Monthly Archives: February 2012

Raising the white kids and neglecting the black ones.

I was watching Tyler Perry’s, A Madea’s Christmas over the weekend (for reasons I am not sure) and there were several themes that related to African American feminism. In one of the scenes, the mother (who is a domestic servant) just discovered her daughter is pregnant and sleeping with the husband of the family in which she works for! Her daughter’s excuse as to why she is in the situation she is in now is because her mother was too busy raising other kids instead of her own.

This issue is very important to black families as black women dominated the domestic sector of society during and after times of slavery. Black women had to not only clean and cook in the homes of the whites, but raise their children as well. This requried alot of time and energy from Black women that was taken away from raising their own kids.

It made me think about the statistics of how many times African American kids have been in troubles in contrast to the whites. I thought about the statistics of how many African American kids are continuously pursuing a higher education in comparsion to the whites. I thought about the self esteem of African American kids in comparsion to the whites.

It is sad that the effects of slavery are still prevalent in today’s society. African Americans were more than just robbed of their freedom. They were robbed of providing the necessary foundations for the success of their children. The future of African Americans will always be tainted. 

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Women seen in Society

I recently read an article abut how men view women. Men were asked what did they see women’s role as to being in society. A lot of men said that they saw women as the home maker and taking care of the children and taking care of the household. A lot of men also said that they saw women as being the support system for the men and being the one to have their back and hold them down at the end of the day. What I found interesting was not a lot of the men mentioned anything about the women being an equal partner or being out in the work force or anything equivalent to what they saw themselves as in society. When women were asked how they viewed themselves in society they referenced being a support system for men and many of the same things the men mentioned, but they also mentioned playing some of the same roles as the men and working side by side with the men on the same level. Women viewed themselves as equivalent. I don’t understand how after all this time, men still have the same conceptualized idea of the role women play in society. It makes yo wonder what would it really take for women and men to have similar insight and view roles in a similar light. I thought we would have progressed much further but yet we still have a ways to go as a society.

Black Men with White Women

I can remember being over my grandma’s house, sitting at the table with my aunts, my mom, and my older boy cousin.  I do not remember how they got on the subject but for some reason they were talking about my cousin liking girls; I think he was like thirteen.  My aunt started talking about how my cousin had been writing letters to this little white girl.  And just from that statement my aunts, mom, and grandma had a whole conversation about how he should not “mess around with white girls”.  I clearly remember them saying “white girls aren’t gone do nothing but get you in trouble”.  This was the first time I had heard of anyone speaking in front of me about this issue.  I do remember watching the issue being thrown up in tv shows back then; the actors would say lines like “we losing our black men to white women”.  Personally, I believe this was more of an issue before this century;  I say love who you want to love.  I do not care but I do know a few black women who do.  I use to wonder why it was such an issue and after getting older I came to the conclusion that it was because of black people being slaves.  Back then it was absolutely forbidden to even look glaringly at a white woman as a black man.  Side bar, white men could get away with doing anything to a black woman.  Black men were hung, and sent to prison constantly for being accused of “raping a white woman”.  The Civil Rights Movement had a lot to do with making this issue more accepting for people because it removed the legal barriers.  In 1967 the movie “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” confronted the issue with the public and had a lot of talk about it.  The movie shows a white couple’s reaction to their daughter falling in love with a black man.  This proves that the issue was definitely more accepted by both races.  I found an article online that talks about interracial marriage.  Here is the link : http://www.soc.washington.edu/users/brines/interracialmarriage.pdf.  There is one part of the article that discusses a national survey that was given to Americans on their opinions of interracial marriages.  It reads, “Only 4 percent of whites approved of intermarriage with blacks. Almost 40 years later, in 1997, 67 percent of whites approved of such intermarriages. Blacks have been much more accepting; by 1997, 83 percent approved of intermarriage”.  I wasn’t too shocked that black people approved more than white people because black men are more accepting of it than black women.  My honest opinion is that then, white people would be upset if their children, either their son or daughter, were “messing around” or dating black children and they would be totally against the idea of their children being married to a black person.  In the black homes, I feel that black women were thinking the same  way but more black men were approving of it especially for their sons.  During this time you didn’t see too many interracial couples with a white man and a black woman.  Today this is definitely not too much of an issue but I know that I have heard black women having conversations asking if and why a black man would date a white woman.  The black women would also have their own assumptions as to why.  The responses that were given by mostly all the  black men were that they would date  a white woman but they didn’t know about marriage.  Now the responses to why and the assumptions from the black women is what I would like to discuss in my next post.

