Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Self-Determination, Part 1: My Dark-Skinned Sisters, STOP Letting Biracial/Bicultural/Multicultural/Light-Skinned Women Wear YOUR Stolen Crown!

This essay is contained in my new book. I'm delighted to announce that The Sojourner's Passport site has launched! You can visit it at http://www.sojournerspassport.com/.

Everyone, I can't thank you enough for your ongoing encouragement and support; I truly appreciate it. Your support is what made this possible. And here's a special shout-out to my web designers at Educo Web Design. They're nice people to deal with, and they do outstanding work!

Peace and blessings,
Khadija Nassif
___________________________________

I. My Sisters, Let's Be Clear About the Fact That Your Crown Was Stolen

Negroes stole your crown. In earlier decades, Black men stole your crown of recognized beauty and gave it to light-skinned women like me. I've watched and denounced this practice back since I was in high school in the early 1980s. I HATE oppression. Which is why I've always made a point of rejecting "stolen goods." Especially stolen goods that are based upon devaluing Blackness. I've always rejected Black men who have a fetish for light skin. You see, my crown does not depend upon devaluing other women. My crown rests upon my head because it belongs there, based upon my own individual charms. I don't want a crown that was stolen from some other woman.

II. Dominance Through Hair-Flips

Unlike some of the other light-skinned girls in my high school, I didn't prance down the hallways while making sure to flip my hair in the presence of darker-skinned girls. We all know what the hair flip is really all about. It's an act of dominance by Black women who have so-called "good hair." It's intended to put those without so-called "good hair" in their assigned place. Which is somewhere beneath the woman who is doing the hair flip.

First of all, my hair (even while permed) does not flip. LOL! Second, despite other people's eager suggestions, I was never interested in pursuing concoctions (gel, carefree curls, etc.) that might have given my hair a more "flippable" (as if it were naturally wavy) appearance. Most importantly, I came to hate the entire scenario. So, I had my hair cut into a natural. Of course, other Black people were horrified. The common refrain from other Black folks was, "You let somebody cut your hair off?!!! You need to find the person who did that, and get your money back!"

Let's be real. I had the self-confidence to do this as a teenager because I knew (in the back of my mind) that no matter what I did, my light skin would ensure that I got a certain amount of favorable [Black] male attention.

I know how painful it is to talk about these things. I know that talking about this is pulling at half-healed scabs. But we need to be able to talk honestly about these things. As Black women, we need to get our crowns back, and take our rightful place on the global stage! I was going to do a post about Black consciousness. Then I realized that nothing (including consciousness of any sort) is possible without a foundation of self-determination. Self-determination means that we think, speak, and define things for ourselves. It means looking at the world through our own eyes. And we can't have self-determination when we cooperate with other people assigning lower value to us. Collectively, we've got to get our crowns back. In order to recover our crowns, we need to understand how they were taken away. And how we [sometimes inadvertently] cooperate with this mass theft.

III. Many Black Women's Bad Faith & Collaboration with Oppression

I've raised my voice against intra-Black colorism since high school. Over the years, I've had VERY, VERY few light-skinned sisters in arms speaking out against this with me. Most of us didn't have our darker sisters' backs "back in the day." Many light-skinned Black women did not take Black men's self-hating choices seriously until these choices began to put a crimp into their lives. Until they lost their spot at top of the "preferred by Black men" heap. Until Negroes snatched the already-stolen-from-darker sisters-crowns off their heads and placed them on the heads of Becky, Lupe, J. Lo, and Susie Kwon.

This is an example of bad faith, not any kind of solidarity. From what I hear, it hasn't gone unnoticed by darker sisters.

However, I've also noticed that many darker sisters cooperate with being robbed of their crowns. Many Black women in general aid and abet having their crowns stolen. In many cases, we have allowed Black male thieves to redefine their theft of our crowns as a matter of their "personal preferences." Which is why we acquiesce to this mass theft.

Let me give some examples:

When a Negro celebrity such as Ne-Yo says "All the prettiest kids are light-skinned anyway," he's stealing your crown, and giving it to light-skinned women. If you persist in listening to, and buying this creature's products you are helping him snatch your crown off your head and put it on somebody else's head.

When a Negro celebrity such as Yung Berg says that he doesn't date "dark butts," he's stealing your crown. If you persist in listening to, and buying this creature's products, you are helping him steal your crown.

These are obvious types of collaboration. There are many less obvious forms of collaboration. When you embrace mediocrity in your self-presentation, you are helping to validate Negroes stealing your crown. You are also helping to validate other women's decision to wear your stolen crown.

IV. Verbal Forms of "Hair Flips" & Collaboration Through Inappropriate Inclusion

Unfortunately, some of us have grown so accustomed to being assigned a lower value, that we accept this as normal. There are verbal hair flips that many of us accept, and don't even recognize as dominance and aggression. We feel the effects of the verbal hair flips. But we don't make the connection between the verbal hair flips AND our battered and bruised spirits.

One verbal hair flip is a woman making a point of making sure that you know she's so-called biracial/multicultural/bicultural. There are normal, loyal Black people who happen to have one parent who isn't Black. Or one parent who is Black, but is not African-American. At some later point (when it comes up naturally, such as when you meet their parents) you find out that the person has a non-Black parent (or non-African-American parent). Such a person's identity and "claim to fame" does NOT revolve around making a distinction between themselves and Black people. These are people who are acting in good faith by rejecting stolen goods. Stolen goods that rest upon devaluing Blackness (or, in the one foreign Black parent scenario, devaluing African-Americans).

This is quite different from self-proclaimed "biracial," etc. persons who want to make sure that you know that they are NOT Black like you. From so-called mulattoes within ancient African societies to apartheid-era South African "Coloreds," to the "biracials" here and now among us, these type of "I don't want to be Black, and Whites won't let me be White" people have done great harm to Black people's interests.

Throughout out our history, Black people have allowed these "biracial" types to form a wedge, and a disloyal fifth column among the Black collective. Where do you think the self-proclaimed, yet Black-skinned, "Arabs" in Darfur came from? They came from partially-Arab, so-called biracial/bicultural people. Where do you think the mostly-collaborating Coloreds in apartheid-era South Africa came from? Throughout our people's history, what these internal enemies all have in common is their obsession with being recognized as something other than, and distinct from, Black:

"...there were many tribes or societies in Africa which were exclusively Mulatto (to use the term loosely). Nothing was more characteristic of the mixed breed clans, tribes or societies than their unceasing efforts to emphasize their separate identity, and their constant fear of being considered 'Negroes' or Black Africans."

The Destruction of Black Civilization: Great Issues of a Race From 4500 B.C. to 2000 A.D., by Chancellor Williams, pg. 208.

The pattern that I've seen with these self-proclaimed "biracials" is that they want to be considered Black like any other Black person when there's something to be gained [such as scholarships from Black organizations, affirmative action slots, etc.]. When there's nothing to be gained [nothing to be stolen from Black people], then they want you to know how distinct they are from Black people.

NO! If they want to be distinct from Black folks, require them to be all the way distinct! Cut them off from Black folks' scholarships, set asides, etc. Make them find biracial, etc. scholarships for biracial people. And stop them from stealing Black folks' meager resources. STOP including these people.

In the crown context, STOP celebrating these self-proclaimed biracial/multicultural/bicultural women wearing YOUR stolen crown! STOP lifting them up. STOP claiming them as part of our collective, and worrying about them. Purge them and their problems from your list of concerns. These self-proclaimed biracial/multicultural/bicultural/whatever women don't need your help. They have plenty of worshipful Negro slaves [like Ne-Yo, Yung Berg, the NFL, etc.] to attend to their needs.

Don't fall for the lie that says, "They're part of us." Didn't these self-proclaimed biracial, bicultural, multicultural, etc. people already TELL you that they are something other than part of us? That they are anything but Black? Why are some of you so eager to claim them when they are not claiming you? Especially when they are wearing your stolen crown?

V. Celebrate Yourself and the Women Most Like You First & Foremost

We're going to need some affirmative action among ourselves to get this situation righted. I mean affirmative action in terms of who we hold up to our children (and ourselves) as representing our ideal "look." The "color neutral" and "let's celebrate our internal rainbow" doesn't work in the context of everything that has come before it. It's similar to White folks wanting to play color-blind after centuries of accumulated injustice went down. In both examples, doing this leaves pre-existing problems firmly in place.

As Black women, WE have the power to turn this around. By taking back our crowns and taking our rightful place on the global stage. It doesn't matter what most Black men think about us. Since most of them don't protect or provide for us, they are generally of NO or LOW value to us. The only thing that matters is what WE think about ourselves.

Ladies, if you have Black-oriented magazines in your homes, who's images are you surrounding yourselves (and your children, if you have any) with? Are you surrounding yourself with images of White women's children like Alicia Keys? Halle Berry? Lisa Bonet? Persia White? Rashida Jones? Jennifer Beals? Jasmine Guy? Victoria Rowell? Are you surrounding yourself with images of Black women who look like White women's children like Vanessa Williams? Are you watching music videos packed with biracial/light-skinned women? If so, have you considered the possibility that this is not healthy for your psyche?

If all of the above is true, are you willing to find images that affirm YOU and women who look more like YOU?

Black self-hatred is so deeply entrenched that it will be a long, long time before people like me are in any real danger of having our self-worth assaulted as a result of corrective internal affirmative action. I don't feel threatened by efforts to raise my darker sisters up so that their beauty can also be appreciated. Everyone has their own rightful crown. Collectively, we need to get ours back. Nobody is going to voluntarily return our stolen crowns to us. A thief never returns what he has taken. A person who accepts stolen goods never returns them to their rightful owner. We're going to have to snatch our crowns back ourselves. The first step is to stop aiding and abetting the theft of our crowns.

*Reader's Note* We've reached 100 comments to this post. Since I don't like having to scroll down miles of computer screen to read new comments, I'm closing the comment section here and transferring this ongoing conversation to Part 2 of this series. Please post new comments to this essay in the comment section of Self-Determination, Part 2. Thank you!

100 comments:

CW said...

I don't have the words right now...All I can say is, AMEN & AMEN!

Selena said...

Girl,

You are probably one of the most creative writers I've come across yet!

Love the topic but I don't have much to contribute however we all know how deep colorism is within our community.

Keep peeling back those scabs and exposing the truths!

Khadija said...

Greetings, CW!

Sometimes saying "AMEN & AMEN!" is enough! LOL!
____________________________

Greetings, Selena!

Thank you for your kind words. I truly appreciate it. The mass oppression of Black women only continues because we ALLOW it; and in many cases, COOPERATE with it. Once we stop doing this, things will be much better for us collectively.

MERRY CHRISTMAS, EVERYONE!!!

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

goodness80 said...

Kudos! You have said it all! I know dark-skinned black women who wish they could be light-skinned. This is the twenty-first century and hueism is still a problem among black people.

Khadija said...

Greetings, Goodness80!

Thank you for your kind words. I truly appreciate it.

Yes...it's the 21st century, and many of us are still self-hating & mentally enslaved. Part of the reason for this is that we never really dealt with this.

Instead, we papered over our issues with insincere slogans such as "Black is Beautiful." Yes, Black can be beautiful, like anybody else. But it's obvious that our people never really bought into this slogan.

If we did, the hip-hop creatures wouldn't have started openly broadcasting their hatred of Blackness. And skin-lightening creams wouldn't be flying off the store shelves in Africa.

If we had ever really believed the slogan, Black girls would not still be growing up feeling less than others.

As Black women, WE have the power to turn this around. By taking back our crowns & taking our rightful place on the global stage. It doesn't matter what most Black men think about us. Since most of them don't protect or provide for us, they are generally of NO or LOW value to us. The only thing that matters is what WE think about ourselves.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

witchsistah said...

Khadija,

I've been reading yours, Evia's and Sara's blogs for about a month now. And you've already heard from me from SheCode's blog a few months ago about just this subject.

First off, I want to thank you for being an ally to ALL BW! Too many times, when us darkie gals bring up this subject we get booed, shushed and jeered down being accused of trying to bring a wedge into "Black Unity," beating dead horses (that seem to keep rising for the grave like Jason and Freddy Krueger) and of course "jealousy" (the subtext being that we're just mad that we're inferior). Well, more and more of us are no longer falling for the okeydoke. You're either with us or against us, and if you're with us, you gotta be WITH us and SHOW IT! And sista, you've done not only YOUR share but a few other chicks' shares as well.

I'm with you about there not being a need to big-up light, bright and damn-near-White women. They've already got a chorus singing their praises. It's gotten to the point now where I give the fish eye to BW, especially darksinned BW, who sing these chicks' praises.

Hell, I know a darkskinned BW who sings the praises of a blonde, White chick we both know. The WW in question isn't bad and she hasn't fronted off on me. My problem isn't with the WW but with the sista. She praises this chick's blonde hair and blue eyes as in "She's gorgeous! She has blonde hair and blue eyes!" as if that's all it took to be fine. Sorry, but all telling me that someone has blonde hair and blue eyes does is tell me that they're White. I've seen plenty of folk with those whose faces look like they lost a fight with a grill of a Mack truck and bodies look like they were made by Picasso.

It bothered me because 1) the chick drooled over looks cute at best to me (but she has the features that White America prizes) and 2) the sista wears her hair nappturally so I thought she'd accepted her Black self. Subsequent conversations with her have made me question that second assumption.

I wonder if many of us wear our hair nappturally because we got tired of trying to make our straigtened hair look nice and Euro when all it ever looked was dead and defeated? Did many of us just go napptural because we couldn't deal with the upkeep of our straightened hair (which didn't look all that great anyway) and couldn't afford the bi-monthly salon appointments, hair treatments or more expensive procedures like hair weaves or micro-braids (which mimic the movement of Euro hair)? How many of us really love our Black selves or are just "dealing" with our Black looks?

Every time she praises that WW, I shudder a little. What bugs me is she tries to get me to do the same. Of course, when I don't, I'm painted as a jealous, Black bitch. I have nothing against that WW. Like I said, she ain't never done nothing ta me. But I'm not going to go ga ga over her or any other WW simply for looking Aryan White.

shocol said...

Whew! You know that you're upsetting some people's apple carts, right?

I despise colorism and view it as a mental defect. It's always disappointing when someone I know reveals this as part of their thinking.

foreverloyal said...

http://www.niyakids.com/testimonials.html

blackgirlinmaine said...

I am speechless, what an excellent post. There is so much truth packed in that I don't even know where to begin but will say that as a cocoa colored sister, there was a period of time in my younger days that I did let others steal my crown.

I so agree that as Black women we have the power to change things. I will try to get back later and post more as I think more about this post.

Khadija said...

Greetings, Witchsistah!

Thank you for your kind words. Yes, I am an ally to ALL good, worthy, & excellent Black women.

I think the sort of anwers a person comes up with is based upon how they conceptualize the problem. Too often, BW are focused on trying to propose reasonable-sounding solutions when the problem is totally & inherently unreasonable.

That's why most of us don't recognize some the verbal hair flips as the acts of aggression & domination that they are. We feel the effects of the verbal hair flips when they are inflicted on us (an assault upon our spirits).

But we don't make the connection between a battered & bruised spirit AND the verbal hair flip that was inflicted upon us. "Well, you know, I'M biracial/bicultural/
multicultural/Cablanasian/whatever the h***."
[The unspoken part of this statement is a dismissive "And you're NOT."]

We have allowed those who stole our crowns convince us that it's reasonable for them to steal our crowns. That their theft of our crowns is simply their "personal preference." And that other women receiving & wearing OUR stolen crowns is simply these women's "personal preference." BULL.

When we correctly conceptualize the situation [somebody stole something from us, & somebody else is prancing around wearing OUR stolen goods], then we know how to respond.

Witchsistah, you touched on an extremely important point when you said:

"I wonder if many of us wear our hair nappturally because we got tired of trying to make our straigtened hair look nice and Euro when all it ever looked was dead and defeated? Did many of us just go napptural because we couldn't deal with the upkeep of our straightened hair (which didn't look all that great anyway) and couldn't afford the bi-monthly salon appointments, hair treatments or more expensive procedures like hair weaves or micro-braids (which mimic the movement of Euro hair)? How many of us really love our Black selves or are just "dealing" with our Black looks?

You've found out that you can't assume that a hairstyle reflects any sort of consciousness on the part of the person wearing it. These days, it doesn't. A hairstyle is just a hairstyle.

The other critical thing that you've pointed out is yet another example of how BW try to play off surrender & defeat as something victorious. We do this in so many ways. What you described is one method.

Another method is lifting up mediocrity & pretending that it is just as valid as excellence. This is the underlying reason why the Are You Ready to Feel Flawless? discussion was so controversial.
____________________

Greetings, Shocol!

Yes, I know I'm upsetting some apple carts. Justice has a way of doing that to an oppressive status quo. LOL!

As Witchsistah said in a comment to another post,"This society runs and stays cohesive on our backs. No one's going to want their favorite, most reliable pack mules to up and quit on 'em!"
________________________

Greetings, Forever Loyal!

Thanks for the info!

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Anonymiss said...

Hey Khadija,
High school was a rude awakening for me. I didn't learn any of this dark-skinned/light-skinned mess until I interacted with some very disturbed Blk kids.

See, grammar school was different for me because my classmates were mostly Spanish or Middle Eastern. You either loved me or you didn't. If any kids had a problem with me being Black, it was because I am Black. Not because I am dark-skinned, not because my family's from Nigeria, and not because I "talked/acted White."

The Blk kids I went to high school with (who were obviously raised to be poor and defeated) were some of the most jaded and miserable people that I've ever met. That's why I will never, ever move back to my hometown. The Negroes of my old stomping grounds have internalized racism issues. I'm sure it's everywhere, but I'm just saying.

I had serious double consciousness issues that started in high school. I had to dumb down my speech; I always worried about my appearance; I saw all of these pretty, light-skinned girls gaining attention that I could only dream of; and I thought that I'd never have someone show interest in me. I wasn't an attention w**** but I hated feeling invisible.

I wasn't raised with skin color issues but I always noted that fawning over light-skinned (some of them bleached) women at Nigerian gatherings. My relatives have said that light skin makes you more attractive. My cousin's light-skinned daughter (a cutie patootie who needs to be put in a commercial like right now) is fawned over. I hope her mother raises her well enough to value her inner beauty.

For years, I drove myself crazy using the Blk community for approval of my looks. I thought I was doomed because I wasn't light-skinned. Then when I got my first job (and like an overly conscious dark-skinned girl), I went into overcompensate mode. I made sure that I was wearing the latest fashions and that my hair was tight. Oh yes, my wash-and-set hair was flippable, LOL!

Then over the years I started to wonder why I wasn't being taken seriously by men. Men were showing interest, but it was always hypersexual. I felt like that was all my worth. Luckily, I didn't "act" as though I were worthless unlike girls I know with long lists of regrets. Light-skinned girls are treated as "wifey" whereas girls like me are told "I heard you got that caaandy." It's as if I was supposed to settle for whatever attention I got.

The moment I woke up and stopped feeling sorry for myself was when I said that I was beautiful and that life is too short. I stopped using light skin as a barometer for beauty. I fell in love with my skin color. I wear my hair naturally and have discovered the beauty of my coarse, kinky afro. I am fine with the way God made me. I'm too cute to let some insecure person break my spirit :-)

Miriam said...

Hi Khadija,

There truly is beauty in dark skin, in our type of hair, in US. I long for the day when we are done 'getting over' all the hurt and are ready to enjoy and use our gifts!

These BF who pretend to be with AAs but do damage and hurt, I call them the Mixed Multitudes.

Chi-Chi said...

What an on-point post Khadija! Sadly, my mother was the one who first let me know that being dark-skinned meant I wasn't as pretty or as beautiful as lighter (she would say "fairer") skinned girls. My sister, who is just about 2 or 3 tones lighter than me was always praised as the pretty one while I was the smart, studious and sensible one. My mother reinforced this by buying me skin-lightening creams in my teens supposedly to get rid of the dark scars left from acne, so I thought. Now that I'm an adult, I fully understand. Anyway, you are so correct. No one can steal your crown unless you let them. Some of us don't even know our crown has been stolen. Thank you for showing some ways in which it has. I used to subscribe to a certain magazine but since all they wanted to show me was women with "flippable" hair, I had to keep my money to myself. I remember a very light skinned girl with long, straight, so-called good hair in the third grade who used to make me hot with jealousy and annoyance because she was constantly flipping her hair and batting her gray eyes! I had never thought about "flippable" hair in those terms before now.

I make it a priority to make sure my family is surrounded by images of the wide range of beautiful Black people (because we are indeed beautiful in all our shades and differences) so that it seeps right into our very consciousness all the way into our souls.

What a thought-provoking post.

Aphrodite said...

This is a deep post.


As a result of reading many blogs like yours I have come to appreciate and acknowledge the beauty of dark AA women and West African features more. It is almost like seeing with new eyes.


"Unfortunately, some of us have grown so accustomed to being assigned a lower value, that we accept this as normal."


The saddest and most angering thing I have ever heard and am hearing more frequently from BW themselves is: "BW are the lowest on the totem pole." in regards to their beauty and desirability. Even if I felt that I would never say it aloud or post it on the internet.




"I know dark-skinned black women who wish they could be light-skinned."


Maybe it is not light skin itself, but the perks that come from having lighter skin in a community where the men discriminate against darker women. Being seen as more desirable, increased access to resources for you and your children from the men who see you as more desirable, better quality of life, more chances for upward mobility etc...

Khadija said...

Greetings, BlackGirlinMaine!

Thank you for your kind words about the post. I truly appreciate it.

Yes, the power to change this is in our hands. We just have to start using it.
____________________

Greetings, Anonymiss!

