiscretions in the workplace pertaining to people of color. The fact that the black woman would be such a “wow” factor makes you say to yourself, if their were a more workplace it would not be such a rare thing to see a black woman in a quality position, compared to a white woman, because you would see more of a diverse workplace. This to me just seems as if black people still have a ways to go, and despite all of the affirmative actions and policies put in place, jobs are still doing things their way.

Racial Profiling..

Over the past weekend I was out in Birkdale, an upper class shopping area, with a friend shopping and hanging out. The shopping trip seemed to be going relatively well up until about the fifth store that we went into. From the moment we entered the store I should have sensed that it was going to end negatively, the customer service was terrible and we were being looked at like we came from another planet. The entire time we were in the store one of the older clerks ( a white lady) followed us around and watched us in the mirrors around the store.

Although this wasn’t my first experience with something like this I was really in shock. When I was younger it happened but I kind of brushed it off and thought maybe it wasn’t because of my race but maybe just because I was a teenager at the mall with no supervision. This time I knew exactly what it was and it was very upsetting that you still have people in todays society that think the negative way they do about people just because of their race.

Reaction to “The Help”

I have been watching with interest as the film The Help has been garnering awards, first the Golden Globe and now the Screen Actor Guild top award.  So many people have reported a positive response to this production that I had to reexamine my own reaction carefully before voicing an opinion.  But here goes. . .

 First, a synopsis for those who may not have seen it.  The protagonist “Skeeter” is a young white woman who returns from college to a rural Mississippi town after graduation.  Armed with a newly expanded worldview, she faces peer group opposition when she speaks up on behalf of the Black domestic helpers.  From here she decides to act on her beliefs, and starts a secret writing project with the help of two maids, documenting their experiences and the life of the town.  After the book is published, the community discovers what she has done and she leaves town for a writing job in New York.  The maids lose their jobs, but stand to collect some royalties from the book.

 In all honesty, I found the story to be disingenuous and self-serving to the author and to people like her.  It was one more example of the oppressor retelling the story so as to cast him/herself as the hero.  The true reign of fear was never confronted, only alluded to in indirect ways. In reality, the maids would have lost far more than just their jobs had this happened in the rural Mississippi of the time.  Skeeter seems to be pursuing her career as a writer more so than any particular justice.  The black men in the story, when they are mentioned, are all losers and ne’er-do-wells who run off at the first sign of responsibility (Abileen and Constantine have both been abandoned by their man, and Minny’s husband and father are both drunks).  Most significantly, the white men in the story are presented as generally genteel and harmless; the worst that could be said of Skeeter’s suitor was that he was overly conventional and lacked courage.  In the real history of this time and place, white men were the fountainhead of the great fear that overshadowed the lives of Black men and women alike, but this doesn’t make its way into the narrative.

 I feel that this movie glossed over the real history in the service of a feel-good story.