Author Archives: msjames39

Child Abuse Prevention Month

I wanted to bring attention to everyone that this month is child abuse prevention month. I feel that this is important for everyone to be involved in because the children are our future. Sometimes children can’t always use their voices so having support is what they need. Every 10 seconds a case of child abuse is reported adding up to 3 million cases every year. These numbers are outrageous and something needs to be done to help prevent this.

 The theme for 2012 is “Its no secret…everyone can help.” I hope that everyone can do what they can to help children that are victims of child abuse. Also to know that even if you aren’t the abuser, if you don’t speak up its just as bad.

Spread the word! We all can help! 🙂


Postpartum Depression Tied to Domestic Violence?

Survey of new moms found that 1 in 14 were a violent relationship and 50% of mothers that were screened positive for a violent relationship were also screened positive for depression, compared to 22% who were not in violent relationships. The moms who screened positive for domestic violence were also twice as likely to screen positive for postpartum depression.

These are somewhat surprising numbers in statistics but its kind of obvious where the connection between postpartum depression and domestic violence can take place. Even though there is no definite connection between the two or that one causes the other, this new data will be very helpful in the pediatric world and for mothers. With new information on the connection between the two,  pediatricians are more likely to screen mothers for postpartum depression and provide them with the right information and assistance they may need.

Talking to our children

There has been lots of conversations in the media about Trayvon Martin, which I’m sure we are all very aware of by now. Lots of conversations have centered around protests and what people can do to prevent situations like this from continuing to happen as well as finding justice for Trayvon and his family. Regardless of everyone coming together for the sake of Trayvon and other situations like his of course there has been some negative publicity and people using this to promote the wrong things, such as the party promotion that someone recently blogged about.

As I was researching and thinking over the case I came across an article that fit exactly what was going through my mind, talking to children about what is going on. When there are situations like this that are going on in the media and is hard to determine what exactly our children are hearing it is important that we can talk to them to ensure that they have an understanding. We want to teach them how these situations effect them and give them an open opportunity to ask questions and express their feelings. Although I didn’t agree with everything in the article I think that it is great that people are taking the initiative to reach out to the children.


Anita Hill – Speaking Truth to Power

I really enjoyed the Anita Hill program, it is very awarding to have someone like her come to our campus and share her thought with us. I wasn’t sure of what to expect at first, I thought since it was the 20th year anniversary she would mostly be discussing the case, sexual harassment and things of that nature. Although, she did speak a little about the case and how it helped her find her voice its not what her speech centered around and I enjoyed that.

I love that she was able to progress from finding her voice in that terrible situation to being able to continue using it so that she can help others and continue to have her voice heard in the feminist movement. I am not one that closely follows politics and when I think of things that will further push the movement they usually center around the experiences that women go through in their everyday lives, so I really liked hearing her political aspect on what was going to help the movement. Her vision for the future shed light on things that we all should be aware of but I think most of all she wanted us to know that women have a voice and that it needs to be heard. She closed her speech by saying:

“The ability to have our voices heard is essential to gender equality. All women and all of America will benefit from this”

I think that will be something that I take with me as I continue my journey and something that I will share with others for a long time.

Role Models for Young Girls

The women in the mainstream media today are those that young girls look up to. Last week in one of my classes we discussed how young girls chose their role models, in a study it was found that many young girls base their role models off their appearance, their talents, and their personality and a majority of the women they named as role models were singers and actors. A lot of girls focus on these things to choose their role models because they have things that they themselves desire. Young girls feel that if they could be like these women then they can be accepted by their peers and live a greater life.

These ideas that even young girls today have reminded me of Pecola in The Bluest Eye. The fact that even today the ideas in Morrison’s novel are relatable is amazing yet unfortunate at the same time. We can’t always determine who is in the media and the women that young girls will be exposed to, but one thing is clear, those that are seen by young girls today aren’t the best role models. We have to work together to ensure that there are positive women for young girls to look up to and that they learn what is important, which is not just fortune and fame.

Is There a PDA Double Standard?

I was reading an article in Essence magazine titled Is there PDA Double Standard? This article was about a Black lesbian couple that were out celebrating their anniversary and had been asked to leave because they were making other restaurant patrons feel “uncomfortable” simply because of a hug and a quick kiss between the couple.

I think that the situation was outrageous and that there is a double standard in PDA. I personally don’t like to see much PDA anyways but it shouldn’t matter if it a homosexual or heterosexual couple. There were probably other couples there that night or that have been there before that may have shared and intimate moment such a kiss and I’m sure they weren’t asked to leave. The manager should be fired because he should never be allowed to ask someone to leave based on PDA with a partner of the same sex!

Female Competition

I was reading an article in Essence magazine where singer Rihanna was discussing competition between females. She  talks about how women’s egos always cause competition between them because they don’t want others to be more successful than they are. 

This reminded me of previous discussions we’ve had in class about sisterhood and also discussions I’ve had with my friends recently. Some of my friends and I were on this topic and we all were saying how most women if asked will tell you that women need to come together in order to continue to make change in our society. But, like Rihanna stated in this article, most women are so good at hiding their egos. Many women will tell you what you want to hear but at the end of the day they will be quick to make sure that even if you get ahead they are always a little further ahead. I’m not sure what it would take to change this mindset in women but I think it will be the key to continuing the movement towards equality.

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!

From Negro History Week to Black History Month

Being that it is February, I thought it would be a great idea to talk about Black History Month. I often hear many people upset and questioning why “we” only get a month to celebrate our history. In many ways it upsets me because they spend more time complaining about only having one month instead of embracing it. There are many months, weeks, or days which are dedicated to promoting a particular thing. We use this time to shed light on certain aspects important in life or to help raise awareness about something. For instance, you love your parents everyday of the year, but on mother’s/fathers’s day you chose a special way to show them, it is the same concept with black history month.

We have came from a week to celebrate our history to an entire month, which I think is major. Since 1976 the month of February has been dedicated to black history. The theme for this years black history month is Black Women in American Culture and History. Being that this is African American Feminism, I hope that this blog inspires us all to learn something new about the black women from the past and present and share this information with someone else! 🙂

Happy Black History Month!

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.