I thank God that most of my relatives never had these color issues. I saw confusing, mysterious glimpses of colorism from the outer world when I was a small child. But I never saw it in "full effect" & "the funk uncut" until I got to high school.

It was an unwelcome revelation. Also, I had read The Autobiography of Malcolm X in 8th grade, so I understood the FOUL historical underpinnings of this mess by the time I got to high school.

You said:

"It's as if I was supposed to settle for whatever attention I got.

The moment I woke up and stopped feeling sorry for myself was when I said that I was beautiful and that life is too short. I stopped using light skin as a barometer for beauty. I fell in love with my skin color. I wear my hair naturally and have discovered the beauty of my coarse, kinky afro. I am fine with the way God made me. I'm too cute to let some insecure person break my spirit :-)"


YES! YES! YES! {raised fist salute} We're going to have to reject crumbs, and snatch our crowns back ourselves. Nobody's going to voluntarily return our stolen crowns to us. I'm delighted to hear that you did this!
_________________________

Greetings, Miriam!

The thing is that members of the biracial/bicultural/multicultural
/Cablanasian crew never claimed to be "with" AAs. They come among us to USE US (dominate us, steal from us, and, incidentally break our spirits). With the assistance of BM, and confused BW who foist these people upon us.

Here's the argument that keeps to door open for the "biracials," etc. to exploit us: "Just because they are claiming biracial status doesn't mean that they are denying their Black heritage." BULL! By identifying oneself as anything OTHER THAN "Black," a person has voluntarily & deliberately removed themselves from the Black category.

We need to STOP letting all these self-proclaimed "Something Other Than Black" individuals steal resources that were created BY & FOR Black people!
______________________

Greetings, Chi-Chi!

Thank you for your kind words about the post. I truly appreciate it.

You said, "No one can steal your crown unless you let them. Some of us don't even know our crown has been stolen." This is exactly the point.

As I said in my response to Anonymiss, nobody is going to voluntarily return our stolen crowns to us. A thief does not return what he has stolen. Somebody who accepts stolen goods never returns them to their rightful owner.

We have to snatch our crowns back ourselves. Part of the problem is that many of us don't realize that they've been stolen (as you pointed out). Another part of the problem is that many of us have surrendered and embraced defeat.

We need to get our fighting spirit back. That's why I've visualized the situation this way. It's an accurate description of what has happened, but that's not the entire point.

We need to get our crowns back. How many women will passively watch some other chick walk around in their faces while wearing their stolen fur coat?! Not many. Well, our crowns are even more precious.
____________________

Greetings, Aphrodite!

Thank you for your kind words about the post. I truly appreciate it.

You said, "As a result of reading many blogs like yours I have come to appreciate and acknowledge the beauty of dark AA women and West African features more. It is almost like seeing with new eyes."

Alhamdulilah! [Praise God] Whatever is of value is from God Almighty. Only the mistakes are mine. I'm always delighted to hear that a sister is reclaiming her crown! Onward & forward!

And I agree with you that it's absolutely inappropriate for BW to say BW-denigrating things in public. Sadly, this reflects these women's acceptance of defeat. But I believe the tide is turning in our favor. With each new BW who sees the world (and herself) through her own eyes, psychological liberation begins to spread. Freedom marches on!

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Halima said...

Thank you khadijah for this topic, it is true that a significant contingent of sisters with complexion privileges, want to cash in and capitalise on the situation. i believe this is the root of the denial and dismisal and the 'we are victims too' choruses that some engage in when the issue is broached.

I learnt a few 'basics' about activism over the years and one of the principles is the importance of giving up the 'focus' or center to those who bear the brunt of any oppressive system. It doesnt mean that lighter skin sisters will not get a look in, it just means that as we work outwards from a focus on virulent dark skin racism we will pick up the issues that the lighter sisters are experincing, thus everyone is accomodated.

Any fair minded lighter skin sister would not have a problem with the above approach, just like You and Evia, in fact I did expect this to be the case, and that is why I have sat tapping my chin, at the responses from a few of our lighter sisters particularly those with the clout, influence and analytical tools that could make all the difference in both framing and taking this issue forward. How naive of me to believe that the idea of glorious sisterhood would be so attractive.

Then again black politics has become characterised by an immature self-serving position of 'buy into the noble and moral principles of equality only and up to the point that i can get mine', so much so others just cant help shaking their heads at us.

Personally I was fortunate not to grow up in a family where color complexes played out, and we run the gamut from dark to light yet flashes of the situation were impressed on me even as a five year old when my darker sister said that my 'dawning' complexion would give me an advantage over her and yet I am no where near light skinned.

Anyway Khadijah keep it up, courage is needed for this work and thats what you have been about!

Evia said...

Khadija, one of the most striking memories of the time I spent in Nigeria and among Nigerians there and here was/is watching the way black-skinned African women with ***pronounced*** West African features strutted confidently like graceful peacocks in their colorful wrapper outfits (cultural attire) and the way the Nigerian men salivated over these women. LOL! I was just SHOCKED by this because I knew that ALL of those women with chocolate skin, "nappy" hair, big/wide/flat noses, big lips, HUGE buttocks, etc. would have been considered UGLY or totally less-than by the typical NEGRO male here.

This is what was going on at that time, which was decades ago. I don't believe in absolutes; I think that all groups of people can and should learn from each other, and I make it a practice to learn from people what benefits me and mine, and trash the rest. So I watched that and I've talked about that LOTS with my sons.

I always wear my social science/comparative cultural hats, so while I mixed and mingled, I studied and compared those folks to AAs to learn what might be of benefit to us. Let me mention that at that time, skin bleaching had been ostensibly outlawed there but as is the case anywhere--anything can be bought for a price if the desire is there.

At any rate, among the conclusions I made as a result of many readings, observations of Nigerians there and here, AA culture, white culture, and other cultures/societies, it's that in a patriarchial world:

Female beauty is driven by male attention.

The perceived beauty of a woman largely determines her value to males. Therefore, those females who get more male attention are considered more beautiful by folks living under the patriarchy and are considered more valuable.

Therefore, women of any group are going to strive to be what males consider beautiful and desirable. This is why it's critical to break this curious and irrational FIXATION of AA women on NV and LV AA males because an overwhelming number of AA males have been Damaged Beyond Repair and are actually unable to see the beauty of AA females. And as you and I have pointed out, a typical AA male is of NV or LV to AA females because these males do not generally protect us or provide for us EVEN WHEN THEY CAN. Bw: we absolutely must stop mincing words about this lack of provisions from and protection from these males. This has to do with his BEHAVIOR or his lack of performance of his role or any real attempt to perform his role in MANY cases. If various other men of other groups are willing to go off into other areas of the world (for ex. Mexican men) to get resources for their women and children, why don't we insist that more AA males do it?

Many ww, aw, hw, and many African women and others can have what's considered average or less-than average looks and their men STILL consider them and desirable because many of these males also add in many other KEY factors about that woman when they assess her worth to them. One of those KEY factors is that SHE IS ONE OF THEM, and those males WANT their group to survive and thrive. It's an IDENTITY issue for them. ALL of these factors are totaled up in her beauty/desirability score. A typical AA male (confused, insecure, angry, feeling weak and powerless, etc.) doesn't have the consciousness to want the AA group to continue because of what he considers to be his powerlessnes, his less-than status, confusion about his identity, etc. Thus he self-hates and is (these days) more likely to mate out than mate in, IF he gets the chance. He typically mouths that "a beautiful woman is a beautiful woman" or "I like all women" because the survival and thriving ability of his group is NOT even a factor or not nearly as important to him as finding a woman who he (for whatever reason) likes who will bow down to him and make him feel like a man.

Whereas other men will also say that piece about "a beautiful woman . . ." and yadda-yadda, in 2008, those men STILL eagerly tend to choose women from their group as mates UNLIKE Negro males.

AA women are going to have to STOP regarding unconscious negro males as potential mates and I think that ANY negro male should be considered unconscious and of NV or LV, or possibly DBR until he SHOWS or proves otherwise. You simply need to regard him as unconscious, NV/LV as the DEFAULT --for any AA male until he proves otherwise--and you must teach your daughters and other bw you love to regard these males as such.


If the males of your group have a damaged mentality about your beauty (as MOST NEGRO men do about AA women's beauty, desirability, worth), then you, as a typical, average-looking female are always going to come up short in their eyes. If large numbers of those women are going to have a Quality mate with whom they can survive and thrive, they MUST choose males (of whatever group) who are willing to regard their beauty and them as desirable, worthwhile, and therefore valuable.

This is simply the most feasible solution at this point while those who choose to do so simultaneously fight a war with negro males about skin-shade racism and terrorism.

And for those AA women who NEGRO males consider unattractive (usually due to skin shade, nose shape, hair, etc.), you and your daughters are going to be discriminated against by these males or outright terrorized by the Ne-yo and Yung Berg types out there. Since I worked with populations of black (and other) youths in 3 large northeastern areas, I can say that there are massive numbers of ne-yo and yung berg type negro male youths. Somne of them are simply less vocal. I saw just about every day when I worked with those populations how these males made the girls feel less-than. What I failed to realize (honestly because I didn't want to realize it) was that at some point, large numbers of these black females would ACCEPT the low value placed on them, by these males.

This is why I recently took the position that IF AA women are NOT going to go on the warpath against these damaged beyond repair NEGRO males, then these women need to stop having these black female children.

As can be expected, I've gotten a few nasty notes from outraged, magical thinking negroes about my position. These weak-behind negro women don't do anything but flap their lips, mostly on the internet, while little dark-skinned black girls are taking HEAT from the hordes of these NEGRO male terrorists and the female lapdogs.

And Khadija, another type of woman who tries to steal the typical bw's crown is that "PRETTY" dark-skinned woman who swears that she has no problem getting the attention of males because she's just "SO PRETTY." LOL!

That being said, I think ALL women have to be VERY careful as women to never INFIGHT among ourselves because whenever women infight, males are the BIGGEST winners.

Khadija said...

Greetings, Halima!

You said, "...it is true that a significant contingent of sisters with complexion privileges, want to cash in and capitalise on the situation. i believe this is the root of the denial and dismisal and the 'we are victims too' choruses that some engage in when the issue is broached.

I learnt a few 'basics' about activism over the years and one of the principles is the importance of giving up the 'focus' or center to those who bear the brunt of any oppressive system. It doesnt mean that lighter skin sisters will not get a look in, it just means that as we work outwards from a focus on virulent dark skin racism we will pick up the issues that the lighter sisters are experincing, thus everyone is accomodated."


EXACTLY! There's nothing wrong with a woman using whatever "edge" she has. However, when she does so in a way that compounds & validates the wrong that was done to others, that woman becomes part of the problem. And just another [internal] enemy to be fought.

Yes, we need to set some priorities. Priority should go to those who are bearing the brunt of any particular form of oppression. This should be a matter of common sense.

But, as you see with how so many of these conversations play out, there are a LOT of us who don't want to risk giving up ANY illegitimate privileges. Not a single one. So, then these chicks start singing the "Don't blame me, I'm a victim, too" chorus.

No, I don't "blame" them; like I don't "blame" myself. I didn't set things up this way. However, I also don't traffic in stolen goods. That's the distinction I'm making.
________________________

Greetings, Evia!

You said: "...women of any group are going to strive to be what males consider beautiful and desirable. This is why it's critical to break this curious and irrational FIXATION of AA women on NV and LV AA males because an overwhelming number of AA males have been Damaged Beyond Repair and are actually unable to see the beauty of AA females."

Yes, the "spell" must be broken. And quickly.

You said: "AA women are going to have to STOP regarding unconscious negro males as potential mates and I think that ANY negro male should be considered unconscious and of NV or LV, or possibly DBR until he SHOWS or proves otherwise."

In light of the overwhelming number of DBR AA males, this is the safest posture to adopt.

You said: "I saw just about every day when I worked with those populations how these males made the girls feel less-than. What I failed to realize (honestly because I didn't want to realize it) was that at some point, large numbers of these black females would ACCEPT the low value placed on them, by these males."

I've seen the same thing. So many BW & girls have had their spirits broken (crowns stolen) by these Negroes....AND THEIR FEMALE ACCOMPLICES!

Oh yes, I saw your run-in at your blog with "Shannon" the "pretty" dark-skinned woman, who has no problem attracting BM. LOL! As you told "Shannon," generally the only dark-skinned women most Negroes consider pretty are those with Caucasian features---Becky dipped in chocolate.

I also have no particular interest in female in-fighting. However, we have a LOT of female internal enemies who are compounding the wounds inflicted by the Ne-Yos, Yung Bergs, etc.

As far as I'm concerned, the "hair flippers" and the self-proclaimed "biracials" have already made the first aggressive, abusive move by their behavior while among us. We're entitled to defend ourselves against them. We need to give these broads a swift kick OUT from among us.

We need to close ranks in a way that excludes these chicks from our circles. Right now, many of us are verbally encouraging other BW [especially darker sisters] to somehow heal while these biracial/multicultural/
Cablanasian/light-skinned women are still among us rubbing salt in their wounds!

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

lormarie said...

As Black women, WE have the power to turn this around. By taking back our crowns & taking our rightful place on the global stage. It doesn't matter what most Black men think about us. Since most of them don't protect or provide for us, they are generally of NO or LOW value to us. The only thing that matters is what WE think about ourselves.--Khadija

WOW! I just wish that more black women would embrace this way of looking at the world.

Khadija said...

Greetings, Lormarie!

Just spread the word, and more BW will realize that WE have the power to turn all of this around!

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

witchsistah said...

To Anon 5:17,

wait a minute, why are Black women concerned about other non-white women when these women support the racist dynamics against us? these females are content with the status quo as it allows them to dump all over Black women.

I don't care about these chicks. I'm only looking out for me & mine (Black women). Sistas, stop including other people in our struggles!


THANK YOU! I get the same stank-eyes from non-Black WoC when I'm out with my White man that I get from WW. Hell, I get them from light-skinned BW too the same looks of shock and incredulity! None of them can believe that dark-skinned, kinky-haired, West African featured me could pull ANY man much less a White one and a QUALITY White one at that!

And I'm getting sick of the "all women on the planet are scum except for gloorious, perfect, pretty, light-skinned East Asian women" crowd on here who've probably never exchanged more than six words to any other WoC in their lives yet they're such experts on us. Hell, I'm seeing Asian women getting on THEIR high horses now and beginning to act like Western WW.

Listen, you love whom you love and prefer whom you prefer. Hell, it ain't like these guys'd do anything for a BW except make her miserable for not only not being their perfect Asian flower, but persisting on existing as a Negress ta boot (no pun intended)! But quit the Asian woman worship. All you guys are doing is replacing one false goddess with another.

--Mrs. R.

Sister Seeking/Miriam/MaryAnn said...

WOW…

Khadija, you are either perfectly mad or perfectly **brilliant…

: )

“We're entitled to defend ourselves against them. We need to give these broads a swift kick OUT from among us. We need to close ranks in a way that excludes these chicks from our circles. Right now, many of us are verbally encouraging other BW [especially darker sisters] to somehow heal while these biracial/multicultural/Cablanasian/light-skinned women are still among us rubbing salt in their wounds!” Khadija

___________________________________

I’ve ready NUMEROUS books written by black women about the impact of colorism from a sociological point of view with spouts of modern psycho babble mixed in.. But I’ve NEVER seen or heard a black woman--let alone a fair skinned black woman-- bypass the psycho babble, and get straight to the point in the manner you always do. I'm not stuck on the cosmetic part of this issue I'm reading on point about justice...

WOW…

As a dark skinned sister I really have no other words now…

Khadija said...

Ladies,

I've said this before while commenting on other blogs, but I'll say it here. "Saigon" is falling. The last few helicopters are taking off from the American embassy.

I would suggest that those people who are unfamiliar with this reference watch the YouTube videos of this evacuation at the end of the Vietnam War. They are quite enlightening on many different levels.

By "Saigon is falling," I mean that I believe BW have only a couple of good years left to escape being trapped in horrible conditions. I believe that soon, due to conditions within Black residential areas, AA women will be permanently stigmatized as AIDs carriers, baby mamas, etc.

Even with Michelle Obama on tv. ONE Michelle Obama cannot erase all of the dreadful statistics & news reports coming out of Black residential areas.

I believe that AAs have completed 80% of the process of becoming a PERMANENT underclass in this country. Therefore, the news coming out of Black residential areas will only get worse & more monstrous as time goes on.

This is in addition to the deliberate defamation campaign that Negro male entertainers are conducting against BW. Many, if not most, AA men DON'T want us to escape. Many, if not most, AA men DON'T want us to find suitable husbands. If we did, then we wouldn't be available to exploit as a surplus "booty call" population. Many of them will do anything they can to damage our image in the eyes of men from other ethnic/racial groups.

Bottom line: The longer you wait to get out, the harder it will be for you. Across the board. It will be harder to escape with each month that passes.

This means that BW need to start making some changes right now. Emotional changes. Spiritual changes. Thought pattern changes. Outward presentation changes. Changes in how we handle our money. Changes across the board. This means that you need to start reaching for your crown right now.

The level of denial & dishonesty that usually surrounds these conversations is appalling. As Witchsistah observed, "Too many times, when us darkie gals bring up this subject we get booed, shushed and jeered down..."

THAT won't happen here. This is a safe space for BW to tell the truth about our experiences. Please continue to do so. But we also need to keep in mind that Saigon is falling. Time is running out.

So, in light of the fact that the clock is ticking, I would like to also turn our attention toward some concrete steps for getting one's crown back. In other posts [such as the Flawless discussion], I've talked about some concrete steps that I believe tie into reclaiming one's crown. I think I've done more than enough talking about all of that for a while. LOL!

I'd like to hear some ideas from the readers.

I'm turning the microphone over to YOU! *Smile*
________________

Witchsistah,

You might want to check out my Charity Should Begin at Home posts. I talk about many of the things you're raising about other so-called people of color.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Khadija said...

Greetings, Sister Seeking/Miriam!

It's very simple. I mean everything I say in the blog masthead & my blogger profile. *Smile*

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Aphrodite said...

"If various other men of other groups are willing to go off into other areas of the world (for ex. Mexican men) to get resources for their women and children, why don't we insist that more AA males do it?"


I had to chuckle when I read this. I am surrounded by AA men who won't travel across the state line or to another city within the state for better jobs and opportunities and these guys have BA's. They complain and suffer, but won't do anything.


I recently saw a reality tv show with a WM who had been married for about a year. He moved from Texas to New York to get a higher paying job within his industry because in his words, " I want to make a lot more money so that my wife doesn't have to work if she chooses." I haven't been able to get that out of my mind that a man would love his wife so much that this is what he is striving for.


All my life I have been conflicted about the whole gold digger label. Which is another catch 22 because when the Black woman doesn't work she is a lazy gold digger, but when she does - she is colluding with "the man" and taking opportunities away from the BM, and if she aims for more education and is successful in her career- well she is just satan and must be torn down and destroyed.





"one of the most striking memories of the time I spent in Nigeria and among Nigerians there and here was/is watching the way black-skinned African women with ***pronounced*** West African features strutted confidently like graceful peacocks in their colorful wrapper outfits (cultural attire) and the way the Nigerian men salivated over these women."



For some reason this image really made me smile.






"One of those KEY factors is that SHE IS ONE OF THEM, and those males WANT their group to survive and thrive. It's an IDENTITY issue for them."



I have never considered this. It seems that many BW have internalized this somewhere. I don't see how women can care more than men about this issue.




"finding a woman who he (for whatever reason) likes who will bow down to him and make him feel like a man."



I have always been puzzled by this attitude. I always felt that either a guy was a man or he wasn't and it had nothing to do with the woman. Perhaps this is behind the whole "submissive" agenda.

Everytime I hear a BM say this or even a BW acknowledge this in an attempt to get points from a BM it makes my skin crawl. I read: I want you to be an easy victim especially considering that BM typically do not value BW.


This is another reason that BM give for choosing lighter and whiter skinned women over BW bc they say they are more submissive than BW.





"I think that ANY negro male should be considered unconscious and of NV or LV, or possibly DBR until he SHOWS or proves otherwise."




This needs to be on billboards. This is my attitude from here on out. I have interacted more with BM since I have been back home and I now realize that there is a lot of damage just in a casual context.

I can remember when I first came to the blogs and I asked Halima out of shock when I first came across the DBR label how many of them were damaged and she responded something to the effect that she believed quite a bit.

Lord now I see it with my own eyes. Just in casual conversation I was surprised at the colorism I overheard. Like one guy talking about his ex being the Black man's dream and when detailing her qualities they were all physical and in this order: light skin, light eyes, long hair, large breasts, big butt... I didn't say anything, but I was shocked and a little sickened.

Then there is this other guy who is pursuing me and I don't like him bc of a lot that is mentioned in this post and I keep trying to blow him off nicely, but he keeps persisting. He claims he want to marry and have children.

I don't have a formal vetting process entirely in place, but this is what I have gathered from just listening to him and being around him to determine his intentions in a very short time.

He is very dark and extremely colorstruck. He has a degree and his two best adult male friends live in the projects and are married to very fair women. He lives at home with both stepmom and dad. He claims he has no children. Did I mention he is older - 38 about to be 39? One of his best male friends is a woman beater. The other one threatens to put his wife out because she has a 12 year old computer science degree, "won't work" (as if she could with a never used outdated degree) and is raising their five young children instead. He thinks its ok for blacks to use the n word amongst one another as a term of affection, is being underpaid, but refuses to relocate for more money, and says he is trying not to hate all women bc they are gold diggers. He works in mental health and yet he judges people with mental health issues who seek help.

