Category Archives: BP #4
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Today what I have issue with is what our people think it means to be black. A lot of people seem to hold black women to a lower standard because we of our race and gender. Society seems to view black women as being “ghetto” and barely educated. There’s also the stereotype of black women as being good only for having children and taking advantage of the government by being on welfare. However, I do not just point the finger at white people for creating this realm of bogus identity. Our young people seem to follow these stereotypes as if it is a guide for being black. I heard a young man say that if he was to use proper English and refuse not to dress like a “ thug” he was told he was trying to “act white” by his friends. It makes me sad to hear that our young people rather be comfortable at a lower standard than strive to do better. To me this is what gives white people the advantage, because they are keeping black people in a place of subservience by making them feel as though they have too much competition. To me this is psychologically demoralizing for our young people.
One day me and my friend went to Southpark mall and we were in Macy’s looking around in different departments for nothing in particular. We went to look at some Juicy Couture perfume and this old, white saleswoman came over and asked if we needed some help and we told her nicely that we didn’t need any help. Instead of her going back to where she was posted at, she stayed close to where we were, watching us. I forgot to mention how we had no big purses with us only our wallets and we each had on a jacket so we wouldn’t have any place to hide perfume at anyhow. After we left from the store, we wondered why was the woman was standing so close to us then we realized that she probably thought we were going to steal the perfume from there. I was kind of mad because of people’s assumptions about black people being labeled as thieves when most of us have never stole anything before. I am one of those who never have stolen anything because I’m afraid of the consequences and I don’t want to be punished or go to jail for anything like that. I’m not going to call her a racist because it’s not my place to judge her, just like it’s not her place to judge me because I am a black woman. I wanted to go back and tell her what I thought about her but then what would have helped but making her feel guilty and me feeling just as guilty for going there and I could have just left it alone. It’s crazy how people go off on first impressions about someone they have never met and they assume the worst in someone. I am wrong for immediately wanting to label the saleswoman as a racist person when she judge me as well but it don’t make any of it right. We need to stop being like this especially when certain jobs require you to follow a particular race of people as they shop like other races do.
I am in United Black Professionals which is an organization on campus. Last Wednesday we had a social event where we played jeopardy. The question where on black history and important African American people, seeing as in this month is Black History Month. It was fun but one thing that I noticed is that a lot of us in that room did not know much about our black history including myself. There were questions that were missed more than once by both teams. When the question “Barack Obama is the ____ president?” came up, I heard someone say 48th and 42nd now even I knew that answer. The last question that made my team loss because we waged all our money was “where was Martin Luther King Jr. born?” Someone answered and said “Montgomery, Alabama”, that was wrong the answer is Atlanta, Georgia. I would not have known the answer off the top of my head which makes me think that I do not know much about African American history. Some people were talking and stated “we did not learn this stuff in school” the fact that you didn’t learn it in school is not an excuse and that doesn’t mean you could not learn it on your own.
This blog is about the difficulties of coming out gay in the African American community. An African American lesbian may experience pressure from her family, church, and society. The deep roots of the community normally begins in the church; which is why most family will make moral judgment, that being gay is a sin, or wrong. It has been documented that African Americans use the bible in the same way as white slave owners used it against their ancestors; the bible is turned in a form of oppression. In my Lesbian and Gay Identity Development and Social Movement course, I learned that it was harder for an African American woman to come out verse a white male or female. It is harder for us due to the stress and strain place on us by our own community. This in turn reinforces a strong personality within someone who is black and gay; being a woman you are already are subjugated sexism, classism, and racism. You have to be a strong person to add another label onto yourself; lesbians impose the oppression of heterosexism on themselves when become open to society. We live a hard life which makes us stronger than most, to know you are adding another characteristic that would make you more open to another for m of oppression. Most people would do anything to make themselves fit into society not stand out. It was a surprise to me to know that the gay community also has a dominating controlling power that is white males. Society has learned to accept gays that are white and male. I thought we were all oppressed by society in the same way. I was even more surprise when I found out that my people who have been oppressed would place that same oppression on a another minority group.