Black Women Appearance.

As a man and having mother was was biracial and doesnt fight the same struggle as other black women when in regards to their hair. I wasnt really accustomed to a woman constantly worrying about their hair alot and that it can defer them from going to certain places, until i came to college. I have noticed that at times I have asked my female friends if they are attending certain events and I often get a response saying “I really want to but my hair isnt done” or “If my hair doesnt look right Im not going anywhere.” I never really understood from my standpoint why a womens appearance was such a determining factor as to why they might or might not go anywhere. Growing up I was taught it isnt all about what you have, you should look presentable but your life shouldnt be determined by what you have. I remember about a week ago I asked a girl if she was attending a party and she tell me that she doesnt have anything to wear. If it were me in that situation I would have put on an outfit that I might have worn like 2 to 3 months ago and went out, I grasp the concept of never wearing anything twice. Is this personal values, or to impress other people or what? I dont have too much knowledge on this I would like some feed back please

100 Steps to Equality

   I found this to maybe be off subject but very interesting and hopefully beneficial to all. In a call to advance womens rights this campaign is just what we need to stop young marriage, genital mutilation, and abuse. It may not completely put a stop to it but will shine a light on these problems that are most of the time ignored and brushed over.

   Campaigns like these are created by a group of women just like us. They learn about the problems we face as WOMEN and they raise their voiced so we can be heard. It is much easier for these problems to be heard when we come together and it IS possible.

Visit the Website http://www.feminist.com/violence/spot/100steps.html and read more as to what the campaign is about. There are events all around and ways to help support the campaign!

Donna Edwards

When discussing the direction of the women’s rights movement it is often beneficial to scan the field for allies and role models. Although many women are still reluctant to pursue politics because it is seen as a male sphere, there are many women who challenge the status qua. For black women, being in politics requires a thicker skin than any other form of politician because of the existence of multiple jeopardy. Female politicians have a tempestuous relationship with voters and media and often have to come off twice as electable as their opposition.

Donna Edwards is great example of a black female politician(she was the first African American woman in the House of Representatives, born in NC). In an interview she discusses the differences she experiences campaigning compared to other politicians.  Within politics the personal is always political, this is often used against female politicians in any way possible. Edwards explains that there is a dire need for more African American politicians and that no one is going to implore you to run, but it is important and putting yourself out there is essential for progress.

http://donnaedwards.house.gov/

Link to article concerning female politicians in India featured in the Huffington Post. Article states that female politicians inspire young women in India to pursue an education.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/18/mit-study-india-female-leaders-politicians-aspirations_n_1213998.html

The M.R.S. and the Ph.D.

I came across this article that discusses whether having a degree distracts or affects your chances of getting married.  It does state how as women we’re constantly told to let the man lead and that they should be the breadwinners. Nevertheless, it is taught that we’re supposed to be with someone that is “equally yolked”.  If you look around campus, there is an overwhelming ratio of women to men. Therefore, there is a chance that you could have a higher degree than your partner. At the end of the day, I feel like having a degree(s) shouldn’t affect your chances of getting married. If anything, society should be promoting young men to pursue degrees.