I told him my plan for generational wealth and he told me that I think too much. I told him that I was relocating. I am trying to find the perfect coastal community (because water for some reason makes me happy and relaxed), with reasonable property values, and good jobs and he told me a. every place has its drawbacks b. i have only lived in a few places (while he has never lived anywhere, but this town all his life) and c. I need to cultivate the good feeling I get from living near water within myself. I told him that I plan to marry next year and he told me I should wait a few more years.


I keep distancing myself. I have told him many times that we are not compatible and he keeps giving me lists of reasons why we are very compatible and why we should marry.


Then there is another BM I met from NYC who thinks that all BW want him bc he got a raise from and is now making 40k a year. Which is so laughable bc I have people in my casual circle especially in other states whom i know have to range from 70k to 250k a year. So now a poor NYC brother has to look for Spanish women.


And as a total aside why are all three of these men so obese?




"another type of woman who tries to steal the typical bw's crown is that "PRETTY" dark-skinned woman who swears that she has no problem getting the attention of males because she's just "SO PRETTY." LOL!"



I have met a few of these types and it makes me sick. It is almost as if other BW are somehow inherently defective. Usually these types encourage all other BW to look within at themselves to do some type of soul searching to discover what their issues are i.e. why they repel BM.

witchsistah said...

Whoops, seems I crossposted by accident in my last post. That was meant for HP's blog (which he did post--comments to his blog are moderated too as you can well imagine why). I meant to say that the AW worship over there has replaced these guys' WW worship. Now all non-AW are scum and AW are the only goddesses to them.

I was trying to talk more about being EXTREMELY picky about whom you'll attach yourself to, even whom you'll call an "acquaintance." Hell, I call some folk I know, "just some fool whose name I know" if I don't find them agreable but happen to know their name. They don't even get acquaintance status with me. They damn sure do not get covered by my umbrella of protection.

Those AW-worshipping WM are ass-out like the vast majority of BM, BW and WW as far as I'm concerned. So are their women. There's only so many hours in the day and only so many resources a human has. We have to be cautious, nay, downright STINGY with how we allocate them. I ain't gon' lie. A butt-ton of mofos ain't gettin' ISH outta me and the lion's share WILL be going to help me and mine (and you're gonna have to work overtime to be considered one of mine and that title can be revoked at any time). But that's the mindset BW MUST begin to cultivate if we're going to make it.

witchsistah said...

Aphrodite,

LOL @ that cullud boy thinkin' he's rollin' making $40K a year in AMERICA, fuggit in any major city and in NYC?!

BWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!

But I've met tons of dudes like him thinking BW should throw his ass a tickertape parade and offer him free head everyday for simply DOING WHAT HE'S SUPPOSED TO BE DOING IN THE FIRST PLACE! My husband considers it the price of being worthy of being called a MAN!

As for being willing to travel distances in order to bring home more material and financial resources, my husband has stated many times that he has no problem travelling (for the right salary) and working for a couple years in order to put us financially ahead sooner. He said he'd live in a cheap studio apartment and cut all sorts of corners while he sent money home to me to maintain our house. He even said he'd go work in IRAQ as a civilian contractor (cuz they were payin' civvies with the know-how $500k UP a year to go and work over there)! I know of twwo other WM who have travelled to other places, one to another state and one who was a civilian contractor in Iraq, to earn extra money for their wives. In these cases their wives were WW---VERY STUPID WW. These chicks acted a dumbass and subsequently LOST their hubbies. I wish I could say to WoC or even to BW, but the "only marry WW" conditioning is as strong with WM as the "only a BM for me" one is with BW. But I still don't feel bad for those two dumb chicks (who both didn't look like sh&t, were fat, loud, obnoxious and utterly useless--wouldn't do even simple wifey stuff for their men) and I never will for dumb women (like my hubby's ex) who refuse to realize the goldmine they have in their wonderful men. Hopefully, more of these men will dump these scuzzes and come to the arms of willing, together BW.

LorMarie said...

"Many ww, aw, hw, and many African women and others can have what's considered average or less-than average looks and their men STILL consider them and desirable because many of these males also add in many other KEY factors about that woman when they assess her worth to them. One of those KEY factors is that SHE IS ONE OF THEM, and those males WANT their group to survive and thrive. It's an IDENTITY issue for them."--Evia

I've been thinking a lot about this lately...how it relates to black women. I notice the way many nonblack and African men place so much emphasis on identity and survival of "their type." I believe that we (black women) can apply it to ourselves w/o the input of negro males (sorry, I use the word "negro" for a reason). My outlook has become quite matrilineal. In other words, I've gotten to a point where I place a high value on black women's reproduction and "black women's children." I feel this way whether the children are 100% black or mixed race. That is not to say that I'm encouraging all black women to have children while unmarried, or even feel that she must reproduce at all. What I am saying is that I see black women and black wombs the way nonblack and African men and women see theirs...as sacred and important. I realize my view may be extreme for some. But it is truly how I see things now.

witchsistah said...

Oh, an' anuvvah thang!

(Sorry, if I'm hogging the comments section)

I saw on Evia's blog comments from two light-skinned Black women in response to her post about the BW that BM find attractive (basically light, bright and damn near White) and the ones WM find attractive (dark-skinned, Afritypic Black women, hell a couple of WM had even married West African women in the pics). These chicks were mad that WM who were interested in BW DIDN'T SEEM TO WANT THEM AND ONLY WANTED US DARK CHICKS!

All I could think was, "Damn! These heffas can't even be happy that us 'unwanted' BW are finding love! They mad cuz they can't plunder the non-BM market as well!" It seems to me that most lightskinned BW feel that we darkskins (and I'm talking about us "unpretty" ones, not the Barbies dipped in Hershey's) should have absolutely NOTHING good or positive in our lives. And if we do, then they should have it times FIVE! If not, if we should have SOMETHING that they don't that's good, then I guess that's the final proof that there is no God to them or something! I don't know!

ActsofFaithBlog said...

Wow and wow. And wow! I had a very telling conversation with my mother less than one month ago where she mentioned my paternal grandmother had wanted my father to choose a lighter skinned woman other than my mother to be with. She was light skinned with wavy hair. When I grew up I could never explain why I felt uneasy around her and my father's side of the family (with my grandfather the exception). I'd always felt something was off. Now that I know it makes me so angry! For one thing my mother is brown but not darker skinned and she was beautiful before she let life and society steal her crown. Now I get it. And it pisses me off. My youngest sister is darker skinned with sparser hair and I always worried if she was going to feel inadequate in society. She says she doesn't and I hope that's true.

Khadija said...

{Sound of helicopters taking off away from the American embassy in Saigon. There are only a few flights left.}

Okay, I see that I'm going to have to make specific requests:

Witchsistah, you seem to have gotten your crown back. Exactly how did you do that? What steps did you take to feel the way every woman is supposed to feel about herself?

It sounds like YOU "got out from under." Therefore, YOU can probably afford to vent without discussing the next steps (i.e., solutions/suggestions).

But OTHER women listening to this conversation can't afford to do that because they are still trapped. Trapped in a maze of low self-regard, low self-confidence, and what my grandparents called "taking low" (settling for crumbs out of life). There are others who are listening who don't know what to do to mentally get out from under all of this. They need to hear some successful ideas from BW who have already gotten out from under.

Ladies, we CAN'T afford to let this conversation remain stuck at the venting & NOTHING ELSE stage!

Let's hear some ideas for how BW can snatch back their stolen crowns.
I've suggested one thought. Surrounding yourself with images that reflect & affirm YOU. Let's hear some other ideas.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Khadija said...

Greetings, Faith!

The reality is that if your sister socializes in majority-Black settings, then she will face constant assaults upon her self-worth. [That she may or may not bother to discuss with anyone.]

It's good that she sounds resilient. But why should any of us HAVE to be extra resilient? It's better to seek out environments where one will be properly appreciated.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

StandTall-The Activist said...

Rev. Lisa said in the interview she had with me on my blog that freedom comes from the mind. We need to let our minds free us. This we need to start doing even with our daughters, so they know they have a crown of glory that no one is allowed to steal

I love this blog already

Halima said...

Don't fall for the lie that says, "They're part of us." Didn't these people already TELL you that they are something other than part of us? Why are some of you so eager to claim them when they are not claiming you? Especially when they are wearing your stolen crown?

Khadijah I too believe that darker skin bw (its might be a bit difficult to define this one accurately) need their own space and their own 'seperation' out from other bw, possibly this could be effected through their own 'tight' analysis and a comprehensively developed discourse on the situation for them. They also need to introduce their analysis into every and any 'general' discussion (wether it be about the black situation or bw's empowernment), always focussing on the impact for them as a category within bwomanhood. This is maybe more about a 'mental' seperation and understanding of how their situation is different and how this creates an opportunity for oppression. Darker bw will then become equiped to work out and craft the solution.

as is the ususal case with bw i think many darker bw are silenced by a need to not be 'divisive' as defined by this whose privileges remain intact, also many have bought into the this notion of 'streamlining' the black struggle so as to be effective. Others might fear the reaction of fellow sisters and know they will be impatient, they will labelled jealous etc etc. It is indeed amazing how some people will put up with fundamental disregard and the discounting of issues that are key for them just to fit in and belong. But them again i suppose bw are 'practiced' in this kind of sacrificing behaviour.

A fullscale push back on dark skin racism is long overdue, i support the use of heavy artillery wherever necessary. Let the body count begin!

Halima said...

All I could think was, "Damn! These heffas can't even be happy that us 'unwanted' BW are finding love! They mad cuz they can't plunder the non-BM market as well!" It seems to me that most lightskinned BW feel that we darkskins (and I'm talking about us "unpretty" ones, not the Barbies dipped in Hershey's) should have absolutely NOTHING good or positive in our lives. And if we do, then they should have it times FIVE! If not, if we should have SOMETHING that they don't that's good, then I guess that's the final proof that there is no God to them or something! I don't know!

witchsistah you post made me laugh! Let me offer my thoughts on what appears to be happening here.

I think that because bm have never been effectively fully challenged by the black community about their dark skin racism, the idea has been communicated to bw that we have to 'work around/within it'. therefore within this framework, lightskin bw become attuned to their advantage and because they have to achieve their needs (a bm)within it, they buy into the whole corrupt ideology which is in effect and at the last stage become corrupt themselves.

Its like how people who live within corrupt countries etc learn to just get along within a corrupt framework, become adept and savvy in its methods and lastly begin to normalise and buy into corrupt ways of thinking and acting. I must say this became clear to me, when i watched a video were a bw who claimed to be 'a bwomanist' repeated the refrain: 'Well before, ligh skin bw had a chance but now bm no longer give them a chance'! I said to myself 'aha, bm are allowed to range far and wide within the black script and we are suppose to fit with what they do. It is only when bm take it outside the race that it becomes an issue!

as long as there isnt a general condemnation and refusal to tolerate bm racist activities against bw (enforced with sanctions eg encouraging bw to abandon and turn away from bm as a result), bw will always try to 'get in on' the game the way it is. They too become corrupt, and act the way in which you have described!

Every body and every group has its base instincts. in civilised communtities, these instincts are suppressed, but in the black community (particularly because bm are such sacred cows who cannot be criticised and thus once they adopt a negative practice, that practice moves into a protected/apologist/normalised sphere), these base instincts are allowed to have a big seat at the table, with resulting corruption and poisoning of values.

I think this also comes back to the issue of self serving black politics. i believe that many black people are acting under the notion of 'let me get mine', even those of us who profess to be activists and of the black sisterhood.

This notion has been communicated by black activist traditions particularly those displayed by black men at the helm, who were allowed to immerse themselves in utter self-serving antics and go unchallenged. So most black folk take their bearing on activism from this 'self serving' politics rather than be 'baptised' into an idea of general progressiveness.

the traditions of activism set up by a group can have a far reaching effect on how the rest go about the struggle.

Anonymous said...

[b]From so-called mulattoes within ancient African societies to apartheid-era South African "Coloreds," to the "biracials" here and now among us, these type of "I don't want to be Black, and Whites won't let me be White" people have done great harm to Black people's interests.[/b]

I find "so-called mulattoes within ancient African societies" very offensive. If you are referring to Eastern Africa where people are assumed to be mulattoes, then you couldn't be any more ignorant. I am Somali, and I am certainly not mulattoes with my "non-black" features. Remember this, people who live in Africa are the most diverse. Somalis are found to be not mixed at all, but the oldest people ever lived in the entire world, so the way we are certainly not mixed.

foreverloyal said...

I'm enjoying this discussion.
It raises some interesting questions for those of us interracially married, with the resulting children.
My oldest daughter is very beautiful. I tell her she's beautiful, (but also tell her that while beauty is great, it is important to cultivate other traits).
Little Miss miss hears it fairly often from others, as well.
I make sure that the message she gets is that she is beautiful because she just is. She is not beautiful because of what she is NOT (a rich deep complexion, hair like cotton candy, etc.)
She can prance and be cute all she likes, but I have NOT raised a "hair flipper" (and insha'allah my and my husband's influence will continue to be dominant, and thank God the family members she sees most often are like us in this manner).
I'm not raising my daughter to think her looks are better than mine.
As. If.

foreverloyal said...

"Ladies, we CAN'T afford to let this conversation remain stuck at the venting & NOTHING ELSE stage!

Let's hear some ideas for how BW can snatch back their stolen crowns. I've suggested one thought. Surrounding yourself with images that reflect & affirm YOU. Let's hear some other ideas.
"
--Khadija

Here's one: Watch your mouth.
Here's another: Get a new mirror.
ANd a third: Love yourself.

Felicia said...

GREAT TOPIC!

There are so many good and interesting points (made by Khadija and Evia) I'd like to respond to in depth but there is only so much time in a day!lol

Plus, I'm still thoroughly enjoying my vacation time here in Europe with my family.

So... I don't want to get too "worked up" (not in a negative sense, just long winded which I tend to get when these hot button issues are discussed).

Life is meant to be enjoyed and when you have time to thoroughly relax (which I've been doing for the past 2 weeks) you have to STAY in that "zone" for as long as you can!lol

Anyway, I'll keep it short and sweet. And I hope I'm staying on topic here. IMO there actually should be a legally recognized biracial/bicultural etc... (whatever it would be called) category nationwide (these categories already exist in some states) for those interested. The fact is, often ones personal experiences in society ("black", "white", and other) shape ones view of themselves racially/ethnically speaking.

And before we automatically negatively judge someone's reason for someone considering themselves biracial instead of black, I think we should realize we haven't lived life in their shoes.

BUT, and this is a big but, I DO know what Khadija is referring to. When people act as if their better than others simply BECAUSE their of a mixed background vs. a full black one, that IS a problem.

Just as it's a problem if a black person, or a white person, were to act in such a matter.

It's all UGLY behavior. Meant to hurt.

And it's wrong.

All of this pretending that "oh the black race is this lovey dovey rainbow and everyone gets along yada yada..." it's BULL you know what. Just like what Khadija's been saying. It's NEVER been the case, it's just all out in the open these days.

IMO it can cause confusion and psychological instability with some people who are raised to consider themselves one thing out of tradition, when their experiences contradict that label.

Like Susan Rice's family for instance. It's one thing for biracial people with her appearance to consider themselves black. That I understand. But it's another thing (at least for me) when it comes to her handsome son who is the spitting image of his white father, and for her white skinned, blonde and blue eyed daughter.

The fact is, their experiences, due to their appearance (and biracial children who resemble them) will be FAR different than the experiences of undeniably black people or even other non black people of color.(Asians, hispanics, etc...)

And these days, even if/when people realize Susan is their mother it will be the case.

I'm also speaking from personal experience here as an IR married light/medium brown skinned sista who's the mother of two young children.

Generally speaking, It's truly a different world than that of our parents and Grandparents when to comes to "racial" perceptions.

Now I obviously don't know how Susan and her husband are raising their children to identify, and it's their business regardless. But I will say, I personally would find it extremely odd and downright insane for any undeniably black person to have an issue with those kids being raised to consider themselves biracial. Or any other non 100% black descriptor.

Blacks insistence that non black appearanced people - and even completely white appearanced folks - with direct white ties as in a parent, are "really black" - and black - to me is just as crazy as if it were white folks doing it.

If for instance, we lived in an upside down universe and blacks were in power and white people were judging and valuing each other based on how close they approximated blackness.

If mixed race ancestried "dark-skinned whites" (instead of mixed race ancestried "light-skinned blacks" were the rage.

It's all really sick when you think about it...SMH

ALL people INCLUDING unmixed appearanced dark-skinned stereotypically looking black girls and women NEED to be exposed to healthy positive images of people who LOOK LIKE THEM for positive self-identification purposes.

Women of obviously mixed backgrounds - who are labeled black/African-American because of an American tradition - probably do NOTHING positive for the self-esteem of unmixed appearanced dark-skinned black girls and women.

Because dark sistas can SEE with their own two eyes that these brown, tan, yellow, and white skinned women are obviously of fairly recent mixed background, otherwise they'd be dark like them.

This is sending the undeniable message that to be considered an "attractive black women" one MUST be "watered down".

This is CRUEL, a LIE, and a DAMN SHAME.

And it's BLACKS (DBR BM and their self-hating groupies) who are mostly conveying this damaging message.SMH

It's WHITE MEN (not BM) who promoted Alek Wek, and all of the other dark-skinned sistas models you see.

Left up to BM, these days there would be NO dignified and beautiful representations of truly black appearanced women in the media.

Heck,

I'm going all over the place...LOL

Anyway, my point is this. BW - regardless of appearance - need to ONLY associate with, and care about the opinions of NON damaged men in the global village.

Men they could see themselves growing old with.

There are PLENTY of men (more men then sistas looking for good men) who would love, honor, respect, and be good husbands to sistas and fathers to their children.

And when you have a man - (and good friends who you can depend on for that matter) who loves YOU for who you are AS you are, it truly doesn't matter how other people choose to identify themselves.

Racially or otherwise.

It doesn't matter to you because it doesn't effect you, or your life.

You have too many other important things to concern yourself with like living life. Raising your family. Planning wonderful things for the future.

When you have peace of mind and confidence, when you are content with who you are, who's in your life, your surroundings, etc...

This CRAZINESS and SICKNESS about color, features, yada yada that effects the "black community" and other communities of color world wide, doesn't phase you personally.

And call me selfish, but this is my "zone".

All of this COMPLETE MADNESS that's described in this blog, Evia's - and the other black female empowerment blogs - is ultimately a KILLER.

A psychological, spiritual, and sometimes literal killer.

Black women need to LEAVE THE TITANIC NOW.

And the Titanic is ANY and everything and ANYONE that causes you to question your self-worth, dignity, and value.

OK, enough from me...lol As usual, these are my opinions.

Ladies, take what you can use and trash the rest.

And I hope EVERYONE is enjoying the Holidays!

PEACE.

Felicia said...

Big Ooops!

I should have properly specified who I was referring to...

Susan Rice, Obama's Ambassador to United Nations & Her Family!

http://evolvingslices.typepad.com
/5_black_female_interracia/

witchsistah said...

Khadija,

I basically snatched back my crown because I had to. A few years ago, I fell into a deep depression from years of romantic and professional disappointments and from how I was treated in this society as a BW. I then had a choice to either live or die. And when I say live I mean somehow get better. There was no way I was going to live with that depression. I was going to die from it (commit suicide) if I kept on with it.

And that depression told me LOUDLY that what I had been doing was NOT working. First thing I did was to stop trying to be "normal" which was whatever that was contrary to what I was doing by folk who wanted me to feel as miserable as them.

I had to accept who I was contradictions, paradoxes, hypocrisies and all. I had to stop trying to fit myself into a mold (and all the molds were made by other people so I'd never fit perfectly). I had to accept that I'd forever be an ongoing project and never a finished one. Life is about change. Change is the only constant.

And I had to accept the fact that for the remainder of this life at least, I'm going to be a BW in a BW's body so I'd better learn how to accept and love this self I'm in this lifetime.

I basically had to change my attitude and thoughts. I had to commit to keeping myself emotionally and psychologically safe. I'm a pitbull about that. I no longer see why I have to take other folks' bad behavior and bullshit in order to be a "good sport." I used to try and talk to someone that seemed angry, upset or disappointed with me. Now, if I haven't done ish to make a person feel that way, I just cut them off. I don't have the energy to be dealing with other folks' issues.

I also have embraced the fact that I am an introvert and that there is nothing wrong with that. I do not need to make myself an extrovert or "fix" myself. I just need to understand that being around people is taxing and draining to me and that I den like a mofo!

I stopped doing a bunch of stuff I hated and was not suited for but did anyway because others said I should or judged me as not being competent, right, normal or okay for not doing them. I no longer pursue work outside the home because I never liked work outside the home. It's part of my introversion. I'm INTJ and typical of the type, I don't get office politics or see why I (or anyone else) should have to go through with it. Unfortunately, 90% of the modern workplace is nothing but that bullsh&t so I always failed miserably at work despite being extremely competent at my job. I cannot deal with the cowardly passive-agression of the modern workplace. It drives me insane, so I avoid it.

I began cultivating those interests that I'd suppressed in vain attempts to fit in. Those interests make me happy. Those other folks, the ones who demanded I be "normal" like them, didn't and weren't trying to.

The main reason I was able to do all of this is that I now have a safe, healthy environment that gives me the space to accomplish this thanks to my husband. He has stated from the beginning, even when we were boyfriend/girlfriend that he just wanted me to be happy however I defined that. He was the first and only person in my life that actually CARED about MY happiness. And I truly mean that, the first and only! None of my family of origin cared. None of the Blacks in my BC cared and both entities insisted that I slave and give constantly to them (emotionally, physically, financially). None of my exes cared. All that they all saw in me was what they could get out of me. No one gave a damn about me outside of how to most effectively exploit me. I find it to be more than ironic that after all the attempts to condition me into slaving for the BC the only person who ever has given a true damn about me and shown it has been one of the evil White menz! That's not to say ALL White men treated me this way. In fact, he's the only one who has. Yet more affirmation for vetting the hell out of anyone you let into your life.

witchsistah said...

Black women need to LEAVE THE TITANIC NOW.

And the Titanic is ANY and everything and ANYONE that causes you to question your self-worth, dignity, and value.


And THAT, ladies, is how you snatch back your crown and slay any fool that even LOOKS like they're gonna try and take it from you and do it unapologetically!

Anonymiss said...

I felt negatively about myself for a number of years. Because of how I felt, I told myself that I will never pass this self-hating mentality onto my kids. The chain has to be broken.

These are things that I will not do around my kids.

1. I will not act as a dark-skinned supremacist and vilify light-skinned ppl.

2. I don't plan to use phrases such as "light, bright, damn near White" around my kids.

3. I will surround my kids with healthy images of Black ppl from all parts of the color spectrum.

4. I will not complain about my appearance around my kids.

5. I won't stand for "good/bad hair" being in my kids' vocab.

6. If my kid is light-skinned, I won't say "Sit your yellow a** down" or anything similar.

7. I won't raise my kids to accept "lesser than" status.

8. I will raise my kids to know that a well-kept appearance is just pretty wrapping for the more valuable gifts that they have.

That's all I can think of for now :-)

Khadija said...

Hello there, Lormarie!

I hear you. At this point, I'm focused on the fate & fortunes of Black women and Black children. With concern for the microscopic number of Black men who actually do protect & provide for Black women and children. Period.
_______________________

Greetings, Stand Tall!

You said "crown of glory." I LIKE that phrase!
_______________________

Hello there, Halima!

You quoted me when I said the following in the main essay, "Don't fall for the lie that says, "They're part of us." Didn't these people already TELL you that they are something other than part of us? Why are some of you so eager to claim them when they are not claiming you? Especially when they are wearing your stolen crown?"

I'm referring to the self-proclaimed biracials, multiculturals, Cablanasians, etc. in this statement. I'm beginning to feel that Black folks need to CUT THEM OFF! Completely. For a variety of reasons:

1-Their choice to identify as anything except Black is rooted in a belief in Black inferiority & White supremacy.

Lots of folks want to pretend that these sorts of choices (rejecting Blackness) don't have any sort of historical context. And that they're just a matter of personal preference, like Negro males' choices. NOT.

These "biracials'," etc. real problem is that White people won't let them be White. So, they claim "biracial," "multicultural," "Cablanasian" status as a consolation prize.

This position of theirs is fundamentally ANTI-BLACK.

2-Even though they pointedly do NOT want to be Black, they want to come around Black folks just to reap (actually steal) the benefits of whatever resources we might have (fellowship, Black scholarships, Black set-asides, etc.). Why do we continue to allow these NOT-BLACK people to steal from us?

You said: "as is the ususal case with bw i think many darker bw are silenced by a need to not be 'divisive' as defined by this whose privileges remain intact..."

Strange, isn't it, how the original attack (literal hair flipping & "I'M biracial/multicultural/
Cablanasian" verbal hair flips) is never perceived as "divisive"?


Halima, in response to Witchsistah you said:"as long as there isnt a general condemnation and refusal to tolerate bm racist activities against bw (enforced with sanctions eg encouraging bw to abandon and turn away from bm as a result), bw will always try to 'get in on' the game the way it is. They too become corrupt, and act the way in which you have described!

Every body and every group has its base instincts. in civilised communtities, these instincts are suppressed, but in the black community (particularly because bm are such sacred cows who cannot be criticised and thus once they adopt a negative practice, that practice moves into a protected/apologist/normalised sphere), these base instincts are allowed to have a big seat at the table, with resulting corruption and poisoning of values."


{Loud applause}

You said: "A fullscale push back on dark skin racism is long overdue, i support the use of heavy artillery wherever necessary. Let the body count begin!"

I agree! Some accounts need to be settled. Justice must be served. Hair flippers, and brainwashed dark-skinned women who are championing "hair flipper values" who are emotionally battering other Black women need to be totally CUT OFF from any benefits of fellowship, solidarity, or anything else. BM racists who are engaged in colorism need ot be CUT OFF!
_______________________

Anonymous Somali from 9:13 a.m.,

I don't care that you're offended. Take it up with the author whose book I quoted from. Furthermore, I don't appreciate you coming here to interject your issue into our discussion. Who said anything about Somalia or Somalis?

Although, there ARE some things that I could say & question about Somalia & Somalis in general. Such as the many reports over the years of anti-Black behavior from Somalis. And reports of Somalis who somehow seem to believe that they are not "really" African like the other Africans in neighboring countries.

And isn't Somalia a member country in The ARAB League? How... peculiar...for a non-Arab, African country.

I could get into all of this, but I'm going to stay on point with this conversation. Goodbye.
________________________

Hello there, Forever Loyal!

It's good that you're not raising a hair flipper. And that brings us to a very important point about all of this: The root of much of this is in many of our families.

Many darker women are first emotionally assaulted with colorism by their own mothers and other relatives. Many hair flippers are raised to be hair flippers.

With many of us, there are some family members that also need to be held accountable, challenged, and if they persist in promoting colorism, CUT OFF.
_________________________

Greetings, Felicia!

This is probably an agree to disagree point between us. I responded to much of what you're saying about the self-proclaimed biracials, multiculturals, & Cablanasians in my reply to Halima.

My basic disagreement with what you're saying is that you're discussing this as if these choices to reject Blackness don't have any historical context. I disagree. To reject Blackness is a fundamentally ANTI-BLACK choice at its core. Just like many Black men's "preferences." None of these behaviors are race neutral.

Felicia, the reality of the situation is what you described when you said: "Women of obviously mixed backgrounds - who are labeled black/African-American because of an American tradition - probably do NOTHING positive for the self-esteem of unmixed appearanced dark-skinned black girls and women.

Because dark sistas can SEE with their own two eyes that these brown, tan, yellow, and white skinned women are obviously of fairly recent mixed background, otherwise they'd be dark like them.

This is sending the undeniable message that to be considered an "attractive black women" one MUST be "watered down".

This is CRUEL, a LIE, and a DAMN SHAME.

And it's BLACKS (DBR BM and their self-hating groupies) who are mostly conveying this damaging message.SMH"


As far as I'm concerned, running from Blackness by seeking to be the equivalent of an apartheid-era South African "Colored" is just another part of this SAME damaging message.

My other problem with these self-proclaimed "biracials," etc. is that they want to steal scholarships, stipends, set-asides, etc. that were created BY and FOR Black people.

Why are they helping themselves to Black folks' stuff if they've made it point to NOT be Black? They need to find some biracial scholarships for biracial people, and STOP stealing from us.

I don't buy into the "tragic biracial/Cablanasian" scam. Some accounts need to be settled with these biracial, etc. thieves. We need to CUT THEM OFF.
___________________________

Hello there, Witchsistah!

THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU for the detailed explanation of how you snatched your crown back! I know your testimony has helped a lot of women who are silently reading.

I'll also join you in quoting your quote from Felicia. You quoted from Felicia and said:"'Black women need to LEAVE THE TITANIC NOW.

And the Titanic is ANY and everything and ANYONE that causes you to question your self-worth, dignity, and value.'

And THAT, ladies, is how you snatch back your crown and slay any fool that even LOOKS like they're gonna try and take it from you and do it unapologetically!"


{raised fist salute to you & Felicia for this quote}

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Khadija said...

Hello there, Anonymiss!

Thank you for sharing your thoughts about child-rearing. How did you "break the chain" for yourself?

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

foreverloyal said...

http://foreverloyal.wordpress.com/2008/12/27/on-stolen-crowns-and-getting-up-when-youre-down/

Evia said...

By "Saigon is falling," I mean that I believe BW have only a couple of good years left to escape being trapped in horrible conditions. I believe that soon, due to conditions within Black residential areas, AA women will be permanently stigmatized as AIDs carriers, baby mamas, etc.

Khadija! I'm travelling but I had to respond to this. I've hesitated to sound the alarm on this CRITICAL need for AA women to escape NOW because I know it sounds to some bw that I'm being hysterical. LOL! The fact is that for years now, I have clearly seen what's coming (the demise) for huge numbers of AA women and you've indicated here that you can too. So, I ditto what you're saying here not just 100%--but 1000%. Time is quickly running out. FAST. With each day that passes, it gets harder for a typical AA woman to escape, largely because she is doing so much to hang onto her "black" card. Hanging on to that "black card" means she has to show and prove in so many ways that she's "black," and this is one of the ways that the self-serving bc and bm keeps their hooks into her.

It really, really disturbs me that so many AA women are dragging their feet on escaping. I've told the ones who read my essays repeatedly to get off the internet and start DOING!!! They don't need to work out everything perfectly before they get out. I believe that some of them are using the "need" to work out ALL of the details as a stallling tactic because they're been scared into a form of paralysis. I admit I don't know how to break them out of this paralysis because I don't think the way a typical AA female thinks.

However, as I've told them, reading my essays is not ***doing.*** Constant reading of my essays is a form of addiction. LOL! It's not escaping; it's simply reading.

I don't think most bw who read our sites realize that we are being LITERAL about how they MUST escape NOW! They really don't see that time is running out for a lot of AA women and their daughters to have any chance of escaping due to all you've mentioned plus a host of other lesser factors, but altogether these factors are massive.

Each day makes it harder because of the huge amount of negative press released and the negative images shown re AA women vs only a small amount of positive news and images (educational attainment of AA women, Michelle Obama, etc.). Many AA women also ACTIVELY play up these negative images of themselves because they behave according to the "acting black" script!!

Re your recent essay, many AA women do NOT present themselves at their best and continue to resort to excuse-making about their appearance, their behavior, etc. SMH Some of the responses to your essay about that just made me CRINGE. Lawdy! This is just insane when you consider that 'Saigon is falling and the helicopters are leaving every few minutes' to use your metaphor. These women obviously don't believe that.


Also, as I've said repeatedly and as you've mentioned here, many AA males are actively helping to keep bw in the cage because they don't want them to escape. A large number of AA men will directly and indirectly continue to try to keep as many bw there as possible. One way the males do this is by spreading as much negative info about bw as possible and attempting to make AA women seem as undesirable as possible.

AA women must STOP believing this negativity and totally DISMISS these damaged, self-serving males. Dismiss them. CUT THEM OUT OF YOUR THOUGHTS!

Many AA females can't accept that they're being chopped up and betrayed by LOTS of AA males, so these women are STILL easily preyed on by the males. Until the bulk of the women can understand clearly how they've been INDOCTRINATED/programmed to be receptive to these males and to be easily used by them, they will remain prey and they won't feel the urgent need to escape.

To any AA/similar black female: ANY AA or bm who is not ***showing and proving*** to you that he is of SV (some value) or V (Valuable) to you is NOT worth your while. Do NOT let him use up your time nor your emotional or erotic energy etc. Any time and energy that you're wasting with NV or LV males is time and energy you could devote to QUALITY males.

A Quality male doesn't mind AT ALL showing and proving to you that he is Quality because he KNOWS that he is ***supposed*** to do that. This is WHY he has tried to become a Quality male in the first place--in order to secure a loving, desirable female.

Aisha said...

Thank you so much for this post-you shoot straight to the heart of the issue. I feel like printing this and taping it to my wall. I'm so glad I found your blog.

witchsistah said...

Thanks for your praise, Khadija, though I feel I've only scratched the surface regarding my recovery. It was a long, multipronged process as I had a lot of issues, negative thoughts and such to overcome. I won't say I'm cured. I'll never be cured, but I'm definitely much better. Even my husband says so. He reminds me of it when I start to feel a little down (though some of it could be Seasonal Affective Disorder too). "You may not see how far you've come, but I definitely see it!" His encouragement means a lot to me.

The main lie I overthrew early on in my recovery was that of the StrongBlackWoman. You know the one that says BW are nothing more than dumb pack animals with no real emotional sensibilities so it really doesn't matter how you treat us since we're too insensate to feel actual pain not to mention tough so we'll just bounce on back? Yeah, I rejected that up front.

But there are two issues to this. First, BW need to reject the lies and bs that have been proclaimed about us. As SheCodes said, "The whole world can be and IS wrong about BW!" I think that's where many of these blogs are, trying to get BW to reject the bs projected onto us.

But there's a step two that often gets neglected, what to do when the rest of the world continues to try and put those false mantles on you and make you wear them because the world will. Remember when I said that the world is NOT going to let their favorite scapegoats, whipping boys, punching bags and pack mules just up and quit on 'em? I meant that and so does the rest of the world. And the rest of the world will sink LOW to maintain the status quo that has everyone else's boots on our necks.

Remember when I said that the office politics of work drove me insane? Well, really the bane of the vast majority of my work existence has been WW on the job. WW were def on trying to keep me in the subordinate, Mammy, undesirable position. Now you'd think that at work, issues such as physical beauty, desirability and feminine competition wouldn't come into play unless your job is model or stripper. You're there to do the job your employer pays for, right?

Yeah, that's what I thought too. I didn't know that a great part of my job was to make the WW there feel good about having been born White as opposed to having been born me. And I ALWAYS effed that part up mostly because I was NOT downgrading myself in any way so that some insecure chick could feel good about her weak self.

Well, I was the one gotten rid of each and every time. And it was never for my work product, which was always impeccable. It was over some vague, nebulous, "personality" mess. No, not even exact incidents could be called up regarding issues with my demeanor because there were NONE! These chicks just didn't like me, were jealous of me and couldn't just say that because how in hell can you fire someone based on "She looks better than me, and the guys here thinks she's hotter?" So they mentioned my "attitude." When I pressed them for EXACT instances when my supposed "bad attitude" was evinced in the workplace I either got shunted off ("That's not really the issue here!") or got some bs story about some insecure White girl saying I made her feel bad over some ish she should have felt badly about! I'm sure I don't need to go into detail. Y'all know what I mean.

WW constantly tried to place me in the position of pack mule while they tried to play delicate flower. I had WW twice my size ask me to move their office furniture for them while they made it clear they were gonna sit on their asses. I asked them what about my then 5'3", 105 lbs frame gave them the impression that I was a dock worker? I then either got called into some supe's office or was chided during an evaluation about my not being a "team player" or how I was "unhelpful" because I wouldn't allow some WW to use me as a musk ox!

Each and everytime I was given the lousy evaluation or plain ol' fired. These chicks didn't give a damn whether or not I needed that job to support myself or perhaps a family. They didn't care if I or a loved one could have possibly needed my health insurance. All they knew was they didn't feel like the pretty, pretty princesses that they felt their White asses should next ol', nigrah me because I looked ten years YOUNGER than they did even though I was ten years older; because I was smarter and better educated than them; because I had traveled and studided oversees and spoke two foreign languages while they thought they were big time going to Vegas for a week; because I was naturally thin while the last time they were my size was for about a week when they were eleven! Basically, those b*&ches majorly effed with my ability to earn a living over petty, prissy BS! I will never forgive ANY of them for that.

The last straw came with a part-time gig my temp agency had set me up with. The supe, another WW, complained that the last girl didn't take the job seriously and sucked at it and was still making lots of mistakes after three months. Well, I felt that was a hint and my cue to dig on in and learn that bad boy thoroughly. And I did! I wondered what the other chick had been struggling with. Well, I must have done too good a job too soon because I got called into ol' girl's office and the same ol' nebulous bs started up again.

I wasn't "approachable." She had never approached me except to assign me tasks which I promptly completed or to teach me how to do something. And I was FINE with that! It felt good not to have to entertain someone on the job. Then she tried to lie and say I came in late that day, when I actually was five minutes early. And then she straight up lied about having assigned me a task. She had talked about it and had said for me not to worry about it because she was going to do it and did.

Basically, I was too competent and confident. She was afraid for HER job and she couldn't run me. I should have known I was on the choppiing block when she found out how old I was and was all, "Oh really? You don't look nearly that old! I'm 35!" I guess I was supposed to compliment her, but 1) I wasn't fishing for a compliment in the first place and 2) that heffa looked every bit of 40!

I ended up going to my temp agency, told them what happened and for them to remove my name and resume from their roster. I haven't been on another job since and I don't miss it. As far as I'm concerned, I'm retired.

But I ranted all that to show you all how dirty folk WILL do you when you decide to reject their anti-BW crap and live like you reject it. The ugly WILL rain down.

Khadija said...

Hello there, Evia!

I 100% co-sign your latest comment. It's been disturbing to see the level of resistance to the various alarms that have been shouted. It has also been disturbing to realize that many BW are reading our essays as a form of recreation. Meanwhile, the things we've been talking about are a matter of LIFE & DEATH.

Right now, I'm reading a book called Defiance. I think the movie version is coming out this month. It's about Polish Jews who run away from their homes & hide from the Nazis in the forests of their country.

Over the years, I've read several books by & about Holocaust survivors and people who lived through the communal slaughter in the former Yugoslavia. I've noticed a pattern in both categories of accounts.

Most people wait until it's too late to acknowlege reality. The survivors interviewed in Defiance mention many cases where, even AFTER hearing about how the Jews living in a neighboring city were rounded up & murdered, other Jews refused to believe that the same thing would be done to them!

The people who were in denial stayed in place. They were killed.

Sadly, the human pattern is the same when it comes to genocide-level problems. Most people cling to the facade of normal life until things are so drastic that there's no room to pretend anymore. At which point, it's usually too late.

And so it is with many of the Black women who are reading our essays.

Evia, you & I (and some others) can clearly see what's coming next for most BW in this country. As you put it, "the demise." I know it sounds hysterical to say it out loud in public, but I have to. That way my conscience will be clear in the future. I will know that I did all that I could to save as many BW's lives as possible.

The survival pattern is also the same: Regarding the Jewish Holocaust, and ethnic cleansing in Yugoslavia and Iraq, those people who took heed of early warning signals had a better chance of surviving. Those who clung to denial had worse odds of surviving.

The South Vietnamese who were trying to scramble onto the American military helicopters waited too long to get out. Evia, I would urge folks to watch some YouTube videos of this evacuation & then re-read some of your essays about getting out NOW.
_____________________

Greetings, Aisha!

Thank you so much for your kind words. I truly appreciate it. I'm also happy you stopped by. Please come back in the future!

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

witchsistah said...

Evia, I wonder if these sistahs know what we mean when we say "Get out!" Too many of them act like the BC is the only island of civilization or that leaving the BC means you have to go live in Honkey McWhitieville where your neighbors are all racist and burn crosses on your lawn and write "n(&&er" on your house on alternate weekends. That's part of the scare tactics used to keep BW locked up tight in the BC.

I heard the something analogous when I moved out of my mother's house. I looked around my original neighborhood for a place to live in the BC. First, folks were charging WAAAAAAAAAAAAY too much money for those apartments! And secondly, they often did not include appliances such as fridge, stove, even washer and dryer at times. You had to buy one or more of these yourself! Um, for the rent they were charging they should have had a little old lady beat your dirty clothes on a rock in a stream. So out went my old stomping grounds as an option.

So I started going further afield. I needed to be near reliable public transportation, namely the Chicago "EL," since I don't drive. I was NOT going to live in the ghetto and that's where the apartments I could afford on my side of town were. So I committed what is considered sacrelige in the BC in Chi:

I went looking for a place on THE NORTH SIDE! DUN! DUN! DUUUUUUUUUUUUUUNNNNNNN!!!

Now to hear Black Chi folk tell it the North Side is a hell dimension where White folk run around butt-booty nekkid and hump dogs, cats, goats, chickens and fat city pigeons in the streets.

Gangs of gay, White folk lie in wait for hapless, unsuspecting, innocent Negroes like me to happen along where the same sex will jump and rape them into homosexuality (damn, must be good, huh?)!

It was just a sea of godless lawlessness without a decent AME church around (even though I was raised and baptised a Catholic).

But they had apartments that were reasonable. I didn't have to pay a grip NOT to sleep with the rats and roaches (and have them chip in on the phone and cable) and worry about whether or not the local crackheads made off with my possession and if I'll find my apartment empty when I come home from work.

I found a place in Roger's Park that was two blocks from Lake Michigan, near an EL stop on a main line, had a cute full-service little grocer as well as an Osco drugstore across the street from it. The neighborhood was very mixed and had a second-run movie theater (which later became a first-run one much to my chagrin), coffeeshops, organic restaurant and offered entertainments like live, dramatic readings of Shakespeare's histories. And all of this was within walking distance of my crib!

When I moved there, suddenly the scuttlebutt back home was that I had gone "native." It was as if I had moved to outer Mongolia instead of somewhere any of my family could have reached with a 45 minute train ride. I now must be having sex with anything that'd lie still enough and biting the heads off of chickens during. They all knew I was gay too since EVERYONE who lived on the North Side was and that was the ONLY reason to move there. I was just delving into one depravity after another (I wish my life were that exciting and fun back then!).

None of my family ever came to visit me or see my crib so they had no idea how I was living. It was like someone denouncing a book they'd never read or a movie they'd never seen.

And of course the whole North Side was not only a sea of depravity but a sea of WHITE. Actually it's very, VERY mixed. I lived near an Indian neighborhood so I got broadcasts of the top ten Indian music videos every week and what was playing in the local Indian movie theater. There was a Russian Orthodox Jewish neighborhood where I used to get wonderful breads and pastries. There were White folks, many of them worked at Loyola University and there was that student population as well.

And there were the Section 8 Negroes too who only brought the ghetto with them. They were the ones who hung out on the corner and told me I was stupid for bothering to get a Master's degree. I bet they're still there, ten years later, doing and saying the same ol' ish. I would see the young folk eating walking down the street and throwing their trash on the sidewalk even though there were at least three trashcans a block. Our neighborhood was a bit divided. There were the "restaurants" (namely greasy, fast food joints) that they went to and ones the rest of us frequented. I never saw any of them at my local coffeeshop even though it was only blocks from their apartments too. They damn sure didn't go to Shakespeare. I don't even remember them going to the movie theatre since it showed a lot of indie and art films. They didn't even go to the beach much. Hell, I wonder what they did all day now!