Nevertheless, this article shed some light on African American women and marriage. It stated that from a previous study back in 2008, 70 percent of African American college graduates had married, compared to 60 percent of high school graduates and 53 percent of high school dropouts. It also talked about how Black women are less likely to divorce. These facts stuck out to me because for once there’s something positive said about African American women.

Afro Puffs and Ponytails, Inc.

I know that many in the class have expressed wanting to expand on their knowledge of African American women and be able to pass it to their children, nieces/nephews, cousins, etc. I know that for me growing up I didn’t get much of the “black experience” outside of the home. I came across a wonderful website for an organization dedicated to empowering young and teen Black girls and I wanted to share it with you.

Afro Puffs and Ponytails, Inc. is a non profit organization that seeks to empower and uplift African American girls. Their website has a link to many activities/events for African American girls, as well as other resourcces and encouraging articles. There are a couple of mentor programs right here in Charlotte that you may want to consider volunteering with or enrolling someone you know. Hope you enjoy!

The Importance of Sisterhood

Sisterhood is a very important part of African American success.  Growing up I never had a biological sister but my cousins and close friends became something like surrogates.  I believe that this was a very important aspect of my up bringing as well as any young woman’s because it gave me a chance to learn new things and be open to new experiences.  I learned that my experiences although similar to others, are unique to me.  While the things we as African American women experience are unique to us it is also nice to have someone to share these experiences with.  Being apart of a sisterhood is something that every woman should have the luxury of.  In this weeks readings Belle Hooks states “When women actively struggle in a truly supportive way to understand our differences, to change misguided, distorted perspectives, we lay the foundation for the experience of political solidarity (pg. 67). Fighting against the injustices of society is much easier if we join together.  Political solidarity is best defined in terms of support.  We as African American women should want to support one another and defend the ideals and values that are important to us.  Today’s society is full of competition and the need to be the best looking or best dressed.  This is a result of how patriarchal dominance has distorted our society.  If we are constantly in competition with one another we dismiss or ignore the injustices that are really taking place.  With sisterhood these injustices begin to be brought up in fought against, but only if the sisterhood is stable and built on good values.  When women bond we receive enrichment, and this enrichment in turn helps to create political solidarity.  Political solidarity needs to become a top priority if we are ever to accomplish our goals.

Are Black Women Invisible?

Are Black Women Invisible?

Published on December 8, 2010 by Melissa Burkley, Ph.D. in The Social Thinker

In a 2010 article published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, Amanda Sesko and Monica Biernat examined the intriguing idea that Black women are socially invisible. In their first study, these researchers wanted to test if Black women were more likely to go unnoticed in a crowd, so they conducted a study to see how well people remembered Black women’s faces. They showed White participants a series of photos depicting men and women who were White or Black. Later, participants were shown a new series of photos-some of the photos were new and some were the same photos they had seen before. Participants simply had to indicate if they had seen the face before. What they found is that participants’ memory was worst at remembering whether they had seen a Black female face before or whether it was new. The same did not occur for Black male faces, suggesting it was something more than just the fact that the target was of another race than the participant. As the researchers pointed out, these results suggest that Black women are more likely than Black men or White men and women to go unnoticed by others in a group or social situation.

So why is it that Black women are so invisible in social situations? Some argue it is because they don’t fit the prototypical image of a stereotype target. So not only do Black women have to overcome the disadvantage of being a member of two underrepresented groups (a disadvantage sometimes referred to as the “double jeopardy hypothesis”), they also have to deal with another form of discrimination that is not shared by White women or Black men: Invisibility. This means their presence is more likely to go unnoticed and their voice more likely to go unheard. To stand out and voice their opinions, Black women have to work even harder than their fellow Black men or White women counterparts.

I found this article both intriguing and frustrating because it is the 21st century and it does not seem to matter the advancements, successes and contributions black women make to their families, their professions and the world– someone, somewhere is still not giving credit where credit is due.

View complete article http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-social-thinker/201012/are-black-women-invisible