Khadija said...

Hello there, Witchsistah!

Guurrl, are you sure you're not the head writer for Saturday Night Live?

{gales of laughter while reading your latest comment}

"Now to hear Black Chi folk tell it the North Side is a hell dimension where White folk run around butt-booty nekkid and hump dogs, cats, goats, chickens and fat city pigeons in the streets."

{more loud laughter}

Witchsistah, thanks for providing my belly laugh for today!

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Aphrodite said...

Hello Khadija,


I have thought and thought about the answer to this question. This is hard. I will throw some things out there.



I think there needs to be consequences for devaluing BW.


A. I would like to see BW push legislation for certain crimes against BW to be considered hate crimes - even if the perpetrator is Black. I think that we have enough evidence to prove that BW and girls are often targeted as victims bc of their gender and race.


B. I would like to see a BW anti defamation organization or a faction of an already existing BW organization be dedicated to anti defamation. Borrowing from Rev Lisa (regarding internal and external strategy) the external strategy would be anti- defamation and one of the internal strategies would be policing actions that promote and portray darker BW in a positive light when it comes to forms of media.


This could help combat the high profile BM entertainers who keep coming with the negative onslaught and balance the black media or media targeted towards Blacks that focuses on lighter whiter women.



One way I can think of this is to put it in a transformational leadership/organizational psychology context and compare it to Jack Welch and how he turned GE around. I hope I am not going too far off base. I am winging this from memory and a new learner of these concepts so bear with me - it is in no particular order and this is very broad.



When Jack Welch came to lead GE was bloated with bureaucracy, inefficient, and struggling. If I think of BW as a multinational conglomerate I can draw similar parallels.



1. The first thing he did was to make the company lean and agile by cutting unnecessary departments that were sapping resources. This could be (as you stated) cutting off all glaring appendages/people who sap/manipulate/use BW's resources politically, socially, and financially through colorism i.e. biracials who profit at the expense of BW, BM who lift them up and profit as well, and corps that support any views that are damaging to BW.



2. The second thing he did was to reshape the culture by outlining a simple vision/mission. In looking at successful highly competitive companies, the actual mission statement may be a page or more long, but the vision/goal which is the basis for the mission can be reduced to a few words that are intuitively/intellectually/emotionally understood by the majority of people that it is communicated to.



3. He established performance guidelines measurable through a set of core behaviors to attain the vision. Eventually 2, 3, (and 4 below) would create a cycle of reinforcement where even if a worker didn’t memorize the performance guidelines they could manage their own behavior such that it was always in support of accomplishing #2.

I think this would be a valuable thing for BW. BW could be re- indoctrinated to mimic a core set of behaviors that lead to self -preservation, reduce any complicity in their devaluation, and create harsh consequences for the people who do devalue.

#2 bolied down to a few words could in fact be
self preservation at all costs
Annihilate complicity in my self- destruction
Consequences for those that don’t support 1&2

Which could then be further elaborated into a larger mission statement.

I can agree with the other posters who said love yourself or free your mind, but I think a lot of BW may not "get that" immediately and developing those types of skills and abilities is a process that may take more time than is allowed in order for them to escape in a timely manner.

Also I have examples in my personal life where I didn’t “get things” and my therapists would tell me to behave my way through it if immediate action was key to me moving forward. Later the healthier concepts etc were integrated emotionally/mentally, but after I had “acted as if” through the process.





4. He would motivate workers and boost morale by highlighting the intrinsic and sometimes external benefits and rewards of number 3 – fostering team spirit, getting people personally invested/feeling integral, necessary, important to the outcome of the company.

If a simple core set of behaviors were outlined and the multiple benefits and rewards of those behaviors were detailed then perhaps more BW would be called to continuous action even though they don’t “get it” because the pay off could be presented in such a way that it is much more desirable than the current status quo or the result of inaction. Especially if it addresses psychological needs, desires, and has a strong emotional appeal.


I think a lot of BW don’t understand how bad it is or can be. I know I get heart palpitations every time I read how bad it can get because I have never heard a lot of this before and I want to just panic. I am also not used to thinking of these issues in these ways and this is the first time in my life that I have ever been presented with sound sane information.

I think the reason why a lot of people who push their agendas on BW to keep them where they are so successful is because they appeal to their emotions and deepest desires and pose a solution that is supposed to allow them to fulfill that desire – which is not what happens. They know that BW have been trained to preserve the race and desire BM so they appeal to this and present them with a solution for meeting that desire (by waiting or changing x,y,z which can never be changed in the context of colorism). So BW keep getting strung along.

This is actually something that I learned in a marketing class – create a (false) desire and then provide people with a (product/service) means to fulfill it while playing on their emotions – so the media outlets that only show lighter whiter women know that BW can never be that so they have a cash cow in trying to get them to achieve that. Also BM know that they can never be that.

I think the same method could work for a real alternate solution oriented agenda: a clear black and white delineation/ correlation (of behavior consequences/rewards) that is overwhelmingly compelling to the emotions and at the same time taps into psychological/survival etc needs/desires - could shift some BW into action.




5. He further streamlined the company by focusing on a few main core competencies (strengths). I gathered from my research that most conglomerates who continue to be successful and competitive focus on 3 or so core competencies/strengths that feed into their vision #2 before branching out into other areas.


BW could collectively do the same. The could focus on three core strengths or potential strengths that could be integrated into #2 which would be reinforced by 3 and 4.




6. There were constant reviews of #3. If people weren’t doing well consistently showing the behaviors that supported #2 they were penalized and eventually eliminated. He would also refine #3 by adding to or taking away as they progressed.


This could be where strategy could come in. There could be an anticipation of why some BW would flounder with 3 and then a series of more specific, but not too narrow set of behaviors could be defined/established to maintain the clarity of #2 (in the floundering BW’s mind) and create a safety net for those who are not doing well supporting the culture or contributing to the advancement of the company. This could be altered as many times as feasible. If the situation persisted then penalties could be imposed and finally elimination.



7. Once these changes were made Jack implemented stretch goals that were used to set a standard of excellence that made GE a benchmark company. For example 3 and 4 could be manipulated to coach performances from workers that were unheard of prior. For example: a department could only realistically expect to grow maybe 3% a year, but Jack would set the goal at 10% for example and via 3 and 4 workers would always surpass the reasonably expected 3%. Some departments would surpass the 10.

I think that this could be a guiding principle for BW as well that can be compounded with #5.



8. The hallmark of transformational leadership is that it creates something that can sustain itself in the absence of the leader. While GE is not doing so well under its current leadership many of the people who worked under Welch were converted into STANS of his approach (some without the company as well) and a lot of those employees moved on to other companies assuming leadership roles (they were groomed for this through his approach at GE) and taking their skills training with them.

Perhaps this approach could be kept in mind with regards to BW. Creating #2, 3,4 so that they become self sustaining and self reinforcing.




This is all that I can recall off the top of my head and I know I am leaving a lot out, but I just kind of saw some parallels and thought maybe this would be helpful.

Sister Seeking/Miriam/MaryAnn said...

Salaam Khadija

One of many ways I/I’ve put back on my crown was marrying some one who preferred me: ALL of me. It was NOT an easy task because at the time I was a staunch Sunni orthodox Muslimah--that meant that I was surrounded by BAM’s both women, and men who had already determined what they thought I could or could NOT have. That meant being surrounded by IMM’S who were focused on the preservation, and dominance of THEIR OWN people and would not HOLD ANY BAM man accountable for THE MADNESS ( domestic violence; child abuse and neglect; poverty; polygamy; and heresy). Allahu Akbar…

NOW 7 years later. I look back and SEE much of the genocide you write about playing out in the BAM community in masse--all those BAM women who told me I could not marry well because: I’m a convert, I’m an adopted child, I’m darker than a paper bag, I’m too tall, and so on--their life is in complete shambles.

I rejected those AA women and I rejected those IMM’s who sat by and watched those children live through 20 or 30 “spiritual” marriages of their mother that left them: sexually abused; impoverished; physically abused; and illiterate by the way. I refused to be bullied, intimidated, or TAKFEERED by ANY Muslim because I had goals, and aspirations--BECAUSE I HAD STANDARDS. To me-- NOT ACCEPTING THE AGENDA OF OTHERS FOR YOUR LIFE IS RECLAIMING YOUR CROWN. IF YOU DO NOT PLAN YOUR LIFE OTHERS WILL DO IT FOR YOU.

I attribute my ability to sift through the land fill of OTHER PEOPLES EMOTIONAL GARGAGE to being raised in my early years by decent white catholic foster families. I was not exposed to colorism, and madness common in black families UNTIL I was placed with black foster families. The fact that I was able to not just see but experience healthy family life during my childhood gave me a backdrop to measure what would later by dysfunction against.


As for the colorism issue Khadija, you spoke about surrounding your self by healthy images--and I’ll add on to that to include taking better care of myself and slowing down a bit. The best image I can give myself is ME. I am my own ally first, and foremost.


Also a side note here: my family, and I attended a Kwanzaa
celebration for private black home schoolers. Its nice to see black men raising black children to have a strong sense of self determination, and coincidentally “color struck” was brought up by several elderly black men…


P.S.
I echo Khadija, Evia, and others in running out of black residential areas. I live in a multi-racial area ( Hispanic, Asian, White, and a few blacks). Before moving here we lived in a black residential area--I kid you naught, the first day our welcome package including a letter explaining that a teenager had been stabbed to death and found on a tenants deck. When we moved in our town house in this neighborhood a stay at home Hispanic mother brought us over some sweets from her native Ecuador.

Halima said...

Pardon me Khadijah as I note something slightly off topic.

witchsistah

thanks for sharing with us your experinces with ww in the work place. These days I am loving the level of analysis available to bw exploring our situation and our issues, i mean, where has all this wonderful dialogue been all these years! I particularly took note of this comment:

Each and everytime I was given the lousy evaluation or plain ol' fired. These chicks didn't give a damn whether or not I needed that job to support myself or perhaps a family. They didn't care if I or a loved one could have possibly needed my health insurance. All they knew was they didn't feel like the pretty, pretty princesses that they felt their White asses should next ol', nigrah me

This experince underscores how dangerous white female supremacy is as opposed to the just irritating 'cat fighting' that the standard analysis wants to make issues on the bw-ww interface out to be.

I continue to search for an analysis that is bw-including, that teases out these issues for black women (as you have shown them to be layered and complex), but even on 'progressive'/'let-explore-racsim-and-sexism-etc, bw are woefully let down and none of these issues get picked up.

I am still wondering why common frameworks employed to look at the 'isms' of society are not picking up the issues for bw for instance white female supremacy.

if in 2007 we are still struggling to understand and conceptualise what 'ails' bw, then it is very disturbing and if it is that ww have succesfully tricked the progressive movement out of a robust discussion which manages to probe the oppressiveness of ww, then 'much respect' to them for their gameplay!

Felicia said...

Greetings, Felicia!

This is probably an agree to disagree point between us. I responded to much of what you're saying about the self-proclaimed biracials, multiculturals, & Cablanasians in my reply to Halima.

And that is what I love about Evia's blog, this one, and the rest of the black women's empowerment blogs. We can agree to disagree without any hard feelings.

Which is life.

Everyone's not going to see things the same way and that's OK.


My basic disagreement with what you're saying is that you're discussing this as if these choices to reject Blackness don't have any historical context.

No, I agree with you. Almost everything in life has a historical context. My thing is, regardless of what happened in the past - even the negative things you've mentioned- we're living in the here and now and today people have to (and are going to) do what makes sense to them whether other's agree with or understand their actions or not. Growing numbers of biracial people today- especially those with non black apperances - are rejecting the ODR (one drop rule) and are insisting on being recognized for all of what makes them who they are.

It is just a fact of life.


To reject Blackness is a fundamentally ANTI-BLACK choice at its core.

Just like rejecting a biracial identity is fundamentally an anti-biracial choice at its core.

Any label we use to identify ourselves will naturally negate another label. Which in my book is perfectly fine.

I'm an individualist first and foremost. If something is not working for me personally - whatever that something is - regardless of "the groups" interest or feelings, I TRASH it. And that's what I'm teaching my children.

In order for black women to reclaim their crowns, they are going to have to start thinking individualisticaly too.

Because historically speaking, a black woman's "place" has been beneath everyone. A beast of burden catering to everyone else's needs at the expense of her owns.

That is NO place for any black woman in 2009 to be in.

This undying loyalty to "the group" has never been returned to black women. And it never will be.

Therefor, if black women want their crowns back, they are going to have to choose non colorist family oriented and marriage minded undamaged men OUTSIDE of the VAST majority of black communities, because ONLY an undamaged man has it in him to place black women on the pedestal that we desearve to be on.


Felicia, the reality of the situation is what you described when you said: "Women of obviously mixed backgrounds - who are labeled black/African-American because of an American tradition - probably do NOTHING positive for the self-esteem of unmixed appearanced dark-skinned black girls and women.

Because dark sistas can SEE with their own two eyes that these brown, tan, yellow, and white skinned women are obviously of fairly recent mixed background, otherwise they'd be dark like them.

This is sending the undeniable message that to be considered an "attractive black women" one MUST be "watered down".

This is CRUEL, a LIE, and a DAMN SHAME.

And it's BLACKS (DBR BM and their self-hating groupies) who are mostly conveying this damaging message.SMH"

As far as I'm concerned, running from Blackness by seeking to be the equivalent of an apartheid-era South African "Colored" is just another part of this SAME damaging message.

We will have to agree to disagree. Because IMO proclaiming a biracial identity (but NOT in arrogance as to say "I'm better than you simply because I'm biracial" which would be racist) is not "running from blackness", but instead towards an identity that incorporates ALL of who your are. Whatever those two backgrounds are. Not placing one above or beneath the other.

I realize this is a touchy controversial topic and both sides see legitimacy in their stances.

That's why I think it's great (and a sign of progress) that these topics can be discussed peacefully on these blogs without folks taking these personally.


My other problem with these self-proclaimed "biracials," etc. is that they want to steal scholarships, stipends, set-asides, etc. that were created BY and FOR Black people.

Why are they helping themselves to Black folks' stuff if they've made it point to NOT be Black? They need to find some biracial scholarships for biracial people, and STOP stealing from us.

I agree 100% here. I believe there should be scholarships for ALL of the various populations. And there are already some scholarships specifically intended for biracial people.

I don't buy into the "tragic biracial/Cablanasian" scam. Some accounts need to be settled with these biracial, etc. thieves. We need to CUT THEM OFF.

ANYONE and any group who is not dependable, recipricating, supportive of you and your personal interest, needs to be cut off ASAP. Whether they are black, white, biracial, or whatever.

And we must remember, ALL biracial people are not claiming "tragic" status.

Just like BW can't control these STUPID, DBRBM boot licking mammy's who would stab another black woman in the back to try to stay in the "good graces" (SMH) of a BM - even a criminal - biracial identified people who DON'T have a superiority complex and are not arrogant, can't stop those who are.

We can all ONLY control ourselves, our own actions, and thinking processes.

With a 70% single rate and a 70% out of wedlock birth rate (and growing) black women need to be concentrating 100% of their time on getting OFF of the Titanic.

Not concerned with how other people identify themselves one way or another.

That's a waste of precious time.

Most self-identified biracial people - female and male - (especially those who fit the stereotypical ideal) are going to do JUST fine.

Trust me on that.

And most of them are purely concerned with themselves and their lives. Not these "group" and "black race" notions.

BW need to learn a lesson from everyone else.

BW need to be more "SELFISH" and SELF focused.

Where has all of this "black community orientation" gotten black women?

Not far.

Khadija said...

Hello there, Aphrodite!

Yes, it is critical that we start enforcing swift, sure, & severe consequences on anybody & everybody who devalues BW. At minimum, we must CUT THEM OFF!

I'll have to meditate on your other comments about the marketing analogies. Here's why: Saigon is falling RIGHT NOW! Black women need to run for their lives right now.

So, I feel like it makes no sense to do long term planning while Saigon is falling and very few people are heeding the call to flee. It's like having a long-term strategy meeting while lounging inside a burning house.

The other part is where my "inner warlord" comes out: If people are too clueless to understand that their lives are in danger while the bullets are whizzing past, while they live surrounded by Negroes who feel entitled to frisk them as they walk past, while bodies are dropping & BW are being raped left & right----then maybe they're just too clueless to survive.

I DO have moments when I feel that survival is for those who are most fit to survive.
_________________

Hello there Sister Seeking/Miriam!

Wa Alaikum As-Salaam!

THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU for sharing the practical details of how you snatched back your crown! I'm sure that your testimony has helped a lot of other women figure out what to do to get theirs back.

In fact, what you laid out (in detail) is so important that it's going to be the next Reader's Money Quote. THANK YOU.
_____________________

Hello there, Halima!

No problem. These are all very important angles to Black women's lives.
_____________________

Hello there, Felicia!

Yes, grown-ups know how to disagree without becoming disagreeable! LOL!

My bottom line: These "I don't want to be Black and White folks won't let me be White" self-proclaimed biracials, multiculturals, & Cablanasians are anti-Black. I'm not talking about "group" anything here. Because they are anti-Black, these people are anti-ME. Consequently, I am anti-them. I'm not going to let semi-internal enemies like these self-proclaimed biracials continue to screw over BW. We need to CUT THEM OFF.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Chi-Chi said...

I tried to post before but blogger is acting up . . . which is all good because then I went back to read witchsista's post about how she got her crown back and it very accurately reflects how I am getting mine back (because I'm still in the process). But what I posted earlier was:

You spoke of first steps Khadija and I'm going to be honest about how I took the first steps to regain my crown.

I won't lie. I have spent a large part of my life feeling downright ugly and depressed about it. Thought that unless my behind or breasts were being flaunted, I should not really expect any male attention. It's only recently, like within the last few years, that I have felt differently. I got tired of feeling so badly and so lacking. I give thanks just for some life circumstances/challenges that pointed me in a different direction and also for my husband who affirms me in many ways including my beauty.

I happened upon a book called Meditations to Heal Your Life by Louise Hay. Initially I got it to help me do the spiritual work I felt I needed to do in order to heal my allergies. Anyway, there's a meditation in there called "Mirror Talk" and as ridiculous as I felt the first time I did it, I kept doing it. I talked to myself. I talked to my childhood self. Then I vented at all the people who made me feel less than. Guys who I let treat me badly because I felt badly. I yelled at them and then I let them go. They (and their lies) no longer exist to me. I forgave my mother for her part realizing that her crown was stolen too! A slow process. A small but powerful first step.

After a while, I still found that I didn't like what I saw when I looked in the mirror. I decided to change my thoughts. Every time I have a thought that is negative, I stemmed it. Now sometimes, I revert and wallow in negativity for a minute but I get back up. Sometimes it's difficult for me to look at me and feel I'm beautiful. That is when I look inside me. To help me, I've collected images of women who look similar to me from all over the net and those make up my screen savers and backgrounds. I say, "See her nose is just as wide as mine" or "See, she doesn't have long flowing hair" and (not *but* she's beautiful! And then sometimes I just get very practical with myself. I say, "Chi-Chi, look the debate you are having with yourself about whether you are beautiful or not is getting old. Regardless, whatever you have is what you've got. Period. So, you either work it or not. You either decide you look fine and good--if not beautiful--or not. Whatever you decide, you'd better be damn sure and convincing because that's how the rest of the world is going to deal with you." I've decided to work it.

My husband says to me sometimes when I get into a real good funk, "If you are not beautiful, what does that say about me? That I like ugly women? I am not an ugly man, so why would I get with an ugly woman?" That refocuses me.

Anyway, it's a process. I know I'm still getting to a place of complete confidence in the fact that I'm beautiful because I still have my days. But honestly, it is a lot of spiritual and mental work that I'm not sure many of us have the desire or the will to do. I think when you feel like your very existence is threatened, though, that's a serious motivation to make fundamental changes. But I don't know that many know that their existence is threatened. Many don't know that if you don't get out now, you may not be able to.

Anonymiss said...

Hey Khadija,
I broke the chain by seeking therapy. I sought counseling from my therapist (a sista) for a number of reasons (my family acts as a burden, double consciousness, and self-esteem issues). It took me a while to take her advice. I was so used to being one way for a long time.

There just comes a time when you become sick and tired of being sick and tired.

Seeking therapy wasn't all that easy. Especially with the way Negroes act about therapy outside of a religious environment.

Khadija said...

Chi-Chi & Anonymiss,

THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU for generously sharing the details of how you're reclaiming your crowns! I know that your testimonies are helping the many silent women who are reading this conversation. THANK YOU.
____________________

Chi-Chi,

Everything of value is a "work in progress." I believe that death is the only finish line. Before then, there's always another level to reach for.
_____________________

Anonymiss,

I praise God that you had the courage to do what was best for YOU. Forget the naysayers. We need to get over our collective aversion to therapy.

I'm at a point where I seek out whatever is of benefit to ME. Whether the masses of Black folks approve or understand; or not. In fact, considering that popular, "acting Black" culture is DISHONEST, DEATH-seeking & DEATH-affirming, I feel that it's usually best to ignore what most Black folks are saying. About anything.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Aphrodite said...

Hello Sister Seeking and Witchsistah,


Thank you for sharing you are both brave and powerful women.

Aphrodite said...

Hello Khadija,

Point taken about my long strategy. :)


I will have to think more on how to get more BW to flee immediately.

witchsistah said...

Thanks Halima,

I bet all those WW rationalized what they were doing away with the ol' StrongBlackWoman trope, "Oh, she'll be alright. Black women always bounce back. Besides, they're used to adversity," and didn't give what they did or me another thought.

IF I were to even try to do paid work nowadays, I'd want to be in a workplace surrounded by non-BM and no women, not because I'm trying to tag more men or be the pretty, pretty princess, but because it would be NICE finally to be able to go to work, do my job effectively and go home without worrying about whether or not neglecting to compliment someone's shoes or new hairdo has put me on the road to termination. Dang, that was a long sentence but a true one!

It has compromised all the relationships I have with WW, even those close to me. It's happened so often and so many times, I know that WW will only be able to get so close to me (though a lot closer than many Negroes, that's fo' sho') and no further. In my mind will be the thought, "Yeah, you're acting all nice and sweet to me now, but 'this' is what you really are underneath. I just haven't tripped your White girl trigger yet." It obviously makes me hold back from them because I just cannot trust them all the way. I well understand that BW need to vet heavily EACH AND EVERY PERSON THAT WANTS IN OUR LIVES no matter what race or gender or anything else they are and scrutinize their behavior always (cuz that "friend" and "ally" card can ALWAYS be revoked).

Sister Seeking/Miriam/MaryAnn said...

Chi Chi

I’m ordering “ Meditations to Heal Your Life by Louise Hay” from Amazon this morning. THANK YOU for recommending something to read.


Anonymiss,

I’ve been in and out of various forms of therapy and support groups for YEARS.
I just recently ended therapy over removing my hijab--Its OKAY to ask a professional ASSIST you in sorting out complex, overwhelming, issues. People who don’t want to play God get help! I stand in support with you! : )


Aphrodite

Thank you for your compliment and I’m learning allot from the commentary you left at this blog!


Witchsistah

I LOVE your personality! When you can look back and laugh that really says allot about where you are… by the way I’ve experienced allot of what you have on the job. My goal is work toward being economically self stuffiness. My distress was overwhelming because I wore traditional Islamic clothing ,and was a constant target. So, my dh and I once our economy recovers are going to try to open a green business: waste management company.

Khadija

I tell ya… these blog discussions are better than sitting up in wax smelling class room listening to some monotone professor! LOL

Khadija said...

Hello there, Sister Seeking/Miriam!

The blog discussions here only "work" to the extent that insightful audience members like you make them work: By your active participation! Thank you!

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Anonymous said...

The pattern that I've seen with these self-proclaimed "biracials" is that they want to be considered Black like any other Black person when there's something to be gained [such as scholarships from Black organizations, affirmative action slots, etc.]. When there's nothing to be gained [nothing to be stolen from Black people], then they want you to know how distinct they are from Black people.
-----------------------------------
This post was on point as usual. Sometimes I feel as if you, evia, and halima are reading my mind. By the way you are doing a great job with the posts keep up the good work. Oh yeah by the way, you forgot to include acting jobs. I for one am tired of seeing these women and female children play in roles designed for black women and female children and when you catch an interview with one of them they say "I am not black I am cablasian or my mother is *** and my father is black" all to indicate that they have no identity with black people and their struggles. When I see the shows I often time check the cast members to determine whether or not I will be a constant viewer and when I see this situation I simply stop watching the shows and I do not by the albums.

Evia said...

Khadija, from my undergraduate days, I remember so well a class I took called "Oppression and Third World People," taught by a Haitian professor. I had 2 semesters of that class and I've understood so much about the ways of oppressors ever since. I'd really like for bw to KNOW this: All people--even those who have been oppressed--are highly capable of being oppressors themselves. Most black people like to think of oppressors as wm and ww, and this is why it's so hard for bw to realize that many bm are oppressors, but even bw (hair-flippers and others) can be too.

This is why I know that the bc and bm will continue to step on bw as long as bw allow it and of course, others will too.

Bw, pls KNOW that no one can get your crown (these days) unless you hand it over to them. For ex. no woman can flip her hair at me and make be feel less-than because I don't pay hair-flipping women any attention whether they're white, biracial or whatever. I don't wish I had their hair, and I don't feel less-than around them, so that's flipping is wasted on me. I don't envy them anything because I'm too busy making the most out of what I've been given. We're all given cards in life--some good, some not so good, but the challenge is for us each to make the most of our OWN cards (Khadija's recent post). Being your best will give you POWER, and this is what each bw needs to focus on: her own POWER.

Bw need to focus on how to acquire and maintain POWER and power is of various types and can be used in many ways.

I'm on vacation now and I've observed on the faces of many bw that they don't know they have power. For ex. most of the women are overweight and have drab faces with even drabber clothing. Some of these women are half my age, yet look so dull and forlorn.

A lot of darker bw idolize, envy lighter women and fawn over them. In effect, these darker women GIVE their crown to those lighter women because they think that these are the women who bm want. They should instead learn how to make the most of their beautiful chocolate complexions and curvaceous bodies and focus ONLY on men who adore their looks. This would be exercising THEIR POWWER.

Back to giving away their crown--I know a dark chocolate woman who examines my skin everytime she sees me and she'll say things like, "Oh, you look lighter." Or "What did you put on your face--it's lighter?" SMH She is the one who fixates on my skin shade (that gets lighter in cooler months), and she says all of this in a complimentary way as she seems to be trying to look inside the pores of my skin. When she does this, she GIVES me her crown. I know she feels less- than when she says this about my skin shade, but I'm not the one flipping my hair at her.

I've said this so many times that people cannot mistreat you unless you cooperate. If I were a hair-flipper, it would be EASY for me to mistreat this woman and make her feel like cr#p because she's SOOOOOO cooperative.

The deliberate hair flippers are a type of oppressor. I think many of us are or could be oppessors. I never thought I would witness bw (AAs and other bw from the Diaspora)as oppressors until I experienced this in Nigeria.

Immediately when I got off the plane in Nigeria, I zoomed to upper-upper classdom because my ex-husband was a highly-paid chief accountant-manager for a major European company. We had a car and driver, a cushy residence, memberships in hoity-toity clubs,(something that is not that unusual in Nigeria for a person of my educated-elite class there) and I had servants to do all of the work. Many of the other black women who were expatriates also had the same perks. I spent my days sitting around swimming pools, at luncheons, luxury lounges in posh clubs, and I rubbed elbows with millionaires and super wealthy folks (Nigerians, Arabs, Europeans, etc.)at various cocktail parties, tennis matches, etc.

At many of the luncheons or club lounges, ALL of these women, INCLUDING the AAs/Caribbean women spent a lot of time complaining about their 'stupid, lazy' servants--all of whom were mostly illiterate Nigerians. These Diasporan black women and European women would say things like, "I had to slap my housegirl (or houseboy) this morning because these people are SO stupid!" All of the other women (black and white) would murmur in agreement that 'good help was almost impossible to find these days' or that you couldn't get good help anymore or that 'yes, the houseboy was stupid.' Mind you that the "housegirl/boy" might have been 40 years old!

Well, Girl! I'd sit there quietly thinking to myself that if we were all back in the USA, we'd be the ones who'd be under someone else's heel, but there those Diasporan women had the power to be oppressors and that's what they became.

They say that "Absolute power corrupts absolutely," and I saw that, given the power, most of us will use it to step on others. The lesson to be learned or the one I learned FOR SURE is that I, as a bw, had to do whatever it took to get out from under as many heels as possible or I would be stepped on whether it was by a mate, a supervisor, a community, etc.

What I learned from that experience and various similar others ones like it was that if you're in the position to be stepped on, MANY people will step on you. It doesn't matter their race, ethnicity or gender. The point is to get out of the position of being stepped on as much as possible!! I've made it a point to do that and I continue to work at that everyday.

Muse said...

Khadija, Evia, and all the other ladies on the Blogsphere, thank you so much for using your words to empower Black women everywhere. Khadija I spent the last few days reading over all of your posts and I have to say that I’m impressed with your ability to eloquently describe the mental sickness and degenerative behavior of many African Americans, especially when it comes to the treatment of Black women.

Fortunately for me I didn’t experiencing the mental terrorism many dark skin Black girl have to go through in my youth. My mother and father didn’t allow the sickness of colorism in our household. I was protected from abuse that dark skin black girls often endure at home and on the school yard. My father and mother constantly told me how valuable I was and that they encouraged me to develop my intellect and spirituality. I have a Black father who told me that I was pretty every day which did so much for my self esteem. Most importantly I was taught to be a decent human being and treat individuals with respect. My parents encouraged me to seek out individuals who would enrich my life and avoid toxic people. My parents went as far as keeping me away from certain family members who had a toxic mindset.

Since I grew up in Woodland Hills, CA, I was constantly around a diverse group of progressive individuals. Growing up, most of my classmates in school where White, Middle Eastern, or Asian. I was never ostracized for being dark skin and most of my classmates liked me. I was blessed to be in a very intellectual environment around other kids who liked school and had bright futures ahead of them. On rare occasions when I did have issues at school, it was the result of my interaction with the Black kids who came from the inner city ghettos. Many of them behaved very antagonistically and tried to bully the Black kids who lived in the Valley. These Black kids tried to challenge my Blackness by accused me of acting “better” than them because I had a very high GPA and was in all honors/AP classes or that I “talked White.”

Nevertheless I limited my interaction with these toxic Black people. My experience in colorism didn’t start until I went to college however by then I had high self esteem and saw DBRs for what they were: trash. I encountered Black men who offended me by saying that I was “pretty for a dark skin girl” or that I had “good hair.” Anyone who grew up in my household knows that my mother HATES when people allude to the fact that someone’s hair is “good” as a result of their texture. My mom always told me that good hair was clean hair. Nevertheless I avoided and broke off dates with Black men who embraced colorism and DBR tendencies.

As a dark skin Black woman I recognize that many of us are considered least desirable in the eyes of man DBR Black men. Personally I consider this a blessing because DBRs are the reason why the Black community is in shambles and they have destructive behavior patterns. I pity any female that ends up with these worthless men. In fact DBRs are the reason why so many Black women see each other as adversaries instead of allies. We need to stop empowering these DBRs and join together as Black women regardless if you are (light, brown, purple, red, black, dark, etc). If these DBRs want to date outside of their race, let them because they are probably doing Black women everywhere a favor.

Hopefully blogs like Muslim Bushido and Evia’s will encourage Black women to value themselves enough to stay away from toxic Black people and seek out individuals who enrich their lives. I have a circle of awesome Black girlfriends who are honest and very supportive. We encourage each other to seek an enriching life in all areas. It’s time that Black women stop settling for mediocrity and “take our crowns” back. Don’t allow anyone, including family, to hold you back when it comes to your finances, education, and your love life. Make better selections when it comes to finding a mate and in friendship. Take care of your body and mind by eating healthy, exercising, taking trips to the spa, and avoiding bad people. Travel internationally, meet people outside of your circle, and make an effort to learn about the world at large. Life is beautiful and being Black Woman doesn’t have to be a burden.

Muse said...

Aphrodite :
"another type of woman who tries to steal the typical bw's crown is that "PRETTY" dark-skinned woman who swears that she has no problem getting the attention of males because she's just "SO PRETTY." LOL!"

"I have met a few of these types and it makes me sick. It is almost as if other BW are somehow inherently defective. Usually these types encourage all other BW to look within at themselves to do some type of soul searching to discover what their issues are i.e. why they repel BM."

Aphrodite I do believe that quality attracts quality. A woman who has high self esteem and respects her LIFE wouldn't find herself in a relationship with a DBR. The saying birds of a feather flock together isn't bull.The type of man a female gets involved with is a huge indicator of the type of person she is. So if a Black woman has a pattern of dating nothing but DBRs, then maybe she is one herself.

Anonymous said...

Khadija/Evia et al,

One thing I hear constantly from some bw when describing their pain is (some form of the following statement):

"I was belittled for 'talking white."

Everytime I hear this I cringe. Here's why. It seems that these bw by way of making this (or similar) statements are exposing the fact that they were not around other educated, well adjusted blks.

Does this not sound contradictory about one growing up knowing to speak proper?

I grew up around plenty blks who spoke proper English and valued education (and I KNOW am not the only one who was expected to speak proper as a child). Even today, I rarely run into bl folks who speak bad English (even sometimes, the ones who do are just dumbing down to belong. Its fake).

Look, I am not trying to be argumentative here. But bw please, you sound just like bm who make inane statements about bw when you make the "because I "talked white" they riduculed me" statements.

I see this all the time on various blogs. It makes me want to scream.

Honestly? I see it as another form of "hair flipping". Is it a badge of honor to tell the "horror' stories of how other blks treated someone who spoke proper English?!? Its another way of trying to be "different".

Forgive me Khadija for going off topic. I just think sometimes we are not aware of the subliminal "slights" we are throwing at others when "hair flipping" occurs. (Hair flipping here including the "talk white" sad stories of childhood).

I would like to hear your and Evia's thoughts on this phenom.

Dana

Khadija said...

Greetings, Anonymous from 4:17 p.m.!

Thank you for your kind words about the blog. I truly appreciate it!

You said, "Oh yeah by the way, you forgot to include acting jobs. I for one am tired of seeing these women and female children play in roles designed for black women and female children and when you catch an interview with one of them they say "I am not black I am cablasian or my mother is *** and my father is black" all to indicate that they have no identity with black people and their struggles."

Yep. I've also noticed that a disproportionate chunk of "Black" actors, etc. are White women's children/Cablanasians, etc. who do NOT have any loyalty to, or identify with, Black people at all! Another large percentage of Black actors look like they're half-Other. I've talked about this phenomenon (at length) in other forums.

For example, I believe that this phenomenon is what killed Stephanie Mills' career. [Even after her record company pressured her into having half her nose chopped off.] She came out right around the time that MTV and music videos were starting.

This was right around the time that Vanessa Williams' career started. Of the two of them, which one still has a viable career 25 years later? The one that looks half-White.

I often wonder how many other talented Black folks have stalled careers because of the reign of the biracials,Cablanasians, etc. occupying "Black" slots. The real disgrace is that we accept this as normal.
___________________

Hello there, Evia!

You said, "All people--even those who have been oppressed--are highly capable of being oppressors themselves."

EXACTLY! I've found that most people are unprincipled. When they object to injustice, it's not because it's wrong. They're objecting because they want to be the one cracking the whip & not the one feeling the lash! They don't want to change the oppressive script; they just want a "better" role.

You are also quite correct in observing that women are giving their crowns away at this point. That's something that has frustrated me since high school. As much pleasure as I found in taking revenge on behalf of the hair flippers' victims, that didn't solve the problem for these victims.

The hair flippers never bothered flipping their hair at me because they knew that I didn't care in the first place. In fact, they knew that I held them in contempt. LOL!

A couple of hair-flipping pom-pom girls were quite dismayed when I referred to them to their faces as "the tampons." They were even more upset when I made a point of popularizing that code name for them.

[I found out that if you keep repeating something often enough, other people start saying it too! LOL!]{warm fuzzy memory---yes, I could be a "mean girl" in the cause of justice! LOL!}

As much as I couldn't stand the hair flippers & other bullies, I couldn't get somebody else's crown back for them. They had to do that for themselves.

As you observed, "Being your best will give you POWER, and this is what each bw needs to focus on: her own POWER....

...I'm on vacation now and I've observed on the faces of many bw that they don't know they have power. For ex. most of the women are overweight and have drab faces with even drabber clothing. Some of these women are half my age, yet look so dull and forlorn."


I see this too. It's distressing. I can encourage women. I can cheer from the sidelines, but I can't give them their own power. Again, they have to do that for themselves.

You summed it all up when you said, "What I learned from that experience and various similar others ones like it was that if you're in the position to be stepped on, MANY people will step on you. It doesn't matter their race, ethnicity or gender. The point is to get out of the position of being stepped on as much as possible!! I've made it a point to do that and I continue to work at that everyday."
_____________________

Greetings, Muse!

Thank you so much for your kind words about the blog. I truly appreciate it (as well as you taking the time to read the other essays).

You said, "Hopefully blogs like Muslim Bushido and Evia’s will encourage Black women to value themselves enough to stay away from toxic Black people and seek out individuals who enrich their lives."

AMEEN! [Amen!]

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Khadija said...

Hello there, Dana!

The "acting Black/talking white" madness is bullying. But it's not what I'm talking about in the "hair flipping" context. The hair flipping is all about asserting supremacy because one is closer to looking White, & therefore preferred by Black men. It's about passing the paper bag (and now manila folder) test.

The acting Black/talking White phenomenon is more on-topic with some of the class issues posts I've done. Including a post from October called The Art of Majesty, Part 2: The Imploding Black Middle Class.

Feel free to take a look at the class issues posts, and we can discuss that particular form of madness in the comments section of one of those posts. As I explain in the "Leave Your Comment" box, there's no expiration date on these issues. Everybody is welcome to comment on earlier essays.

For this particular thread, let's stay focused on solutions for BW getting their crowns back & never giving them up in the first place.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

witchsistah said...

It seems that most of us are going to have to practice, like Chi-Chi expressed, positive messages and tapes to play in our heads about ourselves. Our heads are so filled with negative and untrue messages about ourselves, put there by others and constantly replayed by ourselves.

Like Chi Chi said, it'll seem very peculiar and stupid to do that work, especially saying nice things to yourself in front of a mirror, but the thing is, confident women say those things to themselves in their heads all the time. If you're going to break a bad habit, you have to replace it with a good one or you'll just invite another bad habit into that void. Nature abhors a vacuum.

Muse said...

Khadija,

One of the ways Black women can take their crowns back is stop making apologies for being excellent. Believe it or not I’ve known Black women who are ashamed of their success because they feared that the Black community wouldn’t accept them or they would be accused of being “uppity.” As absurd as this mindset sounds, it’s very widespread amongst educated Black women. I also believe that Black women need to stop dating below their socioeconomic class. Call me an elitist but the idea that a highly educated Black woman dating any man who barely has his GED is ridiculous. Sadly there are so many educated and successful Black women giving a pass to mediocre Black men. Realistically what does a woman for example with a PhD or a professional degree have in common with a man who only has a GED? Realistically, a man with a GED will most likely be limited to blue collar jobs. Let’s not forget that unless he plans on becoming an entrepreneur, your GED blue collar guy will likely have more health problems than a white collar worker since physically demanding jobs tend to take a toll on the body

Black women should take a few pointers from the Naomi Campbell. Even though Naomi has diva tendencies and my not treat her employees that great, the woman makes no apologies for who she is and tends to date men who meet or exceed her standards. The day Naomi Campbell is caught dating some Black man or any man for that matter without a career and “long” money is the day hell freezes over and mankind has been wiped out from an Apocalypse.

Khadija said...

Hello there, Witchsistah!

You are correct. Any negative self-talk has to be replaced with uplifting self-talk.

In one form or another, everybody who's serious about "winning" (however that is defined in each context) uses positive self-talk. Whether they realize that's what they're doing or not.

[I usually listen to songs like MC Hammer's "U Can't Touch This" on my way to work when I have trials! And that's exactly what I'm thinking when I walk into the courtroom: "They can't touch this!" LOL!]
___________________

Hello there, Muse!

You said, "One of the ways Black women can take their crowns back is stop making apologies for being excellent."

YES!!! {raised fist salute}

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

tasha212 said...

I am, as usual, late in the discussion. I wrote a post about this very topic, but on a more personal note, a couple of months back. I am in full agreement. I am a light-skinned black woman who has been speaking out against black self-hatred and particularly hueism since at least 6th grade. The response that I usually get is that I shouldn't have a problem with it because I benefit from it. Like Khadija, I have no problem with raising up my dark-skinned sisters. Black women, take back your crowns.

Kofi Bofah said...

I didn't know if there was anything behind a hair flip. It is shameful that such a divide has been promulgated amidst our own people.

I am not a woman, and don't know that end of it - but as a man, I haven't really run with the type of characters that chase after light skinned women or white women at all costs. If that is their preference - maybe they have not shared those sentiments with me before. Who knows?

Men don't really get too up in arms about who another brother chooses to date.

I can't honestly say that I have had that conversation in 28 years (men desperately seeking the company of light-skinned women.)

Neyo's comments were unfortunate.

Khadija said...

Greetings, Tasha212!

You said,"Black women, take back your crowns."

YES!!! {raised fist salute}
_________________________

Greetings, Kofi Bofah!

Yes, Ne-Yo's comments were unfortunate. It's always unfortunate when self-hating Black folks broadcast their self-hatred to the world. Blacks are the only ones who routinely do this.

However, the Ne-Yo individual only said out loud what generations of Black women over the years have observed to be most Black men's mindsets.

It's to be expected for people to fail to notice the things that don't affect them or their interests.

In any event, the tide is turning. More and more Black women are waking up to all of the possibilities that are available to them. It's a new day for those who wake up.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Halima said...

I often wonder how many other talented Black folks have stalled careers because of the reign of the biracials,Cablanasians, etc. occupying "Black" slots. The real disgrace is that we accept this as normal.

Khadijah

Picking up on bw accepting the status quo, i see this quite often with the young ladies around me, that they have essentially accepted the way things are, that they will be 'last pick' and have learnt to rejoice with and celebrate the 'victories' of lighter skin sisters.

i get very uncomfrotable seeing darker black girls, pushing their lighter skin freinds forward, being blase about active colorism in their midst eg acting normally while a b boy chats up their lighter skin sisters. There is a level of 'acceptance' of the situation that I am afraid will make any attempts for bw to take back their crowns, doubly difficult.

I believe that these young black girls were waiting on us/looking to us the older sisters to say something and react appropraitely to what they knew deep down was wrong (colorism), yet they saw us just roll over all in our bid to 'serve' the black 'king', and so they too have become not just tolerant, but accepting in fact, the next group of bw will likely endorse colorism as a selecting principle.

It makes me ashamed of the big sister generation (which is us). I keep thinking to myself, why didnt we do or say something and proclaim much more loudly that this was wrong, regardless of how we were recieved (at least this would have validated their feelings on the issue), instead of how we have left the situation with bw believing they need to just accept colorism as their 'reasonable service' towards bm!

Khadija said...

Hello there, Halima!

You said, "Picking up on bw accepting the status quo, i see this quite often with the young ladies around me, that they have essentially accepted the way things are, that they will be 'last pick' and have learnt to rejoice with and celebrate the 'victories' of lighter skin sisters.

...It makes me ashamed of the big sister generation (which is us). I keep thinking to myself, why didnt we do or say something and proclaim much more loudly that this was wrong, regardless of how we were recieved (at least this would have validated their feelings on the issue), instead of how we have left the situation with bw believing they need to just accept colorism as their 'reasonable service' towards bm!"


Yes, it is shameful. And the pre-existing colorism intensified to the levels that we see today on OUR watch.

The original error in judgment that made this escalation possible was our mass acceptance of the false narrative of what was happening.

The false narrative that tries to redefine colorism and running from Blackness as somehow APPROPRIATE behavior.


This is the core disagreement that I have with Felicia's position. I'm NOT saying this to pick on her, but for purposes of detailed illustration of what I'm talking about. Again, she's entitled to her opinion. And aside from this permanent point of disagreement between us, I believe that she's correct in her analysis.

I believe that arguments like the ones she raised are what has laid the groudwork for most BW's acceptance of the reign of the Cablanasians, self-proclaimed biracials,etc.; and acceptance of being "the last pick."

The whole thing is very similar to the harm that's being caused by some Black folks trying to "reclaim" the N-word into something self-affirming.

In both cases, this does NOT work. All it does is reinforce the self-hatred that is at the root of all of this. All it does it make the oppression of Black people even MORE deeply entrenched.

She said, "Growing numbers of biracial people today- especially those with non black apperances - are rejecting the ODR (one drop rule) and are insisting on being recognized for all of what makes them who they are.

...Any label we use to identify ourselves will naturally negate another label. Which in my book is perfectly fine."


It's not perfectly fine with ME if what's being NEGATED are PEOPLE LIKE ME---i.e, Black people.

She said, "And when you have a man - (and good friends who you can depend on for that matter) who loves YOU for who you are AS you are, it truly doesn't matter how other people choose to identify themselves.

Racially or otherwise.

It doesn't matter to you because it doesn't effect you, or your life.

You have too many other important things to concern yourself with like living life. Raising your family. Planning wonderful things for the future."


This is the same argument that color-struck & racist Negroes use to de-legitimize legitimate objections to their behavior! In other words, if you object to being devalued & oppressed, it's because you're a jealous "hater."

THIS final argument is what has silenced our generation of BW from speaking out against the escalating colorism! Nobody wants to be dismissed as a jealous hater who needs to get a life. And so, there is silence.


THIS argument is what has convinced a generation of younger Black girls & women that they need to just accept their diminished lot in life.

And yes, the reign of the biracials, Cablanasians DOES affect the rest of us AND OUR ALL-BLACK CHILDREN. Whether or not we have deleriously happy family lives.

For just one example, it affects and HINDERS the career opportunities of those of us AND OUR ALL-BLACK CHILDREN who want to go into the performing arts. Whether or not we or our children have "a man who loves you for who you are and as you are," etc.! Remember Stephanie Mills?

One of the ways that we turn this around is that we REJECT this false narrative that says that we should be okay with being NEGATED.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

energize said...

First time poster here.
Khadija your blog is so encouraging to read bw coming up with solutions.

@witchsistah - what you described in the work place with insecure, passive/aggressive ww has summed up my career and many other bw I talk too. Thanks for sharing. I shudder to think what younger bw will have to deal with coming behind us if we as "big sisters" don't take back our crowns.

It is no wonder bw are looking for other ways to earn a living. It just not worth loosing your sanity. When possible I try to support bw businesses.

I had a conversation with a Latina woman at work. Yeah, I catch it for all sides, who expressed to me she was disturbed by seeing more bw on t.v., huh? Of course, lw's are a hired 3 to 1 compared to bw. She felt Latina women were being left behind. smh.
I told her, "you have got to be kidding me 3 - 4 Spanish only stations are not enough?!" She stated she wanted to see more in the mainsream media. I suggested maybe if they were not trying to "pass" with blonde hair, she would notice them more".

LorMarie said...

"I often wonder how many other talented Black folks have stalled careers because of the reign of the biracials,Cablanasians, etc. occupying "Black" slots."

"The real disgrace is that we accept this as normal."

This is probably one of the reasons why I feel that the one drop rule should be rejected. What is often championed as black (by the media) really isn't. Thus, the only way to be black and beautiful is to be near white. I have much respect for Halle, Alicia Keys, etc. I'm a huge fan of Alicia's music. But they do not represent black women, IMO. They are role models for biracial girls (although Halle appears more black than she does white).

It is my humble opinion that black girls embrace images of Gabrielle Union, Robyn Givens, The Future First Lady, Kelly Rowlands, etc.

Men don't really get too up in arms about who another brother chooses to date.--Kofi

Hi Kofi Bofa,

When you use the term "brother" I assume you mean black men. When I hear or read the term brother I think of the two that share the same parents with me. (smile)

But you are right. Black men generally don't care who other black men date. I just hope that black women reach a point where they don't care who black men date either.

mekare said...

Hey Khadijah,

Great post. I haven't read through all of the comments but I will answer your question about how black women can take back their crown. I have taken some steps in regaining my crown by supporting causes that were for black women and to speak out against things that harmed me.

I made a small purchase from the Banana Republic due to the positive BW/WM add that was displayed and have written letters to television stations that showed black women in a negative light.

I will make a comment about what Felicia said below that is hopefully relevant to this post:

"When people act as if their better than others simply BECAUSE their of a mixed background vs. a full black one, that IS a problem.
"

This attitude is what has made me uncomfortable with Kimora Lee Simmons. I know she is very proud of her Asian heritage but she comes across as arrogant with it. Correct me if I am wrong but she is what is considered “blasian?” Some of her comments about how black women were jealous of her because of her relationship with Russell Simmons really turned me off. Then she has the nerve to market her clothing towards black women. I just couldn’t purchase her clothing. It wasn't jealousy, it was disgust. Black women don't have to support people like that anymore. It's not ok to use your black background to fit in and while simultaneously dogging out the group that you are extracting money from. Black women can take back their crowns by not supporting black designers that make money off of their hard earned dollars while exploiting them and showing only mixed model. (Phat Farm, Roca Wear, Ect.)

mekare said...

"I believe that soon, due to conditions within Black residential areas, AA women will be permanently stigmatized as AIDs carriers, baby mamas, etc."

This is pretty serious. Moving from black residential areas will help. Not associating with the typical AA crowd and putting some distance between you and them will help. I am not sure what to do after those steps are taken.

I do have a question, in your honest opinion how long do you think black women have? One or two years tops? I just think it is good to put a real number out there so people can plan.

Evia said...

One of the ways Black women can take their crowns back is stop making apologies for being excellent. Believe it or not I’ve known Black women who are ashamed of their success because they feared that the Black community wouldn’t accept them or they would be accused of being “uppity.”

Yep, many of these AA women are afraid of losing their "black card," and I don't know why. Maybe someone can explain to me why I should even want a seat on the Titanic. I've encountered some of these women in so-called upscale clubs and organizations. Some of them engage in "acting black" behaviors. They are therefore simply a monied branch of the "acting black" crew. They may live in expensive homes and have lots of formal education but still feel they must "act black" to make sure they hold onto that black woman card.

Over the years, I've met lots of bw like this. They're constantly apologizing in various ways for having escaped. Some of them overcompensate for their survival/success by being the BIGGEST apologists and enablers of the destructive elements of the black underclass they left behind. Some of these black women will argue long and hard that all AA male inmates are political prisoners of some sort and cut ANY bm all kinds of slack, never requiring these males to show RECIPROCITY. In fact, they treat a typical AA man like a ***cripple.*** And they don't dare rip a bm to shreds about the dirt that bm do to bw and children. Instead, they enable bm, and treat them like simple-minded man-boys.

As absurd as this mindset sounds, it’s very widespread amongst educated Black women.

VERY widespread! This is one of those social indicators that tells me that many AAs are going to take up residence in the 80% AA permanent underclass as Khadija often warns. This is why there will ultimately be strict divisions between AAs--those who don't mind underclass residence vs those who won't be there. I and mine will NOT be in that 80% because I am passing my mindset on to my children that they must "live well." I have never equated "black"ness or my black femaleness with suffering and I avoid bw who think like that. I don't want to have anything to do with absurd "acting black" AAs of any socioeconomic level.


@ Halima re:

I believe that these young black girls were waiting on us/looking to us the older sisters to say something and react appropraitely to what they knew deep down was wrong (colorism), yet they saw us just roll over all in our bid to 'serve' the black 'king', and so they too have become not just tolerant, but accepting in fact, the next group of bw will likely endorse colorism as a selecting principle.

It makes me ashamed of the big sister generation (which is us). I keep thinking to myself, why didnt we do or say something and proclaim much more loudly that this was wrong, regardless of how we were recieved (at least this would have validated their feelings on the issue), instead of how we have left the situation with bw believing they need to just accept colorism as their 'reasonable service' towards bm!


It infuriates me that so many bw are so COWARDLY, yet so many people think that AA women are so strong and brave. Let's be real! Many of these bw KNOW that what bm are doing (denigrating, terrorizing, and rejecting bf based on racial traits while some of the males claim it's bw's "bad attitude") AND to the next generation of black females is WRONG and inexcusable, yet they remain SILENT or have actually joined the excuse industry for bm.

The biggest and DEADLIEST enemy that bw have had, of late, has been that certain element of black men who live right among us, around us in this society who is determined to bring black females down, yet many bw have allowed these males to piss on us and the next generation of black females--all because they don't want to hurt a bm's feelings.

Now I realize that some bw reading this want to rip me up and feed me to their favorite dogs for saying that, but this is exactly what at least 5 million more bw need to be saying OUT LOUD right now. Bw need to stop tiptoeing around males who don't provide for and protect bw and black children. These males are NVs and LVs to the bulk of black females. What the heck do these women think they're going to lose--that they haven't already lost??? They have already lost a lot of their daughters. Lawdy!

And once again, I'll repeat that if bw are not going to do their utmost to protect their daughters and show them the path to a viable, ***normal*** life for especially those darker skinned daughters, they should NOT have them because they're merely producing more sexual prey for the predators.

Anonymous said...

Khadija,

I saw your reply and apologize for making my earlier comment in this forum.

When I actually read thru the comments, someone had made the comment I referred to - not meant for that commenter.

Dana

Evia said...

Women of obviously mixed backgrounds - who are labeled black/African-American because of an American tradition - probably do NOTHING positive for the self-esteem of unmixed appearanced dark-skinned black girls and women.

This is sending the undeniable message that to be considered an "attractive black women" one MUST be "watered down".


Felicia, once again, this is where I'm going to show that I'm not typical in my thinking about this issue, but here goes:

No lighter-skinned or biracial woman can make me feel negative about myself because I don't recognize her as having something that I don't have. In my experience, it is darker or browner black people who usually ***worship*** lighter or biracial people. They GIVE away their crown. They then get angry at these biracial people when they're the ones who have worshiped them. LOL! Many of these browner or darker black people could LEARN to love and appreciate themselves and LEARN that light skin shade is merely the lack of melanin--if they chose to do so. That's really all light skin is--the lack of melanin and this is what I've taught my children about this virus called skin-shadism that now has bw scraping at each other over the damaged men of the world who are a bunch of worthless skin shade racists who foment so much anger and pain. Lawdy!

Yes, I realize that many skin shade racist bm will salivate over a biracial appearing woman's skin shade, hair, nose, etc., and pursue her instead of me but I don't want that type of man ANYWAY. So when she "takes" him from me, she has simply taken a DBR man off my hands, out of my social orbit.If she has children with him, he'll pass on his mindset to his children which will simply handicap their children. I don't want him handicapping my children or me!

@ Khadija re:

One of the ways that we turn this around is that we REJECT this false narrative that says that we should be okay with being NEGATED.

It was and is bw's COWARDICE in recent decades that caused them to be quiet while bm pissed on them and their daughters re this. It was bw falling in line with bm's program to worship the folks that bm worship--light-bright-whites and bw did this for many reasons--which I won't list here. As long as bw continue to follow meekly behind, protect, and enable a bunch of weak, confused males who we all know are quite damaged--not all of them--but a large portion of them, MOST AA women will continue to remain on the bottom as a group of women, scraping over crumbs.

Khadija said...

*Hello, Everyone*

If we get to 100 comments, then I'll close the comment section here and transfer the ongoing conversation to the comments section of Part 2 of this series. I don't like having to scroll down miles of computer screen to read new comments. LOL!

______________________

Hello there, Energize!

Thank you so much for your kind words. I truly appreciate it!
_______________________

Hell there, LorMarie!

You said, "This is probably one of the reasons why I feel that the one drop rule should be rejected. What is often championed as black (by the media) really isn't. Thus, the only way to be black and beautiful is to be near white. I have much respect for Halle, Alicia Keys, etc. I'm a huge fan of Alicia's music. But they do not represent black women, IMO. They are role models for biracial girls (although Halle appears more black than she does white)."

A few thoughts in response: My other concern is that I'm not going to reject someone who is standing in Black solidarity with me. I have relatives who appear White, even though they are not "directly" so-called "mixed." They are Black.

There are also normal, loyal Black people who happen to be half-Other. I'm not going to reject these people out of the Black category when they are standing in solidarity with the rest of our people.

You didn't say this, but there are many problems with the notion of "if you look 'other-ish' you should claim S. African 'Colored'/'biracial' status." One is that this notion makes differences between siblings who are half-Other. The visibly Black ones are identified one way; and the "other-ish"-looking ones are treated another way. This is pretty crappy all around.

Just consider: Do people believe that Eartha Kitt was so-called "biracial"? Do people really perceive her to have been so-called "biracial"? Did anybody, especially White folks, cooperate with her calling herself that? As far as I can tell, the answer is a resounding "NO" based on her appearance.

My relatives never made these sorts of differences between siblings based on appearance. The ones who came out appearing White are just as "Black" as the more Black-appearing ones.

Another disturbing thing about "if you look 'other-ish' you should say you're Colored/biracial" is that it reinstates the slave plantation (and apartheid South African) practices of measuring folks' color, noses, lips and hair texture in order to assign something quite similar to "colored," "quadroon," and "octoroon" status. This is inherently degrading.

Let's leave paper bag tests, pencil through your hair tests (as in South Africa), and feverish quests to be considered anything BUT Black behind.

You said, "It is my humble opinion that black girls embrace images of Gabrielle Union, Robyn Givens, The Future First Lady, Kelly Rowlands, etc."

YES!!!
__________________________

Hello there, Mekare!

I would prefer that folks take the time to read throught the comments before adding their thoughts. I'm trying to foster dialogue between ALL of the participants at this think tank. Not a situation where people are interjecting statements that have no organic connection to, and are not responsive to, all that has come before it.

We're greater than the sum of our parts when we actually reason together.

Kimora Lee Simmons is a PERFECT example of a "biracial," "Cablanasian," (whatever) who needs to be CUT OFF! Asians won't buy the crap that she's peddling to Black women that she has contempt for. This is another disgusting angle to this mess. Often, these "biracials," etc. come to us with mess that they won't dare approach their non-Black half-relations with.

Let's talk about these "Blasians" for a moment. First of all, anyone who's ever interacted with Asians on a close, personal level has observed how xenophobic most of those cultures are. I'll talk about what I learned from a close friendship with my Korean trainer, and a Chinese colleague.

I'm speaking in generalities, but these are the commonly-held attitudes that they both (separately) described to me:

1-These Asian ethnic groups generally don't like all-Asian inter-ethnic marriages! There's almost ALWAYS a serious problem with BOTH families when a Korean marries a Japanese, or a Japanese marries a Chinese person.

Or God forbid, a Korean, Chinese, or Japanese person marries a Filipino. [Filipinos are near the bottom of the Asian pecking order.]

2-They act like this with each other. In situations where the "saving grace" is that the children from such a marriage will physically fit in & look like the other Asian children. If they have these sorts of reactions to each other, what does anybody think will happen to a child that is visibly not ALL Asian?

If they live in Asian countries, individuals like Kimora Lee Simmons and Tiger Woods are at the very BOTTOM of these social orders. It's not a pretty picture. The common assumption for such children is that their mothers were prostitutes who hooked up with Negro soldiers stationed in these countries.

3-The idea of bloodlines & lineage is VERY important in these cultures. It affects one's possible pool of marriage partners. For this reason, adoption is generally taboo within these cultures.

The perception is that a "Blasian" child is the result of some Asian person who has totally screwed up their bloodline. Hooking up with a Negro might even negatively impact that Asian person's siblings' ability to get a reputable spouse.

Family reputation and "face" are EVERYTHING. Reputable families don't want their children messing up their family's bloodlines by hooking up with Negroes OR "Blasians."

I'm not saying that all Asians have these perceptions and beliefs. But it seems that a LOT of them do.

4-Bottom line: So-called "Blasian" individuals are generally perceived as less than nothing within these cultures. They might grin in their faces if they have money. But the ordinary "Blasian" will NOT be accepted. For too much of anything.

This is part of what makes Kimora Lee Simmons so foul. She's coming to us with a racist, arrogant attitude. Let her try to go to her Asian folks with that sort of attitude. She won't get far. And they won't buy the garbage she peddles to us.

Ultimately, this is our own fault for supporting this creature.

To answer your question about how much time I think is left: I give it about 3 more "good" years. Five at the upper limits. A lot of this has regional variations. Think about the sorts of news stories that are coming out of your local area's "Black Belt." The stories coming out of Black residential areas will only get worse.

With each new spectacular atrocity that happens in a local Black area, the surrounding non-Black areas become more resistant to welcoming any Black folks into their area.
______________________

Hello there, Evia!

You said, "This is why there will ultimately be strict divisions between AAs--those who don't mind underclass residence vs those who won't be there. I and mine will NOT be in that 80% because I am passing my mindset on to my children that they must "live well." I have never equated "black"ness or my black femaleness with suffering and I avoid bw who think like that. I don't want to have anything to do with absurd "acting black" AAs of any socioeconomic level."

I agree. I refuse to have "losers" anywhere in my orbit. They tend to drag everything & everyone around them down. I'm not for that.

Quiet as it's kept, this bifurcation between Black "thrivers" and "losers" is already happening.

What happened with the Katrina disaster was a good example of this. Which category of Black folks were the ones caught up in that? Who was penned up like animals in the Superdome (or whatever it was called), and who was able to make other arrangements?

We're in the midst of an economic "Katrina." I suspect that some other mass, life-altering events are headed our way. Things that will create LONG-TERM hardships.

Ladies, you need to get out while the getting is good.

Evia, you said, "It infuriates me that so many bw are so COWARDLY, yet so many people think that AA women are so strong and brave. Let's be real!"

Yep. The only time many BW find their voices is when repeating the lies that we've been indoctrinated with. It seems that all we know how to do is repeat the "party line."

A lot of folks are just going to have to die in the wilderness.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Sister Seeking/Miriam/MaryAnn said...

Peace and blessings every one:

I’m going to shift my contribution to this discussion to taking steps to get out of black residential areas!

I can only speak to my own experience, and I’m NOT presenting my self as an expert on the subject but if any one is interested here are some ideas:

Personal finances:

*Debt management --preferably debt elimination
*Credit repair --preferably raise your credit to the highest score
*Savings-- preferably 30 to 50 % of your income
*Do save for a down payment WATCH OUT for those no money down scams
*Emergency savings 6 to 12 months of living expenses
*Rethink credit cards or pay off your balance every month
*Find more than one way to make money
*Prepare for entrepreneurship don’t just dive in head first
* Think outside the box: how can you truly be self-sufficient?

Real estate:

* Don’t be afraid to try farming communities; homesteads; rural areas. This is my IDEAL living situation for spiritual reasons. If I could do it over again I’d buy a home or land further out in the country.

* Watch out for new communities that have just been built--looks ARE deceiving some times. They may have the all trappings of a middle class even an upper middle class neighborhood but you won’t find out you “got played” until you “got in”. My girl friend owns vending machines in three new communities that have club houses. My friend had a beverage that was glass packaged and several angry, bitter, white men begged her to not put those bottles in the vending machines because the black teenagers in their neighborhood frequently bust glass on the side walks. The average home cost in this area prior to the recession was a half a million dollars now they are down to three hundred thousand dollars. One old angry white man in particularly stated “ I’m not racist but black people, Hispanic people, and Asian people got into these homes on sub prime loans but were blue collar workers.” I thought this epidemic only affected working class multiracial neighborhoods like ours but evidently not. So keep that in mind when you are house hunting. The recession will have impact on the quality of families in all residential areas.

* Not ALL multi-racial neighborhoods are safe, and decent places to live. I’d hire a realtor who has thorough knowledge of the area you are interested in living in. Also, don’t leave it up to him or her--own your own decision. I suggest having male relatives or friends check out the area during the evenings and night time. Also, you may want to “study”? the area. Some places people go buck wild during the summer but are shut in during the winter. You may half to research a place a good year before buying home.

* Please keep in mind some of Khadija’s earlier essays about the middle class. In some regions, she is right on point. Don’t expect credentials, or upscale neighborhoods to guarantee your ticket out of unsafe crime ridden black residential areas: for what ever reasons many so called middle class or strivers don’t supervise their pre-teen/teen children well. You’d think if they can afford the home they could afford a nanny or extra curricular activities? NOT.

Social Networks

* My husband ,and I are Muslim but we now are apart of an interfaith fellowship. We’ve found that getting to know people of all religions nurtures our own faith, increases social capital, and if you’re a SAHM this is a great way to meet others if you don’t feel comfortable in secular mother groups.

* This is strictly an opinion, but my experience has taught me to join multiracial groups instead of isolating myself with one racial group. My best mother to mother experiences were not in black mothers group but in mixed mothers groups.

*If your self employed its great to start with “black___________” business organizations but if you want contracts with established businesses or your local government you may want to branch out and do business with all racial groups and pay attention to our largest minority: the Hispanic community and their influence.

Finally, I’m not sure that “I” want to live in a predominately white neighborhood, I do enjoy interacting with ALL people but for those who are worried about KKK land there are predominately white neighborhoods that are not racially hostile or dangerous places to live--and truth be told many of them are not in the new communities that are being built. Speaking of social networks, these can be wonderful places to network in! I personally would not tell some one to go from one hostile place to another.

I hope that anything can help some one move on….

: )

Good luck!

Sister Seeking/Miriam/MaryAnn said...

It was and is bw's COWARDICE in recent decades that caused them to be quiet while bm pissed on them and their daughters re this. It was bw falling in line with bm's program to worship the folks that bm worship--light-bright-whites and bw did this for many reasons--which I won't list here. As long as bw continue to follow meekly behind, protect, and enable a bunch of weak, confused males who we all know are quite damaged--not all of them--but a large portion of them, MOST AA women will continue to remain on the bottom as a group of women, scraping over crumbs.

And once again, I'll repeat that if bw are not going to do their utmost to protect their daughters and show them the path to a viable, ***normal*** life for especially those darker skinned daughters, they should NOT have them because they're merely producing more sexual prey for the predators.
______________________________________________________________

Where in the hell where bw like you when people like me were in foster care! The majority of black children who are being raised by the state is for these exact reasons you mention above--you all think the drama in a black residential neighborhood is bad just wait when millions of black children raised in a dysfunctional corrupt state system exit into mainstream society just wait. You think its bad NOW you haven’t seen nothing YET Its NOT NATURAL to grow up with out a family….

@ Evia

I just wanted to say that I believe that you are one of the most balanced bw I’ve met( online that is ) on the issue of interracial psychology… I must confess that when I first started reading your comments here, and your blog, I thought you were like some of the bw who I’ve met IRL who are so egocentric to such a degree they appear to be disturbed. I’m glad I continued to read, and WATCH you because many bw who advocate interracial marriage do not do so in a logical, coherent, ISSUES, VALUES based way. It’s nice to know bw like you exist--and no lol I know you aren’t four people or what ever the madness some trolls accused you of lol I actually saw your interview on blacknews.com

Khadija said...

Hello there, Sister Seeking/Miriam!

THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU for laying out a detailed escape plan. I co-sign 100%; especially the detail about investigating what prospective areas are like on weekends and late nights.

And you're right about the effect of former state wards coming back into Black areas. Black residential areas have already been battered by several earlier waves since the Reagan years:

1-Waves of mentally ill people being dumped back on the streets after many mental health facilities were closed and/or had drastic budget cutbacks.

2-Waves of teenage and now-adult crack babies born during the 1980s who are now parents themselves. Former-crack-baby parents who are raising their children to be even more deranged than themselves.

3-Waves of halfway houses, social service agency branch offices, and other loser-magnets being placed into Black neighborhoods.

4-Waves of Section 8 recipients overrunning previously stable working class and middle class Black neighborhoods.

5-In Chicago, the city has torn down many public housing hellhole projects. What this means is that violent Black criminals are now dispersed throughout MANY Black neighborhoods in the city. Instead of being quarantined into these projects.

6-Waves of paroled criminals coming back to their old stomping grounds within Black residential areas.

These waves of industrial-strength, concentrated madness have been added to pre-existing problems such as the disintegrating Black family structure, and Blacks adopting strange White ideas about child-rearing (i.e, a refusal to discipline one's children).

How in the world could anybody seriously think Black residential areas can remain habitable under all of these combined conditions? They can't. They aren't. That's why it's time to roll up out of these places.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Felicia said...

OMG! I've just checked back and the comments are still coming.

You've really touched a nerve with this particular topic Khadija!

It's on FIRE. Good job.

From earlier comments you've made, I know you realize that it's possible to agree to disagree on certain issues yet, still have the best interest of black women (the hope that more unmistakingly black women can love and accept themselves and start choosing only men who can fully love and accept them regardless of "race") in mind.

That being said, I'd like to respond to this statement of yours.

My bottom line: These "I don't want to be Black and White folks won't let me be White" self-proclaimed biracials, multiculturals, & Cablanasians are anti-Black. I'm not talking about "group" anything here. Because they are anti-Black, these people are anti-ME. Consequently, I am anti-them. I'm not going to let semi-internal enemies like these self-proclaimed biracials continue to screw over BW. We need to CUT THEM OFF.

Let's not forget that ALL self-proclaimed biracial/multiracial people are not of the "I don't want to be black and white folk won't let me be white" type.

It's wrong to make a blanket statement covering an entire population.

There are biracial/multiracial people who simply wish their entire background to be acknowledged. And IMO that's not asking for to much.

Especially considering, biracial/multiracial people owe their very existence to the fact that they come from TWO (or more) "racial" backgrounds.

This is a different cultural and psychological experience than a person who was raised by two black identifying parents.

Therefor, IMO there is no reason for black identified people (many of whom come from a distant black/white background themselves) to feel threatened when a biracial person (sometimes raised completely by white or other non black people) prefers to be identified as what they are.

Even Barack Obama does not deny that he is biracial. It would be dishonest for him to do so. He proclaims he is a black man, because he is TREATED like a black man due to his physical appearance. That's what this society SEES and responds to. This of course has shaped him and thus his identity.

Which is natural.

That's why for all intents and purposes - for American standards especially - he most definitely qualifies as black.

No doubt about that.

In Latin-America, Europe, and Africa, basically everywhere OUTSIDE of America (which have some of the most racists mindsets around) however, this would not automatically be the case.

Because these countries openly acknowledge the truth that there are biracial populations that are distinct from their "parent races".

We also mustn't forget, there also biracial people who are viewed as - and consistently treated as non black (regardless if it is known that they have black ancestry or not) - by whites AND blacks alike. And others. This also of course shapes their psyche's and influences their self-identity.

One size does not fit all when it comes to this issue.

For instance if aspiring model/actress Maya Fahey (Actress Victoria Rowell's daughter)

http://img160.exs.cx/img160
/6905/516952077os.jpg

were dating actor Wentworth Miller

http://handson.provocateuse.com
/images/photos/wentworth_miller_10.jpg

- both of whom have black/African ancestry - chances are they would not EVER be pictured together on the cover of Ebony, Jet, Essence, or any other popular black magazine.

Black readers would be OUTRAGED that these two white appearanced people were on the covers.

Black readers would rightfully question how these two could fully relate to the black experience experienced by MOST black people who cannot be mistaken for anything other than black.

The fact is, when you're biracial and don't resemble "light skinned blacks", but instead NON blacks, you are living a very different experience than that of your phenotypically black parent.

IMO If a BW can't accept the possible prospect that her future child/children by a non BM may grow up to identify as biracial/multiracial - as opposed to solely black - she shouldn't be procreating interracially.

Because none of us can control the actions of those outside of ourselves.

Not even our children.

And we shouldn't attempt to.

I do agree that black identified women shouldn't let ANYONE EVER screw them over. And that anyone can be biracial, black, white, Asian, whatever.

Just because someone chooses to acknowledge-and wishes to be identified by - their full heritage, black & white, doesn't mean that they are anti someone else calling themselves black.

It's a free country. To each their own.

In closing, I'm not attempting to change anyone's mind regarding this issue of classification.

Most people's opinions regarding this issue are set in stone.

All I'm giving are reasons why I feel the way I do regarding this topic.

Khadija said...

Hello there, Felicia!

{excited waving}

I think that there's been such a response to the post because the vast majority of what little discussion there is about this issue is dishonest. The plain truth has very few outlets when it comes to this sort of thing.

Oh, yes...It's possible to disagree and for all involved in the disagreement to have BW's interests at heart. You and I both want the same things for BW. The very best.

We've probably had VERY different experiences with self-proclaimed "biracials," "Cablanasians," and their ilk.

I've known plenty of normal, loyal, Black people who have a non-Black parent. They are NOT denying that they have a White, Asian, or whatever non-Black parent. They are standing in solidarity with the rest of our people.

So far, every self-proclaimed "biracial" I've encountered has been the "I don't want to be Black, and White folks won't let me be White" type. These are the people I knew in college, law school and beyond who want to usurp Black resources, while simultaneously calling themselves non-Black (i.e. "biracial," etc.).

These are the people who never want to be around, or in many cases even speak to, any other Black folks unless they are trying to get a set-aside, scholarship, etc. that was designated for Blacks. These are the people who have HATRED & CONTEMPT for Black folks.

Let me give another blast of plain truth:

There are PLENTY of all-Black,light-skinned hair flippers. But we also know that these "don't call me Black," self-proclaimed biracials form another LARGE percentage of the hair flipping population. These "don't call me Black," self-proclaimed biracials tend to have attitudes similar to the one that oozes from Kimora Lee Simmons in interviews.

Black people aren't [totally]stupid. We can sense when people have contempt for us. Anti-Black bigots don't have to spell it out for those they have contempt for to catch the hint. We can feel the sentiment that lies underneath their statements.

I submit to you that when there's a negative reaction from Black folks to these "call me biracial, and NOT Black" declarations, there's a reason for that negative reaction. Judging from their observed behavior, wanting to be identified as "biracial" and NOT Black correlates with having anti-Black attitudes.

Just like most BM won't 'fess up to their colorism, these "I don't want to be Black, and White folks won't let me be White" self-proclaimed biracials almost never 'fess up to their true motives for calling themselves "biracial."

The biracials that hate Blacks & have contempt for Blacks use the exact same justification/excuse that you're giving as their cover story for why they don't want to be identified as Black.

I don't buy it. I don't believe it. I don't believe it because I'm looking at the totality of these "don't call me Black," self-proclaimed biracials' actions & attitudes as pertains to Black folks.

Again, we're probably having very different experiences with these "don't call me Black," self-proclaimed biracials.

We agree to disagree, while both wanting the best for Black women.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

sistrunkqueen said...

Hello Khadijah

I found this essay very interesting. I read most of the comments here. I am one of those dark skinned bw who did not have terrorists around her growing up and I still have my crown. I won a high school beauty pageant and beat out two yella gals. One I am still in communication with to this day. It was not about color we were judged on talent, scholarship, and presence. Itwas a very proud moment for me and my parents. I was told that my sister and I were beautiful by our father. So I am sorry that I don't have any horror stories to share with anyone.

I do have auggestion for sisters who live in large cities. I live in Atlanta and Sundays are black night in town. On Saturdays the whites come out to party. I suggest SBW go out on Saturday nights and meet white men or other men to date. Just a suggestion...

Also I want you all to know that some black women do not give their crowns away to light/biracial women and I am one who did not. I dress nice, wear makeup, and have been complimented by light and dark women. It is the way you carry yourself that makes people approach you. Anyway Happy New Year

Felicia said...

"Again, we're probably having very different experiences with these "don't call me Black," self-proclaimed biracials."


THANK YOU!

That's it in a nut shell Khadija.

We're basing our opinions on what we've personally experienced.

Yes, I DO know exactly the type of arrogant behavior you're referring to. However, the vast majority of my personal experiences with self proclaimed biracial people have been positive.

I can only personally think of two such negative experiences in my life. And what's funny is, on one occasion while I was single, one "hair-flipper" got visibly agitated that the WM she was trying to attract was instead interested in me. And on the other occasion, another "hair-flipper" immediately calmed down when she noticed I had stereotypically biracial/Latin looking children.

Who made her look more "ethnic" (blacker) in comparison.

I guess she felt I had "one-upped" her.SMH

Innocent beautiful children regardless of phenotype, color, hair-texture, and legal "racial" category should ALL be seen as a "prize".

ALL of them.

Not just those who don't look black.

So I DO know which type of biracial/multiracial identified person you're referring to.

But again, every other experience aside from the two I mentioned have either been positive or neutral.

It could very well be that I'm being perceived as directly biracial myself. Due to my physical appearance, behavior, style of dress, tone of voice, etc...

Who knows.

Plus, my husband is white and our children look identical to many children I've seen born to one white, and one biracial parent.

So... that could be why I haven't experienced the same friction level with biracial identifed folks that other BW apparently have.

foreverloyal said...

On self-labeling as biracial.
I have given this issue some thought over the years. I have concluded that I do not mind if my children self-identify as "biracial."
I DO, DO, DO, very much mind if if they get OFFENDED if someone calls them "black".
That is the issue. It is the jumping-up-and-down and PROTESTING, I'm NOT black, I'm BIRACIAL!
That is what points to contempt/self-hatred/whatever you want to call it.
I have two parents.(I know that's obvious, stay with me a sec). Let's say one is a "Taylor" and one is a "Smith". I am both, though I may be labeled a Taylor or a Taylor-Smith. I may even have lived nearer to the Taylor side of the family growing up and feel closer to them. But would I be OFFENDED if someone recognized me as, and called me "Smith"? Would I jump up and down and say, "I'm NOT a Smith, I'm a TAYLOR-Smith!", and then, when I find out that the Smith's have a family scholarship for the Smith kid with the highest GPA, come smiling, cheesing at the next Smith family reunion, hoping to get the money?

There's embracing both, and then there's rejecting one. (or keeping it at arm's length at best). I believe that is the issue.

Sister Seeking/Miriam/MaryAnn said...

@ Felicia

Alright. I really didn’t want to enter the bi-racial discussion you, and Khadija have going on, but I wanted to point a few things out to BOTH of you:

First things first:

Other readers here know that I’m both a former foster, and an adopted child. I’ve spoken of both experiences. One experience I’ve never spoken of is my biological bi-racial sibling. My biological mother was incarcerated in the Midwest for stealing a loaf of bread, milk, and peanut butter to feed us ( black sibling, and I). During here brief incarnation she was raped by a white male prison guard. She conceived a biracial child as a result of that rape. My mother was eventually released. In the beginning the State allowed my mother to keep her biracial baby… sigh.. Deep breath… however at around 3 years of age a white social worker saw that my sister appeared more biracial or had more European features and started pressuring my mother to give the baby up for adoption… sigh.. Deep breath… and eventually my black sibling and I saw our sister three times and never saw her again…

This is why I’ve been hesitant to speak on this issue for fearing of being biased and for fear of not presenting the facts versus my own feelings.

#1 The ONLY legitimate way to gage the experiences, perceptions, values, beliefs, and opinions of black people ( or in this case black women and children) is to conduct a scientific poll or a series of interviews by accredited actuaries. This comment is for BOTH of you.

#2 There is a great deal of literature written by sociologists; psychologists; historians; and activists about the experiences, perceptions, values, beliefs, and opinions of black people toward blacks with light hues whose parents are black as well biracial people with one parent who is black. The majority of the time the data presented about the experiences with both fair skinned blacks and biracial blacks is along the lines of what Khadija has been saying--I do concede with Khadija’s point to examine the issue in historical context, and totality--I think not to do so is dishonest.

#3 I was reading an essay at another black woman’s blog about a scientific experiment conducted between black, and white women. The white women were resistant to any negative image presented by black women. Because that image was NOT molded or controlled by THEM it was vehemently rejected. I personally see the same thing playing out here IMO there seems to be an image by black women (to some degree by all hues of black people)--of biracial people or in this case biracial women. What I see is some biracial people rejecting the image that blacks have of them based off of: historical experience; competition for survival; competition for recognition; and competition for rule.

#4 I also see that blacks who attempt to do what the white women did in that study are always dismissed as supremacist or bigots. Every one else is entitled to control or monitor their groups image but blacks can’t?

#5 The one drop rule did not come from black society or blacks IN society that is from the ancestry or the white parent, yet, I find that a great deal of their campaign is spent on persuading blacks to accept a) they are biracial or b) they want to identify as white. It appears from the complaints of some biracial people that the white male establishment--the originators of the one drop rule in this country--are uncomfortable with them being classified as white--I’ve seen this create a “let’s abolish the racial classification system” amongst both fair skinned blacks AND biracial people--the reaction is often if I can’t be white I’ll settle for being biracial but I don’t want to be classified as black. That’s just what I see. And again, I present point number one to argue either side.

#6 Many of us IRL and on the Blog sphere are asking each other “ what is your screening or vetting process?” Well, fellow bloggers, “I” took that question seriously and mean business. “IF” biracial people choose not to identify as black but prefer a new racial category in response to the rejection of the U.S.’s white male establishment or if they just prefer a new racial category and do not wish to be affiliated with the history, heritage, and experience of African Americans, how is that going to empower ALL shades of black women and children--AND men? “I” am NOT going to demoralize them for what ever choice they make--this is supposed to be a free society-- but how about going about that choice in method that does NOT demoralize the group in which one parent originated from? That goes for BOTH ancestries. Examples of the demoralizing are the examples from Khadija on the lines of accepting scholarship money.

#7 Felicia, I mean NO disrespect to you. I have NO desire to tell others how to think, feel, believe, or live--that violates my fundamental beliefs in individual and social freedom. I have NO desire to convert you or anything along the lines of that, but I and this just where I’m coming from don’t understand how presenting your points on biracial people empowers black women of ALL hues and their children? I don’t get that. To me this whole exchange is distraction, and interference to black women who really need to transition for the sake of their safety. Stating that you care about black women and children is NOT enough for ME--that is my vetting process. All of us on every single dang blog can agree to disagree until we are blue in the face but that doesn’t CHANGE things, that does not create ACTION? Again, I mean NO disrespect. I have disagreed with nearly EVERY black female blogger( I have disagreed with Khadija too), Muslim, non-Muslim etc, I don’t care. I’m NOT hungry for acceptance or companionship. I don’t blog to run my mouth. My screen name Sister Seeking is what it is a sister seeking like minded women who want to empower themselves and others because we believe justice, living well, and safety are for ALL not just for some.


And finally, I’m all for letting people be who they want to be, but history shows us for ALL of humanity that is NOT an easy process because the way groups go about it is through systematic oppression; aggression; and violence.

I’m finished with this discussion.

Peace

lormarie said...

So... that could be why I haven't experienced the same friction level with biracial identifed folks that other BW apparently have.--Felicia

Honestly, I haven't either. In fact, my writers group is made up for the most part of biracial people. They choose to indentify as biracial rather than black. What I admire about them is that they express pride in both their heritages and I respect them for that.

I should also point out that I haven't had the same negative experiences with white and other nonblack women that others have had. Experiences lead us to different conclusions. What I think we all can agree on is "self-determination" for black women. With that said, I plan to get more politically active in that respect in 2009. Hopefully, I can connect with others in the NY metro area with the same consciousness that I have. It's difficult to do it alone, LOL.

Khadija said...

Greetings, Sistrunkqueen!

I'm delighted to hear that you never had your crown stolen. That's always good news. May your experience of having your crown firmly resting upon your head spread to more BW. Ameen! [Amen!]
__________________

Hello there, Felicia!

Yep. Agree to disagree.
____________________

Hello there, Forever Loyal!

You said, "I DO, DO, DO, very much mind if if they get OFFENDED if someone calls them "black".That is the issue. It is the jumping-up-and-down and PROTESTING, I'm NOT black, I'm BIRACIAL!

That is what points to contempt/self-hatred/whatever you want to call it."


This is precisely what I'm talking about. The people who are doing this "I'm-NOT-Black-jumping-up-and down" LIE TO OUR FACES and claim that they're simply "embracing both."

Like I said, Black folks aren't totally stupid. We know when we're being dissed and held in contempt. [I love your family reunion analogy.]
_____________________

Hello there, Sister Seeking/Miriam!

Here's one "agree to disagree" point that we have (*Smile*):

I don't need to canvas all 35-40 million Black folks to have a sense of what's going on with us. I don't need a scientific poll to validate the reality that I see all around me.

You asked an extremely important question when you asked, "“IF” biracial people choose not to identify as black but prefer a new racial category in response to the rejection of the U.S.’s white male establishment or if they just prefer a new racial category and do not wish to be affiliated with the history, heritage, and experience of African Americans, how is that going to empower ALL shades of black women and children--AND men? "

This is a VERY good question. In my opinion, this "give me a new category for myself OTHER THAN BLACK" campaign DOES NOT empower Black women & children (of whatever shade). So far, this campaign empowers these self-proclaimed biracials AT THE EXPENSE OF Black folks.

Here's why I say this:

1-So far, this is how this has played out---these self-proclaimed biracials are stealing Black scholarships, set-asides, etc.

2-Most of the individuals who are the champions of these self-proclaimed biracials would scream to high heaven if these biracials were NOT allowed to make their money by portraying Black characters in movies, etc. They would scream if Black folks organized boycotts of Black-hating creatures like Kimora Lee Simmons.

Most of these folks (and their champions) want to have it both ways: these self-proclaimed biracials get to play Black characters, and steal Black resources, AND yet get to self-identify as non-Black while doing so.

I originally decided to pursue discussing this issue at length because we need to start policing this. We need to STOP letting these folks steal from us. We need to STOP taking disrespect off of them.

Like you said, and we've all been saying, we need to screen EVERYBODY. And we'll find that a lot of folks need to be SCREENED OUT & CUT OFF.
_____________________

Hello there, LorMarie!

Yes. Self-Determination for Black Women! Now! {raised fist salute}

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Khadija said...

*I'm now transferring the ongoing conversation for this post to Part 2 of this series. Please post your comments for this essay in the comment section of Self-Determination, Part 2. Thank you.*